The ALKOO Case for the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. Edition

The ALKOO Case for the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. Edition

Hi everyone,

Since I got the Super Mario Bros. Edition Game & Watch, I’ve been playing with it occasionally, since it’s a good time spender. I must say that I’m kind of addicted to playing Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels. The game is so hard that I can’t even pass the 3rd level.

I’ve also been playing Ball, but I don’t like when the game starts as it’s very slow. However, as it progresses, I’m enjoying that challenge. The other thing I like is how the Game & Watch saves the progress so I can continue playing where I stopped last time.

Because of how I like this product, I decided to get a case to keep it safely stored. You can find a bunch of cases on Amazon, but I went with the ALKOO Case:

ALKOO Game&Watch Super Mario Edition 1

The case seem to be of good quality and it’s sure to keep our Game & Watch safe.

The interior is soft and allows us to store the Game & Watch as well as a charging cable:

ALKOO Game&Watch Super Mario Edition 4

The Game & Watch fits perfectly inside and is easy to take out too.

ALKOO Game&Watch Super Mario Edition 5

This way, it is not gathering dust, especially on the screen, since it is not protected by anything.

This case comes in 2 colors: Black and Blue. You can get them on Amazon at the following links:

Movies added, removed, and coming soon at Redbox – April 6, 2021

Movies added, removed, and coming soon at Redbox – April 6, 2021

Hi everyone,

Today is the first Tuesday of April 2021. This week, we got 4 new movies on DVD and one on Blu-Ray. Let’s see them below:

Movies added

DVD

Blu-Ray

Back again

DVD

Note that Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar seem to be available just in Blu-Ray as of this morning as Redbox’s system seem to have not made the DVD version available yet. This should be fixed soon.

Movies that can no longer be reserved

DVD

  • 211
  • A Quiet Place
  • Chappaquiddick
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Future World
  • I Am Elizabeth Smart
  • Lean On Pete
  • Social Animals
  • The Leisure Seeker

Blu-Ray

  • A Quiet Place
  • Deepwater Horizon

4K UHD

  • A Quiet Place

Movies Coming Soon

April 13th

  • DVD: The Penthouse
  • DVD: Phobias
  • DVD: Willy’s Wonderland

April 20th

  • Blu-Ray: Vanquish
  • DVD: Vanquish

April 27th

  • DVD: Cosmic Sin
  • DVD: 12 Strong (Back again)

May 4th

  • DVD: The Virtuoso
  • Blu-Ray: Every Breath You Take
  • DVD: Every Breath You Take
  • Blu-Ray: Judas and the Black Messiah
  • DVD: Judas and the Black Messiah
  • DVD: The Little Things

More upcoming releases

  • DVD: The Vault
  • DVD: The Mauritanian
  • Blu-Ray: The Marksman
  • DVD: The Marksman
  • DVD: Minari
  • Blu-Ray: Tom & Jerry
  • DVD: Tom & Jerry
  • Blu-Ray: Chaos Walking
  • 4K UHD: Chaos Walking
  • DVD: Chaos Walking
  • Blu-Ray: City Of Lies
  • DVD: City Of Lies
  • DVD: Nobody
  • 4K UHD: Godzilla vs. Kong
Hidizs adds support for MQA on their AP80 and AP80 Pro DAPs

Hidizs adds support for MQA on their AP80 and AP80 Pro DAPs

Hi everyone,

It seems Hidizs released today a firmware for the Hidizs AP80 and AP80 Pro Digital Audio Players (DAP). The only improvement here seems to be the addition of MQA support.

Hidizs AP80 and AP80 Pro MQA update

The new firmware version is 1.5 for the AP80 Pro and 2.3 for the AP80

The official changelog for both firmware states the same:

Update Content:

1. Add MQA support.

You can download the firmware for these players at the following links:

This update comes as Hidizs will start to sell their DH80/DH80S DAC and Amp which can render MQA files.

The AP80/AP80 Pro is the first MQA DAP from Hidizs, joining the Hiby products of family, which also use the same Operating System, Hiby OS.

The Verbatim CD-RW 25pk

The Verbatim CD-RW 25pk

Hi everyone,

A few days ago, I wrote I was trying to burn a Verbatim CD-RW on some old IDE drives. Today, I’m showing you the pack of these discs I got last year, which is what I’m still using to this date.

These discs can be burned up to 12x. However, my drives can only burn them up to 10x. I don’t remember owning a drive that actually allowed me to burn at 12x. For some reason, they all can burn these at 10x.

The discs are top logo branded:

On the data side, it has a dark grey color:

Verbatim CD-RW 6

Once burned, it is a bit darker. Notice in the inner ring the light color and then it turns darker.

