DVD media report

Since DVD media is relatively new and expensive I have decided to report on my experience using it. All the media was burned with either a Sony DRU-510A drive or a Plextor PX-716A drive. The good news is almost all media burns fine. I have had some problems reading certain media in certain drives. What is interesting to note is the size difference between different media.

I have recently found out that my dvd burner was getting dusty and needed cleaning. This has caused the problems burning disks. It is due to two 120mm fans, and a 92mm fan exhausting air from my case. I suppose dvd drives should be reasonably sealed against getting dust inside...

Brand: BeAll DVD-R 1-4x, Label: nothing
Media Code: BeAll G40001 Size: 4.33gb (4.65gb) burned 100 disks, no problems.

Brand: Value Disk DVD-R, Label: Value Disk DVD-R
Media Code: CMC MAG. AF1 Size: 4.36gb (4.68gb) burned 50 disks, no problems.

Brand: TDK DVD-R 4x compatible, Label: TDK 4x
Media Code: TTG01 Size: 4.38gb (4.71gb) burned @8 disks, no problems.

Brand: CompUSA DVD-R 2x Label: CompUSA DVD-R
Media Code: Princo Size: 4424mb burned about 15 disks, 8 had verify errors

Brand: Philips DVD-R 1-8x, Label: Philips DVD-R 1-8x Version 2.0
Media Code: CMC MAG. AE1 Size: 4.34gb (4.66gb) Burned 5 at 8x, had verify errors. Burned 5 at 4x, worked fine. I contacted Philips because the media says 'High-quality, highly reliable qualified media ensures your recorded video is preserved'. They asked me for my proof of purchase. I told them I didn't have a receipt. They ignored further emails from me. I paid $1 per disk for this media in Jun 2005. I tried calling Philips and the person I spoke to said they have no phone support for their media. I have never had systematic problems burning media at its rated speed. Avoid at all costs.

Brand: Prodisk 8x, Label: nothing
Media Code: MCC 02RG20 Size: 4.36gb (4.68gb) burned 70 disks, about 6 disks had verify errors, up to 500 P1/P0 errors

Brand: Memorex DVD+R DL 2.4X, Label: Memorex Double Layer DVD+R 2.4X
Media Code: RITEK Size: 7.07gb (7.59gb) burned 1 disk, no problems

Brand: Office Depot DVD-RW 4x, Label: Office Depot DVD-RW
Media Code: RITEKW04 Size: 4.38gb (4.71gb)
(note: won't burn on Sony drive, perhaps due to high speed rating) burned @40 disks, 3 won't rewrite.

Brand: Sony DVD-RW, 1x, Label: DMW47 Version 1.1,
Media Code: SONY000000U9 Size: 4.15gb (4.45gb) burned @5 disks, no problems

Brand: Verbatim DVD+R 16x
Media Code: ??? Size: 4.7gb burned 1 disk, 1 coaster.

Brand: no-name CD-R, Label: none
Media Code: CMC Magnetics Co. (type 6) Size: 691mb burned 20 disks, 3 coasters.

Brand: Prime Peripherals CD-R, Label: Prime Peripherals
Media Code: DIGITAL Storage (type 1) Size: 691mb burned 3 disks, 2 coasters.

Acer cd rom RW 6206A

I bought an Acer 6202A cd rom re-writer. It was my first non-SCSI drive in my computer. I got it because it was $300 after rebate, and I wanted to be able to save stuff to CD-R. Installation was pretty simple. After I installed the writing software (Adaptec EZ-CD-Creator), I started having some serious system problems. I called Acer tech support, and after well over an hour on the phone with them, they were unable to suggest any useful solutions. I turned to the Internets, and comp.publish.cdrom.hardware . Mike Richter, a knowledgeable and frequent poster, suggested that my ASPI layer might be bad. In fact, I did have a bad version of the ASPI layer (from Adaptec), and using a very nasty program called ASPIME, I was able to go back to an earlier version of the ASPI layer. Adaptec has told the author ASPIME that it contains their copyright software, and to cease distributing it.

After the ASPI layer problem was fixed, the drive was able to write cd's fine. Still, I was quite unimpressed with Acer tech support. I sold the drive to a friend...

FAILED Hi-Val x40 IDE cd rom drive

I got this Hi-Val drive, because an old x16 drive broke (and there was a rebate on the Hi-Val). Well after 5 weeks of light use the Hi-Val drive broke. I got another one, and the first day it started making noises that sounded like something scraping against the disk itself. Like something from the shower scene from Psycho. I returned it and got the Kenwood True 42x instead.

So I waited for the rebate check. After being over due by several weeks, I called them. Got the answering machine. Left a message, and they said they would return my call within 24 hours. What a lie. I called 3 more times, leaving messages each time. I detected a bad pattern. I sent them email. They ignored it.

So remembering my problems with the scum Mouse Systems, I went to Comp_USA, where I purchased the Hi-Val drive. The manager said they were having lots of problems with Hi-Val rebates. He told me to contact Comp_USA corporate. He also told me that Comp_USA no longer sells Mouse Systems products. (big surprise)

So I called Comp_USA corporate. They seemed unsurprised by my problems. I mailed them copies of my receipt and rebate form (I always keep copies). Hopefully Comp_USA will send me the $20, and I hope they hold Hi-Val's feet to the fire.

Kenwood True 42x cd rom drive

The Kenwood 42x drive is the grooviest cd rom drive I have seen. It uses zen labs licensed technology to split the laser beam into 7 beams, and reads at x42 across the entire surface of the disk. I ran cdspeed, and the average speed to read a disk was x43. There were a few spots where it slowed down, but I was terribly impressed. Also it does good DAE (all too common nowadays). It doesn't seem to like some CD-R's that I have made, though (it either reads them very slowly, or ejects them).

Pioneer x10 DVD drive

My first DVD drive. I really wanted a SCSI one to match the rest of my system, but the pioneer was cheap. It really performs well (based on cdspeed, as well as dvdspeed). It also does good DAE. It does make a bit of noise, like any x40 drive (other than the Kenwood or other zen labs drives).

It actually does better DAE on marginal disks than my Plextor.

FAILED Plextor PX-716A dvd burner

Plextor has a reputation for making the best cd and dvd burners. I bought a PX-716A burner. It failed after about 3 years of use. Plextor doesn't repair them. The new Plextor drives don't work with Plextools, which can tell you about the C1/C2, and P1/P0 errors of a burned cd or dvd.

Plextor Plexwriter RW 4/2/20

I decided to buy the Cadillac of cd-rom drives, the Plextor 4220. I couldn't pass it up for only $300 at buycomp.com . It came with the Plextor manager, Adaptec ez-cd-creator, Adaptec direct-cd, and cd res-q. The only downside to the drive was the tiny fan in the back that is always on. I asked Plextor tech support if it shut off when the disk was not spinning, or removed, and they said no. Probably why the MTBF of the drive is so low. Its hard to make fans that last a long time... Installation was very straightforward, and I was able to install the software easily. I was a bit worried about ez-cd-creator, due to the ASPI problems that I had with the Acer drive I used to have, but everything went fine. Some programs don't work under Windows NT, like AudioFS, but not a big deal.

The CD Res-Q software is junk. The updated software is also junk.

I am able to copy cd's with no problem.

Toshiba XM-3601B-TA 4x CDROM drive

I have a Toshiba SCSI CDROM drive. It completely failed once. I sent it back to Toshiba, and they fixed it. Sometimes when the machine is booting, the 'busy' light comes on, and stays on when a disc is inside, but that doesn't happen often. People say that Toshiba and Plextor make the best SCSI drives...

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