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What is the best drive for burn quality testing?

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

Postby dolphinius_rex on Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:37 pm

Halc wrote:So one must not blindly look at the results of BenQ scans and trust them.


Very true! But I would make that suggestion for any drive used for testing. Using a picker DVD-ROM for a transfer rate test at full speed will help weed out the discs that the BenQ is being a bit too forgiving on though :)
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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Dec 23, 2004 6:21 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:Very true! But I would make that suggestion for any drive used for testing. Using a picker DVD-ROM for a transfer rate test at full speed will help weed out the discs that the BenQ is being a bit too forgiving on though :)

that at least is easy.
i've a toshiba -ROM with riplock removed.
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Postby zambalik on Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:18 am

what about the lite-on sohw-1673s and the sony dru-720a ?
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Postby 88keyz on Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:23 pm

I know this drive hasn't come up yet but the NEC ND-3520A can now do quality testing. There is a wide selection of OEM firmware available and Liggy & Dee-27 over at CDFreaks.com are doing some fantastic work with the firmware of this drive and currently there is an almost unlimited selection of firmwares based on features. Firmwares with bitsetting, auto-bitsetting, RPC1, riplock removal, quality testing, DVD-R DL, write-speed enhancement and more. And they are available in just about any combination of the above features. This is one great drive that has a lot of people working on firmwares for it and its really come a long way in the last little while. This includes the addition of 4X DVD-R DL and quality testing! Check out these pages and posts for more info.

http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=134047

http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=134320

http://www.micheldeboer.nl/firmware/3520.html
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Postby Halc on Sun Apr 17, 2005 3:47 pm

Any single drive is not good enough.

There's a lot of variance from one maker/model to another.

Certainly I would NOT use any of the LiteOn (or repackaged Sony) models, as they are one of the most tolerant models when it comes to DC jitter.

That is, they still fly through discs that cause very high jitter in other readers.

My combination currently is:

- Pioneer A09XL
- Plextor 716
- AOpen 1648/AAP
- Toshiba SD-M1804 (will perhaps be replaced by another model)

and will probably get:

- LiteOn or BenQ
- Nec or BTC

to add to the set up.

I have already seen hugely variant results from drive to drive scanning the same disc at 4x or at 8x.

Single drive results cannot be trusted, if one is after general/overall burn compatibility testing.
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Postby 88keyz on Sun Apr 17, 2005 11:16 pm

I think that some of you forget that most people that post here don't own more than one DVD burner and those that do might own two at the most. The average person doesn't want a collection of drives to test their media, just one that will do a decent job. It seems fairly unreasonable to spend 15 minutes burning a DVD and the next 2 hours testing it on a half dozen differents models of drives only for the sake of seeing which drive offers the best quality rating. Yes, its obvious that you can't get an accurate view of the quality of a burn by testing on one drive, but its good enough for most. And in the case of the person that started this thread I would say that he/she is looking for the suggestion of a single drive for testing, not the suggestion to purchase many simply for testing purposes. As I suggested earlier the NEC ND-3520A is now capable of testing and offers perhaps the greatest feature set of any drive capable of doing so, that is if you don't mind using hacked or modified firmware. But easily the current king of the testing field out of the box is the BenQ DW1620. The media support, writing quality & speed and bitsetting features found on the OEM firmware (which is only getting better) is easily the best available from an OEM. BenQ would be my first suggestion for someone looking for a good drive with quality testing support based on OEM firmware or if you don't mind using modified firmware then pick up the NEC drive and get DVD-R DL writing support thrown in as well.
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Postby Halc on Mon Apr 18, 2005 2:09 am

I think the people who ask "what is the best [single] drive for testing" don't understand, that scanning with only one drive and posting the results for everybody else to see they are not only deluding themselves, but misleading others as well.

How's that for a rebuttal ? :)

Now, of course I understand what you mean.

But you must also appreciate the other side of the coin.

You can't have the cake and eat it too.

Either your test results are useful, or they are not useful. Or something in between, but you never know which it is!

Sometimes single scans can be accurate (even a stopped clock is right twice a day), but many times they are just the opposite.

Now, I ask: what is the point in this kind of testing?

To fool oneself into believing that the burn was great?

If one only wants to find out if a particular disc was burned in such a way that it is compatible in the burner that made the burning, then I agree with the conclusion:

Get a BenQ or Nec (although I wouldn't spit in the direction of Pioneer A09 and Plextor 716 either, even though I understand why some may think them inferior choices).

