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Need advice on shortlisting a DVD writer

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Need advice on shortlisting a DVD writer

Postby lastguyonthenet on Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:31 am

Hi,
This is my first post here. I found this forum to be very informative and have learnt quite a bit about DVD writers from here while trying to decide which one to buy.

I have a liteon combo which has been funtioning quite nicely and which I plan to replace with a DVD writer while it goes to my other PC. So this DVD writer would have to be a workhorse for all my optical storage tasks.

I would be using the drive for
1. Reading CDs/DVDs - Most of the time.
2. Burning CDs - More often then DVDs.
3. Burning DVDs - Occasionaly. Have a bunch of DVD movie titles that I want to write which is the reason for this purchase.

Even though its not advisable to have a single drive for all the above tasks, I'll have to make do with only a single one right now.

I would like a writer that is
1. Good (if not the best) in reading, writing and scanning.
2. Not too picky about the quality of the media.

The options available here locally are

1. LG H42N --- Latest model available. 12x RAM-good to have for future though will not be using it soon.

2. LiteOn LH 16A1P 487C --- Seems old what with 18A1 and 20A1 already
in the market. 5x RAm compared to 12x RAM in LG. But has scanning
facility which if I am correct LG doesn't have.

3. LiteOn SOHW 1633S --- Pretty old model

4. BenQ DW 1650 --- Good reviews. But lower specs compared to
LG and doesn't support DVD RAM.

Which writer do you think I should go for?
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Re: Need advice on shortlisting a DVD writer

Postby ItalianJob on Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:24 am

4. DVD-RAM is useless for common use.
The BenQ 1650 and 1655 (+LightScribe) are the last true Philips/BenQ drives, they are good for all your need, but they are vanishing...
Philips DVDR1668@BenQ DW1655 BCIB
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Postby Grain on Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:21 pm

From your list I'd go for a BenQ, quite good at everything they do. I agree with ItalianJob re DVD-RAM, it's only use IMO is for regular/frequent data backups, not video or music.
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Postby DrageMester on Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:57 pm

Grain wrote:I agree with ItalianJob re DVD-RAM, it's only use IMO is for regular/frequent data backups, not video or music.

But it's very convenient for regular/frequent data backups!
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Postby Bhairav on Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:02 am

I'd recommend the H42N. We get 3X and 5X -RAM discs here.. they ought to be good for frequent data backups. OP is from Mumbai, btw.
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Postby lastguyonthenet on Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:26 am

Thanks for your responses.
I would go for LG H42N but for for its lack of scanning feature.
How useful is the PIE/PIF scan? How do you check whether the burn process has been successful or not?
Currently while burning CDs with my LiteOn combo using Nero 6 I have an option called 'Verify data on disc after burning'. Would I be able to do the same in the LG drive also and would it give some idea about future readability of the written discs?
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Postby Grain on Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:19 pm

lastguyonthenet wrote:How do you check whether the burn process has been successful or not?
Currently while burning CDs with my LiteOn combo using Nero 6 I have an option called 'Verify data on disc after burning'.


That option will work with any drive, it's software related not hardware as it's more or less just reading the burn. I use the freeware program ImgBurn, and it has that option to verify after burning, works on all drives, it compares the burn to the original file. You can set it to do this automatically after every burn, and is a great option to ensure all went well (I assume Nero is similar).
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Postby Scour on Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:52 pm

The H42 is a nice drive, but can´t scan media.

So I say go for the Benq 1650
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Postby lastguyonthenet on Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:10 am

So I have finally decided to get a BenQ DW 1655. Now comes the difficult part of finding a shop that stocks it which means a long trudge through the local electronics market.
And which DVD+R media gives the best burn at the least cost with this writer.
Are there any Benq users from Mumbai, India who would be able to help me this one?
The MID code of the disc can be found out using Nero. Is it also imprinted on the DVD which one can check while buying them?
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Postby Bhairav on Sat Jan 27, 2007 8:35 am

I use the older Benq 1640. Best of luck finding the 1655 in Bombay.. I couldn't..

