DRU-700A Dual DVD±RW Recorder -
announced at the end of April a
new 8X DUAL burner, the "DRU-700A". The main difference
with the presently available series was the adoption
of Double Layer (DVD+R DL)
Our main interest is to see how the new Sony drive compared with the previous
series and most importantly, if and how DL writing works. Another important
issue would be writing quality and the various subtests. So, let's get cracking!
- New Features
The most important new feature of the DRU-700A is the ability to read/write
Double Layer DVD+R media.
Double Layer DVD+R system uses two thin embedded organic dye films for data
storage separated by a spacer layer. Heating with a focused
laser beam irreversibly modifies the physical and chemical structure of each
layer such that the modified areas have different optical properties to those
of their unmodified surroundings. This causes a variation in reflectivity as
the disc rotates to provide a read-out signal as with commercially pressed read-only
discs. Below is a picture showing the structure of a DVD+R DL media.
For more information about DVD+R DL technology, you can visit the DVD+RW
Alliance website or
Philips Research website.
The SONY DRU-700A also supports:
- Power Burn - the technology designed to prevent errors
in writing data by automatically setting up the optimum recording conditions
for the media, while automatically adjusting to the delay in data transmission
from a host PC. Even if data writing is interrupted due to delays in data
transmission from the host PC (buffer under-run), Power-Burn technology instantly
controls and accurately connects the interruption and resumption points of
the data recording to give continuous writing indispensable playback compatibility.
Power-Burn automatically optimizes recording conditions for the drive such
as the writing
speed and the strength of recording laser light, analyzing the disk quality
by reading pre-recorded.
terms of writing/reading speeds, the drive supports 8X
writing for both DVD±R and 4X
(CLV) writing for DVD±RW
formats, while it can read DVD-ROM (pressed) up to 12X (CAV). The drive offers
40X (P-CAV) / 24X (Z-CLV) / 40X (CAV) specs for the CD formats.
E-IDE/ATAPI (Ultra DMA Mode
DVD+R DL: 2.4X DVD+R: 8X /
-R: 8X, DVD+RW:4X,
CD-R: 40X, CD-RW: 24X
DVD-ROM: 12X, CD-R/RW: 40X
DVD: 130msec, CD: 135msec
Supported Disc Formats:
DVD: DVD single / dual layer ( PTP / OTP ), DVD-R ( 3.9 GB / 4.7 GB ), DVD-R multi-borders, DVD+R, DVD+R multi-sessions, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW
CD-R/RW: 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
Supported Writing Types:
Incremental recording, Multi-border recording, Restricted overwriting
||CD-R/RW: Variable Packet, TAO, SAO, DAO, Raw Mode Burning & Over-Burn
The specs don't indicate whether the drive supports Mount
Rainier for either of CD or DVD formats, but we will check this later. The
drive also uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's
at most 5 times, which however can easily be bypassed with various utilities.
Below are the drive's main specs as given by NeroInfoTool and DVDInfoPro:
Lastly, let's see what additional information KProbe software returns:
- European Retail package
European retail package includes the Sony DRU-700A, a quick install guide,
an IDE cable and mounting screws. Also included is an extra front
panel bezel, black color, which you can swap with the white bezel that comes
standard. Included software is Nero v6 OEM version. The device is
covered by a two year warranty. The total cost is expected to be around €165.00.
The retail package did not contain any media of CD/DVD format and unfortunately
no DVD+R DL.
Now let's take a look at the drive itself.
The Sony DRU-700A looks more or less the same as the previous 540A series
and it has all the appropriate logos indicating the supported formats. In
the front, the user will distinguish the DVD+R DL logo! SONY gives an additional
black bezel that can easily be mounted, making for a better match with
On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the
and the power input. Our drive was manufactured during May 2004 in Japan.
Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty.
For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. You can click on the mainboard
picture for a higher resolution image:
The SONY DRU-700A further incorporates (located on the underside of the controller circuit board), a high-speed DVD dual Optical Disk Controller chipset from MediaTek Inc. consisting of two CMOS ultra-scale integrated circuits, the MT1816E and MT1818E. The MT1816E is the front-end analog signal processor and the MT1818E is the servo control and Endec IC. The pickup system is the Sanyo SF-DB 10SA.
The drive was installed as secondary master and under WindowsXP recognized
as a "SONY DVD RW DRU-700A". The drive arrived
with firmware VY02.
Below is a picture from Nero Burning Rom, showing the drive's specs.
For most recording tests, we used a newer unofficial firmware revision (VYC1)
and after all tests finished SONY released officially a newer (VY05) firmware. Be
aware however, that VY05 removes the option to set BookType Bitsetting, so
keep that in mind before upgrading!
In our tests, we will compare the drive with the Liteon SOHW-832S, and the
- Testing software
In order to perform our tests we used:
- Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.00
- CDVD Benchmark v1.21
- ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
- Nero Info Tool v2.21
- KProbe v2.1.0 (Reader: LiteOn LDW-811S firmware vHS0Q, Reading speed 8X CAV)
- PlexTools v2.14 (Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.02, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
- DVDInfoPro v2.54
- LiteOn Booktype Utility v1.0.6
- Nero Burning Rom v220.127.116.11
- Omnipatcher for LiteON drives v1.1.2