Best drive with bitsetting capability?

Hi there,

I’m looking for a recommendation on a DVD burner. I don’t want to mess with firmware changes because I don’t want to take a chance on voiding my warranty, but I figured this would be a good place to get an expert opinion.

I’m interested in the Sony drives, because they consensus on the web is that they run very quiet and are quite reliable (even if you have to pay a little more for the Sony name).

But, I’ve also read that the (current) firmware available from Sony for their 700A dual layer drive does NOT allow bitsetting (which I’d want to ensure I give my clients the most widely compatible discs). It also seems that their older, single-layer drives never had this capability (unless hacked).

So with these factors, what would people recommend?

  1. need a quiet drive
  2. reliable
  3. black, if possible, to match the case :slight_smile:
  4. need bitsetting capability WITHOUT firmware hacking
  5. 8x speed capability, again without a hack that would void my warranty

Sorry if this is too newbie, or too vague for the forum . . .

Thanks in advance for any help!

Most of the SONY drives are made by Lite-On, and in my opinion they are NOT that special. I think most Lite-On’s with DL do bitsetting, but i’m not 100% sure.

I prefer NEC drives, they DO NOT have bitsetting with stock firmware, but using patched firmware they work very well, and they are regarded as having the best burn quality of any drives.

Hmm, thanks!

Actually, patching firmwares is something I’d like to avoid in this case, just because it’s the machine I do work-related projects on. I don’t want to hold a customer up for an hour while I jack around with firmware patching because my drive has suddenly stopped working with Nero . . .

I’m sure patching is fine when done carefully, but in this case I’d rather not risk it if I can help it.

Other thoughts from anyone?

If you don’t want to use patched firmware, you could buy an HP420i (OEM NEC2500 with Bitsetting). The 520i would be great too, but I have some doubt that it will ever be available on the free market.

HP and Ricoh drives are most likely to have native bitsetting because they support the feature since 2001. Visit

Remarks Supports bitsetting. Can also write DVD-R at 8x and DVD-RW at 4x. Supports bitsetting. Supports bitsetting. Supports bitsetting. Supports bitsetting.

That’s for Model DVD420(i/e) DVD400(i/e) DVD300(i/e) DVD200(i/e) DVD100i, respectively. (Just copied and pasted from the HP drive table.)

BenQ drives also offer official bitsetting capability

the new BENQ 1600 is my favorite right now. It has auto bitsetting. But, until a free 16x DVD-R firmware is released, it can only currently write 16x DVD+R and 2.4x DVD-DL.

I have become a fan of Benq drives recently and these are the reasons:

  1. FAST. 8X with the Benq is just under 8 minutes, the NEC 25X0 is closer to 10 minutes.

  2. Official Bitsetting support, no hack needed.

  3. Willingness to add features to existing drives (sometimes for a price, but that is OK for me – cheaper than a new drive). They added -R support for 10 bucks.

I don’t have a 1600, but I wish I did. I have a 822a. I wish some of the pros in this and other forums would support manufacturers that provide what the consumers want over what the awesome hacking community provides. It’s great that features can be added by these guys, but if we support only the manufacturers that actually provide what we want, companies like NEC would put a lot more into there firmware themselves.

Unfortunately it seems that the latest Ricoh drive (which is also based on the NEC2500) doesn’t support Bitsetting with the currently available firmwares.

  1. need a quiet drive
  2. reliable
  3. black, if possible, to match the case :slight_smile:
  4. need bitsetting capability WITHOUT firmware hacking
  5. 8x speed capability, again without a hack that would void my warranty

The NEC ND-2510A is all the above, however, why muck around with bitsetting and DVD+R media when you can use high compatibility DVD-R media that doesn’t require bitsetting? :confused:


i suggest you Benq DW1600/1620

And you need some more media for 16x DVD-R writing. :slight_smile:

That’s unfortunate indeed. However, the AOpen by Ricoh design, I guess, will support bitsetting.

A teaser posted two months ago at Anandtech.

Hm - well, I was using my DVD player - a Toshiba SD-3109 - as a test for whether my discs would be compatible with older players. It required me to burn DVD+R with the proper book-type set.

Maybe this player isn’t really representative of older players and is, instead, just really finnicky.

Perhaps what I should really do is get a new DVD player, and stick with DVD-R?

ALL DVD players released recently and sold at some retail stores I have seen support both DVD+R and DVD-R out of the box. Samsung and LG DVD players, for instance, ignored DVD+R and DVD+RW completely for long but all their DVD players nowadays support DVD+R. By that, I mean it’s written on the product box. My Toshiba and Pioneer players are rather old and they don’t say any support for DVD+R disks but they are good at playing both DVD+R and DVD-R.

Many Chinese DVD player makers are losing money because they have to sell under the manufacturing cost and there might be no end to that until a DVD player costs US$10. Ironically, some of the latest DivX players cost from US$150 to US$300 in Seoul and Tokyo. I’m still waiting for a player/recorder compatible with more types including HD-DVD, WMV, VHS, DivX, DVD+R DL, DVD-RAM, and so on that can accept HDD and LAN.

A friend of mine has a DVD player from Samsung. This device is about 3 years old I guess, and it refuses to play any burned disc. DVD+/-R(W) don’t work just like CD-R or CD-RW. :Z
I made his NEC2500 write DVD+R with booktype DVD-ROM, but I didn’t hear yet whether his drive accepted these disc or not.

I had a worse experience. When I was walking in a Carre Four (not sure of the spelling) store in Inchon, about 20km from my home, there were not so many DVD/VHS combo players. There were many Samsung and LG models but none of them was cheap. Though I could easily find cheaper prices from web, I just wanted to get something right there and bring it home because the local doctor gave us a VHS tape which contained the first images of our baby in the womb. So I chose a Toshiba combo. Also I couldn’t find any cheap player that clearly mentioned DVD+R/DVD-R/DVD+RW/DVD-RW support on the box. A few months later, the same store had many from LG and Samsung that costed less with support for all DVD recordables except DVD-RAM.

More people here are buying combo recorders now that support both DVD recording and VHS recording, partly thanks to the great zeal about education among young mothers and love of sports games. It’d be even better if they supported DivX and WMV recording and even to HDD or over LAN.