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Appeared on: Monday, October 27, 2003
LiteOn LDW-401S DVD+R/+RW

1. Retail package - Installation

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401S- Page 1


LiteOn, the well known as manufacturer of CD-RW/combo recorders, introduced its first DVD+R/RW writer, the LiteOn LDW-401S. The Taiwanese manufacturer has chose the "plus" format for its debut in the DVD recording market, without however, following the same policy for the future products. The ATAPI/IDE half-height DVD+RW writer supports 4x writing for both DVD+R/+RW formats.


Smart-Burn technology is engaged by LITE-ON due to succeed buffer- under-run-free function and great media compatibility for high-speed writing DVD+R, DVD+DW, CD-R, CD-RW media.

With the Smart-X technology LiteOn gives you the opportunity for constant Audio CD/VCD/DVD playback and excellent data extraction. The buffer memory of 2MB helps on DVD recording procedure.

- Specifications
DVD Family
4x (5400KB/sec) CLV
4x (5400KB/sec) CLV
Reading Speed

DVD-ROM (Single layer )

12x (16200KB/sec) maximum CAV
DVD-ROM (Dual layer)
8x (10800KB/sec) maximum CAV
Access Time 160 ms
CD Family
Writing Speed CD-R
40x (6000KB/sec) maximum CAV
ReWriting speed CD-RW 24x (3600KB/sec) maximum PCAV in UltraSpeed disc
Reading 40x (6000KB/sec) maximum CAV
Access Time : 140 ms
Buffer Size : 2MB

Dimension :145 ( W ) x 41.3 ( H ) x 170 ( D ) mm

Writing methods : Fixed Packet, Variable Packet, TAO, SAO, DAO, Raw Mode Burning & Over-Burn
DVD read format: DVD single/dual layer (PTP, OTP), DVD-R (3.9G/4.7G), DVD-R multi-borders, DVD+R, DVD+R multi-sessions, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW
CD read format: CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA , Photo-CD, Multi-session, Karaoke-CD, Video-CD, CD-I FMV, CD Extra, CD Plus, CD-R, and CD-RW
Transfer mode : PIO mode 4, DMA mode 2 and Ultra DMA mode 2
Support both 8cm and 12cm disc of CD and DVD family

As you can see from the tables above LiteOn supports writing for DVD+R/RW and CD-R/RW media. The burn procedure can easily approach the 4x speed under CLV with DVD+R and DVD+RW media. As far as it concerns the CD family, the maximum writing speed for the CD-R is 40x CAV and 24x P-CAV for CD-RW Ultra Speed discs. The internal memory of the drive is 2MB.

LiteOn LDW-401S uses the RPC II region control, allowing user to change the drive's region 5 times in total. For our tests, we set the region code to 2 (Europe). The drive supports reading of all the DVD recordable/rewritable discs except DVD-RAM which is also not included in the writing capabilities of the drive along with the DVD-R/-RW format and Mount Rainier.

- Unpacking

The European retail package includes the LiteOn IDE drive, one 4.7GB 4x DVD+R by Ricoh, one 4.7GB 4x DVD+RW by Ricoh, a quick installation guide, an audio cable and mounting screws.

The attached software includes only Cyberlink's Power DVD XP for video playback LiteOn could definitely include at least a burning /authoring software for CD/DVD, as it is usually happens with all the compatible retail boxes.

The front panel of the drive is colored in ordinary gray with an eject/load button, a busy led indicator which is green at the read process and red at the writing, a headphone jack with a volume control knob and the emergency eject hole.

On the disc loading tray you can see the sticker of the LiteOn website URL placed on the right next to the CD-RW format logo while the DVD+RW format logo is placed on the left side of the tray.

On the rear panel you can see the analog output, the ATAPI interface connector and the power input.

The mainboard of the drive is available in the following picture. You can click on the picture to see it in a higher resolution but please be patient while it is loading.

Click for High Resolution!

- Installation

The LiteOn drive was connected to our test PC and was identified as "LITE-ON DVD+RW LDW-401S" under WinXP. All tests were done with firmware revision ES0G.

2. CD Reading Tests

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401S - Page 2

CD Reading Tests

- Pressed CD results

On this test we used an 80min data pressed disc. Lite-On supports the maximum reading speed of 40x with CD-ROM media. According to the graph the drive read the disc under the CAV mode. By the 80min mark, the drive had reached the 41.76x and average overall speed is 31.48x.

