I have an NEC-1300A writer (previously I had a Pioneer 104 and problems were the same) which I use to burn a lot of movies to DVD-R. I use quite cheap unbranded 2x and 4x DVD-R media to burn the movies onto, and i’ve never had a single one fail to burn (that I can remember). They all playback in the NEC drive without any problems at all.
The problem is I have another PC (a shuttle SFF job) hooked up to my widescreen TV in the living room to playback the DVD-R’s on (and DivX’s across the network) and in that PC is a cheap Memorex DVD-ROM drive. This drive seems to have a lot of problems playing a large number of the burned DVD-R’s, they skip, pause or in many cases just throw up an unreadable disk error. All of the disks that it struggles to read I have tested in the NEC writer and they playback fine in there, however I have also tested playing them in a Playstation and they seem to have playback problems there too. I can only assume this is down to the quality of the Memorex DVD-ROM (and the one in the Playstation). I know I would probably have better success with more expensive media, but it would be a lot cheaper for me to get a drive that is better at reading the cheaper media.
So does anyone have any suggestions for a good DVD-ROM drive for reading cheapish DVD-R media?