LiteOn DH20A4P giving bad quality scans for Verbatim MCC004



Hi there,

none of my recent burns has scored particularly well in my quality scans.
The scans had all been done with the LiteOn DH20A4P, the burns with that same drive or with a Pioneer DVR-115D. The DVD-Rs were in most cases MCC004 (that had been delivered directly by Verbatim) and some Sony discs.
While most were still acceptable, the following scans indicate serious problems.
The first two pictures are from the same DVD, a MCC004 burnt with the LiteOn. Note the signifcantly better result at 2x testing speed compared to 4x.
The next two show scans from another MCC004, burnt in the Pioneer at 12x. Here the testing speed apparently made no important difference.

Are these problems most likely due to:

  • bad quality media
  • reading problems of the LiteOn
    -writing problems of both the LiteOn and the Pioneer?
    (or something else?)

Your thoughts will be appreciated.


If you hold the discs up to a strong light, can you see any physical flaws/blemishes?

Do both drives read the discs back flawlessly in a Transfer Rate Test with DiscSpeed?

If you scan the discs back at 8x and 16x with the LiteOn, do results get better or worse?


Thanks for the reply, Albert.
I couldn’t see physical flaws.
Here comes a 16X scan of the second disc (no significant differences) and Transfer Rate Tests
by both drives for the same disc. I guess these are pointing at the LiteOn’s reading capability?


I would still think the problem is the particular discs you have. The reason I still think that it’s not necessarily the 20A4P alone is that flaws would appear in similar places across different discs, while the two discs above have errors crop up in different places. The 20A4P also reads up to 16x just fine (even though there are annoying blips–likely a glitch).

I’ve seen similar quality scans from a lower quality disc written too fast. (The pattern of the errors on the LiteOn burn reminds me of how errors creep up with no active quality checking to slow things down; the Pioneer burn just reminds me of discs with blemishes otherwise undetectable). Even 12x writing can be a bit much for dodgy 16x discs.

If you feel like testing more, try writing a test disc or two with DiscSpeed at max speed (reminder: the disc will be unusable afterward; be sure to just click Run Test > Create Data Disc, & save the write graph) and scan the result. If the discs have flaws, it’ll be amazingly apparent. If you write with the Pioneer, it will likely fall back in write speed if the disc has significant flaws (I believe the Pioneer will do 18x natively, which would definitely push the media).


Thanks again. Here are the results:

  • Pioneer write graph
  • scanof Pioneer test burn
  • LiteOn write graph
  • scan of LiteOn test burn

What would be the conclusion?


You have probably already flashed your drives firmware with C0deKing’s firmware patch.
If not I suggest doing that.
Use "LH-20A4P (9P59 FB FBL EOS EOHT 6 *DUAL): "
Also download the LITEON Tools at the bottom of C0deKing’s first post in the link. I suggest you use the “Clear OPC HIstory” . Both the EEPROM & Settings utilities can do that.

I have this drive & I use Verbatim SL discs I get a consistant 95%.
I always burn at 8X.


^ Agreed. And I think you probably just have a few unfortunate discs, since both tested above did perfectly fine (the small fallback on the Pioneer burn is okay). Following cholla’s suggestions might help avoid problems with those bad discs & still provide results on the good discs, especially the suggestion for 8x as a default speed. (I’d at least do that until you are sure you’ve worked past problematic discs.)


Thanks for your suggestions. -Aren’t Verbatim MCC004 usually considered to be good, reliable media
(and these had even been delivered dirrectly by Verbatim as replace ment for others I had trouble with.)?
I’m not sure if should go on using these now. I will post other scans of them that were (as mentioned in the
first post) also not good, but no failure.


Overall, they are good, reliable media. These days, the quality isn’t always up there, but I believe that they are more than adequate in comparison to lesser brands. It might be hard to find something that is consistently better.

Also, the Sony-branded media you got-- was it a Sony model (something like SONY16D1 or SONYD21, etc), or a model made by someone else (like by Ritek – RITEKF1 or RITEKF16, etc)?


Here are 4 scans with my LiteOn DH20A4P at increasing speeds.
All with the same disc. I randomly selected one I had done fairly recently.
The percentage is fairly consistant .With a slight drop in the 8X test.
The 8X test also shows higher PI Errors & PI Failures.


That’s what SmartBurn MediaCheck says about the Sony media:

Drive Type = DVD Super AllWrite
Disc Type = DVD+R (Single Layer)
Disc MID = 53 4F 4E 59 00 00 00 00 (SONY…)
Disc TID = 44 32 31 (D21)
Nominal Capacity = 4.38GB
Manufacturer Maybe = Sony Corporation
SMART-BURN Speed Limit = 18.0X (Write)

Of the attached following scans, the first two are Sony media, burnt with the LiteOn,
third is MCC004 burnt with LiteOn, the rest MCC004 burnt with Pioneer.
I have to admit I’m not very experienced with evaluating these scans,
but it seems to me the Sony media have a “wall” of low P1 failures, while
most of the others have scary spikes.


Rest of MCC004 burnt with Pioneer:


This is a generalization, but Pioneer drives (and other drives based on NEC chipsets) relink in such a way that it produces spikes in LiteOn scans. Here, I’d say it’s fine (there is a history extending quite far back regarding the phenomenon). They’re not much to be worried about as long as the drive that must read the discs isn’t super sensitive to digital errors.

Of those burns, yes, the Sony discs do have that small wall of PI Failures. This is seemingly a characteristic of Sony disc models where often the discs will be perfectly nice but don’t scan as cleanly. They’re still quite nice, though not as nice as the Verbatim media.

If you burned the Sony media in the Pioneer, the spikes would likely appear. But overall, you might get a slightly cleaner burn in the Pioneer. The Verbatim burns on the Pioneer just edge out the quality on the LiteOn burns.


I got the MCC004 discussed here directly from Verbatim as a replacement for the ones discussed in this thread:

I had sent these old disks to Verbatim and they claimed to have tested them as ok, but they still sent
100 new MCC004 back together with the old ones and said this was an act of obligingness. I continued
to have occasional problems with disks from both the old and the new package. So of course I have wondered if my drives were faulty. Can I definetely exclude this by the DiscSpeed test burns results?-
Here are three scans of MCC004 I burnt today with the Pioneer at 8x, following your recommendation.
The results are indeed better(thanks!), but still i’m not really happy with the situation. Shouldn’t I expect a 16Xlabelled medium to be burnable at 16X without loss of quality? The Verbatim support even told me once, that a 16X medium should be burnt with at least 12X.


There are variances in batches. It’s not nice to see, but it happens.

Verbatim’s media, looking at a number of scans from around the forum over the past years, usually is good for high speed burns. 8x media from them used to be oversped to 12x natively in early 16x drives (and still is in a number of drives up to today). The 16x media got that same blessing, which means it is usually a very good selection for burning at 16x and above.

However…there are the odd batches that do require dropping the speed to obtain pretty scans. There are also people who seem to not have luck with certain manufacturers, including MCC/MKM (Verbatim) and Taiyo Yuden. You may not have the BEST luck, but to be able to produce the results you did at 8x is still nice, and those burns are the kinds of burns you would feel safe using as archival burns.

I would rule out your drives in this case. It’s possible that a newer LiteOn or Optiarc (not sure about Pioneer) would be better equipped for variances in the media, but since you can step the speed down to 8x and obtain such good results, it would be a waste in my eyes.


Thanks, Albert.
What about the burns in postings #11 and #12? They’re of course better than theoriginally
posted failures, but, as we’ve seen, not up to the recent 8X results. Are they still good enough
or should I reburn their data at 8x too?-
I also would like to learn how such Data Discs, created by SpeedDisk and their scans have
to be evaluated in general (for example, I would have guesssed, that the spikes in the transfer rate
tests might indicate a problem.)


The spikes in the TRT on the 20A4P do indicate a problem, but more likely a configuration problem that should be sorted out. Even through that configuration problem, we can see that the spikes are at regular intervals. The spikes in the reading curve also occur during the disc quality scan (notice the green line in the 16x scan, post #3), where the drive does not slow down at all ever without completely stopping & throwing an error, so the problem was not within the drive.

If there was a problem with the drive or the disc, the drive would have slowed down, and the spikes would have been more of a prolonged trough, the speed drops would have occurred at irregular intervals, or the line would have begun to get wavy and then tanked downward before recovering. The drive also possibly would not have reached 16x in the end. The Pioneer produced a fine TRT, which further supports the disc being fine. In this case, since seek tests were also done, I can tell you that really iffy discs usually cause failures on the seek tests.

As for evaluating the disc quality scans, you seem to have a pretty good grasp of what does look good and what doesn’t look good. The scans in posts 11 and 12 are well within limits and shouldn’t need to be re-written. There was an overall low PIF, overall low jitter (below 11% when reported by the 20A4P), and very little unexpected clumping of PIF.

The Disc Testing Methods and Software subforum may provide a little extra knowledge, as might browsing over scans in the Blank DVD Media Tests subforum to get an idea of what to expect from your particular discs.


@ Albert , How would you rate this TRT done with my 20A4P :


[QUOTE=cholla;2600837]@ Albert , How would you rate this TRT done with my 20A4P :
That looks pretty good. That’s what I’d expect from a well-functioning system, reading back a good burn.

I would expect drives with similar reading capabilities to be able to read it flawlessly. If there happened to be an ugly scan behind it, I wouldn’t be totally shocked since MediaTek drives generally read well, but I would be a little surprised.