During the test the recorder needed 96ms for Random seek. As it was expected the 1/3 seek value at 115ms was faster than the Full seek at 190ms. The seek times are low and very compatible to other DVD writers.

- CDR Media results

With the CD-R media the performance is almost the same with the previous test. The reported average speed was very close to that for the pressed disc but seek times were higher in all modes, although they are generally kept to adequate levels.


- HS-RW Media

For this test we used a Mitsubishi 24x HS-RW media. The drive supports 32x reading with rewritable media so the average speed is lower than in the previous tests (25.35x).

The seek times are good and closer to those measured with CD-R media.

3. CD Error Correction Tests

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401S - Page 3

Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we check the drive's behavior when it comes to reading scratched / defected discs. The test discs that we are using are the ABEX Test disc series from ALMEDIO.


Errors total
Num: 1101429
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 51457
Avg: -73.2 dB(A)
Max: -21.9 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 3443
Avg: 1.0 Samples
Max: 11 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
76.7 points (of 100.0 maximum)

As you can see from the graph, the drive performed quite well. Many errors were corrected, and the the error hiding capabilities of the drive are high, since the average level of the signal is less than -60dB (-73.2dB). According to EAC author, such level is acceptable and does not lead to audible problems in the output signal.

In addition no synchronization errors occurred, resulting to an overall score of 76.7 points our of 100.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 0
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 0
Avg: -174.0 dB(A)
Max: -174.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
100.0 points (of 100.0 maximum)

According to EAC, the comparison of the original .wav file with the defected one gave no differences, which means that the drive managed to make an accurate rip of the defected disc. The performance is high and the total test result of the drive is the perfect 100.0.

- Conclusion

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Average Score

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401S gets very good average score of 88.35 points with the 721R and 726 Abex test discs. The drive corrected a high percentage of the faulty bits and managed to hide many errors. The 726 test disc was read with remarkable accuracy and this means that LiteOn LDW-401S is tuned to perfectly handle errors lower than one critical level. Our though is that this level is high enough to cover your everyday needs.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is a very useful tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively difficult tests. These tracks are referred as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

The files are reproduced (played) through a software multimedia player (i.e. Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone coming out from the speakers is smooth, continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the tested device.

Each file was played 5 times. A 5/5 score donates that the file was played flawlessly without problems.

Error Level
LiteOn LDW-401S

LiteOn LDW-401S successfully passed the first 3 Check Levels of the test. The performance reveals good sound reproduction and error correction. The fourth level includes an error size of 1.125mm, and the drive gave back audible clicks. The fifth level could also not be played correctly. As we also mentioned in the EAC tests, the drive performs perfectly below the critical "threshold", which is the 1.125mm scratch in our case.

4. DVD Reading Tests

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401S - Page 4

DVD reading tests

In the DVD reading tests we compare the LiteOn LDW-401S with another DVD+RW writer, the Ricoh MP5240A.

- Single Layer DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

The differences between the drives was expected, since the LiteOn offers 12x CAV reading while the Ricoh drive is slower with 8x CAV. The LiteOn drive read the single layer DVD-ROM fast and the reported average speed was 9.21x. The end speed for the drive reached the 12.32x.

The seek times of LiteOn LDW-401S are lower than Ricoh MP5240A as far as it concerns the random mode, 89ms to 112ms. At the 1/3 mode the LiteOn was again faster with 97ms over the 125ms of Ricoh. The results were proportional at the Full seek time mode where LiteOn was faster with 178ms.

- Dual Layer PTP DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

The dual layer DVD-ROM was read under CAV mode by LiteOn approaching the same speed on both layers (8x). The average reading speed, reported by NeroCdSpeed, was 6.31x. The drive is slightly faster than Ricoh MP5240A.

The seek times reported were higher than those with the single layer DVD-ROM. However, this is normal and was noticed with all the DVD readers. LiteOn LDW-401S needed 94msec for the random seek and 236msec for full seeking:

- Dual Layer OTP DVD-ROM

The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the PTP disc we tested previously. The difference here is the reading strategy of the second layer of the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located in the outer part of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks toward the inner part of the disc.The performance is not different than in the previous test, with the drive to give a 6.27x average reading speed.

