1640 Questions

Hi all

I have some questions regarding bitsetting and my 1640.

I have spent the past 2 weeks scanning these newsgroups and doing burn tests on my new 1640 and am a little concerned that I might have bought into a nightmare. The 1640 replaced my excellent NEC 2510a but I think the 1640 may be producing poorer quality burns. The 2510 would burn almost any media I cared to abuse it with and most played fine. I used to check my scans with my Sony DDU1612 which usually gave a good indication of how discs had burnt in my NEc but the same drive hates reading discs burnt on the 1640. I can’t understand why as the scans on the 1640 say the burns are almost perfect so why is it that a well respected dvd-rom that can read almost anything i have ever thrown at produces horrible quality scans and appauling benchmark scans on discs which according to the 1640 are almost perfect burns? My main concern is that, appart from watching every disc after it has been burnt, I have no independent way of checking the quality of the 1640’s offspring. I know people don’t like using a dvd-rom drive for testing quality of burns but using the drive they were burned on seems crazy as it would obviously be calibrated to like it’s own offspring and judging by my scans - it does. Would someone suggest the second best way of checking the quality of burnt media?

I seem to be getting the transfer rate problem that many people have reported, where by a benchmark scan performed on the 1640, of media burnt on the 1640, suddenly plumets to almost nothing and the drive sounds like a helicopter. I have found that if I limit cd speed to 14x the problem almost disappears completely so this seems to suggest that my drive has trouble attaining highest read speeds. It has been suggested this is because of a bug in the firmware the drive drops the speed too much, then yo-yos for a while. Again this is strange as quality scans done on the 1640 on the same media suggest a good burn. Any other info on this would be appreciated. Lots of people say they rma their drive because of this but few report back whether the new drive is ok or not so would the peeps who rma’d their drives let me know if subsequent 1640’s were any better. thanks.

Everyone says change bitsetting to DVD-ROM, are there any benefits at all in leaving bitsetting to the true setting of say DVD+R on a DVD+R media? Or is this a no brainer, always change to DVD-ROM.

Apart from the booktype setting is there any difference in the way the data is written to a disc between a DVD-R and a DVD+R. If there is a difference, might that difference affect playback?

I have just burnt some discs from SVP {DV 3229} Verbatim Silver top 16x DVD+R MCC 004 (000) at 16X on my new 1640 but the results are pixelated on my samsung standalone player SV-DVD55 but plays OK (the first few mins anyway) on my Phillips LS8300SX. If I had changed the book type to DVD_ROM is it possible it would play better? Or would a player that doesn’t know about dvd+R just not play the disc unless the book type was set to DVD-ROM? Hope you follow that. What I am asking is; does changing the book type mean better quality playback or just that a player will play the disc?

Here is the scan of the pixelated disc. I know it’s not a great burn but would people consider this an OK/playable burn? If the instructions in CD Speed are
to beleived, most discs are written around the 70% quality mark and will play OK so if the quality scan from the benq is to be beleived (which i doubt very
much) then the disc should be playable in even the worst dvd players. It seems from playback tests that the benq drive is calibrated to read its own
offspring and as such gives overly impressive quality results. Anyway here are the scans.

This is the first time I have posted pics so if these images are not displayed, would some one explain how I post them, thanks.

Benq Scan:

Scan from my faithful Sony DDU1612 (same disc as above)

What I find odd is that the quality scans can be almost prefect and suggest that the disc could be read in a poor player (error levels being well within
maximum tolerance levels) yet the same disc plays pixelated in a stand alone player and will not read very well in a well respected dvd-rom…what gives?

I got my discs from SVP and they are top media so something does not add up?

Can anyone explain why the sony scan is so bad? The drive is a rebadged Liteon I believe and is an excellent reader, worked well with my NEC 2510 to give a good indication of burn quality and whether the disc would play in my external players but seems to produce vile scans of discs burnt with the 1640.

Should I RMA my 1640?

Here are a set of scans from another disc, again SVP {DV 3229} Verbatim Silver top 16x DVD+R MCC 004 (000) burnt at 16X on my new 1640.

Quality scan on Benq

Benchmark scan on Benq

Quality scan on Sony

Benchmark on Sony

What gives?

