F.A.Q., tools and reviews for BenQ/Philips Optical Drives (Revised: May 2007)

vbimport

#1

The BenQ/Philips Forum F.A.Q.

This F.A.Q. aims to address some of the commonly asked questions specific to BenQ/Philips drives. For general questions that affect all DVD-writers, please refer to the [THREAD=118794]F.A.Q. for PC DVD-Writers[/THREAD]; please take a look at this general F.A.Q. first.

Credits: This F.A.Q. was created through the contributions of various members of this forum. Thanks also go to 8T8 for creating the initial sketch for this F.A.Q.

Feedback: Since this F.A.Q. is an open project, feedback, suggestions, contributions, corrections, etc., are always welcome and encouraged! Please post them in [THREAD=121056]this thread[/THREAD].

Information is meant to be free, so you may copy this F.A.Q., adapt it, and do whatever you wish with it, as long as you follow the terms stated here.

Before You Begin…

Please read the [THREAD=118794]F.A.Q. for PC DVD-Writers[/THREAD] to see if your question has already been addressed there.

If you are troubleshooting a drive, please read [THREAD=92320]this troubleshooting guide[/THREAD] to see if it helps.

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<a name=“toc”></a>Table of Contents

[LIST=I]
[li]General Questions (<a href="#gen">link</a>)[ol][]<a href="#gen-philips">Why is this forum named BenQ/Philips? What is BenQ’s relationship with Philips?</a>[]<a href="#gen-nexper">Which BenQ/Philips drives use the Philips’ Nexperia chipset?</a>[]<a href="#gen-benq">How is “BenQ” supposed to be pronounced?</a>[]<a href="#gen-oem">What is an OEM rebadge? What are some of the known OEM rebadges of BenQ drives?</a>[]<a href="#gen-pro">Is the DW1650 and DW1655 the same drive?</a>[]<a href="#gen-pro">Is the DW1620 and DW1620 Pro the same drive?</a>[]<a href="#gen-review">Where can I find reviews of BenQ drives?</a>[]<a href="#gen-model-name">There are different letters added onto some models. Are there any differences?</a>[]<a href="#gen-sheep">Is my BenQ drive good for backing up copy-protected discs?</a>[]<a href="#gen-medialed">Should the green light be on when you have media in the drive?</a>[]<a href="#gen-writegreen">Should the light flash green at times during a burn?</a>[]<a href="#gen-ejectdelay">Is it normal for the eject to be delayed after burning a DVD+R disc?</a>[]<a href="#gen-slowburn">My BenQ drive is burning and/or reading very slowly. What could be the problem?</a>[/ol]
[/li]
[li]Media (<a href="#media">link</a>)[ol][
]<a href="#media-rec">What kind of DVD media do you recommend that I use?</a>[]<a href="#media-list">Is their a list of recommended media or a list of what media can be over speeded for the 1620?</a>[]<a href="#media-overspeed">Do BenQ support over speeding media?</a>[]<a href="#media-bs">Do BenQ drives support bitsetting, also known as book type modification?</a>[]<a href="#media-bs_util">What utility can I use for bitsetting on my BenQ drive?</a>[/ol]
[/li]
[li]Disc Quality Scanning (<a href="#scan">link</a>)[ol][]<a href="#scan-req">What do I need to make use of the PI/PIF scanning with BenQ writers?</a>[]<a href="#scan-adq">Where can I get more info about Advanced Disc Quality scanning and 1ECC scanning for BenQ drives?</a>[]<a href="#scan-kprobe">Can I use the K-Probe software to do the PI/PIF scanning?</a>[]<a href="#scan-qscan">What is QScan?</a>[]<a href="#scan-interpret">What constitutes a good burn or result from the scan?</a>[]<a href="#scan-dvdrw">DVD-RW media burns at 2.4x instead of 2x in the 1620. Is this normal?</a>[/ol]
[/li]
[li]Firmware (<a href="#fw">link</a>)[ol][]<a href="#fw-whereB">Where can I obtain the latest official firmware updates from BenQ?</a>[]<a href="#fw-whereP">Where can I obtain the latest official firmware updates from Philips?</a>[]<a href="#fw-bflash">Do I need to flash B7L9 first before switching to another firmware version?</a>[]<a href="#fw-warn">What risks are involved with flashing an unofficial BenQ firmware?</a>[]<a href="#fw-how">How do I flash the firmware on my retail BenQ drive?</a>[]<a href="#fw-cf_oem">How do I cross flash the firmware on my OEM/re-badge BenQ 1620 drive?</a>[]<a href="#fw-rpc1">Are their RPC1 (region free) BenQ firmware’s?</a>[]<a href="#fw-ext">I want to put my internal BenQ 1620 in an external enclosure. Is their a specific firmware I should use?</a>[/ol]
[/li]
[li]Software, Tools and Overburning (<a href="#swob">link</a>)[ol][]<a href="#swob-qs">What software does BenQ/Philips offer?</a>[]<a href="#swob-tools">What other tools I can use for my BenQ/Philips drives?</a>[*]<a href="#swob-ob">Does BenQ drives support overburning CD-R and DVD+R?</a>[/ol]
[/li][/LIST]