The seek times of LiteOn with the dual layer OTP DVD-ROM are low with reported full seek time at only 164ms.

- DVD Ripping Tests

We measured the DVD Ripping speed using the "Matrix" DVD Video title (4.7GB) and the latest version of the DVD Decrypter software.

LiteOn manage to reach the maximum speed of 11.264KB/s on the DVD ripping test and needed 9:45min to finish the task. The average reported speed was 9.264KB/s (6.86x).

- DVD Recordable/Rewritable

The chart below shows the Nero CDSpeed reading tests with the following media:

As we can see from the graph above LiteOn LDW-401S gave back approximately the same average reading speed for the DVD-R and DVD-RW media. With the other two formats, DVD+R and DVD+RW, the average speed is exactly the same at 4.63x. The drive reached the maximum speed of 6.85x with the "dash" and the maximum 6.17~6.25x "plus" discs. All discs were read under CAV mode.

The Ricoh drive was faster in all reading tests but we have to consider that it supports the 8x CAV reading speed.

5. DVD Error Correction Tests

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401S - Page 5

DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of LiteOn LDW-401S drive with scratched / defected DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark v1.21 and the Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media come from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity, in which there are scratches with dimensions from 0.4 to 3.0 mm. The following transfer rate picture comes from CDVD Benchmark v1.21.

The disc was read without any problems. The scratched area of the disc seems not to be a problem for the LiteOn drive. The test finished fast and CDVD didn't report any read errors. The performance in the test is very good.


This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as the TDR-821, with the difference that there not scratches on it but defected areas with dimensions of 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There also fingerprints sized from 65 to 75 micro meters.

Again the test was completed fast and without any read errors. As we can see from the screenshot above, the drive starts reading the disc at 5x and finished the task with reported end speed at 12x.

- Dual Layer media

This is a 8.5GB dual layer, single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches with dimensions of 0.4 to 3.0mm, in both layers.

Both layers of the PTP DVD-ROM disc were accurately read. The reading speed throughout the whole disc was not infected by the scratched areas.


The disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the first includes defected areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defected areas are ranged from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 65 to 75 micro meters.

As in the corresponding test with the ABEX TDR-825 (defected single layer DVD-ROM), the drive had no problems to finish the task successfully with end speed at 8.5x for each layer.


The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with capacity of 8.5GB. The disc is based upon the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The discs check the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also include test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files. The current TDV-541 checks also the error correction capabilities of the drive and includes scratches sized of 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

The drive had some reading problems in the outer addresses of the first layer, approximately at the 3.2GB mark. Although reading was resumed quickly, the problems were repeated in the beginning of the second layer. The drive needed to slow down to read the scratched areas. With this behavior in mind, we checked the playability of the specific DVD Video disc with Power DVD software. The movie gave some stills in the second layer, but the playback was resumed very soon.


The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the data surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It has also fingerprints sized of 65 - 75 micro meters


On this test the drive read the contents of the disc without any read errors. The average speed was 6.32x..

6. Protected Disc Tests

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401S - Page 6

Protected Disc Tests

- Reading Tests

For this test we used a variety of copy protected discs and tried to backup them to the hard disk with Alcohol 120%. First we checked the speed of LiteOn on the image making process.We used the default settings of Alcohol 120% according to the protection of each disc.

In the table below are illustrated the average reading speeds for each protection scheme, when making the image to the disc (max speed selected):
Game Title
Protection Scheme
Reading speed
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme"
3:30 min
437 sectors/sec
Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07
SafeDisc v.2.60.052
9:32 min
581.13 sectors/sec
VRally II
SecuROM v.2
2:46 min
2071 sectors/sec

LiteOn performed well with all games we tested. With the SafeDisk v2 protected discs the drive needed more time than on normal reading to complete the task but this does not effect the validness of the image.

- Writing Tests
Game Title
SD2 Build
Bypass EFM Error enabled
Bypass EFM Error disabled
Serious Sam - The Second Encounter v1.07
The Sims - Unleashed
The Sims-Superstar

LiteOn is a very good copy protection writer. The drive performed fast and managed to make working copies of all the discs we checked. The SafeDisc v2.90 protection was successfully handled and the produced backup worked without any special contribution by the software (Bypass EFM error).

7. DAE Tests

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401S - Page 7

DAE Tests

LiteOn supports 40x CAV maximum DAE with audioCDs. Below is a CDSpeed transfer test with a pressed audioCD. The average reading speed is 30.83x:

- Pressed and CD-R AudioCD ripping

On this test we used a pressed and a CD-R audio disc to test the ripping performance of the drive. The software we used is the CD-DAE. The LiteOn drive was faster with the CD-R media and gave back average speed at 31.3x. On the pressed disc the average speed is 29x. In the same test, Ricoh MP5240A was slower since it supports 32x CAV DAE.
Pressed Audio Disc
CD-R Audio Disc
LiteOn LDW-401S
Ricoh MP5240A

- Advanced DAE Quality

The drive got a 100.0 (perfect) quality score. As we can see from the screenshot below LiteOn LDW-401S supports reading Leadin and Leadout data, CD Text and Subchannel Data. Ripping was done at an average speed of 28.39x

- Ripping of 99mins AudioCDs

Tested drives
Ripping up to
LiteOn LDW401S

- Reading/Ripping Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used 2 protected AudioCDs, which we tested in both recognition and ripping (with EAC) processes:

* Pressed AudioCD with Sony Key2Audio (Celine Dion - New Day Has Come)

* Pressed AudioCD with Cactus Data Shield 200 (Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island)

LiteOn LDW401S
Ricoh MP5240A
Cannot recognize

LiteOn is fully compatible with protected audio discs. The drive manage to read and rip the contents of both discs without problems.

8. CD Recording Tests

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401s - Page 8

CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Recording

We used the latest version of Nero Burning Rom. LiteOn LDW-401S supports the 40x, 32x, 24x, 12x, 10x and 4x writing speeds.

The following screenshot comes from Nero CDSpeed writing simulation test with a blank 700MB CD-R disc. The drive starts writing at 18.47x and reaches the 41.69x at the end of the process. According to CDSpeed the average writing speed with a 80min disc is 31.55x.





We created a 80min data compilation in Nero Burning Rom and we burned the same media brand in all available writing speeds with LiteOn. The recording times are illustrated on the below graph.

The following picture comes from Nero after a successful burning at the maximum 40x speed:

- CD-RW Recording

We used Nero Burning Rom for writing CDs in the maximum RW speed. LiteOn DVD+RW LDW-401S supports the 24x P-CAV maximum rewritable speed. User is also able to rewrite at 16x with the same media, and 10x, 4x with HS-RW media.

According to NeroCDSpeed writing simulation test, the LiteOn drive starts writing at 18.56x. At the 12min mark the speed is increased and reaches the maximum 24x. Of course, writing at 24x premises usage of 24x US-RW media. For this test we used 24x media by Mitsubishi Chemicals.



Burning a 700MB data compilation with Nero Burning Rom at 24x took 3:44min. The quick erase process was also fast.

- Packet Writing Tests

On the first step of the Packet Writing test we made a quick format on a Mitsubishi 24x US-RW media with Nero. The formatted disc had 530 MB of free space. We used InCD to copy a 403 MB file from the hard disk to the formatted RW media through the Windows explorer (drag and drop) and then we reversed the process (reading).

Average speed
Average speed
LiteOn LDW401S
5:00 min
4:08 min

LiteOn LDW-401S finished the quick format task in 41sec. The writing process with InCD finished after 5 minutes which is a slow result proportionally to the writing speed of the drive, while reading was faster.

- Other features

Up to 99min
CD text reading/writing

9. CD-R Writing Quality Tests

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401S - Page 9

CD-R Writing Quality Tests

We used 80min 48x CD-R media by Taiyo Yuden and burned the same AudioCD project at 8x,16x, 24x, 32x and 40x. Below you can see the 3T Pit & Land jitter graphs.

- 3T Pit results

As we can see from the graph above the disc recorded at 8x and 16x gave slightly increased pit jitter in the fist minutes of the disc. In the same time, the rest of the discs gave lower jitter. After the 70min mark of all discs the jitter is increased again to about 38ns and ends with values up to 44ns for the 40x written disc. This is an indication of possible high C1 errors in these areas.

The average 3T Jitter values for all recording speeds are illustrated in the following table.

