PX-716A Firmware 1.06 worse than 1.05 on low-speed burns

vbimport

#1

I’ve done a few scans on DVDs burned since I upgraded to the 1.06 firmware. I then compared then to scans burned with the 1.05 firmware (but read on the same drive upgraded to 1.06). My conclusion is that although Plextor seems to have improved the burn quality for 8X and 16X burns (my observation also), they have done it at the expense of quality for low-speed (4X and 6X CLV) burns. I’ve checked a few discs burned at these speeds with 1.05 firmware and a few with 1.06 firmware, so this observation is not on just two samples.

In the attached scans, both are RICOHJPNR01 media (Memorex branded) burned at 6X CLV. ISO images were made with ImgTool Classic and burned with DVD Decrypter.

The first scan (with total PIE of 34477) was burned on my drive with 1.05 firmware, and read back in the same drive with 1.06 firmware.

The other scan (total PIE of 154271) was burned on the same drive with 1.06 firmware and read back with the same.

As you can see the average and total numbers of PIE errors has more than quadrupled, and the peak has doubled!

Why cannot Plextor improve high-speed writing quality without damaging the writing quality at lower CLV speeds, which is what I prefer to burn DVD-VIDEO at?

Disappointed,

Fordman


#2

I have noticed noticeable fluctuations between two burns with the same DVDs, the same speed and the same firmware. Perhaps it’s the same for you.

Here are two examples, burned after each other, using DVDs from the same spindle (Verbatim DVD+R 16x burned at 12x):




#3

Well, it was consistently worse on the 1.06 burns than all the 1.05 burns. There was not one exception. ALL burns made with 1.05 firmware are worse like this example versus those made with 1.06 firmware, regardless of when the burns were made. All were from media from the same spindle…

Meanwhile, the 1.06 firmware DOES seem to have improved 8X, 12X and 16X burns, but by a much smaller margin than it worsened teh lower speed CLV burns…


#4

FordMan your scans both like fine. I agree, there are more errors on the discs that were burned with firmware 1.06 but I’ve said this many times before: PI/PO scans should always taken with a grain of salt: they represent how a particular drive can read a particular disc. The fluctuations can be the result of media variations, drive variations (temperature for instance), etc. Personally, I wouldn’t worry about the results you’re getting. Judging on the scans you posted, the discs burned with 1.06 will be readable in any device you put them in.

Edit: just saw this thread, maybe interesting for you FordMan: Quality of burned DVD better than pressed DVD?


#5

Frankly you are worrying far to much. Scanning results vary because of two reasons:

a) No scan is ever the same. Try scanning the same disk several times. You’ll never get the same result. The difference in absolute values you’re reporting above might bei attributed fully to this fact alone.

b) No burn ist ever the same. Even with the same firmware you might have got a similar difference because of a certain variance that comes with media quality and other factors (was the disc centered properly; temperature; etc.)

Both burns above are perfectly OK, seen from a PIE perspective. If you really want to check whether there has been a change in the burning-strategy of the firmware, do a beta/jitter scan and compare the Beta graph.


#6

I made a few burns too, but only on CD-R, audio data.
My Plextor is a factory TLA#0203 (obviouvsly, now is TLA#0206…)
I had the same impression. I can’t post my scans (I’m away from home), but I guarantee that with fw 1.06 the Jitter-Beta values are higher than with 1.05, with VariRec enabled (with values -4 and 0), and low writing speeds (4x).
I tried to change the IDE driver from nForce to the original provided by Microsoft, but same results… I think I’ll revert back to 1.05, or wait for 1.07…


#7

Beta values being higher doesn’t matter, as long as they aren’t too high. Important is that beta

  • is between -5% and +15%. I’ve seen discs having -15% or +25%, which is bad for some readers
  • does not have big jumps

#8

I agree, too.
High beta values aren’t very important.
They are only a test on how that media was “handled” by the burner.
But low jitter values are more important, especially with the “old” CD-Audio book standards. Almost any CD-DA Player can read CD-Rs with high jitter values, but the decoded audio signal quality will decrease (and maybe will become more audible!)


#9

Hi G@M3FR3@K,

Yes, I know that the PIE values are under 280 or whatever the threshold value is, however having over 4X as many and averaging over 4X as high IS statistically significant. I was merely pointing out that Plextor’s 1.06 firmware adjustments have affected low speed CLV quality. Meanwhile, if I put in several discs burned at low speeds with the 1.04U firmware, I get even better results than the 1.05, so this has been a steady degredation. Yes, if I flash back, I get the original results with that firmware, so my drive is not going bad…

I looked at that thread, and it’s an invalid premise, because the original poster was “comparing apples and oranges” - namely dual-layer pressed DVDs to single-layer burned DVDs. He changed to variables, and we’ve already seen that dual-layer burns are worse than single-layer burns. As a matter of a fact, his scans from the dual-layer pressed DVDs look almost exactly like the scans from the burned dual-layer DVDs!

Meanwhile I marvel that DVDs burned on this same RICOHJPNR01 media at 4X on my LiteOn 1633S drive, and scanned with the PX-716A 1.06 produces awesome scans. Unfortunately the LiteOn drives are bad at making dual layer burns (both my 1633s and 832s), which is the only reason I picked up the Plextor…


#10

But you’re doing the same thing, who’s to say if the firmware upgrade also affects how the drive reads discs? It could very well be that with the newer firmware the drive picks up more errors. I still say that there are too many variables to conclude that firmware 1.06 is worse than 1.04 at lower speed burns. Don’t get me wrong, you may be right but still, the scans look fine and thus, I don’t see any reason why you should be alarmed. But that’s a personal opinion of course!


