I did a couple of tests. First, I loaded the Princo 1x DVD-R media into my Pioneer DVR-107D. Nero would show that it would only do 1x:
I reinstalled my DVR-105 and put the same blank disc in that drive and Nero showed that it would burn at 2x:
I then went back to my PrimoDVD software with the DVR-105 and burned 4.4GB worth of files to the Princo 1x media with the DVR-105. PrimoDVD auto-chose 4x as the write speed, the max of the drive, but the 29 minute estimation showed is closer to 2x, than 4x:
The burn of 4.4GB of data on this Princo 1x media took about 27 minutes including finalizing the disc. This is a bit faster than 2x, but definitely not 4x. With this amount of data, it’s roughly 2.4x speed. 2x would have been about 5-6 mins longer with finalization. The disc finished successfully and verified successfully at this speed.
Based on this experience, it seems that there is some inconsistency. If a drive would only write at the media’s speed (in this case 1x), it would not be possible for the DVR-105 to write 4.4GB at over 2x in 27 mins, so the notion that a drive will only write at the media’s speed is clearly wrong. Why the DVR-105 would write the same Princo 1x media at 2x and the DVR-107 only at 1x is not clear.
It’s unclear whether the DVR-105 will allow in firmware writes at 2x for 1x media or if the DVR-105 tried to write at 4x, but the 2.4x speed experienced could be due to errors from using a lower quality media. However, I am inclined to think that there is a firmware factor in here somewhere even if firmware will allow you to write at speeds other than the media’s speed.
All of this still begs the same question: Is there a way to override media speed detection? I’ve shown that just like CD’s it’s possible to write a DVD at a speed higher than the media’s speed successfully. If I’m willing to risk a few coasters, why shouldn’t I have that option? The question is how to enable that option. Again, my tests were inconclusive as to whether this is a firmware or software issue, though I’m inclined to think that firmware in the DVR-107 is more stringent than the 105’s. If that is the case, then the next stop is to look for a firmware hack.