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<a name=“gen”></a>General Questions<div style=“margin-left: 3em”>
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<a name=“gen-philips”></a>Q: Why is this forum named BenQ/Philips? What is BenQ’s relationship with Philips?
A: It is not uncommon these days for the major electronics companies like Philips, Hitachi, Sony, and Toshiba that do not have very many resources devoted to manufacturing to partner up with a company that has a larger manufacturing capacity. Philips and BenQ are partners in this respect. They jointly perform R & D (though a lot of that comes from Philips), they jointly design the drives, and BenQ does the manufacturing. BenQ’s DVD-writers are thus sold under BenQ’s own brand name as well as the Philips brand name.

The most important contribution from Philips is the Nexperia chipset, which is the drive’s CPU and signal processors and control the hardware. There are a few other manufacturers (e.g., Nu and CyberHome) who make drives based on the Nexperia chipset, but BenQ, probably because of their relationship with Philips, is the primary manufacturer of Nexperia-based drives.

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<a name=“gen-nexper”></a>Q: Which BenQ/Philips drives use the Philips’ Nexperia chipset?
A: BenQ DW1620, DW1625, DW1640, DW1650, and DW1655, as well as Philips drives up to DVDR1660 use Nexperia chipset. The DW1670 drive uses Panasonic chipset, meanwhile newer BenQ drives (DW1680, DW1800 and DW2000) use Mediatek chipset which is found in most Lite-On drives.

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<a name=“gen-benq”></a>Q: How is “BenQ” supposed to be pronounced?
A: According to [THREAD=115884]this thread[/THREAD], it should be pronounced like “Ben Cue”.

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<a name=“gen-oem”></a>Q: What is an OEM rebadge? What are some of the known OEM rebadges of BenQ drives?
A: An OEM rebadge is when a brand-name customer purchases drives from BenQ to sell under their own brand name. For example, the Philips DVDR1640P is an OEM rebadge of the BenQ DW1620. Its hardware is identical to that of the BenQ DW1620, but it has a Philips sticker label, a Philips faceplate, and a Philips name and logo.

Here are some of the notable rebadges of BenQ drives.

[ul]
[li]BenQ DW830A: Philips DVDR885P
[/li][li]BenQ DW1620: Philips DVDR1640, MSI DR16-B, Shuttle CR40, HP 630C
[/li][li]BenQ DW1625: Philips DVDR16LS, HP 640I
[/li][li]BenQ DW1640: Philips DVDR1648, Plextor PX-740A, Sony DRU-810A
[/li][li]BenQ DW1650: Philips DVDR1660, Philips SPD1400, Lite-ON DW1650-488
[/li][li]BenQ DW1655: Philips DVDR1668
[/li][li]BenQ DW1670: Sony DRU-820A
[/li][/ul]

Meanwhile, newer BenQ drives e.q. BenQ DW1680, DW1800, DW1805, DW1810, DW2000 and DW2010 are Lite-On rebadges. These drives use Mediatek chipset hence you will be able to utilize Lite-On tools, check out [THREAD=112103]EEPROM Utility[/THREAD] and [THREAD=190420]Flash Utility[/THREAD] threads in the Lite-On forum.

