DVD+RW Media questions and is my media or hardware faulty?

I have recently purchased a Bush DVD Recorder and a few days ago a Benq 1620 dvd rewriter along with 40 Mr DVD DVD+RW discs in library cases (from Makro).

Benq has G7P9 firmware
also have DVD-ROM drive lite-on 163D with GHR7 firmware

The DVD+RW discs are mostly Philips 041 media code, though some are MBIPG101 W03.

All seemed OK using the Bush DVD Recorder, although did find approx 15% of discs would suffer from a few read-write errors - mostly with obvious faults on the surface of the disc near the outside edge. They all play OK other than this.

When checked using Nero cd-speed disk quality check (at 8x), most of the disks showed faults (see below), and mostly there were sudden spikes in PIE, PIF and PO Failures at 4000Mb plus. I don’t think this is caused by flashing the firmware upgrades because a) the errors were there before burning anything on the Benq and before the firmware upgrade and b) I was careful to upgrade to G7M9 first (reboot twice) and then G7P9 (reboot twice).

Now I have the Benq DVD rewriter I’m trying to copy some of my home videos onto DVD-R and DVD+R (using Nero 6 Burning Rom) that I had recorded from VHS onto DVD+RW using my Bush DVD Recorder.

First step - creating image files ready for burning. This is when the problems started.

a) When using the lite-on drive as the source for the image, most of the disks stop at approx 90% complete (one at 70%) and eventually report an unrecoverable read error.

b) When using the Benq writer as the source for an image from the same discs a few fail in the same way, but most refuse to display the full 4000+ Mb (eg only approximately 200Mb or 3000Mb are displayed), and the image doesn’t therefore include the full 4000+ Mb.

When playing through Nero Showtime, the full video will play successfully in the lite-on drive, but not in the Benq drive (again it thinks the disk has less Mb recorded than it actually does).

Doing cd-speed quality tests, most of the discs have POF errors, and many cannot be scanned for the full size of the disc (they give a No Additional Sense Information Error). A few are OK with no POF errors.

I took a disk that Benq qscan said was OK and burned an image onto it using Benq, did a quality scan, then recorded a full disk using the Bush DVD recorded and did another quality scan, and then again burned the image on the Benq and did a 3rd quality scan. The first scan (from a burn on Benq) had 97% quality, with max 6 PIF (average 0.25) and max 41 PIE (average 10.11). Second scan (from a recording using the Bush DVD recorder) had 94% quality, with max 11 PIF (average 0.56) and max 56 PIE (average 16.01). The third scan (from re-burn on Benq) had same quality and PIF as the first burn, but PIE increased to max 106 average 44.89.

Using the Benq drive I burned the image onto one of the disks giving POF errors (when recorded on from the Bush DVD recorder) - it still gave POF errors (though overall slightly better quality).

I also burned the same image onto a Ritek G05 dvd-r disk and a MCC003 dvd+r disk, both had acceptable quality of 95% and 97% and no PO Failures.

Being new to all this, please can someone answer these questions to help me make sense of all this:

  1. I think these tests show that the Benq drive must be doing a good job, the Bush DVD Recorder is not so good, but OK, and that the fault rests with the media, rather than with the hardware. Do you agree, how can I be certain? Should I worry about the fact the DVD recorder doesn’t do quite as good a quality burn as the Benq?

  2. Is it normal to get unrecoverable read errors when reading an image, even though various normal DVD players and the Bush DVD recorder can play the same discs OK with few or no read errors?

  3. Why does the Benq refuse to display or play the full contents of these faulty discs? (Other than that, it seems to be working fine and I have updated the firmware).

  4. Is it normal for the max and average PIE to increase when re-writing a DVD+RW. Is there any way to “clean the disc” to get this PIE back down to what it was when the disc was first burned?

  5. Am I correct that Philips 041 is a good dye, so the faults must be bad manufacturing of the disk? Who makes MBIPG101 W03 and how good is this dye (I have so far only checked 2 of these discs - they had no POF failures though only 88% / 95% quality, so they seem lower quality, but somehow manufactured better).

Should I be taking the discs back to the shop, or the Bush DVD Recorder or both?

Since this covers a number of issues, but mainly media, I wasn’t sure which forum to post this in. This being my first post, I hope its OK, and please move it to the correct forum if not.