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Philips DVDRW885 Dual layer DVD-Writer

Posted 29 June 2004 02:46 CET by OC-Freak




Review: Philips DVDRW885 Dual layer DVD-Writer
Provided by: Philips Europe
Firmware: T1.4 and P1.6
Manufactured: February 2004

Philips was kind enough to send us their latest DVD-Writer; the Philips DVDRW885. This drive is a very interesting drive as it supports the new Dual Layer DVD+R writing technlogy, allowing dual layer discs of 8.5Gb to be written. Philips has a long history for developing optical drives and has in the past joined up with BenQ for manufacturing and developing optical drives. This strategy alliance seems to gain both BenQ and Philips. BenQ has the production facilities, while Philips designs chipset/electronic components as well as being on of the main DVD+R/RW developers.

Company information:

We are sure that most of you know philips already as they have a lot of different industry, such as petroleum, computer parts, electronics and more. But let us take a look at some of the company information found at

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of EUR 29 billion in 2003. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, and one-chip TV products. Its 165,300 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, semiconductors, and medical systems.

Global Leader

Royal Philips Electronics is tenth on Fortune's list of global top electronics corporations. We are active in about 60 businesses, varying from consumer electronics to domestic appliances and from security systems to semiconductors.

We are a world leader in digital technologies for television and displays, wireless communications, speech recognition, video compression, storage and optical products as well as the underlying semiconductor technology that makes these breakthroughs possible.

We have world class solutions in lighting, medical systems (particularly scanning and other diagnostic systems) and personal and domestic appliances where our investments in design and new materials are critical to success.

Translated into figures, we produce over 2.4 billion incandescent lamps every year, and some 30 million picture tubes.

Around 2.5 million heart procedures (scans and interventional procedures) on X-ray equipment are carried out each year using our technology.

One in seven television sets worldwide contains a Philips picture tube, and 60 percent of all telephones contain Philips products.

Thirty percent of offices around the world are lit by Philips Lighting, which also lights 65 percent of the world's top airports, 55 percent of major soccer stadium, and 30 per cent of hospitals.

The strength of Philips' global operations is reflected in its (value-based) leadership position in many of the markets in which it is active:







Consumer Electronics (audio/video)



Monitors (units)






Steam irons






Color picture tubes



DVD recorders



Medical imaging equipment



Dental care (electric toothbrushes)



Company strategy:



The BEST program is Philips' chosen path to achieve business excellence. It describes a set of methods and tools by which we continuously improve our efforts. Previous successful initiatives are incorporated in the program to make sure we learn as much as possible from our successes in the past.

Business Excellence

We are all committed to improving processes in-line with the company's strategic targets. To this end, Philips has adopted BEST to reach this goal. It is our ambition to be one of the best companies in the world: the best to trade with, work for, and invest in.

Our Measures:

         Customers are fully satisfied by the quality of Philips' products and services
         Employees develop and use their full potential
         Shareholders get a premium return on their investment
         Suppliers choose to work with us as this generates superior value for both
         The larger community appreciates our contribution to the quality of life

Speed and Teamwork

Speed and Teamwork lie at the heart of the BEST initiative. Each and every individual within Philips knows that only by fully cooperating and working together we are able to perfect our business processes. That's why we focus on:

  • Working smarter and reducing the cycle-time of processes
  • Working in teams and learning from the best practices of others

The tools and approaches in the BEST initiative all are based on these two focal areas and all fit in the improvement cycle:
"Plan - Do - Check - Learn"

If you are interested in reading more company information, please visit

Drive specifications:

These are the specifications of this drive, found in the pre-release documentation released under CE-Bit 2004:

