Latest Updates

Community Q&A – Time for Sony NEC Optiarc

Posted 04 February 2008 15:34 CET by Livia

CD Freaks presents a series of Questions and Answers with people working in the digital storage industry. Questions are gathered by posting a thread in the forums where community members can ask people working in the digital storage industry what they always really wanted to know.  

After a week the questions are collected, send to the right person and the answers are posted here, at CD   

This week we post  the answers to your questions asked to , Ralf Wolf, Director Marketing & Technical Services at Sony NEC Optiarc GmbH

Unfortunately we did not receive answers to all questions.

Questions and Answers Sony NEC Optiarc: 

1.    Why don't you support bitsetting DVD+R media on your own drives, while you support it on OEM drives?  I cannot see any disadvantages in adding this feature to your own firmware, but it can improve compatibility with older DVD players that some people still have.

The DVD writers we sell in Europe do not need a bit setting tool because they are already set to the most compatible condition.

2.    Why don't you release firmware updates more often, especially for older series like 4570/4571?

See answer to Q.5

3.    Will Sony NEC Optiarc introduce a more attractive front bezel design for OEM drives?

Our drives are designed to be compatible with most computer systems.
OEM manufacturers may replace our standard bezels with those that fit their designed Desktop PCs or Notebooks.

4.    Will Optiarc market drives in retail packages under the NEC brand name?

Sony NEC Optiarc Europe has launched its retail business in Europe last year. The drives are distributed under the Sony brand. The premium product is the BWU-200S, a 4x BD-RE writer. Optiarc also introduced two fast multi-writer DVD burners which deliver up to 20x write speed: the DRU-190A (PATA) and the DRU-190S (SATA). They burn rewritable and double-layer DVDs at up to 8x DVD speed, and DVD-RAMs at a maximum of 12x speed.

The latest addition is the BDU-X10S, a sub 200 Euro BD-ROM drive for Blu-ray movie playback on the PC. The BDU-X10S drive features a Serial ATA (SATA) interface and standard 5.25-inch form-factor for easy installation inside contemporary desktop PCs running the Microsoft Windows Vista or Windows XP operating system. The included CyberLink PowerDVD BD Edition software also supports playback of recorded Blu-ray Discs in MPEG-2 or H.264 format, standard DVD-Video discs or recorded DVDs encoded with MPEG-2 or AVCHD formats.

5.  Why are firmware developments for Sony NEC Optiarc drives so few and far between? Your competitors will strive to improve their drives using firmware updates and quite often drives are completely "transformed" during their lifetimes.

Firmware updates are offered on a regular basis as long as a specific product is within warranty (from the date of manufacture). The reason for releasing a firmware update will either be to solve critical errors or to improve media compatibility. Since our optical drives have proven to be highly efficient and reliable, the release interval may be longer.  Please visit our internet site for these updates.

6. Does  Sony NEC Optiarc has any plans to release a Blu-ray or HD DVD burner in Europe ?

Sony NEC Optiarc Europe has launched the BWU–200S BD Burner as a retail package under the Sony brand last year. The BWU-200S burns single and double-layer Blu-ray discs at up to 4x speed, and DVD media at up to 16x speed. It needs around 45 minutes to write a 50 GB BD-R.

7. I'm interested if Sony NEC Optiarc knows about the DVD-R Reading Problems with almost all of their drives, and if they do, why are they so quiet about it.

We are not aware of this problem.  Please provide more details about models affected.

8.  Do you have a dedicated LASER production plant or are you using a pre-exiting facility ?
In either case please tell me it's the NEC design and quality not Sony.

Historically NEC drives have read almost anything and recovered many damaged discs for me, reversely Sony are renowned for low power unreliable read mechanisms, I suspect Sony devices are calibrated only to read discs with a high refractive index. Unfortunately we did not receive an answer to this question.

9. When can we expect 20x burner based on Sony NEC Optiarc design?

Sony NEC Optiarc Europe released a series of optical drives that support speed of up to 20x for DVD +R and DVD -R. The highlight of the DVD burners is the AD-7203S with Labelflash technology. The little brother of the AD-7203S is the AD-7200S which does not support Labelflash. Both drives have a serial ATA interface. Both burners can read, write and re-write any current CD and DVD format, including DVD-RAM and DVD+/-R DL media. In addition we have two more models with a P-ATA interface under the names of AD-7203A (with Labelflash) and AD-7200A (without Labelflash), which offer the same reading and writing performance as the AD-7203S. In addition we have the AD-7191S with LightScribe technology.

10. Now that there is Sony NEC Optiarc, will there be any more updates for NEC drives?

Yes. Sony NEC Optiarc Europe release updates for NEC drives on a regular basis.

11. Could you please support Labelflash in as well? Gateway, Toshiba computers at store come with Labelflash drives now.

We offer both Labelflash and LightScribe drives in Europe. You may want to contact Sony NEC Optiarc America for availability of Labelflash drives in the USA.


Unfortunately we did not receive answer to all questions.

We would like to thank Ralf Wolf for cooperating with us and answering the questions.




Dear CDFreaks visitors,

Thanks for asking questions in the comments. Mr. Wolf was so kind to provide answers on your questions and concerns.

Your Reaction:

"I wouldn't buy a drive either that cannot bitset DVD+R to DVD-ROM because THAT is the most compatible condition for these discs. I know several people who cannot playback DVD+R without bitsetting, but I have yet to see a single player that does not play a DVD+R set to DVD-ROM"
Answer by Mr. Wolf on bitsetting:
We understand your concern about bit setting and its benefit with regard to older DVD players. Most modern players however are compatible with the available book-types.  Thus, you only need to apply bit setting to a disc if you encounter/experience reading problems with your DVD player or drive.

Although we do not have a bit setting tool, some writing / burning applications support this feature on our drives. However, you can change only DVD +R9 media to DVD-ROM.

Your Reaction:

"Why is it so hard to find warranty info. either via web or on warranty info in the box? Also I have seen time and time again that people with Optiarc drives can't get anywhere for replacement under the warranty. This troubles me cause I support your drives and lucky I haven't had any problems with mine, but please post phone numbers or customer web site support for Optiarc for our CdFreaks members and customers alike! Thanks You!"
Answer by Mr. Wolf on Warranty info:

Service is a major issue for Optiarc. You can find detailed information about warranty and other service issues on our website ( under 'Support & Service'.
On the first page you can choose between 'Bulk related service' and 'Retail related service', depending on your product.

Each choice offers a wide range of information like firmware updates, hotline numbers, contact form, FAQ`s, information on warranty and much more.

Our full text search box at the top of each page can also be used to get desired information.



Register to

Register in 10 seconds, pick a username, enter your mail address and proof you're human, that's all!

An username is required and can only contain letters and numbers
Email is required, we'll send the password there

Welcome back

Sign in with your Myce account. Not a member yet? Create an account

A username is required and can only contain letters and numbers
A password is required

Post your comment settings

Several settings at can be changed, they are stored in cookies, which means they will be reset if you clear cookies


Change the background to a plain color or trianglified image (similar to the default image)

No tracking features

At Myce most social media feature are done server side and impose no privacy risk to the visitor when not used. Several features use Javascript with you can turn off here


Switch to the List layout for an index with chronologycally listed news items or Grid layout for a block based layout. To see the change you need to reload the page