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<a name=“gen-pro”></a>Q: Is the DW1650 and DW1655 the same drive?
A: Basically, yes. You can crossflash DW1650 with DW1655 firmwares and vice versa, however DW1655 has additional Lightscribe hardware which is not found in DW1650. Hence a DW1650 drive that is crossflashed to DW1655 will not support Lightscribe feature.

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<a name=“gen-pro”></a>Q: Is the DW1620 and DW1620 Pro the same drive?
A: The hardware for the two drives are the same, but they have different firmware and the Pro has a software package as well.

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<a name=“gen-review”></a>Q: Where can I find reviews of BenQ drives?
A: Blu-ray Drives

[ul]
[li]Philips SPD7000BD Blu-ray Review (by cdfreaks)
[/li][/ul]

DVD±RW Drives

[ul]
[li]BenQ DW1670 Preview (by cdfreaks)
[/li][li]Philips DVR1660 Review (by cdfreaks)
[/li][li]Philips DVR1648 Review (by cdfreaks)
[/li][li]BenQ DW1655 Review (by CDR Labs)
[/li][li]BenQ DW1640 Review (by cdfreaks)
[/li][li]BenQ DW1640 Preview (by cdfreaks)
[/li][li]BenQ DW1620 Review (by cdfreaks)
[/li][li]BenQ DW1620 Review (by CDR Labs)
[/li][li]Philips DVDR1640P (rebadged BenQ DW1620) Review (by cdfreaks)
[/li][li]MSI DR16-B (rebadged BenQ DW1620) Review (by CDR Labs)
[/li][li]BenQ DW1600 Preview (by cdfreaks)
[/li][li]Philips DVDR885P (rebadged BenQ DW830A) Review (by cdfreaks)
[/li][li]BenQ DW830A Preview (by cdfreaks)
[/li][li]BenQ DW822A Review (by cdfreaks)
[/li][li]BenQ DW1800 Review (by cdfreaks)
[/li][/ul]

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<a name=“gen-model-name”></a>Q: There are different letters added onto some models. Are there any differences?
A: No. The important element is the model number itself. The other elements of the name are usually not very important. For example, the Philips DVDR885P is identified as “DVDR885P” in the firmware, but identified as “DVDRW885” on the sticker, and the BenQ “DW1620” has also been identified as the “DW1620A.” The hardware is exactly identical, and these minor name differences (the numbers are still the same) can be ignored.

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<a name=“gen-sheep”></a>Q: Is my BenQ drive good for backing up copy-protected discs?
A: Most BenQ drives are classified as a “two sheep” writer, which means that they will have no trouble backing up some computer game copy-protected discs.

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<a name=“gen-medialed”></a>Q: Should the green light be on when you have media in the drive?
A: Yes, the BenQ shows a solid green light when there is media in the drive. The light flashes green when reading and red/green when writing.

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<a name=“gen-writegreen”></a>Q: Should the light flash green at times during a burn?
A: Yes, the BenQ normally flashes the light red when burning but changes to green momentarily when WOPC or buffer underrun, is in operation.

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<a name=“gen-ejectdelay”></a>Q: Is it normal for the eject to be delayed after burning a DVD+R disc?
A: Yes, when a DVD+R is ejected the light will sometimes flash red and the eject will be delayed for a variable period of time. It is not known what the drive is doing during this time. It has been proved that the drive is not writing the booktype.

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<a name=“gen-slowburn”></a>Q: My BenQ drive is burning and/or reading very slowly. What could be the problem?
A: The most common case of a slow drive is because the DMA mode is not set correctly. [THREAD=101616]This thread[/THREAD] has some help/advice on setting your DMA correctly. Also if all else fails you can use Device Manger to delete the IDE Channel Driver that the drive is connected to (usually the secondary IDE), and then reboot.

