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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders 8x

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Sony DRU-530A

1. Retail Package - Installation

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 1

About a month ago, Sony released onto the market it's very promising dual DVD recorder, the DRU-530A. After a lot of waiting (due to some problems in the post), our Sony drive finally arrived thanks to the official European distributor. Eagerly, like mad scientists, we set forth, putting the unit through its paces in our labs, and what follows is our appraisal of a drive from which we expect a lot.

The recorder is capable burning at speeds of 8x for DVD+R media, 4x for DVD+RW, 4x for DVD-R and 2x for DVD-RW. The maximum allowed recording speeds for CD media are 40x for CD-R and 24x for CD-RW.

Features

The DRU-530A recorder uses the Power-Burn feature to prevent buffer under-run errors. This feature includes Sanyo's well known Burn-Proof technology. Bellow are presented the specifications for the drive, as they have been declared by the manufacturer:

Specifications

The drive has a 2MB buffer memory store and supports RAW DAO 96 writing (CD). However the Sony drive does not support Mount Rainier, nor does it read or write DVD-RAM media.

The drive uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 4 times. For our tests, we set the region code to 2 (Europe).

- The drive

The european retail package includes one DVD-ROM, containing all the appropriate software for using the drive. Included is the Record Now CD/DVD burning software from Sonic, DLA for packet writing and MyDVD, also from Sonic, for editing/authoring. Finally, there's Power DVD 5 for DVD playback, and Musicmatch.

The warranty, a quick start guide, an IDE/ATAPI cable, sound card to recorder connection cable and mounting screws complete the retail package contents.

The drive's front panel is colored off-white with a transparent perspex cover on the tray door. On the tray door there are the DVD-R/RW logo on the left, the Compact Disc ReWritable logo in the center with the SONY brandname logo directly above, and at right the DVD ReWritable logo. Below and at right, is the eject button, while a little to its left is the activity/power led and emergency eject hole. The activity led turns orange during playback and blinking orange while burning.

On the rear panel there are the analogue and digital audio outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input.

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. Click on the photo for an enlarged view.

The drive is designed around the same chipset as that used by the Optorite DD0401, manufactured by Optorite. In addition, the mainboard looks exactly the same.

- Installation

The SONY DRU-530A was connected to our test PC and was identified as "DVD RW DRU-530A" under WinXP. All tests were done with firmware revision v1.0c. By the time this review goes to air, Sony Japan will have released the new firmware (v1.0d), which is supposed to improve the writing performance of the drive.

The following pages include the test results for the Sony DRU-530A drive in comparison with two other dual DVD burners, the Optorite DD0401 (an interesting comparison here since both drives use the same chipset) and the LiteOn LDW-811S.




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