I have anxiously awaited new Infomedia 8X +Rs at around $1 Aust each. Philips has tested and passed this Taiwanese brand amongst only two others.
Their ID is INFOMER20 or INFOME-R20-000 in some identifiers.
They are sold in Sydney as bulk packed, white printables on 25 spindles and as also local seller branded.
The dye is pale magenta and the ID is on the dye side in the inner edge of the dye and is difficult to read. Serial numbers are very hard to read and are stamped into the inner hub clear plastic rim.
Two batches identified so far.
DVD +R 2 4.7GB v1.2 M 04073103 (and in white) F2M2S3
DVD +R 2 4.7GB R20 M 04072102 FM2S1
I do not know if these IDs are those tested by Philips.
Tried an S3 from 1st batch on 411@811 HSOR on DVDDECRYPTER @8X with bitsetting and it failed burn @ 2%. Looked closely at media and it had small but visible blemish in the dye. Visibly checked the rest and found extremely minor dye colour variations on only a few.
2nd burn got to 2% and slowed from 4X to 1.9X then moved up to 6X with a similar glitch around 35% when it sped to 8%.
Next two burns got better and speed steps not as pronounced as drive adjusted to media. Burns stared quicker also.
Kprobes showed highish lead in PI reading of 120 with a spike at the speed steps and a rapidly rising spike at the end outside limits @500 and PIF spikes to 40 in the last 5% and rising.
Took results to dealer and suggested that they were not grade A. He promised to look into it.
Note that the burns verified OK on DVDDecrypter and gave good NeroCD reads with small expected hickups at the speed changes, BUT all read well on players. Only the large end spike gave a slight pause in the last 1% on one temperamental player. DVD-ROM burns do seem far more readable despite Kprobe high PIs
Nevertheless not what I had hoped for.
Then tried on 812s (latest standard firmware) on a different computer and found a totally different story.
Although the burner slowed again during speed change steps this was almost imperceptable in Kprobe results and burns were the best I have ever seen
PI max 21, AV 2.7, PIF MAX 11 at speed steps AV 0.20 and absolutely no leadin or end spikes.
The S1 and S3 batches varied in quality but this variation did not upset the 812. However it was critical for the 411@811s. S1 batch was better than S3
Then went to another 411@811s and tried again with illuminating results.
First, got the same problems as the other. Historically, it was a worse burner and the speed steps and end spike were more pronounced and gave glitches on the players. Tried burn at only 4X to eliminate the speed steps and got readable burns but still with end spike, so it is not caused by 8X but by this basic 411s model burner on this media.
I had read previously that 411s was not a good reader, yet those good burns on the 812s gave almost identical Kprobe results when read on 411s
Tried TaioYuden TYG01 -R 4X (at A$2) on both 411@811s drives and got steady results with no end spikes PI MAX 104 AV 37 PIF MAX 2 AV 0.4 so nothing really faulty with these 411@811s drives. They simply do not like this Infomedia.
Although early days some conclusions can be drawn.
The ability to speed change and compensate for slight dye variations on the older drives is limited and they are not suitable for some newer 8X media dyes.
These cheap media may be only B grade but will give excellent results on later drives and are very cheap for the excellent results.
I have also found that latest Ritek Go4 batches (especially H5 batch) are totally unacceptable on either 411@811 or 812S. Have heard that they are not being made anymore and it is possible that lower grade batches are now being dumped here knowing that their reputation will no longer be relevant to further sales. Previoudly had excellent results.
Another issue that arose here is that bulk packs often have a reject disk on the top and/or bottom, which has visible blemishes. This seems to be a “salting” practice that increases profits without putting you off completely. It is also done with wine batches and even with boxes of fish - so beware. Instead of throwing out the bad ones you put a couple in with each batch of good ones. In the case of bulk packed DVDs, it appears to originate in SE Asia and the local sellers are just as much victims as we consumers are.