I have burnt about 40 discs over the past 2 weeks and done scans, here is the list of disc i have used:

Datawrite Blue V5 8X DVD-R Ritek G05 Manuf: Ritek
Datawrite Classic printable 8X DVD-R CMC MAG. AE1 Manuf: CMC
Datawrite Red 8X DVD-R TTG02 Manuf: unknown
Datawrite Yellow 8X DVD-R CMC MAG. AE1 Manuf: CMC
Ri-Disc 8X DVD-R TTG02 Manuf: CMC
Ridisc Printable 8X DVD-R CMC MAG. AE1 manuf: CMC
Ritek G05 Printable Ritek G05 Manuf: Ritek
Samsung Pleomax 8X DVD-R OPTODISCR008 Manuf: Optodisc
Tesco 8X DVD+R AML 002 (000) Manuf: AML 002 (000)
Titanium 8X DVD-R CMC MAG. AE1
Verbatim 16X DVD+R MCC 004 (000) Manuf: verbatim
Verbatim 16X DVD+R Photo Printable MCC 004 (000) Manuf: verbatim
Verbatim 8X DVD-R TYG02 unknown

90% of the results are very similar to the above.

I bought this drive because I wanted a drive I could trust. I even bought a lot of more expensive verbatim media and +R discs as people said it prefered them, so that I could rest assured the burns would be OK but I feel I can not trust this drive.

It seems from all the tests that most people love the 1640 because of the low PIE/PIF errors but my tests seem to suggest that it’s all down to a preference

for reading it’s own burns and a 97% scan gives you reason to be happy and not question it. Any comments? Please don’t flame me I am just trying to understand what is happening.

P.S. There was no background activity while doing scans and burst rate is always between 23mb/s - 27mb/s.

Many thanks


It seems i have messed the pictures up but you should be able to get the jist. I was going to post them properly but the forum wont let me upload a picture in a new post that has already been uploaded in a previous post but I can’t access the picture from the new post…help. Can’t you post the same picture in more than one post? And how do you get the picture to appear inline rather than at the end of the post?



If you can’t post two time the same image, then post the link where the image is. You should insert the link in the right upper corner of each post (i.e a # followed by a number: this is the link for a single post)
This is an example

@tgbyhn10. The BenQ 1640 scan and transfer test look fine so no I wouldn’t RMA your drive. Your Sony obviously does not read the disc very well but that is a typical scan result when scanned in your 1640. If you want proper scan results do not use a DVD-Rom for scanning. Would suggest burning at 12x vs 16x as you will get a much better result. As for bitsetting most use DVD-ROM as it gives better compatibility in stand alone players. If for some reason you need to repost a scan go to MS paint and rename the scan and save as PNG.

OK here are 4 scans of the same disc - comments welcome. If the scan is so perfect, as the 1640 suggests, why can’t my sony drive read them very well?

What worries me is that my external dvd player may have similar preferences to the sony drive.



As said crossg, scans made with a dvd READER are not reliable. So don’t concern about the very bad results obtained in these scans. Use dvd READER only to do Transfer rate tests.

Probably your reader is a little picky (like my liteon 165), so transfer rate test is not smooth; anyway, reading speed don’t go under 9x, so in my opinion this is not a bad result.

If you are referring to a standalone player, usually they read discs @1x, so these errors should not be present during playback on a standalone.

You need to give more information such as computer component specs, firmware version of ODD’s, burning software and settings used for the burn (eg burn speed selected, etc), if installed QSuite for the BenQ and what settings you have selected, is there adequate free space for burning, is the harddrive defragmented, how the ODD’s are arranged (master/slave) and with what attached on the IDE channel, etc.

A disc that gets a 70% Quality Score in Nero on my BenQ 1640, would either not be playable or cause major playback issues (skipping, pixelating, or stop reading at all) in my standalone Philips DVD player. The Nero quality Scan of 97% you posted looks pretty good as does the Read Transfer Rate. The 91% scan is OK, although the Read Transfer Rate done in the Sony looks bad. I would wonder what this would have looked like if done in the BenQ, and if the same, then this would indicate a poorly burned disc that will have problems playing on your standalones. The Verbatim 16X DVD+R media is excellent media but I find my best results (lowest errors) are when I burn it at 8X on my BenQ1640. Some of your media listed is good and some is not. Maybe in future firmware upgrades performance will improve for that media.

