These are White Inkjet Printable discs, so they have a printable surface:
The data side from these discs are dark grey colored:
Here is a quick comparison of the disc compared with the previously-reviewed SmartBuy BD-R discs:
As you can see, there is a significant difference in the data surface.
The media code of these discs is CMCMAG-BA5-000:
Burning in the Panasonic UJ-260
We will be burning these discs in the Panasonic UJ-260 drive:
This drive can burn these discs at 2x and 6x. I burned a disc using Nero at the maximum speed, to which it was successfully doing, although it burned it at 2x instead of the 6x speed it should have burned:
The disc verification was also successful:
Here is the disc burned surface:
Both my LiteOn and LG WH16NS58 drives seem to agree in that this is a great burn:
I burned another disc again, and on that one, the drive decided to burn at the full 6x speed:
This disc also verified correctly:
My LG drive also thinks this is a great burn:
For this disc, I forgot to scan it on the LiteOn drive, but we can see in the above image that the disc has burned fine, with a bit of increases in the numbers as it progresses but nothing worrying.
The Panasonic UJ-260 can successfully burn and verify these discs at up to 6x, altough it may sometimes burn a disc at just 2x. The quality seems to be very good. Another Media Code that the drive can handle with great results.
In the next posts we will see how this disc burned in the LiteOn iHBS112 and in the Pioneer BDR-2212 drives.
You can purchase these discs on Amazon at the following link:
The SmartBuy BD-RE 25GB discs and burning it in the Panasonic UJ-260 drive
Today, we will see the SmartBuy BD-RE 25GB disc. This is a rewritable, single-layer Blu-Ray disc that can hold up to 25GB of data. Rewritable discs are the slowest Blu-Ray media available, only allowing them to be burnt at up to 2x speed. This is my first time using a rewritable Blu-Ray disc, so we’ll see how it performs in my Panasonic UJ-260 drive.
My favorite Blu-Ray burner drive is the Panasonic UJ-260 drive. So I’ll be burning a disc in that drive. Since there was never an official DVD+/-RW DL (Double layer Rewritable DVD discs), these rewritable Blu-Ray discs are a great choice for when we need to temporarily hold data that would otherwise not fit on a standard DVD+/-RW discs. Examples are some Windows installation ISO files that can be a bit bigger than the standard 4.37GB size for a normal DVD disc.
I started ImgBurn and it reports that these discs have a media code of RITEK-BW1-001:
We can also see that the only speed it supports is 2x for writing. There are no other speed variants for this type of discs. At 2x, burning a full 25GB (23.3GB on Windows) will take about 45 minutes. Luckily, the discs can be read at up to 6x in this drive, so reading data will definitely be faster, taking up to 22 to 25 minutes.
Before we start burning these discs, we can tweak ImgBurn to allow the disc to burn at its full speed or have some extra care while burning. These options are:
Prefer Format With Full Certification
Prefer Format Without Spare Areas
Prefer Properly Formatted Discs
Prefer Format Without Spare Areas will allow us to use the full disc size. If this is disabled, the disc will have spare areas which means a portion of the space cannot be used. This also enables or disables the Blu-Ray hardware defect management system. For these settings to take effect, we need to execute a Full Erase operation.
The other format options can increate the formatting time considerably, so if you want to get up and running, be sure to disable the first and last option. Otherwise, except ImgBurn to perform a full disc erase, taking a long time to do before the burn process actually stats.
One should also have the DVD-RAM / BD-RE FastWrite option enabled to allow the disc to burn at the full speed. In reality, my burns have been of varying speeds. Sometimes it will write at 2x, while other times it will simply write at 1x, regardless of these settings. It seems that ultimately, the drive takes control of what speed it will use, probably because of its power calibration, or maybe it sees something and the firmware decides to take control:
Once we tweak ImgBurn, we can start burning a disc. It may ask us to format or erase the disc, to which will permit the software to do. Once erased or formatted, the software will burn the disc. This drive was able to successfully burn this disc at the full 2x speed:
And the verification was also successful:
This is how the burned disc looks like:
These discs looks like an excellent media to burn temporary data, like Windows installation discs when we need to reinstall the operating system, given that nowadays some images can be bigger than what a single-layer DVD can hold. The Panasonic UJ-260 drive identified, burned and verified the disc correctly. Ritek seems to be doing great discs, which SmartBuy sells, and these are an example. The surface looks smooth and seems of top quality.
You can buy these discs on Amazon at the following link:
Burning the SmartBuy DVD+R DL 8.5GB disc in the Panasonic UJ-260 drive
This unit supports burning these discs at a speed of 2.4x and 6x. This post will focus on a disc burned at 6x.
Burning the disc seem to have gone well:
This drive burns dual layer discs using a Z-CLV strategy. It starts burning at 2.4x, then increasing the speed to 4x, and finally reaching 6x. On the second layer, it does the opposite, starting at 6x, then going to 4x, and finally dropping to 2.4x.