Verbatim CD-RW 7

The burned shade will depend on the burner used. In this particular case, the burned area is a bit lighter. Note that, however, the disc had previous data before, which is why the rest of it looks darker.

The discs are perfectly compatible on my Oakcastle Portable CD Player and this is how I’m testing them before finally moving the disc to a CD-R.

Verbatim CD-RW 8

Overall, I’m pleased with these discs.

You can get them on Amazon at the following link:

Unboxing the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. Edition

Unboxing the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. Edition

Hi everyone,

Today, March 31, 2021 is supposed to be the last day to buy the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. Edition. I got it this past weekend and I’m here to show it to you.

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. 1

The box where it came is very well designed, with high quality graphics. It also has another set of graphics when we begin to open it.

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. 3

On the back, we have the usual product description and a list of games it comes with.

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. 4

Once we open the box, we can see the game system is well protected. We also see the USB-C cable for charging and the user manual.

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. 5

Let’s take the Game & Watch out of the box:

It is a small handheld and is very lightweight.

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. 8

This Game & Watch comes with 3 games. Super Mario Bros:

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. 9

Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels:

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. 10

And Game & Watch: Ball, featuring Mario:

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. 11

It also has a Mario Clock:

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. 12

Finally, here we can see this Game & Watch compared to the Game Boy Micro. It is very similar in size, altough the Game & Watch is slightly bigger:

Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. 13

Did you also got this Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. Edition?

You can still get it on Amazon at the following link:

Movies added, removed, and coming soon at Redbox – March 30, 2021

Movies added, removed, and coming soon at Redbox – March 30, 2021

Hi everyone,

Today is the fifth and final Tuesday of March 2021. This week, we got 3 new movies on DVD and one on Blu-Ray and 4K UHD Blu-Ray. Let’s see them below:

Movies added

DVD

Blu-Ray

4K UHD

Also, on Friday, we got Soul and The Seventh Day in DVD and Blu-Ray formats.

Movies that can no longer be reserved

DVD

  • 7 Days in Entebbe
  • Beirut
  • Blockers
  • Borg vs. McEnroe
  • Bus Party To Hell
  • Escape Plan 2 – Double Feature
  • Finding Your Feet
  • Sing
  • The Accountant
  • Where is Kyra?

Blu-Ray

  • Blockers
  • Escape Plan 2 – Double Feature
  • Sing
  • The Accountant

Movies Coming Soon

April 6th

  • DVD: Get Hard
  • DVD: Space Dogs: Tropical Adventure
  • DVD: Override
  • DVD: Skyfire
  • Blu-Ray: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
  • DVD: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

April 13th

  • DVD: The Penthouse
  • DVD: Phobias
  • DVD: Willy’s Wonderland

April 20th

  • Blu-Ray: Vanquish
  • DVD: Vanquish

April 27th

  • DVD: Cosmic Sin
  • DVD: 12 Strong (Back again)

More upcoming releases

  • DVD: The Virtuoso
  • DVD: The Little Things
  • DVD: The Vault
  • Blu-Ray: The Mauritanian
  • DVD: The Mauritanian
  • Blu-Ray: The Marksman
  • DVD: The Marksman
  • DVD: Minari
  • Blu-Ray: Chaos Walking
  • 4K UHD: Chaos Walking
  • DVD: Chaos Walking
  • Blu-Ray: City Of Lies
  • DVD: City Of Lies
Burning a Verbatim CD-RW on some old Slim IDE drives

Burning a Verbatim CD-RW on some old Slim IDE drives

Hi everyone,

In this post, We’ll be looking at some Slim IDE drives and how well they work with a Verbatim CD-RW disc. The drives we will be seeing are the Optiarc AD-7561A, Teach DW-224E-C, and the Toshiba SD-R6252.

I started first with the Toshiba SD-R6252 which is the drive with the oldest manufacturing date:

This drive was manufactured on July 2004. In my tests, it seems to read DVDs fine, but it fails to read CD-Rs, often with an “Unable to Recover TOC” message in ImgBurn. This drive supports CD and DVD writing.

The drive detects the disc and gives us burning speeds of 4x and 10x:

Verbatim CD-RW 12x

I initiated the burning process at 10x. It was able to erase the disc, but was surprised at the following message it gave me:

Verbatim CD-RW 12x 11

For some reason, it thinks the disc is 0 MB. However, pressing OK makes the disc burn successfully, or so I thought. Turns out this drive seem to ignore ImgBurn’s request to cycle the tray, and when the verification starts, it just freezes and starts making seek noises. This drive was also the noisiest drive. It seems the laser makes some noises when burning. Ultimately, I ejected the drive manually by disconnecting and reconnecting the USB cable. Then, ImgBurn somehow say the disc is “empty” yet it shows the old Table of Contents of the disc:

Verbatim CD-RW 12x 2

Maybe the drive couldn’t handle burning at 10x, so I restarted it at 4x:

Verbatim CD-RW 12x 4

But again, it froze at verification:

Verbatim CD-RW 12x 3

The disc seems to be lightly burned:

IDE Drive 4

The result is a failure for this drive. It isn’t able to correctly burn these discs. But maybe it’s the drive that’s somehow dead for CD’s, since it has issues reading most of them but reads fine CD-ROMs.

