Best DVD Burner?!

Anyone with previous experience can lend a helping hand. I am thinking about purchasing or building a 1 to 10 DVD Duplicator that will be used to mass copy video on DVD-R media. Now with all the different burners available in use with these systems like Nec, Sony, Panasonic, Phillips I want a burner that burn deep in the disk and has the least amount of errors. I need to know based experience or good knowledge which brand and or model of DVD burner is the best to use. Software such as Nero,Sony DVD Architect Pro, etc will be used to produce, edit and burn the master copy, I will then mass produce it using a duplicator. Your comments are greatly appreciated!

This question has been asked many times, and the answer is always, there is no best dvd burner. There are several that are good, and each has its strong and weak points. For example, I have a samsung 18x drive. It burns verbatim 16x media very well at 18x, burns 1 other media quite well, 1 good, 1 good but a few questionable burns, and at least a dozen good quality medias quite terribly. Its strong with a few select media. For me, its worth having for the high quality, high speed burns with verbatim (in part because I have 5 other drives for other tasks). I have an aopen burner, that is actually not a very good dvd burner, with any dvd media (in fact its kind of crappy). It happens to be the best reader for hard to read disks that I have ever seen though.

The drive I see most recommended as an all around good drive (maybe not the best at many things but good at most things) are liteon drives. As you have a specific goal in mind (burning to dvd-r only), you could probably find a better drive, but we need more information. For instance, what disks are you planning on using and where are you going to get them from? Do they have to be printable or light scribe? For instance, if you were willing to get a particular drive, do some testing, find the best media for that drive, and always buy that media, you might be able to get a better drive than a liteon (many would recommend pioneer though they can be more expensive on some models). Also, it matters if you are buying or building a duplicator. If you are building, you may want to get a certain drive that is a strong reader, one that is a good scanner, and several that are good burners.

Here is a poll of what many think are the best.
Its also good to read the reviews here (just the conclusion on the last page to start with if you like). It will help you narrow down which drives suit your needs (strong dvd burning and perhaps strong reader, and strong scanner on two drives).

Fyi, why dvd-r? If its for compatibility, a bitset dvd+r might be better?

In short though, there are bad drives out there that should be avoided (benq dq60, lol). Among the several better drives though, any of them will probably suit your purposes quite well. Just check the reviews to make sure their weak points are not what you need as strong points. If you are building by the way, you may wish to buy one drive, do some testing to ensure it will work well with what you want to do, and what media you want to use, and then buy more of that drive.

Thanks Ripit! To answer your question I am using Taiyo Yuden Inkjet hub printable 8x DVD-R media. As I heard hese are the best brand to use. As far as me using DVD-R instead of DVD+R, I read a couple of forms that discussed this topic and found that most people has more success buring to DVD-R with a slower burning speeds. As I been using these dvd’s I find it to be more compatible than the dvd+r disks I was using before. But maybe it has more to do with the brand of dvd+r disk I was using before which were TDK 16x dvd+r disk which hardly work using the same software and hardware to burn.

My project usually consists of taking a media file like avi and using Nero Vision to convert it to DVD format and burning it to disk. I configure the setting to fit-to-disk and only use High Quality 2-pass VBR and then burn it using the lowest burn settings which is 4mbps. I usually get good burns but my success rate is not where I want it. Right now its at about 75% I would like it around 90% or above where I know most get it. At this point I don’t know if its my DVD burner which is a Sony DVD burner (don’t know the model) or it might be Nero Vision (the latest version of Nero 8). In any which way I would like to know the best possible way to handle what I’m doing. Is there a better one step software in converting avi or any other video format to dvd? Whats the best DVD burner I can use for the type of media I am burning with? All of your input is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

When you say your success rate is 75%, are you talking about during the conversion process, or the burning process? If its failing during the burning process, you should be able to increase that to close to 100%, especially with taiyo yuden media. + or - r shouldn’t matter as far as successful burns either (what matters is which your specific burner likes, not what others have better luck with). As far as play back compatibility, +r that is bitset is the most compatible, but not all drives bitset by default (in fact, not all drives bitset at all). Bitsetting makes the dvd+r identify itself to the drive as a dvd rom, not a dvd+r. As far as tdk media, they use several medias, some very good, some junk.
What are you using now? Just a single burner, multiple burners, multiple computers? Are you needing to increase your production capacity?

Personally nero has worked just fine for me. here are other all in one converters though.

As far as your current drive, you can look up the model number here
if its a sony, it may actually be a liteon. If its a liteon, you can do error scanning. With what you are trying to do, you really need to learn to do error scanning, and if necessary, get a drive that can scan. Good quality media and a good drive are not enough to guarantee good burns. You need to burn a disk and error scan it to see how well it burned. If it didn’t burn well, you may be able to update firmware, use modified firmware, change burn speed etc. to improve the burn, and or try different media, as your drive may not like that media, even if it is good quality.

More info here

For error scanning, click these headings

How do I check the quality of a burned disc?

How do I interpret the PI/PIF results that I am getting from a disc quality scan?

What is bitsetting and booktype? Why should I care about this?

  • or - r
    What is the difference between plus (+) and dash (-) media? Which one should I use?

what disks you really get (such as tdk’s can be several diffrent disks)
What is the media code (or MID) of a disc? Why is it important?

Thanks that was alot of good info I will go through. To answer you question about the 75% success rate, what I really mean is playback compatibility. After I burn the project to disk and play it back on my computer or Xbox 360 it plays 100% of the time, but when I play it on several different types of dvd plays its plays 75% of the time. Some times I get disk errors other times it just plays and stutters or skips chapters. I really think it has to do with the encoding process with Nero but I could be wrong. I will defintly look into the tips you gave me for error scanning and mabe try to change the media to dvd+r instead of dvd-r if that’s more compatible.

Also currently I am using 1 Sony Q120A model dvd rw burner. As far as media I only use the Taiyo Yuden 8x dvd-r disk that are inkjet printable.

I would make sure that your drive can bitset before you try +r’s. They are less compatible than -r if they are not bitset, but more compatible if they are bitset. There is a small area on the disk where the player reads what kind of disk it is. A -r is pre written on blank media, so the disk can only identify itself as a -r. That area is blank on a +r and is written when you burn the disk. Normally it would write that it is a +r, as thats what it is. Bitsetting causes it to write that it is a dvd-rom in that area. When a player starts reading the disk, it will think it is a prerecorded dvd rom. Some players won’t even try to read the disk if it is identified as a dvd -r or dvd +r, but all players will try to read it if it identifies itself as a dvd-rom.
If you get a disk error, it could be this kind of compatibility. It could also be the burn quality of the disk or the player might not like the brand of disk.
If you are getting skips or stutters etc, that most likely has nothing to do with +r or -r. That would be more of a burn quality or media compatibility (some players just don’t like certain medias) issue.

Down load cdspeed. At the top it will identify what your drive is (in the drop down window). Post what it is and we can tell you if it error scans.

Down load cdspeed. At the top it will identify what your drive is (in the drop down window). Post what it is and we can tell you if it error scans.[/QUOTE]

My burner is a Sony DVD RW DW-Q120A PYS1

Yea thats a liteon so you should be able to error scan. Its the same as a liteon SHW-160P6S. The only reason that I can think of that it wouldn’t scan is if the sony firmware wont allow it (I seem to recall a few sonys doing that, not sure, but if so, there are ways around it).

Open cdspeed. use a disk that you have already burned (preferably recently burned so there is no chance of scratches that might skew the results). Click the disk quality tab at the top. Set the speed on the right to 4x (might be there already by default), and click start. After it runs (about 15 minutes, same as a 4x burn), close the text window that pops up, click the little floppy icon at the top, and save the graph as a png file. then attach the saved file to a post here and we can give you an idea of how good it burned (since you are new to scanning).

Ok here are the results from the disk quality test I took as advised from Ripit using Nero Disk Speed v Thanks for all your input I really appreciate it and I’m learning a lot about this topic!

Also since my Sony DW-Q120A PYS1 is a liteon SHW-160P6S I assume I should be able to change the bitset with one on the utilities your provided earlier right?

I’m not familiar with daxon media (heard of it plenty of times but haven’t used it) so maybe someone else can tell if its good media or not. Fyi, not sure if that was the tdk, but daxon is the manufacture and az3 is the media type (see your screen shot).

For bitsetting, open cdspeed and go into the extras menu. It will show the current setting and let you set a new value if desired. I cannot remember if it will show the booktype after burning but dvd identifier will (free) so you can see if it is successfully bitsetting it while burning.

Now for the test results. According to the book standards, a disk that has no more than 280 pie at 8ecc and no more than 4 pif at 1 ecc should play on the average player. Your pie (top graph) are pretty much below 20 with spikes as high as 28. That is obviously well below the 280 limit. For pif (bottom graph), you kind of have a lot of errors (solid across), but as they are all at 1, they should not cause problems for most players. A few spikes up to 2 and one up to 3 is very good. I would say that is a pretty good burn that should play fine. Occasionally you will get a player that just doesn’t like a certain media, but the quality of the burn (how well the drive did burning the disk) is plenty good. I wouldn’t have a problem using those disks at all burned like that.

Fyi, your drive scans at ecc 8 for pie and ecc 1 for pif (which is what the book standard for scanning). That means it is report int the pie count found for every 8 ecc blocks for pie, and the error count for each single ecc block for pif errors. The only reason you need to know that, is if you compare to other peoples scans, be aware, not all drives are capable of ecc8/1 scanning so you may have to adjust for it to compare. ecc8/8 drives are common too (so error limits would be 280/32, not 280/4).

Out of curiosity, how well do the ty you burned scan?

I almost forgot, there are are other tools and lots of info on your drive here in the liteon forum as well as an faq.

ripit, DAXON is TDK

[QUOTE=GJ;2122024]ripit, DAXON is TDK[/QUOTE]

Good to know. The only time I bought much tdk was back when many were cmcmage01.

Thanks for the info. I will scan a DVD with the TY disk that I have and post it in a few. But I’m courious to know something. I was looking at some dvd duplicators to buy and herd Pioneer to be top quality. Being that I learned about bitset and booktypes is there anyway to change the booktype on a dvd duplicator? I read a thread here that talked about it but there wasn’t enough info on it that I could understand. Here’s the link

If you were buying a standalone duplicator, I would think that would be a question for the specific manufacture. Some drives should be able to set it in the firmware, while others can be set by software. Some are set to bitset by default by the manufacture and some cannot bitset at all. I would think that considering the price of many duplicators, they would have the sense to have the ability to control it included, but I don’t know for sure (I have multiple computers and burners so I have never really had a need to look into them). Further, if you remove the drives to set them in a computer (for drives that can do it), it might void your warranty.

Ok I will contact the manufacture then. On another note. If I chose to connect multiple burns to a computer what would be the maximum number of burner I could connect? I know bandwidth comes into play. I was thinking of connecting 10 burners via SATA 3.0. I have 6 onboard SATA 3.0 connectors and two 4-port SATA II controller cards via PCI Express. This is how I think I can connect them with-out any I/O errors or too much buffering while burning. I have two Hard drives and expecting to expand them to 4, so I would connect the hard drives via one of the 4-port SATA II cards via PCI Express, then I would connect 6 of the burners to the onboard SATA 3.0 ports. Then the remanding 4 burners to the other PCI Express 4-port SATA II card.

Now the purpose would be to burn an iso image the multiple burners @ the same time, so all burners would be in use @ the same time. Now keeping bandwidth in mind and that its SATA 3.0 on three independent buses, the way I want to configure it in your opinion do you think I would have any problems with this configuration?

One other thing! I did a disk info check w/ Nero info Tool v 5 on my Sony DVD RW DW-Q120A drive and it has yes for reading DVD-RAM but no for writing as DVD-RAM. does this meaning that this drive in not capable of changing the bitset for DVD+R to DVD-RAM as we discussed earlier?

Also to note that I flashed the drive to the latest firmware before I ran the info tool. Attached is a copy of what the info tool took.

InfoTool.txt (2.5 KB)

You are fine. All dvd drives read dvd-rom (what you want to bit set too). A regular, store bought movie is a dvd-rom, and its the one kind of disk, that every single dvd drive/player of any kind will read. Thats why they will always try to read a bitset dvd+r (though some will fail when they try).

Dvd-ram is a strange looking disk with little square boxes all over the recording surface of the disk. It is designed to be used like a giant floppy or a hard drive (constantly being written and rewritten).

As far as building a duplicator, I haven’t done it before. I can probably give you some info, but I would see if anyone else responds that has actually done it. If not, maybe you could start a new thread about recording to multiple recorders and or building a duplicator. When I have done multiple burns, it has always been different things at the same time (which is a lot harder because you are reading from multiple source files). There are controllers designed specifically for building duplicator towers like this one.

As far as building a computer designed to go to multiple recorders, I would defiantly wait till someone that has actually done it chimes in as there are issues you can run into. If you are not in a hurry, I could throw 4 burners in a computer and see what I get burning from the same source file (what issues arise or if it just works fine, and what system resources seem to be taxed). I don’t have any cases that will hold more than 4 burners to test with more.

I just got to thinking, trying it myself wouldn’t help you. As I would be using different burners, they would be burning at different speeds (even if just slightly so). That would mean that the hard drive would have to be providing data to each burner independently which runs you into hard drive speed problems. With what you are looking at, you want identical burners that will have the same burn time, so that the buffer/memory can take care of any minor variations in burn speed between drives.

Yeah your right after updating my burners firmware I was able to change the booktype of dvd+r media to dvd-rom. All seems fine there. Also I checked with a tech support agent at where I was going to purchase the dvd duplicator and told me that the only drives that support automatic bitsetting are the NEC 5200. So I got my answer there as well. As far as connecting the burners to my desktop, I’m going to try that myself and see how that goes and post the results maybe in a new thread. But I’m going to buy all the same hardware as far and the burners go so I could be most compatible. So thanks with everything Ripit your knowledge and experience has done me justice and steared me in the right direction. Again thanks for all your help and support.