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  1. Hi there, I'm just seeking opinions on Plextor PX-708A.

    I'm looking to upgrade my old Pioneer DVR-104, which takes a painfully slow hour to burn a full DVD. Speed and a wide compatibility with writable media are my main criteria for a purchase.

    I've looked around quite a bit and the PX-708A seems to fare well against its competitors. However, are there other drives that I may have missed that would put the PX-708A under the table in terms of performance and compatibility?

    A little advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.
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  2. How about the Pioneer 107 or the NEC 2500a which is on sale this weekend at newegg for $81 shipped.

    After reading the cdfreaks Plextor forum I'm kindda glad I went with the Pioneer over the Plextor, But i did pre-order the Plextor 712a
    Rick
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  3. Hi Deefer Dog,

    I have a Plextor PX-708A. So does a friend of mine. We both bought them because we had heard such great things about Plextor drives in the past.

    Up until a couple of weeks ago, my friend and I were both quite happy with our Plextor drives. Then the 8x DVD+R media started to become available...

    We have both found that when using actual 8x media, the drive will really only burn at 4x speed, even though it says it is burning at 8x speed. In other words, while it should take about 6 or 7 minutes to burn a full DVD at 8x speed, it really ends up taking 12 to 15 minutes.

    I have contacted Plextor tech support about this repeatedly, but to no avail. They just keep telling me that not all brands of 8x media are supported at 8x speed and I should try a different brand. When I ask what brand to use, they tell me to check their web site for recommended brands. When I tell them I already am using a brand that they recommend on their web site, then they say upgrade to the latest firmware. When I tell them I already have the latest firmware, they say to check for updates for my burning software. When I tell them I already have the latest updates, they tell me to check their web site for recommend media...

    Needless to say, my friend and I are both very disappointed now and we are both ready to pitch our Plextor drives and buy something else...

    Are you interested in buying a used Plextor drive?
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  4. I got a 708a when it was first released and loved it... enough that I bought a second one for my other computer. No bad burns, compatible with everything, etc. Paying the premium for 8x media when you can just buy cheaper 4x media and burn at 8x is an odd thing to do, btw.

    Now I'm just waiting for Plextor to make a dual-layer burner...
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  5. Although I have no complaints whatsoever with my 708a, it's disappointing to hear that tech support wasn't very helpful or forthcoming.

    I've heard good things about all the drives mentioned in the posts here. I think you'll do well with any of them. Pick a drive that suits your needs and go with it.
    "It is not enough to obey Big Brother. You must love him".
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  6. Snarfo,

    I guess the main reason I actually went out and bought the 8x media is because my friend who also has a PX-708A bought some 8x media and found that it took longer to burn a disc using 8x media than it does when using 4x media. In an effort to figure out what the problem was, I figured I would buy some 8x media and see if I had the same problem.

    Kolosus,

    Regarding Plextor's tech support, I finally started demanding an RMA today so I could return the drive for a refund. After that, I got an e-mail from someone in engineering at Plextor who really seems to know what he is talking about and I have a feeling he will actually help me solve the problem. It's a shame that it had to come to this to finally get in contact with someone who can actually help, as opposed to a guy who can't do any more than say "do you have the latest firmware?" "do you have the latest software patches?" "are you using media that is listed on our web site as being supported?"

    Oh well...
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  7. Member HAMP's Avatar
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    I got my Plex 708A the first time it came out, I have not had any problems with it at all. I would recommend it for anyone, a friend has the same drive and he bought the Pioneer 107 for another computer but, he tells me that he loves the Plex better, I wanna give some quote's that he gave me about the difference between the two. I just love my Plex's.

    rick6612
    We have both found that when using actual 8x media, the drive will really only burn at 4x speed, even though it says it is burning at 8x speed.
    Just buy the 4X and burn @ 8X, which works perfect, the 4X Media is cheaper then the 8X...

    Answer this question, Why would you buy 8X when you can buy 4X and it works the same way???
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    I have had my Plextor 708UF since December and had no problems with it. The only quam that I might have is the fact that it will only burn 8x DVD+R and not DVD-R.

    I am also looking into the Plextor 712 in the near future.

    But if you don't want to burn a hole in your wallet, I would look into the Pioneer A07/107 since I have 2 of them as well which I have found to perform very well.

    Network Enforcer
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  9. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
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    I own a Plextor 708A have had no problems using this drive. Use the recommended brands of dvd media and you won't have problems. Some of their compatible brands of dvd media don't always work. There are lots of variables in burning dvds. I'm waiting for the Plextor 712 to become available then hopefully the 708A will drop in price and I can purchase another one.
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  10. Hi Hamp,

    As I mentioned previously, the main reason I bought the 8x media was because my friend bought 8x media and then found that it took twice as long to burn a disc using 8x media as it did when using 4x media. In an effort to figure out what the problem was, I bought some 8x discs myself to see if I had the same problem, which I do.