I think we should finally abolish some words from our vocabulary, if we want to be truthful:

- "disc/burn quality" and "quality testing"

When in fact we mean:

- "burner/disc/reader compatibility" and "compatibility testing"

and

- "errors on a disc"

when in fact we mean

- "errors in reading" (they are not on the disc)

There is no such thing a "quality" unless the test methodology controls the following variables from the following equation:

Disc (practical) Quality = burnerS (model/maker/revision) + firmwareS + speedS + disc (generation/factory/batch) + readersS

A good disc is ideally a one that burns in such a way (in multiple burners, from multiple batches) that it is readable without hitches (high speed, low amount of errors in reading) in a multiple amount of (functionally correct) dvd readers.

Otherwise were are merely talking single drive unit compatibility testing.

Of course, none of us has time to test all disc batches/variants in all burners and readers.

Therefor, I think, the very minimum requirement for talking about general quality is to at least use a few burners and a few readers.

Just using one burner and one reader is no more than compatibility testing for that burner/reader.

I hope I've made my point clear for the umpteenth time and my apologies to those of you who think that I've long since sounded like a broken record :)

regards,
halc

PS [evil jest mode on] What a wonderful marketing/design strategy LiteOn has! Flood the market with great readers and a tool that can be used for scanning! It doesn't mean how incompatible the burns are overall, as long as LiteOn readers fly through them with minimum amount of read errors. You don't have to develop your burning capabilities at all, if the drive is able to read even a 2000 year old stone table with a low number of read errors. Grrreat readers, who cares about burn compatibility. Now that's what I call good marketing :) [/evil jest mode off]
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Postby RJW on Mon Apr 18, 2005 4:17 pm

Halc wrote:
PS [evil jest mode on] What a wonderful marketing/design strategy LiteOn has! Flood the market with great readers and a tool that can be used for scanning! It doesn't mean how incompatible the burns are overall, as long as LiteOn readers fly through them with minimum amount of read errors. You don't have to develop your burning capabilities at all, if the drive is able to read even a 2000 year old stone table with a low number of read errors. Grrreat readers, who cares about burn compatibility. Now that's what I call good marketing :) [/evil jest mode off]


[-o< [-o< [-o<
:D
Posted at the right board. You would know that if you would make this comments at cdfreaks then you probally would have started a flame war.
At least that happened when I posted such comments years ago. :D
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Postby Wesociety on Mon Apr 18, 2005 4:31 pm

Maybe some LiteOn fanatics would argue but it is pretty well known that the LiteOn write quality sucks with their DVD writers.
Look at our reviews and they say the same thing.

So even though the LiteOn drives are exceptional readers, many of their own written discs will still show up like crap with stock firmwares.
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Postby RJW on Tue Apr 19, 2005 1:27 pm

Well it's funny a lot of folks say Lite On are that good readers.
However on mannipulated test disc's with high jitter high assymetry Pioneer drives do outperform them.
No the weird thing is the results I get with my Pioneer 106D and DVDinfopro.
The drive reports high errors on crap media. However it reads it fine.
Really weird stuff. You would think PI 900 range which the drive reports would mean some trouble or at least a flaw in the transfer rate test. But no it doesn't do. Other drives do not see that high levels on that crap media but still report 400+ and have problems with it. (transfer rate tests shows it.)
So for that and the fact that my pioneer 106D hardly seems to have a to idiotic variation in results I really gave the hope on usseing this drive for any testing.
Also that my Pioneer 106D is a excellent reader for recordables was just proven again. I got some DVD-r (PRINCO) which someone needed to back-up badly and his 16x Lite On could not read it back ok. The pioneer did read it back. For the fun I did a transfer rate test and it's one of the first times that I see some really crappy performance when it comes to the transfer rate from this drive. Guess this media probally tried to get a new definition of crap. Ohwell at least it did back-up.
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Postby Halc on Tue Apr 19, 2005 3:26 pm

Intresting results RJW.

I've been meaning to order JVC DVD jitter test discs, but they cost 300+ euros. I can't afford them.

Can you say which LiteOn/Pioneer models have been tested with which discs (what kind of asymmetry/jitter level are we talking about).

Also, does anybody know at what kind of intervals do Pioneer dvd drives report PIE/PIF error counts?

To be honest, some of the LiteOn error counts are so low (esp. on cdr media) that they are bordering on believability. Sometimes I wonder what is the true accuracy of Mediatek chipset in reporting the errors...

Somebody should really see a test showing correlation between error rates, read speed (esp. slow downs) and point of unreadability with various drives. I think it would be quite revealing.

Mark that one as another one of those "interesting, but no time to do" tests :)

regards,

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Postby Muchin on Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:01 pm

RJW wrote:Posted at the right board. You would know that if you would make this comments at cdfreaks then you probally would have started a flame war.
At least that happened when I posted such comments years ago. :D
You are so right. I was bombarded recently by some LG fans at CDFreaks when I said that tests by C’t are better indicators of disc quality than the PIE/PIF values given by Lite-On 1633S and by Benq 1620, because they are so good as readers. Fortunately dolphinius_rex came to my rescue finally. So I decided to join this forum.
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Tue Apr 19, 2005 7:44 pm

Muchin wrote:
RJW wrote:Posted at the right board. You would know that if you would make this comments at cdfreaks then you probally would have started a flame war.
At least that happened when I posted such comments years ago. :D
You are so right. I was bombarded recently by some LG fans at CDFreaks when I said that tests by C’t are better indicators of disc quality than the PIE/PIF values given by Lite-On 1633S and by Benq 1620, because they are so good as readers. Fortunately dolphinius_rex came to my rescue finally. So I decided to join this forum.


Lot's of people like to try to justify slacking off when doing media testing....
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Postby RJW on Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:53 pm

Halc wrote:Intresting results RJW.

I've been meaning to order JVC DVD jitter test discs, but they cost 300+ euros. I can't afford them.

Can you say which LiteOn/Pioneer models have been tested with which discs (what kind of asymmetry/jitter level are we talking about).

Just take a look at C't if you didn't have the old numbers which specifically tell how there disc's works (Start point Up to the point were it rises.) then give me a e-mail.
Also, does anybody know at what kind of intervals do Pioneer dvd drives report PIE/PIF error counts?

To be honest, some of the LiteOn error counts are so low (esp. on cdr media) that they are bordering on believability. Sometimes I wonder what is the true accuracy of Mediatek chipset in reporting the errors...

CD-R media is low I know it will report much less errors as the (semi)profesional stuff. However it most times will be good enough to tell if a disc is good or bad or really bad. The middle area is were it becomes problematic. So avoid haveing disc's in it. :D
Somebody should really see a test showing correlation between error rates, read speed (esp. slow downs) and point of unreadability with various drives. I think it would be quite revealing.

Ever ran cdspeed C2 test. Well you can have it that only the speed drops marginally on a good drive while the disc is junk and it will say it's a good disc. (Drive that did was used was the old plextor 241040Ta (the dip was really small more like oh something needed the precious CPU cycles as a real dip we most time see with dvd recrodables when usseing a transfer rate test.) )K-probe and the semi-profesional tools and the plextor premium I have used will all say junk. ON which my bad cheap cd-rom drives agree.(AOPEN 40x and that sort of stuff.)

Mark that one as another one of those "interesting, but no time to do" tests :)

Well you might be lucky on that one a friend of me should have done some tests with different drives in cdspeed transfer rate test. While not perfect it's nice to see the differnt behaviour.
I can say Labtop drives are much more sensitive for shape problems.
A average slimline drive at 24x performs much near a average normal drive at 40x when it comes to problems because of shape (unbalanced, curved.)
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Postby Wesociety on Sun May 01, 2005 3:45 am

Let me share some of my experience.

Yes, I also have a BenQ 1620A in addition to a few LiteOn drives.
So why do I use my LiteOn 1633S for PI/PIF testing ?

Because the BenQ drive that I have produces some very odd results when PIE/PIF/POF scanning.
For example: At one point I was burning numerous RICOHJPNR01 discs at 8x on an NEC 3500AG drive. Scanning numerous pieces of these discs in the BenQ 1620A resulted in unreadable errors near the end of the disc(s); the scan could not complete even though the error levels looked relatively low throughout the majority of the discs. The same exact discs show a perfect 16x transfer rate curve all the way through on the NEC 3500A drive and good results on a LiteON PI/PIF scan. These same discs play perfectly all the way through the end of the videos on various standalone players...

Is it possible that my specific BenQ 1620A is a subpar reader? Yes of course, but these strange behavoirs (along with others) are the reason why I do not use this drive for quality testing...
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Postby dolphinius_rex on Sun May 01, 2005 10:15 pm

Wesociety wrote:Let me share some of my experience.

Yes, I also have a BenQ 1620A in addition to a few LiteOn drives.
So why do I use my LiteOn 1633S for PI/PIF testing ?