My next attempt is to use my TEAC DW-224E-C. Here, initially the drive is unable to read the disc as the Toshiba drive corrupted it.

Verbatim CD-RW 12x 5

It does not let me do anything as it doesn’t read it. I had to jump to the Optiarc drive which was successful at detecting the disc and allowing me to burn it.

This unit was successful at burning and verifying the disc.

IDE Drive 10

You can see that the lighter burned area is now darker.

I then placed the disc in the TEAC drive where it was able to read and verify it successfully too:

Verbatim CD-RW 12x 8

It also allows us to burn the disc again, so even when it was written, I performed an erase operation first, which blanked the disc:

IDE Drive 11

And then fired the burning process:

Verbatim CD-RW 12x 10

It was able to burn and verify it too.

Verbatim CD-RW 12x 9

The final disc played fine in my new Oakcastle Portable CD Player, which states it can read CD-RW.

Conclusion

From the above drives, only the Toshiba SD-R6252 failed to burn it. Both the TEAC and Optiarc drives were able to burn and verify it fine. Maybe the Toshiba drive is bad, as it fails to read CD-Rs correctly, sometimes unable to read the Table of Contents and sometimes failing to properly seek. However, that same drive is able to read DVDs without any issues, so maybe the CD laser is bad.

For the TEAC and Optiarc drives, the final result is a working, playable disc. The Optiarc drive is able to burn these discs at 4x and 10x. I didn’t test burning it at 4x. The TEAC drive does not show the supported burning speeds on ImgBurn like it did for the other 2 drives, but in reality, it burns it at the expected 10x.

Philips BD-R DL 50GB burned at 6x on Pioneer BDR-2212

Philips BD-R DL 50GB burned at 6x on Pioneer BDR-2212

Hi everyone,

In my last post of the Philips BD-R DL 50GB discs, I shared the quality scan of the discs burned at 8x on the Pioneer BDR-2212 drive. Here, I’m sharing the quality scans of these discs burned on the same drive at 6x.

Overall, it is a good burn. As we saw in the previous post, it seems the drive manages to burn the second layer better. The LG drive, however, seems to have some spikes at the end while the LiteOn drive had more spikes on the first layer. The discs were all readable on both drives.

The burning took about aproximately 30 minutes, meanwhile the 8x burns takes about 25 minutes.

The HP BD-R DL 50GB Blu-Ray Discs

The HP BD-R DL 50GB Blu-Ray Discs

Hi everyone,

Early this week, I ordered more Double Layer Blu-Ray discs. Unfortunately, the Philips 10pk BD-R DLs that were at $9 each were out of stock, so I had 2 options, both listed at $11 dollars:

  • Philips BD-R DL 10pk – Logo surface
  • HP BD-R DL 10pk – Logo surface

I decided to go with the HP ones since I’ve already tested the Philips BD-R DL 10pk printable discs, and maybe the Logo surface ones were the same CMC Magnetics discs. With the HP ones, I have the opportunity to review these and see if they are the same or different than the Philips discs. Because the Verbatim 100GB discs are still very high on price and seem to be low on stock, I need to get more BD-R DLs than usual. This is why I ordered 5 of these packs again.

Basically, last time I wasted a full 10pk of the Philips discs doing tests, until realizing that the Pioneer BDR-2212 drive was the one that handled them best. Will the same happen here again? We’ll find out.

The disc packaging is very similar to the Philips discs, except that these spindles have a paper on the top as well as the branding on the sides. Both were made in Taiwan. They are also rated to be burned up at 6x, although the burning speeds available depends on the burner capabilities and firmware itself.

Opening it, we have the shiny top logo surface discs:

The discs does look to be very well made. The data surface also look very smooth too.

It also has a dark gold-colored look, as opposed to the dark grey color of the Philips discs. This is important because it may tell us that the manufacturer is different.

My first thought was to insert this into the Panasonic UJ-260, to see what it thinks of this disc.

VERBAT-IMf-000 Panasonic UJ-260

ImgBurn says these discs are made by Verbatim! The media code ID is VERBAT-IMf-000. The Panasonic UJ-260 can burn them at 2x and 6x. This is higher than the RITEK-DR3-000 and CMCMAG-DI6-000 discs, both of which could be burned up to 4x on this drive (Note that the CMCMAG-DI6-000 failed on this drive, but it could burn the RITEK-DR3-000 perfectly fine).

