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

Thursday, November 10, 2005
Pioneer DVR-110

1. Introduction

Several months ago, Pioneer released the DVR-110D, a latest technology DVD recorder, with max burning speeds for all formats. Now, as we had stated back then, Pioneer has released an upgrade of the 110D, the DVR-110, which apart from retaining the same writing speeds, is also DVD-RAM writing enabled. Hence, the DVR-110 offers writing support for Dual & Double Layer media types at 8X speed, along with 16X writing for DVD-R/+R, 6X writing for DVD-RW, 8X writing for +RW and 5x writing for RAM.

In this review, we will be looking into the writing capabilities of this drive for all media formats and its DVD error correction capabilities. CD error correction tests and protected media tests have been omitted since upon checking, we found them to be the same as with the previous model.

We will be posting the results of the DVR-110 next to those of those of the LG-4167B and Plextor 740A drives, both latest releases and DVD-RAM enabled (LG-4167B).

- Features

- Precision Recording Technology : Just as the DVR-110D, the DVR-110 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-110 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.
- Multi-format compatibility : The DVR-110 supports all widely used media formats, including DVD-RAM media (both read and write functions supported).
- "Performance Adjusting Firmware" plays back Music and Video with up to 75% less audible noise - ideal for living room settings.
- Available in BEIGE, BLACK & SILVER, Beige (DVR-110) and Black (DVR-110BK) models only in Europe.

The DVR-110/110D's "Performance Adjusting Firmware" intelligently switches between "Quiet" and "Performance" modes, offering "quiet performance" for enjoying audio and video, yet offering "maximum performance" when conducting data transfers.

"Quiet Mode" (Low speed settings) for Audio CD playback, which switches to
"Performance Mode" (High speed settings) for Audio CD to HDD file transfers.

- Specifications

DVD DVD-R (Ver 2.0 for General disc only), DVD-R DL (Dual Layer, Ver 3.0), DVD-RW (Ver 1,0, 1.1 & 1.2), DVD+R (Ver 1.0, 1.1 & 1.2), +R DL (Double Layer Ver 1.0), +RW (Ver 1.1 & 1.2), +RW High Speed (Ver 1.0), DVD-RAM (Ver 2.0 & 2.1, non-cartridge version)
CD CD-R (Type 74, 650MB / Type 80, 700MB), CD-RW (including HS, US, US+)
Read Support
DVD DVD-ROM (Single and Dual Layer), DVD-RAM (Ver 2.0 & 2.1 non-cartridge version), DVD-R, DVD-R DL (Dual Layer), DVD-RW, +R, +R DL (Double Layer), +RW
CD CD-ROM(Mode 1), CD-ROM XA Mode 2 (form1, form 2), CD-Text, CD-DA, CD-Extra, Video CD, PhotoCD (Single & Multiple session), CD-Text, CD-R, CD-RW (including HS, US, US+)
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
DVD-RAM 5x, 3x, 2x
8cm DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW with Adapter 2x, 1x
CD-R 40x, 32x, 24x, 16x, 10x
CD-RW 32x, 24x, 20x, 16x, 10x, 4x
Read Speed
DVD-ROM (single) Max 16x CAV
DVD-ROM (dual) Max 12x CAV
DVD-Video (with CSS, Single / 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
Interface ATAPI (ATA-5, SFF-80980 Ver.5)
IDE Data Transfer Mode PIO Mode 4, Multi Word DMA Mode 2, Ultra DMA Mode 2, Ultra DMA Mode 4
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...".

The drive does not support Mount Rainier and it uses the well known RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. Below are the drive's main specs as given by DVDInfoPro, NeroInfoTool and VSO inspector:

- The Drive

The front of the drive is similar to the DVR-110D with different logos this time. The most visible difference is the MULTI recorder logo placed in the middle of the tray which indicates that the drive also supports DVD-RAM writing.

On the rear, there's nothing new and you can find the analogue audio output, 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 max results from the DVR-110 drive.

The label on the drive, top view.

- Inside view

If you take a look inside the DVR-110 drive, you'll find that it has the same parts/chipsets as the DVR-110D.

- Installation

The device was connected to our test PC and was identified as "PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-110" under WinXP. The drive came with the 1.22 firmware installed and since no further releases have been made, this was the one used for this review.

Now that we've covered the basics, let us move on to the test results and check the performance from this drive.

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