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In House Review - Pioneer DVR-A09XL 16x DVD±RW

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In House Review - Pioneer DVR-A09XL 16x DVD±RW

Postby Ian on Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:50 pm

CDRLabs starts the week off with a review of Pioneer's latest 16x DVD±RW, the DVR-A09XL. Offering some of the fastest DVD reading and writing speeds available, the DVR-A09XL is capable of 16x DVD±R, 8x DVD+RW and 6x DVD-RW writing speeds and has a maximum DVD read speed of 16x. More importantly, it's one of the first drives with the ability to write to both DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media at 6x. The DVR-A09XL also includes features like 40x CD reading and writing speeds, 24x rewriting speeds, and reduced operating noise, thanks to Pioneer's Quiet Drive technology.

In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the DVR-A09XL and see how it compares to some of the 16x DVD±RW drives from the competition. Does Pioneer'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=260]Image
Pioneer DVR-A09XL 16x DVD±RW[/url]

As usual, if you have any comments or questions about this review or the DVR-A09XL, please post them in the forum using the link provided below.
Last edited by Ian on Tue May 10, 2005 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MonsterMan on Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:05 pm

Great review, except for one nagging problem.

Now I know I've mentioned this before, but: the "Performance" section needs to be broken up..

Waiting for it to load on DSL was bad enough, on dail-up (what I'm stuck with for a month or so) it is downright ridiculous.

I'm not that familar with HTML (I'm guessing you guys use a "stock" templete for all reviews), but it shouldn't be that hard to make a section for read speed results, DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/RW, and DVD+/-R DL.

Please update the review format!
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Postby Ian on Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:29 pm

MonsterMan wrote:Please update the review format!


Yeah, yeah.. we're working on it. The layout was designed years ago. Let's just say it hasn't aged as well as we envisioned.
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Postby MonsterMan on Mon Apr 11, 2005 5:41 pm

Ian wrote:Yeah, yeah.. we're working on it.


Cool 8) =D>

Ian wrote:The layout was designed years ago. Let's just say it hasn't aged as well as we envisioned.


No it hasn't :)
But then, we have moved from drives that could only write to one format to drives that can read/write a ton of different formats...
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Postby GTMan on Tue Apr 12, 2005 5:13 am

Thanks for the review, it seems like DVD drives are close to reaching the mature technology stage.

Some features I would look for in my next drive:
- native SATA (not too many drives have this yet and my next computer will have SATA)
- high speed DVD-RAM - maybe a better option than DVD±RW for some users
- hopefully high speed lightscribe (current LS drives are way too slow)

A couple of general comments on optical reviews...

Most reviews (not just on this site) state that a 2MB buffer is too small and list that as a "con" in the pros and cons list. From my observation, most drives feature a buffer of this size so basically every drive reviewed gets a low mark in this area. Unless buffer under-run is a problem (and apparently it isn't) I think reviewers should stop pasting this comment into every review. It seems more like a political stance than a technical critique. The drive makers have heard the complaint and they are not buying it so maybe it would be a good idea to drop it.

On the subject of the Mt. Ranier format ... I've tried it and I won't be using it again. I have an ultra-speed+ CD-RW burner (which means you can burn CD-RW discs at 36x if you can find the media which you can't). Burning CD-RW discs at 24x is feasible - discs are available and ultra-speed or ultra-speed+ drives support this. But if you use packet writing software (ie. Mt. Ranier) the speed drops to about 4x. I would say Mt. Ranier is not a very useful technology at this point. You need extra software to make it work and it is very slow. IMHO, a lack of Mt. Ranier support is not much of a "con" in the pros and cons list.
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Postby yjxiao on Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:36 am

maybe I missed it in the review.. but does this drive scan for PI/PO errors?

Im looking for a second drive and need one the support dvd-ram but mainly I need it to be able to scan discs after i burn them to check for quality, as my 4163B doesn't.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:59 pm

yjxiao wrote:maybe I missed it in the review.. but does this drive scan for PI/PO errors?

Im looking for a second drive and need one the support dvd-ram but mainly I need it to be able to scan discs after i burn them to check for quality, as my 4163B doesn't.


The ability to scan something, and label it PI/PO (or PI/PIF) errors, does not mean you are getting any kind of relevant data. The Pioneer series of DVD burners *CAN* produce such labeled results, but cannot produce anything worth looking at, as far as I can tell. From the results I have seen, the Pioneer's are the most useless out of all drives that can scan media for errors.
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Postby yjxiao on Tue Apr 12, 2005 2:55 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:
yjxiao wrote:maybe I missed it in the review.. but does this drive scan for PI/PO errors?

Im looking for a second drive and need one the support dvd-ram but mainly I need it to be able to scan discs after i burn them to check for quality, as my 4163B doesn't.


