8. Final words
With the DH-401S, LiteON is aiming at those who would like a drive for BD movie playback, while also having a fast CD/DVD/BD media reader. Reading speeds are set high enough.
Another good feature of the drive is the SATA interface, which provides faster data transfer between the PC and the drive. Considering the high bitrate of BD movies, this is something that can turn out to be very useful .
However, as it is with all kinds of optical storage, the integrity of the read-out data plays a big role in the whole scene. A good reader is one that is fast and qualitative, meaning that it has good error correction mechanisms. Let's move on to the test summary to evaluate the overall performance of our drive.
CD/DVD/BD media reading was fast, justifying LiteON's official specs. DAE was also fast enough for your everyday needs.
The error correction mechanisms of the drive were mediocre. Reading of our artificially defective discs many times produced read errors. Furthermore, the drive was not able to read the ABEX TDV-541 dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc. This same fact applies on CD error correction, as the drive produced high levels of digital noise at the reading process of the ABEX audio CDs. The error correction process started too early while reading the disc (even when the defect was almost inexistent).This is not so good, as many other drives of the competition manage to successfully read and overcome many of the defects of these discs.
Exceptions to the drive's bad performance are the CD-Check test and the ABEX TDV-545 which were almost flawless performances compared to the competition.
Blu-ray reproduction was also flawless, for both single and dual layer BD movies. Seek times were also low and the movie refused to "freeze" no matter our attempts to push it to its limits by pressing the FF/RW buttons. Good job for the LiteOn drive.
To sum up, the DH-401S' performance was average. Very nice reading speed, but, on the contrary, mediocre error correction mechanisms. However, when you mix these up with its relatively low price, the drive becomes a good buy. It is the only BD player that can be bought for about $150, while maintaining a decent overall performance.