Because the BenQ drive that I have produces some very odd results when PIE/PIF/POF scanning.
For example: At one point I was burning numerous RICOHJPNR01 discs at 8x on an NEC 3500AG drive. Scanning numerous pieces of these discs in the BenQ 1620A resulted in unreadable errors near the end of the disc(s); the scan could not complete even though the error levels looked relatively low throughout the majority of the discs. The same exact discs show a perfect 16x transfer rate curve all the way through on the NEC 3500A drive and good results on a LiteON PI/PIF scan. These same discs play perfectly all the way through the end of the videos on various standalone players...

Is it possible that my specific BenQ 1620A is a subpar reader? Yes of course, but these strange behavoirs (along with others) are the reason why I do not use this drive for quality testing...


I wonder if it was a Beta/Assymetry problem?
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Postby Wesociety on Sun May 01, 2005 11:41 pm

dolphinius_rex wrote:I wonder if it was a Beta/Assymetry problem?

Possible, but if I recall correctly the jitter values were reported between 8-10% on the span of these discs...
And if so, then this BenQ drive is much more sensitive to increased jitter levels compared to other drives and standalone players. :-?
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Postby Halc on Mon May 02, 2005 2:28 am

I think Wesociety is finding out the same things that other people are also running into (myself included):

Different drives read different type of "good" and "bad" discs with varying degrees of success.

For example, there are various authors who are always wondering how LiteOn models produce almost faultless read error graphs even at 8x scanning speed, when the discs are extremely hard to read in various other drives (non-LiteOn).

The BenQ example is another kind of read ability difference, it seems.

Toshiba SD-series (particulardly SD-M1802) has it's own issues. So does the AOPen DVD-1648/AAP.

Now, again, re-iterating: does it mean that any of the above is "bad for testing" (compared to say LiteOn drives). No more, imho, than saying that LiteOn is bad for testing.

The drives all have their points of failure and they don't read all discs like every other drive.

Now, what would we need to find out the drives capabilities?

Pre-manufactured precision discs that stress at least the following parameters (each individually):

- eccentricity (this will show the drives ability to keep the read error rates low even when reading towards the outer edge of the disc. The rising mountain style read error graphs are mostly attributable to eccentricty of the disc and the drives inability to handle that amount of eccentricity).

- HF jitter (specified as data-to-clock using high precision measuring optimized/calibrated drive with very accurate clock). HF jitter can be constructed by so many lower level disc parameters, it is dizzying. I suspect different drives respond differently to rising of various lower level parameters.

- varying disc thickness (causing vertical deviation tilt errors, like tracking/focus errors), birefringence (influences jitter and tracking), etc.

The above is only for single layer discs. Things like L0 reflective layer sputtering become additional factors for dual layer discs.

But the point is:

We need specialized test discs, with known "off the limits" test parameters.

Only by using such discs are we able to deduce which drives fail due to which lower level disc characteristics being "out of spec" for the drives in question.

By using our own dvd-r/dvd+r discs as tools of measure will only have us shooting blindly in the dark, as far as drives' low level readability characteristics are concerned.

As far as day-to-day compatibility and disc "quality" is concerned, the above AGAIN underlines the importance of testing with VARIOUS drives, and never with a single drive (not even Pulstec, unless one is a qualified scanner operator and knows how to read the lower level test results and just discard read error values completely).

regards,
halc

PS Jitter values reported by consumer drives are again "read level HF jitter", not jitter on disc. As long as the basic jitter setting variables are not equalized for measurement within the testing drive AND drive does not have a super-accurate clock, the resulting data to clock jitter is a combination of jitter on disc (e.g. pit-land transition jitter) and drive jitter (e.g. clock jitter). It is impossible to say from this combined jitter, how much of that jitter is "on the disc". This combined jitter will also vary from one reader to another (due to the differences in slicer, equalizer and tracking settings). Only jitter readings from properly equalized/accurate Pulstec (and the like) readers are to be trusted as indirect measures disc HF jitter.
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Postby RJW on Mon May 02, 2005 6:44 am

Wesociety wrote:
dolphinius_rex wrote:I wonder if it was a Beta/Assymetry problem?

Possible, but if I recall correctly the jitter values were reported between 8-10% on the span of these discs...
And if so, then this BenQ drive is much more sensitive to increased jitter levels compared to other drives and standalone players. :-?


Benq will work Fine with that jitter levels and it has to really 10% reported by Benq is not problematic. The results so far on calibrated profesional drives and Benq drives jitter measurement suggest that the Benq reports slightly to high which is thanks to the facts Halcyon allready explained. Takeing into account that it reports to high and seeing your limit 8-10% suggests that it is not the jitter that is problematic for the Benq drive.
It has to be another parameter which is screwed up and for which the benq drive is sensitive.
I have to say Benq is not the best reader. Still there are much more worse drives out there.
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