The disc verification was successful:
This is how the disc surface looks after burning:
You can see there are 3 visible zones in the disc, which are the 2.4x, 4x and 6x zones. It makes the impression that there may be more zones, but this may be because of the dual layer and how the writer writes the second layer.
We will now see some disc quality scans from the above disc. All of the scans are performed at a speed of 4x, except in the Optiarc AD-7561A, which does not support setting the read speed, and the AD-7740H, which only scans at 6x and 8x.
LiteOn iHAS524 A
This is a very good scan with only a few elevated numbers in the 2nd layer and a spike in the PIE at the layer break.
LiteOn iHBS112 2
This drive always seem to scan the PIF correctly but reports a lot of error in the PIE. There is a spike in the layer break for both the PIE and PIF reported in this drive.
Numbers similar to the LiteOn iHAS524 drive, except the PIE are a bit higher at the end. It also reports a spike in the PIE numbers at the layer break.
This drive always reports elevated numbers. At about the 5.5GB mark, there seems to be a PIF spike.
Elevated PIE numbers at the second layer, and a spike in the layer break.
A good result. There is no spike reported in the layer break, but it is in the PIE.
The Panasonic UJ-260 has been one of my favorite drives when it comes to writing Blu-Ray discs. I recently started to use it to burn DVD+R discs for archival purposes and it seems to do the job well done. The only issue seems to be at the layer break that some drives can detect. Since only a few drives see this, I can’t say for sure that the disc is a bad burn. The Panasonic drive itself verified it correctly and the other drives can read it fine as well. Therefore, it seems to have done the job correctly. On the other hand, this drive does not support DVD+R/DL bitsetting, so if you’re cool with that, this drive will work for you.
You can buy these discs on Amazon at the following link:
New CD-R and BD-RE Reviews and Unboxing Coming Soon!
The past few days, I brought the following products:
I purchased the new PlexDisc CD-R Digital Audio discs that they mention are the best to store music. I’ll be reviewing it against the regular PlexDisc CD-R to see if they are really different, or are just the same but with the CD-R DA flag in them. Also, I’ll try them on my CD players to see if they do the initial seek faster.
Be also sure to be on the lookout on some other media I’ve yet to write that I currently have on the backlog. As of this moment, I’m still writing those articles with detailed images of the burning process and disc verification and quality scans. In the next few days, you’ll see those posts on my blog.
See you soon!
You can see and order the above items at the following links:
A few years ago, I recall that some gold-colored discs became corrupted due to corrosion. Since these discs are gold-colored too, I’ll be checking them after a while to make sure its data is still fine.
I got these discs last year and I’m writing about them right now, altough these images and screenshots were taken last year, the disc quality scan is from this moment. This is also why the drive we will be using is the LG WH14NS40 crossflashed to the LG WH16NS60 firmware. This drive allows us to burn these discs at up to 8x. I’m no longer using this drive to burn discs due to some coasters it produced randomly and have since moved to using the Panasonic UJ260 or the Pioneer BDR-2212. Here are the details for these discs on the LG drive:
The drive was able to write the disc successfully:
And it was also able to verify correctly:
The burned disc surface looks like this:
The LiteOn iHBS112 problem
These discs will not burn correctly on the LiteOn iHBS112. They fail around the 18GB mark, and while the drive can scan the disc, it will also report a very high error count at that same mark. Here is a recent scan from the disc burned in the LG drive:
Here is another scan from another disc also burned in the LG drive and scanned in the LiteOn drive. This is a scan from last year:
The disc, however, is completely readable on that drive. Something that contradicts the scans:
Here is an image of a failed burned disc in the LiteOn drive. Notice the right disc has some clouds in the burned surface and that the left disc surface seem to come lighter in color and then return to be dark:
A Year later
A year later the discs do not seem to have any visual defects in the surface. The discs can still be read. Here are the scans of 2 discs scanned in the LG WH16NS40 crossflashed to the LG WH16NS58 firmware:
The first image is from the disc we burned above. It still have excellent results. The second image is from a disc also burned last year but with the Panasonic UJ260.
You can see that neither of the images above have the 18GB spike that we had in the LiteOn drive. It seems that the LiteOn really doesn’t like this media. Altough it can be read fine, it will fail to burn, and if it succeed, it will fail to verify those sectors. This read issue does not happen if we read a disc burned with another drive, but the scan will still report the spike at 18GB.
These discs seem to be reliable, except with the LiteOn drive. I was able to burn them fine with my Panasonic UJ260, where it can only burn them at 2x or 4x, but will always burn them at 2x regardless. I assume it has to do with the drive’s power calibration it performs before it writes.
The LG WH16NS40, crossflashed to the LG WH16NS60 firmware at that moment can also burn the discs fine. I do recall it failed to close the disc session sometimes, erroring out and therefore leaving the disc in an open state. The discs would still work and the data could be read just fine, with the exception that they remained open.
You can buy these discs on Amazon at the following link:
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.
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!
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