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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
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Appeared on: Tuesday, June 08, 2004
LiteOn SOHW-832S


1. Retail Package/Installation

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 1

LiteOn, as a leading optical storage manufacturer, announced at the end of April, a new 8X DUAL burner, the "SOHW-832S". The main difference with the presently available SOHW-812S series was the adoption of Double Layer (DVD+R DL) recording.

Our main interest is to see how the new LiteON drive compared with the previous 812S series and most importantly, if and how DL writing works. Another important issue would be writing quality and the various subtests where the LiteOn 812S performed very well. So, let's get cracking!

- New Features

The most important new feature of the SOHW-832S is the ability to read/write Double Layer DVD+R media.

The Double Layer DVD+R system uses two thin embedded organic dye films for data storage separated by a spacer layer. Heating with a focused laser beam irreversibly modifies the physical and chemical structure of each layer such that the modified areas have different optical properties to those of their unmodified surroundings. This causes a variation in reflectivity as the disc rotates to provide a read-out signal as with commercially pressed read-only discs. Below is a picture showing the structure of a DVD+R DL media.

For more information about DVD+R DL technology, you can visit the DVD+RW Alliance website or Philips Research website.

The LiteOn SOHW-832S also supports:

In terms of writing/reading speeds, the drive supports 8X (Z-CLV) writing for both DVD±R and 4X (CLV) writing for DVD±RW formats, while it can read DVD-ROM (pressed) up to 12X (CAV). The drive offers 40X (P-CAV) / 24X (Z-CLV) / 40X (CAV) specs for the CD formats.

The drive's model name, SOHW-832S, is coded according to the SONY Alliance Models ODD Naming Rule:

- Specifications

Interface:
E-IDE/ATAPI (Ultra DMA Mode 2)
Writing Speed:

DVD+R: 8X / -R: 8X, DVD+RW: 4X, DVD-RW: 4X

CD-R: 40X, CD-RW: 24X
Read Speed:

DVD+R/-R/+RW/-RW: 8X

DVD-ROM: 12X, CD-R/RW: 40X
Random Access:
DVD: 160msec, CD: 160msec
Buffer Size:
2MB
Supported Disc Formats:
DVD: DVD single / dual layer ( PTP / OTP ), DVD-R ( 3.9 GB / 4.7 GB ), DVD-R multi-borders, DVD+R, DVD+R multi-sessions, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW
CD-R/RW: 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
Supported Writing Types:

DVD±RW: Disc-at-once, Incremental recording, Multi-border recording, Restricted overwriting

  CD-R/RW: Variable Packet, TAO, SAO, DAO, Raw Mode Burning & Over-Burn

The specs don't indicate whether the drive supports Mount Rainier for either of CD or DVD formats, but we will check this later. The drive also uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times, which however can easily be bypassed with various utilities.

Below are the drive's main specs as given by NeroInfoTool and DVDInfoPro:

Lastly, let's see what additional information KProbe software returns for LiteON based drives:

- European Retail package

The European retail package includes the LiteOn SOHW-832S, a quick install guide, mounting screws and a sound cable. While the retail box doesn't mention it, it supports 1-year warranty for Europe, Middle-East and Africa. Included software is Nero v6 OEM version and CyberLink PowerDVD v5.0 retail version. The total cost is expected to be around €135.00.

The package also contains one LiteON 8X brand DVD+R media (RICOH, ID Code: RICOHJPNR02) and a LiteOn 4X brand DVD-R (CMC Magnetics, IDCode CMC MAG. AF1) .

Our retail package included a DVD+R DL (from Mitsubishi Chemicals) media, but we suspect that this won't be included with most retail packages that users buy...

Now let's take a look at the drive itself.

The SOHW-832S looks more or less the same as the previous 812S series and it has all the appropriate logos indicating the supported formats. The busy indicator lights up green when the device is active, orange when reading / accessing a disc and red when burning. On the front, the user will distinguish the DVD+R DL logo!

On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input. Our drive was manufactured during May 2004 in Taiwan.

Something that should be noted is that the drive is much shorter than the usual CD/DVD recorder, making its mount an easy task even for PCs with small cases. Below you can see a picture of the drive with noticeably smaller dimensions compared with the Plextor Premium drive.

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. You can click on the mainboard picture for a higher resolution image:

Click To Enlarge!

The LiteOn SOHW-832S further incorporates (located on the underside of the controller circuit board), a high-speed DVD dual Optical Disk Controller chipset from MediaTek Inc. consisting of two CMOS ultra-scale integrated circuits, the MT1816E and MT1818E. The MT1816E is the front-end analog signal processor and the MT1818E is the servo control and Endec IC. The pickup system is the Sanyo SF-DB 10SA. Note that the LiteOn SOHW-812S used the exact same board design (with slight differences in memory brand used but at the same memory timings)!



- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and under WindowsXP recognized as a "LITE-ON DVDR SOHW-832S". The drive arrived with firmware vVS01 and till today there hasn't been a newer firmware release. Below is a picture from Nero Burning Rom, showing the drive's specs.

After all tests had finished, LiteON released a newer firmware, VS03 with the update description "match more media".