#11

It was quite plain to me as well! However I had the feeling that nobody doubts the quality of pressed dual-layer DVDs although these are in the quality partial worse. And if this quality is already sufficient, why thus the excitement with the burned single-layer DVDs? That should only inspire for considerations what a reasonably value measurement/limit for Q-Checks is.


#12

That’s incorrect - I actually didn’t do the same thing. If you look at the scans, BOTH were read with my drive at firmware 1.06, so the only variable with firmware was which it was burned with, and I explained which was burned with 1.05 and which was burned with 1.06. So, if 1.06 is more sensitive to pick up more errors, it would have found more on the 1.05 burned DVD+R also, right? So, no, I only changed ONE variable, which is good experimental design. Of course each individual DVD+R may vary, but as I said all came from the same spindle and I scanned several 1.05/1.06 pairs burned from this spindle…

So, the conclusion holds.


#13

FordMan, although you showed the differences between burns on 1.05 and 1.06, but nobody knows whether plextor changed the writing strategies for that particular media @4x or not. Furthermore, if we rely on plextor’s changelog, the 1.06 doesnt say anything about writing strategies and writing quality.

1.05 changelog
Date posted: March 28, 20005

  • Improved the performance and write strategies of AutoStrategy with both DVD-R and DVD +R media.
  • Improved the writing performance and quality on DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL.
  • Improved the disc mounting performance with DVD-R DL media.Improved the performance of PoweRec so that the user may not override any media write strategy setting assigned by PoweRec.
  • Fixed a bug where a DVD+R disc which may have additional date added, is recognized as a DVD-ROM and will not be able to write to it.
  • Added support for new DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media.Added support to write at 6X on some DVD media if supported by PoweRec.

while 1.06 changelog
Date posted: April 1, 2005

  • Fixed a bug introduced in 1.05 firmware which could result in a write error while burning on some brands of DVD+/-RW media.
  • Fixed a bug introduced in 1.05 firmware in which a user could not disable PoweRec and select any specific write speed in Roxio Creator applications.

My point is, like others have said, its mainly due to many things:

  • media variations, not all disk-- even from the same spindle, is the same.
  • system interactions, how your pc, software, burner and media interacts at each burn.
  • environmental condition, such as temperature, humidity etc.

#14

Hi zevia,

The fact that I’ve tested 7 pairs of 1.05/1.06 burned RICOHJPNR01 DVD+Rs from the same spindle, and all followed this same pattern (4X+ greater PIE errors with 1.06) defies the laws of probability that these were ALL random variations. But just to put an end to the question, I re-flashed to 1.05 and burned a couple discs, then immediately flashed back to 1.06 and burned the same two images to two more discs (again, from the same spindle), and THEN scanned again with the firmware at 1.06, and yes, the 1.05 burned discs were 4X better than the 1.06 ones! OK, so much for random variation…these were all done at the same humidity and temperature, etc.

OK, so Plextor didn’t advertise changing the 4X/6X writing strategies. How many times have you seen bugs introduced by other fixes? I guess that was an implied question in my original post…why cannot they fix high speed burning without affecting low speed burning quality? Since the strategies are separate, it would seem they are handled separately…

I think I may flash back to 1.05 and wait for 1.07…


#15

I’ve made bad experiences with change logs concerning one of my old mainboards. I don’t give a **** about what’s written in change logs anymore. :a


#16

Fordman

Just to back up your observations, I notice that none of my burns with 1.06 will read on my Tag McLaren DVD player. But burns made with 1.05 play just fine. I don’t know the reason for this, but clearly 1.05 is producing more “readable” disks - on my DVD player at least.

Chip


#17

Fordman, you might be right though. That’s why I said “if we rely on changelog…”

hmm… I need to test it myself to believe it, however fortunately I’m too lazy to test @4x since the quality I got @8x or higher is just fine. :slight_smile:


#18

Not just “fine” but MUCH better than 4X or 6X! That is really strange to me…that I can get better quality (less PIE) at 8X than 4X or 6X. Could it be due to the periodic laser calibrations that cause the buffer underrun feature to kick in? I know that the “CodeGuys,” who developed Omnipatcher for LiteOn firmware developed an optimized firmware for the 832S that forces recalibration even for low-speed CLV writes, supposedly to increase the quality of the burn. This of course forces the buffer underrun protection to activate, and therefore necessitates re-linking…

The activation of the buffer underrun protection and the re-linking is the reason I don’t like to burn DVD-VIDEO at P-CAV or CAV. I know that the Plextor supposedly has the “lossless linking” that supposedly prevents leaving gaps where the burn resumes, but I still remember vividly how this problem could cause audio glitches on recorded audio CDs with the prior versions of the buffer underrun technology.

Also, I’ve noted that when the Plextor downshifts the speed for whatever reason (PowerRec), appearance of the burned surface can sometimes vary in darkness where the shift took place…makes me wonder how robust the P-CAV technology is…


#19

After reading this post (and Fordman’s, too), I’m suspecting that Plextor could have made some sort of “compromise” between low/high speed burn quality in FW 1.06, and these affected CD burning.
As I explained a few posts ago, my CD (and DVD) burns went worse with 1.06.