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:
The discs do not come in a standard spindle, so you have to be very careful when opening it.
They have a branded surface:
The recording surface has a dark purple color:
When the disk is loaded in ImgBurn on a LiteOn iHAS524 drive with OverSpeed turned on, it will detect them as having a speed of up to 16x:
The disc media ID from this batch is RICOHJPN-D01-67.
Unfortunately, burning these discs with either 12x or 16x will not work and will produce coasters. They will actually write at 4x but will fail the verification. This is why I recommend turning off OverSpeed and burning at the rated 8x speed.
Here’s the disk information with OverSpeed turned off:
The LiteOn iHAS524 was able to burn the discs successfully when burned at 8x. I burned them with HyperTuning, Online HyperTuning and Smart-Burn turned on. OverSpeed was turned off.
Interestingly, it seemed to have burned some discs using a CAV strategy while the rest were burned using a Z-CLV strategy.
The disc started burning at 5x but eventually reached 8x. Then it went backward:
Data verification was successful going up to 16x:
The drive burned the discs starting at 4x, then going up to 6x, and finally up to 8x. It then did the same on the opposite direction:
Data verification was also successful having a maximum read speed of 16x:
Disc Quality Test
I used Nero DiscSpeed to perform quality tests on these discs. It seems that there is a problem around the layer break when the scan is performed at the maximum speed which is 16x:
However, when we reduced the speed to 8x, we got some decent results with no issues at the layer break:
With a price of just $19.99, I think this is a good media to backup data. A 100pk Single-layer DVD+R spindle cost somewhere between $20-$25 these days. While these media are Double Layer, you’re getting half the discs with almost double the capacity for around that same price.
When burning these discs, just don’t overspeed them. You’ll have coasters. Burn them at their rated speed of 8x and always verify the data. While none of my discs had issues verifying the discs burned at 8x, those burned at 12x and 16x did experienced issues. This is why you should disable overspeed and burn at 8x.
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.
You can buy these discs on Amazon here:
Changing the LiteOn iHAS524 Optical Pickup Unit, again
On Friday, I got a used LiteOn iHAS124 A delivered. This model use the SF-DS19L OPU that all LiteOn iHASx24 use (x being a number from 1 to 6).
The LiteOn iHASx24 series are all the same, except that the iHAS224, iHAS424 and iHAS624 has the hardware for LightScribe burning, while the iHAS124, iHAS324 and iHAS524 doesn’t. Other than that, the hardware is identical but they have different firmwares. The capabilities between models are the following:
LiteOn iHAS124: Base model.
LiteOn iHAS224: LightScribe.
LiteOn iHAS324: SmartErase.
LiteOn iHAS424: LightScribe and SmartErase.
LiteOn iHAS524: LabelTag and SmartErase.
LiteOn iHAS624: LightScribe, LabelTag and SmartErase.
Basically they have a different firmware enabling LightScribe, LabelTag and SmartErase depending on the model you have. Even if you have a different model, the firmware can be crossflashed by using some tools and firmware. I will not be covering that here, but it’s good to know if you’d like to add some features to your drives. The only feature that depends on hardware is LightScribe.
My LiteOn iHAS524 has been with me since 2010, and it’s probably the best CD and DVD burner available given its ability to overspeed 16x media to 20x. It also has HyperTuning, Online HyperTuning and SmartBurn, which are essential features to burn media with great quality. This is why I still count on this drive as sometimes I like to store data on optical media.
The drive had its optical pickup unit changed to the SF-DS1XD some years ago because one CD broke inside the unit, damaging the original SF-DS19L. I also didn’t use DVD+R DL media, so everything was fine, until last week. It turns out that the OPU had problems burning the discs. Specifically, it had problems focusing on the second DVD layer, failing at 50%. This is why I brought the used LiteOn iHAS124 A drive.
Because this unit is an A revision unit, the hardware between the iHAS124 and iHAS514 is the same. I did changed the iHAS524 disc mechanism to the one from the iHAS524 C revision, with the exception of the OPU:
On both photos, the iHAS524 is on the left while the iHAS124 is on the right.
Here we can see the disc mechanism from the iHAS124 unmounted:
And the Optical Pickup Unit taken out of it:
I’ll be using this OPU in the original iHAS524 mount, so I placed it there:
And finally, here’s the disc mechanism attached to the iHAS524:
The OPU started working immediately. It is now loading discs faster and wasn’t making weird noises. I was also able to burn some DVD+R DL media without issues. I’ll be talking about that on another post, but for now, this is it.
In the past few days, I brought a LiteOn iHAS524 C DVD drive on eBay. This drive is quite rare and was being sold as used, but the unit seems to be in good conditions.
The reason to have this drive is due to its unique LabelTag feature. This allows you to create labels on the data side of a CD-R and DVD+/-R. It, of course, will consume space, but the advantage is that you don’t have to manually label the discs as long as there is enough storage. It can also be created as soon as the data is burned given you use Nero Express with the LabelTag software present.
I also currently have the LiteOn iHAS524 A, which had its optical pickup unit replaced with the one used in the B revision. They are compatible with the A units and have been working great. However, the C unit laser is NOT compatible with the A unit, and I guess the same is true with the B units.
Here, I’ll present you with a side by side comparison of the internals as well as its exterior photos.
LiteOn iHAS524 C External Photos
We start with the front of the drive:
As is usual with DVD drives, you get to see the CD and DVD logos; and because this drive also features LabelTag, it has the logo in the front too.
Here is a closer look at the top:
And the back:
This C unit was manufactured on August 2012.
LiteOn iHAS524 A Exterior Photos
Now, let’s take a look at the exterior photos of the iHAS524 A. This drive has been with me since its release in 2010, so it doesn’t have the same condition as the iHAS524 C:
Again, we see the CD, DVD, and LabelTag logos.
Here is the top:
And the bottom of the drive:
It has a missing screw which I lost some time ago when I replaced the drive optical pickup unit. This drive was manufactured on June 2010.
Here, we will see the internals side by side. We will start with the top cover interior:
Now, a look at the drive’s inside:
Both drives looks almost identical, with a few diferences.
This is the iHAS524 B Optical Pickup Unit. The part number is SF-DS1XD. It is compatible with the LiteOn iHAS524 A and is the one it’s using.
And here’s the iHAS524 C Optical Pickup Unit:
The part number is SF-DS1X1. It doesn’t have the small potentiometer on the lower left. Other than that, it looks almost the same.
The back also looks similar. The board from the A model is a bit bigger than the C model.
Here, we see both drives internals with the disc tray opened, giving us a better look at the reader mechanisms.
Unfortunately, the iHAS524 C Optical Pickup Unit is not compatible with the iHAS524 A. The drive refused to turn on, but it seems that what really happened was that there was a short circuit. This caused the ribbon cable to burn:
The iHAS524 A didn’t suffer any damage other than the burned ribbon cable. The SF-DS1X1 laser didn’t get damaged and the iHAS524C was able to work fine. After I made sure it worked, I placed its ribbon cable to the iHAS524 A and it started working with the SF-DS1XD OPU again. Phew!
Long story short, the SF-DS1X1 OPU is not compatible with the iHAS524 A. Use the SF-DS19L (The one that should be used in the A revision) or the SF-DS1XD (For B units, but also works with the A units).
This is the SF-DS19L Optical Pickup Unit which I replaced with the SF-DS1XD:
If you need one of these Optical Pickup Units, you can find them on AliExpress.
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