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Toast And Pioneer Dvr-118L Verification Speed


MacProCT

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Hello,

 

I have a MacPro running 10.5.8 with Toast 10.0.8 and I recently changed from an older Pioneer DVD-RW drive (model 108, I think) to a new DVR-118L.

 

The new drive screams right along when burning data (even faster than the drive it replaced -- no surprise).

 

But when it comes to verification, that's when things slow down. In fact, the new drive verifies slower than the old drive. While burning a single layer DVD-R in the new drive takes less than 5 minutes, verification takes nearly 10.

 

The drive is on firmware 1.0.2 and based on my searches, that is the current version. When I perform a Finder copy from a recently burned disc, the copying process happens nice and fast, so the drive appears to read just fine. The problem appears to be specific to Toast verifying with this particular model of drive.

 

Any suggestions?

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I believe I have found the answer to this...

 

Since installing the new drive, I have been using the maximum burn speed setting in Toast.

 

As mentioned, the discs have verified (slowly, but they have verified). But I had not yet tried using any of the discs in another drive/computer.

 

I did that yesterday after my original posting here and found that my 6 month old MacMini did not like the disc very much. On the first try it outright ejected the disc after first mounting it in the Finder and then complaining that the "disc is no longer available." Upon second insertion the disc stayed mounted in the Finder, but accessing its contents was very slow. Further, when I attempted to copy a file, the Finder was estimating a horrendously long time (20 mins) to copy a 1.5 gigabyte video file from the DVD-R to the internal HD. And attempting to play the same video file directly from the disc resulted in stuttered playback.

 

So I pulled an older DVD-R off the shelf and put it in the Mini. That disc worked fine and I was able to play a video directly from it. This confirmed that (A) the optical drive in the Mini is fine, and (B) there is a difference between the discs I used to burn and those that I am burning now.

 

This got me thinking that I used to burn at a slower speed with the older DVD-RW drive in my MacPro (specifically, 8x or less). So I tried a test where the next disc I burned in the DVR-118L was recorded at the slowest speed available in Toast (which is 6x). The resulting disc verified at the speeds that I used to see with the old Pioneer DVD-RW drive. Plus, the Mac Mini was able to copy from the disc much faster than the 16x example. (Specifically, it copied the 1.5GB file in around 2 minutes.)

 

So I think the explanation is that I was burning at too fast a speed (16x) and the "readability" of the resulting disc was very weak. On playback (and verification) the drive had to work very hard to read the dye encoding on a disc burned at 16x.

 

So, from now on, I'll stick to burning at 8x or less. Because I have no problem with the time it takes and its very important to me that my discs be readable in a variety of drives and also that they have as much "lifespan" as is possible.

 

I do have to say that I am disappointed that the "readability" of the discs that are coming out of the new DVR-118L drive seem to be of lesser quality than those from the drive I had before (Pioneer OEM that came with the computer). Because I'm quite sure that the old drive burned more "readable" discs at 8x speed and verified them much faster, as well. So it seems Pioneer's newer drives are in fact a step backwards.

 

On a related note... Does anyone know why Toast will not allow me to burn slower than 6x with the DVR-118L drive? The specifications say that it can burn at a slower speed. (The drive I had previously would go as low as 2x.)

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On a related note... Does anyone know why Toast will not allow me to burn slower than 6x with the DVR-118L drive? The specifications say that it can burn at a slower speed. (The drive I had previously would go as low as 2x.)

Good sleuthing. Thanks for sharing your findings. As for the available burn speeds, this is determined by the drive and the media. Different brands of discs may support other speeds and the same discs may work at different speeds on other drives than on this one. If you have Verbatim discs those are often used by the manufacturers when tweaking the drive's firmware so they may give you the best compatibility.

 

By the way, when you insert DVD media and select Disc Info from the Toast Recorder menu the window that appears will have a hot link to a site where users report on the quality of different media. What you'll see at that site is there are different media codes that cover multiple brands. Interesting.

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... As for the available burn speeds, this is determined by the drive and the media. Different brands of discs may support other speeds and the same discs may work at different speeds on other drives than on this one. If you have Verbatim discs those are often used by the manufacturers when tweaking the drive's firmware so they may give you the best compatibility...

 

Yeah, I was aware of it using this criteria and that's why I'm disappointed that it doesn't show any lower speed than 6x. Because the drive specs say it does lower speed and so does the media I'm using. The DVD-R discs from Maxell, Memorex, and TDK all say 1 to 16x.

 

I have exactly one Verbatim disc (that someone gave me) that is DVD+R and is rated 1-8x. I just tried it in the drive and the lowest burn speed listed was 4x.

 

Is there a hack or workaround, that allows one to manually override Toast's burn speeds?

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Yeah, I was aware of it using this criteria and that's why I'm disappointed that it doesn't show any lower speed than 6x. Because the drive specs say it does lower speed and so does the media I'm using. The DVD-R discs from Maxell, Memorex, and TDK all say 1 to 16x.

 

I have exactly one Verbatim disc (that someone gave me) that is DVD+R and is rated 1-8x. I just tried it in the drive and the lowest burn speed listed was 4x.

 

Is there a hack or workaround, that allows one to manually override Toast's burn speeds?

I just browsed the meritline.com site and they still sell a few brands of DVD-R media that has a top writing speed of 4X. It may be that one or more of them could support writing at 1X on your drive. I suggest contacting them to ask what media has the slowest available burn speeds. The claim your discs make that they support 1X speed only means that they will burn at that speed if put into a 1X-speed DVD drive. But your drive's firmware won't set a speed that low for those discs. It's not a Toast issue; it is a drive firmware and media issue. I suppose if you connected the drive to a USB 1.1 port it would slow the burn down to about 1X. It also would be a good test of the drive's buffer underrun protection because it wouldn't be receiving data near as fast as it wanted to burn it.

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