Get Verbatim and Maxell.. ensure that the Maxell is Made in Japan. No manufacturer is going to show the MID on the case..
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Postby lastguyonthenet on Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:04 pm

I lucked out on my attempt to get a BenQ in Mumbai. Bhairav have you got any leads where a 1655 or 1650 might be available in Mumbai.
The next viable option seems to be a LG H42N.
I can get a LiteOn 20A1P for Rs.1900 and 20A1H(Lightscribe) for Rs.3000 (In US they don't have such a large price difference between a lightscribe version and a non-lightscribe version then why here?) and probably even a SHW-160P6S.

Which of the two H42N or 20A1P would you prefer and why? Since both of them are new drives there might not be many users out there but the experience of the few who have tried out these drives will be really helpful.
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Postby lastguyonthenet on Sat Jan 27, 2007 1:29 pm

Does anyone know about Sony OEM Model No. AW-G170A-B2 or AW-Q170A (Printed on the top of the drives) ? What kind of drives are these? At the shop they told me they are the same as Sony retail DRU-820A? I think I have read somewhere that some Sony drives (820A) are BenQ drives?
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Postby Scour on Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:04 pm

The 170 is a NEC 717x-drive
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Postby lastguyonthenet on Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:29 pm

Is it any good?
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Postby Scour on Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:50 pm

The NEC are known for good writing-quality, but not very good with reading media
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Postby lastguyonthenet on Mon Jan 29, 2007 12:40 am

Since BenQ 1650 is almost impossible to come by, I now have to choose on of the following drives.

1. LG H42N
2. LiteOn 165P6S
3. LG GSA 4167B

Which one of these would be a better buy?
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Postby Bhairav on Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:29 am

I'd recommend the H42N. Good drive, better than the 165P6S from the results I've seen.
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Postby Scour on Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:06 pm

I would also recommend the H42. It looks like a good drive
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Postby Camus on Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:57 pm

lastguyonthenet wrote:Since BenQ 1650 is almost impossible to come by, I now have to choose on of the following drives.

1. LG H42N
2. LiteOn 165P6S
3. LG GSA 4167B

Which one of these would be a better buy?


Believe it or not, in London there are still shops with ample numbers of the Benq DW1650 left. One PC world that I'm aware of, for example, still has about 40 of them retail & b.n.i.b. Albeit, another of the same chain does not have any in stock. But it wasn't hard to find. However, it's strange that they're still available here with just a little searching. They're not even rare enough here to justify buying some to place on ebay!

Also, I was wondering - given that the DW1650 is allegedly so brilliant - why is it not even mentioned on any of the recent dvd writer polls? I must personally admit I'm not amazingly impressed with the writing ability of mine with Verbatim Yuden0003's - not bad but certainly nothing out of the ordinary for a disc of that quality.

Besides, surely the Pioneers 111 is the king of writers (alebit useless for scanning :( ) Scanning aside, am personally looking forward to the 112.
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Postby Ian on Fri Feb 16, 2007 7:06 pm

Camus wrote:Also, I was wondering - given that the DW1650 is allegedly so brilliant - why is it not even mentioned on any of the recent dvd writer polls?


It was until a month or two ago when it became nearly impossible to buy in most areas.
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Postby Scour on Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:06 am

In Germany it´s also very hard to find original Benq 1650 or 1655, only some 1650-units from Liteon are still avaible in some shops
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Postby lastguyonthenet on Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:41 pm

Thanks for the members of the CDr forum for their advice and help regarding the purchase of a DVD writer. I finally bought a BenQ DW1655 last week here in Mumbai India.
After scouring the entire market when I finally decided to give up the sesarch and get an LG G42N, I stumbled upon it at the last shop where I asked. The drive details are given below:

BenQ
Model No.: DW1655
No.: 0B3
Firmware: BCHB ----> Subsequently updated to BCIB
Manufactured: Sept. 2006
Made in China

However two things that seemed odd was that the drive was part of a new stock that had arrived and the manufacturing date was Sept.2006. I thought they had stopped the prouction of 1650/1655 after Benq's optical division was taken over by Lite-On in April 2006.