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<a name=“media”></a>Media<div style=“margin-left: 3em”>
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<a name=“media-rec”></a>Q: What kind of DVD media do you recommend that I use?
A: Traditionally, BenQ drives have preferred DVD+R/+RW media over DVD-R/-RW media. This comes as no surprise as Philips is the most prominent and important member of the +RW Alliance. A few of BenQ’s models have been single-format (only +R/W), the Nexperia chipset’s WOPC is more active with +R/W media, and not surprisingly, BenQ DVD-writers have generally preferred the technically superior +R/W format. Having said that, the latest DW1620 Pro firmware’s have brought great improvements to DVD-R/-RW write quality and now BenQ drives perform quite beautifully with DVD-R/-RW media as well, so with these new firmware s, the notion that it is always best to use DVD+R/+RW media with BenQ drives is now a myth. That the BenQ is a poor burner for DVD-R/-RW media is also a myth. [THREAD=118570]More information[/THREAD].

As for the brand of media to use, pretty much any mainstream media can be used on a BenQ. As with all other DVD-writers, avoid the really marginal media types such as Princos. For a more specific list of what media to use, please see the next question.

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<a name=“media-list”></a>Q: Is their a list of recommended media or a list of what media can be over speeded for the 1620?
A: Yes there is a recommended media list on BenQ’s FTP server but it is out of date as it is based on the B7K9 firmware and the most recent is B7V9, however, there is an unofficial but accurate list for the B7V9 firmware in [POST=996309]this post[/POST].

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<a name=“media-overspeed”></a>Q: Do BenQ support over speeding media?
A: Yes they do in their official firmware’s; what media and at what speed is allowed, is determined by their engineers though. Ala42’s [THREAD=124905]Media Code Speed Edit tool[/THREAD] (MCSE) allows strategy switching to increase the burn speed but using firmware patched with this tool will void your warranty.

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<a name=“media-bs”></a>Q: Do BenQ drives support bitsetting, also known as book type modification?
A: Yes BenQ provide bitsetting support for all DVD+R/RW/DL discs in their official firmware’s, by default BenQ set the book type as DVD-ROM for all DVD+ discs in their firmware.

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<a name=“media-bs_util”></a>Q: What utility can I use for bitsetting on my BenQ drive?
A: Please see Software and Tools section of this FAQ.

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<a name=“scan”></a>Disc Quality Scanning<div style=“margin-left: 3em”>
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<a name=“scan-req”></a>Q: What do I need to make use of the PI/PIF scanning with BenQ writers?
A: Nero CD-DVD Speed will allow you to check the quality of burnt discs. Be sure to download the latest version as the program is updated frequently. Also scan at either 4x or 8x, any higher will skew the results. The forum standard is 8x CAV.

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<a name=“scan-adq”></a>Q: Where can I get more info about Advanced Disc Quality scanning and 1ECC scanning for BenQ drives?
A: Yes, the latest Nero CD-DVD Speed allows us to do Advanced Disc Quality scanning for CD-R and DVD±R media, please check out [THREAD=197523]this[/THREAD] and [THREAD=212934]this[/THREAD] threads. The newest Nero CD-DVD Speed also supports 1ECC PI/PIF error scanning, please refer to [THREAD=214040]this thread[/THREAD].

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<a name=“scan-kprobe”></a>Q: Can I use the K-Probe software to do the PI/PIF scanning?
A: No, KProbe is only for drives with MediaTek chipsets. Use Nero CD-DVD Speed instead.

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<a name=“scan-qscan”></a>Q: What is QScan?
A: You can also make use of BenQ’s Q-Scan utility which will scan the disc before it has been burnt and make an educated guess (It is not a 100% perfect) as to what speed the media can be burnt at if the DW1620 supports over speeding that media.

If your BenQ writer is not set as the first optical drive in Windows the program will give an error message on start ignore it and select your writer from the drop down box. You can workaround this by changing the drive letter of your BenQ writer so it is the first optical drive in the system.

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<a name=“scan-interpret”></a>Q: What constitutes a good burn or result from the scan?
A: See this section in the general F.A.Q.

