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In House Review - Lite-On SOHW-1673S 16x DVD±RW

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In House Review - Lite-On SOHW-1673S 16x DVD±RW

Postby Ian on Thu May 19, 2005 11:01 am

Today CDRLabs takes a long overdue look at Lite-On's 16x DVD±RW, the SOHW-1673S. While affordably priced, the drive features some pretty impressive specs. The SOHW-1673S is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW, 6x DVD-RW and 4x DVD+R DL writing speeds and a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. Lite-On's new drive 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 some of the features found on the SOHW-1673S and see how it compares to some of the 16x DVD±RW drives from the competition. Does Lite-On's new drive have what it takes? You'll have to read the review to find out.

[url=http://www.cdrlabs.com/reviews/index.php?reviewid=264]Image
Lite-On SOHW-1673S 16x DVD±RW[/url]

This review should have been done awhile ago, but due to some technical difficulties, it was delayed. Fortunately, this gave us the chance to go back and run our writing tests with the latest firmware. If you have any comments or questions about this review or the Lite-On SOHW-1673S, please post them in the forum using the link provided below.
Last edited by Ian on Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MediumRare on Thu May 19, 2005 2:02 pm

Thanks for another good review, Ian.

Looks like LiteOn hasn't changed as much as I hoped (from c't tests) or feared (reported C2 errors on CD's)- it's still an OK drive at 8x with good media. :roll:

Also the reading speed for DVD+-R is disappointing- 8x is too slow IMHO (although the codeguys' Omnipatcher can boost that with some problems getting past the 12x mark).

Did the firmware update change anything?

A couple of typos:
- "While the SOHW-1673S can read pressed and CD-R media at 40x," should read 48x
- Under "DVD Write and ReWrite Tests" should read "Verbatim 8x DVD+RW media" (not 4x).

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Postby Ian on Thu May 19, 2005 5:52 pm

Yeah, the writing quality is disappointing because I know they can do much better.

MediumRare wrote:A couple of typos:
- "While the SOHW-1673S can read pressed and CD-R media at 40x," should read 48x
- Under "DVD Write and ReWrite Tests" should read "Verbatim 8x DVD+RW media" (not 4x).


Oops.. I'll fix those later after I go see EP3 again.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Thu May 19, 2005 6:40 pm

Ian wrote:Yeah, the writing quality is disappointing because I know they can do much better.

MediumRare wrote:A couple of typos:
- "While the SOHW-1673S can read pressed and CD-R media at 40x," should read 48x
- Under "DVD Write and ReWrite Tests" should read "Verbatim 8x DVD+RW media" (not 4x).


Oops.. I'll fix those later after I go see EP3 again.


LOL... that explains a lot :wink:
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Postby Scour on Fri May 20, 2005 7:42 pm

Hello!

Great review again, Ian :)

The drive seems to be better than the previous drives, taht´s fact. But Liteon still have to improve the writing-quality @16x, only the Verbatim´s are with a good quality.

But again I wonder about the PIF-levels. The PIF-max are in most cases only 3, only with Ritek + DL and Optodisc +R 16x are higher. When I look at the previous reviews of some other writers this is a little confusing :-? because other writers with general better writing-quality have higher max-PIF

Do the Liteon-drives maybe chaeting when scanning media written by a Liteon?
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Fri May 20, 2005 9:57 pm

Scour wrote:Hello!

Great review again, Ian :)

The drive seems to be better than the previous drives, taht´s fact. But Liteon still have to improve the writing-quality @16x, only the Verbatim´s are with a good quality.

But again I wonder about the PIF-levels. The PIF-max are in most cases only 3, only with Ritek + DL and Optodisc +R 16x are higher. When I look at the previous reviews of some other writers this is a little confusing :-? because other writers with general better writing-quality have higher max-PIF

Do the Liteon-drives maybe chaeting when scanning media written by a Liteon?


Nah, LiteON scanning just doesn't make much sense :wink:
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Postby Ian on Fri May 20, 2005 11:56 pm

Scour wrote:Do the Liteon-drives maybe chaeting when scanning media written by a Liteon?


You aren't the first to bring this up. Someone in the industry that I trust a lot also mentioned this to me.
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Postby Scour on Sat May 21, 2005 3:51 am

Ian wrote:
Scour wrote:Do the Liteon-drives maybe chaeting when scanning media written by a Liteon?


You aren't the first to bring this up. Someone in the industry that I trust a lot also mentioned this to me.


We know, that writers burn on DVD-R the model and serial number; maybe this happens with DVD+R, too, but nobody knows how to read this?
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Postby MediumRare on Sat May 21, 2005 7:31 am

Ian wrote:
Scour wrote:Do the Liteon-drives maybe chaeting when scanning media written by a Liteon?


You aren't the first to bring this up. Someone in the industry that I trust a lot also mentioned this to me.

I don't really see it. If they do cheat, they aren't doing a good job of it. :o If there is any truth to it though, half of the CDFreaks forum can pack up.
Scour wrote:We know, that writers burn on DVD-R the model and serial number; maybe this happens with DVD+R, too, but nobody knows how to read this?

Some of this information (hardware and sometimes firmware) is on DVD+R media as well. I stumbled across this a while ago. You can get it with Nero / Disc Info and subsequently "shift+ctrl refresh". Look for "Disc Control Blocks" in the (very long) list (you have to save it to copy parts- you can't mark and copy from the scroll box).

