What would be the best DVD-ROM player to test PIE/PIF?




I’m new here so, no flames please :wink:

I’ve just bought the NEC 3540 burner and I’ve been doing some Quality testing with it. But some threats on this forum state that testing the PIE/PIF on let’s say a BenQ 16x50x, DVP 1650S DVD-ROM drive, gets completely different results. The BenQ drive rates (with NERO cd-dvd-speed quality test) the same
DVD-disk much better than with the NEC 3540.

So, I’m looking to buy a good DVD-ROM player which of course can do PIE/PIF.

Can anyone advice me to a brand and type?




I have not seen any DVD-ROM that will “reliably” test media - apparently the burners do the better job - and the LiteOn and BenQ seem to do the best - seems to be some questions regarding the Plextors accuracy-

Do a “search” you should come up with days of reading on this subject-



i’m going to have to respectfully disagree with your statement here…there’s been no evidence whatsoever that any of these three brands is more or less accurate than another one. they each scan based on how they see the disc which has nothing to do with “accuracy” per se…

perhaps a read of this article is in order for both of you: CATS vs. Home-made scans


I feel that the results may vary, but no matter which drive you use, as long as it supports testing, should supply you with results that are accurate enough to tell you if you media is a dog or not. Best test for me is to see if my panasonic standalone will play it. It’s pretty picky, and if it plays in that, it’s good for any unit.


many agree that a read transfer rate test (with a reasonably fast reader) is the one of the best (and quickest) methods to determine the quality of a particular burn.


Yo drpino-

Thank you for sharing that with us-

Good reading - and insightful-



Thanx for the info!

I just hope and wish that manufactures of DVD-ROM drives (not the burners) all include
PIE/PIF testing in their hardware.



no problem guys - that article is a very good read for us Freaks…

pl_verschoor, we can dream can’t we? :wink:


I think life is a dream…


It depends on what you want from your testing. If you are just looking for a gross method of determining that the DVD will be playable then a ROM or a transfer test will suffice. If you want to determine the minute differences between different media and different drives, then you will need to go with a burner.

I prefer Liteon, others have their own opinion. Considering the low cost of a scan supported burner, it makes sense to spend the extra $25 or so. I have found out a lot of useful information concerning my burn quality that I would not have gleaned from a gross measurement.

Needless to say, a $50 burner will not give you the results of a CATS machine, but for those of us who want more than just running a disc at fast forward on the Sony, it is a good investment. After all, it is a hobby not a profession.


hello chas0039,
I would like to test the PIE/PIF, with the free “Nero CD-DVD Speed” program for DVD-disk quality/decay, because my new NEC 3540 burner supports it now, I’ve been doing some comparing among the 600+ DVD’s I burned with the now retired NEC 1100 & NEC 2510. No surprise that the oldest from 3 years ago, a Datawrite with mediacode RICOHJPNR00, scored very badly. It still plays on my Pioneer 340 standalone player, luckily. But I think I’ll going to have to re-burn allot of my DVD’s, since I was hoping to preserve the most unique material I pulled with painstaking effort from 20 year old VHS tapes. And good VHS recorders are no longer for sale here, so I can’t re-capture all over again.

So you understand why it’s so important for me to know the status of my DVD’s. I’m not looking for results of a CATS machine.

Do you know of any brand and type of DVD-ROM player [not a burner] that is good and supports PIE/PIF scanning?




I’ll reiterate a little of what others have said. First, dvd-rom drives are not reliable for scanning. Thier has been debate on this in the past and many people have tried scanning with difrent dvd-rom drives, and they are just not as reliable for scanning.
I would also recomend a liteon burner for scanning. Liteon burners were capable of scanning long before most other drives were and the kprobe utility that liteons use was specifically written for use with liteons, by someone that works for liteon. It has been around long enough that most of the bugs have been worked out with it. Not to put cdspeed down or anything, but it has been written to work with many diffrent drives and has to constantly be updated to work with new drives. The nec 3540 just came out so it would make sence tha thier might be a few bugs in it’s scanning (not nessasarilly just because of cdspeed, but because the nec firmware is also new and hasn’t had the time for serious debuging. I’m not saying that cdspeed or the nec does have bugs, I’m just saying that the liteons and kprobe have had a lot more time to work the normal bugs out. Further, liteons are setup to do proper scanning at ecc8/1 to match up with the book standards where as it is a crap shoot what ecc sum cdspeed scans at depending on what a particular drive is capable of.
I in no way want to put down cdspeed or all the hard work that it’s authors have done. If anything, thier job is a lot harder that the job of those writing kprobe, because it has to work with so many diffrent drives. The cdspeed transfer rate test compliments kprobe scans very well, and error scaning with cdspeed on other drives can give a valuable comparison to your kprobe scans, as long as you are aware of the nature of scanning and the nature of comparing scans from diffrent drives.
With that said, in my opinion at least, your best bet for accurate scanning would be to get a liteon burner. Many of the dvd rom drives have been tested with cdspeed, and to the best of my knoledge, none of them have turned out to be reliable for scanning.


