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

Thursday, January 05, 2006
LiteOn SHW-16H5S

1. Introduction

LiteOn is one of the largest manufacturer in the optical drives market, supplying many other well known manufacturers, such as Sony, with its products. This time round, LiteOn has sent us one of their latest products, the SHW-16H5S, a 16X DVD burner with LightScribe support. New with this burner is 8X DVD+R9 support.


- ATAPI/E-IDE Half-Height internal DVD+R / DVD+RW / DVD-R / DVD-RW / DVD+R9/ DVD-R9/ DVD-ROM / CD-R/ CD-RW / CD-ROM combination drive
- Support Double Layer DVD+/- R9 Recording Function
- SMART-BURN(*1) avoiding Buffer Under Run error, Automatically adjusting writing strategy &
running OPC to provide the best burning quality
- SMART-X(*2) function adjusts CD-DA / VCD / DVD data extraction to a fastest allowable speed
according to both data request rate from host and disk quality
- VAS(*3) system reduce vibration and noise during recording and reading
- Support Fixed Packet, Variable Packet, TAO, SAO, DAO, Raw Mode Burning & Over-Burn
- DVD read compliant: DVD single/dual layer (PTP/OTP), DVD-R(3.9GB/4.7GB), DVD-R multi-borders,
DVD+R, DVD+R multi-sessions, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW
- CD read compliant: CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, Photo-CD, Multi-session, Karaoke-CD,
Video-CD, CD-I FMV, CD Extra, CD Plus, CD-R, and CD-RW
- Support both 8cm and 12cm disc of CD and DVD family
- Conform to Orange Book: Part 2 CD-R Volume 1, Part 2 CD-R Volume 2 Multi Speed, Part 3 CD-RW
Volume 1 (1x, 2x, and 4x), Part 3 CD-RW Volume2: High Speed, Part 3 CD-RW Volume 3: Ultra Speed
- Supported transfer mode: PIO mode 4, DMA mode 2 and Ultra DMA mode 4
- Support Lightscribe direct disk labeling to Lightscribe media

*1 SMART-BURN : Smart Monitoring & Adapting Recording Technology for BURNing.
*2 SMART-X : Smart Monitoring & Adjusting Read-speed Technology for eXtraction.
*3 VAS : Vibration Absorber System


DVD Write DVD+R 16X(21600KB/sec) maximum by CAV
DVD-R 16X(21600KB/sec) maximum by CAV
DVD+R9 8X(10800KB/sec) maximum by Zone CLV
DVD-R9 4X(5400KB/sec) maximum by CLV
ReWrite DVD+RW 8X(10800KB/sec) by CLV
DVD-RW 6X(8100KB/sec) by CLV
Read 16X(21600KB/sec) maximum by CAV
Access time 160ms
CD Write CD-R 48X(7200KB/sec) maximum by CAV
ReWrite CD-RW 24X(3600KB/sec) maximum by Z-CLV in UltraSpeed disc
Read 48X(7200KB/sec) maximum by CAV
Access time 160ms
Lightscribe labeling CDR Media 1.6X
DVD+R Media 1.6X
Buffer Size 2MB(MAX)
PC Required Pentium 4 1.3GHz or higher CPU and 128MB or higher RAM are required HDD must have access time < 20 ms; with a minimum of 650MB free space 9GB free space for creating a DVD image file (9GB for double layer; 5GB for single layer)
Compatibility Microsoft Windows XP/2000 SP4
MTBF(Life) 70000 POH
S/N Ration >75dB
Dimension 145(W) x 41.3(H) x 170(D) mm
Weight <0.9 Kg
Environment Operating: 5°C to 50°C; Relative Humidity: 15% to 80%
Non-Operating: -40°C to 65°C; Relative Humidity: 15% to 95%

Below are the main specs for the drive, as provided by NeroInfoTool and DVDInfoPro:

- Nero InfoTool

- DVD InfoPro

The RPC II region control is used, allowing the user to change the drive's region no more than five times. This is however something that can easily be changed with the use of some simple utilities. More about this in the following pages.

Retail Package

We received the retail package of the LITE-ON DVDRW SHW-16H5S. The very good and complete package includes the drive, a quick installation guide, a CD with software applications ( DVD Authoring, writing & editing software, DVD playback software, Backup software, Lightscribe labeling software, user's manual), an audio cable, 4 mounting screws, a LightScribe CD disc and a second bezel coloured black.

- Front panel view

- Rear panel view

On the rear panel you will find the digital and analogue audio outputs (SPDIF), the IDE master/slave/cs selector pins, the IDE connector and the power input.

We don't recommend removing the drive's cover, since this will void the manufacturer's warrantee. Instead, you can take a look inside the drive with the pictures below. Click on the image below for a larger and more detailed photo.

The drive uses the MT1888LE chipset from Mediatek, known for its LightScribe feature, and also found in many other of the latest burners.

- Installation

The drive came with firmware release LS0R which happened to be the latest at the time of this review, so no flashing was needed. It was identified as the "LITE-ON DVDRW SHW-16H5S" under WinXP. Below is a screenshot from Nero Burning Rom's specs for the drive.

Throughout this review and for the sake of comparison, we will be posting the test results for the LiteOn SHW-16H5S along with the results of two other drives, the HP840b and the BenQ DW1625, all LightScribe enabled drives.

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