    The main reason my friend initially bought the 8x media is because when he burns 4x media at 8x speed, he has found that some DVD players will not play the DVDs all the way through. However, if he burns the same program on 4x media at 4x speed, the disc plays fine. He figured maybe with 8x media, he could burn at 8x speed and not have problems during playback.

    As it turns out, the Plextor drive cannot burn at 8x speed on 8x media. It will only burn at 4x speed when using 8x media. Plextor tech support finally seems to be on the verge of admitting there is a bug in the firmware which causes this to happen, but they haven't quite yet come out and said it...
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  11. Member Dr_Layne's Avatar
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    Have you tried flashing the drive to the latest firmware? According to Plextor's site, it will allow 8x burning on 8x dvd+r media.
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  12. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
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    Just a note on the Plextor 708A. Even though burning @8x using a 4x speed dvd+r, not all standalone dvd players will play it back correctlyl. In my opinion it would be best to burn@4 x speed. I've burned 4x dvd+r imation @8x and they only playback on my APEX 1500's.
    Check Plextor's forum, LiteOn forum, Pioneer forum & Nec forum site at www.cdfreaks.com. You will see all these brands have varies problems using different media, Plextor is not the only one. All brands of dvd burners have their pros and cons as well as problems using different brands of media. Some have blamed the 708A drive for not working correctly when most of the problems were because they used cheap dvd media. The only cheap dvd media that works on this drive is COMPUSA DVD-R which is actually PRINCO media.

    Some people have reported at the Plextor forum that the latest firmware 1.06 has caused different problems with cdr burning and reading. Check out the the forum site.
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  13. Hi Dr. Layne,

    Yes, I have upgraded to the latest firmware, but to no avail. The drive will burn at 8x speed on several different brands of 4x media, but it will only burn at 4x speed when using 8x media.

    I am convinced there is a bug in the firmware that just isn't recognizing the 8x media properly, or somehow isn't adjusting the burning speed properly.

    Budz,

    We have also enountered the problem where burning 4x media at 8x speed leaves you with DVDs that won't always play successfully in DVD players. That is why we started buying 8x media: we were hoping that we could burn 8x media at 8x speed and still end up with discs that play in standalone DVD players.
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  14. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
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    rick6612 wrote:
    We have also enountered the problem where burning 4x media at 8x speed leaves you with DVDs that won't always play successfully in DVD players. That is why we started buying 8x media: we were hoping that we could burn 8x media at 8x speed and still end up with discs that play in standalone DVD players.
    I'm wondering if standalone dvd players are "ABLE" to actually playback dvd media burned at speeds beyone 4x. As I've stated my discs burned 8x playback fine on my APEX 1500's. Dunno why but they do. In my opinion why burn at faster speeds when they may not playback correctly on standalone dvd players.
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  15. Member HAMP's Avatar
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    To rick6612 and budz
    I havnt had any problems burning 4X @ 8X, you guys really got me thinking I made a good choice in Media and software. My burns have been in a varity of DVD players also a friend has the same set-up and he buys diffrent type's of media and I hear about some of his problems and I keep telling him to just stop buying cheap media(except he dosent have any problems with COMPUSA DVD-R, but of course he burns at the recommended speed). If you guys dont mind telling me what media and software you guys use?

    I use CloneDVD with AnyDVD
    I use TDK & Verbatim which are Manufacturer ID RICOHJPNR01
    I use Toshibia SD-M1712(i'm starting to hate this MF)
    Pent 4 2.4, 2 gigs of dual channel mem(Not sure if that makes a diff. or not)

    I have only had 1 problem that I can think of burning @ 8X, The words did not match the lips, I thought was strange, I just took the movie out and turned the standalone off and back on and everthing was fine
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  16. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
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    I use TDK 2X DVD-R, RITEK DVD-R 4X G04 ORANGE TOPS from Pcclub.com, MAXELL DVD-R 4X, VERBATIM (RICOH) DVD-R, & IMATION (RICOH) DVD+R 4X & COMPUSA (PRINCO) DVD-R 1X but is burned@2x.

    I don't have problems burning 4x IMATION DVD+R @8x. They playback correctly on my APEX 1500's but not on my RCA, LENOXX & INITAL dvd players. I'm fine with that and it doesn't bother me that it can't play on those players. I've been burning mostly DVD-R media because it's more compatible with my family and friends players. To back up my dvds I use NERO burn version 5.5.10.42, DVD SHRINK version 3.0, DVD2ONE, & DVD DECRYPTER. I use REGION KILLER for my region 3 dvd movies.

