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Appeared on: Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Waitec VISION HR


1. Introduction

Waitec VISION HR DVD Recorder - page 1

Visit Waitec's official websiteWaitec, an international high-tech company, was established in 1994 in Venlo, The Netherlands. Waitec has always invested its energies in the Research and Development of new technologies, with the objective of satisfying the growing demands of the market through the introduction of highly innovative products.

The VISION HR is a multimedia DVD Player and DVD Recorder featuring DVD+R technology support, able to record on both DVD+RW and DVD+R media. The Vision HR reads CD-R/RW, VCD, SVCD, as well as DVD-RW and DVD-R. With the Vision HR you will be able to digitally record from any external source or from the internal TV Tuner exactly like you always did with your VHS recorder. You can also view all your favorite digital photo collections on your TV, thanks to its Kodak CD and Jpeg CD compatibility.

Technical Data

On the following pages you can read about the reading/writing capabilities of the device, its recording quality and the results from our error correction tests.


2. Unpacking - Control Menu

Waitec VISION HR DVD Recorder - page 2

Unpacking - Control Menu

The recorder's front panel is very attractive with a very nice design. The loading tray is located in the middle, with the power switch on the left and several buttons conveniently placed on the right for operating the unit.

The pictures below show the inside of the Vision HR after removing the cover, an action that is not recommended, as it voids the manufacturer's warranty. (Click on the image for an enlarged view).

The CS98200 is a highly-integrated processor that provides all of the audio and video processing functions needed for the next generation of feature-rich DVD players, DVD receivers and Internet DVD applications. Tomorrow's features available today on a single chip solution that include DVD-Audio, MP3/WMA, AAC, Kodak Picture CD, Dolby AC-3, Dolby ProLogic, and DTS decoding. It supports CD formats, DVD navigation, disk control, video decoding and up to eight channels of output. An extension of the Cirrus' CS98000 DVD product line, the CS98200 integrates six 10-bit video digital-to-analog converters (DACs) and TV encoding with progressive scan functionality. Progressive scan video provides high resolution and eliminates the "flickering" effect present in traditional video playback. Other features enabled by this integrated chip include karaoke functionality and video special effects.

- DVD-Video, VCD, VCD 2.0, VCD 3.0, SVCD, CD, and other popular standards
- DVD-Audio including CPPM and Verance? watermark protection
- MPEG1, MPEG2, and leading edge MPEG4 decoding
- Flexible ATAPI or AV bus DVD loader support with no additional logic
- Dual 32-bit RISC processors, supported by RTOS, C/C++ compilers, and source level debuggers
- 32-bit DSP capable of AC-3, MPEG, DTS, MP3, WMA and AAC audio decode algorithms
- High-quality integrated video encoder with six 10-bit video D/A converters
- Component (RGB or YUV) or composite & S-Video output
- Interlaced (PAL/NTSC) or progressive (480p) output, with MacrovisionTM copy protection
- CCIR656 video I/O for video capture, PVR and DVR type applications, picture-in-picture support
- IEC-958 (S/PDIF) & simultaneous PCM output
- 5.1 downmix, karaoke echo mix, pitch shift, and many other effects
- PAL / NTSC transcoding
- Dual 16550 compatible UARTs
- AC ?97 serial interface
- 240 MQFP package



This is the main chipset for the internal drive. As can be seen, it is manufactured by Ricoh.

As you can see, the VISION HR has all the appropriate connections. However, there's no DD5.1 CH built-in decoder.

The retail package also includes a remote control, with which you'll need to spend a little time to get acquainted. Click on the image for an enlarged view.

Below is the players' main screen, which appears every time you turn the player on.

Choosing setup, you will see the following screens:

You can also program the unit for scheduled recording.


3. Reading Tests

Waitec VISION HR DVD Recorder - page 3

Reading Tests

Although this device focuses mainly on recording, we still carried out our usual array of reading tests, since most VISION HR owners will use it for both reading and recording.

In playback mode, the device has all the usual features with easy access to all the appropriate settings. Below, just for reference, there is a screenshot of the Waitec recorder during playback. The displayed settings may vary depending on the inserted media type.

You can also choose whether to have information displayed regarding the inserted media. However, it would be nice to have had more information, such as the bit-rate, available during playback.

DVD support

The Waitec VISION HR we have in our hands is a region-2 drive, which means that the player is able to decode (play) only the pressed DVD-Video discs for the European region.

 

We recorded a 4.35GB DVD-Video file on various DVD+R/-R, DVD-RW/+RW media. The recorders we used are some of the latest dual-format burners available on the PC market, as well as some first generation recorders. Pressed single and dual layer DVD-Video discs were also verified in the test. All the test discs were created with the same PC software in DVD-Video mode.

