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In House Review - Lite-On SOHW-1633S Double Layer 16x DVD±RW

DVD-R/W, DVD+R/RW, DVD-RAM

In House Review - Lite-On SOHW-1633S Double Layer 16x DVD±RW

Postby aviationwiz on Wed Sep 29, 2004 7:34 am

CDRLabs has taken an in depth look at Lite-On's new double layer DVD burner, the SOHW-1633S. Along with support for the DVD+R DL format, it features some of the fastest DVD reading and writing speeds available. The SOHW-1633S is capable of 16x DVD+R, 8x DVD-R and 4x DVD±RW writing speeds and a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. Lite-On's new DVD writer also includes features like 48x CD reading and writing speeds, 24x rewriting speeds and support for their SMART-BURN and SMART-X technologies.

In this review we'll take a look at the features found on the SOHW-1633S and then see how it compares to some of the other double layer DVD writers we've looked at. Can the SOHW-1633S deliver the performance and features that we've come to expect from Lite-On? You'll have to read the review to find out.

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Lite-On SOHW-1633S Double Layer 16x DVD±RW

As usual, if you have any comments or questions about this review or the Lite-On SOHW-1633S, please post them in the forum using the link provided below.
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Postby Ian on Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:20 am

Thanks wiz
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Postby ItalianJob on Wed Sep 29, 2004 9:15 am

For my information, what is the media code of the DVD+R DL Memorex disc tested with this 2.4x DVD+R DL burner ?
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Postby Ian on Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:32 am

ItalianJob wrote:For my information, what is the media code of the DVD+R DL Memorex disc tested with this 2.4x DVD+R DL burner ?


It's Ritek. It did the same with RiDATA media. Oddly enough, ExtremeMhz got the drive to work with Traxdata media which has a Ritek ID as well.
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Postby ItalianJob on Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:54 am

Ok, so Traxdata=Ridata=Memorex => RitekD01 media code.
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Postby CowboySlim on Wed Sep 29, 2004 10:54 am

I'm still waiting for the Plextor PX-716A. If I had to buy one today it would be the NEC-3500A.

What puzzles me is that the Memorex clone, F16, is priced $40 to $50 more than the subject LiteOn. What's up with that?

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Postby code65536 on Wed Sep 29, 2004 11:54 am

CowboySlim wrote:What puzzles me is that the Memorex clone, F16, is priced $40 to $50 more than the subject LiteOn. What's up with that?


You oughta see the Sony 700A vs. LiteOn 832S price difference... it's easier to mark up the price and convince people to buy it at the higher price if it's a well-known brand. Most Americans will say "LiteOn? What's that?" while Sony (and to a lesser extent, Memorex) would ring a clearer bell.



As for the Ritek +R DL thing, I've also heard a few of reports of the BS0C and BS0G firmwares not liking Ritek +R DL. Supposedly, BS01 worked, though, I think...
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Postby MediumRare on Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:16 pm

I read the review with great interest. I think LiteOn is going to have to work hard on newer firmware to get the quality problems fixed! At least here in Europe, they can't count much on price as a selling point either. They're not significantly cheaper than LG or NEC.

Have you tried KProbe scans with the 1633S? Are the results comparable to your standard 811S? It's a good idea to stick with one drive for comparing KProbe scans, but when a test candidate has the capability as well, a glimpse at its scanning properties would be interesting too.
Instead of taking about two and half minutes like the SOHW-1633S, the F16 took 2:52 to write 650MB of data. Hopefully Memorex can fix this in a future firmware update.

The 2 drives are very similar, but I think that some remnants of an earlier draft of the F16 test were overlooked. :wink:

I had a hard look at the CDR-writing results because (as I mentioned earlier) my drive seems to be limited to 32x PCAV with CDR's. It's a SOHW 1213S, but I've flashed it to 1633S (BS0C) and Memorex BWSE and both flavours show this behaviour. The writing quality (with MCC media) is good though. I don't understand what's causing this- other users have posted normal results.

edit:
another question. In the review you state in connection with DVD+R DL media:
To get around this problem, I tested the writing quality using the SOHW-1633S
but the scans posted were from an SOHW-832S.

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Postby Ian on Wed Sep 29, 2004 4:56 pm

MediumRare wrote:The 2 drives are very similar, but I think that some remnants of an earlier draft of the F16 test were overlooked. :wink:


That's what happens when your proofreader has a baby. :wink: The right DL pictures are up there now as well.

As far as scanning properties go.. what do you compare it to? Lite-On's other drives? Plextor's PlexTools? A CATS scanner? Then too, which CATS do you go with? As well all know, scanners from different companies give different results.

Everyone has their own ideas on how to determine which drive is best for media and/or writing quality testing. This is not something I want to get into right now. For now, I'll leave that up to you guys. :D
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Postby dodecahedron on Wed Sep 29, 2004 7:28 pm

Ian wrote:
MediumRare wrote:The 2 drives are very similar, but I think that some remnants of an earlier draft of the F16 test were overlooked. :wink:


That's what happens when your proofreader has a baby. :wink: The right DL pictures are up there now as well.

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Postby MediumRare on Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:17 pm

Ian wrote:As far as scanning properties go.. what do you compare it to? Lite-On's other drives? Plextor's PlexTools? A CATS scanner? Then too, which CATS do you go with? As well all know, scanners from different companies give different results.

Everyone has their own ideas on how to determine which drive is best for media and/or writing quality testing. This is not something I want to get into right now. For now, I'll leave that up to you guys. :D

Sorry I took so long in answering (been busy)- this is an important question for me.

Ian- you're probably right to stay out of it until quality scanning devices become affordable.

On the other hand, you do get to try a lot of drives and can gather information and experience that most of us can't. What I was thinking of was a simple comparison that could indicate the capabilities of various drives and uses a method available to normal users too:

Take 2 or 3 discs (say a good one, a marginal one and a bad one) and scan them for PI/PIF with every drive you test that is capable of reporting these error counts. Use whatever tool is supported (KProbe, CD-Speed, PlexTools or whatever) and show us the result.

Most of us do not have more than one burner (if any) that can report PI/PIF counts (I'll call this error scanning as opposed to data reading). So what we'll do is scan our discs and get a relative indication of the burning quality. I realize that there can be significant variation of the scanning capabilities even from drive to drive for the same model, but through a comparison with the same discs, you could get at least an estimate of what they report.

There is a lot of blind faith rampant in various forums regarding the absolute numbers reported in (mainly KProbe) scans that isn't justified (at least for DVD's). Showing the variation in scans could help to relevate that too.

Let me show an example with my drive, a LiteOn SOHW-1213S. I was worried about the burning quality (even @4x and 8x) because of the high PI-count it reported (although most of the discs worked fine). The following scans are for a disk burned with the 1213S fw TS09. First scan with fw TS09:

Image

Here is a scan of the same disc on the same drive after cross-flashing to BS0C (1633S):

Image

A transfer rate test with my (picky) LTD-163 DVD-Rom is impeccable (it reads DVD+R @16x !!):

Image

My conclusion is that the scans performed as a 1633S are more representative of the readabilty on other drives. I've observed similar behaviour with most discs I've burned.

This is the kind of information that could be picked up from comparitive scans in your tests.

G
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Postby Ian on Thu Sep 30, 2004 6:27 pm

You bring up some very good points MediumRare. I'll definitely consider it for future reviews.
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