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In House Review - Pioneer DVR-R100 16x DVD±RW

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

In House Review - Pioneer DVR-R100 16x DVD±RW

Postby Ian on Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:24 am

Today, CDRLabs brings you an in depth review of Pioneer's latest 16x DVD±RW, the DVR-R100. The retail version of the popular DVR-110D, the DVR-R100 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 8x.

In this review we'll take a look at some of the features found on the DVR-R100 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=275]Image
Pioneer DVR-R100 16x DVD±RW[/url]

As usual, the Digital Dolphin has gone the extra mile when it comes to media testing. If you have any comments or questions about this review or the Pioneer DVR-R100, please post them in the forum by clicking the link below.
Last edited by Ian on Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Justin42 on Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:11 pm

I'm still reading the review but on the Features page, it is referred to as the A09XL ;)

under:
Ulead CD & DVD PictureShow 3.0 SE - The DVR-A09XL

And some of the media scans are swapped: the TYG03 and TTH02, the TYG02 and TTG02, and CMCMAGE01 and YUDEN000T02)

Good review, disappointing drive. I wish they would bring the A10XL over with some improved firmware support and DVD-RAM. Sigh, it's chicken and egg with DVD-RAM -- no one will use it if no drives support it, but if they never bring top-line drives over with it, no one will use it. As LG continues to cater to a small, but probably growing, niche.

Is there a reason the DVD-R DL was only tested at 8x? (instead of the rated 4x? Same with the Maxell 2.4X DVD+R DL tested at 8x?) I'd be curious as to if the problem is the overspeeding. Kids, don't burn faster than the media is rated! It's asking for trouble! ;)
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Postby Ian on Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:51 pm

Justin42 wrote:I'm still reading the review but on the Features page, it is referred to as the A09XL ;)

under:
Ulead CD & DVD PictureShow 3.0 SE - The DVR-A09XL


Oops.. that's my fault. I wrote that page. Dolph, can you fix the media scans?

As far as the DVR-A10XL goes.. it doesn't look like it will be making it to the US. I had asked Pioneer's PR people about the DVR-A10XL and they told me there is no model with that name. Uh yeah.. whatever.. Go look on Pioneer Japan's website.

Like most Japanese manufacturers, Pioneer is getting hammered by the cheap drives from Taiwan. To compete, they're taking their OEM drive and selling it in a retail pack. Even then, its still a little pricey.
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Postby eric93se on Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:34 pm

It can be crossflashed now! :D
110D=110=A10XL

Buffalo also released a 110 with bitsetting, so now you can get ram and bitsetting on a 110D :D
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sat Dec 10, 2005 3:55 pm

The pictures should all be fixed now (as of last night actually).

As for the cross flashing, yup I can confirm that works. I even burned a DVD-RAM at 5x :wink:

Too bad the drive is so lame.... but now I've got a 5x DVD-RAM burner in both PCs (one is the LG 4163B). So now I really SHOULD pick up a DVD-RAM recorder for the front room :lol:
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:14 pm

I thought I should probably post this in here, just so people who didn't read the press announcment are aware:

Here's announcement (linked on the front page currently still):
http://www.pioneer.co.jp/press/pdf/Orga ... 51208e.pdf

Here's some highlights (page 4 around the middle):
"In the DVD recorder business, prices of low-end products sold in Europe and the U.S.
have been sharply falling. Therefore, we have already discontinued developing such
low-end products on our own, and are concentrating our development resources on
products featuring advanced technologies."


and

"As for recordable DVD drives for personal computers (PCs), we will focus on slim
drives for notebook PCs to deliver high added value. We are shifting core development
to drives for Blu-ray Discs, whose sales are expected to grow dramatically from here
onward."


Personally, I inturpret this as a letter from Pioneer essentially waving at their customers who purchased the DVR-R100 (and DVR-110D) and saying.... "Thanks a lot, suckers!!". (Note: This is the sole opinion of The Digital Dolphin, and does not neccessarily reflect the opinions of the staff or management of CDRlabs)

I wouldn't hold your breath on any future firmware upgrades... or at least not any significant ones. The latest firmware came out only a week or so before this press release I think.
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Postby Jim on Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:04 pm

Best Buy has this retail drive on sale for $49.99 after rebate starting tomorrow (12/11/05) for those that like retail packs.

I don't think the drive is "lame". If you care about quality over speed and use quality, widely available media, the drive isn't really bad as evident by some of the quality scans here and the review at cdfreaks.com. It's definitely better with CMC than the 109. I don't see the point in burning something at 16X just to say I burnt it at 16X if I get a better burn at 8X or 12X, especially if it is 8X rated media from the manufacturer.

I'd still consider it since you can buy a cheap 110D OEM drive and flash it to support DVD-RAM and automatic SL/DL DVD+R bitsetting using "pseudo-factory" firmware from Buffalo.

