CATS and the SOHW-832S. The verdict

Last time I even said the words “CATS” in this forum, my post was nuked. I will refrain from any real commentary.

…quite interesting indeed. Old news, but interesting nonetheless.

The conclusions reached as a result of this CATS analysis are important. I think people could learn a lot from taking into account what cdrinfo had to say concerning it.

To block quote cdrinfo:

The SOHW-832S certainly cannot be used for scanning DVD+R DL media since it reports much higher error rate than what SA300 series actually measured. Note that sometimes the drive starts reporting up to 1000 constant rate PI errors, not a good sign in our opinion.

I’ll leave it at that for the time being.

People would also be well off to know that this burn was done with VS01, which has so far shown to be a problematic firmware. Later firmwares, as I understand, are offering a significant improvement. It would be much more interesting to see how a disc burned with VS05 will fare, as I have heard that it will do significantly better.

There aren’t many people around here that will “take into account” much of anything from that other forum.

The same rule applies in this situation, which is that you are not going to learn much of anything by comparing scans from different hardware and different utilities. It’s just not very relevant. The only relevance of the CATS is to indicate some small measure of the quality of the media in use, it has little, if any, value in analyzing other drives.

In other words, the conclusions are just nonsense.

comparing one individual drive vs a scanning device is not a representative sample. if they had tested 100 or so 832S’s then you might be able to draw some limited conclusions but my 411 and 811 differ enough not to mention differences after changing firmares that judging all 411’s or 811’s based on my drive would be pretty rediculous

I’m very disappointed at your comments, which can only be construed as what I call a “cheap shot”.

Their review of the 832S drive is comprehensive, and unbiased.

As an owner of a 832S drive, I feel it accurately tells of the drives limited good points, and considerable bad points, the need for improved firmware, with better write quality, and better media support.

Clearly Liteon has rushed this drive to market to get a piece of the DVD+R9 action (along with the Sony DRU-700A drive), and has shipped a drive with buggy firmware (see Code65536’s comment above).

I have been a big fan of Liteon drives in the past, but it seems that now, Liteon has gotten greedy, and put revenue above quality.

It doesn’t really matter which test programs and utilities you use to assess drives, as long as comparisons are made using the same suite of tests, and CDRInfo does this, as does OC-Freak for us at CDFreaks.

The results published at CDRInfo prove that the tested 832S drive was out of specifications in a number of important areas, and some of these are tests that can only be done with a CATS machine.

I spoke to emperor (the reviewer at CDRInfo) about this, and he, too, feels that the review isn’t exactly the most fair one there is because VS01 was used. Unfortunately, he was already in the final stages of the review when VS03 came out. Indeed, I think that the early firmwares were rather problematic. But LiteOn already had newer firmwares (like VS03) ready before the launch–there was just a big lag in actually getting them out.

As I said in another post, LiteOn joined the DVD action very late, and as a newcomer with a low research budget and no experience, it was unfair to expect the same out of their DVD burners as their CD burners. Personally, I think that given the circumstances, they’ve done pretty darn well. And with each new firmware, they are slowly improving…

All of which is true. But this isn’t about LiteOn, it’s more about false assumptions and comparing apples and oranges. CATS analysis has little or no relevance in determing another drive’s reading ability, or lack of it. Unless we were all using CATS machines to read our discs at home. It boils down to a lack of understanding about what is being measured and reported by consumer drives. It’s “reading errors”, not “disc errors”. There’s no such thing as “accuracy”, it is what it is.

In this case, both the CATS and the LiteOn are returning “Accurate” results as far as we know. (this assumes equal ECC block reporting and equal sampling rates) There might be some logic in using a CATS machine to try to “Rate” relative burn quality from an assortment of drives on an assortment of media, but even that would be arguable.

VS05??? Have you seen this firmware yet, code65536? If not, howdo you know it will be significantly better?

i just check the link of cdrinfo… I did not read the whole article but read some of the pages,…
I don’t see any rude comment and only a few bad comments about this drive… All that is bad point except dvd-ram can be improved with firmware…
So i don’t see why the 832 should be a bad writer…

And u see, your post aws not nuked…


I’ve heard about it… our CD Freaks hardware reviewer apparently uses it.


