PO/PI tests with Plextools : frustrations and questions

Hello everybody,

I installed my PX 760A a few hours ago, I burned my first DVD, and wanted to run a quality test on the result.
My first deception was that Nero CD-DVD Speed cannot be used with the PX 760 (I had a Benq before). :doh: Thus I turned to Plextools.

The results are not bad, but a detail is quite frustrating in the PI/PO tests :
I cannot set the appropriate range for errors. In the 8 sum test, the range choice is 500 or 100, and my PI errors peak at 22, with an average of 5,65. In the sum 1 test, the choice is the same an my PIFs peak at 3 ! The graphs are hardly useful ! :rolleyes:
I must have missed something because I saw on another thread (where the quality results are posted) that people have Plextool graphs with ranges 10 or 20. I saw also that they have a nice text under the graph showing the results and the test conditions. How do they do ? :confused:

I noticed also that most of the tests are made not with Plextools but with CD-DVD Speed or with Kprobe (of course using an appropriate drive). Does it mean that Plextool is not very reliable ? Or it is not very convenient ? Does it mean then that if you want to run quality tests systematically on all burns it is better to have another drive ? (I have a Benq 1640 but it was built-in and I had to unplug it to install my PX 760. Is there a way to use it ?)

A Plextor beginner

gabier :slight_smile:

You can set the display range (Y-axis) to anything you like in PlexTools - just type in whatever you want instead of choosing the ranges in the menu.

PlexTools Disc Quality scanning only works with Plextor drives, while Nero CD-DVD Speed and KProbe can’t perform Disc Quality scanning with Plextor drives. The programs display and calculate data from what the drives are reporting, so bugs aside it’s really a matter of the drives being reliable, not a matter of the software being reliable.

Plextor drives are very slow for performing Disc Quality scanning on DVDs; they scan at 2x and cannot scan for PIE (Sum8 or Burst) and PIF (Sum1) at the same time. So if you need to perform a lot of DVD scanning, there are much faster choices available such as LiteOn drives.

The tests with the Plextools are more reliable, then with CD-DVD Speed or Kprobe. c’t, a German computer magazine, has tested in the past the different possibilities to determine the quality of a DVD. The Plextools have been the best software solution.

:doh: How silly I am. I just did not look at the dialog box !!!

You are right, I noticed that when people give results for the same DVD but from different scanning drives the results are a little different.
What drives you consider are fairly reliable for quality scanning of video DVDs ?

OK, I will consider this possibility.

Thanks :slight_smile:


Excellent question with no simple answer.

I don’t rely on a single scanning drive or scanning method, but rather on a combination of tests in different drives in order to as best as possible determine the “quality” of a disc after it has been burned. This is far too time consuming to do for every disc burned, so it’s something I only do for every new combination of drive, firmware, media, burn speed and setting if relevant (e.g. SolidBurn, WOPC, HyperTuning, Online HyperTuning, Auto Strategy, etc).

Once I have a reasonably good understanding of the quality achieved by such a combination of factors, I test every burn with a simple read test (verify and/or Read Transfer Test) and a high-speed scan at 16x in my LiteOn 165P6S drive.

This should not be considered as a final solutions, but merely as my currently preferred testing method based on my experience so far.

Even all these available tests put together don’t reliably predict how my pickiest DVD player will react to the burned DVD (only relevant for Video).

For CD media I rely mostly on BenQ Advanced Disc Quality scans combined with C1/C2/CU scanning on a Plexor drive.

Your “solution” sounds quite logical, I will retain its spirit, because I am not going to buy and use an army of drives. :wink:
Does Kprobe scan at the same time PIE in 8 blocks and PIF in 1 block, or does it scan as DVD-Speed does, i.e. PIE and PIF at the same time, but both in 8 blocks ? If the latter is true, Plextool is nearer the ECMA specification, is it not ?

Gabier :slight_smile:


I would be interested to read those tests, but if they are in german, I won’t be able to understand it.


KProbe scans at 1 ECC but it will let you display the results as you like, with PIE per 8 ECC and PIF per 1 ECC (just like the ECMA standards) being the default. Note that converting from errors per 1 ECC block to errors per N ECC blocks is a trivial job of just adding the individual numbers, while the reverse is theoretically impossible.

If that wasn’t suffienctly clear then let me rephrase it:

KProbe scans PIE/PIF correctly by default as PIE per 8 ECC and PIF per 1 ECC. You can choose other interval settings if you like.

It is indeed clear. And if the scanning at 16X, as you do, is enough for routine tests, then it is quite effective.

Thanks for these advices. For the time being I will get used to the Plextor and use Plextools for tests. When I will be tired because it’s too long I will consider buying a LiteOn drive, and find out which one to buy.

No doubt I will come back on this very good forum soon.

Gabier :slight_smile: