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In House Review - Lite-On SHM-165H6S Super AllWrite DVD±RW

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In House Review - Lite-On SHM-165H6S Super AllWrite DVD±RW

Postby Ian on Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:41 pm

Today, CDRLabs brings you an in depth look at Lite-On's new "Super AllWrite" drive, the SHM-165H6S. Sporting some pretty impressive specs, the SHM-165H6S is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW, 8x DVD+R DL, 4x DVD-R DL and 5x DVD-RAM writing speeds and a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. The drive also has many of the features we've come to expect from Lite-On, along with new ones like HyperTuning and OverSpeed. To top it all off, the SHM-165H6S includes support for HP's LightScribe Direct Disc Labeling system.

In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the SHM-165H6S and see how it compares to some of the 16x DVD±RW drives from the competition. Does the SHM-165H6S have what it takes? You'll have to read the review to find out.

[url=http://www.cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=284]Image
Lite-On SHM-165H6S Super AllWrite 16x DVD±RW[/url]

As usual, if you have any comments or questions about this review or the Lite-On SHM-165H6S, please post them in the forum by clicking the link below.
Last edited by Ian on Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bhairav on Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:17 pm

NIce review, Ian. I don't trust Benq scans of Lite-On drives, as they tend to report really high jitter, hence high error rates from MTK chipsets. I've seen some test scans @ CDF from the newer FWs released by Wind and Karr.. all I can hope is that they release them as official firmware.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:30 pm

Bhairav wrote:NIce review, Ian. I don't trust Benq scans of Lite-On drives, as they tend to report really high jitter, hence high error rates from MTK chipsets. I've seen some test scans @ CDF from the newer FWs released by Wind and Karr.. all I can hope is that they release them as official firmware.


I don't trust LiteON scans, as they DON'T report jitter, and often return unrealistic error levels.
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Postby bill on Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:34 pm

Nice review, Ian!

The drive looks like a nice reader. You mentioned in the review that a future firmware upgrade may help some of the write performance. That statement made me curious how many times firmware was released for the drive but I couldn't find the HS0D.. I might not be looking in the right place... where did you get it?

Many thanks to you and Dolph for providing these reviews.
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Postby [buck] on Wed Apr 26, 2006 11:45 pm

Bhairav wrote:NIce review, Ian. I don't trust Benq scans of Lite-On drives, as they tend to report really high jitter, hence high error rates from MTK chipsets.


See, I don't trust LiteON scans by themselves in almost any situation. They're such a great reader that their results are not at all representitive your average reader, IMO. In addition, I find it's kind of hard to measure disc quality without a jitter reading. Beta is nice too, but only Plextors report it. :-?
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Postby Scour on Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:04 am

Hello!

Nice review again :)

We all know the Benq is sensitive when scanning media burned with MTK-chipset-drives, but this is the reason why i like this scans. A good scan in a Benq means that this media should not made probleme, neither in a sensitive player/drive

I don´t trust Liteon-scans because they reported much better quality than the burn really have
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Postby TCAS on Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:36 am

When a DVD Writer gets 7 out of 10 for the performance that drive would never be considered in my list to buy. Thanks as always for good and thorough review Ian.
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Postby Bhairav on Thu Apr 27, 2006 3:08 am

dolphinius_rex wrote:
Bhairav wrote:NIce review, Ian. I don't trust Benq scans of Lite-On drives, as they tend to report really high jitter, hence high error rates from MTK chipsets. I've seen some test scans @ CDF from the newer FWs released by Wind and Karr.. all I can hope is that they release them as official firmware.


I don't trust LiteON scans, as they DON'T report jitter, and often return unrealistic error levels.


Oh ok,,how about Plex scans then as a compromise ;)

Dolph : how unrealistic are the L-O scans in your experience? My 832S seems to match up with the Benq quite well, aside from the lack of jitter.
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Postby Ian on Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:48 am

While BenQ drives may be a bit sensitive, Lite-On drives seem to be a little too forgiving. Many times, I'll have a disc that tests fine on a Lite-On but experiences readability problems on other drives. That doesn't seem right to me. In any case, this is why we test with two drives and not just the one.

The HS0D firmware isn't available to the public yet. Normally I wouldn't do this, but the latest firmware available to the public (HS07) has the leadin bug.
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Postby MediumRare on Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:07 am

To coin a phrase :wink:: Nice review Ian! I read it with great interest because I have it's sibling 165P6s (without the superfluous Lightscribe).