Nothing really changed in the drive's properties, except the firmware revision. Notice that the drive is already one month old, and for beta testers there is already available a newer revision, VS05, which according to Lite-On, greatly improves writing quality:

We will compare the drive with its older brother, the SOHW-812S, and the Plextor PX-708A, since all three drives have exactly the same DVD/CD recording specs.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.00
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.21
  5. KProbe v2.1.0 (Reader: LiteOn LDW-811S firmware vHS0Q, Reading speed 8X CAV)
  6. PlexTools v2.13 (Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.01, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
  7. DVDInfoPro v2.54
  8. LiteOn Booktype Utility v1.0.6
  9. Nero Burning Rom v6.3.1.10

2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 2

Transfer Rate Reading Tests

- CD Format

The LiteOn SOHW-832S supports up to 40X reading speed. Below are the transfer rate graphs, along with the comparison with the other two drives:

Click for the Seek Times Graph!

Click for the Seek Times Graph!

As we can see from our tests, the drive seems slightly faster than its predecessor with Mode1 Pressed disc and Mode1 CD-R media. The seek times are also lower than the 812S drive (click on its graph to view these). The 832S has the same maximum speed for US-RW media, only 32X.

- DVD Format

Click for the Seek Times Graph!

As was expected, the SOHW-832S is faster than the 812S, even if by a difference of only 0.4X, with SL (Single Layer) DVD-ROM media.

Click for the Seek Times Graph!

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting reading from the inner part of the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, towards the outer range, for each layer. The 832S was again faster than the 812S by 0.5X

Click to Enlarge!

The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the first layer of 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 average reading speed is 6.26X (again 3~8X CAV).

Again, the SOHW-832S is slightly faster compared to the 812S. The only problem came with DVD-RW media, since the drive dropped its reading speed at the end resulting in a lower average rate.

Since both the 812S/832S have the same reading speed (8X CAV) for DVD-Video discs, the ripping performance was more or less the same.

- Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


3. CD Error Correction Tests

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 3

CD Error Correction Tests

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

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 940048
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 49385
Avg: -73.7 dB(A)
Max: -36.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 3075
Avg: 1.0 Samples
Max: 11 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
76.8 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
99.7 % (out of 100.0% maximum)

The 832S drive performed very well with the ABEX TCD-721R. The drive's highest spike was at -36.0 dB(A) and the total score of 76.8 points is very good. We must also note that C2 accuracy reached 99.7%, an almost perfect score. The total error count is also relatively low.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num:
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num:
Avg: dB(A)
Max: dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num:
Avg: Samples
Max: Samples
Skips Samples
Num:
Avg: Samples
Max: Samples
Total Test Result
points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy
% (out of 100.0% maximum)

Unfortunately, EAC's analyzer software couldn't process the extracted wav file, since it produced a flat line on the error graph.

- 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.

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
Plextor PX-708A
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5

The drive passed only the first three Check Levels of the test. The performance reveals average sound reproduction and error correction. The fifth level includes an error size of 1.500mm, and the drive produced many audible clicks.

- Conclusion

Test Disc
Reading Speed
Score
ABEX TCD-721R
Max
76.8
ABEX TCD-726
-
Average Score
76.8

The performance of the LiteON SOHW-832S was good with a final average score of 76.8 out of 100. For some reason, EAC's analyse software, did not produce valid results. We don't know if this was a problem with the software or of the produced data.


4. DVD Error Correction Tests

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 4

DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the 832S drive with scratched / defected DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed . The reference test media come from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media
ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4 to 3.0 mm. The following transfer rate picture comes from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

The LiteOn SOHW-832S read the disc at 12X CAV and the scratched area did not affect the process. The disc was read accurately and no read errors were reported. The performance reveals high error correction capabilities with scratched single layer DVD-ROM discs.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of a 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with the difference that there are no scratches on it but defected areas of dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There are also fingerprints sized between 65 and 75 micrometers.

As in the previous test, the disc was read without any "read errors". There was a small drop in reading speed just before the fingerprint defective area, but the test was finished successfully.

- Dual Layer media
ABEX TDR-841

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

The drive didn't have any major problems as the above graph shows.

ABEX TDR-845

The disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc of 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 range from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 65 to 75 micro meters.

Here we notice the same behavior as with the single layer disc. When the drive enters the fingerprint defective area, it drops reading speed for a while but quickly regains speed and finishes the test without any problems.

ABEX TDV-541

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a 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 correcting capabilities of the drive and includes scratches from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

Click for the full graph!

The reading process started at 3.54X and reached 8.47X at the 4.0GB point, where the drive changed layer and reduced its reading speed till the end. No serious problems were noticed, very small glitches but the result is good.

ABEX TDV-545

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 65 - 75 micro meters fingerprints.

Click for a full graph!

Black dots and fingerprints on the disc's surface did not create any reading problems, and the drive finished the task successfully.


5. Protected Disc Tests

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 5

Protected Disc Tests
- Reading Tests

To create the image of the various protected titles to the hard disk, we used Alcohol 120% software and the appropriate settings, according to the protection type of the inserted discs. Below you can see the duration of each process as well as the transfer rate in each case, which should prove interesting for all users.

Game Title
Protection Scheme
Duration
Reading speed
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme"
Lybcrypt
3:41 min
409 sectors/sec
Serious Sam The Second Encounter
SafeDisc v.2.50.051
9:35 min
583 sectors/sec
VRally II
SecuROM v.2
2:48 min
2046 sectors/sec

The 832S drive performed almost equal with the 812S drive. Unfortunately, it cannot skip read errors quickly, giving a high reading time for a SafeDisc2 protected disc.

