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

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Sony DRU-530A

4. DVD Reading Tests

SONY DRU-530A DVD±RW recorder - Page 4

DVD reading tests

- Single Layer DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

In the DVD single layer read test, Sony and Optorite performed identically, although not quite reaching 12x, while LiteOn was the fastest.

There's not a lot of difference in the seek times, but again the LiteOn drive had the better seek times. Despite this however, the times for both the Sony and Optorite drives are quite acceptable.

- Dual Layer PTP DVD-ROM (Click for CDSpeed results)

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting the read process from the inner tracks on the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, and progressing outwards towards the outer tracks for each layer.

The pattern continues. Not a lot of difference amongst the drives. So far, quite good times from all three drives.

Once more, the LiteOn drive was the fastest in the seek times, and appears to be slightly faster as a DVD reader.

- Dual Layer OTP DVD-ROM

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 on 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 inwards towards the inner tracks of the disc.


Sony's reading of the contents of this test disc is a little peculiar. Reading starts at 3.48x and begins increasing in speed, but not for long before a sudden drop to just over 2x. And as suddenly as it dropped, it accelerates up to 4.22x which is maintained up to near the end of reading. At the end, there is again a sudden drop in speed.

This is not how a drive should perform with P-CAV. It should begin at a low speed and steadily increase reaching the top speed which it then maintains up to the end of the first layer (i.e. outer tracks). In the case of the dual layer disc used here, this is then mirrored as the drive reads back towards the inner tracks.

We have noticed this strange behavior previously, again with a SONY drive, the Sony DRU-500A. Despite this, the test finished without reporting any errors.

- DVD Ripping Tests

We measured the DVD-Video ripping speed of the SONY DRU-530A using the latest version of DVD Decrypter. The DVD Video title is the "Matrix" pressed DVD-Video.

Sony proved very fast ripping the DVD title. Looking at the graph above, the speed of 9373kb/s attained is a very high transfer rate. The LiteOn drive is close behind, while the Optorite drive is a good deal slower.

- DVD Recordable / Rewritable reading Tests

The chart below shows the Nero CDSpeed average reading speed results with DVD recordable and rewritable media.

It should be added that when we originally tested the drive, with 4x DVD+RW and 2x DVD-RW media, the resultant graphs showed a large drop in speed towards the end of reading. We upgraded the firmware, where this anomaly is remedied by changing from 8x CAV to 4x CLV for DVD+RW (4x), while for DVD-RW, the 8x CAV reading was fixed. In case of 2.4x DVD+RW, the drive read it at 8x CAV, with some reading problems in the outer areas of the disc, however. Both sets of test graphs are given in each case below.

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