What Pioneer should I buy ? Please help

Ok, I was going to buy a LG GSA-4160B as soon as it arrived to Italy. But 2 hours ago I read on LG Italy site that “firmware flashing is risky and should be done only by very experienced personnel” and that “is done at your own risk and not officially supported” :eek:. That sucked, as firmware flashing is now very simple and I don’t think I need someone with years of experience to do that. Plus, the LG was based on a pretty old technology (8x DVD-R writing) and these facts made me discard it, definitely.

I am now thinking of buying a Pioneer drive. But I’m uncertain about:

  • What is Pioneer’s latest DVDRW unit (DVR-108 ? DVR-A08 ?)

  • Writing quality (Pioneer is a good brand to me, but I have read of people having problems with some **3 burner)

  • Bitsetting support (is it limited to 255 book type changes ? Is it supported for DVD+R even single layer?)

Pioneer Electronics official site reports latest internal E-IDE DVDRW unit is the DVR-A08XL. 16X DVD±R support, DVD+R9 4X writing. But Pioneer Australian web site reports another unit!

I have also heard (Jamos has said it) that Pioneer is a very good SafeDisc 3.x killer!

Any help would be very appreciated.

Thanx! :wink:

The DVR-A08XL is as far as I know, a retail version of the DVR-108. It is the latest drive. I think there are subtle differences but not worth the price difference. Have a look at the NEC-3500 as well. Both are great drives.

Yeah get a 108. Good drive. Shame no bitsetting yet. But i did say yet! …wont be long hopefully

How did you guess that ? :wink: I am choosing between the A08XL and NEC ND-3500A!

I have collected the following info’s

  1. Latest Pioneer unit as of 29/09/2004 is the A08XL
  2. Writing quality: high (as for a Pioneer)
  3. Bitsetting: not supported for single layer, double layer media is automatically set to DVD-ROM (and no hacked firmware to do the job!)
  4. SafeDisc 3.x killing: no info’s other than Jamos’ one.

NEC ND-3500A infos:

  1. Latest internal E-IDE, non-slim NEC DVDRW unit is the ND-3500. ND-3500 = ND-3500A = ND-3500AG. Official tech site here
  2. Writing quality: very high (couldn’t make a comparison between its and Pioneer’s… maybe someone has)
  3. Bitsetting: not supported for single layer media, double layer is automatically set to DVD-ROM [B]BUT[/BUT] there are Maddog’s and Herrie’s firmwares which can do the job. Someone has told me there are also official ND-3500A’s with Maddog firmware (so you wouldn’t void the warranty)… does anybody know ?
  4. SafeDisc 3.x killing: don’t know anything

As they are truly great drives, the only noticeable differences are the SL bitsetting support (with hacked firmware and maybe official) and a lower price for the NEC. Pioneer, on the other side, has been reported to be a very good SD3 killer.

Look at this link named: Battle of the burners.

That’s why I’ve decided to buy the 108.
I do not care about bitsetting. I just buy -R :wink:

Thanks a lot for the answer RickTheRed!

My doubt was bitsetting support which was available for the NEC, but now I don’t care much because most DVD TV players read at least DVD-R without problems; and there aren’t noticeable differences between -R and +R right ? (except burn’n’playback simultaneously). So DVD-R are perfect for TV players!

I think I’ll buy the DVR-A08.

Another question as well: difference between DVR-A08 and DVR-108 = DVR-108 is OEM right ? And what’s the one between DVR-A08 and DVR-A08XL ?

As far as I know, the DVR-A08XL is the deluxe version of the DVR-108 with a better looking face plate and has a honeycomb chasis. The software package is much more extensive and you can reduce the drive speed for a quieter drive. (I’m not really sure on this but I think Nero Drivespeed does the same thing…)