Buying my Benq 1620 today, i have a few questions

vbimport

#1

HI.

Im new here, first post ever and this Benq DVD drive will be my first drive as well.

Ive been reading this forum for a while now, as well as many others before i chose to buy a Benq, and i have a few questions to ask.

First of all im buying this drive primarily to back up my DVD collection. Im a freak when it comes to my DVD’s, i try to keep them in mint condition and ive been thinking about using backups and store the originals to ensure the stay in mint condition. I do the same with my Music. So of course quality is my primary concern, not speed.

So here goes.

1- Im planning on updating to B7U9, is that the best thing for me to do?

2- Fuji Media aren’t easy to find here (i live in Montreal) and often don’t come cheap. Are all TY media good or is there something about Fuji’s that makes em better? i found a great deal on TY media and was wondering.

3- What about Benq Media? do they show good results on a Benq drive? I have seen few reviews for this media.

4- Always thinking in terms of Quality, before i purchase software i wanted to know what would be the best way to back-up my DVD’s. I also read alot about this but this is more a confirmation to me from people who know a LOT about this drive. As i said this is my first DVD drive and i just want to make sure i got everything straight before i go and spend money.

Also any other advice would be appreciated, maybe stuff new owners like myself might not think of when buying/installing/burning with a new DVD writer.

Thank you all.


#2

Any Yuden000 T02 (8X DVD+R) should perform well with your new burner. The Fuji Yudens are common in the US. Just look for the Made in Japan label.

I also like Verbatim MCC 003 and RicohJpn 01/02 media. These are Made in Taiwan.


#3

Firstly, the B7P9/G7P9 firmware works well for many people. I burn primarily Taiyo Yuden TY G02 -R and Maxell MAXELL 002 +R bitset to ROM, consistently at 96% quality or better. Not everyone is convinced the U9 firmware is best for them. This may to some degree be dependent on what media you use. Your choice. :wink:

As to software, try DVDShrink and DVDDecrypter, both free. DVDShrink can rip, compress and transcode, full disc or main movie only. DVDDecrypter can rip the stubborn ones that DVDShrink has trouble with. Decrypter can also burn ISOs. You can have Shrink create an ISO as output and have Decrypter burn it. There has been some discussion recently at www.videohelp.com as to whether Decrypter burns more reliably and with better quality than Nero. One thing is certain: It’s harder to make a mistake that way. Another way to create ISOs is with IMG Tool Classic. (Did I say free?)

If you want the best backups, just do ISO Read > ISO Write on a +DL disc with Decrypter, but that’s expensive at present. Next best option is to use DVDRebuilder (free) to re-encode your movies. (DVDShrink and many others are compressed domain transcoders). DVDRB uses an MPEG encoder, use the supplied free one (QuEnc) or spend 50-odd dollars for CCE Basic. It’s faster, and many say superior.

BTW, Use DVDinfoPRO (free again) to get the media code, as brand means nothing.

Good luck. :slight_smile:


#4

Forgot to add: You can also span a movie across two discs to preserve quality. You can do it in DVDShrink, with DVDFab 0.17.1 (free) or any number of other apps.

DVDFab is available at www.mrbass.org/, the rest are in the tools section at www.videohelp.com.


#5

1 - I think B7P9 and B7T9 are very good firmwares, some have a little trouble with B7U9 and using -dvdr. Just use B7T9 or B7P9 first, see what results you get and then decide if it’s necessary to flash to B7U9.

2 - All TY media is good, except when it’s very cheap, because some media is fake TY. The results with those TY’s are not good. Just try to get some well know brand. Verbatim is also very good media.

3 - I believe Benq media (Daxon) is averge media, not realy good, but also not bad.

4 - For backing up movies I often use DVD2DVDR. You can only backup the main movie with this freeware. It’s kind a slow but you get great quality if you don’t care loosing the menu and extra’s on the dvd like me. I prefer a good quality of the backup movie and I don’t care about menu and extra’s. DVD2DVDR uses cce encoding.
Do some searching for DVD2DVDR and you will find what you need.

5 - I don’t know what system (pc config) you’ve got intel or amd, memory and more.
I usealy defrag my harddisk before burning, specially after ripping and encoding a dvd.
Try to run your pc with as less background programms as you can. I mean no spyware software and stuf like that. Not using software/task when burning you dvd.
Some things depend on the pc config, so you will have to experiment a little to get the best results with your pc config and media.

You made a good start by visiting this forum.


#6

Thanks for all your replies.

Yes more questions :slight_smile:

1- Whats the difference between B7P9 and B7T9?

2- I will use Yuden Media, which FW is best?

3- DL is a bit too expenssive for now yes, so thats not really an option. I don’t mind loosing some extras, i might like to keep some though like deleted scenes. So basically i rip using Shrink, edit using Remake and burn using Rebuilder with CCE… Did i get it right? do i get a cookie?

