Though I rarely start threads that are specific to South Korean market on CDFreaks, for LG GSA-4163B, it might seem a bit different.
LG started open and public “field-test” events on at least four major South Korean hardware websites. Brainbox.co.kr / DVDRwinfo.co.kr / CDRinfo.co.kr / KBench.com.
LG will give total 32 drives to 32 individual field testers. Not sure of the number but it’s about 32. Of course, thousands of eager would-be testers volunteered. Each site chooses who are good for field tests judging by their previous test records and community activities and other “reliability” factors (like career, the PCs and recorders and standalones and game machines they regularly use, etc.) Each tester has to buy the media for tests with one’s own money.
South Korean Yongsan market now also has some GSA-4163B re-imported drives. Looks like they are all bare so far, for about US$80 to US$90.
Previous field-test of GSA-4163B was done more secretely. Because some manufacturers do not want their product release plans and specifications to be revealed to the open places until they are ready. And also the firmware revisions used during the pre-release field tests are mostly pre-release and not to be shared among the public (like the N0AD firmware for GSA-4120B that was leaked once which seriously caused all South Korean field-testers of GSA-4163B to shut up just more than before (and also caused at least one thread on CDFreaks LG forum to be closed.)
The drives will all be sent inside of this week and the 32 or so test results will become available on the web as late as the end of December.
That also means it is very higly likely that most major English-language websites dedicated to DVD writer testing will soon publish reviews of GSA-4163B. GSA-5163D, the external version of GSA-4163B, will be released in late December or in early January of 2005 though not confirmed by LG yet.