After all the trouble I had with the BTC in the last two days I have had enough (see my earlier post ) and decided to put back in the Pioneer A04.
So pulled my Pioneer DVD-ROM and put in the A04 in its place. And then I ran a few simple tests.
1. Princo 1X DVD-RW
BTC - Took like 3 mins just to recognise the disc. Failed while writing lead-in - both Nero & RecordNow
A04 - No probs, saw the disc in a ziffy and wrote the test files (700MB) cleanly with Nero, then erased it and wrote again with RecordNow
BTC - Put the disc back in BTC, again a few minutes wait while it struggled to recognise the disc and then I tried to erase it. Nero gave errors. RecordNow said invalid disc. DVDInfoPro said successful erase, but the disc was not erased when I tested it in the A04.
2. Ricoh 2.4X DVD+RW
BTC - Recognised the disc a bit faster. Failed writing with Nero, but succeeded with RecordNow. Problems erasing in both Nero & RecordNow, but succeeded with Nero DVDSpeed Tool.
A04 - A04 is only a DVD-R/RW drive
3. Princo 1X-2X DVD-R
BTC - Recognised the disc a bit faster than RW, but still slow compared to A04. Nero showed only 4X write speed for the disc. As I mentioned in my earlier post, it made two coasters - one with Nero & another with DVDDecrypter. RecordNow flat out refused to burn. With FW45, same situation, except RecordnowMax burnt it at 2X, but cannot be seen either on my Apex stand alone or the A04. Strangely though, the Sony standalone reads it just fine.
A04 - A04 never had any probs with the princo discs. I had burnt over 50 of those discs in A04 without a single coaster. Yes, the 1X speed is a bit slow, but I know I will get a clean burn and a movie that will play in every standalone DVD player I have access to.
OK - enough bitching about the BTC.
Here’s my point, the A04 is almost 2 years old and regardless of FW updates I never had any probs with it - it worked straight out of the box. The only reason for purchasing the BTC was the 4X speed and dual format compatibility.
I don’t know what is wrong with the BTC, but seems like it has a lot of catching up to do. If it is all just because of FW bugs, as claimed by BTC, then just patching it won’t work as every fix will give rise to other bugs (see the discussion about 43 vs 45). I think the firmware needs to be rewritten from scratch, with a goal of matching the performance & RELIABILITY of the better known NEC/Lite-ON/Pioneer drives.
Anyway, keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that the FW47 is released well before my 14-day return period is up. If not I have no choice but to send it back and continue riding my trusty mule - A04.