DVD-R read performance in DVD-ROM drives

I got a lend of a Pioneer A03 DVD recorder to backup my MP3 singles and 83 Albums of OGG Vorbis tracks. At a later stage, I got a lend of a LaCiE Apple firewire DVD recorder to backup my Music Video collection and software collection.

When I went to read back the DVD-R’s in my Star 2000 12x DVD-ROM drive, it would read roughly 80% - 90% of the DVD, get stuck and give a CRC error. It read two of the DVD-Rs fine (both eProformance; one written in the Pioneer and the other from the LaCiE), so I used one of these DVD-Rs to do the tests shown below.

I decided it was time to get a new DVD-ROM drive. I went for an LG GDR8161B in PC-World. It struggled to read about 10% - 20% of each eProformance branded DVD-R and gave up with CRC errors. It read my Memorex DVD-R fine with a read speed starting at 2.4x and working up to 5.99x at the end of the DVD-R.

I brought the LG back to PC-World and got it exchanged for a Samsung SD-616Q. This drive reads my DVD-Rs perfectly, but only a fraction of DVD-ROM speeds. I have updated the firmware to E403 (RPCI patched). Use MTKFLASH 1.48 to do this, newer versions of MTKFLASH will improperly flash the drive and will result in a non-functioning Samsung :eek: until reflashed using MTKFLASH 1.48.

DVD-ROM speed in the Samsung SD-616Q:

DVD-R speed in the same Samsung SD-616Q:

DVD-R speed in my older 12x Star 2000 drive (firmware 1p21):

The Star 2000 reads DVD-ROMs a little better than the DVD-R performance shown above, but does not reach 16x as the firmware said the drive should do. Anyway, this drive was the cheapest drive I could find while in the US, so what performance would one expect?!? :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyone know of any software, driver, etc. to improve the Samsung’s performance for reading DVD-R’s? :wink:

I decided on my DVD burner and went for the + side. The drive cost me 180 Euros off the Irish Komplett online store. I also got a 10 pack of DVD+RW for 20 Euro, so I could test the drive upon arrival :slight_smile: These were the cheapest DVD+RWs available, thus putting DVD+RW to the test with cheap media. I don’t have any DVD+R media to test the drive with at the time of writing this.

Anyway, I wrote a DVD+RW using disc-at-once, filling it with Music Videos. In the Samsung SD-616Q, Nero CD speed gives the same graph as above for DVD-R, but with quicker seek times of 89ms for Random seek and 105ms for 1/3 seek. I’ll upload this graph at a later stage. Even normal reading and copying is noticable faster for small files than with my DVD-R’s.

The NEC ND-1100A drive itself is a little picky at reading back these Smartbuy DVDs. According to Nero Infotool, they are produced by Prodisc.

DVD+RW speed in the same NEC ND-1100A:

I really doubt that this NEC drive can be converted into a ND-1300A due to one reason. It will not read most of my DVD-R discs! It is able to read the Verbatim DVD-Rs, but mostly at 1x throughout the disc. I don’t have the time to wait for Nero CD speed to produce a graph for once of these! :stuck_out_tongue:

I copied my Queen greatest hits DVD on to a DVD+RW to test the disc for compatibility. Our standalone Sony DVD player recognises and plays it like any other DVD. It seeks to various chapters, including the last without any problems. The Star 2000 DVD-ROM will not recognise the DVD+RW. It makes a few clicks when I load the DVD and goes no further. :eek:

For packet writing, the NEC burner does a very good job. The disc capacity is 4.38GB after formating a DVD+RW using Roxio’s Direct CD. Writing to the disc is similar to writing to packet written CD-RWs with the exception that the transfer rate is much quicker. The Samsung SD-616Q had no problems reading the packet written DVD+RW. The only disadvantage I find with DVD+RW packet writting is that it takes aprox. 40 - 60 seconds to write the table of contents before ejecting the disc.

I’ll post another reply when I get hold of some DVD+R’s to test. :cool:

I read a topic on the firmware-flash.com forum about users changing the firmware on their NEC ND-1100a to a HP DVD300i firmware as the HP DVD300 DVD recorder is a rebadged NEC ND-1100a drive.