An unscientific review of posts here and at cdfreaks seem to indicate its build quality doesn't suffer the variability seen in say, a BenQ. =) No, I don't own either.
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Postby Justin42 on Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:48 pm

Wow, so the BB retail packed drive could be (Easily) crossflashed to the equivalent to an A10XL? Do I just need to find the Buffalo firmware, or does a "special" version need to be obtained from like rpc1.org?

After being kind of burned by a Panasonic 9585 (horrible writing quality and firmware support) I am a bit gunshy, I love my Pioneer A07 but I'd like to get a newer drive with FW support (hrrrm) and good DVD-RAM support. I've been waiting for the A10XL for a while, or an LG4167...

The scans in this review did impress me, I only use pretty decent media in general (TY, MCC, etc) so I doubt I'd have issues...
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:02 am

Jim wrote:An unscientific review of posts here and at cdfreaks seem to indicate its build quality doesn't suffer the variability seen in say, a BenQ. =) No, I don't own either.


Actually, the DVR-110D/DVR-R100 is considered to have the worst build quality consistancy seen since some early LiteON DVD burners. It's currently considered to be the reason behind so many review sites having such HUGELY varying opinions.

I'd be willing to go so far as saying that I suspect even Pioneer probably has a low opinion of this drive.
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Postby dodecahedron on Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:58 am

so the 109/A09 is better than theR100/110D/110 ?
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sun Dec 11, 2005 3:13 am

dodecahedron wrote:so the 109/A09 is better than theR100/110D/110 ?


I would say so yes... unless you want the DVD-RAM support.
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Postby dodecahedron on Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:31 am

hmm...interesting.
since you have an LG 4163 too, which is better at DVD-RAM ? the Pioneer or the LG ? i mean, LG have been at it for a while now, whereas this is Pioneer's first stab (and last one too it appears) at it.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:51 am

dodecahedron wrote:hmm...interesting.
since you have an LG 4163 too, which is better at DVD-RAM ? the Pioneer or the LG ? i mean, LG have been at it for a while now, whereas this is Pioneer's first stab (and last one too it appears) at it.


Good question!

How the heck should I test it? Media testing for DVD-RAM is an unproven area, and even transfer rate tests are slow and unsure at best. I have to say I'm at a loss at what to look at or do with this one! :o
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Postby eric93se on Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:42 pm

Dolphin or Ian, you guys need to check all the links in the review. I clicked on the benq scan of CMC MAG E01, and got a scan of T02 media!! :o


If you people want to crossflash the drive, you need to read these pages:

http://forum.rpc1.org/viewtopic.php?t=36448
http://forum.rpc1.org/viewtopic.php?t=36788
http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=154864

RPC1 fw is available from tdb on FW v. 8.37 but the 8.37 with ram is not yet ready with rpc1 support.

I have the ASUS drive and flashed it to a 110, was on sale at the egg for $40 shipped. Its a good drive, I'm waiting for Ala42 to add support for the 8.37 FW.
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Postby eric93se on Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:57 pm

DVDinfoPro doesn't give two decimal places for the PIF average!? boy that sucks. For some reason it doesn't look as pleasant to review as good old cd dvd speed.

Also people should realize that old fw was used to make a lot of those discs. I get better results on the 110 than on my 1640 on some discs, even with very low jitter. Also the 1640 sucks for CD's, but the 110 does a very good job.
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Postby MediumRare on Sun Dec 11, 2005 4:40 pm

Thorough review with exhaustive media tests, as usual, D_R.

Unfortunately, you used DVDInfoPro for the BenQ and LiteOn scans. I can understand that the dual plots save you a lot of fiddling with the IDs of the diagrams when you set up your review. However, the results that DIP displays differ drastically from what other diagnostic tools show (at least for LiteOn drives- I can't speak for BenQ).

I don't normally use DIP, but installed the newest version to check into this after the numbers shown seemed "funny" to me.

I'm attaching 4 scans of the same DVD I did today with my LiteOn SOHW-1213S@1653S (CS0P). The first 2 are done with CD-Speed (v4.10) and KProbe 2.4.3. Here the sampling is 8 ECC for PI, giving PI Sum 8, and 1 ECC for PIF.

Image Image

As has been shown many times before, the information given is essentially the same, except for the usual scan-to-scan variations and known "idiosyncrasies" (CD-Speed calculates averages based on the displayed values, not on all samples and the KProbe PIF average is ca. 8x too high, which is unnoticeable here).

The next scan is from DVDInfoPro 4.5.0.3.

Image

The first thing noticeable is that the PI values are ca. 1/2 what the other tools show and that the sums are drastically smaller! According to DIP, the scans are done for 8 ECC blocks for both PI and PIF. This is not true. 8 ECC for PI should look like the CD-Speed scan. The PIF scan looks like what KProbe and CD-Speed show and is definitely for 1 ECC.

