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

Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Sony DRU-800A

1. Introduction

Sony is one of the largest manufacturers worldwide and its name has been associated with reliability and quality, after all it's a Sony.
Lately, Sony has been using LiteON OEM DVD burners and the latest LiteON SOHW-1693S is behind the new Sony burner, branded the DRU-800A.

The drive can burn at 16X speed, both DVD+R and DVD-R media. With RW media, the supported speeds are 8X and 6X for the DVD+R and DVD-R respectively. The most important feature is DVD-R DL recording at 4X. DVD+R DL is also at the same speed.

- Features

  • Burns 8.5GB DVD±R Double/Dual Layer discs at 16X max, capable of burning a full disc in about 6 minutes.
  • Burns 8.5GB DVD±R Double/Dual discs up to 4X max. Double/Dual Layer discs capable of storing up to 4 hours of MPEG-2 Video on single sided disc with 2 recording layers. Recorded DVD±R Double/Dual layer discs compatible with most consumer DVD players and DVD-ROM drives.
  • Burns standard 4.7GB DVD±R and DVD±RW Discs and CD-R/RW too - One drive does it all.
  • Maximum flexibility & compatibility – Choose the optimal DVD recordable media for your project without sacrificing compatibility with your playback hardware.
  • Award winning Nero Software bundle for burning all your video, music, and data to DVD or CD.
  • Includes black replacement front bezel for matching the drive with a black PC case.

- Specifications

DRIVE TYPE Internal DVD±R/±RW Double/Dual Layer,
Dual Format DVD/CD Recorder
CD: CD-DA, CD-ROM (XA), CD Extra, Video
CD, Photo CD*, CD Text, multi-session
READ/WRITE SPEED Write (DVD-R) 1X, 2X, 4X, 6X CLV, 8X,
12X P-CAV, 16X CAV max.**
Write (DVD-R DL) 2X, 4X max. ***
Write (DVD-RW) 1X, 2X, 4X, 6X CLV max. **
Write (DVD+R) 2.4X, 4X**, 8X ~ 12X P-CAV
max. **, 16X CAV max.**
Write (DVD+R DL) 2.4X, 4X max. ***
Write (DVD+RW) 2.4X, 4X, 6X CLV, 8X Z-CLV
max. **
Write (CD-R) 8X,16X, 24X ~ 40X P-CAV max.**,
48X CAV max**
Write (CD-RW) 4X, 10X,16X, 24X Z-CLV max. **
Read (DVD-ROM) 16X max.
Read (CD-ROM) 48X max.
135 ms (CD 48X)
POWER CONSUMPTION +5V 1.5A max., +12V 1.5A max.
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 5.75 X 1.63 X 6.75 inches
WEIGHT 2lbs.
PACKAGE CONTENTS Internal DRU-800A Double/Dual Layer
DVD Recorder
NeroVision Express™ DVD video editing
& authoring software
Nero™ Burning ROM SE CD/DVD mastering
Nero™ InCD™ drive letter recording software
Nero™ Showtime™ soft DVD player software
Nero™ BackitUp™ backup software
Black front panel replacement kit
ATAPI cable and mounting hardware
User’s Manual
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS Pentium® III 800 MHz or faster (or equivalent)
CPU minimum. Pentium IV 1.6GHz or faster
(or equivalent) CPU is recommended for real
time video authoring/editing
128 MB of RAM (256 MB or more for Windows
XP Systems)
10GB of hard disk space.
Windows® 2000 or Windows® XP Home or
Professional Operating Systems
WARRANTY One Year Limited
*Not supported with the bundled software, additional software required.
**High-speed DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW CD-RW discs required.
***Requires DVD+R DL & DVD-R DL media.

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 Mediatek based drive, you can set the drive to region free using several readily available utilities.

- Retail package

The retail package includes the drive, a second bezel coloured black, a 40pin IDE cable, four mounting screws, a quick installation guide, a front panel replacement guide, instructions manual and the warranty card. There is also a software disc that includes Nero Burning Rom 6, InCD 4, Nero Vision Express, Nero BackitUp and Nero Showtime. Finally, there are also quick installation guides for the software.

The front panel is the same as on previous Sony models, with the transparent front bezel which in our opinion makes it the most impressive panel for a DVD burner.

The rear 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 WindowsXP, recognized as "SONY DVD RW DRU-800A ". The drive arrived at our labs installed with firmware version KY01 installed.

For this review, we will be comparing the drive's performance and capabilities along side two other burners, the NEC ND-3520A and Plextor 716S drives.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.80
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v3.00
  5. PlexTools v2.23(Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.05, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
  6. DVDInfoPro v3.51
  7. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.13
  8. DVD Decrypter
  9. CopyToDVD 3.0.54
  10. Alcohol 120% 1.9.5 build 2802

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