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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD External

Monday, April 10, 2006
LG GSA-5169D

4. DVD Error Correction

In the following tests, we examine the DVD reading capabilities of the LG GSA-5169D drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media comes from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media
ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4 to 3.0 mm. The following transfer rate picture comes from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

Reaching a max speed of just under 9X, the drive managed to read this test media without any trouble.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with the difference that there are no scratches on it but instead, defective areas of dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 mm. There are also fingerprints sized between 65 and 75 micrometers.

Once more, the max reading speed while reading this defective media was a little under 9X. The drives starts off at a fairly high reading speed and reaches max very early on. There is quite a lot of deviation in speed (scattered yellow dots) but these are not the result of the defect areas. In any case, the reading process completed without any errors being reported.

- Dual Layer media
ABEX TDR-841

This is an 8.5GB dual layer, single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 3.0mm, on both layers.

In this case, we were surprised to see that the 5169D did not manage to read this media, reporting numerous read errors. This performance was not expected and we haven't encountered a drive, incapable of reading this test media, even at low speeds. This is an issue that should be looked into by LG. Note here, that we double and triple checked the reading, to verify that it was the drive's error correction mechanism that failed and not the media itself.

ABEX TDR-845

This test disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 discs is that the first includes defective areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defective areas ranges from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 65 to 75 micrometers.

The drive managed to successfully read past the artificially defective areas on this dual layer test disc. Max reading speed was 8X for both layers. No errors or drops of speed were reported.

ABEX TDV-541

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB. The disc is based on the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files. The current TDV-541 also checks the error correcting capabilities of the drive and includes scratches from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

click to enlarge!

Good performance with the 541 test media. Max reading speed was 8X and apart from the glitch after the start of the second layer, all reading progressed smoothly.

ABEX TDV-545

The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the data surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It also has 65 - 75 micrometer fingerprints.

click to enlarge!

Smooth reading all the way to the end.

- Conclusion

Somewhat slow, but does the job. The GSA-5169D could have been a good DVD reader (DVD-Error Correction mechanism) but this is not the case, since it failed to successfully read the 841 test media. As already stated, we have not encountered such a poor performance with the specific test media. This is an issue that should be looked into by LG and we hope for a fix soon.




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