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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage

Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Professional Vs non-Professional DVD Writing Quality Tests

1. Introduction

On request from our online site visitors, we have written a brief article that puts side-by side the writing quality measurements produced by Professional DVD Analysers and those from software and commercial readers. Although there are not many similarities between the two approaches when measuring the quality of a DVD recording, this article does attempt to fulfil the high interest of DVD recording enthusiasts who are seeking for an answer as to how, if at all, the two approaches correlate.

In this article, we are going to compare the results of quality measurements from our DaTARIUS Analyzer, and KProbe software with the LiteOn LH-20A1P drive as a reader. The discs that we will use in the test, were burned with two different drives, the Pioneer DVR-112D and the LiteOn LH-20A1P. The writing speeds that we used range from 8x up to 20X. Note here, that there are many drives capable of reporting the information needed to support a DVD measurement using Kprobe or Nero's CDSpeed software. However, we chose Liteon's latest drive as the reader and Kprobe software for this test, for sake of simplicity.

Since KProbe only has the capability to measure the PI and PIF error rates, we will focus only on these values. The quality measurements from KProbe were performed at 4X reading speed since this is a commonly used speed, and those from the DaTARIUS Analyzer at 2X. In addition, we have excluded the numerous other measurements provided by the DaTARIUS system, and provide only the PISum8 and PIF signals. Kprobe settings were set to PI error reporting on every 8 ECC blocks (PISum8).

The media we used is listed in the following table:

CMC MAG E01 000
YUDEN000 T03
MCC 03RG20
TTH 02

Before we proceed, we remind you the definitions of the signals we measure in this test, PiSum8 and PIF.


The Parity inner code error is a continuously measured value, reported for every megabyte. This is the number of Parity Rows, summed over 8 consecutive ECC Blocks, containing bad bytes. Measurements are performed over 8ECC blocks. (256 kilobyte). The specifications indicate that PiSum8 should not exceed 280.


The Parity Inner code first level Fail is a continuously measured value, reported for every megabyte. PIF is the number of Rows within an ECC Block with too many bad bytes to allow error correction. All bytes in the row are marked bad. The signal is not specified in the DVD Book.


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