And the drive wasn't in a boxpack, but in a polythene packet just like an OEM drive and the front bezel didn't have the Benq logo imprinted on it. The other five logos (Lightscribe, Solidburn....) were the same as the drives reviewed at CDr. The most prominent difference was the eject button which is rather bigger as shown below.

I have burned 3 DVDs one with BCHB firmware and the other two with BCIB and posted their scans in the following thread. I have used two brands of DVDs here:
Writex - Cheaper - For recording non-essential stuff.
MoserBaer - Affordable - For important stuff.

http://www.cdrlabs.com/phpBB/viewtopic. ... 978#164978

The scans seems to be ok, probably being more affected by the quality of the media than the performance of the burner. However only time will tell if it really lives up to the hype and the effort I put in to aquire one.
If you have any suggestions to improve the burns, please feel free to let me know.
Thanks
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Postby 2Dogs on Sat Feb 17, 2007 1:14 pm

Wow, those aren't great results!

I wonder if your DW1655 is using Solidburn to learn the media?

Have you installed the BenQ Qsuite? If not, you might find it available here:

http://www.benq.us/support/downloads/do ... roduct=816

On my own DW1655, when I checked the "solidburn" tab, I noticed that my burner had picked up on two sorts of media:

Image

Since both of these MID's should already be recognised by the firmware, I speculate that it has to do with my using some dodgy Maxell 16x DVD+R with mid CMC MAG M01, and some awful Dynex 16x DVD+R mid MCC 004 which were made in China. I might be able to confirm or disprove this theory by putting in my DW1650, which I have yet to use to burn to those discs.

You might therefore try doing a few more burns and checking the write quality again, since it's possible that it will improve.

From all of my own CD-DVD Speed and KProbe tests, however, I find that there is a difference in write quality according to the content! This adds a further layer of murkiness to scan results, which we already know to be fairly approximate. If you want evidence of the latter, just try running the same scan several times on the exact same disc - there's quite a significant amount of variation.

I too was anxious to get hold of a genuine BenQ burner, since by all accounts they are great all rounders. I've somehow managed to acquire a total of seven burners in that quest, and it seems that they all have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Of the eleven different types of discs I've burned to thus far, I would say that my Pioneer DVD-111D gives the best write quality for six of them. My BenQ's are easily the best for DVD ripping, however, and give the best write quality results for three different discs.

Whilst the BenQ WOPC undoubtedly improves burn quality, it does slow the burn down significantly. My LG GSA-H22N definitely gives the fastest burns, helped by it's exceptionally quick writing of lead in and lead out. It seems a bit touchy with media types, however, giving a typical big rise in the tail of a lot of scans, and of my eleven different discs, it is only the best burner for one disc.

I think that you should look out for the right media for your DW1655, based on what gives good scans in other peoples' tests. I wouldn't worry too much about getting down to under 100 PI failures or whatever, since who knows how many discs people burn or how many times they scan them in order to get such amazing scans.

You might also try burning an ISO image file with the latest CD-DVD Speed too, since your scan will then show the burn speed, and the burner used. When WOPC is working, you'll see the burn speed constantly varying as in this scan of a write to a TDK 16x DVD+R disc:

Image

Although the quality score ends up as 0, it was 96 all the way up to the end, and it gets 93 - 96 when scanned in my other drives.

To sum up, I think you'll end up being pretty happy with your DW1655.

Good luck!
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Postby Scour on Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:39 pm

lastguyonthenet, u should scan with 8x-speed in Cdspeed, not with maximum
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Postby ItalianJob on Sat Feb 17, 2007 6:54 pm

2Dogs, you have PO Failures #-o Did you eject before scanning ?
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