The specifications of this drive tell us that it should write DVD±R at 18X, DVD+RW at 8X, and DVD-RW at 6X. In this part, we will measure the write time for various types of DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW discs. We will also focus on write quality and media compatibility.
First, let us see how long of a time it needs to create a disc with Nero. We used Nero Burning Rom to set up a new UDF/ISO compilation containing 4482Mb (4.38GB) of data, and started the write process. We used the Disc-At-Once write method.
The DVD+R disc a Taiyo Yuden 16X, MID: YUDEN000 T03 finished in 5 minutes and 46 seconds, now let’s take a look at the DVD–R results:
We attempted to burn at 18X with several different MIDs from several manufacturers without success, finally burning on a Taiyo Yuden 16X, MID: TYG03 which most of the newer burners are able to write at 18X.
This Taiyo Yuden disc did write successfully at 16X in 6 minutes and 28 seconds.
Below is a comparison with other drives in our test:
The ASUS DRW-1814BLT performed on average at writing our DVD+R disc, however, we found not to be able to find any DVD-R media that would be written at the advertised 18X speed. Perhaps, a future firmware update will accommodate 18X write ability for DVD–R media.
You should first notice that this is not a scientific and professional way to test the discs. But according to our testing done in recent months, we would conclude that there is a clear link between the quality reported when scanning the disc and the playability of the disc in different devices. Also notice that different drives report different amounts of errors. K-Probe was designed to work with Lite-On DVD-Writers. So we recommend using a DVD-Writer from Lite-On, in this test we use a Lite-On SOHW-1693S DVD-Writer, as already said; remember that scans done with a Lite-On DVD-ROM or Lite-On combo drive can’t be compared with the results obtained with a Lite-On DVD-Writer. Also remember that different PI/PO ECC sum settings along with different reading speeds in K-Probe will affect the result, we use these settings; PI (Parity Inner) set to summarize 8 ECC blocks, PIF (Parity Inner Failures) set to summarize 1 ECC block, reading speed: 4X CLV (Constant Linear Velocity). Setting the PI sum to 8 and the PIF sum to 1 will give a result that we may compare to the standards for DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW.
But what is a good scan? That is a discussion that we don’t think will end soon, as different drives report different amount of errors, some players are more picky about media than others, and so on. But as a comparison we present you with a scan from two pressed DVD discs:
This scan above shows the results from a pressed, Single Layer DVD-Video disc (Widow on the Hill).
This next scan shows the result from a pressed Double Layer DVD-Video disc (Monster in Law). Notice the error jump when shifting to the second layer (the error levels jump from the end of the first layer to the beginning of the second layer).
If you read below you will see that both the pressed DVD-discs above are well within the standards.
If you want to look at the standards for yourself, download the ECMA 267 Standard for DVD-ROM, the ECMA 337 Standard for DVD+R/RW and the ECMA 338 Standard for DVD-R/RW at http://www.ecma-international.org. Here is some data from the ECMA standards (same for DVD-ROM, DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW):
A row of an ECC Block that has at least 1 byte in error constitutes a PI error. In any 8 consecutive ECC Blocks the total number of PI errors before correction shall not exceed 280.
Here we see that a PI error is defined as a row in an ECC block having 1 byte or more containing errors and that the sum of PI errors in 8 ECC blocks after each other should not exceed 280 PI errors.
But what is a row and what is an ECC block? Again we refer to the ECMA standards. We do not copy and paste everything, but if you’re interested, look in the ECMA standards. A row is 182 bytes long where the last 10 bytes contain PI (Parity Inner) information. An ECC block is 208 rows long where the last 16 rows contain the PO (Parity Outer) information. This gives us a maximum possible PI error amount of 208 errors per block and for 8 blocks after each other this sum is of course 8 times higher, giving a maximum possible amount of 1664 PI-8 errors. In practical use, a disc with 1664 PI-8 errors is unreadable.