Obviously LiteOn does something with its discs that BenQ doesn't like- at least regarding jitter and (as a result) PI/PIF. The transfer rates mostly look good. The relevance to real world compatibility issues, i.e. how other drives read these discs, has to be examined, though. LiteOn drives are traditionally excellent readers, and this one is no exception.

Ian wrote:Many times, I'll have a disc that tests fine on a Lite-On but experiences readability problems on other drives.

So does your experience indicate that a high jitter level (e.g. the jump at .85 GiB) on BenQ is a reliable indicator for problems on other drives?

I know that PI/PIF isn't the whole picture- you mentioned, e.g. the lead-in problem for DVD-R media with the presently available official firmware. Also I have some video DVD's burned on my old SOHW-1213S@1653S with impeccable scans that cause problems on my standalone player (Cyberhome CH DVD 462), particularly at the start of the disc where PI/PIF are usually low. The Cyberhome normally swallows anything I give it and other players have no problems wirth these discs, so I don't know what exactly the problem is here.

Regarding Hypertuning: the newer LiteOn drives (e.g. my 165P6S) show a learning effect when they encounter new media types (independent of forcing hypertuning), so generally the second burn with a given media type is better than the first. I know you burn a lot more stuff than I do, so maybe this doesn't apply to your tests. I think this may have skewed some of my observations, though (which I'll post shortly in the Media forum).

Also there's a kind of "gotcha" in applying Hypertuning or Overspeeding with SmartBurn 3.1.6: you have to cycle the tray to apply the settings and actually do a burn for them to stick. There's a testversion 3.1.6t available at the codeguys' site which applies the changes immediately. It can also activate "Online Hypertuning" which is LiteOn's experimental version of WOPC, only present in beta firmware at present.

I really find it ironic that so many drives can burn a DVD faster than they can read it. :o 12x reading SL media is not "state of the art".

Is there a technical reason for the low DVD-RAM reading speed? It really limit the useful application of this type of media. I'm willing to invest some time to safely write a backup (for example), but when you need data from a backup, you need it bad and a low reading speed is frustrating.

Once again, thank you for your thourough tests!

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Postby Ian on Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:00 am

MediumRare wrote:So does your experience indicate that a high jitter level (e.g. the jump at .85 GiB) on BenQ is a reliable indicator for problems on other drives?


Right now the only problem I've seen is with BenQ drives and even then its usually minor, maybe a slight blip on the transfer rate graph. Still, BenQ drives are widely used and not just in computers.

Still, I wonder what Lite-On is doing at that point to make the jitter jump like that. I have not been able to get an answer from the engineers yet.

Regarding Hypertuning: the newer LiteOn drives (e.g. my 165P6S) show a learning effect when they encounter new media types (independent of forcing hypertuning), so generally the second burn with a given media type is better than the first. I know you burn a lot more stuff than I do, so maybe this doesn't apply to your tests. I think this may have skewed some of my observations, though (which I'll post shortly in the Media forum).


Yeah, I figured it was like Plextor's AutoStrategy where it would take a few burns before you'd see a difference. In a few cases, the differences were noticeable, others not so much.

Thanks for the link to that test version of SmartBurn. I'll have to check it out.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:26 pm

Bhairav wrote:Dolph : how unrealistic are the L-O scans in your experience? My 832S seems to match up with the Benq quite well, aside from the lack of jitter.


On good discs I find LiteON drives and BenQ drives have a LOT in common.... but when a disc has problems, especially high jitter, the LiteON doesn't notice at all. Beta also doesn't register except for in EXTREME cases. I've even seen some cases where a BenQ reports POF errors, and a LiteON reports 8-10 PIF spikes in that area only.
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Postby Ian on Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:39 pm

Some ass clown over at CD Freaks was calling me a tard for not scanning the HyperTuning discs with KProbe. I did that so you could see both the PI/PIF rates and jitter levels. If you REALLY want me to test those discs with KProbe, I'll post some screenshots in the forum. That is if I can find them..
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Postby MediumRare on Thu Apr 27, 2006 5:53 pm

The guy apparently doesn't know what a link is. :o I think the comparison using the BenQ is adequate in this case.

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Postby Scour on Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:06 pm

MediumRare wrote: I think the comparison using the BenQ is adequate in this case.

G


Agree

The Benq is more sensitive than a Liteon, so u can see small differnets in the quality more than with a forgiving Liteon
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Postby Ian on Thu May 25, 2006 9:38 pm

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