The last scan was done with KProbe using 1 ECC for PI and 8 ECC for PIF (this is not the standard setting). The PI plot looks very much like what DIP shows, PIF values are higher.

Image

So now it's clear that DIP uses 1 ECC not 8 ECC (as indicated) for both PI and PIF.

But the sums and averages still differ drastically from what the other programs report. I tried out a few ideas on RAW data from KProbe before it dawned on me what DIP does: it calculates sums and averages of the values displayed in the graphs (like CD Speed for averages) and not of all the measured values! You can check this for the PIF values: 26 1-values and 11 2-values on the graph give 48. That this can falsify information is evident when comparing averages in CD-Speed and KProbe.

I suppose the the shape of the graphs still give some information, but I prefer having proper numbers as well and using 1 ECC for PI is definitely a no-no.

One of the strong points of CDR-Labs reviews is the constant format which allows comparisons of various tests done at different times, and it's unfotunate that this isn't fully possible with this latest test. (I realize that the current format has definite limitations, particularly with the performance section!).

I sure hope you take this into account in your upcoming tests!

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Postby Ian on Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:02 pm

Wow.. thanks for that info MediumRare. Hopefully the guys behind DIP will see that and incorportate those changes into the next version. As it is, they've been very open to suggestions.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:19 pm

Thank you for pointing this out MediumRare!!
I'm going to make sure this is not an issue on my next review!

In other news, any mis-linked images should be fixed now.
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Postby zebraxor on Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:03 pm

Hrrrrrrrrrrrrrrm!

Very interesting results. Independent tests are being carried out as we speak, on this issue. If it proves itself bug worthy, after these tests have been completed, we will need some more of your input Medium Rare!

Thank you for taking the time and using attention to detail here.

Talk more soon.....
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Postby eric93se on Sun Dec 11, 2005 8:11 pm

Burned at 4x with dvdD. Excellent quality, maybe even better than my 1640!
Attachments
MKM001 at 4x dvdD.png
MKM001 at 4x dvdD.png (55.23 KiB) Viewed 5084 times
MKM001 at 4x dvdD transfer.png
MKM001 at 4x dvdD transfer.png (50.46 KiB) Viewed 5068 times
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Postby zebraxor on Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:53 am

Medium Rare and others,

Thank you very much for raising this issue. Your feedback is important to us.

My good friend, dolphinius_rex, has risen the issue officially, on your behalf, using the DVDInfoMantis bugtracking facility we encourage the community to utilise.

For your interest, you can view the progress of this bug-fix and our progress here:

http://dvdinfomantis.sneddo.net/view.php?id=73

If you feel you (or any others here!) can contribute to the project, I hope to see you join up and add to the melting pot! :)

Talk soon.

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Postby nicw on Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:58 am

The discrepancy is simply that the scanning speed option in DVDInfoPro is broken and its scanning speed is fixed at 2x.

if you re-run the tests with cdspeed fixed @ 2x you will see the values are equal. The error rate skyrockets at higher scan speeds.

The values from DVDInfoPro are accurate for a scan speed of 2x. Many drives limit the scanning speed for similar reasons. The scanning speed problem will be fixed by next version.

thanks for the report and feedback.

cheers
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Postby MediumRare on Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:15 am

zebraxor wrote:For your interest, you can view the progress of this bug-fix and our progress here:

http://dvdinfomantis.sneddo.net/view.php?id=73

Thanks for the link. Unfortunately I can't see anything because I'm redirected to a login page. I don't think it's very helpful to compel people to sign up on a website just to see what known bugs there are. If they wish to make a bug report, that's another matter, of course.
nicw wrote:if you re-run the tests with cdspeed fixed @ 2x you will see the values are equal. The error rate skyrockets at higher scan speeds.

I'll give that a try when I get home tonight (ca. 7 hours)- I'm at work right now.

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Postby zebraxor on Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:22 am

MediumRare wrote:If they wish to make a bug report, that's another matter, of course.
G


:). Yes! This is what it is for. Do not forget, it is also designed as a means for users in the community to submit idea's professionally, rather than just open slather discussion. We use this as a means to track performance/objectives/goals and even metrics of bug-resolution/turn around time etc.

We would like to think that feature requests are more structured, logical and well-defined this way, ultimately resulting in a more well-polished developmental effort in the end.

Given your wonderful contribution to fixing/pointing out this issue, Medium Rare, I very much hope to see you submitting idea's here in the future.

Talk soon.

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Postby LoneWolf on Mon Dec 12, 2005 12:42 pm

Hey Dolphin...one thing I noticed is that in DVDInfo (IIRC), the "Mt. Rainier" support box was actually checked. I know that would interest some people. Is there a way to know if that is supported for CD and DVD writing, or just CD writing?
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