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<a name=“scan-dvdrw”></a>Q: DVD-RW media burns at 2.4x instead of 2x in the 1620. Is this normal?
A: Yes, this is a problem even in the latest firmware currently (B7V9). It would appear that the DVD-RW media uses the DVD+RW media’s speed of 2.4x, which can cause burn quality issues. See this [POST=871874]post[/POST] and this [POST=889929]post[/POST]. It is suggested that this may be a hardware issue.

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<a name=“fw”></a>Firmware<div style=“margin-left: 3em”>
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<a name=“fw-whereB”></a>Q: Where can I obtain the latest official firmware updates from BenQ?
A: Check out BenQ’s support web site for the latest official firmware updates. Also, newer firmware revisions are represented by the third letter, for example: DW1650 firmware BCIC is newer then BCDC. Similarly, DW1640 firmware BSRB is newer than BSPB.

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<a name=“fw-whereP”></a>Q: Where can I obtain the latest official firmware updates from Philips?
A: Check out Philips’ global firmware web site for the latest official firmware updates.

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<a name=“fw-bflash”></a>Q: Do I need to flash B7L9 first before switching to another firmware version?
A: Possibly not between firmware flashes but if your results are not as good as you would have expected, then try flashing back to B7L9, power off, and then returning to your current firmware. It could make a difference. See [THREAD=129615]this thread[/THREAD] and in particular [POST=993452]this post[/POST] in the same thread.

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<a name=“fw-warn”></a>Q: What risks are involved with flashing an unofficial BenQ firmware?
A: Any unofficial firmware that is not provided by the manufacturer will void your warranty! If you do not know what you are doing, do not flash your drive! Firmware patchers refuse to be responsible for the misuse of a patched firmware. USE THEM AT YOUR OWN RISK. It is also possible that a miss flash can occur, such as a power outage occurring in the middle of a flash or some other occurrence. In this case your drive will not be functional at all! It is possible to recover the drive after this by reflashing in DOS, but it is not guaranteed to work.

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<a name=“fw-how”></a>Q: How do I flash the firmware on my retail BenQ drive?
A: The simplest technique is to use the official flasher, Quikee’s [THREAD=149980]BQFlasher[/THREAD] or TDB’s
RPC1 flasher version. Both of these can be patched with MSCE for the 16x read speed and then flashed straight to the drive. See below for OEM crossflashing.

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<a name=“fw-cf_oem”></a>Q: How do I cross flash the firmware on my OEM/re-badge BenQ 1620 drive?
A: If you have an OEM drive or a re-badge and wish to convert the drive to a retail 1620 so you can make use of the latest official firmware upgrades from BenQ you must go to the Unofficial BenQ firmware page and download WinDWFlash.exe and a corresponding firmware in .CVT form. Be absolutely certain your drive is a clone 1620 before doing so, otherwise you could end up with a dead drive. Also the [THREAD=114626]TDB RPC1 firmware[/THREAD] can be used to easily cross flash to the retail firmware.

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<a name=“fw-rpc1”></a>Q: Are their RPC1 (region free) BenQ firmware’s?
A: Yes there are. You can find them in [THREAD=114626]this thread[/THREAD] or on the Dangerous Brothers website and the Unofficial BenQ firmware page.

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<a name=“fw-ext”></a>Q: I want to put my internal BenQ 1620 in an external enclosure. Is their a specific firmware I should use?
A: Although you can use any firmware you like, BenQ do have a tweaked firmware for their external EW162I drives when running in an external enclosure so it may offer the best results and compatibility with a third party enclosure. You can acquire the 47L9/47M9 firmware from the Unofficial BenQ firmware page. This firmware has not been updated for some time. Also most experiences with BenQ drives in an external enclosure are disappointing, as the drive can usually not reach the full 16x speed, when reading or burning.

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<a name=“swob”></a>Software, Tools and Overburning<div style=“margin-left: 3em”>
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<a name=“swob-qs”></a>Q: What software does BenQ/Philips offer?
A: The most popular software is Qsuite which provides the following tools: Book Type Management, QScan, WOPC enable/disable, Test Write enable/disable, SolidBurn, Overspeed and EEPROM Clean Tool.

