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.
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.
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.
It did seem to start burning great, but unfortunately, the disc failed to burn with just a generic burning error:
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.
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.
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.
The finished disc has a dark grey burned color. Here we can see it compared to a burned CMCMAG-DI6-000 disc:
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
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.
Now, let’s move on to scanning and verifying it on the LG WH16NS58:
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.
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.
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:
Today, we will be looking at the Philips BD-R DL White Inkjet Printable Blu-Ray Recordable media:
These discs were at a surprising price of just $9 dollars on Amazon, so I picked up 5 spindles of these.
These discs holds up to 50GB and are rated to be burnt at up to 6x. Let’s take a look at the disc surface and label sides:
The discs have the Philips brand at the center of the disc. Also, we can see that the discs have some sort of tint on the data side. Hopefully, these will not affect the recordings. Or will it? Let’s find out how my burners handle these discs.
Burning on Panasonic UJ-260
My first attempt to burn these was with my old but trusted Panasonic UJ-260 drive. It has been successfully burning discs with media codes RITEK-BR2 (25GB), RITEK-DR3 (50GB), CMCMAG-BA5 (25GB) and VERBAT-IMk (100GB).
The disc was recognized as CMCMAG-DI6-000 and can be burnt at up to 4x in this drive:
The disc was able to burn fine, but unfortunately failed verification. Let’s see the disc burned surface:
We can see that there are burning issues. The Panasonic UJ-260 writes double layer media in two zones. It starts at 2x, and then burns at 4x. On the 2nd layer, it goes from 4x to 2x. The red zones are when the drive spins down to 2x to burn the final parts of the disc.
Still, out of curiosity, somehow this disc was readable on the LG drive when I did a ScanDisc run on Nero DiscSpeed:
I burned another disc, this time at 2x. The burn again went fine, but the verification failed on the 2nd layer again.
The disc looks awful. You can see the rings in the recording surface. The scans also points this issue out:
Both drives agree that something is wrong at the end. The disc should technically be looking darker like the rings look, which would explain why the second layer was scanning properly until the rings started to appear.
Few days later, I burned another one at 4x using ImgBurn. The previous 2 were burned with Nero, but that shouldn’t had be an issue. This time, the disc burned and verified fine, but it still did rings at the disc surface:
Scans looks better, but I wouldn’t trust the disc in its condition:
It’s still clear that the rings are affecting the burn.
Burning on the LiteOn iHBS112
I burned another disc on the LiteOn iHBS112. This drive is able to burn them at 4x and 6x:
The disc burned and verified fine, but the drive produced rings on the disc surface too.
This burner also burned this disc in 2 zones, one at 4x and the other at 6x. The first layer burned fine, but we can see it struggled on the 2nd layer at the 4x zone:
Regardless of the scans, the disc was completely readable.
This drive is interesting in that if I burn with Nero, it fails immediately with “Write Error” and closes the disc, effectively not allowing us to retry burning anything since it changes the book type to BD-ROM somehow. I tried with ImgBurn at 6x and it managed to burn and verify the disc, but again, it came out with rings:
The drive did seem to produce a better burn except at the layer break. Also, the several rings do have an effect too:
I burned another disc, but this time it failed verifying:
It seems this time the issue is mostly at the layer break.
I have this slim drive, and surprisingly, it did not produce any visible rings in the disc surface. It is also able to burn it at 6x:
The disc was verified successful too. Let’s see how it performs at the graphs:
The LG seem to tolerate the disc better than the LiteOn. The first layer scanned fine. In both cases, the disc was completely readable without errors.
Pioneer BDR-2212 (BDR-212ULBK/BDR-212M)
I recently got this recorder to try burning these discs and see if it would offer a better burning experience. It is able to burn these discs at up to 8x on this drive.
I burned some discs with Nero 2017, which I haven’t upgraded since that version since every version is essentially just the same, and it burned the discs fine at 8x.
The disc surface looks very good. No rings are present either. However, when I first scanned the disc with my LG drive, it gave a really bad result:
So I re-ran the test again and got a way better result:
The LDC numbers may look high but the BIS numbers are almost within the standards. High, but the disc works fine across all my drives. The above scan was also performed at 8x. Below, we have the scans from my LG and LiteOn drive, from the same disc burned at 8x:
As we can see, the LG drive scanned the disc better than the LiteOn drive, but it was read without any issues there.
