Btc1004 vs pioneer a106d

marco can say what he wants but
now i have a pioneer a106 and a btc1004 im my pc and
when i burn the same movie on a same dvd-
the result was
-the pioneer dvd- was playable on every dvd player
-the btc dvd- never play on dvd player and pc player a103 or a106

some thiing strange is that the pioneer dvd looks darker than then btc …
i have said that the laser light was not strong enought in the btc
does firmware update can improve this ???

Many good hardware technicians over here in Spain have analyzed the unit thoroughly. They have given the absolutely same complaint: the laser intensity is weak; and not just for DVD burning, but also for CDR burning, which I’m currently still suffering with cheaper media. My LG CDRW burner is way better; it would even burn correctly the flip-side of a CDR if I asked it to… hehe… :wink:

How about the BTC vs the LiteOn 411s?

Dear AJZ,

Naturally, I’d like to get to the bottom of these “allegations”.

You wrote “Many good hardware technicians over here in Spain have analyzed the unit thoroughly. They have given the absolutely same complaint: the laser intensity is weak”

Can you give me some references, e-mail addresses, etc. where I could get the results and details of these tests, so I could get to the bottom of this or could you please have one of these hardware technicians contact me at ?

Thanks in advance for your help !

Laser power is something that is regulated by the firmware and adjusted according to the media, etc. If the laser power would reallly be too weak with each media, then our technicians would have found it out during their CATS tests of the burnt media.

I therefore suspect it must have something to do with the media they used or some other factor. Anyway, I’m sure it’s something that’s solvable, not something that is “endemic” to the DRW1004.

Thanks in advance for any additional info you can provide regarding this matter.

BTC Europe Support


Can you give me some info which allows me to verify this issue ?

For example, you refer to your DVD player not being able to playback the media that you burnt on your DRW1004.

Which media (MID code) did you use ?
Which firmware did you use ?
Which software did you use to burn it ?
Which DVD player did you use to play it back ?
Did the disc playback on the DRW1004 without problems ?
Did the disc playback on a DVDROM drive without problems (if you have it) ?

Thanks in advance for providing the info.

BTC Europe Support

I don’t nderstand the problems.
Now we have 2 BTC 1004 and none of them has any problems.

I have tested a lot of TDK CDR (Ritek)
For example:
One burnt with my Plexwriter premium, the other with the BTC 1004.

Tested with Plex and Plextools:

Plex: C1 5221 C2 0
BTC: C1 2111 C2 0

The Laser is strong enough!

On the other side I have burnt now 32 DVD-R (Verbatim). All works in every DVD-Stand alone, I have found.
(Redstar, LiteOn, Medion, Pioneer etc.)

So I think the problem should be on an other side. Maybe the Motherboarddriver or… I don’t know.

The Burner should be tested on an other Computer with other Hardware. Maybe the Burner is defekt.

But general saying, the Laser isn’t strong enough is too easy, because I have spoken with many people, bevor I bought the drive and nobody has problems. Sure, not every DVDR works, but if there are media, which works (List above), why must everybody use the other?

And: look at other Boards (,, I can’t see any burner which works with every media perfect…

Cu P.

(sorry for my bad english)

now i have a pioneer a106 and a btc1004 im my pc and
when i burn the same movie on a same dvd-
the result was
-the pioneer dvd- was playable on every dvd player
-the btc dvd- never play on dvd player and pc player a103 or a106

if what btc1959 says is true ,this is quite a serious matter to be considered since we talk about exactly the same pc configuration.If you used the same software and the same medias
then the only excuse could be that there is a specific media incompatability for the BTC.Even if this is the case ,it is a disandvantage for a driver to have a much smaller compatability list than the other drivers


Regarding the “hardware technicians”, I’m referring to articles/tests performed by reputed professionals over here who analyze hardware for some of our magazines (i.e. PC Today, Computer HOY, etc.), and a couple of PC Clinic technicians at PC CITY (Dixons Group).

The units tested were original BTC’s, Memups, EMPREX’s (like mine), Gigabyte, and a couple of other OEM versions. They were basically tested against the LG-4040B DVD±RW unit (which also supports DVD-RAM 3x burning).

The units were tested basically for DVD recording, but the 40x CDR recording feature of the units were also analyzed.

From what I recall, the following issues were praised:
a) The unit’s silence.
b) Its price.
c) Easy-to-locate firmware upgrades.
d) Packaging and bundled software/DVD+RW.

The issues that were negatively criticized:
a) Very, very picky regarding the type of DVD media that is 100% compatible ()
b) Quite picky with cheaper CDR media ()
c) Superlink misbehaves sometimes (on cheaper media only), sometimes using 2 different strategies (on NERO) (
d) Other DVD±RW units don’t even require a media compatibility list. They’ll simply default to 1x/2x on certified 4x media if it’s not included in the firmware’s database and burn slower but correctly (some sort of safe-mode). I am perfectly aware, though, that the media used in Asia can differ quite a lot from what we end up receiving here in Europe. Perhaps using cheap Kung-Fu DVD+R and Bruce-Lee DVD-R and Jackie-Chan CDR media made in Hong Kong this drive is just excellent. Who knows?