    I don't think the speed of a cpu will make a difference in whether or not burning @8x will work on standalone dvd players. I have a pentium 4 2.4 chip. It does help to speed up the encode process when I use TMPGE for other video projects.
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  17. Originally Posted by budz
    I'm wondering if standalone dvd players are "ABLE" to actually playback dvd media burned at speeds beyone 4x. As I've stated my discs burned 8x playback fine on my APEX 1500's. Dunno why but they do. In my opinion why burn at faster speeds when they may not playback correctly on standalone dvd players.
    Well, I remember a few years back when I got my first 12x CD-R burner. The only CD-R media I had at the time was rated for 4x speed, but my burner would burn it at 12x without hesitation. Those CDs played fine in some CD players, but in other players they would skip like crazy.

    When I finally got some real 12x rated CD-Rs, all those problems went away. I could burn at 12x speed and the CDs would play fine in any player that would play CD-Rs.

    I suspect the same thing will hold true with DVDs: When you burn 4x media at 8x speed, you're going to end up with "marginal" recordings that might play in some players, but won't play properly in other players. When you burn 8x media at 8x speed, hopefully you will end up with discs that will play fine in all players.

    That's what I'm hoping for, anyway...
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  18. Originally Posted by HAMP
    If you guys dont mind telling me what media and software you guys use?
    I am not copying store bought DVDs. I am authoring my own DVDs using Ulead DVD Workshop 2.0 to author and Nero 6 to make copies. So far I have not encountered any problems myself with burning 4x media at 8x speed, but then I've only burned a few DVDs since getting the Plextor drive.

    My friend who has encountered problems with buring 4x media at 8x speed also uses Ulead DVD Workshop 2.0 and Nero 6. He also does some stuff with making backups of his store bought DVDs. I think he uses DVD-XCopy for that.

    For media, I mostly have Fuji 4x media (Ricohjpn) and Memorex 4x media (not sure of the manufacturer). I also have Verbatim 8x (MCC 003 0) media which the Plextor drive will only burn at 4x speed.

    My friend has a similar assortment of media, except he has Memorex 8x media (CMC Magnetics) which also can only burn at 4x in the Plextor drive.
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  19. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
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    rick6612 wrote:
    My friend who has encountered problems with buring 4x media at 8x speed also uses Ulead DVD Workshop 2.0 and Nero 6. He also does some stuff with making backups of his store bought DVDs. I think he uses DVD-XCopy for that.
    From what I've read on other forum sites the DVD-XCOPY is not the greatest software to use to back up dvds. Why use that when you have free software to use like DVD DECRYPTER & DVD SHRINK. In my experience using CMC dvd media it's crappy. It never did work well in my 708A. I burned one coaster of MEMOREX DVD+R 4X SPEED which was manufactured by CMC. Took the suckers back and got a refund.
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  20. Member HAMP's Avatar
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    I'm just looking for your replies and you guys have something in common.

    budz uses Nero, Rick6612 uses Nero and rick6612 friend uses Nero. Both have stated that you use Nero and you have problem with pushing the media past the Recommended burn speed, I don't use Nero and I'm not having any problems with pushing @ 8X and using the media. Have you guys used any other burn program to see if the same problem occur?
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  21. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention I also use IMG TOOL BURN. At another forum someone uses Nero Recode to burn@8x. I can burn@8x using IMATION 4X DVD+R. I refuse to use MEMOREX and I know others use it but for me it's considered crap media if it's manufactured by CMC. I know not all of MEMOREX dvd media is CMC. Check the Plextor forum for more info on this drive at cdfreaks.com.
    http://club.cdfreaks.com/forumdisplay.php?s=ed0843767e459c8ffd3544f0293b894f&forumid=43
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  22. Member HAMP's Avatar
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    I wonder if the problem is with the combo of Nero using Plextor for 8X on top of 4X media. Not saying a real major problem but so far that's what you guys have in common with the skipping of media
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    I have the 708A(ver1.06) and NEC ND-2500. Both do very well. Contrary to a post above, I burn Memorex +R, -R & +RW's CMC's at 8x and have not made the first coaster. (I did return 1 spool of Memorex +RW's which had die problems near the edge that you could see, just exchanged it for another which worked fine) I have a P2.0, 1G Mem. I can copy unprotected disc to disc with RecordNow Max.
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  24. Originally Posted by HAMP
    I'm just looking for your replies and you guys have something in common.

    budz uses Nero, Rick6612 uses Nero and rick6612 friend uses Nero. Both have stated that you use Nero and you have problem with pushing the media past the Recommended burn speed, I don't use Nero and I'm not having any problems with pushing @ 8X and using the media. Have you guys used any other burn program to see if the same problem occur?
    Are you saying you can burn at 8x speed using 8x media? Or you can burn at 8x speed using 4x media?

