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.
3) 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.
4) 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!