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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders 1-4x

Sunday, May 18, 2003
4x DVD+RW Roundup (Plextor PX-504A, Mitsumi DW-7801TE)

1. Introduction - Mitsumi DW-7801TE

4x DVD+R/RW Roundup - Page 1

- Introduction

With the CD recording era to be in its set, most of the manufacturers had to make their own decisions and follow the market demand. And the demand is the fast and reliable DVD recording.

The situation is not different here. Again the alternatives for chipset and optical pickup mechanisms are limited, at least for the beginning. Additionally, when it comes to choosing a single DVD format among the DVD plus R/RW and DVD dash R/RW and not a multi-format format set, the available solutions come solely from a limited sources. As a result, the first DVD+R/RW drives share the same mechanism and any slight variations in their performance should be expected only in specific firmware modifications.

Mitsumi demonstrated its first DVD+R/RW recorder at CeBIT 2003. According to the company, including the drive to the Mitsumi's booth was a last minute decision. The Mitsumi DW-7801 TE we have in our hands support 4x DVD+R writing and was manufactured in March 2003.

Plextor also demonstrated the new PX-504A in CeBIT. It offers the same specifications as the Mitsumi drive does, and the model we have in our labs was manufactured on February 2003.

- Mitsumi DW-7801TE DVD+R/RW recorder

The specifications of the Mitsumi DW-7801TE are illustrated in the following table. The information is official and come from the Mitsumi website:

Mitsumi DW-7801TE supports DVD+R and writing at 4x CLV. For the DVD+RW format, the supported writing speed is the 2.4x CLV. The maximum reading speed for DVD-ROM and DVD Video is 12x CAV for single layer and 7x CAV for dual layer discs.

As for the CD-R media, you can select among the 4x, 8x and 16x CLV writing speeds, and 4x, 8x and 10x CLV writing for CD-RW format. The CD-ROM/-R/-RW reading speed is 40x CAV.

The drive is equipped with a 2MB of buffer, and technology to protect the “buffer underrun errors” during the writing process.

The supported RPCII region control allows the user to change the region code 5 times.

The drive offers the following writing modes: TAO, packet writing, SAO, multisession and according to Nero InfoTool, DAO RAW 96. Of course, it supports DVD+R and DVD+RW for the DVD.

The supported disc formats are: 4.7GB DVD+R/RW, DVD-ROM (single layer/dual layer), DVD Video, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA Mode 2, Photo CD, CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD Video and CD-R/RW.

- The package

The retail package includes one 4.7GB 4x DVD+R disc for data/video by Ricoh, one 4.7GB 2.4x DVD+RW disc by Ricoh, a multilingual quick start manual and a manual and application software CD-ROM.

This includes the “WinDVD Creator Plus” software that offers increased recording and editing functionality for DVD+R/RW in a simple and easy to use layout.

“WinDVD™ 4” is also attached, allowing playback of all DVD and CD formats. The basic CD/DVD recording software is the “Nero Burning Rom v5” and InCD v3.5.19.2 for random access rewrite for CD/DVD .

In addition, the CD-ROM includes some arcade games for your spare time and MP3 JukeBox software, among with manuals for many Mitsumi products.

Last, in the retail package you can find the usual internal audio cable, an IDE cable and mounting screws.

On the disc loading tray you can see "DVD+RW" and the "HSRW" logos. The eject button is placed below the tray, on the right side of the front panel, as usual. The indication LED is active when a disc is loaded or the drive performs a read/write task. The drive has also a headphone plug and a volume control button, for audio CDs.

On the rear panel there are the usual connectors, such as the power input, the ATAPI interface, the device configuration jumper, and the analog audio output. Notice that the case was built to accept a ventilation fan but this is not included in the Mitsumi model.

After removing the screws on the bottom we can see the drive's internal design. You can easily recognize that the both mainboard and chips of the drive are manufactured by NEC.

Click to enlarge!

- Installation

Mitsumi was identified as "MITSUMI DW-7801TE" under WinXP. The drive was installed to the secondary IDE channel of our test PC as a "Master” and worked in Ultra DMA Mode 2 transfer mode. The model came with firmware version v1.01 installed, which was used for all the tests:

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