    Burning at 8x speed using 4x media works, although my friend said he had a few discs burned this way that would not play back in some of his DVD players. I don't think he necessarily used Nero to make those discs, however. They were probably made using Ulead DVD Workshop 2.0. I can't say for sure which media he used when he had problems, either.

    The thing I'm really interested in is being able to burn at 8x speed when using 8x media. The PX-708A only seems willing to burn at 4x speed when using 8x media.
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  25. Originally Posted by HAMP
    I wonder if the problem is with the combo of Nero using Plextor for 8X on top of 4X media. Not saying a real major problem but so far that's what you guys have in common with the skipping of media
    I don't think Nero has anything to do with it. The issue is really like some DVD players have trouble playing DVDs that were made using 4x media burned at 8x speed. Other DVD players will play the same DVDs just fine. Computer DVD-ROM drives also seem to have no problem playing/reading such discs.

    As I mentioned in a previous post on this thread, I think the issue is similar to what I experienced years ago when I got my first 12x CD burner. At the time, there was no CD-R media available that actually said "12x" on the package. My 12x burner was happy to burn at 12x speed on non-12x media, but some CD players had a lot of trouble playing back those discs. When real "12x" media became available, all those problems went away.
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  26. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
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    hamp wrote:
    I wonder if the problem is with the combo of Nero using Plextor for 8X on top of 4X media. Not saying a real major problem but so far that's what you guys have in common with the skipping of media
    Nero has nothing to do with it. Some older dvd players are not equipped to playback the 8x burned dvds. Just because rick and I have a something in common doesn't mean anything. He used ulead dvd workshop in making his dvds. I don't use ulead dvd workshop in backing up my dvds. In my opinion why burn @8x when most standalone dvd players won't be able to play them back correctly. Remember what may work for you may not for others. For me it's not a big deal to be able to burn@8x. New burners are being released that will be able to burn faster than 8x. 8)
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  27. Member HAMP's Avatar
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    budz wrote:
    Nero has nothing to do with it
    I wonder what does? I not having any problems with mine burnt @ 8X.
    budz wrote:
    Remember what may work for you may not for others
    rick6612 wrote:
    The thing I'm really interested in is being able to burn at 8x speed when using 8x media. The PX-708A only seems willing to burn at 4x speed when using 8x media.
    if what Budz wrote is true, then it wont matter if the 8X burns @ 8X or the 4X burns @ 8x, they not gonna work for you.
    budz wrote:
    Some older dvd players are not equipped to playback the 8x burned dvds.
    I personally think it's the software that was used for burning and not the drive and media
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  28. Originally Posted by HAMP
    I wonder what does? I not having any problems with mine burnt @ 8X.
    I'm not either... at least not so far 8) Only my friend who also has a PX-708A has had problems, and only in certain DVD players.

    if what Budz wrote is true, then it wont matter if the 8X burns @ 8X or the 4X burns @ 8x, they not gonna work for you.
    I have to admit I'm not an expert on how all the chemistry of recordable DVDs works, but from what I understand of it, it's sort of almost like taking pictures with film. Say you want to take some fast action pictures and you want to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. If you're using 25 ASA film, you might end up with under exposed pictures because 25 ASA film needs more exposure to light to properly expose the image. On the other hand, if you're using 800 ASA film, you're more likely to get away with using a really fast shutter speed because 800 ASA film doesn't need as much exposure to light to produce an image.

    As I understand it, the theory behind recordable media is somewhat similar: when you burn 4x media at 8x speed, you might end up with a slightly "under exposed" image on the media. In other words the spots the laser burns on the disc might not burn in quite completely. While one DVD player might be able to read the "under exposed" disc just fine, another player might have some trouble distinguishing the dark spots from the light (reflective) spots and might have trouble reading the disc.

    Presumably, media that is designed to be recorded at 8x speed will be able to produce a "properly exposed" image when burned at 8x speed and DVD players should have a better chance of being able to read such discs.

    I personally think it's the software that was used for burning and not the drive and media
    I suppose anything is possible
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  29. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
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    As I suggested go check out the Plextor forum at cdfreaks.com. There's lots of info on the Plextor 708A drive. Search their forum

    http://club.cdfreaks.com/forumdisplay.php?s=ed0843767e459c8ffd3544f0293b894f&forumid=43
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  30. Originally Posted by budz
    As I suggested go check out the Plextor forum at cdfreaks.com. There's lots of info on the Plextor 708A drive. Search their forum

    http://club.cdfreaks.com/forumdisplay.php?s=ed0843767e459c8ffd3544f0293b894f&forumid=43
    I checked out cdfreaks over the weekend (for some reason, we're blocked from accessing cdfreaks forums from where I work!). Lots of interesting posts, but I didn't find anyone who said they were able to burn at 8x when using any brand of 8x media with a PX-708A.
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