The ability to scan something, and label it PI/PO (or PI/PIF) errors, does not mean you are getting any kind of relevant data. The Pioneer series of DVD burners *CAN* produce such labeled results, but cannot produce anything worth looking at, as far as I can tell. From the results I have seen, the Pioneer's are the most useless out of all drives that can scan media for errors.


so then what would one do to check their quality?
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Postby Ian on Tue Apr 12, 2005 3:28 pm

yjxiao wrote:so then what would one do to check their quality?


buy another drive that can do it more accurately?
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Postby Scour on Tue Apr 12, 2005 6:59 pm

Hello!

Great review of a great writer, Ian :)

But I wonder why you didn´t add the sentence "Very good writing quality" to the Pros?
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Postby Ian on Tue Apr 12, 2005 8:42 pm

Scour wrote:But I wonder why you didn´t add the sentence "Very good writing quality" to the Pros?


I guess I'm so used to commenting on how bad a drive's writing quality is that I forgot.
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Postby RJW on Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:11 am

Ian wrote:
Scour wrote:But I wonder why you didn´t add the sentence "Very good writing quality" to the Pros?


I guess I'm so used to commenting on how bad a drive's writing quality is that I forgot.


=D> =D> =D>
Fair answer.
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Postby yjxiao on Wed Apr 13, 2005 11:05 am

Ian wrote:
yjxiao wrote:so then what would one do to check their quality?


buy another drive that can do it more accurately?


Which would you suggest, other than the plextor 716A, which is just a little out of my price range.
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Postby Ian on Wed Apr 13, 2005 12:15 pm

BenQ DW1620? It's cheap and does PI/PIF/POF and Jitter.
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Postby yjxiao on Wed Apr 13, 2005 2:28 pm

Ian wrote:BenQ DW1620? It's cheap and does PI/PIF/POF and Jitter.


Thanks Ian for the info.

Yeah i was thinking about that drive, but I'm hearing bad things about some of the batches made.. It seems like there are good batches and bad batches. but now I'm thinking maybe i really do want a Plextor, with all its bells and whistles, maybe it is worth the money
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Postby Ian on Wed Apr 13, 2005 2:36 pm

Bad batches? There are lemons with any drive, including those from Pioneer, Plextor, etc.

I find that most of the problems come from an interface problem occurring somewhere between the chair and keyboard.
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Postby yjxiao on Wed Apr 13, 2005 4:05 pm

haha yeah, that's where the problem occurs most. Especially among the newbies. I'll pick one up then... I hear its got something that reduces jitter as well, which my LG doesn't have.

sigh... i picked up the LG because it supports dvd-ram... but dvd ram is pretty useless for me.
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Postby seaegg on Sat Apr 23, 2005 11:14 pm

Is it normal for the 109's write speed to gradually drop to 0.0 stop writing & then speed back up between write speed shifts from 6x to 8x and from 8x to 12x? If it is it's veru unnerving to say the least and I wonder if it affects the write quality in any way as opposed to full CAV.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:50 pm

Ugh! I'm not very happy with the Pioneer DVR-109 so far! It can't burn Optodisc 8x DVD-Rs at 8x... only 4x, and even then they are unreadable at the end of the disc and full of huge amounts of errors. The only disc from Optodisc that the drive CAN burn (or has a writing strategy for I should say) is Optodisc's 16x DVD+Rs, which are burned quite nicely at 12x.

What the heck is Pioneer doing?

The FUJIFILM03 media I have made by Prodisc is ok at the beginning of the disc, but has some pretty big problems right at the end, causing slow downs and potential skipping depending on the player... but at least that disc has a writing strategy and can burn at 8x.

I'm still looking at other media.... but I'm not impressed.

I actually bought this drive to use... but it looks like I won't be using it for any of my personal stuff until it fixes these problems (unless I start buying lot's of Optodisc 16x DVD+Rs).
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Postby Ian on Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:58 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:Ugh! I'm not very happy with the Pioneer DVR-109 so far! It can't burn Optodisc 8x DVD-Rs at 8x... only 4x, and even then they are unreadable at the end of the disc and full of huge amounts of errors.


I'm going to have to remind myself to include those in my ASUS 1608P review.
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Postby seaegg on Sun Apr 24, 2005 11:59 pm

I'm really sorry I bought the 109 myself. If I can find someone that'll give me $75 for it it's gone. I should've just bought another BenQ as a backup drive.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:29 am

The Pioneer's lack of support for proper 16x recording is also laughable.... I'm so incredibly unhappy with the drive, I should almost try to return it! But in the interests of being able to access test information to answer people's questions I'll keep it, since I know many other people will be buying one.

Ugh... why isn't it at LEAST as good as the Pioneer DVR-108? :o
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Postby RJW on Tue Apr 26, 2005 2:34 am

It's really a shame if you see how long Pioneer actually had it on the roadmap. Were they actually working 3 days only for they released it ?

I personally expect better from Pioneer.
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Postby Wesociety on Tue May 03, 2005 3:25 am

Pretty lame that the A09/109 drive can't even recognize an 8x +RW disc with the current firmware.
It acts like there is no disc inserted at all...
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