Given this, let’s try to burn a disc with Nero at 6x.

VERBAT-IMf-000 Panasonic UJ-260 Burning 6x on Nero

It did seem to start burning great, but unfortunately, the disc failed to burn with just a generic burning error:

VERBAT-IMf-000 Panasonic UJ-260 Burning 6x on Nero Failed

This is the first time the Panasonic fails on me while burning a disc. This is also unexpected, given that Verbatim discs should be the best of the best. Usually, this drive would burn a disc fine but may fail on the verification, like it did on the CMCMAG-DI6-000 discs. Maybe it couldn’t handle burning at 6x.

HP BD-R DL 10pk 6

As we can see, it failed at the first layer.

My next try was of course, on the Pioneer BDR-2212. It burned all of the Philips spindles flawlessly, altough on just one of the discs, it wrote a bad sector and this drive was able to read it back while the others failed on that sector. I discarded this disc, but the others wrote and verified just fine.

VERBAT-IMf-000 Pioneer BDR-2212

The Pioneer drive reports that this disc can be burned at up to 8x.

I fired up Nero and attempted to burn the disc at 8x. The CMCMAG-DI6-000 burned great at this speed and the verification went really well too. No speed slowdowns happened at all when reading them.

Nero was able to burn and verify this disc successfully. In fact, it also read back fine in my LiteOn iHBS112.

HP BD-R DL 10pk 7

The finished disc has a dark grey burned color. Here we can see it compared to a burned CMCMAG-DI6-000 disc:

HP BD-R DL 10pk 8

The CMCMAG-DI6-000 on the left has a darker burned color than the VERBAT-IMf-000 disc on the right.

Next are the usual quality scans. I really don’t pay attention to it, as it’s been proven that the drives can handle high amounts of LDC/BIS numbers and the only discs that failed on me were scratched or rotten ones. This happened some years ago, but none of the discs I’ve burned so far has given me issues.

Test results of an 8x burn

VERBAT-IMf-000 Burned with Pioneer BDR-2212 at 8x and scanned on LiteOn iHBS112 at 4x

The LiteOn iHBS112 seem to read the disc just great but reports high numbers on the first layer and a bit on the 2nd one before going back down to numbers that stays within the limits. Besides this result, the disc was completely readable.

VERBAT-IMf-000 Burned with Pioneer BDR-2212 at 8x and ScanDisc on LiteOn iHBS112

Now, let’s move on to scanning and verifying it on the LG WH16NS58:

VERBAT-IMf-000 Burned with Pioneer BDR-2212 at 8x and scanned on LG WH14NS58 at 4x

The LG drive stayed between the tolerance numbers except once it reached the 20GB mark, where it went up. It stabilized again on the 2nd layer at around 29GB and stayed within its limits. The disc once again was completely readable according to Nero DiscSpeed.

VERBAT-IMf-000 Burned with Pioneer BDR-2212 at 8x and ScanDisc on LG WH16NS58

Test results of a 6x burn

I burned a disc at 6x, which was successful too. The difference between a 6x and 8x burn is about 5 minutes.

Now, let’s see how it scanned:

The scan on the LiteOn drive is very similar to the 8x burn. On the LG drive, however, it seems the first layer was burned better. The start of the 2nd layer did present a spike but seem to correct itself. Remember that the Pioneer drive performs some calibration while burning. It usually does it at around 56% after starting to burn the second layer of a BD-R DL disc. The rest of the disc burned with good quality and no spikes.

Even with those spikes on both scans, the disc read fine on both instances.

Burning on the Panasonic UJ260 at 2x

I decided to give this drive another try, but this time burning at 2x. Surprisingly, it handled burning it and succeeded in the verification stage.

Testing on the LiteOn and LG drives looked way, way better too

We can see once again that the LG scanned it a bit better, but the difference between the LiteOn and LG is not so much. Overall, this looks way better than the Pioneer burns at 6x and 8x.

This is very good to know because before the Pioneer drive, I was always burning on the Panasonic drive. This means that the only media this drive cannot handle well is the CMCMAG-DI6-000, but it could be because of the tint of those discs that I mentioned on that review and may not be the case with other branded CMCMAG discs.

Conclusion

The discs from the batch I got are all Verbatim 6x media. They are burning reliably on the Pioneer drive and at 2x on the Panasonic drive. The LG and LiteOn drives can read back the data on all of the above cases regardless of the quality scans without any speed slowdown. I’d recommend this media because of how cheap it is, considering they seem to be Verbatim media but branded for HP.

You can order these discs on Amazon at the following link: