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

Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Optorite DD0203 DVD±RW

1. Introduction

Optorite DD0203 dual DVD±RW recorder - Page 1


Optorite is an upcoming and very promising Taiwanese manufacturer of optical storage products. Dedicated to manufacturing and developing of fast CD/DVD recorders, the company's product line includes 52X CD-RW, CD/DVD combo drives and lately the new Optorite DD0203 dual DVD±RW writer.

Optorite DD0203 is probably among the interesting dual DVD recorders for a simple reason: It reveals the Sanyo's proposal in the 4X DVD±R writing speed market.

- Features

Optorite DD0203 supports the "HD-BURN" feature, developed and patented by SANYO Electric. The HD-BURN is a high-density writing technology, allowing writing of up to 1.4GB on conventional CD-R media (700MB).

The general ways to fit more data on normal CD-R are either to shorten the length the minimum pit, reduce the track pitch or even possibly to expand the writing area of the disc. In addition, making the modulation and error correction methods more efficient could lead to higher disc capacities.

The HD-BURN technology has adopted some of the methods mentioned above. It reduced the minimum pit length to 0.62µm over the 0.83µm of CD, improved the data modulation method and changed the error correction from the common CIRC used for CD to another based on the Reed Solomon algorithm and used for the DVD format. Below you can see a schematic presentation of what we have just mentioned:

Improvement Ratio
Minimum Pit Length
Track area
Record area
Error correction
RS-Product Code

The HD-BURN writing can be considered as an intermediate solution between normal CD-R and DVD writing, when it comes to writing of large data volumes or video files. Also note that HD-BURN writing is more affordable than writing on DVD recordable media.

The HD-BURN discs are currently compatible only to HD-BURN compliant readers and stand alone DVD players. Although most of the drives of the market do not support it, a firmware upgrade will make reading of such discs possible. As in the case of the Burn Proof, Sanyo offers a certification program for the HD-BURN, available to all manufacturers in order to get HD-BURN certification logo.

By the time we write these lines, the HD-BURN is supported by Nero Burning Rom by Ahead, B's Recorder Gold by BHA and the latest version of CopyToDVD by VSO-Software. Under the HD-BURN mode, user can either record data or choose DVD Video and Video CD creation, all fit in a single CD-R disc. Writing on CD-RW media or audio under the HD-BURN is not supported yet.

The supported writing speeds reach the 24x while reading of the HD-BURN disc corresponds to approximately 80X CAV (X=150KB/sec, CD-ROM). In addition, the Burn Proof protection is applied when writing under HD-BURN to protect from buffer underuns.

- Specifications
E-IDE/ATAPI (Ultra DMA Mode 2
Writing Speed:

DVD+R/ -R: 4X, DVD+RW: 2.4X, DVD-RW: 2X

CD-R: 24X, CD-RW: 10X
Read Speed:

DVD+R/-R/+RW/-RW: 4X

DVD-ROM: 12X, CD-R/RW: 40X
Random Seek:
DVD: 130msec, CD: 100msec
Buffer Size:
Supported Disc Formats:
CD-R/RW: CD-DA, CD+, CD-ROM/XA, Mixed Mode CD, CD-I, Video-CD, Photo CD, CD Extra, CD-Text
Supported Writing Types:

DVD+R: Incremental Write (Multi Session Support)

DVD-R: Disc at Once, Incremental Recording (Multi-Border Support)
CD-R/RW: Disc at Once, Session at Once, Track at Once, Packet Writing (Multi Session Support)
DVD+RW: Random Write
DVD-RW: Rigid Restricted Overwriting, Incremental Write

As you can see from the specifications of the drive, Optorite DD0203 supports writing of all DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW and CD-R/RW media. DVD-R and DVD+R writing can be achieved at 4X CAV. Rewriting is allowed at 2.4X for DVD+RW and 2X for DVD-RW. The maximum reading speed for DVD-ROM is 12X CAV.

As for the CD-R media Optorite supports 4X, 8X,16X, 20X, 24X and 10X max. writing for the CD-RW. The CD-R/RW reading speed is 40X CAV. The drive uses the BURN-Proof buffer underun protection protection, EXACT-Rec to ensure quality recording and uses a utilizes an 8MB internal buffer, although Nero Info Tool reports a 4MB buffer:

Optorite DD0203 uses the RPC II region control, allowing user to change the drive's region 5 times in total. For our tests, we set the region code to 2 (Europe).

The drive supports reading of all the DVD recordable/rewritable discs except DVD-RAM. Video CD, CD+G and CD Text are also supported.

RAW DAO 96 writing mode is included in the drive's capabilities. In addition, packet writing, SAO, TAO and RAW SAO 96 are supported.

- The package

The retail package includes the Optorite DD0203 IDE drive, one 4x DVD+R for data by Taiyo Yuden (DVD+R47TY), an audio cable and mounting screws.

The bundled software comes from BHA, and includes the B's Recorder GOLD5 CD/DVD burning/authoring software, which supports the HD-BURN feature, and the B's CLiP for packet writing.

In the retail package you will also find Intervideo WinDVD playback software.

Optorite DD0203 is available in both white and black versions. Although both black and white front panels are not included in the retail package, user is free to choose the color of his drive; by the time he buys it.

On the disc loading tray you can see both DVD-R/RW and DVD+Rewritable logos, revealing the dual DVD support of the drive. Two operation LED are placed on the front panel. The Busy LED lights when the drive is accessing/reading a disc while the Write LED is active while recording.

On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs, the IDE connector and the dc input.

On the left side of the rear panel there are some extra pins (factory reserved) and another jumper, allowing user to set the drive to Mutliword DMA. The UDMA Mode 2 is enabled by default.

The internal of the drive reveals its real manufacturer. The Optorite DD0203 is manufactured by Sanyo.

Click for high resolution!

- Installation

The Optorite DD0203 drive was connected to our test PC and was identified as "GENERIC CRD-BPDV2" under WinXP. All tests were done with firmware revision v2.07. By the time the tests were done, Optorite released a new firmware v2.09. According to the company, the newer version solves the faulty buffer indication of the buffer size through Nero (4MB), when there is actually 8MB on the drive.

In the test graphs, we compare the new drive with two already tested drives, the Pioneer DVR-A05 and Sony DRX-500UL.

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