Commercial Specifications

Storage Media

'¢ Access time (typical) 120ms on CD, 140ms on DVD
'¢ Disc capacity 8.5 GB DVD+R DL, 4.7 GB DVD+R
'¢ Mass storage class compliant yes
'¢ Recording format UDF and ISO 9660
'¢ Recording media 8cm CDs (only in hor. pos.), CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+R double layer,
'¢ Supported formats 8cm discs, CD-Audio, CD-Bridge, CD-Extra, CD-I, CD-Recordable, CD-Rewritable, CD-ROM, CD-Text, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-ROM, DVD/R, DVD/RW, Photo CD
'¢ Write modes Disc at once (DAO), Fixed packet, Multi Session (MS), Over-burn writing, Packet writing, Raw mode burning, Session at once (SAO), Track at once (TAO),Variable packet
Reading speeds 12x on DVD-ROM, 7x on DVD+R DL, 7x on DVD+R, 7x on DVD+RW, 7x on DVD-R, 7x on DVD-RW, 40x on CD-R, 32x on CD-RW
'¢ Recording speeds 8x on DVD+R, 2.4x on DVD+R DL, 4x on DVD-R, 24x on CD-R
'¢ Rewriting speeds 4x on DVD+RW, 2x on DVD-RW, 10x on CD-RW


'¢ Rear connections 12V DC in, Analog audio Left/Right out 2x, Master/Slave select jumper, IDE interface connector


'¢ Ease of Installation Plug & Play
'¢ Ease of Use Graphical User Interface


'¢ Included Accessories 4 mounting screws, CD-ROM with software + manual, Quick install guide, User Manual, DVD+R DL blank disc


'¢ Ahead Nero Suite 6 Nero Burning Rom 6, InCD 4, Nero Vision express 2, Nero media Player 1, EasyWrite Reader 4, Nero Burning Rights 1

System Requirements

'¢ Hard disk space 500 MB
'¢ PC OS Windows 98 SE, 2000, ME, XP
'¢ Processor Pentium III 500MHz or faster
'¢ RAM memory 128 MB


'¢ Product dimension (WxDxH) 20x15x4 cm
'¢ Product Weight (kg) 0.95


'¢ Adaptor type DC 5V/12V
'¢ Power Consumption 25 W

Technical specifications

'¢ Humidity 5 - 90% RH (no condensation)
'¢ Operating temperature range 5 - 50°C
'¢ Safety standards EN60950, EN60825, UL1950
'¢ EMC standards EN55022, EMS55024, FCC Part 15
'¢ Access time CD: <120msec (typical), DVD: <140msec (typical)

Packaging data

'¢ Type Code 7738 CARTON
'¢ 12NC 9082 100 03112
'¢ EAN 87 10895 83001 0
'¢ Quantity 1
'¢ Gross Weight (kg) 0.98
'¢ Tare Weight (kg) 0.03
'¢ Nett Weight (kg) 0.95
'¢ Length (cm) 20
'¢ Width (cm) 15
'¢ Height (cm) 4

The drive is supposed to also support DVD-R and DVD-RW as we could see out from the specifications. But it doesn't, we asked Philips about this and they told us that a firmware upgrade would be released in September that would have DVD-R and DVD-RW support. Maybe they have done this to promote the DVD+R/RW format? After all they are the heaviest supporter and developer of the DVD+R/RW format. Beside this the drive also has very low CD-R and CD-RW writing speeds, this will of course be a negative point for some potential buyers looking for a good all-round drive.

But let us continue this review and see how it really performs.

Test machine:

For this review we will be using a computer with the following configuration:


         Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-8KNXP with Intel i875P chipset.
         Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2,8GHz 800MHz FSB with Hyper Threading support.
         RAM: 1Gb PC3500 DDR
         GFX: ATI Radeon 9800 pro
         Sound: SB Audigy 2
         Hard disks: 2 x Hitachi Deskstar 7k250 160Gb S-ATA in RAID 0 on the i875P S-ATA RAID controller.

System set-up:


The Philips DVDRW885 was connected as Primary Master and identified itself as DVDR885P. DMA (Direct Memory Access) and autorun was enabled for all devices.


Windows XP professional is installed on the computer along with Service Pack 1 for windows XP. We will be using the following software in this review:

         Ahead InCD v
         Ahead Nero Burning ROM version
         Ahead Nero CD/DVD Speed v3.01
         Ahead Nero InfoTool v2.21
         Slysoft CloneCD v4.3.2.2
         VSO Blindwrite
         DVD-Identifier 3.3
         Exact Audio Copy v0.95 prebeta 5
         K-Probe v2.1.0

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