Both the reading drive and the one that burned it are listed. This is what is shown for a disk I got from a friend (Philips 1640P, fw p2.2):

Code: Select all
---- DVD Structure: Disc Control Blocks (30h) ----
Layer: 0, Address: -1 (FFFFFFFF h), AGID: 0; Length: 54
Content Descriptor: FFFFFFFF h
Vendor ID: <SONY            DW-D24ACS0M       >
No. of Readable   DCBs: 2
No. of Recordable DCBs: 0
Readable DCB #1 <SDC> 53444300 h:
Readable DCB #2 <TOC> 544F4300 h:

---- DVD Structure: Disc Control Blocks (30h) ----
Layer: 0, Address: 1396982528 (53444300 h), AGID: 0; Length: 8194
Content Descriptor: <SDC> 53444300 h (generic), Session No: 0
Unknown Content Descriptor Actions: D h
   Recording shall not be allowed in the Data Zone
   Reformatting of the disc is not possible
   Substituting the current DCB shall not be allowed
Vendor ID: <PHILIPS         DVDR1640P       >


My LiteOn SOHW1213S@1653S fw CS0M shows up as SONY DW-D24ACS0M, the Fw for the Philips drive doesn't show.

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Postby Scour on Sat May 21, 2005 6:18 pm

Hello!

Can it be that the Liteon are to good readers? And maybe this is the reason why these drives show lower error-rates than other drives like Benq?
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Postby Ian on Sat May 21, 2005 7:58 pm

Scour wrote:Can it be that the Liteon are to good readers? And maybe this is the reason why these drives show lower error-rates than other drives like Benq?


Yeah, I think that's the reason why PI/PIF scans with Lite-On drives always look better than they are.
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Postby Scour on Sun May 22, 2005 7:42 am

Ian wrote:
Scour wrote:Can it be that the Liteon are to good readers? And maybe this is the reason why these drives show lower error-rates than other drives like Benq?


Yeah, I think that's the reason why PI/PIF scans with Lite-On drives always look better than they are.


So that is the point?

Maybe we all should looking for a very bad reader to test burn-quality. If the bad drive read the media without problems the burn-quality must be high
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Postby Ian on Sun May 22, 2005 9:34 am

Scour wrote:Maybe we all should looking for a very bad reader to test burn-quality. If the bad drive read the media without problems the burn-quality must be high


That's why we (and other people) do the transfer rate tests. If there are problems, you're going to see dips in the transfer rate graph.
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Postby Scour on Thu May 26, 2005 5:49 am

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Postby Ian on Thu May 26, 2005 7:44 am

Before we get excited about the new firmware, I want to see some scans from a non-Lite-On drive. We all know that the results typicall look good on them.
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Postby MediumRare on Thu May 26, 2005 8:43 am

The post scour linked to was was done on a BenQ 1620. There are more comparisons in that thread, with many BenQ-scans. But this is 1653S firmware, not 1673S.

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Postby Ian on Thu May 26, 2005 10:57 am

MediumRare wrote:The post scour linked to was was done on a BenQ 1620. There are more comparisons in that thread, with many BenQ-scans. But this is 1653S firmware, not 1673S.

G


Duh.. I glanced at it and saw the "recorded with" line.

Still.. the problem with Lite-On's drives isn't really at speeds 8x and less. It's when you start writing at 12x and 16x.
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Postby MediumRare on Thu May 26, 2005 12:38 pm

Ian wrote:Still.. the problem with Lite-On's drives isn't really at speeds 8x and less. It's when you start writing at 12x and 16x.

That's very true! I've been sticking with 8x except for experiments.

I must say though, that I just produced my very first 16x non-coaster with the CS0P firmware, so obviously they're heading in the right direction.

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Postby Scour on Thu May 26, 2005 2:31 pm

Hello!

I meant this :

"This is a huge improvement. Usually the scan results of any burn from my 1213S@1653S in the Benq 1620 are shocking. These results with CS0P are excellent . This should mean that the discs perform much better in standalone players and other drives. This is a very good reason to upgrade to this firmware..."
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Postby Muchin on Fri May 27, 2005 5:14 am

Scour wrote:Hello!

Can it be that the Liteon are to good readers? And maybe this is the reason why these drives show lower error-rates than other drives like Benq?

Some discussions in this aspect can be found in another thread where suitability of consumer drives for disc quality tests were debated.


Maybe we all should looking for a very bad reader to test burn-quality. If the bad drive read the media without problems the burn-quality must be high.

I have been doing some search. The worst reader appears to be NEC 3500/3520, followed by Plextor 712 and LiteOn 167T (not 1673S), afaik. However, it is advisable to use at least two PC drives in doing error tests.
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Postby Scour on Sun May 29, 2005 2:53 pm

Muchin wrote:I have been doing some search. The worst reader appears to be NEC 3500/3520, followed by Plextor 712 and LiteOn 167T (not 1673S), afaik. However, it is advisable to use at least two PC drives in doing error tests.


The NEC´s reads DVD-R and +R at max. 16x which means that it´s more sensitive than drives that read max 9x or 12x
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Postby ziggy on Tue May 31, 2005 7:42 am

What are the recognition times / load time for this burner?
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Postby Gabe on Sun Jun 05, 2005 6:21 pm

Muchin wrote:I have been doing some search. The worst reader appears to be NEC 3500/3520, followed by Plextor 712 and LiteOn 167T (not 1673S), afaik. However, it is advisable to use at least two PC drives in doing error tests.


Nope.

The worst reader I have is the LiteOn 1653S. I patched the FW to raed DVD-R/+R at 16x, but when it comes to 11x the drive produces slowdowns.

My NEC 3500 and AOpen 1648 AAP do very well with max. speed
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Postby Muchin on Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:26 am

Maybe we are talking about different aspects. What I meant were drives that will give high PI/PO errors in such tests. Max reading speed does not necessarily generate highest error counts for some drives. NEC 3500 seems to be tuned to read well at max speed at least for some discs, and 8X is the worst scan speed in such cases.
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