Many find their 1640 prefers DVD+R media in general. Some find DVD-R performs well. You will have to determine what your ODD likes to eat best and at what settings. I use DVD+R, either Taiyo Yudens 8X (TY02) or Verbatim 16X (MCC 004). If the 97% scan of the MCC 004 was burned at 16X, then you are doing pretty darned well, although you will see many people’s scan’s here that have done better than you and me. Still, that disc wouild play in my Philips DVP642 without issue, I believe, unless there was a problem with the ripped video (not the burn!).

Looking at your 2 standalone DVD players, the Samsung may have problems playing DVD+R and DVD-R discs (http://www.videohelp.com/dvdplayers.php?DVDname=SV-DVD55+&Submit=Search&Search=Search&chipset=&country=&orderby=Name&hits=25) and I couldn’t find any info on the “Phillips LS8300SX”. I would suggest you use QSuite to set Booktype to DVD-ROM to increase compatability with any/all DVD players unless you know that the disc can play in its native +R/-R booktype and will only be played on that drive in the future. As far as I know, booktype setting (changing +R or +RW to -ROM) does not change your data on the disc, only the ODD’s initial identification of the type of disc it is reading for improved compatability. For more complete information, see http://www.cdfreaks.com/article/150.

As for scanning of discs, the BenQ does an admirable job. I have also read not to use DVD-ROM’s for scanners but don’t recall why. Since I am also not well versed on the NEC 2510a, and its compatability with the BenQ 1640, I will leave these questions to others. It is interesting that PIE’s increase around the 0.5 GB mark with both discs. My ODD’s have their own peculiarities like that, something that is akin to its unique “fingerprint”. Still, you question of whether to RMA the BenQ can not be answered just yet without further information, although being able to acheive a Quality Score of 97% leads me to believe there is hope for your drive to be a good performer with some tweaking and cautious media purchases.

Maybe these burnings were made @ 16x. Benq1640 have a know problem to burn these media @16x: many users have solved it burning @12x.

Thanks for the response.

I do have atrocious benchmark scans from the 1640 too.

Even if we ignore the quality scans, I still don’t understand how a disc that is supposed to be 97% perfect can barely be read in another drive.

Is there a post somewhere that explains why a DVD-ROM can not be used as an accurate reader? Where does this belief come from or is it just a popular myth used to sideline any concerns about the quality of burns?



I will try and find something on the DVD-ROM scanning. Meanwhile try another burn with bitsetting to DVD-Rom and see if that helps with playback.

I do have atrocious benchmark scans from the 1640 too.

Me Too.:wink:
EDIT: Here is a post from rdgrimes Click

The external samsung has always played everything i have put in it until now. The philips plays just about everything too so anything this pixelates concerns me.

Here’s a link to my philips player

OS Name Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Version 5.1.2600 Service Pack 2 Build 2600
System Model AWRDACPI
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 7 GenuineIntel ~2606 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG, 05/07/2005
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = “5.1.2600.2180 (xpsp_sp2_rtm.040803-2158)”
Total Physical Memory 1,024.00 MB
Available Physical Memory 592.24 MB
Total Virtual Memory 2.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 1.96 GB
Page File Space 2.41 GB
System defraged at least once a week
Harddisk: Seagate 120GB about 15GB used sustained read Speed 37MB/s (hdtach)
System completely up to date with patches and drivers etc.

Benq 1640 is secondary master nothing else on channel
Seagate hard disk is primary master, sony dvd rom DDU1612 is primary slave

I did move the hard disk to an ‘abit hot rod 100 raid card’ so that the DVD-rom and DW1640 had a channel each but it made no difference to burns and scans so I reverted to as above.

Anti Virus software / defrag tools etc. all disabled while burning and testing.

I have tried other firmwares in my sony: DSY1, DSY3 and the Liteon 166s something or other as it’s a rebadged liteon. All give the same scan results.

1640 firmware was BSLB for all tests.