4- I have a AMD Athlon XP 2600 (512k) and 512 DDR at the momment, is that enough? WOuld i see a big difference going to 1024?

5- Do you know of a place where i can order blank media from the U.S. but that ship to Canada? Might loose on shipping but id win on Taxes :stuck_out_tongue:

6- To save Data only will any cheap -r media do?

7- Furballi, how the hell did you manage 1,313 posts in 2 months!!! :open_mouth:

Again thank you all for your help, it is very appreciated. If you ever come to Montreal coffee is on me.


#7
  1. Not too much different from B7P9 / B7T9 really. B7T9 I think really improved -R medias as far as write quality is concerned.

  2. B7P9, B7T9, or B7U9 will work absolute fine for Taiyo Yuden media. :slight_smile:

  3. Sounds like you have it down. What I normally do is if the movie falls under 60% compression in DVD Shrink then I rip to movie only to bump it up to 100% compression on most movies unless they are over 2 hours long - then they require compression. Too each their own but I don’t have the time nor the patience to sit there and watch CCE do its magic, hehe.

  4. Sounds like your computer should be fine. The big concern here is hard drives! For instance my hard drives are pretty fast Western Digital Special Edition 80 gigabyte hard drives with an 8 megabyte buffer. That 8 megabyte buffer REALLY improves performance and they are also 7200 RPM hard drives so that helps as well. :slight_smile:

  5. I think Rima.com will ship to Canada. If they don’t you can check Meritline.com or Supermediastore.com - they all sell Taiyo Yuden media at a good price!

  6. I’d stay with name brand media even for data. Although good data discs can be had at Tiger Direct (not sure if they ship to Canada or not though!) for $15.99 per 50 pack spindle. These are Philips 4x DVD+R’s and are CMC Magnetics F01 media code. These are decent for data storage I believe and burn off pretty well in our BenQ’s. If you have a Fry’s there you might be able to find BenQ +R media pretty cheap there which is Daxon AZ2 (I think) and can be burnt up to 16x with decent results on the BenQ although I think most people burn these at the rated 8x speed or 12x speed.

ANYWAY! Enough rambling, hope I was of some help, hehe. I’m going to eat my Bavarian Ham Pretzel Sandwiches - I’m HUNGRY! hehe


#8

http://www.blankmedia.ca is in Kitchener, ON. Probably a much cheaper way to get your media. They have TY among others.


#9

Yes i already know of Blankmedia.ca, shipping is fair but i will have to pay taxes, which i would save ordering from an US store.

Another question, i went to the store to find out they only had OEM benq drives, i left the store running and screaming, waving my arms in the air, beging for help…

No i left calmly and, you guessed it, came here once again to ask you all your thoughts, should i try to find a retail? or does the OEM works just the same?

Thanks!


#10

My vote is OEM BenQs are just as good.


#11

You’ll have to pay taxes with a US store, too. They get charged during importation and a fee is added on top ($5 for Canada Post, higher for some couriers).


#12

I agree with Hef. Just because some people here got a bad OEM drive or two doesn’t mean that all OEM drives are bad. Heck, I have 1 refurbished Bulk/OEM drive that I kept for my main BenQ and it’s working like a dreak. The other one was a new Nu Technology DDW-163 (Rebadged BenQ DW1620A) that I had cross-flashed to B7T9 and sold to a guy at work. He’s perfectly happy with that drive as well. grin


#13
  • In general, I recommend you avoid -R media with the BenQ drive. It will work but it might have problems reading back in some stand alones.

Cheap DVD media that I’ve used which burns fast and scans well includes:

  1. Prodisc 8X media (R03) burns great at 12X (eg) SmartBuy.
  2. Ritek 8X media (R03) burns well at 12X (eg) Ridata.

I’m in the Toronto area and either of the above DVD’s can be picked up in quantity 50 for about $23.00 Cdn or less from many of the small computer stores in the area.

The OEM drive might create warranty issues for you - particularly if you need to convert from the “G” firmware to the “B” firmware, although this is probably a minor issue. The retail drive often includes an 80-conductor IDE cable and recording software while the OEM one may not.

From my perspective a good firmware to choose is B7T9. It might be a bit safer to wait a while before installing B7U9, since some people appear to be having issues with it. In general, the higher the firmware letter, the more recent it is. It’s usually safer to install a recent firmware since it will provide the latest firmware bug fixes. The risk is that it might create some new ones.

I think your P2600 with 512Megs of ram is sufficient.

Be careful with cheap media for any purpose - whether it is +R or -R. There is a lot of really BAD media sold - you need to be a bit careful. BenQ media is fair to middle of the road - not horrible but not great. I likely won’t buy it again. In my opinion the Prodisc media creates a significantly better quality burn.