- Writing Tests

The LiteON SOHW-832S supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 3 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions having the latest software patches installed. After making the images of the various titles onto the hard disk, we burned them (maximum speed) with Alcohol 120% v1.9.2.1705. Two different discs were created for each title; one with the "Bypass EFM error" enabled and one more with the function disabled.

The table below shows the results of the attempted backups and whether they worked (game installed / played normally), or not.

Drive

Fifa 2004
SD v3.1x

Sims Superstar
SD v2.9x
Sims Unleashed
SD v2.8x
Serious Sam-Second Encounter
SD v2.50.051
Max Payne
SD v2.51.020
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
Toshiba
SD-M1502
No
 
  No
Yes
Creative CD5233E
    Yes

LiteOn SOHW-832S

  
Yes

The drive's full Safedisc2 backup capabilities reached only up to v2.8x. The drive will produce partially working backups with the newest v2.9x and v3.1x builds.


6. DAE Tests

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 6

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD

The LiteOn SOHW-832S supports up to 40X CAV DAE speed. When using a pressed AudioCD and its CD-R copy, with EAC, we logged the following results:

The 812S was slight faster than the 832S with the test discs. Such performance differences can be improved with future firmware upgrades. As EAC reports, the drive caches DAE, supports accurate stream and can report C2 error information.

- Advanced DAE Quality

The LiteOn SOHW-832S received a score of 100 (perfect) in the Nero CD Speed Advanced DAE test. CDSpeed showed that the average reading speed is 27.84X, and that the drive supports reading of SubChannel data. Leadin / Leadout data and CD Text.

- Reading 90/ 99mins AudioCDs

Click for the Full Graph!

Click for the Full Graph!


7. Protected AudioCD Tests

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 7

Protected AudioCDs

For the test procedure we used three audio discs with different audio copy protections. The ripping process performed for all protected Audio discs performed with Exact Audio Copy v0.9beta5.

The tested protected Audio discs were:

The Cactus Data Shield 200, contains artificial errors that are not easy to bypassed from the reader, while the Key2Audio contains a second session, causing problems to readers when try to read the Table Of Contents (TOC).

The tested tasks are:

The LiteON SOHW-832S recognized up to the 12th Audio track of CDS200 disc,

and with the "Retrieve Native TOC" option removed the 13th Data track.

The test results are shown at the following table:

Key2Audio
CDS200
LiteOn SOHW-832S
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks
Ripping process completed, EAC reports timing problems, Read&Test CRC comparison not the same for all tracks

The LiteOn SOHW-832S will rip both Key2Audio/CDS200 protected audio discs. Both discs were recognized and their contents were ripped at the maximum speed. However, the drive may not rip 100% accurately, the CD200 discs since EAC reported timing problems and at the same time, Read&Test CRC check comparison was not the same for all tracks. No problems were noticed with Key2Audio discs.

This is a "special" CDS200 build, since it doesn't contain any artificial errors during the ripping process. Most problems occur then trying to write the ripped wav files, since the produced CD-R disc contains C2 and CU errors! This "problem" is rumored to be connected with specific chipset weaknesses..

We ripped the disc contents with EAC and burned the produced wav with the latest Nero version as AudioCD+CD-Text. The burned media was checked for C1/C2 errors with PlexTools/KProbe software using Plextor PX-712A (firmware v1.01) and LiteOn LDW-811S (firmware vHS0Q).

CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
LiteOn SOHW-832S
Reading performed without any errors, writing produces few C2 spikes

The C1/C2 error graphs indicate that the drive didn't manage to produce a 100% error free disc.

Lets try to extract all wav files with the Plextor PX-712A and PlexTool DAE Error Correction 5th Level enabled:

No errors were reported after extracting all files, despite the high spike PlexTools reported C2 around 40minutes. The drive's error correction mechanism corrected the errors.


8. CD Recording Tests

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 8

CD Recording Tests

The LiteOn SOHW-832S supports 40X CD-R and 24X US-RW recording speeds.

The drive supports 8X, 16X (CLV), 24X, 32X and 40X (P-CAV) writing speeds. Below are the recording speeds as detected by Nero Burning Rom.

It's quite possible that due to the Smart-Burn system, the maximum burning speed was reduced down to 32X or even 24X (for example Mam 48X SG Ultra). The user can disable Smart-Burn and get the maximum writing speed. This can be done under Nero Burning Rom->Choose Recorder->Options->Un-tick Smart-Burn Enabled.

Another utility that can be used to check the maximum speed of the inserted media comes from LiteON with the name "SMART-BURN Media Check Program", a very useful utility for LiteON users:

According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive reached the maximum 40X speed. The test started at 18.47X and finished at 41.72X having an average speed of 31.57X. Click on the image below to see the whole graph.

Click For Full Graph!

For the burning tests we created an 80min data compilation through Nero Burning Rom, recording the data on a 700MB disc. The LiteON SOHW-832S finished the task in 3:16 minutes, for the maximum 40X writing speed, one second faster than the 812S model.

The writing performance varies according to the inserted media, as our tests showed. The SmartBurn system will lower the writing speed if the media ID code is not found in the drive's firmware. Below is a chart demonstrating all recording times with various media.