Although the average pit jitter values of the discs do not exceed the 35ns Red Book limit, we should notice that the lower recording speeds did not gave the best results as we might expect.

- 3T Land results

The Land Jitter values of the same written discs are shown on the graph above. All discs gave back good results, even in their outer addresses . The only exception is the 40x written disc that gave high land jitter after the 70min.

The average 3T Land results are lower over the in the previous measurements of the 3T Pit Jitter.

Recording Speed
Average 3T Pit Jitter (ns)
Average 3T Land Jitter (ns)
Values exceeded 35ns
Max values (ns)
36 Pit, 32 Land
41 Pit, 32 Land
42 Pit, 35 Land
39 Pit, 37 Land
44 Pit, 46 Land
- 3T Jitter Summary

The average 3T Pit and Land jitter values are below the 35nsec standard for all the recording speeds. However, most of the discs gave high jitter in the outer addresses so the error rate will be possibly higher there.

- CDSpeed CD Quality Check

CDSpeed v2.10 includes a built-in CD quality test, measuring C1 and C2 (only uncorrectable) errors on recorded CD-R media. The utility is available with Plextor Premium and LiteOn recorders as readers. In addition, CDSpeed gives back a total quality score for each disc, calculated by using the average and maximum values of both C1 and C2 errors.

For our tests we used Plextor Premium v1.04 CD-RW as a reader, and the reading speed was set to 8x, in order to have the maximum consistency in the evaluation results.


- Summary of C1/C2 measurements
Recording Speed
Quality Score
Taiyo Yuden 48x
Taiyo Yuden
TDK 48x
Imation 48x
CMC Magnetics


The error rate is low for all the recording speeds. and none of the discs gave back C2 errors. The results confirmed the jitter measurements and higher C1 was reported in the same areas where jitter was increased. Starting from the Taiyo Yuden media, the 24x and 8x recording speeds gave the best quality score, and the less total errors. The 32x speed gave the highest total amount of errors as well as the highest average C1 rate. Last, the 16x and 40x speeds got the lowest quality scores, mostly because of the maximum C1 values and the total amount of errors reported (adequate, however).

The lowest quality score among the all the media we tested was reported with Imation 48x media recorded at the maximum 40x speed.

Note that the CDSpeed will only report uncorrectable C2 errors. CD Speed can also show fatal read errors (sector(s) cannot be read) indicated in red color.

10. DVD Recording Tests

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401S - Page 10

DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

LiteOn supports DVD+R and DVD+RW writing. The maximum supported speeds is 4X for both formats.

The following pictures come from Nero CDspeed writing simulation test. The first one shows the writing behavior of LiteOn with a 4x Ricoh DVD+R and 4x DVD+RW media.

According to CDSpeed, the drive uses the 4x CLV writing strategy for the DVD+R/+RW formats. Note that the drive recorded at 4x only with Ricoh DVD+RW media.



We burned a 4315MB DVD-Video on 4x DVD+R, 2.4x DVD+RW and 4x DVD+RW media by Mitsubishi Chemicals, Taiyo Yuden, Verbatim, Maxell, Ricoh and Sentinel. The following table illustrates the various media information along with the recording times at the the maximum allowed speed.

DVD Recording Tests (max speed)
Media discs
Disc Information
Recording Speed
Recording Time
Ricoh 4x DVD+R
Ricoh 4x DVD+RW
Maxell 2.4x DVD+R
YUDEN000 T01
Verbatin MCC0002
Sentinel DVD+RW
Verbatim DVD+RW

The drive gave the expected recording times for 4x. The drive recorded at 4x with all of the DVD+R media we tested, including the Maxell 2.4x. In the next page we will see whether this affected the writing quality.

For 4x DVD+RW we only used media by Ricoh, since the availability of such discs is limited to very few manufacturers.

- DVD+RW Packet Writing Tests

On this test we used the same 412MB file just like the CD-R test. The tested media was a Ricoh 4X DVD+RW. The reading / writing speeds reported below were measured while the DVD+RW background formatting was in progress.

Average speed
Average speed
LiteOn LDW401S
4:40 min
4:09 min

Although the LiteOn drive support writing speed 4x for the DVD+RW media the average reading and writing speed under packet writing is lower in comparison to a normal read or write process. This can be explained by the fact that the background formatting process was running in parallel with our tests.

11. DVD Writing Quality Tests

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401s - Page 11

KProbe PI/PO measurements

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PO scans for various 4x DVD+R and DVD+RW media, recorded with LiteOn LDW401S at the maximum speed.

The software we used for the measurements is the KProbe v1.1.23, and the reader is the same drive, the LDW401S. The specific methodology is very depended on the drive we use as a reader, and the reliability of the PI/PO provided output is also not technically confirmed. As a result, we cannot safely come up with absolute results, but we are allowed to compare the behavior of the drive with various DVD recordable/rewritable media. The official specifications for DVD demand that the PI should be < 280/sec (PI<<280/sec good quality) and the PO should be zero.

The recordable discs we used come from Maxell, MC, TY, Sentinel, and Verbatim. More information about each disc type is available in the bottom of the page.

Verbatin MCC0002
Maxell 2.4X DVD+R
Maxell 001
Sentinel 2.4x DVD+RW
Philips 2.4X DVD+R
Ricoh 4x DVD+R
Verbatim 2.4x DVD+RW
Verbatim MCC A01
Ricoh 4x DVD+RW

Taiyo Yuden 4x DVD+R

YUDEN000 T01

12. Conclusion

LiteOn DVD+RW LDW401S - Page 12





  • 4X DVD+R/RW writing
  • 12x DVD-ROM reading
  • 40/24/40 CD-RW
  • Fast DVD Video ripping
  • Supports CDS 200 and key2Audio audio protections
  • Good CD/DVD seek times
  • Maximum 40x DAE
  • Good error CD correction/concealment
  • Good error handling with defected DVD-ROM discs
  • Good writing speeds
  • Overburning up to 99min
  • Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
  • Supports 99min discs
  • Working SafeDisc v.2.90 backups
  • Adequate CD writing quality
  • Poor retail package
  • Does not support Mount Rainier
  • DVD+R/+RW reading speed could be higher
  • Possible reading problems with scratched dual layer DVD-Video
  • Increased 3T jitter at 40x

LiteOn LDW401S supports maximum writing speed 4x for both the DVD+R and the DVD+RW formats. This means that the drive needs about 14min to write a 4.4GB file. LiteOn was fully compatible with all media we test and the written process was done at the maximum allowed speed of 4x. The quality of the recorded discs was measured with LiteOn KProbe v1.1.23 software. The results are fair enough with all discs, although the +RW media average PI and PO error rate was increased in comparison to the +R media.

On the DVD reading side LiteOn supports 12x for a single layer and 8x for a dual layer DVD-ROM. The transfer rate tests confirmed the specifications of the drive, although we would prefer the drive to read DVD+R/+RW media at a higher speed than the 6-7x CAV. The drive was also fast on the DVD-Video ripping process.

The DVD error correction of the drive is good and this is confirmed by the reading performance of the Abex scratched/defected DVD-ROM media that were read accurately without read errors. However, the scratched dual layer DVD-Video disc was read slower than the rest discs. The problem is located in the second layer of the disc, where the drive slowed down reading. The behavior was confirmed with a simple playback of the DVD movie through Power DVD software. Playback was momentarily stilled to resume in a few seconds.

LiteOn is also a reliable 40/24/40 CD recorder, providing fast reading and low seek times. The drive supports CAV writing strategy for all the supported burning speeds offering competitive recording times, adequate writing quality, while the 3T jitter was generally low, with an exception when recording at 40x.

The maximum supported speed for DAE is 40x CAV. In addition, Key2Audio and Cactus Data Shield 200 are supported.

The majority of your defected discs will be probably read accurately. Although assigning the error correction limits is risky, we could say that the drive handled successfully scratches sized up to 1.125mm.

Another important issue, however, is the ability of the drive to backup protected discs. LiteOn managed to make working back-ups even of the latest SafeDisc v2.90. On the plus side is the fact that the drive supports RAW DAO 96 writing, CD Text and reading of 99min discs.

LiteOn LDW-401S is available in the market at a very attractive price of $100~110. LiteOn traditionally offers low prices for its products, and this is probably its main advantage of its products. In case your needs include writing of DVD-R/-RW formats also, you can spend some extra $25-35 and buy the newer LiteOn LDW-411S dual DVD writer. The new drive will be also demonstrated in this web site soon.


Written and Edited by

Tony Veglis

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