Plextor & Media Redux... Argh



My ongoing “adventure” with my Plextor 708a continues… and it keeps costing me time and money. I am glad I am documenting all of this for an article I am working on which I hope will help others who are embarking on the same journey as I. Long term experts, please chime in with your ideas and help!

  1. I’ve been through lesson #1 - if you want to have a better chance of a quality burn, stick with 2x or 2.4x. I have just had so much annoyance trying to burn at higher speeds without the annoying pixel problem!

  2. Sony DVD-R media seems to get along with my Plextor just fine, but I have just spent hours and hours with Ritek G04 DVD-R 4x (inkjet printable) media only to discover the Plextor HATES it. I should be kicking myself for not examining the burn quality earlier, but on disc after disc, pixels around the last 10-15 minutes. It is so aggravating, time consuming, and expensive to keep playing Russian Roulette with DVD media! I wish things worked a lot better.

Can folks please give me some recommendations for DVD +R and -R media that will work consistently well with the Plextor (preferably reasonably close to TY in quality but not at their prices! - $2 a DVD is steep!) I am assuming the Riteks are probably a better choice for a Pioneer and not so great for the Plextor.

  1. I have rediscovered the PIO issue and solved that thanks to the FAQ. Can someone let me know if the PIO issue can be responsible for bad burns (ie. pixels), or is it mostly an issue of slow burns. This might be a contributing factor to my lousy burn luck, but I am still suspecting the media.

  2. Does the Plextor self-test do a careful run of tests that would pick up on a drive going close to out of specs or is it a basic series of tests that basically just indicate if it works or not. I don’t want to mess with the self-test if it’s really not comprehensive.

I have never had a device give me so many headaches, and I really want to find a winning formula that will give me a chance to relax and not worry about every DVD I burn. Are there programs out there that can check burn quality automatically and pick up on problems, or is visually inspecting each burn still the only real option.

Any other advice welcomed too!


First of all RITEK is on Plextor’s compatible brand list. I suggest you use the recommended brands that Plextor supports. I use TDK DVD-R, MAXELL DVD-R 4x speed, VERBATIM DVD-R, & IMATION (RICOH) DVD+R 4x that can be burned@8x. Those are on the recommended list of media to use. I also use cheapo COMPUSA DVD-R that is manufactured by PRINCO that is considered crap media but it works for me. Lastly I also use RITEK DVD-R 4x speed that works fine. Not all brands that are on the compatible list work such as MEMOREX DVD+R 4x speed which is manufactured by CMC which is crap media.

Check Plextors site here’s the links

I have no problems with using the above brands of media. They all playback fine on my standalone dvd players. The only media that I had a problem w/ is MEMOREX.

If your drive is set in PIO mode it can cause burning to take a longer period of time. It should be set to DMA mode. There are many variables in burning and authoring dvds. From the software to the way the drive is setup in your pc. It would be helpful if you state what software programs you are using.


Using DVD Shrink with the Nero burning engine.

Got a note back from the supplier of the media indicating they’d had many returns on the inkjet printable Ritek media I chose. Compatibility issues with the Plextor and Ritek are “now more common than we’ve seen before.” Perhaps some manufacturing process has changed.

I have had good luck with the Ricoh media, but finding it can be difficult. Memorex these days is often Ricoh, and they work fine for me. Verbatim is going downhill, as they are now mixing in CMC el-junko discs into their spindles, and they are terrible.

I wish retailers would start specifying actual media manufacturers when moving a shipment of discs. It would be so much more helpful to know if something is a Ritek, a CMC, or a Ricoh.

  1. That is likely caused by bad media, I’ve never had any issues at 4X using both -R,+R (TY, MCC,TDK,Maxell etc).

  2. I’ve burned several Ritek G04 discs (Traxdata DVD-R) flawlessy and they all work like a charm.

  3. Since you get a little space untouched so I suppose it could lead to pixel issues but this are just speculations from my side.

Media that I works fine on my drive is:
Traxdata -R 4X RitekG04
Verbatim -R 4X TY
Maxell -R 4X Maxell
Verbatim +R 4X RICOH/MCC
Verbatim +R 2.4X MCC
…and a few more