Introduction and Construction

A few weeks ago, we dangled a little DVD Dual Layer primer (teaser?) for all of you who are looking forward to the technology.

Even though we received a preproduction sample from Sony, we have a generally good idea which media will be bundled in the final version of the drive. To no surprise, most of the Nero Express suite will ship with the final drive. This includes Nero Express 6, InCD 4, ShowTime, ImageDrive, WaveEditor and the Nero Toolkit.

The faceplace of our preproduction drive looks identical to the DRU-530A. Our press guide claims that the final version of the drive will also ship with a black replaceable faceplate. Unlike the Gigabyte GO-W0808A, there is no forward headphone capability.

Our largest surprise came when we noticed the chipset in our DRU-700A was the same found in the Gigabyte GO-W0808A, the MT1818E. This little chipset has been with DVD burners for a long time; the only real upgrades that have occurred since DVD+R 2X has been upgrades to the analog controllers and pickups. The same innards are found in the Lite-On LDW-812S.

Below is a quick overview of specifications on the drive:

 Sony DRU-700A DVD-/+R DL Drive
Interface IDE
CD Write Speed 40X, 32X, 24X (P-CAV)
16X, 12X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
CD Rewrite Speed 24X (Z-CLV)
16X, 12X, 8X, 4X (CLV)
HD-CD Write Speed 24x, 18x (CAV)
12x, 6x (CLV)
CD Read Speed 40X Max (CAV)
DVD-R Write Speed 8X (Z-CLV)
4X, 2X (CLV)
DVD-RW Rewrite Speed 4X, 2X, 1X (CLV)
DVD+R Write Speed 8X (Z-CLV)
4X, 2X (CLV)
DVD+RW Rewrite Speed 4X, 2.4X (CLV)
DVD+R DL Write Speed 2.4X (CLV)
DVD Read Speed 12X Max (16,620KB/s) (CAV)
Supported Modes DAO / DAO-RAW 16 & 96
SAO / SAO 16 & 96
Packet Write
Supported Formats DVD+R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD+RW (random)
DVD-R (DAO, incremental, seq)
DVD-RW (restricted overwrite)
DVD+R Dual Layer

Mixed Mode, CD Extra
Photo CD, CD Text, Bootable CD, UDF
Access Time CD: 160ms
DVD: 200ms
Buffer 2MB

Although the labeled access times are slightly higher than normal, most specifications on this drive are identical to the Gigabyte GO-W0808A shown from our roundup last week.

Click to enlarge.

DVDInfo Pro correctly identifies the DVD+R DL capabilities of the drive.

Click to enlarge.

Burn Tests CDR Media
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  • Rumble - Thursday, July 29, 2004 - link

    Will it work with XCopy?
  • Rumble - Thursday, July 29, 2004 - link

    Will it work with XCopy?
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, July 17, 2004 - link


    I think it will be 4X DVD DL capable (not that there will be any media anyway).

    You can probably still order it or the LiteON SOHW-832S from the US though.

  • DizanTar - Friday, June 11, 2004 - link

    I asked Sony about if and when this drive will be available in Canada. Sony responded that this model will not be available, but the replacement drive will be in august. Anyone knows about a new model of this drive, except the external one?
  • DizanTar - Friday, June 11, 2004 - link

  • fedrive - Tuesday, May 11, 2004 - link

    Atomic holographic Storage using Ultra Violet Light should offer a challenge to Blu-ray.

  • AbRASiON - Thursday, May 6, 2004 - link

    I concur with Tim (post #15) - it would be nice to know we can control precisely where the layer change is.

    I'm also curious on the compatibility of a BURNT +R DL or -R DL disc on most DVD players - I bet it's quite a bit lower than non DL disc's

  • Belzer - Thursday, May 6, 2004 - link

    I think the DL burners eventually will be faster than 4x speed, maybe 6x-8x. Remember that it was not long ago that many said that DL burning would not be possible at all. Quote from the same article as you linked to:

    "For instance, one company (BenQ) mentioned to us that 4x would be the maximum recording speed for DL discs but the spokesperson for Philips said that it will probably go faster than that."
  • MysticMan1 - Thursday, May 6, 2004 - link

    Also the DL format speed will max out at 4x speed because of the amount of power needed to burn a double layer disc.
  • timmiser - Thursday, May 6, 2004 - link

    I am concerned about software support specifically choosing when the DVD switches layers. In commercial DVD's, they purposely put the change to the second layer at a part of the movie where it will be less noticable. (The switch causes about a 1 second pause.).

    If I am burning a home movie onto a DVD DL and if I don't have control of where the dual layer switch occurs, it may occur in the middle of an undesirable moment in my movie.

    I wonder if there will be any way to stipulate where this switch occurs?


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