My first look at DVD+R DL, drives and media

One LG drive and two Lite-On drives that can write to DVD+R DL media are on my desktop now. DL drives do not cost so much more than SL-only drives by now but DL media cost more than ten times as much as SL media where SL stands for Single Layer in this post.

The first is LG’s latest GSA-4120B 12x DVD+R burner that can also write to DL DVD+R media at 2.4x speed and DVD-RAM media at 5x speed. Like 5x DVD-RAM media, 2.4x DVD+R Double Layer media are difficult to get at decent prices anywhere in the world so far as I know unless one has very close contacts inside leading-edge companies like Philips or Hitachi. The sample 4120B was manufactured in June, 2004.

Manufacturer : Verbatim
Code : MKM 001
Disc Type : DVD+R DL (Book Type: DVD-ROM)
Usage : General
Recording Layer : -
Recording Speed : 2.5 X
Capacity : 7.96 GB
8547993600 Bytes
Additional Capacity : -
Overburn Capacity : -

The only DL media I could get are seven discs of Verbatim MKM 001 DVD+R DL 2.4x (2.5x) 8.5GB media as shown above from CD Speed v3.10 Disc Info. As they were meant to be bundled with Lite-On SOHW-832S DL writer drive, the disks are not for retail distribution and thus no printing on top of the disc. There is not an English word that indicates DL at all unless one can call some media identification codes as words.

The other drives are made by Lite-On IT, LG's biggest competitor in the optical storage drive market around the world. The two Lite-On drives use similar hardware to each other and feature customized firmware for experimental purposes. Both were manufactured in April, 2004.


The setup pictured above is specifically for DVD writing on one of my personal computers at home. It will last only hours more probably, after then they will be transferred to other systems for better combination.

The following pictures are from Nero InfoTool v2.21.



So far, the latest known firmware versions are A102 for GSA-4120B and VS05 for SOHW-832S. For DVD+R and DVD+RW bitsetting change to DVD-ROM booktype, one must use the N0AD firmware that LG has clearly forbidden to use except for experiments by experienced users and reviewers. Coincidentally, that is the only firmware I can recommend for any LG DVD writer till now.

Finally, some drives are known to work with DL-ready firmware in them. Not just that, the burned DL media play well and the scan results seem alright. It is the media that are cost-prohibitingly expensive, not the drives, so decide for yourself what to do.

Glad to see you broke down and bought a 4120 :wink:

and there is still hope for it…we are trying to get the bitsetting to work with thier latest fws.

but hands down best dl burns im getting is my nec 2500 hacked with bitsetting.

also when you scan dl burns with liteons you need to run the scan at 2x for clv on dual layer disks.

The 4120B is LG’s sample drive that was coming to us three months ago. I didn’t buy it from a retail channel. The only Lite-On drive I’ve ever bought from retail is one 812S drive.