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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders Double Layer

Thursday, May 06, 2004
BenQ DW830A DL recorder

2. Drive features

BenQ DW830A DL Recorder - page 2

- Drive Features

The obvious feature of the BenQ DW830A is the support of Double Layer recording at 2.4X recording speed. Double Layer recording offers a storage capacity of up to 8.5GB and as BenQ says " can record up to 16 hours of VHS quality video, or 4 hours of DVD quality video on a single disc, while retaining disc compatibility with DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives..". Interesting claim here, we will investigate it later.

BenQ has included several technologies that improves writing quality, already found at previous BenQ DW8xxA series:

  • Write Right Technologies

The following text is from BenQ's presentation "...Unlike other drives which preset the writing power before the actual writing of data, the WOPC II (Walking Optimal Power Control) algorithm evaluates the writing quality constantly and adjusts the writing power accordingly in order to ensure the best possible writing quality over the entire disc. The BLER OPC (Block Error Rate Optimal Power Control) further enhances the writing quality near the end of the disc, where the risk of warping is higher.."

The specific technology is very important for the integrity of the recorded data.

(picture: courtesy of BenQ)

Optimal reading and writing quality is obtained when the angle between the disc and the laser beam is 90 degrees. However, if a disc is warped, the laser beam may no longer be correctly positioned. BenQ?s Tilt Control repositions the OPU (Optical Pickup Unit) to maintain the 90-degree angle between the disc and the laser beam in order to ensure the best writing quality.

(picture: courtesy of BenQ)

With the unique Sliding Cone Mechanism, the disc position on the turntable is improved considerably. This greatly helps to reduce data access time and also to deliver superior reading and writing quality.

(picture: courtesy of BenQ)

Lastly, the dark-colored CD tray efficiently minimizes jitters, and enhances readability and burning quality, again according to BenQ.

- Drive Specifications

The DW830A specifications are more or less the same with the other DW8xxA series. The big difference compared with DW800A is the reduced buffer (2 instead of 8MB) since BenQ claims that 2MB buffer are enough for DVD writing. Of course, the less buffer the lowest the price:)

Through a firmware upgrade available in Q3, 2004, the DW830 will be able to additionally support DVD-R/-RW recording. The drive is expected to be released end of May 2004.

Performance [DVD]
Data Transfer Rate /DL write: 26.59 Mbit/sec (2.4X)
Data Transfer Rate /write: 88.64 Mbit/sec (8X)
Data Transfer Rate /rewrite: 44.32 Mbit/sec (4X)
Data Transfer Rate /read: 132.96 Mbit/sec (12X, Max.)
Access time: 150 ms
Data Transfer Rate /write: 3600 KByte/sec (24X)
Data Transfer Rate /rewrite: 1500 KByte/sec (10X)
Data Transfer Rate /read: 6000 KByte/sec (40X, Max.)
Access time: 120 ms
Interface E-IDE/ATAPI
Supported IDE mode PIO mode 0/1/2/3/4
DMA mode 0/1/2
UDMA mode 0/1/2
Buffer Size 2 Mbytes
Writing Mode

DVD Data and Video
Track-at-Once, Disc-at-Once, Multi-session, Packet Writing (fixed & variable packet), CD Digital Audio, Direct-Over-Write on CD-RW, Simulation write

Disc Size

[DVD] 120 mm disc
[CD] 80 and 120 mm discs

Disc Formats [DVD]
DVD+R DL 8.5GB, DVD Video, DVD-5, DVD-9, DVD-10, DVD-18, DVD+RW 4.7GB, DVD+R 4.7GB, DVD-RW 4.7GB (closed session), DVD-R 4.7GB
CD-DA, CD-ROM XA (m1, m2f1/m2f2), CD-R, CD-RW, Bootable CD, Photo CD (single & multi-session), Video CD, Super Video CD, CD-Extra, Mixed-mode CD, CD-Text, CD-Graphics
Audio Performance Signal-to-Noise ratio: 75 dB min.
Number of stereo channels: 2
Analog audio line output: 0.75 VRMS at 470 Ohm
Analog headphone output: 0.6 VRMS at 34 Ohm
CD sampling frequency: 44.1 KHz
Power Requirement DC 5 Vą5%, 0.9 A
DC 12 Vą10%, 1.8 A
Environment Conditions Operating temperature: 0 0C~50 0C (320F~1220F) at humidity of 50% RH
Non-operating temperature: -40 0C~60 0C (-40 0F~140 0F)
Non-operating humidity: 5%~95% RH
Reliability Characteristics MTBF: 50,000 POH
Non-recoverable read error < 1 block in 1012 bits (CD and DVD)
Physical Characteristics Dimension: 146 X 42 X 198 mm (W x H x D)
Weight: 1.0 Kg
Firmware Update Flash memory upgradable
Panel Design Front side: open/close button, audio play/skip button, volume control wheel,
read/write status indicator LED and 3.5 mm headphone jack
Rear side: 40-pin ATA-2 dual row flat-cable connector, 4-pin DC power connector, 3-
position master/slave jumpers, digital audio output connector and analog audio
output connector
OS Compatibility Windows 98/ME/2000/XP

- Software Utilities

For performing our tests we used:

  • CopyToDVD v3.09
  • Nero CD-DVD Speed v2.94beta
  • Nero Info Tool v2.21
  • DVDInfoPro v2.47
  • KProbe v2.01
  • PowerDVD v5.0

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