I downloaded the HP firmware off etna’s rpc1 website. In fact, the firmware is listed on the NEC ND1100a website and the NEC 1x00A flash tool is required for the HP firmware.


I rebooted my PC into MS-DOS mode using an oldish Windows 98se boot CD, backed up the NEC’s firmware using the flash tool and then flashed the drive using the HP DVDwriter300 V1.25 firmware. (see etna’s site for instructions). It completed successfully and when I rebooted, Windows XP found the drive as new hardware.

I tried out Nero and it recognised the drive and under ‘Medium Info’, I can now change the bitsettings of my DVD+RW to DVD-ROM book standard (not possible with NEC A01 firmware). With the DVD+RW marked as a DVD-ROM book standard, I tried it in my old Star 2000 DVD-ROM, but it still refused to recognise the media. I put it in the Samsung and it read the table of contents. It sped the DVD+RW up to the speed of DVD-ROM (16x) unlike the usual 6x for DVD+RW and DVD-R discs. I launched Nero CD speed and ran a speed test, but the Samsung DVD-ROM drive couldn’t retain its high speed reading and kept spinning up & down the DVD while reading it. When CD speed reached about 3/4 through the disk, it failed. I tried marking another DVD+RW as a DVD-ROM book standard and the Samsung DVD-ROM kept giving CRC errors when reading the DVD. When I set the book standard back to DVD+RW, the Samsung read the DVD+RW perfectly.

Smartbuy branded DVD+RW (marked with DVD-ROM book standard bitsetting) speed in the Samsung SD-616Q:

I’ll see if this bitsetting will work for DVD+R discs when I get hold of some. It would be nice for DVD-ROM drives to read these discs at the full 16x instead of the reduced speed of 6x such as for DVD-R discs. This is actually the main reason why I went for the ‘+’ side. :bigsmile:

If anyone has a DVD+RW marked with the DVD-ROM book bitsetting and reads at full speed (16x) in their DVD-ROM, could they post a reply to this thread? Please include DVD-ROM model, DVD+RW disc brand and the DVD+RW drive model that recorded the disc. :cool:

Hi I have the same drive and I am having read speed problems with it.
I get really slow DVD read speeds in Nero cd speed program.
Reading DVD rom i get 2.6 start
and with audio CDS I only get 12 X start

I also got a Samsung CDrewriter and that reads audio CDs a lot faster.

The 616Q doesnt seem to spin up like the CDRW,
Is there something wrong with the drive ? I am using E403 firmware and i flashed it with SFDNWin.

I have set it to DMA and updated ASPI layers and still cant get it to read faster.
Can you help me ?


You can’t expect read speeds of 16x with re-writable DVD+ media just becasuse you changed the book type.

I finally got myself a hold of some DVD+R’s, but did notice that DVD-ROM drives including my Samsung 616Q still read these discs at 6x Max regardless of the book setting :confused:

If I set the booksetting of a DVD+RW to ‘DVD-ROM’ before I write the disc, my Samsung drive will try spinning the disc up to the full speed, but it cannot read the disc properly as you can see from the above diagram. Then again, maybe if I used a better quality DVD+RW, thing maybe different. The DVD+RW I used in the above tests was a SmartBuy branded disc. I was happy with them until I got a small scratch on a disc and it was enough to cause read problems :eek: :a

I had no luck tricking my Samsung into believing a DVD+R is a DVD-ROM and get it to spin up to 16x. Maybe there will be firmware updates out later to allow faster DVD+/-R reading as it would be pointless in having 8x or even 16x DVD recorders if the maximum read speed in a DVD-ROM drive is only 6x!! Even most CD-ROM drives never limit the read speed of CD-R’s, so it seems strange the DVD-ROM manufacturers decided to limit the maximum read speed of DVD+/-R discs. :frowning:

CD-RW & DVD+/-RW’s is a different story as these discs have lower reflectivity and thus need the lower speed in many drives to read properly. :cool:

Higher recording speeds mean lower recording time.