2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests
3. CD Error Correction Tests
4. DVD Error Correction Tests
5. Protected Disc Tests
6. DAE Tests
7. Protected AudioCDs
8. CD Recording Tests
9. Writing Quality Tests - Clover System Tests
10. DVD Recording Tests
11. Official supported Media List v1.17
12. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 1
13. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 2
14. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 3
15. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 4
16. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 5
17. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 6
18. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 7
19. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 8
20. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 9
21. Writing Quality Tests - Almedio AEC-1000
22. DVD+R DL - Page 1
23. DVD+R DL - Page 2
24. 109 vs SA300
Pioneer DVR-109 Burner - Page 26
The Pioneer DVR-109 is the first 16X ±R burner to support the 6X speed for both DVD-R DL and DVD+R DL media. The writing time to burn a DVD+R DL disc at 6X is 16:29min, while the writing quality is very good and the DVD-ROM booktype promises maximum compatibility with DVD players.
The DVR-109 isn't the fastest CD reader you can buy and its CD error correction could be better. On the other hand, its DVD reading abilities are much better, mostly with pressed media. The NEC ND-3520A supports 16X reading with stock firmware for DVD±R media where the Pioneer drive's max is 12X. DVD error correction was very good, without any major problems, while the CSS DVD-Video ripping speed is slow, due to the riplock feature. Don't forget that the DVR-109 can read DVD-RAM media too, albeit at a slow 2X CLV...
When reading protected discs, the DVR-109 isn't the greatest tool, where Safedisc's bad sectors are skipped very slowly and only SecuROM protected games are ripped at an adeqaute speed. More bad news, when trying to backup protected games discs only the older Macrovision Safedisc builds (<2.51) can be replicated accurately.
According to our DAE tests, the drive can't read from the Lead-in/out area but can read CD Text and Subchannel data while it passes with a perfect score, the Advanced DAE Quality Test. The 90/99min discs are another issue for the DVR-109, since it reported unrecovered errors while reading both. The three tested AudioCD protected discs are not a real problem, although the Read&Test CRC checksum wasn't the same between the corresponding tracks (i.e. between the original and extracted tracks).
Looking at the CD writing speeds, while Pioneer claims 40X, users might be dissapointed if the inserted disc is not a supported disc. From our tests, only Verbatim 48X media burned and read back without any problems. Several other media we used had much higher recording times and E32 errors, which may lead to un-readable discs. Overburning is also not reliable, since our 90/99 test discs weren't recognized by the drive, so we had limited results, only up to 82mins, using an 80min disc.
Last but not least, and probably the most important issue for a DVD burner is its writing quality and with a variety of media at all recording speeds. This is a strong point of this drive. While the supported media list is rather limited for 16X (upcoming firmware will improve this), the writing quality in most cases was excellent. Compared with two other famous burners, the NEC ND-3520A and Plextor PX-716A, the DVR-109 managed to give the lowest burning times for the DVD±R and DVD+R DL formats. Power users would like to have bitsetting for DVD+R/+RW too, but Pioneer unfortunately doesn't support it, ignoring user requests for this feature even with the DVR-107/108 series. DVD+R DL projects have autobiset to DVD-ROM, ensuring the highest possible compatibility with desktop DVD players.
Lastly, we should mention, the ability of the drive to report C1C2 and PIPO errors from CD/DVD media through the use of DVDInfoPro and Nero CD/DVD Speed (with a special trick). The price for the drive is very low, as usual, and at the time of this review was somewhere between US$75~80. Concluding our review, we can say that the Pioneer DVR-109 has several positive and negative points which should be weighed by users before buying. Amateur users will love this drive, since the writing quality is excellent in most cases. Power users may want several features added.
- The Good
- Supports 6X DVD±R DL
- Supports 6X DVD-RW and future 8X DVD+RW
- Supports DVD-ROM booktype for DVD+R9 format
- Very good DVD error correction
- Excellent DVD writing quality with supported media, even at 16X
- Supports reading of DVD-RAM media
- Supports CD-Text (reading/writing)
- Can read/rip Key2Audio and CDS200 protected discs
- Can be used to measure PIPO errors
- Supports several 8X media at 12X
- Good price
- The Bad
- CD error correction could be better
- CSS DVD-Video ripping speeds are locked to 5X maximum
- Cannot accurately backup newest SafeDisk v2 protected titles
- Very slow reader when reading SD2 protected titles
- Doesn't support Mount Rainier for CD/DVD formats
- Doesn't support overburning for DVD±R formats
- Limited overburning for CD format (82mins)
- Doesn't support DVD-ROM booktype for DVD+R/+RW formats
- Doesn't report C2 errors
- Limited underground support (hacked firmware, overspeeding)
- Like To be fixed
- Writing quality for CD-R and DVD±RW media
- Better media compatibility for many 8X media
- Recognition/ripping problems with 90/99min Audio discs