() Compatibility not only with regard to proper 1x, 2x or 4x detection and burning, but also with regard to the legibility on stand-alone DVD units and DVD-ROM units of supposed-to-be 100% correctly-burned DVDs.
() On most cheaper media, it is quite normal for the burner to slow down after about 60%/70% of completion, but in the case of the BTC, when this occurs, you can physically see where this has occured on the CD because the laser ofter turns off and on, or at least one can see darker and lighter shades on the media, so btc1959 does have a point. BTW, I’ve experienced this too.
) The two possible strategies are:
a) RAM buffer drops to 50%, stays there, and the recorder simply fills and empties the unit’s 2MB buffer repeatedly until the burning process is through. The burning process is continuous and doesn’t stop.
b) RAM buffer and memory buffer drop, once the RAM buffer is zero, the memory buffer stays at 20-30%, the unit stops, and the RAM buffer is filled again, and the recording continues.

Well… sometimes the strategy is decided on the fly by the drive, usually based on the media type, file type, etc. but I believe it isn’t performed 100% correctly.

Oh, BTW, I have noticed a slight occasional problem… when writing the lead-out on CDR (even on good media), the process takes forever. The only cure is hitting the eject button and Nero then informs that the burn has been successful. The burnt media is 100% legible, but it sometimes doesn’t receive the “halt” or “finished” instruction via software.

I am quite aware that laser intensity is firmware regulated. I moderate a hardware/firmware forum (though more motherboard-specific). I might have been too harsh in another thread when I mentioned that perhaps the firmware needed to be redone from scratch. Perhaps Superlink isn’t the most appropriate buffer-underrun prevention scheme for this drive’s hardware… maybe licensing Ricoh’s Justlink might solve a lot of problems; I simply don’t know.

Is the DRW1008IM’s firmware based on the DRW1004IM’s? Has it been made from scratch? (the latter option isn’t very typical nor cost-efficient in industry). If the latter applies, though, it might be worth adapting it to the 1004’s (with minor castration here and there, of course, so we don’t get to “overclock” it to 8x :wink: ) and perhaps come up with a totally new firmware kernel for the 1004.

When using very expensive and very good media, these problems simply disappear. But why would someone buy an inexpensive writer with BTC’s excellent reputation, if he’d then have to spend a lot of money on expensive media?

This is just like the dilemma when buying a new car. Gasoline or Diesel? Considering the same yearly mileage (or amount of media one plans to burn), a gasoline car (BTC) is cheaper, but the fuel more expensive in the long run (expensive media + coasters). A diesel car instead (LG, Plextor, etc.) is a lot more expensive, but cheaper in the long run (any media and very few coasters).

I just want to add that I’m keeping my BTC burner, and giving BTC my full support and loyalty, even if currently not too satisfied with the unit as of now. What’s helping me stick to BTC is people like Marco who is voluntarily helping all of us, and not getting paid for this extra work (are you? :wink: )

I want to help make this burner as good as the most expensive model. That’s what this forum is all about, that’s what Marco’s here for, and that’s why we’re all participating here.

Thanks again, Marco.

As far as I know, Marco is a BTC employee, so hopefully they pay him some money for this really great work he does :bow:

first dvd

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD+R:RICOHJPN-R01-02]

Disc Type : [DVD+R]
Manufacturer ID : [RICOHJPN]
Media Type ID : [R01]
Product Revision : [02]
Disc Application Code : [General Purpose]
Recording Speeds : [2.4x - 4x]
Blank Disc Capacity : [Not Supported By Method 2]

second dvd

Unique Disc Identifier : [DVD-R:VDSPMSAB 01]

Disc Type : [DVD-R]
Manufacturer ID : [VDSPMSAB 01]
Disc Application Code : [Unrestricted Use : Consumer Purpose]
Recording Speeds : [1x - 2x - 4x]
Blank Disc Capacity : [2,298,496 Sectors = 4,489.3 MB = 4.38 GB]

the first dvd (+) writen with btc1004 (firmware 39 or 43) was readeable on the btc himself and also on a pioneer a106s (player dvd for pc) but on a philips dvd622 and lg50xx and blue sky (cheapest dvd player) it s freeze when i use chaptors selection and even when then movie ending (10 min before end)

ps (movies are capture from pc card or dump from dvd)

for the second dvd (-) it simple except the btc1004 none of the player works (some other dvd writer can play this disc!!!)

i use either nero 6 or power producer or tmpgenc or clone dvd the results are the same
but with pioneer a106 all configs are workings and i repeat the dvd- burned with a106 looks darker !!!

both dvd writer are in the same pc with the the same win xp with the same nero6 and it s the same dvd- (max disc from

thats all