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what Lite-On DVD burner for KProbe testing?

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:46 pm
by dodecahedron
i was wondering, is there a difference in KProbe testing on different models of Lite-On burners?
if so, what are the differences and which is best?

note i don't know what best means here. i guess it's subjective.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 7:07 pm
by dolphinius_rex
I'm a bit cynical on this subject so take my opinion on this with a grain of salt please.

Which LiteON model is best for DVD testing? none of them are

The problem partially stems from the sometimes huge variations in scan results from one LiteON drive to another, regardless of whether they share the same model number or not. This means that there is no way of really being sure of the results you have, and plotting them against the (considered) "universal standard" of no more then 280 PIE Sum 8, and 4 PIF Sum 1, becomes questionable. *personally* I prefer to run tests using either my PX-712a or BenQ DW1620, since the results from both drives have always been very consistant with my real world results. My own personal experiences with LiteON DVD Burners and testing DVDR/RWs are limited to my LiteON LDW-411s, and my LiteON SOHW-832s however. I notice that my 832s is usually the most consistant with my BenQ and Plextor drive, when scanning a REALLY bad disc, then when scanning a really good disc.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 7:47 pm
by rdgrimes
Scan results vary between ALL burners, regardless of whether they are the same model or different models and makers. Remember you are not measuring some arbitrary absolute quality of the burned disc, but rather you are measuring how a disc interacts with that particular drive. So you are measuring both the disc AND the drive's reading ability. The subject of varying scan results has been discussed at length in many places, and dealt with fairly well. Suffice it to say that you do not see varying scans on good burns and good quality discs.

That said, the 832 and 1633 seem to give very similar and consistant results when scanning. Drives to avoid are 411/811 and 1213, mostly due to firmware.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 8:13 pm
by Ian
What dolphinius_rex said..

I've stuck with the 811S for consistency, not because its "the best". Personally, I have been less than impressed by the results from the 1633S. To me, it seems very forgiving. Who knows.. maybe its a firmware thing.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 8:39 pm
by dolphinius_rex
Unfortunatly, my own experience shows that it is not uncommon to see varying results from good to bad when testing high quality media. Specifically Verbatim seems to be problamatic when tested on some drives. The media could be 100% readable on anything, but still get some horrible scans on some drives. I've never quite figured out why this is. CDRinfo also had this problem when they were comparing some DVDR testing drives against CATS analyzers... Verbatim almost always was way off, even when the drive had fairly good consistancy on other media as compared to the CATS.

I use the 832s in my reviews for 2 reasons mainly.

#1 it keeps all the sheeple satisfied
#2 it's interesting to look at for comparison purposes

PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2004 8:57 pm
by rdgrimes
Ian wrote:What dolphinius_rex said..

I've stuck with the 811S for consistency, not because its "the best". Personally, I have been less than impressed by the results from the 1633S. To me, it seems very forgiving. Who knows.. maybe its a firmware thing.

Yes, there's the question of whether it's best to test in a better reader or a worse one. Personally, I don't think it matters a whit, as long as you don't compare one to the other. The point is, after all, to see whether disc A is "better" than disc B in any given drive.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 1:46 am
by dodecahedron
thanks for the replies.

yes, i am aware of the limitations of KProbe testing (or any 'hobbyist' testing).
however i think we'll all agree that there is some value in this amateur testing (all limitations taken into consideration) or we wouldn't be doing it.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 1:59 am
by dolphinius_rex
well, I think some people are a little more amateur then others :wink:

Personally, I favour a simple CD Speed transfer rate test at 12x over a single K-Probe scan on it's own. If the disc can be played back at 12x with no problems, then you already know a fair amount about the quality of the burn. To get into specifics like *HOW* well it's burned, you need a lot more then amateur testing tools to really figure it out.

I think maybe once you've run 100 or more tests on the same drive, you can start having a good idea of what your drive's error rate reporting translates into in real world results (I.E. Playability, compatability, etc..).

Personally, I'm actually keeping an excel spreadsheet of all the media I burn, and the test results I get. When the media is used for personal use, I'll include comments on real world results as well. This sort of thing will help you to keep track of how your drive is reporting media, and what you might be able to expect from different disc's scans.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2004 3:40 am
by Halc
The point is, after all, to see whether disc A is "better" than disc B in any given drive.

Assuming that I'm interpreting the above correctly:

- The aim is to use a single consumer drive to test whether a disc A is better or worse (relatively) than disc B AND to get a result that is applicable to ANY drive.

I must say that it is not possible to my knowledge based on the literature on DVD player implementation and dvd quality testing that I've been able to read.

I and others have shown with test from up to 6 different chipsets/OPU/transport combinations that disc A can be better in drive X and disc B can be better in drive Y.

Which one is better?

The reason for this, as I've so many times written here, at CDFreaks and at CDRInfo, is due to the variation of the implementation of reading of data (esp. management of data-to-clock jitter) in drives.

There is NO single right way to optimize dvd disc reading in a drive (much less so than for cd discs, for which there exists an idealized reference).

Due to the lack of this standard, manufacturers are free to implement their own way of optimizing the reading process.

This has resulted (and will result in the future) in reading capabilities that differ in their ability to react to different kinds of anomalies on different types of discs.

That is, discs will not measure even relatively the same across drives (resulting in same ordinal sequency of disc quality).

And I do agree that using a drive that is more capable than most in a certain way skews the results even more, unless that particular drive holds 50-90% of the market share of drives (and no single drive does, not even one single mfg does afaik).

So reliable and useful testing for more universal compatibiliy estimation should always be done with several different drives and combining the results statistically.

I wish we could just put this issue to rest already.

Neither LiteOn, Plextor or any other single drive is sufficient for doing universal compatibility/media testing.

friendly regards,


- DVD Players and Drives, K.F. Ibrahim, Newnes, 2003
- DVD Testing, S. Gerger, ODS Mag, 6-7/1998

PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2004 10:28 am
by uknown1234
get a benq for your scannings. the scans are pretty consistent :P

PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2004 11:22 am
by Ian
Personally, I'm not about to get all swept up in the BenQ hype. Yep, it can scan. Yep, the results seem to be pretty good.. but people always go nuts about the latest and greatest scanning tools.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2004 6:18 am
by Halc
I'd tend to agree with Ian's opinion.

I also have one BenQ and while it's scanning features are useful (just as LiteOn's, Plextor's, Optorite's, AOpen's and Toshiba's scanning features are), it's not a single tool to assess universal disc quality, imho.

We really need a database, where we could just upload disc scan results with a push of a button. The site would would store all scan results in a dB and statistically estimate burner, firmware, disc and burn quality (/compatibility).

After a few dozen of scans from various readers we could probably have a pretty good picture of disc compatibility on a larger scale.

Who's up for this? :)


PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2004 6:36 am
by dolphinius_rex

You already know my feelings on this :wink: I'm in, as long as certain precautions are taken.