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

Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Pioneer DVR-110D fw1.17

1. Introduction

After we finished testing the Pioneer DVR-110D drive, Pioneer released a new firmware version (v1.17) that promised a lot of changes including improved writing quality. In this review, we mainly test the drive's writing quality with several DVD media.

New readers are advised before proceeding, to read the original Pioneer DVR-110D review that contains the full reading tests.

- What changed with fw 1.17?

According to Pioneer, some new media has been added to the supported media list while the writing quality with CD and DVD media has been improved. The already good reading performance had also improved according to Pioneer.

New 16x DVD-R Media: DAXON
New 16X DVD+R Media: DAXON
New 12X DVD+R Media: RITEK
DVD-ROM Readability improved
DVD-/+R Writability improved
DVD-R/+R DL Writability improved
DVD-RW/+RW Writability improved
CD-ROM Readability improved
CD-R/-RW Read and Writability improved

Along with the release of the DVR-110D, Pioneer will release four other models, two SuperMulti format and two Dual format. These are the DVR-110DBK (Dual), the DVR-110DSV (Dual), the DVR-110 (SuperMulti) and the DVR-110BK (SuperMulti). The first two drives are to be released pretty much the same time as the reviewed drive, while the other two drives are to be released later on this year (late September).

Dual format (without DVD-RAM write)
Black front bezel
Dual format (without DVD-RAM write)
Silver front bezel
DVR-110 SuperMulti format (with DVD-RAM write) Beige front bezel
SuperMulti format (with DVD-RAM write)
Black front bezel

- Features

The DVR-110D features the Precision Recording Technology, which utilizes an auto-adjustable writing technique to enable recording under the best conditions for each disc characteristic at all times. This technology, first introduced in the DVR-A06, enables the DVR-110D to achieve optimal initial writing performance and helps to minimize the normal deterioration of re-recordable discs due to repeated writing. As a result, the quality for repeatedly used DVD-RW discs is up to 10 times better than previous writers.

- Specifications

DVD DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R DL (Dual Layer), DVD+R DL (Double Layer) DVD+RW
CD CD-R 700(type 80), 650MB(type 74), CD-RW, Ultraspeed CD-RW, Highspeed CD-RW
Read Support
DVD DVD-ROM (single layer and DL), DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R DL (Dual Layer), DVD+R DL (Double Layer), DVD+RW, DVD-RAM (Non-cartridge DVD-RAM Version 2.0/2.1 only)
CD CD-ROM(Mode 1), CD-ROM XA Mode 2 (form1, form 2), CD-DA, CD-Extra (CD Plus), Video CD, PhotoCD (single/multi-session), CD-Text, CD-R, CD-RW (High-speed CD-RW, Ultra Speed CD-RW)
Write Speed
DVD-R 16x, 12x, 8x, 6x, 4x, 2x, 1x
DVD-RW 6x, 4x, 2x, 1x
DVD-R DL 8x, 6x, 4x, 2x
DVD+R 16x, 12x, 8x, 6x, 4x. 2.4x
DVD+RW 8x, 6x, 4x, 2.4x
DVD+R DL 8x, 6x, 4x, 2.4x
8cm DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW with Adapter 2x, 1x
CD-R 40x, 32x, 24x, 16x, 10x, 4x
CD-RW 32x, 24x, 20x, 16x, 10x, 4x
Read Speed
DVD-ROM (single) Max 16x CAV
DVD-ROM (dual) Max 12x CAV
DVD-R, DVD+R Max 12x CAV
DVD-Video (Single Layer) 5x CAV
DVD-Video (Dual Layer) 5x CAV
CD-ROM, CD-R Max 40x CAV
CD-RW Max 32x CAV
Video CD 9.3x CAV
Mounting Orientation Horizontal and Vertical
IDE Interface ATAPI PIO Mode 4, Multi word DMA Mode 2 16.6 Mbytes/sec. Ultra DMA mode 4 66.6 MBytes/sec.
Data Buffer (size) 2 MBytes (Write, Read)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 148mm x 42.3mm x 180mm

- Specific application program(s) that support above format(s) required.
- Supported media required for specific DVD & CD writing speeds.
- To perform DVD writing at 12x or 16x speeds, use Pioneer-designated disc media.

As Pioneer suggests "...To achieve the specified writing and reading performance it is important that the DVR-110 is connected to the IDE port via an 80 way ribbon cable and that the IDE port is at least UDMA 66 or above...". Let's now see the drive's main characteristics as given by NeroInfoTool and DVDInfoPro:

- The Drive

We received the beige coloured bezel model (the DVR-110D) bulk version with no accompanying bundled software. As Pioneer informs.. "If required a Software Installation CD containing Nero 6.6 OEM Suite 3 is available as an optional extra (NOT FREE) and needs to be requested at the time of purchasing the drive. Be sure to request the official Pioneer software CD (refer image opposite) otherwise you may receive a lesser alternative or no software at all.."

The front of the drive is quite simple, no Pioneer logo (much like the Pioneer DVR-109 model released some months ago).

On the rear you can find the analogue audio outpu, the IDE selection pins, the IDE connector and the power input. As Pioneer suggests, the use of an 80pin IDE ribbon cable is required to get the maximum possible throughput from the DVR-110D drive.

The label with manufacturing and compliance details, located on the drive, top view.

- Inner view

Now, let us take a look at the interior of the drive, a quick glance under the hood of this OEM release. Don't do this yourself as it will render the warranty void. You can just make out the main chipset, the same one that was used in the previous model, the DVR-109 burner. If not, then a click on the picture below to take you to a larger, more detailed view of the drive's mainboard and chipsets.

- Installation

The device was connected to our test PC and was identified as "PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-110D" under WinXP.

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