ripit said it very well and I agree with him totally. Plus Kprobe is also free.

Given your situation I would agree even more. Scanning is not scientific precision. At best it removes some potential risk. Scanning with a Liteon burner removes more of the risk than any other consumer available method, especially when coupled with a CDSpeed transfer rate scan.

In my opinion, using TY or MCC media and burning with an NEC 3500 or 3520 also eliminates a substantial portion of risk. When I only burned with an NEC, I got tired of scanning as they were always perfect.


Yo chas0039-

Agree with you 100%-

If you look in the Lite-On section of the DVD Burner Forum on the main page you will find my “Scans of LiteOn 1693s vs NEC nd3500ag”

Some - but not too many surprises - and some interesting displays of how different the write strats can be between burners-




I have to agree. The best way to protect your data is to use high quality media, scan to make sure that the media is burning well with your drive, and keep using media that your drive likes. Thier are a couple of medias (ricohjpnr01 being my favorite) that give perfect burns every single time. I have about 350 of them right now and if I am running even a little low, I stock up when they are on sale. Find what media works great with your drive and stock up when it’s cheap. That’s the best way to protect your data.



Thanx for the advice, i’ll go for the LiteOn SOHW-1673S, only 49,00 Euro’s.

But I can’t seem to locate the LiteOn 1693s that bigmike7 mentioned. Can the LiteOn 1673S also do PIE/PIF scanning? On the LiteOn site I’m not getting wiser. I was also considering the BenQ DW1620A.

And I’ll stick to Verbatim MCC or TY disks, I’ve burned 650+ DVD’s now, mainly my old VHS material, and only a few Ritek Platinum’s have to be replaced, they even cause drop-outs on my Pioneer DV-340 standalone player, see for your self in the attached image. In the beginning, 3 years ago, I din’t know what was doing, so I even bought a few DataWrite spindels.
Later I started using only the best: Verbatim MCC, but now TY seems to be the better choice. But TY are a bet hard to get.




All liteon drives can do error scanning with kprobe. The earlier models had some problems and didn’t always scan that accuratlly. 400 series drives aparently had problems. earlier 800 series drives like the 811/812 had problems. I heard mixed reports about the 851s’s working well (I have an 851s running 832 firmware that scans very well). I think the 832s’s were the first drives that started to become prety reliable with scanning but I’m not 100% sure all the 832’s did. To the best of my knoledge, all 1600 series drives perform well with kprobe (It probably wouldn’t hurt the check the liteon forum to see if a particular model is beter that another but I think that all the 1600’s are suposed to work decent).


Nice summary ripit. Of course, my 812S is one of the last made so it is perfect. :wink:

The only thing I would add would be to make an effort to get the 1693 over the 1673. They cost the same, and there are a few hacking features that the 1693 seem to do better, like ripping and utilizing the MCSE tool. It would not be a good buy to get the old drive at the end of the run when the price is the same; even though the firmware can crossflashed it doesn’t always seem to offer the full benefits.


I wasn’t 100% sure about the 812s but didn’t figure that he is going to buy a 1600 series so it really didn’t matter. From what I remember, with those mid generation burners like yours and mine, it kind of varied if they scanned well. In fact I seem to remember that some scanned well and some didn’t within the same model. All I know for sure is that my 851s@832s not only scans properlly but it is one hell of a burner. With carfully selected media it even outburns my 3500 for speed and error rate. The 3500 of course has much beter media support though. I guess we both got ones out of good manufactufing runs.


Thanx for the advise chas0039, I’m going for the LiteOn SOHW-1693S, but it’s not yet available in allot of stores in The Netherlands. Only a few stores have it, the 1673 is more around for sale though.
I’m going to wait a bit longer until the LiteOn SOHW-1693S becomes more available. It’s probably still too new.
Is it widely available in the USA though?

Thanks for all the help and advice :slight_smile: