Which drive is better to test quality of 3500AG burns?

I know that the ND-3500AG cannot perform a quality test, only a transfer test. I see that everyone either uses a Benq 1620 or the LiteOn 1633S…some use both. I was wondering which of these drives would be the better one to use to check for burn quality.


The Benq will not only do the scans, it will also do fantastic DVD burning.
It’s something to see Code65536 warmly recommending the Benq :slight_smile:

From what I see, the Benq as well as the LiteOn are good burners…but I would like to get input on which is a better drive for doing quality checks…since the 3500AG cannot. I already have the NEC, but would like to get a second drive to check my burns.

If you want to use KProbe, you can only run it with a Liteon… With that said, the 1633 is frankly “trash” compared to the 1620. Every once in a while you can get a Liteon that scans pretty well (just depends on if Liteon happen to do a little QC that week), but even that desn’t mean it will burn well. I’ve been through (3) 832’s and (4) 1633’s in an attempt to get one that scans as well as my 812 or 1620. I’ve finally got one with my fourth 1633 purchase, and all though it scans well, it’s still the worst burner I have.

Don’t mean to offend anyone, it’s just my experience… :wink:

The BenQ burner is much better than the Liteon, both in terms of burn quality and reading. The BenQ also allows testing of the jitter rate, but not the Liteon. The BenQ also has the QScan utility, which allows testing of the TE (tracking error) and FE (focus error) on blank discs (without writing) to display burn suitability at different speeds without wasting discs. LiteOn doesn’t.

All in all, in my opinion the BenQ 1620 is a superior burner for burning, reading, and testing compared to the Liteon. I no longer burn on my Liteon. I test on both, but I would gladly swap out the Liteon for another BenQ 1620. :slight_smile:

Thanks pcdoc and Inertia for the input. I appreciate it. I didn’t realize that LiteOn has quality issues…didn’t really see it addressed in their forum.

i have had both… the benq does burn much better but since you already have a 16x burner that will burn with excellent quality and you were looking for a scanner and perhaps a ripper i would lean to a liteon for ONLY those two things.

so in summary

benq - good burns and scanning
liteon - no burning, scanning and ripping only

they both have been on sale really cheaply (39.99 AR) recently
benqs can be found as i/o magic and several other brands
liteons can be found as digimax @ officemax and i think buslink and several others as well

if you check in each respective forum you will find

  1. other rebadger names
  2. when the prices are getting good (rebates ect)

Awesome…thanks cnlson. I will check out the other forums. Just like you said, I have a burner that burns excellent quality. Ripping and scanning is more what I want. Thanks again.

The BenQ 1620 is an outstanding ripper of pressed DVD discs, ripping SL discs at 16x and reading badly scratched discs without a hiccup.

I have three DVD-ROM drives (BTC, Liteon, and Pioneer), and none can compare to the BenQ for ripping of scratched discs. The BenQ will sail through a rip that will stop the others due to unreadable sectors.

Unless you do a lot of ripping from burned DVDs (rips at 8x), I would highly recommend the BenQ as a ripper for commercial (pressed) DVD discs. If you want to rip burned DVD media at high speed, your NEC 3500 will do it at 16x.

px-712a allows use to run pxscan and/or plextools. I say buy all 3, and use them all to test your media against. No better test that several drives. If your rich that is :smiley:

My vote goes to BENQ too. Why not buy a scanner that’s a good burner too? However, I would note that the BENQ drive is maybe too good in reading dics that others will fail… this is not necessary a good thing. This means that your scan could be perfect, but then DVD Players will have a problem… not that I have seen it with my DVD Players but I think it is possible.
However, in terms of reading unreadable DVD disc… I would have to say Pioneer 108A wins hands down… I have some DVDs burn on DVD Recorders (no name Chinese brand DVD blanks) of TV recordings that would not play correctly on dvd players. Very high PI/PE errors (300-400 PI and well into the 50s for PE). Not NEC, not Liteon and not BENQ can extract the image… but Pioneer ate it for breakfast… the Disc burnt from the image is smooth like silk

I was thinking of getting a Retail Plex 712 for scanning & ripping purposes (I have a NEC 3500 and LG 4120 for burning), as it has dropped in price quite a bit with the 716 now out.

