I bought a BenQ DW1650 a little under a year ago and was thrilled
with the quality of burns I had been getting, especially with Sony
rebranded 8x TY DVD+R’s - almost always sub-100 PIFs. After those
discs ran out, I switched to unbranded TY (premium) 8x +R’s and -R’s.
Those results were less impressive, but acceptable. Then I started
buying various flavors of Verbatims (8x-16x, -R and +R, whatever
100-disc spindle of Verbatims that buy.com or newegg.com had on
sale. These worked fairly well, with the 8x discs scanning better than
16x. Now I just bought my first spindle of Verbatim 16x DVD+R (95098)
and am getting crappy burns (PIFs anywhere from a best of around
1200 to worst of 8000). These are Prodisc Verbs, the best as I can tell.
I also have a stash of TY02’s that are getting so-so results. Not terrible,
but just not as fantastic as they used to be. An update to BCIC didn’t
seem to help any. I must have put 600 discs through the thing, so I
can’t rule out age/wear and tear. I’ve certainly gotten my $40 out of it.
I finally realized that it it probably time to let the 1650 go. Instead of
spending $$$ trying to find media that it likes, in a world of $35 writers
it would be simpler and cheaper to just buy a new one.
That leaves me with the question - what do I buy? It’s been almost a
year since I shopped for a writer, and I’m sure much has changed. Is
there a “hot” writer at the moment? Preferably something that will digest
easily-found media (Verbatims, TY’s).
Please excuse me while I take the 1650 out back and shoot it.