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

Wednesday, May 04, 2005
LiteON SOHW-1673S

1. Introduction

After the release of the 1653S, a 16X/12X (±R), LiteOn hits the market with the 1673S model, a 16X/16X DVD burner. Since speed is the primary concern of all potential buyers out there, note here that the 1673s can burn a full DVD disc in almost 6 mins.

The 16X speed is supported for both formats. The drive's specs also report a 4X DL writing speed and an 8X speed for +RW media, while for -RW media the drive reaches the 6X burning speed.

- Features

SMART-X technology: the drive will rip the music / VCD data as fast as possible with less errors, even on a poor quality media (e.g. dirty, scratched), the drive will estimate if the ripped data will result in audio noise, interruptions or mosaic on screen, the rip speed can be reduced to get more correctable data. While SMART-X provides the fastest possible ripping speed, if you just want to listen to music or watch a movie, it's not necessary for the drive to maintain high speeds to read the data. It will automatically operate at lower speeds to get better playability, hence the smart in SMART-X.

- Specifications

Model 16X DVD Dual Drive with Double Layer Writing
Data Buffer Memory 2MB
Data Transfer Rate (max)
DVD+R Writing
DVD+R DL Writing
DVD+RW Rewriting
DVD-RW Rewriting
DVD-ROM Reading
CD-R Writing 48X
CD-RW Rewriting 24X
CD-ROM Reading 48X
Random Access Time 120ms
Support Media for Reading DVD : DVD Single/dual layer (PTP, OTP), DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD+R DL (8.5GB)
CD : All CD-ROM/R/RW formats
Installation Angle Horizontal/Vertical
Audio Specification  
Line output level 0.85±0.15 Vrms
S/N Ratio 75dB
Temperature Operating: 5°C to 45°C
Storage: -20°C to 60°C
Humidity Operating: 15-80% ( Non-condensation)
Power Requirement DC+12V±5%, DC+5V±5%
Compatibility Windows 98 SE/ME/XP/2000
Physical Dimensions  
WxHxD 145 x 41.3 x 170mm
Weight 0.9kg (typical)

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.

Below is some additional information from KProbe regarding LiteON drives:

- European Retail package

The retail package is the same that we have become used to with all LiteOn drives, with the exception of the DVD+R and DVD-R media. It includes the LiteON SOHW-1673S, along with the standard audio cable and mounting screws, plus the CDs with application software, DVD authoring, writing and editing software, DVD playback software, BackUp software and User's Manual. Along with the all of the above, the kit contains the Nero OEM Suite and the Power DVD 5 for your viewing needs.

The front panel is the same as on previous LiteON models. The activity led lights up green when the device is active while 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:


- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and under Windows XP, recognized as "LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1673S ". The drive came to our labs with the JS02 firmware and was flashed with the latest release, JS05, as it was reported by Nero's drive properties and shown in the following image.

For the needs of comparison in this review, we will be demonstrating the drive's capabilities against those of the NEC ND-3520A and Plextor 716S drives.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.75
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v3.00
  5. PlexTools v2.20(Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.05, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
  6. DVDInfoPro v3.51
  7. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.8
  8. DVD Decrypter
  9. CopyToDVD

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