Bringing stuff across the US border to Canada is often a hassle, and is usually something I like to avoid if I can. Depending on how it’s shipped, and how lucky you are, you may find yourself being dinged with a $30.00 so-called “brokerage fee”.

For copying movies, both DVD Shrink http://www.dvdshrink.org/where.html and DVD Decrypter http://www.dvddecrypter.com/ are free and work very well together. They should both be installed to provide a complete, very high quality solution.

The easiest way to implement this is as follows:

  1. Place your movie in the BenQ drive and wait 15 seconds or so for it to be recognized.
  2. Launch “DVD Shrink” and click the “Open Disc” toolbar button to load your movie. It may take a minute or so for it to quickly preview your disc.
  3. Click the “Backup” button on DVD Shrink and you will get a multi-tabbed box.
  4. From the “Target Device” tab, you should select “ISO Image File and burn with DVD Decrypter”.
  5. From the “Quality Settings” tab select “Perform deep analysis before backup to improve quality”. Also select “Compress video with high quality adaptive error compensation”, and then select “Maximum Sharpness”.
  6. Click OK to begin the process. On an AMD P3200 machine, it takes about three hours for the ISO movie file to be created.
  7. DVD Decryptor will be automatically launched and configured when the process completes. Use it to burn the ISO image to a DVD disc.
  8. Once in a while, you may find a movie that DVD Shrink cannot rip, due to copy protection issues. In most of these cases DVD Decrypter can be used successfully to rip the movie to disc. Then you will most likely need to launch DVD Shrink and click the “Open Files” toolbar button (instead of the “Open Disc” button) so that you can compress the movie to fit on a standard 4.3 gig disc.

That’s it from my perspective.

Hope some of this helps.


#14

Just my .02, but I’d avoid importing the DVDs if I were you. What little you’ll save on taxes you could very well end up paying for later. If you’re going for TY media, blankmedia.ca is a good choice, as is NCIX.com (when they have sales going on). I just ordered 100 TYG02s from them and got a pretty good deal–more than the POS stuff I can get from the shops around here, but it is TY.

If you DO decide to import, just make sure you don’t use any kind of express shipping. UPS plays especially dirty for hidden “brokerage” fees that can add a good $50 onto your order–COD.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with OEM Benqs. I got one a few months back, flashed to G7P9, and get beautiful burns between 97 and 99 quality (and more importantly, with VERY FEW errors of any kind. I wouldn’t even worry too much about crossflashing, unless they release some sort of amazing new firmware for only retail drives…As of yet, my opinion is that if it’s not broken…don’t bother buggering it up.


#15

This is by far the nicest forum ive ever been to, you guys have been extremely kind and helpful, thank you all.

I will go for the OEM drive and probably cross flash it to B7T9. Im gonna go with retail FW simply because all the quality scans i have seen here so far where with retail FW. I am not sure how to do this however, if i understand correctly i have to cross flash to an earlier version of the retail FW and then flash to T9?

Again thank you all for your help.


#16

The way I’ve done this and so many others.
Download WinDWFlashTool and firmware B7P9.cvt file.

Also download the original B7T9.exe firmware.

Now you have everything you need.
Before you flash your drive make sure there is no media in the Benq drive.
Use the WinDWFlashtool to flash your Benq drive with firmware file B7P9.cvt.
Reboot your pc and after the reboot you can use the original B7T9.exe file to flash your drive with original firmware.
So no need for using the WinDWFlash tool with the B7T9.exe file.
Reboot again and happy burning to you. :wink:


#17

Go to the unofficial firmware page:

http://dvdpro.club.st/firmware/BENQ_FW.htm

All the files you will need should be located here.

WinDWFlash.exe is the generic windows flasher program that will allow you to crossflash your drive from any “G” firmware to any of the “B” firmwares (and vice-versa in case warranty issues arise) using the “.CVT” files. Once converted, then you can download any of the standard BenQ executables and just run them to either upgrade or downgrade (eg) “B7T9.EXE” or the latest “B7U9.EXE”.


#18

Update.

I bought, installed and flashed my Benq with success. I also tried DVD shrink to back up one of my DVD, all went well. Course i didn’t even burn yet :slight_smile: Im gonna buy some TY media online but i bought a 10 pack of Maxell +R just to try my burner until my TY get here. They are made in Japan so should be ok for testing and data storage.

If i want to playback DVD movies in my drive, which player/codec is best? I didn’t install what came with the drive thinking it was probably crap.

Ill let you all know how my first burn went, ill scan of course :slight_smile:

Thank you all again.


#19

Well you can use your windows media player and install any of some free codec packs. I suggest google codec pack and see what you get. Now the best picture I get (and it subtle) is from Power DVD 6. You can downlaod a trial and that will give you and leave a codec in which you can use WMP even after the trial.


#20

I like Media Player Classic (free). Built in MPEG-2 decoder, very small footprint.