Now that I've got some preliminary experience with the DD0203, and taken some screenshots, I'm going to provide a rudimentary review here:
Drive: Optorite DD0203
Firmware: 2.03 upgraded to 2.06
Media: Fuji DVD+R 4.7GB 120Min media
(Note, I assumed this was 4X media, however, looking at the DVD face and the spindle it came in, there is no mention of any speed rating whatsoever. It could be that these are 2.4X DVD+R media. Unfortunately, Nero Infotool does not provide any information other than capacity.)
PC: Compaq Ipaq 5BW120. CPU - Intel Celron 600Mhz. 256MB SDRAM. 60GB WD HD w/ 2 MB buffer where data resides. OS - Windows XP Home.
Burning Software: Nero 126.96.36.199
The drive was very easy to install, even though the documentation that came with the drive was terribly abbreviated. I've seen bare floppy drives with better documentation. However, if you've installed or changed any CD-Rom ever before, this is no different.
I changed the drive select pin to "Cable Select" (the default is Master). Since this was on the "slave" spot of the IDE cable, the drive naturally became the Slave drive.
I initally had Nero 188.8.131.52 installed with my XP Home template. I did a preliminary Infotool check, and found that the buffer, according to Nero Infotool, is only 4 MB
!? Also, Mt. Rainier is not supported.
I verified that 184.108.40.206 will not recognize this DVD drive.
I then updated my Nero to version 220.127.116.11, and ran the Nero Infotool again.
What's strange is that initially, Infotool showed the region as "All" (see image 1). However, when I tried Infotool again, and the region was displayed as Region 2.
Sure enough, Nero 18.104.22.168 was able to recognize the Optorite Drive correctly.
The first DVD+R I made was using Nero to create a "DVD Copy". Nero allowed me to burn at 4X. I used a source DVD-R home video as the source. However, the copy was not usable, as I assume that DVD Copy does not produce the appropriate DVD Video format.
I then upgraded the firmware from version 2.03 to version 2.06. The firmware update went smoothly, and again the Region Code changed back to "all". However, I ran Infotool later, and again Region Code showed "2". I'm not sure why this changes. However, everything else remained the same - ie no Mt. Rainier support.
For my 2nd DVD, I used Nero to choose the "DVD Video) option via the wizard. I then selected DVD files (VOB, IFO, BUP) into the Video folder, and burned again. This time, Nero limited my maximum speed to 2.4X. Total burn time for 4GB of data took 22 minutes, and then data verificatoin ran another 18 minutes. I was able to play the DVD Video successfully in my 2 year old Samsung DVD player, as well as my generic DVD-Rom on my Compaq PC.
I then burned a 3rd DVD with 2GB of video data. Again this was successful, and tool about 11 minutes to burn. Verification was successful, and I was able to play the disc without any issues.
I am very happy with the compatiblity of the Fuji DVD+r media with this drive. My buffer stayed at 50% or better most of the time, and the DVD+R disc looks really good after burning.
I have not installed the myDVD software or any other software from the Optorite package, since I prefer Nero. I may try out the other software later, but right now I'm thrilled to be able to successfully burn DVD+R videos.
Next steps - I will be burning DVD-R Khypermedia Videos. I will report my findings here.