Opinions please... On New DVD Burner

Hi all, just need a few opinions before I make my purchase of a new DVD writer.
I was considering the NEC 3500, Pioneer DVR108 and the Benq 1620. Which would be the best to get and is there any other I should consider?


I would probably go with the Benq 1620. Quality scanning, auto bitsetting, good quality burns, good factory support. Great value for around $70 US. A firmware update is promised in November for 4x dual layer. Hard to go wrong methinks.
You could also consider the plextor 716, but it’s twice the money and it seems it was released prematurely - needs some firmware work.

Stay off the Plextor 716.
Go for the BenQ 1620.

i have both a pioneer 107d and 108. 2 of the most reliable and best performing pieces of hardware i have ever purchased

Ok, just scanned my local online outlets and it appears there Benq is actually the DW1610 not the 1620a. I’m in the UK, so if anyone knows where to get the 1620 please let me know.
If all else fails are there any major downsides to the NEC3500 or Pioneer 108?


why would you buy a benQ !

erm…just read the CDfreaks review of it and it was held in high esteem…But it looks like I cant get it anyway so it may be the Pioneer or NEC afterall. just reading reviews on them now…

The NEC3500AG is an exellent drive…

That is an outdated review with outdated firmware.

Why don’t you point to a current review with current firmware like this one?

You can’t do error scans with either. The NEC will do auto-bitsetting with cross-flashing to a different firmware (like mad dog 2.F8). The Pioneer will likely never do bitsetting. They are both very good drives, you just get more features and flexibility with the BenQ.

The BenQ is also sold under the Philips name I believe. You might want to check that on the forum?

Just to bring this to life again…anyone from the UK know if this Benq drive is available here?


well myself and my brother has bought the nec 3500 a couple of months ago–and we bought are very satified with the nec3500-oh yes i would purchase the nec again
owned 3 sonys
3 hp
well thats my take on nec 3500

Me and I friend just bought nec 3500 too. Go for it = best burner I could find.


There is a decent November 1 review of all these drives posted in the NEC hardware forum-

It may take some of the guesswork out of your search (the NEC 3500 came out on top)-


Nec Or Pioneer.
You will not be wrong, that’s for sure.
I cannot tell for the benq. I had the feeling that benq was usually scrap but I’m probably wrong, the reviews are good and the users look happy.
But Nec or Pioneer is still what I recommend.
Pioneer now support bit-setting via Piodata firmware (not hacked).
In terms of features, they now share the same.

Check the priceand be happy: those are good burners.

BenQ 1620 and don’t look back…

That isn’t entirely true. The Pioneer 108 does do auto-bitsetting for DVD9 +R discs. Either way, for single layer it isn’t a big issue. If you pick up a quality DVD-R disc you will be just fine.

Pioneer is a member of the -R consortium. I was surprised to hear they let piodata have a single layer bitset firmware. Pioneers burn -R well in general. But to have highest settop player compatibility, there is nothing better than DVD-Rom Booktype. For most people it doesn’t matter. But if you give discs to relatives or friends it might be a concern.


I have found that both my 3500’s have problems burning movie backups with +R media - and none with -R’s (assuming good media)-

However I have had great success in copying an already burnt disc to +R media with both - and the booktype to DVD-rom makes them then super compatable with standalones-

So all is good-