VideoHelp Forum

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Consider supporting us by disable your adblocker or Try ConvertXtoDVD and convert all your movies to DVD. Free trial ! :)
Closed Thread
Page 1 of 3
1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 61
Thread
  1. I spent the last few hours reading numerous threads here and on CD Freaks about the NEC 3520A drive and error scanning. I have a working Pioneer A06 and A07, so my main reason for wanting a new drive is for its error scanning capabilities (PI/PIF/PO/jitter/whatever). In addition, my A07 (with firmware 1.09) cannot finalize any +R media, so I'd like another good burner that can do +. (I just haven't had the time to research and solve this issue with the A07 which is still under its 1 year warranty because -R burns work fine.)

    I've never had a burn failure on these drives and everything plays fine on every player I've tried (except for a very old Pioneer player which skips near the end of media burned faster than 2x). For maximum compatibility and due to a misconception I had that "slower burns are always better", I have been burning 4x and 8x media at 2x (or 2.4x for +) for ages. I've been told burning fast media at 2x is potentially bad and I would get more reliable burns burning at the maximum rated speed.

    To prove this to myself and to find the optimal burning speeds on different media types, I've decided I can no longer live without a PI/PO capable drive. The NEC 3520A is under $50 right now, so I'm very tempted to get it. The BenQ 1620 is $6 more, and the Pioneer 109 (A09) is $13 more.

    From my reading on both web sites, I gathered the following:

    - The Pioneer 109 (A09), BenQ 1620, and NEC 3500/3520 are highly recommended drives.

    - Both the Pioneer 109 and NEC 3500/3520 can support PI/PO error scanning because they are all based on the same NEC chipset. NEC is holding up their official release of their PI/PO capable firmware, but Liggy & Dee have already released their own PI/PO capable firmware for the NEC 3520. I think support for the 3500 is just around the corner, and I'm not sure if the Pioneer 109 now supports it. Apparently Nero CD-DVD Speed and DVD Info Pro have been updated recently to support error scans on these drives.

    - Some people think the NEC 3520 makes poorer quality burns than the 3500, but with newer firmware some people think the 3520 is approaching the burn quality of the 3500 and soon will equal it.

    - Several PI/PO error scans run on the NEC 3520 with Liggy & Dee's firmware made it look like many people were getting reasonable scan results, but the 3520's scans had consistently higher PI/PO error counts (by a factor of at least 2, I believe) than Kprobe scans on a Liteon or Nero CD-DVD Speed/DVD Info Pro scans on a BenQ.

    In http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=134047&page=3&pp=25, Dee wrote about the difference in scans between different drive models:
    "The difference could well be down to the fact that, its well known my 3520 is a crappy reader".

    Even though the NEC 3520 can do PI/PO error scans, is it really a crappy reader and a poor choice for my primary purpose of doing error scans?

    Is it correct that the same burned disc should produce very similar PI/PO error scans in each type of drive (NEC 3520, BenQ 1620, and a Liteon)? Has anyone done such comparisons to verify that the error scans reported by the NEC 3520 are meaningful and close enough to CD Freaks' Liteon benchmark for results to be directly comparable? I wasn't able to find this answered at CD Freaks (I need to register for an account there so I can post).

    Ideally I'd like a drive that can do great burns and great error scans, but I'm not sure the NEC 3520 makes it in the error scan category. It almost sounds like the BenQ 1620 for $6 more might be a better choice, or maybe I should wait until the Pioneer 109 can support error scans?

    On the plus side, if I read correctly, it appears Nero CD-DVD Speed is a freeware utility and it is capable of doing all the error scans I'd need (so I don't have to buy a new version of DVD Info Pro). Also, I do not have to buy Nero in order to burn on the OEM NEC 3520 (which comes with no software) because another freeware utility, DVD Decrypter, supports burning to the 3520. What about making data backups onto DVD with this drive... will I need to buy a new software package for that or will DVD Decrypter also do data burns (DVD-ROM) on the 3520?

    It would be great if I didn't have to buy any new software (I already did that when I got the A06) if I get the NEC 3520 or even BenQ or Pioneer drive for that matter. Thanks.

  2. The best choice of both a good burner and great tester would probably be the Benq 1620. I like my Benq 822, it's a very good burner and a great testing drive, the 1620 certainly seems to be a great drive as well. I prefer my NEC drives though for quality of burn, but if I had to get only one drive and wanted the most accurate testing (even better than Liteons), I'd get a Benq (or a Plextor, but I don't think they are as good at burning and they are also more expensive). Although the Pioneer does PI/PO testing now, I've read and seen test results that make me believe that they do a poor job as a PI/PO testing drive. So I'd say NEC 3520 first, Benq 1620 second (which is what I suggest anyway for anyone looking at getting a new drive).

  3. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
    Search Comp PM
    I still say get the Pioneer for high quality burns. You're getting sucked into the bottomless "scanning" pit, I can already tell. Many of those "scanning drives" tend to make for lower quality readers and mediocre burners.

    You have to decide what you want:

    (A) A drive that burns well, and use decent surface scans and DVD player tests to confirm burn quality.

    or

    (B) A "scanning" drive that gives decent/mediocre burns and lets you know it, with gazillions of nerd tests to "prove" it.

  4. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    In the shadows.....
    Search Comp PM
    The BENQ 1620 would be the drive to purchase if you want to do pi/po scans, you can also use QSUITE which has various tools you can use.

  5. As you want a great burner for DVD+R and for quality scanning there is no doubt that the BenQ is the best choice. For single layer DVD+R burning there is simply no better drive on the market and when it comes to scanning it supports reporting both PIE, PIF, POF and jitter as well as TE/FE.

    The NEC only supports reporting PIE and PIF and Pioneer drives outputs no reliable data at all. Both drives also need unofficial firmwares for bitsetting support on single layer DVD+R unlike the BenQ.

  6. Use the NEC and good discs and there is no need to waste time scanning. I've done many hundreds of burns and only had problems with a couple of defective discs that I knew were bad just by looking at them.

  7. Several people have said to use a good drive and not worry about error scanning. Unfortunately I can't be sure I have a good drive, good media, or the right firmware unless I can run error scans to get a rough idea how my burns are doing. Supposedly my Pioneer A06 and A07 are good drives, but people have cast doubt on that when I burn 4x and 8x media at 2x (by choice). I now feel compelled to get an error scanning drive so that I can see for myself if burning 8x media at 2x is really bad or not. It's inevitable that I must be sucked into the error scanning pit.

    I've always wondered how big a speck or scratch has to be in order to significantly affect the quality of a burn, and error scanning will finally tell me that. I only plan to run occasional tests, so it wouldn't be a constant thing on every disc I burn.

    Nero CD-DVD Speed supports these drives and modes:
    http://www.cdspeed2000.com/go.php3?link=cdspeed30.html

    This is what I think I've learned from the above replies and from various reading:
    - The Pioneer 109 is still incapable of error scans.
    - The NEC 3520 does not support jitter scans and only a subset of error scans.
    - Liteon is great at error scanning, but some people dislike the quality of Liteon burns.
    - The BenQ 1620 supports the full range of error scans (beyond just PI/PO (PIE/PIF) and jitter) and is equivalent in terms of error scanning ability/quality to the Liteon drives with Kprobe. Also, several people who have used BenQ drives seem relatively happy with them in terms of burning (except Lord Smurf, as I recall).
    - Nobody has mentioned a cheap DVD-ROM (read-only) drive that supports PI/PO/jitter scans.

    If any of the above statements is wrong, please tell me.

    Therefore, it seems like my focus has changed from the NEC 3520 to BenQ 1620. I tried looking up Qsuite, and the thread I found at
    http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=130200&page=2&pp=25
    makes it sound like Qsuite is picky about which drives and firmware it supports. Has anyone here run Qsuite on a BenQ 1620 without too much difficulty?

    Here are my choices at Newegg for what I saw as the 3 most recommended drives in these forums. (I someone knows of a cheaper and equally reliable dealer than Newegg, please tell me.)

    * BenQ DW1620 gray - $47.99 + $4 shipping (out of stock) - $52
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827101643
    This looks like what I want, but the drive is out of stock.
    * BenQ DW1620 black - $49.99 + $4 shipping - $54
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827101632
    A black faceplate is not my first choice.
    * BenQ DW1620 black with "Bonus" - $59.99 + free shipping - $60
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827101639
    I couldn't figure out from the description what the "Bonus" pack is for $6 more. Anyone know?
    * NEC ND-3520A beige - $47.99 + free shipping - $48
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827152039
    * Pioneer DVR-109 gray - $56.99 + $4 shipping - $61
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827129160
    * Pioneer DVR-109 black - $58.99 + free shipping - $59
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827129161

    If I buy any of the first 3 BenQs listed above from Newegg, will I get the right drive that is great for error scanning and burning? That is, is there any chance I'll get some other rebadged drive (such as a Liteon, NEC, or something worse) under the BenQ logo?

    To get the full error scanning abilities with the BenQ 1620, will I have to upgrade from the factory firmware? Some posts on CD Freaks from 2004 said that BenQ didn't fully support PIF scanning, but later posts made it sound like newer firmwares did.

    At http://dvdpro.club.st/firmware/BenQ/media%20list.B7S9.eng.txt,
    the latest BenQ firmware does not list support for any 1x, 2x, or 4x media. Does that mean older, slower media cannot be burned on the BenQ or that this particular firmware is not specifically optimized for slower media but should still be able to burn it within specs?

    This was one of the error scanning threads I looked at:
    http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=96285&page=1&pp=25

    I wanted to save this thread, but unfortunately CD Freaks doesn't allow you to view all pages of a thread at once for easy printing (videohelp does).

    Does the BenQ drive (listed as OEM) come with only the drive like the NEC 3520 or does it come with any burning software?

    On Nero's page, I couldn't find BenQ or the NEC 3520 listed as supported for Nero 6. I kept trying to find the listed of supported drives for Nero 5.5 and gave up in frustration (I really dislike Nero's web page). Does anyone know if the BenQ 1620 will work with any of the last released versions of of Nero 5.5.x.x? Even if it won't, it sounds like DVD Decrypter will do burns, but I'm not sure if it will do DVD-ROM (data) burns or only DVD-Video burns.

  8. Also, several people who have used BenQ drives seem relatively happy with them in terms of burning (except Lord Smurf, as I recall).
    Well Lordsmurf can be counted out of that equation, he isn't speaking from personal experience when he bashes Benq drives.

    On ordering a Benq, NO, you will not get a NEC if you order a Benq.... This sort of thing only comes into play when you buy a drive from a company that doesn't actually produce their own drives, such as Mad Dog, etc. The Benq should work fine for error scanning straight out of the box, although you make it sound like updating your firmware is a traumatic experience. NOT upgrading your FW is stupid, not the other way around. FW updates are released for obvious reasons, to UPDATE your drive and make improvements to them. Why do you think that FW updates exist?

    And yes, of course the Benq will support 1x, 2x, and 4x media. ANY burner is backwards compatible with slower rated media.

    Nero 6 supports both the Benq and the NEC. DVD Decrypter ONLY burns ISO and other Image files, not actual data files. So it is fine for DVD Video burns, you'll need something like Nero for data burning though.

    About using a DVD-ROM for PI/PO testing, ALL DVD-ROMs make poor PI/PO testers in comparison to DVD burners. They will usually give SOME indication of the burn quality, but are often not very accurate.

  9. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by steve2713
    Well Lordsmurf can be counted out of that equation, he isn't speaking from personal experience when he bashes Benq drives.
    Bullshit. How about you let me talk about my own experiences? Thanks. You only concern yourself with your own experiences. Those are the kinds of stupid comments that only serve to piss people off.

    That drive sucks. From personal experience. You don't have to agree. You don't have to like it. But that's my experience.

  10. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    In the shadows.....
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Originally Posted by steve2713
    Well Lordsmurf can be counted out of that equation, he isn't speaking from personal experience when he bashes Benq drives.
    Bullshit. How about you let me talk about my own experiences? Thanks. You only concern yourself with your own experiences. Those are the kinds of stupid comments that only serve to piss people off.

    That drive sucks. From personal experience. You don't have to agree. You don't have to like it. But that's my experience.
    Here we go again with LS! When you gonna quit bashing a drive that you have no experience with?????? Oh! wait your friend had a BENQ not you.....Geez, it's getting tiresome to see you constantly bash the BENQ 1620 drive and you don't even own one let alone I even offered to help you out with the drive....but you kindly declined.....why?????????? I dunno......it seems you're the only one bashing the BENQ 1620 drive in this forum site.....when you have personal experience with the drive then comment.....you have never offered explanations of why your friends BENQ drive sucked......so with that in mind it's best to keep your comments to yourself with regard to the BENQ 1620...unless you would like to share with us exactly what was wrong with your so called friends BENQ 1620 drive.....

  11. Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    I still say get the Pioneer for high quality burns. You're getting sucked into the bottomless "scanning" pit, I can already tell. Many of those "scanning drives" tend to make for lower quality readers and mediocre burners.

    You have to decide what you want:

    (A) A drive that burns well, and use decent surface scans and DVD player tests to confirm burn quality.

    or

    (B) A "scanning" drive that gives decent/mediocre burns and lets you know it, with gazillions of nerd tests to "prove" it.

    I agree 100%

    I could careless what PI/OP or whatever it is IS
    If I want to know if it's a good burn, I just see if I can read the data on the disc (CRC read errors in DVDdecrypter). If it comes up with no red blocks, it's good. If it comes up with red blocks, it's bad. Simple test. perfect results on 1K+ DVDs that I've done.
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I use the FixEverythingThat'sWrongWithThisVideo() filter. Works perfectly every time.

  12. Originally Posted by stiltman
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    I still say get the Pioneer for high quality burns. You're getting sucked into the bottomless "scanning" pit, I can already tell. Many of those "scanning drives" tend to make for lower quality readers and mediocre burners.

    You have to decide what you want:

    (A) A drive that burns well, and use decent surface scans and DVD player tests to confirm burn quality.

    or

    (B) A "scanning" drive that gives decent/mediocre burns and lets you know it, with gazillions of nerd tests to "prove" it.

