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  #1  
10-18-2010, 09:15 PM
Reading Bug Reading Bug is offline
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I have a few general questions regarding the long project Iím currently undertakingÖ

1. Pioneer burners. The computer Iím using is a Mac Pro, purchased Q4 2008, equipped with two "065-7204 16x SuperDrive" optical drives. About This Mac identifies them as Pioneer "DVD-RW DVR-112D" drives. Older posts indicate that Pioneer doesnít make their drives with NEC chipsets anymore (instead using Mediatek). Iím not sure when this happened exactly, and certainly not why, so Iím wondering which one my drives use?

2. Unburned media. KPís post earlier this year says he would be a bit worried about unburned media that reaches roughly three years of age. I have a large stock of MIT Sony Daxons, with a 2008 copyright year, recently purchased in light of the news that the manufacturer is now out of business. These discs may not be burned until 2012 possibly, due simply to the length of my project. Is there any reason to be concerned about their reliability/longevity if they sit unburned for those four years? Has any more info been learned about the shelf life of unburned media since KPís post?

3. Burning speed. Ironically, KP just touched on this earlier today. The Verbatims Iíve purchased are 8X, with Mac giving the option to burn at 4, 6 or 8. The Sonys are 16X with recommended options falling under, I believe, 8, 12 or 16 (Iím not near the machine at the moment). Is there a reason the rated speed is more ideal than going a half rate below that? My instinct is to go just a bit slower for efficiency. Why might that not be best?

4. Disc Insertion error. Finally, immediately after burning a 8X Verbatim at 6X, I get an error warning from Mac titled "Disc Insertion" that says "The disc you inserted was not readable by this computer." It gives me the option to either ignore or eject the disc. If I do nothing for maybe fifteen seconds, the message will disappear and the tray will open. Closing the tray reveals that there is nothing at all wrong; the disc was completely burned and is recognized, the files are all present and all the data appears to be successfully copied over. I haven't yet done a surface scan or transfer check, but I tried burning a Sony afterwards and didn't have the issue. I didn't before either, with other Sonys before purchasing the Verbatims. Could it be an issue of a 16X drive not liking an 8X disc?

I checked with the Apple support forums and found plenty of folks who have seen this error, but only with read-only discs (nothing burned). Iím not terribly concerned but would like to know why this happens. Thanks so much!
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  #2  
10-30-2010, 01:37 PM
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10-30-2010, 05:40 PM
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1. Which Pioneer DVD burners come with NEC chips?

The IDE DVR-112 (and SATA DVR-212) burners are definitely NEC chipset drives. It wasn't for several more models before Pioneer swapped out to the non-NEC chips. Starting with the DVR-118 IDE / 218 SATA, Pioneer began to use chipsets from Mediatek.

These drives are maybe not as good as the classic NEC chipsets, but it's not necessarily horrible to have a Mediatek chipped burner. LiteOn has always made pretty decent drives (not the best, not the worst), and those have been based on Mediatek for quite a while now. Although I'd have to check some documents (so don't quote me on this), I believe some quite nice drives from Samsung and Optiarc also use Mediatek chips.

I'd still opt for a NEC-chip Pioneer, however, as first choice. It's the best, hands down.

2. How long will unburned DVDs stay good?

If you re-read that post, there was concern for discs that are already 6-7 years old maybe not being in the best condition in 3 more years. That would total 10 years as unburnt discs.

Buying a nice stock of blanks for yourself right now would easily last 3 years -- unless you're planning to store them in a garage, attic, freezer, or other insane climate that would damage them irreparably (burned or not) in that time span!

3. What's the best burning speed?

If you re-read that post carefully, it says "compared to the optimal speed (and rating) of the media" -- and you'll notice that "optimal speed" and "rating" are mentioned separately. It then goes on to discuss how rated speed is better than 1x, followed by mention of burning "a half or full step below that". The half or full step would be the "optimal" speed.

So ideally you'd want to burn 12x or 8x on those 16x discs, for the best burn quality. You're correct that a slightly slower burn (but not too slow) yields a better experience.

4. Why is my burned DVD still blank? Why doesn't the computer see my new burned DVD?

This is a common error because the drive is still locked. In order for a DVD burner to write to a disc, the drive must be locked from access by other processes. The problem with this is that the drive doesn't always unlock itself (or the OS doesn't see the unlock), and you get this unusual "missing disc syndrome" that's commonly complained about. It takes the computer a little while to come back to its senses. Generally, you'll need to shut down the burning software, and then unload/reload the DVD drive.

Engineers are not the most social people, and often live in a bubble. They have a hard time comprehending the world around them, even if they can dissect it into cute little math equations. DVD burners were created (as far as I can tell) with a goal of burning discs, ejecting, and burning the next one. It almost seems as if the engineers that designed much of the gear and process of DVD burning failed to comprehend that people would want to view their newly burned discs immediately -- without the undocumented task of closing software, refreshing the hardware, and waiting on the computer to "wake up" from its status. That's the only explanation I've ever been able to come up with, and I feel confident in it because several programmers and engineers have agreed with my statement.


.... Hope that clears everything up for you!

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  #4  
10-30-2010, 07:26 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admin View Post
Engineers are not the most social people, and often live in a bubble. They have a hard time comprehending the world around them, even if they can dissect it into cute little math equations. DVD burners were created (as far as I can tell) with a goal of burning discs, ejecting, and burning the next one. It almost seems as if the engineers that designed much of the gear and process of DVD burning failed to comprehend that people would want to view their newly burned discs immediately -- without the undocumented task of closing software, refreshing the hardware, and waiting on the computer to "wake up" from its status. That's the only explanation I've ever been able to come up with, and I feel confident in it because several programmers and engineers have agreed with my statement.
Way back in the 90's CD recording software would actually do a physical eject/inject cycle on the drive after burning so the drive itself would switch from record to read mode. This was mostly because it was the only way some drives would see recorded discs after burning. Later on the software reset of the drive came in. I wouldn't be surprised if some drive's firmware was buggy and doesn't always reset to read mode after being sent the command.
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  #5  
10-31-2010, 11:40 AM
Reading Bug Reading Bug is offline
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Thanks Admin, definitely a big help!
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