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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders Double Layer

Monday, October 11, 2004
LiteON SOHW-1633S

1. Introduction - Retail Package

LiteON SOHW-1633S Recorder - Page 1

LiteON recently released their latest 16X recorder, following on the footsteps of other manufacturers. The new LiteON SOHW-1633S supports up to 16X DVD+R recording speed, being capable to burn a full Single Layer disc in almost 5:50mins.

The drive also supports writing speeds of 8X for DVD-R, 4X for DVD+RW and DVD-RW, and 2.4X recording speed for Double Layer media. When it comes to CD writing speeds, the drive can write CDs at 48X and can rewrite at 24X.

- Features

The SOHW-1633S features SMART-BURN avoiding buffer under run errors, automatically adjusting writing strategy and running OPC to provide the best burning quality. The SMART-X function adjusts CD-DA/VCD/DVD data extraction to the fastest allowable speed depending on both the data request rate from the host and the disk quality.

- Specifications

E-IDE/ATAPI (Ultra DMA Mode 2)
Write Speeds:

DVD+R:16X / -R: 8X, DVD+R9:2.4X DVD+RW: 4X, DVD-RW: 4X

CD-R: 48X, CD-RW: 24X
Read Speeds:

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

DVD-ROM: 16X, CD-R/RW: 48X
Random Access:
DVD: 160msec, CD: 160msec
Buffer Size:
Supported Disc Formats:
DVD+R9, DVD-RW, CD-Extra, CD-I, CD-ROM, Audio CD, CDR,CD-RW, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD Test, Photo CD,
Hybrid CD
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
Software Details: Nero Express 6, Nero InCD, Nero Vision Express 2, Nero BackITup, Nero Showtime, Nero Recode 2, Nero Cover-Designer, Nero Tool Kit, PhotoShow Deluxe

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

The drive also uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. However, since this is a LiteOn drive, you can set the drive to region free using several readily available utilities such as Kprobe.

Below is some additional information from KProbe regarding LiteON drives:

- European Retail package

The retail package includes the LiteON SOHW-1633S, a quick installation guide, audio cable, mounting screws, DVD+R and DVD-R media. Also included are CDs with application software, DVD authoring, writing and editing software, DVD playback software, BackUp software and User's Manual. Nero 6 is included for all your writing/authoring needs, along with PowerDVD 5 for your DVD playback needs.

The front panel is the same as on previous LiteON models, with the activity led lighting up green when the device is active. Also on the front, the user will discern the DVD+R Double Layer logo.

The rear panel has the usual analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), IDE connector and power input.

Opening the device's case will void the warranty, so we advise against it. Instead, use the photos in this review for a closer look under the hood. Clicking on the image below will reveal a high resolution image:


The following picture shows the laser lens assembly of the LiteON SOHW-1633S. By clicking on the picture, you can see a higher resolution image.

click to enlarge!

- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and under WindowsXP, recognized as "LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1633S ". For this review, the drive is flashed to the latest firmware available for now, version BS0G. Below is a screenshot from Nero Burning Rom, showing supported options such as overburn and buffer underrun protection.

During this review, we will be comparing the drive with the NEC ND-3500A and Philips DVDR1640P drives. The performance of the Sony DRU-710A is also shown in the comparison charts to demonstrate the drive's change in performance with different firmwares.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.21
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.27
  5. PlexTools v2.16 (Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.05, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
  6. DVDInfoPro v3.16
  7. Nero Burning Rom v6.3.1.20
  8. DVD Decrypter
  9. CopyToDVD

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