Pioneer 107d: worth buying?

I’ m new to DVD writers, and burning in general. I have spent a lot of time between a lot of different sites to try, and find a low budget reliable dvd-RW. I have been using a cicero 4-2-4 cd rw the past 6 - 8 years(laser just burned out) so I’m kinda of clueless, as to what I should look out for when purchasing a dvd-RW.

I would like to use the drive mainly for data backup. My previous cd-rw kinda sucked, and I have had a lot of bad luck with finding good medium to burn on, so when it comes to data storage on cd’s and dvd’s I don’t have a lot of faith in them.

I was looking at the nec 2500, but when I went to nec’s site I noticed they don’t even support their own product, so that model is completely out of the question, as I’m not comfortable using other peoples firmware because of warrenty issues(bad luck with hardware).

Is the pioneer the right choice for what I need to do (data backup)? If so, what should I look out for when purchasing it (OEM). I have read some posts about people that have bought “grey imports”, and their firmware couldn’t be updated. Also, what information should I look out for, besides manufacturing date?

Just another quick question. What is the advantage of using + or - medium? Is one more expensive then the other?

Any help is appreciated.

Is the Pioneer 107D worth buying? Sure, especially at its current price. If you are intent on doing data back up on DVDs, a few recommendations: use + R rather than –R and pay for premium media made by Taiyo Yuden or Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation. Silver top (unbranded) Taiyo Yuden DVD+Rs run from $1.25 to $1.50 a disk, which is steep, but you get what you pay for. If you do buy the 107D, be sure to upgrade to the latest firmware before you start archiving data.

Thanks for the response. I didn’t want to have to go through all that trial and error of finding reliable media since DVD blanks are quite expensive. I’ll go with the +R, and taiyo yuden like you suggested. Should I pay close attention to the manufacturing date of the drive? Which dates should I look out for?

Just a quick question. Do people use the “-” format mainly for compatability with stand-alone DVD players, or are there some other advantages to it?

DVD-R is supposedly more compatible with stand-alone players (and is so in PS2s and X-Boxes) and in some cases cheaper than +R. The variables involved in testing media compatibility are so numerous that most studies falter and never present strong, stalwart conclusions. Strong anecdotal evidence suggests that –R has the edge, however. There are also far more “budget,” DVD-R media manufactures, so price plays a factor in going –R as well. Most people consider +R the superior format and it is in many ways, although that does mean that the + format’s victory over – is assured. In fact, I imagine that it means nothing.

My 107D is from one of the oldest batches and I have yet to have a major problem with it since I flashed it from its shipping firmware (1.05) to 1.09 and beyond. Even with its original firmware it the 107D was very reliable. In other words, no matter when the drive was manufactured, it unlikely that you will encounter problems based on the age of its batch.

You can’t go wrong with Taiyo Yuden media. I order them mostly from They have competitive prices and they always deliver on time with no fuss. Hassle free shopping is worth paying a few cents more per disk, especially with most media outlets being consumer nightmares…that notwithstanding, there is a list of media stores on this site, so shop around.

Don’t give up on the Nec 2500 so quickly. I would suggest either a LiteOn 812S ($85 US) or the from Nec 2500A ($77 US). The prices are at If your looking for support, you probably wont find great support on any drive purchased. If you spend the time you will find review a of the Pioneer 107d drive on this website. Is the 107d worth buying, absolutely? I don’t think that it has continued in the tradition of the 106, however. I recommended the 107 to a friend awhile back; he purchased one and has had very few problems. It just doesn’t write to the -R media nearly as well as his 106. If you look in the Nec and the LiteOn forums you will find many specialized firmwares. If I had to choose, I think I would go with the LiteOn 812S, it’s relatively inexpensive and the firmware will be officially supported for quit a while. If you read around on this site you will find many unofficial firmwares which if you are daring enough to use them, will give them many additional benefits. One of them is to, unfortunately, void your warrantee. Just spend some time looking around before you purchase.