We checked the player's disc recognition, as well as smooth navigation and playback. The results were very impressive, since all the discs were read completely. See the drives and media we used in the table below:

Recorder
Media
Speed recorded
Recognition
Playback
Sony DRX-500UL v1.0c
TDK DVD+RW 2.4x
2.4x
OK
Sony DRU-530A v2.0h
Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD+R 4x
4x
Taiyo yuden DVD+R 4x
4x
N-Tech DVD+R 4x
4x
Philips DVD+R 4x
4x
Pioneer DVR-107D v1.05
JVC DVD-R 8x
8x
MKM DVD+R 8x
8x
CMC DVD-R 4x
4x
CMC DVD+R 4x
4x
NEC ND-2500A v1.06
JVC DVD-RW 4x
4x
Maxell DVD+RW 4x
4x
Ritek DVD-R 4x
4x
Mam DVD-R 4x
4x
TDK DVD-R 4x
4x
Plextor DVD+R 4x
8x
Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD-R 4x
8x
Taiyo Yuden DVD-R 4x
8x
Optorite DD0401 v1.30E
MKM DVD+R 8x
8x
Hi-Space DVD-R 4x
4x
Verbatim DVD-R 4x
4x
BTC DRW1008IM v0.55
Pioneer DVD-R 4x
4x
LiteOn LDW-811S vHS0K
FujiFilm DVD-R 4x
4x
Philips DVDRW885K
MKM 001(Double Layer)
2.4X
Playback was jerky

As was expected, all the DVD±RW discs played successfully without problems. In the case of DL media, playback produced some freezing.

The Waitec VISION HR supports reading of DVD-ROM format.

The Waitec VISION HR works well with AudioCD, CD-R/-RW, VideoCD and Super-VideoCD playback. The *.cda files of any audioCD are recognized correctly, regardless of whether the disc is factory-pressed or is a CD-R/RW. In addition, CD-Text is supported.
Please note that, when talking about data CD (CD-R/-RW), we refer to either compressed audio files (MP3, WMA, Ogg Vorbis.), pure *.wav files, or to VideoCD and Super VideoCD.

In the case of pressed AudioCDs, the player recognizes and plays all the tracks, offering additional features like CD-Text reading and navigation between tracks, as already mentioned on the previous page. This also applies to CD-R and CD-RW discs. The device played audio files on CD-R, 10x HS-RW, 24x US-RW and 32x US-RW discs we inserted in the disc tray.

In addition, no problems were noticed either when we played 8cm CD-R/-RW (185MB), 90/99min CD-R or CD business cards, as long as they are round-shaped. The player's tray is not designed to accept any other media shapes, which can sometimes be the case with smart cards or business cards.

The Waitec VISION HR will not dissapoint anyone who has purchased any protected audio discs from a music store. The discs we tested were "Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies island" protected with Macrovision Key2Audio protection scheme, and "Celine Dion - A New Day Has Come" protected with Cactus Data Shield 200. Both titles were recognized and played without any problems, which is good news as this kind of media is almost impossible to play on PCs due to the protection schemes, which are designed to discourage PC users from making copies.

The Waitec VISION HR does not support Super AudioCD.

Let's now see how the player reacts to various compressed audio files stored on data CD-R/RW. Although the specifications of the DVP-NS330 clearly indicate MP3 support, it is not sure whether the drive can handle all MP3 compression modes. CBR or VBR encoding mode and variations in the sampling rate could be hard for any reader to decode. The table below shows a list of MP3 and WMA files with a variety of compression settings and how the device handled them.

Compression type
Compression settings
Recognize / Play
MP3
CBR 20kBit 11025Hz Mono
Yes
CBR 20kBit 11025Hz Stereo
CBR 32kBit 11025Hz Stereo
CBR 32kBit 22050Hz Mono
CBR 40kBit 22050Hz Stereo
CBR 48kBit 22050Hz Stereo
CBR 48kBit 44100Hz Mono
CBR 56kBit 22050Hz Mono
CBR 56kBit 44100Hz Mono
CBR 64kBit 22050Hz Stereo
CBR 96kBit 22050Hz Stereo
CBR 96kBit 44100Hz Mono
CBR 96kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 112kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 128kBit 44100Hz Mono
CBR 128kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 160kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 192kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 224kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 256kBit 44100Hz Stereo
CBR 320kBit 44100Hz Stereo
VBR - High compression
VBR - Highest compression
VBR - Low compression
VBR - Lowest compression
VBR - Medium compression

Windows Media Audio

(WMA)

WMA 48kbps
WMA 64kbps
WMA 96kbps
WMA 128kbps
WMA 160kbps
WMA 192kbps
WAV
WAV
No

Both formats are supported.


4. Recording Tests

Waitec VISION HR DVD Recorder - page 4

Recording Tests

Before starting the recording procedure, we updated our device with the latest available official firmware from Waitec:

DVD Recorder Update:

Download the firmware here.