His last post/thread was never nuked. It was just locked because the conversation was starting to bicker.

I’d sure like to get a copy of it to play around with. :wink:

Everyone I talk to knows that you have a copy as well, so why don’t you drop the big act and post the firmware on your site?

no prob with locked subject…
you do your job of moderator and some hot subject has to be closed… :slight_smile:

Well, if I remember correctly, Code65536 wasn’t a moderator at the time.
But what you are saying is valid for any moderator, of course! :wink:



I think rdgrimes is writing wise words and people should read them very carefully.

I’ve also tried to understand dvd testing a bit more myself and I’ve come to the intermediate conclusion that there is no reference benchmark test for DVDs to which all DVD tests should be compared to.

Pulsetect drive based scans (such as Audiodev CATS analyzers) can be useful, but it makes no sense to try and find a consumer drive that replicates it PI/PIF read results.

Pulsetec drives see a certain amount of errors and so do different consumer drives.

Sometimes these results correlate well, sometimes they don’t.

There are way too many low level, true disc and true reader characteristics that influence how much errors does a drive see, when reading a particular disc.

What would be more useful to read from the Pulset scans, imho, would be the indirect disc measurements (e.g. DC jitt., asym, tpp). When comparing these results from Pulsetec (which often gets amongs the lowest possible deviations from ideal for those measures) with the tolerances of the drives, a much better idea of burn quality good be gained.

But it remains a pipe dream, as Pulsetec scanners are too expensive and so are discs that can be used to gauge low level tolerances of the consumer drives.

You can put what ever technical, program,… test. you always will get different result and so differents conclusions.
The one that really interrest us is that the produced dvd can be read with no error in the most standalone player and drives (on pc).
That’s the real stuff. Can i burn dvd that i will be able to read in my living room ?

What i see in the articles is not that fact but only consideration of that technique is better and gives that result, that test used is false because that fact and that…patati patata

No, sorry, but the aim is :

  • is this drive able to make decent copies ?
  • Can it produce good burn in term of readability among current standalone player ?
  • can it copy protected cd, games, audio, dvd ?
  • can it burn different brand of media (mix of quality) with no problem or should we only use that kind of media…
  • and finally should i buy this drive or should i consider to buy another one?
  • what do i get in the bundle ?

that’s really what i look for… I’m interrested in the technical issue but as each manufacturer makes some different drives they can’t be exactly compared in that term.
What is comparable is all the test with the same drive with different case.

If you take for example the 811 and 812. With the 811 i got bad result in kprobe for my emtec dvd+r, i took the same dvd and test it with my 812 and ho surprise, the result was great.
So what to conclude ? That the 811 is crappy ? No, it made good burn but was’nt able to give me a super graph in kprobe. What i should consider then is all the burns with the same drive. Then i can compare in difference… The emtec gave me a max pi of 600, the rammedia gave me 1400, so after some test it gives me a mean that confirm than emtec are better with this drive.
What should i see with my 812 now, the same… i have a pi of max 24, i get for the rammmedi more than 600… same conclusion again…
now you take the same burn and test it with different burner and will conclude in term of result that the 811 made crappy burns !

One of the unfortunate truths about DVD drives is that burning and reading are completely separate functions, mechanically. Thus a drive can be an excellent burner and also a crappy reader. (or vice-versa) Or it may prefer one media type for burning and another for reading. This is true of all drives, not just the LiteOns.
Those of us who are able to have a dedicated reading/scanning drive can avoid this conflict to some extent, but if you have just one drive for scanning and burning, you can sometimes be misled by a crappy scan into thinking that the disc was not burned well.

However, I’m certain that this does not happen with discs that are in the “high-quality” class. It is almost always going to occur with discs that are of marginal quality, (unless the drive is so bad at reading that all discs look bad).

These issues are well discussed in numerous places around the forum. The solution is to scan everything you burn, and to get well-acquainted with your drive so that when something doesn’t look right, you know that you need to take a closer look. If your reading drives and/or players are picky, you will quickly learn what works and what doesn’t.