    I agree 100%

    I could careless what PI/OP or whatever it is IS
    If I want to know if it's a good burn, I just see if I can read the data on the disc (CRC read errors in DVDdecrypter). If it comes up with no red blocks, it's good. If it comes up with red blocks, it's bad. Simple test. perfect results on 1K+ DVDs that I've done.
    A scandisc is about the most useless test you can do for testing discs that are going to be used for DVD Video playback. Transfer rate and PI/PO tests will both give a much better indication of whether or not you'll have playback problems.

    If the DVD is being used for data and data only, then a Scandisc test works fine. But for DVD Video discs it's a POOR way of testing discs.

  13. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by steve2713
    A scandisc is about the most useless test you can do for testing discs that are going to be used for DVD Video playback. Transfer rate and PI/PO tests will both give a much better indication of whether or not you'll have playback problems.

    If the DVD is being used for data and data only, then a Scandisc test works fine. But for DVD Video discs it's a POOR way of testing discs.
    Totally disagree. I think you have that ENTIRELY BACKWARDS.

    PI/PO was NOT CREATED FOR THIS. It was meant as an internal tool for companies to test media and to test drives and to test how media worked with the drives.

    There are far too many variables for a PI/PO test to say anything of importance about how DVD-Video discs will be read by a DVD player or even a DVD-ROM or another DVD burner.

    A surface scan will test the media for readability (is the disc good? can the data be retrieved?). And the player itself will serve to verify is the data is written properly, and whether the reflectivity of the media (dye, for the most part) is cooperative with the reader laser. If you're feeling especially worried, maybe run a speed test to see if there are any dips on stutters in the read. A PI/PO test cannot help with any of this.

    .
    .

    The BenQ drives, love them all you want, but here's a few thoughts on that drive:
    (1) People "love it" because it "burns good" and the media "scans good". However that doesn't prove anything. Scans are largely "guesses" and not scientific "proof" of anything, as it relies on unknowns about the drive and media in the scenario. It is very common to get a "good scan" but have the media crap out in the player or fail a surface test.
    (2) The drive has issues with well-known high quality media. I've seen complaints for all major "high quality" media, including TY and MXL discs.
    (3) The drive has known reader inadequacies/
    (4) The firmware and software interaction is not "ready out of the box" and indeed takes a good bit of finagling to get it to work at the "perfect settings" owners like to brag about. While some things in video need tweaking, the burner is not one of them.
    (5) In light of items 2-5, item 1 really loses it's luster. If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
    (6) BenQ is merely Acer with a new name. Acer was never a company known for high-quality computer products, though they did have some really nice CD burners in the early days of CD burning, back in the mid/late 1990s.

    Agree, disagree, both. At any rate, that's my take on those drives. Overrated, for the reasons just listed.

    - Pioneer makes better burners.
    - LiteOn still makes good burners.
    - LG also makes decent burners.
    - NEC I begrudgingy consider decent, but it also has lots of firmware/media issues, and without the firmware hackers, the drive would probably be a paperweight. As far back as the first 1100 drive, there were issues with NEC drives.

  14. I just finished an extensive scan comparison of the NEC 3500 and the 3520 over at cdfreakes:

    http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=136629

    If you check there and link to my sig. you will find scans for 4 different drives and 5-6 different kinds of media.

    I agree that the Liteon is better for scanning than the BenQ or the NEC, as do a few others.

    It also seems that the drives that do the best job burning don't scan. I don't really see that the scanning ability impacts the burn quality. I think that is just the way it turned out. Certainly, the quality on my 3520 burns is not diminished now that I can scan.

    I also have found that the preference for a particular drive can depend on the media you use and the features you need (bitsetting,etc.), and varies considerably depending on whether or not you scan your discs.

    I scan and I prefer the NEC drives, then the LG and last the BenQ. ALL of them burn very high quality discs and very high quality burns. If you never scan you will be satisfied with any of them. If you scan you will see the quality differences. Virtually none of these differences will have any impact on playback, which is what we burn these discs for, really.
    Still a few bugs in the system...

  15. Originally Posted by steve2713
    Originally Posted by stiltman
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    I still say get the Pioneer for high quality burns. You're getting sucked into the bottomless "scanning" pit, I can already tell. Many of those "scanning drives" tend to make for lower quality readers and mediocre burners.

    You have to decide what you want:

    (A) A drive that burns well, and use decent surface scans and DVD player tests to confirm burn quality.

    or

    (B) A "scanning" drive that gives decent/mediocre burns and lets you know it, with gazillions of nerd tests to "prove" it.

    I agree 100%

    I could careless what PI/OP or whatever it is IS
    If I want to know if it's a good burn, I just see if I can read the data on the disc (CRC read errors in DVDdecrypter). If it comes up with no red blocks, it's good. If it comes up with red blocks, it's bad. Simple test. perfect results on 1K+ DVDs that I've done.
    A scandisc is about the most useless test you can do for testing discs that are going to be used for DVD Video playback.