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<a name=“swob-tools”></a>Q: What other tools I can use for my BenQ/Philips drives?
A: In addition to tools mentioned in the Firmware section above, you can also use the following:

[ul][li][THREAD=149980]BQFlasher[/THREAD]: Unofficial firmware flasher developed by Quikee, supports BenQ/Philips and its OEM/Rebadge drives
[/li][li]WinDWFlash: Another unofficial firmware flasher, supports flashing .cvt firmware files for BenQ drives
[/li][li][THREAD=124905]MCSE[/THREAD]: MediaCodeSpeedEdit allows you to make changes to BenQ/Philips fimrwares, e.q. increase read speed, loseless write strategy swapping, reduce DVD write speed and more.
[/li][li]WOPC Tool: A tool for enabling/disabling WOPC for BenQ/Philips firmwares
[/li][li][THREAD=112103]EEPROM Utility[/THREAD]: To backup and restore EEPROM as well as other functions. Only supports BenQ drives with Mediatek chipset, e.q. BenQ DW1680, DW1800, DW1805, DW1810, DW2000 and DW2010.
[/li][li][THREAD=190420]Flash Utility[/THREAD]: A tool to allow reading and writing of firmware, only supports BenQ drives with Mediatek chipset, e.q. BenQ DW1680, DW1800, DW1805, DW1810, DW2000 and DW2010.
[/li][/ul]

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<a name=“swob-ob”></a>Q: Does BenQ drives support overburning CD-R and DVD+R?
A: Yes, some drives namely BenQ DW1640, DW1650 and DW1655 support overburning 99 minutes CD-R and 4600MB DVD+R. Please refer to this thread for more information.

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#2

If you find a problem in this BenQ/Philips FAQ or when you want to add something to the FAQ, feel free to post in the FAQ feedback thread or contact me via PM. Thanks to all knowledgeable members who kindly contribute to this FAQ. :wink:

Changes as of May 29th 2007:

[ul]
[li]Added Software, Tools and Overburning section.[/li][li]Added more links to latest BenQ/Philips DVD­Â±RW and Blu-ray drives reviews.[/li][li]Added more information on BenQ OEM rebadges drives.[/li][li]Fixed some broken links.[/li][/ul]


#3

In an effort to make this FAQ as informative as possible, I feel that more information on the BenQ Qsuite tools might be helpful :slight_smile:

        What is QSuite?

BenQ exclusive QSuite is a ground-breaking application software that optimizes the convenience of DVD recording technology. With four encompassed tools: (1) Book Type Management, (2) QScan, (3) WOPC enable/disable, and (4) Test Write enable/disable, QSuite allows easy adjustment of the drive settings and better control over media conditions. More tools will be added in future QSuite releases.


Book Type Management

Most DVD drives can recognize DVD-ROM (of the highest compatibility) as well as other disc formats such as DVD+R/+RW/+R DL/-R/-RW. However, some players (especially older models) may have difficulty recognizing non DVD-ROM disc formats.

With BenQ Book Type Management, you can easily modify DVD Book Type from DVD+R/+RW/+R DL to DVD-ROM, and vice versa. Media compatibility is greatly enhanced!


QScan

DVD media come in various brands and printings on the market. For most consumers, it’s really difficult to tell good discs from bad ones, and which brand will best suit their over-speed and high-speed (12x~16x) burning requirements.

By measuring TE/FE signal on blank DVD media, QScan is able to tell the disc quality by clear graphic description. It also probes the highest disc speed (might exceed claimed speed) that is supported by your BenQ DVD ReWriter.


WOPC

WOPC (Walking Optimal Power Control) is a technology that dynamically adjusts the laser power rate according to disc condition. BenQ DVDRW products, by default, have this function enabled to maximize writing quality.

However, if you are confident that your DVD media are of superb condition, you can disable this function to reduce burning time. Or you might need to disable WOPC on poor-quality DVD-R media under low-speed (<4x) burning to increase chances of successful burning.


Test Write

Because of defined DVD+R/+RW/+R DL technical spec, current DVD burning software does not support simulation writing of these media.

With Test Write enabled, you can simulate data burning especially on rare and expensive media like +R DL. When simulation result is ok, it will be better chances for actual burning to succeed.


Qsuite 2.1 can be downloaded here.