Pioneer BDR-205 (Best Way to Check Write Quality?)



So out of old-fashioned curiosity, I was interested in seeing what “sheep level” this writer is. I re-downloaded the old “weak sectors utility” test and burned the sd2old, sd251, sd290, and sheep3 files.

Using WinDiff, I attempted to compare the folders.

The BDR-205 was able to make out the sd2old and sd251 files as identical, but the sd290 and sheep3 files as unreadable. Which I guess makes that out to be a 2-sheep burner?

My Toshiba SD-R5112 and Creative Labs Encore DVD8400e both could only read the sd251.dat file burned with the BDR-205. They couldn’t even read the sd2old file.

Then I burned the disc again, this time using the Toshiba. With this disc, all three drives could read the sd2old and sd251 files, but could not read the sd290 or sheep3 files.

What this essentially comes out to, is that my new burner cannot write a file that my older drives can read, but my older burner can write a file that both my old and new drive can read. So basically, my old burner can write discs of better quality than my new BDR-205, right? I mean, I find it incredibly odd that both my writers can correctly write the sd251 file, but the newer BDR-205 cannot write a good sd2old file. Supposedly, the sd251 is harder to write than the sd2old, so how is it that even possible?

So is there a better method for easily testing how advanced the burn quality of a drive is? It worries me now that some time down the line, I’m going to end up having discs with unreadable file because I’ve upgraded from my BDR-205 to something newer, and those drives won’t be able to read them. :S


The “sheep” tests aren’t exactly related to burning quality. The sheep tests were used to judge whether a burner is able to burn Safedisc protected backups - as the discs involved some special bit patterns (called Weak Sectors) if I remember correctly. The inability to read back a copy of these special sectors means that your burner cannot produce these special bit patterned sectors which are required for a working backup copy of a Safedisc protected disc. The weak sectors do not normally occur in normal data - they are special to this DRM. Using the sheep tests to judge a burner’s write quality is not a valid test in my opinion. The ability or inability of a drive to reproduce these bit patterns often comes down to the chipset that the burner uses and how it was designed, and also possibly the firmware.

The burn quality of a disc usually relates to the block error or bit error rate - this can be tested using Nero CD/DVD Speed with a suitable drive for a PI/PIF/Jitter (for DVD) or a C1/C2/Jitter (for CD). A simple Scandisc can often be performed on most drives to indicate readability - however, it doesn’t give you as detailed information as the tests above.


and to perform a Quality Scan you need a special Blu-ray drive, most Lite-ons, two current Samsungs and some plextors can do.

All the drives I mentioned are lite-on clones.


Could you please be more specific. I have been looking for a new BD burner that I can use for burn quality testing…

Many thanks!