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

Thursday, May 19, 2005
NEC ND-3530A

3. CD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we check the drive's behavior when reading scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total Num: 1521355
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 160568 Avg: -77.5 dB(A) Max: -16.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 6098 Avg: 1.5 Samples Max: 554 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 90 Avg: 6.0 Samples Max: 6 Samples
Total Test Result 71.0 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy 97.2 %

Not the best performance from the ND-3530A. The maximum error loudness level was -16.0dB, which is high enough, and the total error count is also high at 1,521,355 while there were 90 skipped samples.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total Num: 8595
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 6602 Avg: -81.0 dB(A) Max: -14.9 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 158 Avg: 10.9 Samples Max: 462 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 1 Avg: 6.0 Samples Max: 6 Samples
Total Test Result 77.5 points (out of 100.0 maximum)
C2 Accuracy 98.3 %

Although there was only one skipped sample, the total score of 77.5 was low enough to indicate poor CD error correction capabilities. Most drives manage a score close to 100 for this test.

- 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 more difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

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

Error Level 1 2 3 4 5
NEC ND-3530A
5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5 0/5

With this test disc, the drive reported good results, managing to read flawlessly 4 out of 5 tracks. We should add that with most NEC based burners, track No4 and up have always posed a problem.

- Summary

Although the drive performed better than other NEC drives, CD error correction capabilities can be further improved with a future firmware update. In any case, this burner is not recommended for scratched CD reading.




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