This drive seem to have better results when writing the 2nd layer, which is unexpected. Usually, the 1st layer is the one that gets burned the best. I did noticed that this drive seem to do a power calibration when switching layers, which can explain why the LDC/BIS numbers are low at that point. I think of this because the drive seem to slow down and pause when it reaches the layer break. The drive then proceeds to burn the disc as usual. My other drives would just keep burning immediately at this point.
These Philips BD-R DL use discs from CMC Magnetics with media code CMCMAG-DI6-000. These discs seem to have compatibility issues with some drives. In fact, go to Amazon and read the reviews and you’ll see some people are also having issues when burning these discs. Unfortunately, drive vendors that update their firmware are low. LG and Pioneer seem to keep their drives up to date, but the LG doesn’t seem to have the best luck burning them, as some discs may come fine and some may fail. The Pioneer seems to handle them the best and can even overspeed it to 8x. I think the investment on the drive paid off. Considering these discs spindles can be found cheap now, I think I’ll keep purchasing them for my archival needs.
Before attempting to open it, we must open the disc tray, so we’ll be able to remove the front faceplate:
We will now flip the drive and remove each screw:
And viola! We now have opened the drive:
Its internals are very similar to most drives. You’ll find 2 small boards: One which holds the drive controller and EEPROM, and one that holds the tray loading mechanism:
Here, you can take a closer look at both boards:
Now, lets take a front look:
The internals are also very close to other Blu-Ray drives. In this case, the DVD and Blu-Ray optics are side-by-side, while other drives have this arranged in an up-down position. The LG drive, for example, have the Blu-Ray and DVD optics in an up-down configuration while the Panasonic drive also has a very similar side-by-side setup.
On the left, we have the DVD optics while on the right, we have the Blu-Ray optics. The Optical Pickup Unit looks of very high quality. The motor is similar to other drives.
I hope this drive lasts a really long time. Internally, I would say each component looks very well designed, especially that Optical Pickup Unit. I’m still not sure whether to use this drive for CD and DVD burning, since that honor would go to my LiteOn iHAS524. It is, after all, capable of burning DVDs at up to 24x but burns most media at 20x when its OverSpeed setting is enabled. The Pioneer is able to burn up to 16x on DVD Single Layer media. I’m also not sure if the BDR-2212 is able to set the booktype on DVD+R and DVD+R DL discs, something that my LiteOn drive is able to do.
Another day, we’ll talk about how this drive handles BD-R DL media.
You can get this drive on Amazon at the following link:
This last week, I ordered the Pioneer BDR-2212. It is a Blu-Ray burner capable of burning up to 16x on BD-R, 14x on BD-R DL, 8x on BD-R TL (BDXL TL) and 6x on BD-R QL (BDXL QL). My reasons to get this drive are the following:
Curiosity: Pioneer has been a maker of high quality drives, but comes with a high price tag. I already own an old LiteOn iHBS112 and LG WH14NS40 that I’ve crossflashed to the WH16NS60 and WH16NS58 (Which enables quality scanning).
Problems burning and reading on the LG drive: The LG drive is probably the cheapest drive you can get now, but my first unit failed, so I ordered another one. The drive is also unreliable at reading and burning, sometimes making weird noises and burns have failed too.
My Panasonic burner failed to burn CMCMAG-DI6 discs properly: The Panasonic UJ260 has been the drive I’ve been using to burn my discs and it has been working great, altough very slow sometimes, and can only burn BDXL at 2x. The drive works fine except for the CMCMAG-DI6 discs, which fails. We’ll talk about this on another post.
The Pioneer will be my main burner (assuming it can burn the discs fine) and reader from now on, and I’ll use the LG exclusively for 4K discs, since the BDR-2212 cannot read 4K Blu-Ray discs.
Let’s start with how the box look:
Opening the box, we can see the drive:
It came with a 100GB BDXL M-Disc:
Taking the drive off the box:
It also comes with the manual, Cyberlink suite and the mounting hardware:
Once in Windows, it is detected as a Pioneer BD-RW BDR-212M:
I’ll be testing this drive and see how well it performs. In my next post, I’ll perform a unit teardown.
You can get this drive on Amazon at the following link:
The first thing is I received this item on an “Amazon Renewed” bag. The sticker is different from the “Amazon Inspected” one from my previous order:
Visually looking, we can see that the spindle looks fine itself:
Taking the spindle out of the packaging also doesn’t bring any serious alarm, except that the Verbatim label is broken:
Now, after opening it, is where I noticed something weird. Looking at the data side, it looks more “purple”:
Indeed, inserting this on one of my Blu-Ray drives indicates these are regular 25GB discs. It also has another media code unrelated to Verbatim itself: UMEBDR-016-000
The real Verbatim BDXL discs have a Media ID of VERBAT-IMk-000:
This is how a Verbatim BDXL disc should look:
And here they are side by side. See the difference?
The fact that the label was broken is also sketchy. Here are both spindles closed side by side:
My theory is that the previous owner kept the 100GB discs and exchanged them with regular 25GB printable discs and returned them. I went ahead and started the return process, stating this fact, and returned this item to my nearest UPS Store. At this time, all I can say is be careful when purchasing used discs. My previous experience was positive, but not this one.
Yesterday afternoon, I received the “Used – Good” Verbatim BDXL discs that I purchased last week. Today, we’ll see exactly what these discs really mean and if they are really used.
First, we see the item arrived on a bag. Visually inspecting it from the bag it seems the packaging itself looks good.
Indeed, it all looks good, except it isn’t really wrapped like new items are, so the spindle was actually opened already.
The spindle package looks so good that there are not even damages to it, which contradicts Amazon’s description of “Used – Good” items since it claimed that there were some damages.
Taking a look at the discs itself, they also look good. There are no imperfections on it, which also contradicts their definition of the “Used – Good” condition.
Even the data side looks fine. No disc have been burned either, so they are “brand new”.
What I did notice, however, was a bit of dust in them, but that was it. No scratches or imperfections were found in them. As of now, I’m currently burning these discs, gently cleaning them before attempting to burn them to clear any dust they may have. Last night, the first 2 discs burned successfully. I’m burning my 3rd one as of this writing, and it’s going good so far, using my Panasonic UJ-260 ABPU-B.
On the past few days, I ordered several quantities of BDXL discs to backup my recorded videos from the past years. These projects have varying sizes and some goes up to 1TB. This means I need several of these BDXL discs to back them up.
When looking at the BDXL media on Amazon, I noticed they can be purchased “Used” straight from the Amazon Warehouse seller. A spindle of 10 discs cost $41.88, while the Used condition was at $36.85.
It’s going to be interesting to see the definition of “Used” for these discs. The description says the packaging is damaged, and Amazon’s definition for “Used – Good” items say that they may be missing items. The order description talks about some “imperfections”, which will be interesting to see exactly what it means. While the price certainly is lower, maybe it may have 8 or 9 out of 10 discs, or maybe it’s just the packaging that’s bad and that’s it. In either way, tomorrow I’ll get to know for sure once it is delivered to me.
Today, before writing this post, I noticed Amazon Warehouse had the same product, this time listed as “Used – Like New”. The price was $39.79, which is $2 and some cents off the original new price. The description says that just the packaging is damaged, which is manageable if that’s the case. The most important part for me is that the discs are fine by themselves. This item will arrive on February 6 or sooner.
While I wait for these items to arrive, I’m compressing and splitting my projects into 23.3GB parts. This allows me to store 4 of those on a single BDXL disc. I’m burning these using my old Panasonic UJ-260 slim Blu-Ray writer since my LG WH14NS40 seems to have failures sometimes. I’ve wasted some discs already due to issues with that drive, while my Panasonic drive burns them flawlessly, although at just 2x, taking about 3 hours to burn and 2 hours to verify. While the burning time is long, the important part is that these discs are burning fine and can be read back correctly. I’m burning these discs with Nero 2017 using the SecurDisc compilation option.
Yesterday, I received my very first BDXL media. These are way more expensive than BD-R and about twice the cost of BD-R DL media.
For my first BDXL recordable media, I decided to get the Verbatim 10-pack spindle. These seem to be one of the lowest-priced media when compared to 3-packs or 5-packs variants of other manufacturers.
These BDXL discs are rated at 4x, but my LG WH14NS40 crossflashed to the WH16NS60 firmware detects them as having a write speed of up to 8x.
The Media ID is VERBAT-IMk-000.
On my Panasonic UJ260, these have a maximum write speed of just 2x.
