Cdfreaks presents BTC DRW1108IM review

Read it here: - and make sure to read the text after the conclusion (bottom of the conclusion page).

Few drives have caused me as much headache as this one and the DRW1008IM.

Feel free to post YOUR experiences at 8x writing speed with the media types I’ve used in this review - to see if they differ from mine.

Also BTC seems to care less in the last two weeks as they have shown less interest in co-operating with us and fixing their problems…

An absolutely outstanding review as usual OC-Freak. I had seen references to a review on this drive and had wondered what happened. Having read your review, I would probably not have recently purchased the BTC 1008 drive (my first dvd recorder). The drive was purchased more for its dvd reading abilities than its writing abilities and price was a motivating factor.

I know far more about cdrw than dvdrw drives. I will say that compared to my collection of cd burners, this drive is a great cd recorder and ripper. It writes to any cdr media I present it with.

I received my drive with a Verbatim DVD+RW 2.4x certified disc. The disc is able to be written at 2x with the book type enabled through the DVD Info Pro utility. The disc created was able to be played on 3 set top dvd players with no problem whatsoever.

On the forums here, it seems that for the BTC 1008 drive, it writes much better at 4x than at 8x. Firmware updates have not improved the situation to date, although media compatibility has reportedly been added.

For now, I plan to mostly cd’s anyway, so the dvd writing is not a major issue. Overclocking media can only be done with certain drives from Plextor, NEC, and LiteOn (NEC’s and LiteOn’s need hacked media to do it). I will use quality media like Verbatim’s and will only write at 4x.

Interestingly, I was reassured to see that you also had trouble in other drives with the Memorex cdr media; I had a batch that was 40x certified, but a Benq 4816P would not recognize them, and my LiteOn 52246S “Smart Burn” limited them to 16x.

Again, thank you for a most informative review.

Good job on the review OC-Freak.
Hard to believe the complete ineptitude of BTC, gawd they couldn’t hit themselves in the underwear with a fart…
Funny it can burn the crap better than it can the cream.
The worst part is a lot of unsuspecting consumers will purchase this drive as rebadges.
The implied merchantability laws ought to factor in here…


I think in the end this drive has a lot of potential. It writes well by k-probe testing to certain brands of media. While it’s near slowest, does an extra minute or two matter that much? It really doesn’t matter to me. Pioneer would do well to match the cd burner capabilities of this drive and its tolerance of cd media.

I hope that BTC puts some effort into the firmware and resubmits it for testing, the potential needs to be actualized. I’ve owned drives before that needed firmware help and it’s definitely frustrating when it doesn’t happen.

Well, I think the first problem, for better compatibility, is that it starts writing longer away from the centre of the disc with -R media (also 1004 and 1008 if i’m right).

As the difference in burn time between 8x and 4x is only about 7 minutes, why bother with the extra expense and risk of 8x unless it gives the full performance advantage?

Very thorough review OC-Freak.
Thank you for informing the public. (I wish we could have posted this earlier) :frowning:
But I understand that it was necessary for you to be fair to BTC.
Too bad BTC failed to make the grade with BOTH of their 8X drives.
As most of you know I tested the 1008 for a short while and was also highly disappointed with it.

The results seem much worse that I expected.

I have the 1008IM and the writing quality has been excellent so far for DVDs… but I only use MXL G02 and TYG01 :wink:

I guess I am safe if I don’t change brands :stuck_out_tongue:

Based on my reading, it seems that at 4x, on better media, the 1008 performs well. If only with a firmware revision they could expand the list of media it does well with it would be a competitive drive. BTC is close to “breaking in” with a decent product, I hope they don’t move on to something else and forget their loyal customers.

Hi, I was also a little surprised. I had read a couple of other reviews which seemed to indicate the 1108IM was OK (not brilliant, but OK - especially for the $).



Mine shows as an 1108 (no IM). There have been 3 firmware updates in about a month just since I bought it for $49 new at Fry’s/
Seems to be working flawlessly and fast with no problem on cheap disks???
What does the IM stand for? Is my drive very different than the IM version? (BTC Dual 8x 8x 4x 4x 40x 12x)

thanx for any nfo.

isepiq :cool:

1108 = 1108IM. Same drive, no difference.

Thanx for the nfo. It is confusing enough trying to buy a decent dvd burner without the mfg’s listing the same models with different numbers or letters, ugh!!!

isepiq :cool:

I recently purchased this drive on sale without conducting any prior research. Right now I amm trying to decide whether to open the box. Has anyone used this model with the latest firmware update (VB030)? If so, have most of the issues found with the review referenced above been fixed?

Well, you need to use good media and I have not been using any of the 8x speeds. Good results seem to be hit and miss still. If I had it to do over again, I am quite happy with my LiteOn CDRW which made a working backup copy of my Sims2 Retail disks. Maybe their DVD drives would be better also. I read a LOT of forums where people are using Pioneer drives. But, look at the number of messages posted at the index to this forum section. Liteon has the lion’s share of posts for good or ill, that would seem to me to be the one that everyone is buying???
Just a thought.

Well, I just made backups of my son’s Budokai, Budokai 2, & Budokai 3 DVD’s on this DVD Burner. I got working backups on 2 & 3, but 5 coasters on the first one. Did them all the same with all the same stuff. I have the most current firmware B131. There have been about 5 firmware updates so far, but it does not appear to be working any more consistently.
I would seem at a glance in the forums that people that have Pioneer DVD burners appear to be getting more consistent results??? I dunno…???

isepiq :cool:

what kind of disc that you use ?

