How many errors are too many?

I know I read her a couple of days ago somebody mentioning that as long as the errors on a burnt DVD were below x PIE and below x PIF the disc should be considered ‘good’ when doing a quality scan. I can’t remember if it was the total PIE and PIF count or the PIF/PIE max. Of course, now I can’t find that thread :frowning: I know that it’s all subjective, but is there an agreed-upon limit for PIF/PIE errors?? I’m using a Benq DW1640, BTW. Thanks!


The [I]very[/I] old standard was 280 as a max level for PIE and somewhere between 6-10 for PIF depending on the drive used. BenQs are not as precise as Liteon and the allowable PIF level is higher. If you use CDSpeed, the color will change as the level exceeds accepted standards.

Just be aware, as far as PIE goes, 280 would be considered a very bad burn these days. Years ago, I would get levels below 100 and be happy. Now I strive for levels in the teens. Also important is the count. PIF is more important where an increase of 100 is significant. When it comes to PIE, an increase from 10,000 to 40,000 would not be a problem for most here. I am picky; I want PIE near 10,000 and in the teens. I want PIF under 100 and in the 1-2 range.
The thread you want is here

There are official standards for acceptable PIE, PIF and POF on a DVD. Several standards issued by ECMA for different types of DVDs list these standards, and they are:

Total PIE in any 8 consecutive ECC blocks should not be higher than 280.

Total PIF in any ECC block should not be higher than 4.

Total POF on a disc should be zero. This limit isn’t written as such in the standards, but it’s implied that POF are unacceptable since that means that all error correction has failed.

The standard applies to a DVD read at 1x in a drive calibrated in a certain way, and consumer drives may show error levels lower or higher than this, but usually a scan in a recent consumer drive will show lower PIE/PIF than a professionally calibrated scanning drive.

I use more or less the same standards with some additions. Normal scanning drives show PIE per 8 ECC blocks, but those are fixed 8 ECC intervals in stead of floating 8 ECC intervals, so in order to be sure that no 8 consecutive ECC blocks have more than 280 PIE, the reported PIE must be half that or lower, i.e. 140.

My standards for 8/1 ECC scanner (PIE per 8 ECC blocks, PIF per 1 ECC block):

Max PIE <= 140 , Max PIF <= 4 , Smooth Transfer Rate Tests , Jitter <= 11%

My standards for 8/8 ECC scanner:

Max PIE <= 140 , Max PIF <= 12 , Smooth Transfer Rate Tests , Jitter <= 11%

In addition to those standards I don’t accept burns with PIF “clusters” of over 1000 PIF per 100 MB or so.

Just like the next person I want my PIE/PIF/Jitter as low as possible, but unlike most I care more about having acceptable scans in several drives at multiple scanning speeds than I care about having ultra-low PIE/PIF.

I would rather have a disc that can scan in my three most trusted scanning drives (Plextor, LiteOn, BenQ) at low, medium and high speeds with PIE/PIF within the limits listed above and smooth Transfer Rate Tests, than I would have a disc that scans with zero PIE (not possible) and zero PIF (highly unlikely) at low speed but showing poor quality at high speed or in another scanning drive.

Yes, you read that right! Having an outstanding scan at low/medium speed is no guarantee of having a disc that reads and scans well in other drives, so I’d rather have a disc that does well in all tests than have a disc that is outstanding in one test!

An increase of 100 is significant? Well no offense but that’s a load of rubbish.

My Original PS2 games have about 3000 PIFs. Yet they will work considerably [B]better [/B] than any burnt copy that has 20,000 PIE and 18 total PIF. The numbers are not that important. There’s plenty of other factors such as jitter and reflectivity to name a couple. My original PS2 games would have much lower jitter than any burnt copy and also a way higher reflectiveness percentage. Burnt copies barely reach over 50% reflectiveness whereas originals can get up to 70 or 80% reflectivity. This makes it much easier to read.

Same rules apply for blank media. You can get a Taiyo Yuden disc that has less than 10,000 PIE and less than 100 PIF but if it’s jitter is high and reflectivity is low, it will not work as well in a real world situation as a disc that has 150,000 PIE and 1000 PIF totals but a higher reflectivity, lower jitter, better balance etc.

Also, factor in that home PIE/PIF scanning is probably not even accurate when compared to a professional device! Hell, look at cdrinfo, they said the Pioneer 112 has POOR write quality. Yet cdfreaks said it was great and gave it an [B]editors choice award[/B]. Both reviews are utterly flawed if you ask me.

First, cdrinfo does not compare their professional disc testing drive with home scans (stupid, how can we know if they are remotely the same or not) mayeb the discs were faulty and the home scanning drive would have showed this anyways, then cdfreaks scan 4x without jitter enabled (even stupider!). Oh and both reviewers review their drives @ max speed. Most people go for optimal speeds such as 12x or 8x. I’d rather a review take much longer to come out but be tested at various speeds with each media.

In conclusion - Don’t get caught up in the obsessive compulsive scanning habbits as some people here have. When scanning make sure the jitter is relatively decent (below 9.5-10%) and the errors are within spec but don’t be overly harsh. If you are using good media and burning at a reasonable speed with a decent drive (most drives today are very decent) you should have full working discs.

EDIT: I know I pumped plenty of info in, but just so you know, there’s nothing wrong with getting low errors on media. Like I said though, just don’t expect them all to be so low, even with the same media, and don’t think that a disc with some more errors is inferior to one with less, because that may not be true at all.

Could you explain this further please ? What does “reflectiveness” exactly mean ? Can it be measured ?