The +R and -R have about the same compatibility, if you set the book-type to DVD-ROM for the +R. I don’t know if the Pioneer 107d can do that. Taiyo Yuden disc are expensive, but are of excellent quality. But I just purchased some Maxell -R (made in Japan media code MXL RG02) at $20 for 2 15 packs on sale at Office Depot, sorry the sales over now, but sales come and go. These disc are high quality also, and the cost was $00.67 each plus tax. Disc like these and the Taiyo Yudens can be written a 8X with the other drives. Pioneer has categorically stated that they will not enable 8X recording on 4X certified disc, no matter what the quality. My advice is to look around the various forums and then make your decision.


Thanks for the feedback :slight_smile: I have looked around quite a bit, and gone through many reviews and forums. I’ll take one last look at the lite-On 812s, but I’ve made my decision to stay away from the nec 2500. I know it’s a great burner with awesome hacked firmware support, but I can’t stand the fact that Nec doesn’t support it on their site :frowning:

Thanks for the media recommendations. I’ll definitely go with the taiyo yuden ones.

The problem with this site’s review of the 107D is that users of the drive rarely if ever report the problems it cited. Further, reviews of the 107D on other sites are glowing. I think it may be fair to assume that the 107D reviewed was in some way defective. Even with the 1.05 firmware I had none of the problems that the drive was supposed to have and I have written only two coasters out of many, many, many CMC, MCC, TY and even Richo disks.

If you are doing high quality archival work with money and time involved, why would you ever risk using an unofficial firmware?

I think the 2500A is a solid drive, but for +R archival it’s hard not to recommend the 107D. Go look at scans of TY disks burnt with the latest firmware on the 107D. They speak for themselves.

It’s a little difficult for me to recommend any optical media for high quality archival purposes, regardless of the drive and firmware, official or not! I do understand that compromises are necessary, however. Once you make that leap to put data backups on optical media some of the unoffical firmware out there would work quite well. My friends experience is not the same as that of the site’s review of the 107D, but it doesn’t compare with his 106 either.

t’s a little difficult for me to recommend any optical media for high quality archival purposes, regardless of the drive and firmware, official or not!

I have to agree with you there. For extreme backups, a tape drive would be a better option. I still don’t fully trust optical storage too much myself. Ever since I bought that 50 pack of cd-r’s from mitsumi, and only one out of all of them worked, and that one went defective after a week, I have been extremely skeptical about optical storage.

Anyways, I have decided to go with the pioneer drive. It seemed too good to pass up, and has exactly what I’m looking for (excellent write quality, and fast burning). Now I just have to get up-to-date on my DVD terminlogy, and testing software(kprobe) etc…

Does anyone know how many minutes on average DVD’s can hold? I ask this becuase I usually download anime series, and burn them to vcd. I was wondering what is the more cost effective approach.

Thanks for all your help :slight_smile:

I was going to buy the Pioneer 107D or the LiteOn 812S but I am holding out for a week or two until the Dual Layer burners hit the UK market.

I don’t want “half” of a DVD burner, but then again, I have a need for Dual Layer burning and am considering either the NEC 2510 or the LiteOn 832S.

That unofficial firmware to which I was referring in my earlier post is:812S@832S and 2500A@2510A. That’s why these drives have some advantage over Pioneer 107D. It’s always better to wait and purchase the 832S or the 2510A, but they are identical to the 812S and the 2500A except for the firmware. These firmwares are out now, but there isn’t adequate dual layer media available to test the drives.

Dual Layered media is going to have a lot of bugs to be wrinkled out.

People who think that NEC is going to support flashing their 2500As to 2510s and that all will work smoothly are wildly optimistic. Read reviews of dedicated DL drives: even they have major issues. Burning ten-dollar coasters and having my successful writes not work in set top DVD players does not sound appealing to me. It’s about more than ability: it’s about quality.

The Pioneer 107D is a great drive. Highly recommended. NEC 2500 is not bad either - especially the chance to add dual layer capability. But if you really want dual layer, I would directly get a NEC 2510. If you are satisfied with single layer burning, the Pioneer is the best choice. Only disadvantage: It does NOT support bitsetting - and probably never will support it.