Pioneer BDR-203BK Blu ray burner review

Posted 05 April 2009 14:04 CEST by Wendy Robertson


The specifications of the Pioneer BDR-203BK state that the drive is able to write CD-R/RW discs at 32x/24x. Let us find out how the drive really performs in speed and quality.

Writing Data CD-R discs:

Write quality:

We will test CD-R discs from many different CD-R manufacturers. To really measure the write speed, we used the “create data CD” function in Nero CD-Speed. The discs were written at the maximum speed that the drive supports. For the quality test, we used Nero CD-Speed’s Disc Quality Scan and combined this with a Transfer Rate Test to test if the resulting disc was readable. Also note that different drives and different reading speeds may affect the results obtained when scanning the discs. We used a Lite-On SOHR-5238S drive with firmware 4S09 and scanned the discs at 48X speed.

There is more than one way to handle C1 and C2 error detection/correction, but a simple and common way is to detect and correct up to two errors per frame in each stage and detect three or more errors:

  • E11: 1 error detected and corrected by C1 layer
  • E21: 2 errors detected and corrected by C1 layer
  • E31: 3 or more errors detected but not corrected by C1 layer

The sum of these (per second) is called the Block Error Rate: BLER=E11+E21+E31

  • E32: 3 or more errors detected but not corrected by C2 layer

Any E31 is un-correctable by the C1 layer and will result in the bytes in that frame being redistributed into multiple frames which are passed to the C2 layer.

Any E32 is un-correctable by the C2 layer and will result in interpolation being used for Audio CDs or will result in third layer error correction being used for Data CDs.

Different drives have different ways of reporting these errors in a Disc Quality scan.  Lite-On CD-RW drives will report C1 and C2 errors this way:

  • C1=BLER=E11+E21+E31
  • C2=E32

Here is an easier way to look at Disc Quality Scanning:

A written CD-R disc will always have some C1 errors; C1 errors are easily corrected by the drive’s error correction capabilities. The next level of errors is C2, while C2 errors could also be corrected by most drive’s error correction capabilities; they are not wanted on a good quality disc. A good disc should not contain any C2 errors, and preferably have an average C1 error amount of below 2.0 for the best discs, or at least below 10.0 averages for good quality discs. After C2 errors, there are only un-correctable errors that will make a disc unusable.

In short, our analysis will be based on this guideline to determine the quality of the burned disc:

Below are the obtained results:

An excellent result to start our CD-R quality tests.

Our RICOH media manufactured by Moser Baer India has burned with very good quality.


Another excellent result.

We have another excellent result.

The result is good.

The result is very good.


With the Pioneer BDR-203BK writing CD-R/RW at a maximum speed of only 32x/24x, the drive is not the fastest at writing CD-R/RW discs. However, the writing quality is excellent in most cases.

Now let’s head on to the next page where we will test DVD recordable performance…. settings

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