    And at what speed does your standalone DVD player read at....????


    Thought so


    My DVD player can read EVERY DVD that passes the scan disc test, flawlessly

    If my DVD burner/rom has scan disc problems with a disc, so do my standalone players.....


    I have yet to see one disc come out good on a surface scan and look like crap on a PI/PO scan, then not play perfectly on my standalones


    What matters. Burn then play
    If it plays, I could careless what the PI/PO scans says....
    tgpo famous MAC commercial, You be the judge?
    Originally Posted by jagabo
    I use the FixEverythingThat'sWrongWithThisVideo() filter. Works perfectly every time.

  16. Steve2713, thanks for answering my questions. My only fear of updating firmware is that it voids my warranty and if it fails then my drive is ruined. It's not something that I want to risk unless it adds a feature I really need. I would hope that the factory shipped firmware does a good enough job with most media that I don't have to upgrade the firmware to burn common media at the drive's rated burn speed.

    It's interesting to read the heated debate between you, budz, and Lord Smurf. I saw the same arguments in different threads over the last few months. I respect all of your opinions and know you have good experience in these areas, so when one person trashes a drive and another loves it, it's hard to know what to think. Where I differ from Lord Smurf and stiltman is the "who cares about PI/PO" attitude. To me it's like buying and driving a car for years and never once looking under the hood. You figure if the car works, that's good enough, but I'm the kind of guy who'd like to see if it's got a lawnmower engine inside, a nice big engine, or a few squirrels running around in a cage. It's the same with burn quality... just because things look good on the outside doesn't mean they are good on the inside (under the error correction). I'm actually amazed I went this long without getting into error scanning, but some people recently saying burning 8x media at 2x may be bad was the impetus I needed. So, nobody will convince me not to get an error scanning capable drive, and since I have 2 Pioneers I feel it's time to try another brand.

    My decision is between the NEC 3520A and the BenQ DW1620, but I'm still leaning toward the BenQ. Considering these are only $50-$60 a pop, maybe I should stop spending time researching and worrying which one to get and just pick one. Even if the BenQ only does good error scanning, it will be worth $52 to me. At the same time if error scanning is my #1 reason for a new drive, maybe I should get a Liteon first. Which currently available Liteon model do people recommend for the best error scans? That's something I haven't researched yet.

    Does anyone have enough experience with Newegg to know if I should wait for the cheaper gray BenQ to be in stock or should I go for the in-stock black one? (That's assuming I choose the BenQ.)

    Chas, I read your NEC 3500 vs. 3520 thread on CD freaks. When I click on the .PNG scans it tells me I have to log in. Does CD Freaks require an account to access attachments or is something messed up in my browser?

  17. The problem with scandisc is that it can slow down to however slow it needs to and still read that portion of the disc.

    So you know what happens when you have a disc with a perfect Scandisc, yet the drive slowed down significantly to read that section of disc? Your disc WILL skip when you play it back on your standalone player. Scandisc is fine if you are testing a disc for it's ability to extract it's data, I SAID THAT BEFORE. But what speed does your standalone player read at .....????

    THOUGHT SO

    It must maintain its constant read speed or it will skip. As I just said, a Scandisc will NOT tell you if it has to slow down to read a portion of the disc, it just tells you it could read it. That does NOT cut it for testing DVD Video playback discs. As I said both a PI/PO test and/or Transfer Rate test are more useful. A transfer rate test is probably the most useful because it shows you exactly how much it has to slow down, and if it has a read error it will tell you that as well, so it's obviously better than a Scandisc test - It reports READ ERRORS PLUS READ SPEED..... Suspect PI/PO tests nearly always mirror Transfer Rate problem areas and bad spots for playback on the disc. Transfer Rate tests are probably your best way to test a disc for it's ability to playback smoothly, but the advantage of PI/PO testing is that it also gives you the ability to check the overall quality of a burned disc. Once you've done a number of PI/PO tests and become familiar with what to look for in the tests and what error levels cause problems, you find them very useful. Until you are familiar with PI/PO testing, it's easy to ignore it as useless. Believe me, it's VERY useful once you learn to interpret the tests.

    P.S. - smurf, I already suggested in my previous post that either a Transfer Rate or a PI/PO test are better tests than a Scandisc FOR DVD VIDEO discs. And as I said before, a Scandisc is perfectly fine for DATA DVDS. A Transfer Rate test is not really even debateable as being a better test over a Scandisc for checking a disc's likelyhood of playing back properly in a standalone player. Yes, PI/PO tests can be argued against as they don't even necessarily report read errors. PO failures can be reported and are obviously a very bad sign, but having no PO failures doesn't necessarily indicate a disc that will play back properly, just as a disc reporting PO failures doesn't GUARANTEE playback issues (although it almost nearly always does). But as I said above, RARELY does a PI/PO test differ from it's corresponding Transfer Rate test and playback ability. Excellent PI/PO numbers, low Jitter, no concentrations of high PO numbers, the disc will subsequently prove to playback perfectly 99% of the time. High PI, and more importantly high PO and Jitter levels, and 99% of the time you're looking at a disc with Playback problems.