The best performance came from Mam 80min 52X media with 196secs (3:16mins) with SmartBurn disabled, since when enabled, it allowed only 24X for the specific disc. The highest recording time comes from TraxData 80min 52X media with 201secs (3:21mins).

- Other features

Overburning writing
CD text reading/writing
Yes

The SOHW-832S supports the 16X CLV, 24X Z-CLV rewriting speeds, with Ultra Speed Rewritable Media (US-RW). The drive also writes at 4X CLV with NS CD-RW and 10X CLV with HS-RW discs.

Below you can see the Nero CD-DVD Speed writing simulation test with blank 24X US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

Click for the full graph!

The drive starts the writing task at 16.00X and reaches the maximum 24X at the 14:00 min address mark on the disc. According to CDSpeed, the average writing speed is 22.57X.

We also used Nero Burning Rom in order to burn a data disc with 24X US-RW media from MCC. The data compilation we burned had a size of 651 MB and the duration of the recording process was 4:07 minutes.

- CD-RW Mount Rainier Tests

We used Philips Mount Rainier Validation Suite v2.2 to test the drive's compliance with the Mount Rainier format. All three scripts loaded in the Validation Suite (mandatory command set, Light R'n'R and Heavy R'n'R) but for some reason the Mount Rainier Suite didn't work as it is supposed too.


9. CD Writing Quality - 3T Jitter Tests

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 9

3T Jitter Tests

In the following page you can see the 3T Pit & Land Jitter graphs using various media burned at 48X CAV writing speed.

- 3T Pit results

Generally the drive didn't perform satisfactorily with most media used. The highest 3T Pit jitter reached 43nsec, which is way above the Red Book limit (35nsec). The best results came with Mam 52X CD-R media.

- 3T Land results

The average 3T Land results were also high. The maximum 3T Land Jitter reached 49nsec and again, Mam 52X CD-R media produced the best results.

In the following page we check the C1 and C2 error rates of the same discs, to come up with more specific conclusions.


10. CD Writing Quality - C1 / C2 Error Measurements

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 10

C1 / C2 Error Measurements

We measured the C1 / C2 error rate on the recorded discs we burned at the various supported writing speeds. The software we used is PleXTools Professional v2.13, and particularly the built-in Q-Check utility. The reader was the Plextor PX-712A (firmware v1.01)

BenQ 80min 52X CD-R @ 40X (SmartBurn Enabled)

CMC Magnetics 80min 48X @ 40X (SmartBurn Enabled)

Intenso 80min 52X @ 40X (SmartBurn Enabled)

Disc didn't recognized from PleXWriter

Mam SGUltra Golden Dye 80min 52X @ 40X (SmartBurn Disabled)

MMore 80min 52X @ 40X (SmartBurn Enabled)

TraxData 80min 52X @ 40X (SmartBurn Enabled)

TY 80min 48X @ 40X (SmartBurn Enabled)

- Summary

The LiteOn SOHW-832S needs to improve its writing quality with CD-R media. With specific media we noticed high C1 and more importantly, C2 errors, while with one disc (Intenso 80min) the produced disc was completely un-recognizable by the Plextor drive. We also noticed that Mam 52X media was burned at 40X with SmartBurn disabled, but the produced disc was very good.

- Appendix

Media Label
ID Code
Manufacturer Name
Lead Out TIme
MMore 80min 52X
97m17s 6f
Moser Baer India
79m59s74f
Intenso 80min 52X
97m32s19f
Prodisc
79m59s71f
CMC Magnetics 80min 48X
97m26s66f
CMC Magnetics
79m59s71f
Mam SGUltra 80min 52X
97m27s58f
Mitsui Chemicals
79m59s74f
BenQ 80min 48X
97m22s67f
Daxon Technology
79m59s74f
TY 80min 48X
97m24s 1f
Taiyo Yuden
79m59s72f
TraxData 80min 52X
97m15s17f
Ritek
79m59s70f

11. DVD Recording Tests

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 11

DVD Recording Tests
- Writing Performance

The LiteOn SOHW-832S supports DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW writing. The maximum supported speed for the DVD±R is 8X (6X~8 Z-CLV) and 4X CLV for DVD±RW media. Nero Burning Rom reported speeds, are shown below. Notice that the drive burns CLV at 4X & 6X writing speeds for both DVD±R formats.

By using Codeguys "Speedhacking Tool Pack for LiteOn DVD Writers", we were able to see which media codes are supported for the ±R/RW formats and at which recording speeds (for VS03 firmware):

It is possible that with the Codeguys "Speedhacking Tool Pack", a user can change the maximum recording speeds for lower rated media and burn them at 8X or 6X. However this must be used with caution!

By using Nero CD-DVD Speed's "create disc" function with Plextor's 4X DVD+R media, we are able to see the 8X Z-CLV recording technology being used by the SOHW-832S recorder.

Click for the full graph!

The drive starts writing at 3.96X until 0.1GB where it shifts up to 6X, until 1.2GB where it further shifts to 8X and stays there till the end. The average writing speed is around 7.14X. This recording strategy is used for both DVD±R formats.

- Burning Tests

We burned 4315MB of data on various DVD±R, DVD±RW media. We used the maximum allowed writing speed for each disc, with the SmartBurn feature enabled. The best recording times for the DVD-R format came from Maxell's 8X media with 9:19mins. However, the drive didn't perform very well with That's 8X DVD-R and CMC 8X DVD-R media, aborting with "Illegal Disc" write error inside Nero. Also, no 4X media was allowed to burn at 8X. Certainly, the 832S needs to be improved with future firmware upgrades.

SOHW-832S burned Plextor 4X DVD+R

With DVD+R media, we didn't see any write errors, but a rather strict supported media list for the 8X writing speed. The lowest burning time came from Plextor's 4X DVD+R media (based on TY) with 8:38mins, followed by Traxdata 8X DVD+R with 8:58mins. It's rather strange that we see such high time variations between the various media burned at 8X. This could be explained, since the drive kept dropping writing speed at the end of the disc.

Below are all the burning results with the various media types used.

Disc Label
Disc Information
Max Allowed Writing Speed
Total Recording Time (mins)
That's 8X
TYG02
8X
Write Error
Verbatim 8X
MCC 02RG20
8X
9:36
CMC 8X
CMC MAG. AE1
8X
Write Error
TraxData 8X
RITEKG05
8X
9:18
Maxell 8X
MXL RG03
8X
9:19
Verbatim 4X
MCC 01RG20
4X
14:50
MMore 4X
MBI 01RG20
4X
14:41
That's 4X
TYG01
4X
14:45
BenQ 4X
SONY04D1
4X
14:54
TraxData 4X
RITEKG04
4X
14:44
MKM 4X RW
MCC 01RW4X
4X
14:35
TraxData 4X RW
RITEK W04
4X
14:46
Disc Label
Disc Information
Max Allowed Writing Speed
Total Recording Time (mins)
Plextor 8X
YUDEN000T02
8X
9:06
Plextor 4X
YUDEN000T01
8X
8:38
CMC 8X
CMC MAG E01
8X
8:57
Verbatim 4X
MMC 002
4X
14:41
Traxdata 4X
RICOHJPNR01
4X
14:10
Traxdata 8X
RITEK R03
8X
8:58
MMore 4X
MBIPG101R03
4X
14:12
MKM 4X RW
MKMA02
4X
14:44
Maxell 4X RW
Philips041
4X
14:35
TraxData 4X RW
RICOHJPNW11
4X
13:47

- DVD Overburning Tests

In order to test the drive's DVD overburning capabilities, we used two media types, one from Traxdata 4X DVD-R and one from Plextor's 8X DVD+R. As you can see, the drive refused to start the test with DVD-R media,

while with DVD+R, the test started but when it reached 4.38GB, stopped with an error message.

Therefore, LiteON SOHW-832S cannot overburn with either DVD±R formats.

- DVD+MRW Tests

We used MRW Validation Suite 2.2 by Philips to test the compliance of the drive with the Mount Rainier DVD+MRW format. For the test we used 4X DVD+RW media from TraxData and 2.4X DVD+RW media from Sentinel. The test was terminated immediately after starting prompting us to insert a blank DVD+RW disc. We have seen the same behavior with other drives also and probably when a newer version is released, we will update our review.


12. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 12

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD+R/RW media we burned with the LiteOn SOHW-832S. The software we used for all measurements is the KProbe v2.1.0, and the reader is the LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition, all discs have been scanned with PX-712A v1.01 using PlexTools v2.13 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe/PlexTools scans we can see major differences in the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combinations, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). It's interesting to see the disc scanned at low & high speed, since when error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear in both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

CMC 8X DVD+R @ 8X

MCC 4X DVD+R @ 4X

MMore 4X DVD+R @ 8X

Plextor 4X @ 8X

Plextor 8X @ 8X

TraxData 4X @ 4X

TraxData 8X DVD+R @ 8X

Maxell 4X DVD+RW @ 4X

MKM 4X DVD+RW @ 4X

TraxData 4X DVD+RW @ 4X

- Summary

Judging from the PI/PIF scans we can say that the LiteON SOHW-832S performed well with the used DVD+R/+RW media. There are specific cases where the error rate was high and POF errors occurred, but this was a single occasion with Traxdata 4X DVD+RW media.

- Appendix

Disc Label
Disc Information
Max Allowed Writing Speed
Total Recording Time (mins)
Plextor 8X
YUDEN000T02
8X
9:06
Plextor 4X
YUDEN000T01
8X
8:38
CMC 8X
CMC MAG E01
8X
8:57
Verbatim 4X
MMC 002
4X
14:41
Traxdata 4X
RICOHJPNR01
4X
14:10
Traxdata 8X
RITEK R03
8X
8:58
MMore 4X
MBIPG101R03
4X
14:12
MKM 4X RW
MKMA02
4X
14:44
Maxell 4X RW
Philips041
4X
14:35
TraxData 4X RW
RICOHJPNW11
4X
13:47

13. KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 13

KProbe/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

In the following screenshots you can see the PI/PIF scans for the DVD-R/RW media we burned with the LiteOn SOHW-832S. The software we used for all measurements is the KProbe v2.1.0, and the reader is a LiteOn LDW-811S with "HS0Q patched" firmware, being able to read DVD±R/RW media up to 8X CAV. All scans have been performed at 8X with PI/PIF Sum8. Note that LiteOn drives cannot report PO but PIF errors, despite what KProbe reports. In addition all discs have been scanned with PX-712A v1.01 using PlexTools v2.13 for comparison levels.

Comparing the KProbe/PlexTools scans we can see major differences at the reported PI/PIF error rates. The main explanation is that we have two different readers, with different pickup/chipset combination, scanning at different reading speeds (8X CAV for KProbe, 2X CLV for PlexTools). Its interesting to see the disc scanned at low & high speed, since when error rate increases at a specific disc area, it should appear at both scans...else it would be, perhaps, a reading glitch of the tested reader.

Note: PI/PIF errors only give us a quick look at the error rate of the burned media. Those scans should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality but as an indication level.

BenQ 4X DVD-R @ 4X

Plextor PX-W712A cannot mount disc!

Maxell 8X DVD-R @ 8X

MMore 4X DVD-R @ 4X

That's 4X DVD-R @ 4X

TraxData 4X DVD-R @ 4X

TraxData 8X DVD-R @ 8X

Plextor drive stops reading around 2.5GB since the PI error rate is too high...

Verbatim 4X DVD-R @ 4X

Verbatim 8X DVD-R @ 8X

MKM 4X DVD-RW @ 4X

TraxData 4X DVD-RW @ 4X

- Summary

The SOHW-832S is quite unstable with DVD-R, since it "managed" to produce 2 beer coasters at 8X while not reaching very good quality with the rest of the burned media. Certainly, this issue should be looked at by LiteON engineers and fixed in the near future with upcoming firmware upgrades.

- Appendix

Disc Label
Disc Information
Max Allowed Writing Speed
Total Recording Time (mins)
That's 8X
TYG02
8X
Write Error
Verbatim 8X
MCC 02RG20
8X
9:36
CMC 8X
CMC MAG. AE1
8X
Write Error
TraxData 8X
RITEKG05
8X
9:18
Maxell 8X
MXL RG03
8X
9:19
Verbatim 4X
MCC 01RG20
4X
14:50
MMore 4X
MBI 01RG20
4X
14:41
That's 4X
TYG01
4X
14:45
BenQ 4X
SONY04D1
4X
14:54
TraxData 4X
RITEKG04
4X
14:44
MKM 4X RW
MCC 01RW4X
4X
14:35
TraxData 4X RW
RITEK W04
4X
14:46

14. DVD+R DL Tests - Page 1

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 14

DVD+R DL - Page 1

The main difference between the LiteOn 812S and 832S is the adoption of the DVD+R DL format.

By using Codeguys "Speedhacking Tool Pack for LiteOn DVD Writers", we were able to see that, currently (VS03 firmware), only Mitsubishi Chemicals and Ricoh's DVD+R DL media ID codes are supported for DVD+R DL writing :

For our tests we used the media sent by LiteON for our tests, based on Mitsubishi Chemicals with the following information, as reported from DVDInfoPro software:

- DVD+R DL BookType Setting

We used the latest version (1.06) of LiteON's Booktype Utility. The drive was recognized without any problems, we had already inserted a DVD+R DL media:

We tried changing the booktype from DVD+R DL to DVD-ROM

The utility informed us that the Booktype was changed:

however, after re-checking the drive's status we saw that the BookType setting was still DVD+R DL:

Things succeeded after using KProbe's Bitsetting utility:

- Writing Tests

We burned two DVD+R DL discs with DVD-Video content and different BookType settings. As the source we used "Gladiator Movie - Special Edition" disc1 with total size of 6.86GB. First we transferred the movie to HDD with DVD Decrypter at ISO format (single file). Afterwards, we used CopyToDVD v3.0.0.16. The friendly wizard welcomed us and from here we can select our main tasks:

For our test, we used the "Movie & Pictures" option, and then the "Write DVD Video".

The software prompts us to select Video_TS/ISO image folder. We chose the "GLADIATOR.ISO" image and we selected the LiteON SOHW-832S burner.

After pressing"OK", the burning procedure started, however with an unexpected delay of 50secs (disc recognized 57:01, burning started 57:51) (DVD+R DL BookType):

and finished after 38:33 minutes. The average speed was 2.28X as reported from CopyToDVD software.

After changing the BookType setting we burned another DVD+R DL media (again from Mitsubishi Chemicals) with CopyToDVD software, with however the newer VS03 firmware revision. The burning process, again, delayed 1:28mins, by the time CopyToDVD requested to start burning until the drive actually started writing:

and finished after 38:36 mins. The average speed was 2.28X as reported from CopyToDVD software.

For comparison, we post some burning results from other DL writers, which all burned the same content ("Gladiator Movie - Special Edition" disc1), using CopyToDVD software:

Drive
Time (mins)
BenQ DW830A
39:14
NEC 2510A
37:17
LiteON SOHW-832S DVD+R DL BookType
38:33
LiteON SOHW-832S DVD-ROM BookType
38:36
SONY DRU-700A
38:39

The best recording performance comes from NEC 2510A, and the LiteON SOHW-832S came second with 38:33mins.


15. DVD+R DL Tests - Page 2

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 15

DVD+R DL - Page 2

- Writing Quality

In order to test the LiteON SOHW-832S DVD+R DL writing quality, we used not our usual readers (LiteOn LDW-811S/Plextor PX-712A) since both didn't recognize the burned disc, but the LiteON SOHD-167T DVD-ROM.

