How important is the sheep rating?

I’m new to DVD burning. I’m still deciding which burner to buy. My question is, how important is the sheep rating on these drives if I’m going to be using tools like AnyDVD and CLoneDVD to backup my DVDs. Is the sheep rating only important for making straight disc-to-disc copies, or does it also matter when the DVD has been ripped, deCSSed, etc.


As I understand it, DVD-VIDEO backup is dependent on the SOFTWARE, not on the drive’s “sheep rating”.

The original “sheep rating” came from Elaboratebytes CloneCD, at the time when SafeDisk 2 upped the ante with weak sectors.

Originally, SD1 backup only required the ability to replicate errors.

SD2 introduced, amid confusion at the time, “weak sectors” - the name given to them as they seemed to be hard to write accurately.

Though “2 sheep” is only certain for SD2.51 second version, maybe SD2.6

With SD2.8, 2.9, 3.x - it gets confusing again, with conflicting reports - the EFM patterns are tougher still, but there may be other issues - the supposed correctness from the writer, may also be dependent on the reader.

So for DVD-Video backup, especially if the source media has already suffered a bit of useage degradation, you need a good reader - even if that has to be a different drive to the writer, and you may want a reading drive that is not riplocked, so it can rip at better than 2x speed

So if I am using AnyDVD, which circumvents the protection, will I be okay?

For video, it should be - maybe there will be an increase in protection which will require certain reader capabilities, but the main objective in DVD Video backup, is to discard anything not required - including stupid ideas like region coding.

For a game backup, of course, the protection needs to be replicated, not discarded.

So yes, to write a good DVD-video, all that’s needed is a GOOD writer - if you use +R media, bitsetting or auto-bitsetting capability would be a help, for players that don’t understand what DVD+R is.

So wait, as I said, I’m new at this, is it now possible to directly copy Xbox/PS2 discs with a PC based DL DVD burner? And these can be played on an unmodded system? If this is true, I will look for another, 2-sheep burner as my kids are always getting into my Xbox games and scratching them up. Backup copies would be great.

No still need a mod-chip.

The sheep rating only tells you which SafeDisc versions you can copy.
Although this is not completely true anymore.

Alexander Noé created a sheep test.
This tests if your drive is a: no sheep, 1 sheep, 2 sheep or 3 sheep writer.

A 3 sheep writer can write all possible weak sectors … at the moment there’s no writer that can do this!

A 2 sheep writer (according to this test) can write all SafeDisc versions upto 2.51.

For the newer SafeDisc versions like 2.8x, 2.9x, 3.xx and 4.xx you have to check if a writer can copy this by simply copying a game (check the reviews on CDRinfo).

Thanks for the clarification. I have no interest in modding my Xbox, and am primarily concerned with backing up DVDs, so it looks like a 1-sheep burner will do the trick.