Software installed: Nero reloaded (nero digital and nero 6 latest versions
Nero INCD not installed
DVDshrink installed
DVDDecrypter installed
Qsuite 2.0 installed and left to default settings for everything.

Used dvdshrink to create a backup image to my hard disk, then burnt with nero express. No pixelation if played on pc in nero showtime or cyberlink powercinema via nero imagedrive.

Make of disc: Verbatim 16X DVD+R
Manuf: Verbatim
Dye: MCC 004 (000)
burnt at: 16Xin my1640

Here are 4 scans of the pixelating disk - comments welcome.

Try burning at 12x on good media and I think you’ll be happy with the result. 16x on the BENQ saves little additional time and generally quality drops significantly even if not reflected in the “quality” scans.

I think PIE/PIF “quality” scans are pretty worthless in determining how well a disc can be read back in a DVD-ROM drive and play on a standalone. However, it’s almost a religious issue here and most folks won’t even enter into a rational discussion about it even when presented with good quality scans that have major issues in what really matters; how well the discs can be read back on standalones and DVD-ROM drives.

When I got the 1640, I scanned a few TY T02 discs burned on a Pioneer 108 and they looked great as expected. I then pulled out some old Optodisc burns that I keep around because I know they have issues playing on standalones and being read back on an assortment of DVD ROM drives. First one got a 95 quality scan on the 1640. yeah, right! That same disc fails with a CRC error on my 14x speed hacked LiteOn 166S and has major speed variations on a AAopen 1648 Chameleon, LiteOn 16P9S and even the 1640. It also pixelates and freezes on 3 standalones.

Quality scans are close to worthless IMHO and the 1640 is no exception. The limited data available supports this such as the German magazine that compared PIE/PIF scans to results from a high end tester that the industry uses and found virtually no corelation between them. Results like that always seem to get ignored in favor of this religous belief that they’re really useful.

My 14x speed hacked LiteOn 166S remains my quality bible. Anything that has a reasonably smooth transfer curve on it can be read back reliably on all my other drives and never has issues on any of the 15+ standalones I’ve tried. BTW, the 166S is capable of reading even bad burns with a smooth curve at stock speeds but when run at 14x, really picks up on flaws well. The location of its speed dips typicallyshow little or no corelation with the 1640 PIE/PIF scans though.

PIE/PIF scans at full speed (16x) on the AAopen 1648 are also useful although folks around here would have a coronary at the typical 500-800 PIE level it shows on good burns. It’s PIF level is generally an excellant indicator though with anything showing a .35 average PIF with peak PIF below 20 in the high speed area being a good burn.

I’ve also found that the QScan function in QSuite is a far better predictor of how a burn will turn out than the PIE/PIF scanning after the fact. Try scanning some of your blanks at 12x and 16x and you’ll probably give up burning at 16x.

With good media such as TY T02, try turning off WOPC using QSuite and burning at 12x. I do for all my burns and get full disc burns in 6:05 that easily meet my standards above.

Now where was that flameproof suit? I’ll either need it or this will just get ignored like other attempts I’ve made at starting a rational discussion on this.

I’ve got real simple standards. I want to be able to recover the data on anything I burn. PIE/PIF scanning is not a reliable way of determing if I can do that based on my experience. A simple transfer rate on a reader stressed with a speed hack has proved to be a reliable determination.

A little history for those who would judge me based on my post count. I’ve owned 4 different model burners and 5 readers and burned ~900 DVDs. There are folks here with a lot more experience but I’m certainly not a newbie at this anymore.



Your computer system certainly looks up to the task of burning quality DVD’s, although you didn’t say what chipset and DVD driver’s you are using (more of a problem for people with Plextor 716’s than BenQ’s for example). Looking at the owner’s manual for your Philips DVD player (from the link you gave) states that DVD+R(W) is supported but there isn’t a specific reference to DVD-R’s from the little I read, unless “Finalised Digital Video Discs” means DVD-R. I still would recommend you booktype set to DVD-ROM for best possible compatability.


I agree with you about Read Transfer Rates being a good predictor of a viable discs, though I have had wonderfully smooth tranfer rates and the disc was a poor performer. However, Nero Quality Scan and QSuite QCheck are powerful indicators of “true negatives” - a bad scan invariably means a bad disc, while good scans do not guarantee a completely useful disc though the likelyhood is greater. All these scans are better as negative predictors and are merely a tool for guiding your burn strategy/setup to achieve as good a burn as possible given the variables at hand. The inherent imprecision is evident just by scanning your disc twice in succession and noting small but significant PIE/PIF errors between the two tests. Then again, no ODD in the consumer marketplace will report identical quality scans twice in a row at the customary settings utilized on CDFreaks. (I suppose you could use a very weak scan setting and duplicate results, but I don’t see the utility of that as useful information.) While DVD burning is technically advanced, what do you expect from a $40 ODD?

I also agree that manipulating the settings in your burning software and QSuite can improve burn quality. For me, turning off WOPC did not improve burn quality, as compared to default WOPC on, for the TY T02 media I have. Burning T02 at 8X produces the best results for me. I have not tried changing the write strategy of T02 to T03 as some have done (with reported good results) using MediaCodeSpeedEdit.

I don’t mean this as a flame, so please bear with me: If, as you say, quality scans are “close to worthless”, why do you refer to scans on your AAopen 1648 as being useful? I do not find it unusual or significant that two different drives, whether from the same manufacturer or different ones, will graph differently using the same or different software. Some of the variables affecting scanning/burning include differences in design, composition and quality of parts, uncle jack was hung over that day on the assembly line AKA lapses in quality control, heat and dirt buildup of your ODD at the time you use it (heat/humidty definitly affect burn quality - my BenQ seems to handle it better than my Plextor 716), and condition and age of the disc. The quality and composition of the parts and the degree to spec those parts are assembled determine factors such as vibration, precision of the laser, and ventilation. This blend of variances give each drive a unique “fingerprint” to their burns and scans (all things being equal otherwise, meaning, the computer and data are not factors). My Read Transfer Rates show similar small warbles in the otherwise smooth straight graph on every “good” burn. I also seem to get a PIF or two at the same location on every burn, at least with the TY T02 I’m currently using. Because these artifacts are repeatable, I believe tham to be inherent to the design and construction of the drive as it performs in my computer.

That you and tgbyhn10 have experienced variable performance of the discs from your BenQ’s is not surprising either. The BenQ has its strengths and weaknesses - no drive is all things to all people. It could very well be that the laser or some mechanical operation is to blame for both of your performance issues. It could, however, be that your BenQ’s are functioning within spec but the discs it burns will not play nice with your other ODD’s and/or standalone DVD players. Try reducing the speed of the burn to see if that helps. Burning the discs at 4X worked for my uncle’s DVD player. It sucks to have to burn at reduced speeds, but the object is to have playable discs, not sub-6:00 minute burns in my opinion. This is not just a BenQ or Plextor issue either.

For tgbyhn10’s problem of pixelation, once you are sure the file(s) you are burning are not the problem, that the discs you have burned do not play properly even in your friend’s DVD player, tried burning the data at slower speeds and fiddled around with QSuite to see if you can hit the “sweet spot” using high quality Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim media, and seriously considered buying a more versatile DVD player like the Philips DVP642, then it’s time to RMA.

this whole thread is about one shitty Sony DVD-ROM device, and a dodgy old standalone?
ditch the Sony. You can use the BenQ for reading, it’s a far better reader. You’ve made that abundantly clear with your comparative scans.

There’s probably nothing you can do to fix your ancient Sony, so just let it die in peace.

Just this part:

No. The actual burn is unaffected by the booktype. All bitsetting does is maintain full compatibility with some older set-top DVD players that, for various reasons, looked for the booktype. As the name suggests, only a few bits on a disc holding gigaBYTES are changed.


I generally get a slightly better scan immediately after a burn than I do later on. Other than that I’ve found scans to be pretty repeatable when done on the same drive. They also look roughly like scans on the same media on the same drive, I’ve seen posted. However, based on my drives and the posts I’ve seen, scans done on different manufacturers drives corelate poorly and even frequently between models from the same manufacturer. I would not expect that if they were really measuring “quality” in some meaningful way.