Using KProbe v2.1.0 we got a rather good scan. Notice that the disc is not read at 3~8 CAV, but at 2.5X~5X CAV (DVD+R DL media).

Using Nero CD-DVD Speed and the LiteOn SOHW-832S we didn't notice any major issues with the burned DVD+R DL media. The drive started reading at 2.39X, reached 5.40X at the layer change producing a 4.09X average reading speed.

Click for the Full graph!

Using the Plextor PX-712A and PlexTools we were able to scan the DVD+R DL media with DVD-ROM booktype:

Click for the Full Graph!

The reported PI error rate reached the 280 limit and the Nero CD-DVD Speed is far from being perfect. Using the LiteON SOHW-167T at 6X reading speed, and KProbe v2.1.0 we saw a much higher error rate than PlexTools reported, of course the PI error trend line looks the same, however the CDSpeed graph looks better than Plextor's PX-712A, even with some glitches:

Click For the Full Graph!

- Compatibility Matrix

For our compatibility tests, we used the two burned DVD+R DL discs with DVD-Video content ("Gladiator Movie - Special Edition" Disc1) and PowerDVD v5.0.

We moved front and back around the layer change to ensure that the movie can be playback without any glitches or skips. The results are shown below:

Drive
Firmware
DVD+R DL Booktype
DVD-ROM Booktype
LiteOn SOHW-812S
vUSOJ
Playback is perfect
Playback is perfect
LiteOn LDW-811S
vHS0Q
Not recognized
Disc size recognized under CDSpeed but not disc contents under Windows
LiteOn SOHC-5232K
vNK07
Disc recognized under CDSpeed, however drive cannot access/playback Layer 1
Playback is perfect
Panasonic LDF-511
vA112
Not recognized
Playback is perfect
Philips DVDR824P
vP1.2
Not recognized
Not recognized
Pioneer DCR-111
v1.26
Playback is perfect
Playback is perfect
Pioneer A06
v1.07
Not recognized
Playback is perfect
BenQ DW822A
vB3HC
Not recognized
Not recognized
Samsung SH-W08A
v1S30
Not recognized
Not recognized
Plextor PX-712A
v1.01
Not recognized
Playback is perfect
Pioneer A07
v1.12
Not recognized
Not recognized
Optorite DD405
v1.50E
Recognizes disc as blank with size 0.0GB under CDSpeed
Playback is perfect
Optorite DD203
v2.25
Recognizes disc as blank with size 0.0GB under CDSpeed
Playback is perfect
Ricoh MP5125A
v1.27
Playback is perfect
Playback is perfect
Ricoh 5308D
v1.B2
Not recognized
Playback is perfect
NEC 2500A
v1.07 official
Not recognized
Playback is perfect
LiteOn LTD-163D
vGH5S
Playback is perfect
Playback is perfect
LiteOn LTD-165H
vCH11
Playback is perfect
Playback is perfect
Pioneer DVD-500M
v1.02
Not recognized
Not recognized, drive makes noises
Pioneer DVD-106S/2
v1.22
Playback is perfect
Playback is perfect
Pioneer DVD-116/S2
v1.22
Playback is perfect
Playback is perfect
Toshiba SD-1502
v1012
Recognizes disc size under CDSpeed but not disc contents under Windows
Playback is perfect
Toshiba SD-1612
v1004
Recognizes disc size as 31.25GB under CDSpeed playback is not possible
Playback is perfect
Toshiba SD-1712
v1004
Recognizes disc size as 31.25GB under CDSpeed playback is not possible
Playback is possible, several skips
Toshiba SD-1802
v1034
Not recognized
Recognizes disc size under CDSpeed but not disc contents under Windows
TEAC DV-516E
v2.01
Not recognized
Not recognized
BTC BDV-316B
v0.47
Playback is perfect
Playback is perfect

From 27 drives that are capable of reading DVD media we got the following results:

DVD+R DL
(DVD+R BookType)
DVD+R DL
(DVD-ROM BookType)
Perfect Playback
8 (29.63%)
19 (70.37%)
Medium/Low/No Playback
6
3
Not recognized at all
13
6

In addition, we tested with a few DVD players:

Player
DVD+R DL BookType
(DVD-ROM BookType
PS2
SCPH-5004 series
Playback is perfect
Playback is perfect
Waitec DVD-X4
Disc recognized, playback is jerky
Disc recognized, playback is jerky
Waitec Vision-HR
Disc recognized, playback is jerky
Disc recognized, playback is jerky
LiteON LVW-5001
Disc doesn't recognized
Playback is perfect
LiteON LVW-5005
Playback is perfect
Kiss DP-1504
Disc doesn't recognized

Its is clearly shown that the DVD-ROM booktype setting has a great impact (70.37% instead of 29.63%) on DVD+R DL compatibility with either PC DVD or desktop DVD players. There have been cases where even with the DVD-ROM booktype, the disc wasn't recognized, but for this we shouldn't blame the LiteON drive.


16. 832S vs. SA300 - Page 1

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 15

832S vs. SA300 - Page 1

For checking exactly what the SOHW-832S reports, we used different media, burned by other recorders. These three media have been measured from the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

Since all LiteON drives report only PI/PIF errors, we will compare those measurements at various reading speeds:

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested SOHW-832S drive. Using other 832S drives can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#1st Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

The PIF error rate trend line looks like the SA300, however with totally different value levels.