According to our tests the specified max PI-8 sum of 280 for good discs seems to be a good guideline, as some readers have problems reading discs when the PI-8 errors is over 300 and most players starts to have problems when the PI-8 error level reaches 600 or more.
But what are the PIF errors that K-Probe reports? They are Parity Inner Failures, meaning errors left after PI correction. Only the ECMA 337 standard describes the Parity Inner Failures. So how is a Parity Inner Failure defined? Here is what the ECMA 337 states:
“If a row of an ECC Block as defined in 13.3 contains more than 5 erroneous bytes, the row is said to be “PI-un-correctable”.”
In theory, an ECC block may in the worst case have 208 PIF since every ECC block is 208 rows long. But the ECMA 337 standard goes further and specifies the max amount of accepted PI Failures (uncorrectable errors) allowed on a good disc:
“In any ECC Block the number of PI-un-correctable rows should not exceed 4.”
This means that when the PIF sum is set to 1, the maximum error value should not exceed 4. The theoretical maximum value for PIF is 208 errors.
But what makes a disc unreadable? A POF (Parity Outer Failure) error will make the disc unreadable, but K-Probe does not display the POF’s.
Notice that there are other aspects such as disc reflectivity, tracking errors and so on that also will affect the readability of a DVD disc – but for this we do not have measuring equipment available.
Also, another note is that we have scanned the discs at 4X CLV speed, by lowering the speed to 2X (DVD-R/RW)/2.4X (DVD+R/RW) or 1X the amount of reported errors may drop on some discs. We scanned at 4X CLV due to lower speeds taking too much time.
To see if there is a connection between the reported amount of errors and readability of the discs we also include the reading curve from a BenQ DW1655 DVD-Writer which by default are able to read DVD±R media at 16x speed. A small speed reduction near the end is still accepted on good discs, but serious reading problems or reading failures is a bad sign.
Here is an easier explanation on how to read the test results.
Maybe this got too technical, and you are wondering what to look for in KProbe reports?
Use this as a guideline for good discs:
· PI (Parity Inner): No larger areas on the disc should exceed 280 PI-8 errors, do not worry too much about high single spikes that exceed 280.
· PIF (Parity Inner Failures): No larger areas on the disc should exceed 4 PIF-1 errors, do not worry too much about high single spikes that exceed 4.
And as always: the lower is better.
Also look at the reading curve; if it looks clean with no dips it should be good, a small slowdown near the end is accepted.
DVD+R media compatibility and write quality:
In these tests we will be using either a Lite-On SHM-165P6S or SHM-165H6S drive along with Kprobe2 to measure the disc quality. We will also be using the BenQ DW1650 or DW1655 along with Nero CD-DVD Speed for our read-back tests.
Here is what we discovered:
Good quality, smooth read curve; it is a highly recommended media!
The media burns with very good results; again a smooth read curve and this media is highly recommended!
The DRW-1814BLT does a very good job with this media, which can be difficult with several burners, very smooth read curve also.
Here also, we found good compatibility with this media which produced a very good burn with smooth read curve.
The DRW-1814BLT burned this media with very good results and as with all the media tested to this point; another nice read curve.
As expected; the DRW-1814BLT writes to this 8X TY disc with excellent results.
Very nice burn with this media, also with a smooth read back curve.
The ASUS DRW-1814BLT supports writing to DVD+RW discs at speeds up to 8X. Let’s now take a look at how various +RW discs fared with the DRW-1814BLT:
Overall a good burn with nice read back curve.
Another very good quality scan and a really smooth read curve.
A little high in PIEs but the PIFs are very low, smooth read curve, good results.
Let’s take a look at how the DRW-1814BLT handles some of the more common 4X DVD+RW discs that are being used by consumers.
PIF levels are a little high but the disc reads without any problems.
Here too, we find elevated PIF levels, however the disc reads back without problems.
PIF average is a little high, but the disc has a nice read curve.
Write quality on DVD+R and DVD+RW is very good to excellent; producing quality burns on all our test media.