I added files to burn using ImgBurn, and made sure to use the most space possible. I then started the burning process on my WH14NS14 at the maximum supported speed of 8x.
Añadí archivos a ImgBurn y me aseguré de llenar el disco lo más posible. Luego, comencé a quemarlos con mi LG WH14NS14 a la velocidad máxima de 8x.
It seems the drive use a Z-CLV (Zoned Constant Linear Velocity) strategy to burn these discs. The write pattern was as follows:
Layer 0: 4x -> 6x -> 8x
Layer 1: 8x -> 6x -> 4x
Layer 2: 4x -> 6x -> 8x
We can see the pattern below:
Some times, when the writing was at 4x, the drive would go down to 3.3x for about 1 second or 2:
The same happened when the drive was recording at 6x, going down to 5x for a second or 2:
The drive successfully burned this media, having an average speed of 5.7x:
Verification was slower than the writing itself, as it limited the read speed to 6x:
The verification was successful and no errors were reported:
The average read speed was 4.3x, slower than the 5.7x average when writing to it. It also seems that while ImgBurn set a read speed of up to 6x, the drive went all the way to 9x, according to the Maximum Verify Rate.
Here, we can see the written disc with its Z-CLV zones:
These discs seem to be compatible with the LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray writer. They also burn at a faster 8x speed which is more than its rated speed of 4x. The drive was able to successfully burn them and read them. These discs, while expensive, allow us to write up to 100GB (about 93GB of actual storage) on a single medium. It would have taken us 4 25GB BD-R or 2 50GB BD-R DL media to write an equivalent amount of data.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any BDXL scanner I can use to test the quality, but the media can be read back on the LG drive as well as on my Panasonic UJ260. The latter seems to read the disc in Z-CLV too, but it was able to read the data back successfully too. It is just slower than the LG drive.
If we compare the price of having 10x 100GB Blu-Ray discs to owning a 1TB Hard Disk Drive, we can see that the BDXL media is a couple dollars more:
The BDXL media on eBay (It was at $53.15 at the time of puchase):
On Amazon. They seem to have lowered the price to $49.99 at the time I took this screenshot:
The price of 1TB Hard Disk Drives on Amazon:
Ultimately, it all would depend on your needs. Personally, I like to write data that will not be used frequently on optical media, while having frequently-changing data on the discs. I’ve also had a bad experience of having Hard Drives fail, and while I’ve had optical media fail too (Some bad Blu-Ray batches that deteriorated in a couple of years), the data loss is not as much as losing a whole hard drive. Remember to back-up your data!
On Saturday, I received the LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray Writer Drive. This is my 3rd Blu-Ray writer and it will replace my LiteOn iHBS112 which was causing several bad burns. The other drive is the Panasonic UJ-260, which is a slim drive that burns discs successfully.
This drive is one of the cheapest Blu-Ray XL writers available on Amazon. It is also able to read and burn CDs and DVDs.
Here, we will see the drive unboxed and teared down.
The drive came in this simple box:
There’s no branding. Just a box with the part number printed on a label.
Opening the box we see the drive:
Just the drive. No cables or software are included.
The drive is protected in bubble wrap:
Also also comes inside a plastic bag:
Taking it off we see the drive itself:
Now, let’s take a look at the top, where we will find some useful information:
The drive is the WH14NS40, with SVC code NS50. It was manufactured on January 2020 and comes with firmware 1.04:
Finally, this is the drive with the tray opened:
We will begin the teardown by removing the 4 screws on the bottom:
We can then remove the bottom cover:
Let’s take a closer look at the drive chipset:
It is using a MediaTek MT1959HWDN chip.
Let’s now see the Eject Button, LED and Tray Motor board:
A look at the bottom tray mechanism:
The internal tray loading mechanism and Optical Pickup Unit:
A closer look to the Optical Pickup Unit:
And finally, here’s how the drive looks in my Desktop PC:
This Blu-Ray writer can be crossflashed to the WH16NS60 16x variant. In fact, that was the first thing I did.
The drive is identified as HL-DS-ST BD-RW WH16NS60.
Here is the drive capabilities according to ImgBurn:
So far, I was able to successfully burn a BD-R with media code RITEK-BR2-00 and a BD-R DL with media code RITEK-DR3-000. Both discs were burned with ImgBurn and verified successfully.
Look forward as I test Blu-Ray media with this drive!
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