Liteon DVD+R/+RW

Another little upgrade I performed on the computer recently has been fitting a DVD rewriter, in place of the CD rewriter.

Seeing the way that prices have been tumbling in the DVD rewriter market and with Liteon starting to bring out drives, I thought I might as well take the plunge.

You may have noticed from previous articles that I like Liteon drives. The rewriter I replaced was a 24-speed writer from Liteon and the other optical drive on my computer is a Liteon 16-speed DVD rom drive. Both have never gave me any problems whatsoever and I anticipated their DVD rewriter would be the same.

The drive was bought, as usual, from SVP Communications  When you do buy on the Net and get good service, I usually go back……and this is the case with SVP. When I bought the drive, I also bought some disks…..DataSafe X4 DVD-R to try out.

 The drive itself was fitted inside 15 minutes. I know the way into my computer by now, and the longest part of any change is the disconnection and reconnection of all the cables.

The drive was a straight swap over, simply substituting the DVD for CD drive. All connections were the same and the only thing that needed checked was the slave / master link on the back of the drive.

Once the computer was repowered it found the drive and did the necessary itself. I started installing the software that came with it. The software this time isn’t Nero (which is a pity), but is Sonic MyDVD ver4.0. The software installed with no problems and it was then a case of trying out the drive.

I should mention that the drive comes with all the necessary connections, just in case you aren’t simply swapping as I was. It also comes with a DVD+RW disk.

As you can see from the picture of the box, it writes +R and –R disks at X4 and the only one it doesn’t is the –RW, which is at X2. I intend the RW disk as my backups disk, so I guess if I do need any more, it won’t be –RW I buy. It can also rewrite CD’s at X24 and write normal CD’s at X40. Not exactly a slow drive, for my needs anyway.

The drive performed flawlessly, much as I expected. Burning normal CD’s is very fast. Comparing it to my mate’s supposed X52 CD burner, mine burns a shade faster…… for like. Machines vary as you know, but this does seem one of the faster.

DVD’s it burns at X4, which works out a shade under 15 minutes, which isn’t too bad. Now, of course, Liteon has brought out a X8 drive.

The only drawbacks I have with the drive are DVD media and the software. I’ve used Nero for a couple of years now, and it’s excellent. I just wish that Liteon had decided to issue that with the drive! Sonia’s package is very nice, with lots of options available, but I’ve found occasional freezes with it.

Media………..I hate the word. As I said, I bought DataSafe and this burnt away quite happily at X4. I tried another couple of types, and some burnt at X4 and some at X2.4 and some at X1. You don’t want to know how long it takes to burn a DVD at X1. Talk about paint drying…………a whole hour!!!!!

It turns out (after doing some reading), that the DataSafe disk use the Ritek G04 dye. So my drive likes this dye. Then I discovered that the batch of disks I bought (very cheaply) used the G04 dye as well………….so how come some burnt at X4 and some at X2.4? I’m hoping that Liteon release a new firmware upgrade for the drive soon (one was released at the start of December) and that this will add a lot more media types to the Smart Burn index. Liteon drives under buffer protection is called Smart Burn.

You can also download a utility from the Liteon site, which will check media for you and tell you what the Liteon drive will think of it.

Apart from these small niggles; I highly recommend the drive to you all. The drive does NOT cope with DVD-RAM disks, but I haven’t seen anyone rushing out to buy these types of disk anyway. The drive reads DVD’s at X12. As a first step into the world of DVD writing, it’s an excellent buy at the price….I paid under £90 and the 8speed drive should be this price in a couple of months.

Just as a small aside, I was in a major computer chain shop today and noticed that they had DVD blanks for sale. 10 DVD+RW for sale for the knockdown price of £39.99………….and they were X1 disks !!!!!  That’s £3.99 a disk for a single speed disk……….surely folk can’t be that simple???? I know these chains are expensive, but that’s daylight robbery!!! Guess who didn’t buy any.

If you’re looking for a cheap and reliable drive for your computer soon, check out what Liteon drives are available………they’re very good !!

By Ian Urie



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