    If you're not comfortable or capable of interpreting PI/PO tests into real world Playback/Readability, that's doesn't make PI/PO tests any less useful. That's obviously a personal problem. Don't blow it off as 'PI/PO tests are useless' because of an inability to interpret the tests.

  18. I know this is on a little tangent, but I thought I'd make a post in this thread before I start a new one. I finally looked here, on CD Freaks, and on Google for threads with "Pioneer 1.09 firmware". Then I looked for "Pioneer firmware final*" (for finalize/finalizing). I was hoping to find some posts which describe why I can't burn +R media on my Pioneer A07 with firmware 1.09.

    What happens is the disc usually gets to the writing lead out stage in Nero 5.5.x.x (I can look up the exact version if it matters) and then it stops with a "Communication failure" error message in the log. It doesn't matter what speed or media brand... +R always fails and -R always works.

    Anyway, my searches turned up nothing mentioning this problem. I could try updating the A07's firmware (which I'm sure Steve2713 would recommend I do anyway) and hope that solves it, but considering it's not a known problem I'm worried it might be a hardware issue. Is it possible for a drive to have a hardware problem allowing -R but not +R recording? If they follow the exact same hardware paths, then it probably isn't a hardware defect.

    The A07 is 10 months old (the warranty is supposed to be 1 year), and if I update the firmware and that doesn't fix it, then I can't return it to Pioneer. However, if I can prove it's a hardware problem before I change the firmware, then my understanding is Pioneer should exchange it for a refurb unit under warranty.

    Any suggestions or knowledge how to resolve this +R burning problem? Should I post a new thread on Videohelp, on CD Freaks, or on Usenet, call Pioneer first, or upgrade the firmware from 1.09? If it's a bug, then it should've shown up as an issue fixed by later firmware versions.

  19. Oh dear...
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Totally disagree. I think you have that ENTIRELY BACKWARDS.

    PI/PO was NOT CREATED FOR THIS. It was meant as an internal tool for companies to test media and to test drives and to test how media worked with the drives.

    There are far too many variables for a PI/PO test to say anything of importance about how DVD-Video discs will be read by a DVD player or even a DVD-ROM or another DVD burner.
    Maybe not a single error scan test by one DVD burner but the same applies to all other tests too. Error level scans are definitely not useless if used in the right way and can give you a good indication of the burn quality.

    A surface scan will test the media for readability (is the disc good? can the data be retrieved?). And the player itself will serve to verify is the data is written properly, and whether the reflectivity of the media (dye, for the most part) is cooperative with the reader laser. If you're feeling especially worried, maybe run a speed test to see if there are any dips on stutters in the read. A PI/PO test cannot help with any of this.
    Yes it can. A "surface scan" is pretty useless though as it says nothing about the quality. A bad disc might be readable in one drive with out errors (but likely with huge slow-downs) but give read errors in a different drive and likely playback problems on sensitive stand-alone players.

    The BenQ drives, love them all you want, but here's a few thoughts on that drive:
    (1) People "love it" because it "burns good" and the media "scans good". However that doesn't prove anything. Scans are largely "guesses" and not scientific "proof" of anything, as it relies on unknowns about the drive and media in the scenario. It is very common to get a "good scan" but have the media crap out in the player or fail a surface test.
    No that's certainly not very common. Maybe you can link to all these tests where error scans are good but the "surface test" fail? And no, scans are not guesses but you have obviously not read enough on the subject to understand how it works...
    (2) The drive has issues with well-known high quality media. I've seen complaints for all major "high quality" media, including TY and MXL discs.
    Nonsense.
    (3) The drive has known reader inadequacies/
    Again nonsense.
    (4) The firmware and software interaction is not "ready out of the box" and indeed takes a good bit of finagling to get it to work at the "perfect settings" owners like to brag about. While some things in video need tweaking, the burner is not one of them.
    Yeah it's very hard to download the latest firmware, click flash and reboot If you buy a new drive, no matter what brand, it usually comes with an old firmware and you should always flash to the latest. BTW, how good did your Pioneer 109 worked out of the box? If I remember correct it had huge problems with burning compatible DVD-R discs in DAO/SAO mode and hardely supported a single disc at 16x speed.
    (5) In light of items 2-5, item 1 really loses it's luster. If it's too good to be true, it probably is.
    Fortunately those points were just BS by you.
    (6) BenQ is merely Acer with a new name. Acer was never a company known for high-quality computer products, though they did have some really nice CD burners in the early days of CD burning, back in the mid/late 1990s.
    BenQ's optical storage division has nothing to do with Acer. It was formed as a complete new joint venture with Philips, PBDS (Philips BenQ Data Storage).


    Ronaldus: You're using an old firmware and old software. Update both of them and your problems will most likely be solved (if I remember correct old Nero versions had a finalization bug with DVD+R).

  20. Originally Posted by Ronaldus
    Chas, I read your NEC 3500 vs. 3520 thread on CD freaks. When I click on the .PNG scans it tells me I have to log in. Does CD Freaks require an account to access attachments or is something messed up in my browser?
    I was able to link to my scans with no problem when logged off the site so I would have to assume the problem is elsewhere. Before you get the BenQ I would suggest you choose your media and verify that it is doing what you want. I have developed a rating system for my burns and, with my media choices, the only media that is better on the BenQ is TYG02. If you stick with that, your will have purchased the best drive. Also, be prepared for the possibility of a bad drive. They seem to show up more than for other brands. Lastly, their scanning is not as accurate, but it will get the job done. Also with the speed patch it is a fast and accurate reader.
    Still a few bugs in the system...

  21. Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    NEC I begrudgingy consider decent, but it also has lots of firmware/media issues, and without the firmware hackers, the drive would probably be a paperweight. As far back as the first 1100 drive, there were issues with NEC drives.
    Total garbage, I use the drive every day with factory firmware, it does perfect burns every time and has no media issues. I even burned Optocrap discs just to see if they would work, they burned fine. If it will burn those trash discs it will burn anything.

  22. Jsl, thanks for the tip about the Pioneer +R burning problem. Maybe I should try searching on the words "Nero Pioneer and finalize" instead?

    I know I'm using old firmware, but it sounds like you're saying it's a Nero finalization error. The mysterious part is why does Nero 5.5.10.35 finalize +R fine with a Pioneer A06 with firmware 1.06, but not with a Pioneer A07 with firmware 1.09 in the same machine?

    Since the solution to all of life problems (just kidding) seems to be to upgrade firmware, let me ask this to allay my fears if it turns out to be a hardware problem - is the official Pioneer firmware 1.09 available somewhere on the Internet and if I upgrade my firmware, will the drive/flashing utility allow me to downgrade back to official firmware 1.09 in case I have to send back the drive under the 1 year warranty?

  23. Chas0039, I tried a different computer with a newer (but not the latest) Internet Explorer. Whenever I click on .PNG images I'm asked by CD Freaks to log in, so maybe your browser remembers who you are after you logged out. I guess I've got to get an account there now. It's strange how most error scan images are displayed along with the thread text, but certain ones are not.

    When you say I should choose the media I want to use first, that's not the way I plan to or want to do this. My philosophy on media is simple - I've used various types and I know which manufacturers tend to be good. Any manufacturers which gets good reviews on Videohelp's media forum and whose media is on sale, I will buy that at that time. Recently there were TYG02s on sale (though in another thread I complained that the Fuji spindles were consistently very speckly near the edge which I'm sure harms the PI/PO error scans with so many specks to burn through). I have a smattering of this and that type of media, and I don't want to commit to any particular type. I actually feel better not having all my eggs in one basket in case someday we find manufacturer X used an organic dye which degrades quickly.

    So, I'd like to be sure that the BenQ 1620 will work well on whatever media I try. If it's going to burn worse than a Pioneer A06 or A06 on other media I may use (such RitekG03/G04, TDGG02000000, ProdiscF01, TTG02, YUDENT02000, MXLRG03), then maybe I should go for a Liteon just for scanning and stick with the Pioneer A06 and A07 for now. Again, I want this next drive mainly for error scanning rather than for burning (at least until the Pioneers bite the dust), but ideally the BenQ 1620 (or NEC 3520) would also burn better than the A06 or A07.

    I heard that I/O Magic sometimes uses BenQ 1620s and Staples has I/O Magic burners on sale for under $40 after rebate, but if I go that route I'm in danger of getting some other type of drive unless I can find how to identify a BenQ 1620 from the outside of the box. Anyone know how?

  24. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by -jsl-
    (2) The drive has issues with well-known high quality media. I've seen complaints for all major "high quality" media, including TY and MXL discs.
    Nonsense.
    (3) The drive has known reader inadequacies/
    Again nonsense.
    The only nonsense here is your flagrant refusal to acknowledge the errors reports online with these two issues (and we're not talking isolated cases, but apparently pretty common issues). Live in your bubble, doesn't bother me any. My Pioneer 109 reads discs quite decently (though I have a BTC for best reading), and the 109 burns pretty much any disc at rated speed, and does it well. BenQ cannot claim the same results. ESPECIALLY the higher grade media like MXL and MCC and TY. When other people want a good drive, that reads discs well, and burns excellent, they get the PIONEER 109 suggestion.

    Ronaldus, you're 100% correct. When I bought my car, I made sure I knew the engine specs, and it test drove really well. 100,000+ miles later, this car is still purring all the same. The only time I've had to lift the hood was to refill the window washer fluid. It works well, I know what's inside, I have no reason to open the hood and inspect/tinker.