Unpack the zip file.
Burn the firmware upgrade file as a normal data disc.

1. Switch on the player
2. Open the tray, and put in the disc which contains the firmware upgrade
3. Close the tray
4. On the screen apears the menu
5. Press play on the recorder or on the remote control
6. The update will start automatically and takes about 5 minutes
7. The screen turns black slowly, progressing from top to bottom
8. After the firmware is updated the recorder will restart atomatically.
9. Remove the disc once the recorder restarts

The recording procedure is quite easy with the VISION HR recorder. As soon as you define the source, you just press the record button on the remote control.

There are five supported writng qualities: HQ, SP, LP, EP, and SLP.

Mode
Bit Rate( Mbps)
Resolution (PAL)
Encode
HQ
9.5
720X576
MPEG2
SP
5~7
720X576
MPEG2
LP
4~5.5
352X576
MPEG2
EP
2~4
352X576
MPEG2
SLP
1.5
352X288
MPEG1

After recording a disc, this is what you'll see:

After recording the DVD media, we opened and viewed the media on our PC. The contents of the disc are:

The VISION HR also allows us to erase rewritable media. The erase procedure is fast since it only deletes the table of contents, and not all of the disc.

Below are more details regarding the media we used for the tests:

Name
ID
BenQ 4X DVD+R
DAXON AZ1 01
CMC Magnetics 2.4X DVD+R
CMC MAG R01
Taiyo Yuden 84X DVD+R
YUDEN000T02
Intenso 84X DVD+R
Prodisc R03 03
Promedia 4X DVD+R
AML 001
Traxdata 4X DVD+R
RICOHJPNR01
MMore 4X DVD+R
MBIPG101R03
Traxdata 4X DVD+RW
RICOHJPNW11
Sentinel 2.4X DVD+RW
SENTINEL W01
CMC 2.4X DVD+RW
CMC MAG W02
Mitsubishi Kagaku 4X DVD+RW
MKMA02

5. Writing quality Tests

Waitec VISION HR DVD Recorder - page 5

Writing quality Tests

The following screenshots present the PI/PIF results for various DVD+R/RW media, recorded with the Waitec VISION HR at the maximum allowed speed. Before the tests, we flashed the device with the latest available official firmware from Waitec.

The software used for the measurements was KProbe v2.1.0. The ECC was set to 8 and the reading drive was LiteOn SOHD-167T. The specific methodology is very dependent on the drive used as a reader, while the reliability of the PI/PIF provided output is also not technically confirmed. Consequently, we could not safely come up with any conclusive results, but still, we did make a comparison of the drive's behavior when using various DVD recordable/rewritable media.

For the CDSpeed reading tests, we used the SD-1712 DVD-ROM from Toshiba.

BenQ 4X DVD+R

Cannot recognize the disc at all. However, it was playable with the Waitec recorder.

CMC 2.4X DVD+R

Cannot access the disc at all. Kprobe reported a servo error at the beginning. However, it was playable with the Waitec recorder.

TY 8X DVD+R

Intenso 8X DVD+R

Promedia 4X DVD+R

Traxdata 4X DVD+R

MMore 4X DVD+R

Traxdata 4X DVD+RW

Sentinel 2. 4X DVD+RW

CMC 2.4X DVD+RW

The recording quality of the Waitec is quite good. However, there was one case with increased PI/PIF levels and one with unrecoverable read errors.

Name
ID
BenQ 4X DVD+R
DAXON AZ1 01
CMC Magnetics 2.4X DVD+R
CMC MAG R01
Taiyo Yuden 84X DVD+R
YUDEN000T02
Intenso 84X DVD+R
Prodisc R03 03
Promedia 4X DVD+R
AML 001
Traxdata 4X DVD+R
RICOHJPNR01
MMore 4X DVD+R
MBIPG101R03
Traxdata 4X DVD+RW
RICOHJPNW11
Sentinel 2.4X DVD+RW
SENTINEL W01
CMC 2.4X DVD+RW
CMC MAG W02
Mitsubishi Kagaku 4X DVD+RW
MKMA02

6. Error Correction Tests

Waitec VISION HR DVD Recorder - page 6

Error Correction Tests

Here, we try to simulate one of the most interesting problems an average user frequently faces while using a DVD player, namely the reading accuracy of a DVD player when accessing a defective or scratched DVD or CD. Of course, the performance of the drive here may be influenced by the quality and precision of its mechanical parts (Optical Pickup Unit, sufficient servo control, etc), as well as with the drive's reading strategy under abnormal conditions, controlled by the main chipset and firmware commands.

In the case of a reader and especially a high-priced stand-alone reader, we would expect better control during the reading process. We tested the Waitec VISION HR with a number of pressed DVD-Video and AudioCD test discs. The ABEX series from Almedio offers a good picture of a CD/DVD reader's error correction capabilities. In addition, we used the SBC444A test disc from Philips and CD-Check test disc from Digital Recordings.

DVD-Video

This is a single-sided, dual layer (S-2 type, OTP) disc with 8.5GB capacity. The disc can be used for checking the layer switching operation from layer 0 to layer 1. The disc also includes test pictures and test signals for Dolby Digital, linear PCM (48kHz/24bit, 96kHz/24bit) and others to examine high quality pictures and sound. The disc content is a MPEG-2 NTSC DVD-Video file. The TCD-545 includes defects on the disc area (black dots and fingerprints). The size of the black dots varies from 0.4mm to 1.0mm. and fingerprints from 0.065mm to 0.075mm.

The Waitec VISION HR read the disc successfully without skips, picture stills or glitches.

This disc is exactly the same as the Abex TCD-545 tested previously, except that the defect is a scratch in size ranging from 0.4mm to 3.0mm, increasing by 0.2mm /per step.

The 15th track revealed a momentary freeze during playback. This track contains a scratch size of 3.0mm

AudioCD

This is an AudioCD disc used for measurement and adjustment of the error correction ability and tracking/focusing servo characteristics of a player against possible defects on some CDs. Three kinds of defects are included on this disc: interruption in information layer, black dots and fingerprints. The interruptions are fabricated by intentionally varying the lengths of pits in the disc fabrication area. Their size varies from 0.5mm to 1.0mm. The diameter of black dots is from 0.4mm to 1.0mm. The simulated fingerprints are, in turn, small gathered dots, of diameters sized from 65 micrometers to 75 micrometers. 160 black dots grouped together construct an artificial fingerprint.

All audio tracks were played with the Waitec VISION HR deck. No audible read errors (clicks, skips) were detected.

The test concept with the Philips SBC 44A is the same as in the previous test disc. Interruptions on the information layer vary from 400 micrometers to 1000 micrometers, while black dots have a size of 300 micrometers to 800 micrometers.

All tracks played successfully.

 

 

The medium has the same contents as the Abex TCD-726, but a different defect- a scratch sized of 0.4mm to 3.0mm on the disc's surface. Error symptoms expected when playing this disc are noise, sound skips, same sector repeatedly played, start of tune cannot be detected, etc.
The Waitec VISION HR played successfully the first 6 tracks out of 15 in total. The 6th track corresponds to a scratch size of 1.2mm. First problems occurred with the 7th track (1.4mm) with audible "clicks" while playing.

We finish this test cycle with the CD-Check disc from Digital Recordings. Five audio signals (5 tracks) are combined with disc error patterns to rate the player's ability to read and reproduce music completely. The five tracks contain a sequence of tests of progressively rising difficulty .

Check level 1 (track 1): Standard manufacturing errors

Check level 2 (track 2): 0.375mm scratch

Check level 3 (track 3): 0.750mm scratch

Check level 4 (track 4): 1.125mm scratch

Check level 5 (track 5): 1.500mm scratch

Any clicks, interruptions or looping during audio reproduction indicate failure of a Check level (audio track). Below you can see the test results:

Check level
1
2
3
4
5
Result
5/5
5/5
5/5
5/5
1/5

The drive managed to play successfully the four tracks out of the five. In the fifth track, only one attempt was clear without clicks. The remaining four produced audible clicks.

The VISION HR showed good performance in our error correction tests.


7. Conclusion

Waitec VISION HR DVD Recorder - page 7

Conclusion

 

When the VISION HR initially arrived in our labs, we were very impressed with its design. The shiny, mirror-finish front panel makes quite an impact. The retail package includes all the appropriate cables for a fast set up. However, we would like a coaxial cable included as well. The built-in tuner for TV signal reception is very good and makes for convenient TV program recording. Here you need a very good signal since you can't set the channels manually. The menu interface is good but needs a little getting used to, as is the case with the remote control.


The reading tests proved that the player is capable of playing almost everything. OK, the advanced formats such as SACD and DVD-Audio cannot be reproduced with the VISION HR, but this is not an issue. During play back, the onscreen information is adequate but we would like more detail available, such as transfer rate, format, Audio etc. From the error correction tests we ran, the Waitec proved to be more than satisfactory, reading scratches up to 1.125mm. Two of the media recorded with the unit weren't playable in our PC or DVD player, although they played in the Waitec device itself.

As soon as you define the source, the Waitec recorder can write with the press of a single button. We would also recommend the SP and HQ quality modes for recording. Notice that the writing quality has nothing to do with the image quality. In our Kprobe scans, the VISION HR reported good writing quality with low PI/PIF levels, although there were a few cases with increased PI/PIF levels.

The retail price for Europe is €323 (including VAT).

Visit Waitec's official website here.

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