Is this a better option than the BenQ 1620 (or re-badged models)?

You should also seriously consider the Aopen DVD-1648/AAP. This is a DVD-Rom drive which does all kinds of scanning, including jitter. It’s also the best reader around (according to what’s been written in other forum threads) which beats any burner. The only drawback is that its results can’t be compared directly to that of a burner, but having said that, consider that scans from a LiteOn are not comparable to BenQ, which is not comparable to Pioneer, which… Well, you get the picture. And for LiteOn exclusively, scans from one model are not comparable to that from another model, or even from other firmware versions on the same model, or…

The point I want to make is, don’t try to have a perfect comparison between the scans of different drives, compare your scans with other scans you made on the same drive.

Consider that the price of the AOpen DVD-Rom drive is about 1/3 of that from a burner. Search the forum and you’ll find only happy owners! (I’m not one of them :frowning: )

For the most part, the BenQ and LiteOn scans are fairly comparable, unlike those of the AOpen…

Anyway, moving thread because this has nothing to do with NEC.

I had thought about the AOpen 1648 (I have a LiteOn 165 dvd-rom drive in my backup machine). The UK price is ~ £18.00 (inc VAT) for the Retail Chameleon model.

The Plextor 712 (Retail) is ~ £58.00 (inc Vat), so, Yes, it’s about 3x the price of the AOpen.

The BenQ 1620/Philips 1640 are ~ £38.00 (inc Vat) - but that’s OEM, I think.

Anyway, moving thread because this has nothing to do with NEC.[/QUOTE]


I started this thread in the NEC forum because I am using an NEC ND-3500A, and would like other NEC user opinions. I am looking to find what other NEC users feel is the best drive to check the burns, since NEC fails to include PI/PIF error testing. Personally, I think it does belong in the NEC forum…and would hope that it gets moved back.


Allow me to address your concerns…

Although it is now up to the media forum mods to decide (as I have no powers outside of Recording Hardware), I do not feel that is reason enough to put the thread in the NEC forum. There are other manufacturers that do not support PI/PIF scanning, and I do not see how the needs of a LG user looking for a PI/PIF scanner are any different than that of a NEC user. And because the question is more along the lines of what drive is a better PI/PIF scanner, this could apply the owner of any drive. For example, a LiteOn owner might be curious to see if it may be worthwhile to get a BenQ to see how well the results correspond. So I stand by my decision to move this out of the NEC forum. To sum it up, my feeling is that the criteria for something to be in one of manufacturer-specific subforums is not that it be something can apply to a particular manufacturer’s drive, but that it be something is specific to a particular manufacturer’s drive. The first condition is necessary, but only the second condition is both necessary and sufficient.

As for its move into the testing/identifying forum, this decision is more open to debate, I think. In practice, it seems that general issues about PI/PIF and PI/PIF scanning have made their way into this forum, despite its “software” label (which I have learned to ignore :p), and thus, I felt that it would be more appropriate.

Please feel free to voice any additional concerns that you may have to the media forum’s moderation team.

I think it’s interesting how many members seem to feel that the “best” scanning drive is the one that shows the lowest error rates. Or, the error rates that most closely resemble what they are looking for.

Bottom line: it doesn’t matter what drive you use, as long as you use it consistantly and don’t compare the scans to scans done on other drives. If you want to compare your scans to the majority of scans posted in the forums, then you need a LiteOn and Kprobe. But even then, you should only compare scans to those done on the same drive and firmware, and even then with a bit of caution.

I would add to RDGs comments also that my liteon 832 (i have 2) does a pretty good job at determining a good burn for all of my home players. IE if i get pif spikes above 4 I usually have issues with some home player units during playback (skips etc.). So if you can still find those drives they do seem to be pretty representive of what your players will like. Also pi/pif is mostly important for video playback, I feel it is not as important if you are using your dvds for storage (unless you have really high error rates).

Is there still no tool to perform a quality-test with an NEC-3500?