    After far as your Acer comment: http://www.benq.us/about
    Who we are
    The BenQ Group, formerly known as Acer Communications & Multimedia Group, is a global operation, employing over 14,760 people worldwide
    But even if the DVD burners are a Philips/BenQ(Acer) venture, that's still no compliment. Philips burners were by far some of the tackiest burners from the early days. About as good as Sony was.

    Either way, no compliment, in terms of history of past products being super-successful.

  25. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    In the shadows.....
    Search Comp PM
    I heard that I/O Magic sometimes uses BenQ 1620s and Staples has I/O Magic burners on sale for under $40 after rebate, but if I go that route I'm in danger of getting some other type of drive unless I can find how to identify a BenQ 1620 from the outside of the box. Anyone know how?
    look at the specs on the box of the I/O MAGIC drive, if it says for DL DVD+R 2.4x speed then the drive is a REBADGED BENQ 1620. if it says 4x speed DL DVD+R then the drive is a REBADGED BTC which is a crappy burner. I got 2 of these I/O MAGIC REBADGED BENQ 1620's.

  26. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    In the shadows.....
    Search Comp PM
    LS wrote
    Live in your bubble, doesn't bother me any. My Pioneer 109 reads discs quite decently (though I have a BTC for best reading), and the 109 burns pretty much any disc at rated speed, and does it well.
    but you fail to say that you had problems when you first bought the PIONEER 109 drive. i read on other forum sites how so many people have problems with the 109 drive.

    to Ronaldus: in my opinion buy what you can afford and use good quality dvd media then you won't have problems. i use TY & MAXELL (RICOH) with my BENQ 1620's, PLEXTOR 708A & PIONEER 107D with no problems.

  27. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by Ronaldus
    about the Pioneer +R burning problem.
    Not sure if this has been addressed before ...

    Why not burn DVD-R media instead of DVD+R media?
    What is the advantage/need of burning DVD+R that you're getting?

    There is far more high quality DVD-R than DVD+R.
    The media alone may be part of the issue, in one way or another.

    I slowly start to wonder if your problems will be solved by new burner hardware, or merely continued, regardless of burner. Because software and media has a big impact too.

  28. Originally Posted by lordsmurf
    Originally Posted by Ronaldus
    about the Pioneer +R burning problem.
    Not sure if this has been addressed before ...

    Why not burn DVD-R media instead of DVD+R media?
    What is the advantage/need of burning DVD+R that you're getting?

    There is far more high quality DVD-R than DVD+R.
    The media alone may be part of the issue, in one way or another.

    I slowly start to wonder if your problems will be solved by new burner hardware, or merely continued, regardless of burner. Because software and media has a big impact too.
    That's lame - when your beloved Pioneer 109 has problems with +R media, you go so far as to suggest not even using +R media in any capacity?..... We already know that you have a bias against +R media, so it doesn't suprise me that you'd suggest something like avoiding +R media altogether. And to say that there's far more high quality -R than +R, that's not true. I'd say there are similar amounts of good quality +R and -R media out there, but that there is a FAR larger amount of BAD -R media out there. There are very few +R media codes out there that are known poor media, while -R has a million different generic and crap media codes out there.

  29. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by budz
    i read on other forum sites how so many people have problems with the 109 drive.
    So do I.

    But the devil's in the details. Most of them are trying to use old softare not supported by the new drives. Or using cheap media. Neither are burner issues, but rather user-related problems. You also gets lots of complaints that the drive doesn't over-burn discs (burn faster than media rating), doesn't do PI/PO tests, and doesn't allow manual booktype changes. Well .... duh .... that's not something this drive does. If you want to fiddle with booktype, over-burning or scanning (probably the 3 most useless burner "features") then buy something else.


    These are the legitimate issues:

    - The first couple firmwares did not have all the newest 16x media in the firmware table, but that's since been fixed. It still burned the media, but only at 8x-12x, now it can do proper 16x.
    - The SAO/DAO (and related buffer issues) didn't affect everybody, and only then was an 8x+ problem. I don't know what to say about that one. It came, it bothered a few, it went, no longer an issue.
    - It had issues with Nero, but Nero finally got updated and seems to be some okay again (not really). Nero 6 has issues, period, regardless of drive.

    Official firmware 1.40 (current update) fixes all this.
    Official firmware, not a "needed hack" like many drives. That's important.

  30. DVD Ninja budz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    In the shadows.....
    Search Comp PM
    LS wrote
    There is far more high quality DVD-R than DVD+R.
    The media alone may be part of the issue, in one way or another.
    where is there high quality DVD-R? TY seems to be the best dvd media and they do make DVD+R as well. BS to your comment regarding more high quality DVD-R than DVD+R!!!!




Similar Threads