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DRU-720A First Impressions

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DRU-720A First Impressions

Postby PolarWeasel on Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:05 pm

When I went to Fry's earlier this week to buy a Sony DRU-710A, I noticed that they had the DRU-720A, which according to the box supports writing DVD+/-R at 16X and DVD+R DL at 4X out of the box. On the assumption that it's better to start at these speeds out of the box before any firmware upgrades, I splurged for the 720A instead of the 710A.

So far, the drive is behaving quite well. I only have 8X DVD-R media, so I haven't been able to test any of the 16X modes or DVD+R DL writing, but the drive appears to meet the stated speeds on the box for the media I have (the Fry's "GC" brand, which turned out to be Taiyo Yuden).

I've created a couple of coasters, but I think that was because of my inexperience with formatting the data for output to DVD rather than because of the drive.

Is there a standard benchmarking procedure I could follow so I could then post useful information to this forum? I'm fairly new to the world of DVD burners (though I did quite a bit of research before deciding on the Sony drive).

Amazingly, I couldn't find any reviews or impressions of the DRU-720A on the Internet, and what little I could find basically described the specs on the box and tended to be in Taiwanese. This must be a *really* new drive.

Also, my current understanding is that it's not possible to even attempt to write to an 8X blank at faster speeds (Nero reports 8X as the maximum speed with a disc in the drive). I've seen online reviews of other drives that described burning to 8X media at 12X or even 16X, so I know this is possible. Does it require a modified firmware? I tried using the Nero InfoTool; it reports the media *types* supported by the drive, but it only reports the *speed* for CD-R burning. I haven't figured out yet if it's possible to click somewhere to determine the maximum DVD burning speeds.

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Postby Gen-An on Sun Jan 30, 2005 3:19 pm

You can download a program called KProbe to scan discs you've burned for errors (both correctable and uncorrectable). It just gives a general idea of the burn quality. As for enabling faster burning speeds on 8x media, just check out http://codeguys.rpc1.org. Grab the Omnipatcher.
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Re: DRU-720A First Impressions

Postby Ian on Sun Jan 30, 2005 5:10 pm

PolarWeasel wrote:Is there a standard benchmarking procedure I could follow so I could then post useful information to this forum? I'm fairly new to the world of DVD burners (though I did quite a bit of research before deciding on the Sony drive).


Most people like to use CD Speed (www.cdspeed2000.com) to test the drive's writing speed and time. Then they test the writing quality using KProbe (http://www.cdrlabs.com/kprobe/). Since the 720A is Lite-On based, it should work with KProbe.

Amazingly, I couldn't find any reviews or impressions of the DRU-720A on the Internet, and what little I could find basically described the specs on the box and tended to be in Taiwanese. This must be a *really* new drive.


Yes, it is very new. A day after you told us you bought it, Sony emailed me saying the drive would be available for preorder that week. I was like.. uhh.. yeah.. they're at Fry's already. I should hopefully have one soon. I'm hoping it's better than previous Lite-On based drives.

Also, my current understanding is that it's not possible to even attempt to write to an 8X blank at faster speeds (Nero reports 8X as the maximum speed with a disc in the drive). I've seen online reviews of other drives that described burning to 8X media at 12X or even 16X, so I know this is possible.


If its like Sony's previous drives, you won't be able to do that. Kinda sucks IMO.. but as Gen-An suggested, you can use utilties to hack the drive fairly easily.
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Postby PolarWeasel on Mon Jan 31, 2005 7:28 am

Gen-An wrote:You can download a program called KProbe to scan discs you've burned for errors (both correctable and uncorrectable). It just gives a general idea of the burn quality. As for enabling faster burning speeds on 8x media, just check out http://codeguys.rpc1.org. Grab the Omnipatcher.


Thanks ... I'll download KProbe and check out the codeguys site. I appreciate the suggestions.

