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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage

Friday, April 03, 2009
Sony BWU-300S 8x Blu-ray burner

2. CD, DVD and Blu-ray disc reading tests

For our CD/DVD and Blu-ray transfer rate tests we used the Nero Disc Speed utility and a set of data and audio CD-R/RW/ROM as well as BD-R and BD-RE media.



Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 36.36x 31.47x


The following CD Speed graph shows the reading performance with US-RW media.


Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 25.21x 18.87x

- AudioCD

In the CD Speed Advanced DAE quality test, the drive's average speed was 17.56X with a quality score of 100.

Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 17.56x 22.24x


Digital Audio Extraction or DAE is important when we try to read the files stored on an audio CD and store them in our hard disk drive. The procedure is not always that simple and the fidelity of the extracted data depend on the way each drive handles these data.

The majority of the software that support this procedure, commonly known as "ripping", will just read the audio files and store them on your hard disk. However, this approach is not recommended for all drives, since it may result to read or sync errors if your drive does not support report of C2 error pointer information and also what the author of the EAC (Exact Audio Copy) software describes as "accurate stream" and " non-caching."

According to EAC, the Sony BWU-300S drive supports all of the "caching ", "Accurate stream" and "C2 error info" parameters. Accurate stream and C2 error reporting is always welcome and contribute to reliable and fast audio extraction. However, the "caching" feature makes audio extraction more complicated.

If you are sure about the physical condition of your audio CD and you need faster extractions, you may chose other utilities such as the CD DAE software. A typical ripping task finished at an average reading speed of 8.9X, using CD DAE:

- 90/99 mins Audio disc

90min Audio disc

Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 35.93x 25.20x

- DVD Format

Now let's take a look at how the drive performs with DVD media. This time, a set of SL and DL DVD media was used. The drive is capable of reading at 16X maximum speed for single layer DVD ROM and at 12X for dual layer DVD ROM media.

DVD-ROM SL media -


Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 12.26x 11.75x


The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting reading from the inner part of the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, progressing towards its outer range.


Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 9.20x 9.35x


The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the first layer of the PTP disc we tested previously. The difference here is the reading strategy of the second layer of the disc. The beginning of the second layer is located in the outer part of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks and progresses towards the inner part of the disc.


Sony BWU-300S Pioneer BDR-203
Average Speed 9.20x 9.34x












DVD Ripping speed -

Ripping of a single layer DVD movie:

Average 6122KB/s (4.4x)
Maximum 8497KB/s (6,1x)

- Blu-ray format

Continuing, let's see how the drive reads the various Blu-ray recordable and ROM discs.





Sony BWU-300S uses different reading modes for the various Blu-ray recordable discs (BD-R). For example, the maximum reading speed for a 4x BD-R disc - the "VERBATIMc" in our case - is 4x and the drive uses the CLV mode:

On the other hand, a 6x BD-R SL disc such as the brand new "VERBATIMe" was read at 6x Z-CLV. Notice that the specific disc was recorded at 6x, as you will see in the following pages:

The TDK BD-R SL 6x (TDKBLDRBD) was read st 8x PCAV. The 6x BD-R SL discs burned at 8x such as the Panasonic "MEI" is also read in a similar manner.


The same behavior was reported with the various BD-R DL (50GB) discs. Below you can see a reading test with a Verbatim 2x BD-R DL (VERBATIMb):

The TDK BD-R DL 6x (TDKBLDRFD) disc was read at 6x ZCLV:

Finally, the Panasonic BD-R DL 6x (MEI RB1) was read faster, at 8x PCAV:



Sony BWU-300S is also capable of reading/writing from/on the new BD-R Low-To-High (LTH) discs. The discs are not compatible with 1st generation BD drives unless their firmware allows it. Currently, the availability of such media is limited, with only Verbatim and Taiyo Yuden to offer them in Japan. Below you can see a reading test with a Verbatim SL BD-R LTH disc (VERBATIMw):



8cm BD-R SL

8cm BD-RE SL


The reading process of almost all media was completed without read errors and at speeds that match the drive's specifications. The drive could be faster in the CDDAE test and in the Blu-ray tests, it showed an unexpected behavior with the various BD-R discs. The maximum reading speed was not the same with all the different BD-Rs we tested. It seems that the BD-Rs that allowed for faster burning were also read faster. Hopefully all the Blu-ray discs were readable.

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