Why are DVD±RW reading speeds capped at ×12 CAV since 2007?

I could not find this already having been asked, so I hope this is the place to ask it.

As far as I know, the first optical drives with DVD±RW reading speeds of ×12 CAV and DVD±R reading speeds of ×16 CAV, such as the TS-H653B, were released in the year 2007. The supported writing speeds, especially for RW discs, obviously depend on the disc type. But I don’t understand why the reading speeds for DVD±RW has not increased since 2007.

Since over 13 years, no optical drive I know of has been released with DVD±RW reading speeds of more than ×12 CAV (i.e. ×16 CAV).

The same also applies for CD-RW at ×40 CAV, but I think I have seen one HL-DT-ST drive with CD-RW reading speeds of up to ×48 CAV. But correct me if I’m wrong.

I think the ×16 CAV limit for DVD±R and DVD-ROM is to avoid excessive physical stress on the disc, which is reasonable, but why is DVD±RW still limited to ×12 CAV after >13 years? Is there a technical reason or just manufacturer laziness?


I think it´s because the lower reflection of RW media. Was so with CD-RW and still is with BD-RE. Not forget the BD-R LTH which can also not read so fast as HTL

And the DVD R read speed is also limited since 2005 or so, most drives read 16x while writing -theoretically- 24x. Some exceptions exist, some drives could read 18x but only a few use this speed

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Yes, RW indeed has lower reflecticity.

But one could expect optical drive technology to somewhat improve during 13 years

The Pioneer DVR-221L at least has ×13 for DVD±RW.

It’s not the only drive that can read these discs at 13x.

Correct, I have seen an LG that can do it to.

But ×13 is just a marginal increase over ×12. I wonder whether there is a technical reason that ×16 is not possible yet.

Some Transfer Tests:

You can see the Pioneer had problems to hold the speed with the DVD+RW, even the disc was in very good condition.

I think it´s hard to read RW at higher speeds.

The LG I used is old and not in the best condition but it have no problems. I think it´s a writer with Renesas-chipset which use 13x, the MTK-LGs seems to use 12x max.

If some of the veterans remember the old (real) Toshiba DVD-ROMs like 1612 and 1712, these drives read DVD R with stock FW at 4x max. With hacked FW it reads 16x or try it, but it was (almost?) impossible to find a DVD R which was read at max. without slowdowns.

DVD-ROMs worked good at 16x, maybe also because the higher reflection of ROM-media