Of the 4 drives I currently use, I only regard the 14x speed hacked LiteOn 166S transfer curves as a reliable indicator of quality. The 1640, AAopen 1648 and LiteOn 16P9S all can have pretty smooth transfer curves on mediocre burns. They’re better readers. Not surprising considering they’re newer designs and among the best readers around.

The LiteOn 166S was one of the best when I got it and still reads poor burns well at stock speed. However, when stressed with 14x speed hacked firmware, it becomes much more subject to quality differences. That behavior makes intuitive sense to me.

I believe what it tells me based on experience.with pristine pressed discs, used pressed discs, and burns made on good and bad media with 4 burners at varying speeds. If there are no major speed drops, I can always read my data back reliably on any of my 4 drives and the videos I’ve tried have never skipped on 15+ standalones. Once the 166S speed curves get ugly, the other drives always start to have slowdowns too and on videos, some standalones have issues.

The PiE/PIF scans I’ve done don’t reflect the readability well yet folks on here obsess on minor differencea.

This is a perfect example. The original poster was burning different media on another drive at slower speeds that had no readability issues in a DVD-ROM and a standalone. Now with 16x burns on the BENQ, they do. His PIE/PIF scans look good.

Logical conclusion: Burn quality has gotten poorer. His 1640 PIE/PIF scans don’t indicate the quality well.

Instead folks suggest anything else including buying new readers. The belief in the 1640 scans is absurd.

I just got about 1/3 way through a 100 spindle of FujiFilm TY T02 burning at 12x and the 166S speed curves got progressively more ragged over the course of a few burns. Dropped to 8x and they smoothed right out. Went back and did PIE/PIF scans on the 1640 of a 12x burn earlier in the spindle, the last 12x one I did and an 8x one. Virtually identical.


Back to the original question, it seems to me that the whole point of the object if you are backing up movies is to be able to play the backups in your DVD player. If the results are pixellated, then that is a problem for you. I have certainly had brands of discs that gave good very readable burns on PC DVD drives, but would not play. I assumed that this was down to the interaction of the DVD player pickup and the reflectivity characteristics of the disc. Having said that, I have not had any problems with Verbatim x16 +R silver tops.

I would certainly suggest burning your MCC 004’s at no more than 12x. On one spindle of these, the QScan’s suggested not burning higher than 8x.

There is such a stark contrast between the Sony and the Benq results, maybe the Sony is a bit more picky, and is genuinely having problems with the Benq burnt discs. Bit occasionally though there do seem to be unpredictable interactions between DVD drives in PC’s, so to satisfy yourself that the problems lie with the burnt discs themselves, you could try removing the Benq temporarily and repeating the scans, possibly also trying the Sony on both IDE1 and IDE2.

That slight wobble in the Sony scans just doesn’t look right. True read problems are normally indicated by sharp drops. I have had similar appearances before, which I finally atributed to overheating of the drive on hot days. Repeating the scans in another PC and after the original PC had been switched off for a while completely got rid of the wobble. My experience has been that both DVD readers and writers are quite sensitive to temperature.

Like you, I seem to have spent alot of time and money testing discs, and the lack of alternatives to buying on line with the inherrent P&P discourages buying small quantities for testing purposes. So as an aside, what were the Tesco discs like? I was also wondering whether your Verbatim photo-printables were in a case or spindle, and who manufactured them. I had a box of cased from SVP which were truly excellent - QS98-99. I bought a spindle locally which were OK but not outstanding - QS94-97 - and about on par with the silver tops. Now, I believe in the UK all the silver tops are made in India by Moser Baer. The cased Verbatim white tops were made in Taiwan by CMC. The spindle of white tops were made in Taiwan by Prodisc. What I would like to establish is whether in the UK this is generally true, i.e spindles=Prodisc, cased=CMC, or whether it is random, and also whether there is some reason why cased is better than spindle, i.e. cased price premium is due to cost of cases, or whether they preferentially use the first runs off the stampers. Maybe I was just very lucky with my one box of trial discs.

On the disc hub (it is difficult to see unless in the correct light) there is a serial. For the Made in Taiwan, serials with a + or - in the middle are made by Prodisc. For instance, my cased Verbatim photo-printables had the serial PAPA24JB08213130 4, and the spindle 5170E3014+07507X14.

Thanks for your help.