#1st Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 6X Reading speed

#1st Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

With this test disc, all reading speeds 8X, 6X, 4X showed that at the end of the disc, the PI/PIF error rate increases. The SA300 system also measured similar performance. Its rather interesting that the 4X reading speed gave the "worst" results with the same trend line for PI/PIF errors but with higher values than the 8X speed...


17. 832S vs. SA300 - Page 2

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 17

832S vs. SA300 - Page 2

For checking exactly what the SOHW-832S reports, we used different media, burned by other recorders. Three media have been measured using the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

Since all LiteON drives reports only PI/PIF errors, we will compare those measurements at three reading speeds:

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested SOHW-832S drive. Using other 832S drives can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

We can see that at the 8X reading speed, the error trend line rises up at the end. This is also what the SA300 series showed, of course not at the same level. The PIF error trend line as reported by 832S shows the same behavior as the SA300 system. This time, values are quite close...

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 6X Reading speed

Using the SOHW-832S as a reader at 6X is not recommended. Why? Simply because the reported PI/PIF error levels are too low, leading the viewer to judge that the disc is at top shape, which isn't the case.

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

The 4X reading speed gave almost too perfect a result. Again, not recommended.


18. 832S vs. SA300 - Page 3

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 18

SOHW-832S vs. SA300 - Page 3

For checking exactly what the SOHW-832S reports, we used different media, burned by other recorders. Three media were measured using the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

Since all LiteON drives report only PI/PIF errors, we will compare those measurements at three reading speeds:

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested SOHW-832S drive. Using other 832S drives can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#3rd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

At the 8X reading speed, the drive reported a rather close PI/PIF error trend line to what SA300 system measured. Of course the values are not the same but we can say it was a good performance.

#3rd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 6X Reading speed

The 6X reading speed is not recommended, since the reported PI/PIF error rate(s) gives the viewer the impression that the disc is at perfect condition...

#3rd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

The 4X reading speed is not recommended, since the reported PI/PIF error rate(s) gives the viewer the impression that the disc is at perfect condition...


19. 832S vs. SA300 - Page 4

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 19

832S vs. SA300 - Page 4

For checking exactly what the SOHW-832S reports, we used different media, burned by other recorders. Those three media have been measured using the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X. Since all LiteON drives report only PI/PIF errors, we will compare those measurements at one reading speed (max). The disc actually read from 2.4X~5.5CAV. We didn't use KProbe v2.1.0 for the scan since all the times we tried, stuck at 50%, with ASPI/SPTI layer.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested SOHW-832S drive. Using other 832S drives can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#4th Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - MAX Reading speed

The SOHW-832S certainly cannot be used for scanning DVD+R DL media since it reports much higher error rate than what SA300 series actually measured. Note that sometimes the drive starts reporting up to 1000 constant rate PI errors, not a good sign in our opinion.


20. BookType Setting Feature

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 20

BookType Setting

The LiteOn SOHW-832S supports BookType Setting for DVD-R/+RW formats. User must set the BookType setting before burning any project.

There are two ways of setting the Booktype setting, either from:

This utility is available for free download at LiteON website. The user can query the current Booktype:

Select other BookType (for example DVD-ROM):

And change the BookType to DVD-ROM, which offers higher compatibility with DVD Players.

Under Tools->Bitsetting, the user can view the current Disc Type and change the BookType to either DVD-ROM/DVD+R/+RW. Unfortunately, Bit Setting isn't supported for DVD-R media

Lets now try changing the Bit Setting for a DVD+R media, the current Booktype is normal (DVD+R)

After pressing the "Set" button, the booktype changed to DVD-ROM


21. Conclusion

LiteON SOHW-832S Dual DVD±RW Recorder - Page 21

Conclusion

The LiteON SOHW-832S is the first ever LiteON recorder that supports DVD+R DL writing. The new format has been highly awaited from many users as an alternative medium for storage, mostly movies with 1:1 process. For this use, the LiteON SOHW-832S is very good. DVD+R DL writing worked like a charm and when the initial media prices drop, many users will enjoy it.

Listing the negatives, the drive's biggest problem is its initial firmware. Explaining our previous comment, we saw that the writing performance with DVD-R format is not what we might expect from LiteON. The drive produced two coasters with 8X branded DVD-R media and generally the writing quality was below par. LiteON of course has the policy of releasing frequent firmware upgrades but we would like the drive to be better fine tuned for the DVD-R format, since many users don't even know what a firmware upgrade is...

Also, the supported media list for the -R format at 8X is not that high, again newer firmware is expected to improve this situation. In case a user uses LiteON's Booktype for DVD+R DL, they will be disappointed, since it didn't work as we expected it too, however by using KProbe you will get the desired results. Lastly, something annoying is that the retail package doesn't include a blank DVD+R DL media.

On the positive side, as usual LiteON's drive prices are a strong point compared with the competition. The drive has very good CD/DVD error correction, can backup SD2 2.8x builds and has no problem with protected Audio discs. A big plus for the drive, is the fact that LiteON's unofficial community offers many "unique" features/utilities (KProbe, Media speedhacks, RPC1 utilities, overclocking, etc...).

As a last word we we list the positive/negative points of the drive. We hope that LiteON will fix many of the reported problems and make us change our opinion about the drive ;-)

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like to be fixed



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