Need new DVD burner recs - lots of questions

My top priorities are burn quality of both DVD and CD. This will be the only optical drive in the system, so it must also read discs reasonably well (doesn’t have to rip fast or anything, just read accurately. Handling scratched discs would be a bonus, but not necessary). Reliability would be up next.

Speed is not a factor at all. Low noise is more important. Must have booktype setting option (preferably something i can set once and forget it).

And then there’s the question of EIDE vs SATA. Either would work for me, but are there any advantages to one over the other?

Any thoughts?

Almost forgot, don’t care about scanning.

Sounds like the Pioneer 112D or Samsung 182M are at the top of my list after doing a bit of reading. Any specific comments on these drives given my stated needs above?

Hi :slight_smile:
Welcome onboard mikea128. :iagree: :clap:
1st SATA should be the way to go. Upto 5 times greater transfer rates (theorectical). In practise currently means less drain on CPU & should see buffer rates far more acceptable.
I would consider the Samsung SH-S203B (SATA) DVDRW.

The Samsung 182M, You will have to set the booktype every burn and you will have to use software like ImgBurn or Nero. The Pioneer 112D, i’m not familiar with but it gets excellent reviews and is suggested by a lot of people. I have a BenQ DW1655 and a Plextor PX-760A and they are great burners, but you have to do a little bit of searching for these drives, also they have better burn quality then the Samsung 182M.

Hi :slight_smile:
Yes bitsetting has to be done everytime with the Samsung.
With the Pioneer if you’re prepared to crossflash & lose your warranty. Then Buffalo f/w has auto bitsetting.

good info guys. i think i’ll probably take the sammy off the list just because of the bitsetting thing. i almost ordered it earlier today after my research, so i’m glad you filled me in.

Any downsides to the pioneer? i’m ok with flashing to buffalo firmware for bitsetting.

Any thoughts on LG?

I’m open to any other brand/model suggestions as well.

ok nevermind, i see that LG has problems with CD-R errors if burned at full speed. While I might just burn slower, i know that my girlfriend (who this is intended for) would never remember to do that.

The samsung FAQ on CDF seems to indicate that bitsetting is a permanent thing on the samsungs. thoughts?

Have you read this thread about the Samsung burner lead-in error problem? It affects most current models and has no 100% effective firmware fix. Nice drive otherwise.

no i have not, although that thread (at least the first post) implies that it’s a pioneer and lite-on problem as well? i get the impression I don’t want a lite-on anyways for my needs, but pioneer is up there for sure. i’ll have to do more reading…

That thread I linked to is quite long and I’ve read it several times because I was all set to buy that model. But the bottom line is that family of drives has a major issue in placing the lead-in for both -R and +R out of spec for many readers – often including itself. The custom firmware update listed in that thread has reportedly solved the issue for some people, but not for the majority.

If the purpose of buying a DVD writer is for reliable playback of its burns on the majority of players, then the current Samsung internal drive family may disappoint…

ok, so now i’m leaning towards pioneer…downsides? a few people have mentioned the noisiness? losing lightscribe is a minor loss i can deal with.

ok, as i continue to do research, i’m shocked to realize that there really aren’t any drives that handle all the basics well. when did this start happening, or have i just been oblivious in the past? I’ve never had any trouble with my NEC 3500AG (i believe i did flash it at some point to allow automatic booktype setting to dvd-rom). what happened to the good old days where you could just buy a basic DVD+/-RW and could count on it being generally compatible and reliable?

Samsung 182D/M seems to have fixed the leadin issue, but there are many other complaints about compatibility.

Pioneer 112D also seems to work ok, but there are many reports of the inability to write to CD-R after a few months.

The recommended LG drive (forget the model #,42n i think. there are just too many LG drives with similar specs) has C2 errors on CD burns at higher speeds according to CDF review.

LiteOn seems to be used as everyone’s scanning drive, but that’s it. not too useful to me.

Nobody seems to be a big fan of the newer NEC’s, except possibly for those interested in all the firmware available for it.

Am I missing something? Or do I really have to compromise this much?

I have a 3500 and it still works fine.

Most of the older members here have multiple drives for multiple reasons.

If you want to burn CD’s buy a CD burner. If you want to burn DVD’s buy a DVD burner.

Keep reading you will find your answer as you are the only person that can satisfy yourself.

That’s what I’m gathering. At first I wondered why so many people had so many drives, but now I get it. Unfortunately, that solution doesn’t work for me.

I’m exploring the LG H22 drives now…seems promising so far, but I’m sure that will change.

The issues with the Samsung may not be that bad.

Wish I could just get another NEC 3500, but in black. My current one will stay in the current computer. The new build is for my girlfriend. I have no issues burning CDs or DVDs on that drive, so I don’t see why I should need two drives now.

yeah the problem now is they (optical data drive mfg) focus more on DVD burning and don’t pay that much attention to CD burning. Some drives are compatible with both CD/DVD but they are older and harder to find now.

Just keep reading the reviews here and you can make up your own mind pretty much on what you want/need.

My friend gave me an ultimate for new DVD burner (because his NEC 3540A is almost dead). But because I haven’t got any time last few months for reading reviews and threads here, I ask you for opinion. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for my friend is:

  • quality burning DVDs (especially Verbatim MCC) and CDs
  • burner has to be VERY GOOD READER (because he has a lot of old CDs (8 years and more), but only one old TEAC read these medias, other burners and drives have (huge) problems.)
  • long life (I know that this is impossible to say, but he is angry, because last 3 burners died after few months)


  • bitsetting
  • support


  • price

After fast reading my favourite burners are:

  • Plextor PX-760A
  • Plextor PX-760SA
  • LG GSA-H42N
    but I am not sure. So please help me. Thank you.

How about a Plextor Premium for reading/burning CD’s and a Plextor 760A/SA for reading/burning DVD’s since price is not important.

Tnx for answer, but no, he wants to have only one new burner.

Well i guess got for one of the 760A/SA’s i guess. I don’t have either so i cannot verify them.

Also this might get moved as it is high jacking this other persons thread.

the “highjacking” doesn’t bother me at all. it’d even be nice if we could compile a list of the best burners for a given set of requirements. It seems like the desire for burning high quality CDs AND DVDs on a single burner that’s also a good reader is a very common request. If we could come up with a solid recommendation or two for that, we’d could probably sticky it and eliminate a lot of n00b questions. We could even come up with recs for some other things like scanning, DVD only burning, CD only burning, etc.

just a thought.