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Last edited by PolarWeasel on Mon Jan 31, 2005 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DRU-720A First Impressions

Postby PolarWeasel on Mon Jan 31, 2005 7:33 am

Ian wrote:Most people like to use CD Speed (www.cdspeed2000.com) to test the drive's writing speed and time. Then they test the writing quality using KProbe (http://www.cdrlabs.com/kprobe/). Since the 720A is Lite-On based, it should work with KProbe.


I'll investigate both CD Speed and KProbe. If I can, I'll post some statistics for the drive.

Ian wrote:Yes, it is very new. A day after you told us you bought it, Sony emailed me saying the drive would be available for preorder that week. I was like.. uhh.. yeah.. they're at Fry's already. I should hopefully have one soon. I'm hoping it's better than previous Lite-On based drives.


I didn't realize there were problems with the Lite-On-based drives -- the reviews of the DRU-710A I read were all quite positive. We'll see how good this one is, I suppose.

Thanks for the suggestions.

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Re: DRU-720A First Impressions

Postby Wesociety on Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:12 am

PolarWeasel wrote: I have (the Fry's "GC" brand, which turned out to be Taiyo Yuden).

These discs are not manufactured by Taiyo Yuden! Very cheapie DVD-R using stolen TYG02 MID code, probably made in Hong Kong.
You probably would not want to burn these higher than 8x, even if you had the option!
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Re: DRU-720A First Impressions

Postby PolarWeasel on Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:26 pm

Wesociety wrote:
PolarWeasel wrote: I have (the Fry's "GC" brand, which turned out to be Taiyo Yuden).

These discs are not manufactured by Taiyo Yuden! Very cheapie DVD-R using stolen TYG02 MID code, probably made in Hong Kong.
You probably would not want to burn these higher than 8x, even if you had the option!


Interesting .... They do come up as TY in SmartBurn, which is why I assumed they actually *were* TY. It seems amazing to me that a company could get away with impersonating another company's product like that and still be sold at a major chain like Fry's.

Thanks for the info.

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Postby aviationwiz on Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:51 pm

It's not stolen, or fake, or impersonation. Fry's never advertised them as being Taiyo Yuden, therefore, they aren't impersonating them at all. Many companies use anothers MID code for better write quality, support, or whatever. MID Codes are not 100% accurate tools for checking the manufacturer of the media.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:32 am

aviationwiz wrote:It's not stolen, or fake, or impersonation. Fry's never advertised them as being Taiyo Yuden, therefore, they aren't impersonating them at all. Many companies use anothers MID code for better write quality, support, or whatever. MID Codes are not 100% accurate tools for checking the manufacturer of the media.


Exactly!

I couldn't have put it better myself!
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Postby Wesociety on Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:03 am

Stolen Stolen! :P
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:40 am

Wesociety wrote:Stolen Stolen! :P


Yeah, probably :wink:
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Postby PolarWeasel on Tue Feb 01, 2005 2:50 pm

aviationwiz wrote:It's not stolen, or fake, or impersonation. Fry's never advertised them as being Taiyo Yuden, therefore, they aren't impersonating them at all. Many companies use anothers MID code for better write quality, support, or whatever. MID Codes are not 100% accurate tools for checking the manufacturer of the media.


The reason I characterized it as "impersonation" is that from what I've read, Taiyo Yuden is a well-respected brand and it seems like whatever company is making these (presumably very cheap) discs is trying to capitalize on that good image.

For what it's worth, I've had good luck with the discs so far.

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Postby dolphinius_rex on Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:17 pm

PolarWeasel wrote:
aviationwiz wrote:It's not stolen, or fake, or impersonation. Fry's never advertised them as being Taiyo Yuden, therefore, they aren't impersonating them at all. Many companies use anothers MID code for better write quality, support, or whatever. MID Codes are not 100% accurate tools for checking the manufacturer of the media.


The reason I characterized it as "impersonation" is that from what I've read, Taiyo Yuden is a well-respected brand and it seems like whatever company is making these (presumably very cheap) discs is trying to capitalize on that good image.

For what it's worth, I've had good luck with the discs so far.

-Polar Weasel


While some companies DO try to play themselves off as manufacturing actual Taiyo Yuden media, at least a handful of plants use the code strictly for compatability issues. One of these plants even discontinued production of Taiyo Yuden code media once their own code was finally supported by more drive manufacturers. Keep in mind there is a LOT of politics in the blank media / Optical drive industry!

Besides, it's not like Taiyo Yuden minds... they do nothing about it, and even go so far as to assist in creating the Auto Strategy technology, which will probably make it even easier for media made with their codes to work (the stuff NOT made by them, that is).
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Re: DRU-720A First Impressions

Postby Scour on Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:20 pm

PolarWeasel wrote:
I didn't realize there were problems with the Lite-On-based drives -- the reviews of the DRU-710A I read were all quite positive. We'll see how good this one is, I suppose.

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The Sony/Liteon-drives have often good results because the drives offers good speeds in reading and writing. But when the writing-quality was tested this drives have very bad results.
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Postby VideoRoy on Tue Feb 01, 2005 6:57 pm

Since this drive seems to have the same specs as the DRU710A with the BYX2 FW update, I wondered if it is the same drive but standard with BYX2 or greater.

This is exactly what Sony did when I bought the DRU500A and then they provided the FW to allow 4x writing. They came out with a DRU510 (I think that was the model) and it was exactly the same. A friend and I compared the drives at the time since he had the 510.
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Postby Ian on Tue Feb 01, 2005 8:05 pm

VideoRoy wrote:Since this drive seems to have the same specs as the DRU710A with the BYX2 FW update, I wondered if it is the same drive but standard with BYX2 or greater.


The drives are very similar. However, the 720A has 16x DVD-R, 8x DVD+RW and 6x DVD-RW writing speeds.
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Postby VideoRoy on Tue Feb 01, 2005 9:11 pm

Oops! I must have read through it too quickly.

Still it would be nice if it is phsically the same FW that Sony would FW upgrade the folks that bought into the 710a to match.
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KProbe result for DRU-720A - Help Interpreting, Please?

Postby PolarWeasel on Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:44 am

I've just run KProbe 2.4.2 on an 8X DVD-R burned on my DRU-720A.

I burned 4.3GB of data to the disc using Nero Burning ROM 6.6.0.6 (UDF format). I then ran KProbe on the disc; here are the results:

Date : 2/2/2005 4:31:32 AM
Model : 0-0-1-0 SONY DVD RW DRU-720A JY01
Disc : DVD-R , TYG02 [Taiyo Yuden Company Limited]
Speed : Max
ECC blocks sum (PI/PIF) : 8/1
Scanned range : 0 - 2255763
Sampling count : 120371
Errors : 0
PI Max : 245
PI Average : 119.60
PI Total : 2023726
PIF Max : 147
PIF Average : 1.11
PIF Total : 18771

I have the PI and PIF charts, but I don't have access to a server on which to host them, so I can't include them here.

The PIF values had one spike around 120 and a second at 147. The rest of the PIF values were below 5 except for a few spikes that were all still below 10.

Interestingly enough, so far it appears the disc isn't recognized as valid when I try to read the data using Windows Explorer, but Nero Burning ROM shows a UDF Mode 1 session when I use it to query the disc info. If I can't read the data with explorer, obviously the disc is useless to me as a backup.

I'm still investigating this.

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Postby Bhairav on Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:59 am

Upload to www.imageshack.us but that PI avg looks a little high. Did you try running the CDSpeed Transfer Rate test?
Also, 4X speed should be selected, as that is the standard here @ CDRLabs and CDFreaks, instead of Max.
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Postby Gabe on Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:38 am

Hi!

The PI Looks a little high, here´s something from me, tested with LiteOn SOHW 1653S:

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Postby Bhairav on Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:53 am

Nice scan. Gabe, the OP has fake TYs, no wonder the error rates are so high ;)
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