It looks like nothing recent has been posted in this discussion thread, but here are my comments about my personal experience with the BTC DRW1108IM DVD burner drive. I got the drive for about $50 at Fry’s Electronics several months ago. I thought it would reliably work as well as my BTC CDWRITER IDE5224 CD burner drive. I thought I was going to be in DVD heaven. Instead, I had to go through a bit of DVD burning hell before I was granted salvation via the ever reliable TDK DVD-R discs to ascend to a bit of DVD heaven. Boy, I was an stupid ignorant fool who didn’t know that DVD burner drives and DVD-R discs and DVD+R discs can be very finicky and fussy with horrors if you use the wrong brand of DVD-/+R.

The firmware as of this writing is up to version B330. I’m guessing that the firmware simply has more brands of DVDs that the BTC DRW1108IM DVD burner drive is suppose to be compatible with. I’ve been able to use Philips DVD-Rs, Philips DVD+R, Memorex DVD-Rs, and Office Depot DVD-Rs (in other words, whatever was on sale) and they seem to play on the PC using the BTC DRW1108IM DVD burner drive but those discs may stutter when played on my cheap $45 Yamakawa DVD-218 player that I have hooked up to my TV. (Those discs will play better on the more expensive JVC DVD player that i also use in the living room athough don’t be surprised if there is an infrequent stutter.) I figure if a particular brand of DVD-R stutters or freezes on my cheapie Yamakawa DVD-218 player, then that brand is a “no go” and I should never buy that brand again for DVD-Rs.

Two brands that I should mention that I’ve had nightmares with where I wasted my money on those two brands are Imation DVD-Rs and Maxell DVD+Rs. It seems like many of the Imation DVD-Rs that I’ve tried to burn are coasters. The Maxell DVD+Rs are absolutely horrible – I could not burn anything with Maxell DVD+Rs. Anyways, the BTC DRW1108IM DVD burner drive seems have more difficulties burning or playing DVD+Rs although I’ve been able to burn Philips DVD+Rs but those may have an ocassional stutter when played on my cheapie Yamakawa DVD-218 player. Because of my experience in wasting time trying to burn with the Maxell DVD+Rs, I’ve given up on DVD+Rs and I only do DVD-Rs.

Fortunately, I’ve found success with one brand of DVD-Rs: the TDK DVD-R. I’m currently swearing by the TDK brand as being the most compatible without any stuttering or freezing during playback – my Yamakawa DVD-218 player so far has been happily playing the TDK DVD-Rs that I’ve burned with the BTC DRW1108IM DVD burner dirve. This is for both TDK DVD-Rs that I’ve burned as DVD-Video discs that have been authored with fancy DVD menus and also as DVD Data discs where I merely copy the MPEG2s of my TV show recordings to the disc. Prior to my trying out TDK, I thought that I could never burn a flawless DVD. I thought I was in burnt DVD coaster hell. But TDK has allowed me to ascend to DVD heaven finally. So, thank goodness for TDK.

I have been tempted to get the Verbatim DVD-Rs that have the fancy motion picture reel on them, but TDK DVD-Rs seem to be on sale every once in a while at Best Buy and luckily the TDK DVD-Rs seem to be the best for me. One of these days, I’ll splurge and get the fancy Verbatim DVD-Rs with the movie reels on them, but for the most part I’ll be using TDK DVD-Rs when burning DVDs with my BTC DRW1108IM DVD burner drive.

As for CD-Rs, I have not tried that yet because I also have a BTC CDWRITER IDE5224 drive that is faster at 52x in burning CDs while the BTC DRW1108IM DVD burner drive has a top CD-R burning speed of 40x. (With the BTC CDWRITER IDE5224 drive, I’ve been able to throw any CD-R at it to get good reliable burns without any problems.)

Getting back to the BTC DRW1108IM DVD burner drive, I typically burn DVDs at 4x and not the higher 8x to make sure the DVD can play reliably on DVD players. Anyways, most people seem to burn at 4x and the CDFreaks report says this drive has problems with 8x. (Now, there is the higher 16x speed on the newer DVD double-layer 8.5gb burner drives and I wonder how reliable they are and I also wonder how much are the discs for those drives.) Anyways, bottom line for me, since I have the BTC DRW1108IM DVD burner drive, the best brand of DVD-R for me is the TDK DVD-R.

BTW, here are some links that I found for the BTC DRW1108IM DVD burner drive that I found when I was trying to find out what other people are saying about the drive.
(as previously listed at the beginning of this discussion thread)

Thanks for reading. And also thanks to the others who have already shared their comments and reviews about this drive.

But didnt you notice in cdfreaks review, the DVD burn / scans were good also but when reading back the burned DVD burns with another dvd drive the read graph was all over the place, this is obviously down to high jitter which definetly isnt good if you want a good disc.

Ok, an update on My Personal Experience with this drive:

  1. Changed to 8X disks but burn at 4X or lower if possible and works great.
  2. Use Fry’s cheapie GQ 8X DVD-R (again I burn at 4X or lower if possible)
  3. Made a 100% working backup copy of our retail Sims2 DVD with NO hide CDR media or anything like that necessary when insalling or playing.
  4. Am now able to make 100% working backups of ALL of my son’s retail PS2 DVD disks. Alcohol 120% (newest version) GQ DVD-R 8X disks. Make image file at 1X or slowest speed possible, burn at 4X (Alcohol won’t let you burn any slower than 4X). Works every time now without fail.
  5. PS2 CD disks: CDRWin by Goldenhawk. Make a Bin Cue image on hard drive at slowest allowed speed, burn CD-R at slowest allowed speed.

Since I finished up my first DVD-R disks which were only 4X (and and gave me a LOT of coasters), I have switched to DVD-R 8X, all my DVD backup and burning has been working 100%.

I was the most pleasantly surprised when this burner made a 100% working backup of our Sims2 DVD!

Am using the most recent firmware also.

Hope this is of some help to someone. Would definitely buy this drive again.

isepiq :cool: