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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage

Friday, March 04, 2011
Pioneer BDR-206MBK BDXL Burner review

2. CD, DVD and BD reading tests

For our CD/DVD/BD and Blu-ray transfer rate tests we used the OptiDrive Control v1.51 utility and a set of data and audio CD-R/RW/ROM, DVD-R/+R/-RW+RW/ROM as well as BD-R and BD-RE media. Here we test the maximum reading speed of the Pioneer drive for each type of disc.

We remind you that the Pioneer BDR-216 MBK drive supports the following maximum reading speeds: 24x for CDs, 8x for DVD and 6x for Blu-ray.

CD reading



- AudioCD

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 Pioneer BDR-206MBK drive supports "caching ", "Accurate stream" and does not report "C2 error pointer information.

Accurate stream and C2 error reporting is always welcome and contribute to reliable and fast audio extraction. Generally, if you select a drive for extraction better have a look that the drive does not cache audio data.

With these settings applied to EAC software, we perform a DAE of an audio CD to our HDD. Notice that the specific test will result in a slower DAE speed than what you would get if you simply select to rip the contents of the disc with another application. That's because EAC used its "Secure" ripping mode after we applied the drive's features (Caching, accurate stream , c2 error info) to the software, in order to have a reliable ripping with the specific drive. Since caching need to be defeated, the secure mode will be slow. When no read errors occur, it will usually something around a third to a fourth of the drive's maximum ripping speed(in case we had selected the default burst mode). The Pioneer drive ripped the audio tracks of the disc at an average ripping speed of 4.2x:

The advanced DAE test found in Nero Disc Speed utility is illustrated below. The drive finished the test at an average speed of 16.80x. No data or sync errors occurred:

Here is a transfer rate test with an Audio CD. The disc was read at 17.56x:


- 90/99 mins Audio disc

90min disc

The drive tried to read the specific disc using at 24x CAV, as it does with 700MB CD-Rs. However, soon it found it difficult to read the data of the 90min disc and slowed down to 4x, without however avoiding the read errors. The reading task finished at 4x CLV and the Opti Drive Control software returned an error during the "full stroke" access time test.

99min disc

The drive managed to read a 99 min data disc but still the Opti Drive Control software returned errors during the access time tests.

DVD reading

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 8x maximum speed for DVD ROM SL and DL.




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.



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.

















DVD Ripping speed

Ripping of a single layer DVD movie:

- Blu-ray reading

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










8cm BD-R SL (7.5GB)

8cm BD-RE SL (7.5GB)


Reading of almost all the discs was completed without read errors. The Pioneer is not the fastest reader around but it will read your discs at speeds matching its specifications.

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