The term normally used is reflectivity and means how large a percentage of the laser light is reflected back by the media. For DVD±R media this is usually around 40-50% and can only be measured with professional equipment such as AudioDev CATS and DaTARIUS DVD Analyzer.

According to relevant ECMA standards (e.g. ECMA-349) reflectivity should be between 0.45 and 0.85 (45-85%), but many tests I’ve seen show that more common values are in the 0.40 - 0.50 range.

Well, it can’t be measured by just a home DVD drive. You need expensive professional equipment. has a datarius analyzer which is designed pretty much to read the quality of burnt dvd media. In their drive reviews, they have I14H levels or something like that, those levels are the reflectiveness of the disc.

Hard to explain and I am not 100% sure that I’d give the absolute correct answer to what reflectivity exactly is. The lower it is though, the harder the laser has to try to read the media off the disc. All discs have a reflective layer which will bounce the laser beam back to the laser. So if discs have a really poor level of reflectivity, they are just going to be harder to read than one with high reflectiveness.

I do know for a fact though that most burnt discs have levels between .4 and .5 reflectiveness. Originals are usually higher. Some blanks are also higher than others.

[B]LOL Drage beat me to it! Well, it seem I was somewhat right [/B] :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the explanation.
So i do not need to care about the reflectiveness of my burns as i cant really influence it, right ?

The only way you can influence this is by buying media that is known to have good reflectivity, i.e. from tests showing an I14H >= 0.45 .

EDIT: I collected some examples in this post. Please note that different reviews report different I14H for the same media, so there is quite a bit of variability and/or uncertainty in those reflectivity measurements.

:iagree: I’ve been in the same “team” as [B]DrageMester[/B] for quite some time now: OK figures in multiple tests (in different drives, at different testing speeds) are IMO to be trusted over outstanding figures in a single test (one testing speed, one drive).

And personally I even go as far as including professional scanning devices in this equation, as I take for granted that each disc/reader combination is unique. Thus [I]no[/I] single test tells the “truth” about a disc.

Now to the original question. As you scan in a Benq 1640, I’d say that [B]DrageMester[/B]'s PIE limits are a little high to my personal taste.
Personally I’d go for PIE max (larger areas, dismissing single spikes) = 80 (which is already high in my book).
Now there is PIE [I]density[/I], I don’t like any average over 20 as reported by CDSpeed.
And I want that figures in a @16X scan show no out-of-specs errors after 3.5GB, which sadly happens too often with marginal burns despite good figures at standard scanning speeds. Such burns are in-specs, but inferior in quality to those showing good figures even at higher speeds.

As for counts, I’m not among those who consider them very important, as long as PIF counts stay under ~3000 in all testing drives including 16X testing speed, and that there are no big PIF clusters. But some proven good discs can show > 6000 PIF counts (notably some scratchproof discs), so it’s certainly more of a guideline than hard rule.

The only general agreement on this board about numbers is, I guess,

  • “the lower the better”
  • PIFs should stay in-specs in any test, preferably comfortably so, and show no big clustering.

Then the rest, as you can see, is down to personal convictions, empirical elements (picky standalone player…), habits, and usual testing drives.

No offense taken. Significant means worth noting, as in a change that actually makes a difference and it outside the range of random chance. I was simply pointing out that the raw numbers were more important for PIF than for PIE.

It never fails, make a statement about scanning and raise a storm. I [I]said [/I]I was picky didn’t I? :doh:


Hey, thanks for all the good advice. Much appreciated.


So very true :bigsmile: :iagree:

Between media with high (100+) PIE & low PIF and media with much lower PIE but much higher PIF (no clusters), I would usually prefer the 2nd choice and I generally avoid media which always writes with high PIE (as scanned by my drives).

Otherwise I have similar thoughts to [B]Francksoy[/B] about this. :slight_smile:

You prefer to have more errors that are uncorrectable at the Parity Inner stage (PIF) than having more errors that are correctable at the PI stage (PIE)? :confused:

Unless PIF is far out of specs i go for discs with lower PIE if possible. I’m more let down by discs with higher PIE than higher PIF. That said i never saw a disc with low PIE and crazy PIF. One experience i had was with HP 8x -R discs and how they (not) performed in dvd players. Not sure if this scan is one of the non playing discs but their scans looked like this and they had fine TRT but bad succesrate when burned in 2 of 3 burners as far as i remember.

Well speaking about all this “which do you prefer for errors” makes me want to start a new thread on this forum hehe. I’ll post in a few minutes.

Never seen the scary example scan in this post of mine? Have fun! :bigsmile:
(BTW, @[B]xpfshost [/B], you could find the post itself interesting :))

Now i have - must have slipped my eyes back then :slight_smile: I wouldn’t trash a disc like that but i’d make sure to have a copy handy even if it’s probably a good burn :slight_smile:

(Had it been an inferior brand/media id i wouldn’t have saved the disc though even if it could be good stuff :confused: )

Me neither as long as the TRTs are perfect and the disc seems stable after 6 months.

i’d make sure to have a copy handy
You bet! :bigsmile: I may not be anal about scanning figures, but that’s too ugly for me. At that time I burned backups of these TTH01 burns, on MCC004 ;).
(Had it been an inferior brand/media id i wouldn’t have saved the disc though
TDK TTH01 is actualy supposed to give mediocre home scans despite excellent quality and good scans in professional testing devices, but according to [B]Dakhaas[/B] they shouldn’t scan THAT bad in a Benq (I also produced a 8X scan - it’s not the @16X scanning that is responsible for the ugly PIF figures). My batch was not premium TTH01.
Sidenote: about TDK as a whole, these days I don’t consider the brand as trustable anymore. :frowning: