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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders Double Layer

Friday, June 24, 2005
LiteOn SOHW-1693S

1. Introduction

The 1693S is the latest drive of the 16XX series from LiteOn, and it combines the 1673S technology along with DVD-R DL media burning support. At first look, this release seems similar in many ways to its previous, the 1673S, but as we will see later on, its not the -DL media format that makes the difference. An overall improvement has been made to this latest drives mechanism.

The max supported speed for both +R and -R media, is 16X while, the drive can burn -RW and +RW media, at 6X and 8X respectively.

- Features

  • SMART-BURN avoiding Buffer UnderRun error, Automatically adjusting writing strategy & running OPC to provide the best burning quality.
  • SMART-X function adjusts CD-DA / VCD / DVD data extraction to a fastest allowable speed according to both data request rate from host and disk quality.
  • VAS® system reduce vibration and noise during recording and reading.

- Specifications

Model 16X DVD Dual Drive with Double Layer Writing
Interface: ATAPI/E-IDE
Data Buffer Memory 2MB
Data Transfer Rate (max)  
DVD+R Writing 16X
DVD+R DL Writing 4X
DVD+RW Rewriting 8X
DVD-R DL Writing 4X
DVD-RW Rewriting 6X
DVD-ROM Reading 16X
CD-R Writing 48X
CD-RW Rewriting 24X
CD-ROM Reading 48X
Random Access Time 120ms
Support Media for Reading DVD : DVD Single/dual layer (PTP, OTP), DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD+R DL (8.5GB), DVD-R DL (8.5GB)
CD : All CD-ROM/R/RW formats
Installation Angle Horizontal/Vertical
Audio Specification  
Line output level 0.85±0.15 Vrms
S/N Ratio 75dB
Temperature Operating: 5°C to 45°C
Storage: -20°C to 60°C
Humidity Operating: 15-80% ( Non-condensation)
Power Requirement DC+12V±5%, DC+5V±5%
Compatibility Windows 98 SE/ME/XP/2000
Physical Dimensions  
WxHxD 145 x 41.3 x 170mm
Weight 0.9kg (typical)

Below are the drive's main specs as given by NeroInfoTool and DVDInfoPro and VSO inspector:

The drive also uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. As with all LiteOn drives, this one can also be set to Region free through the use of several utilities.

Below is some additional information from KProbe regarding LiteON drives:

- Retail package

The retail package remains the same as all previous releases, except for one extra item this time, the extra bezel included. LiteOn provides the user with one extra black bezel and a fill out form which is to be sent to LiteOn as a feedback on the new bezel. Everything else stays the same with the Authoring and DVD playback software as well as Nero OEM suite for your recording needs. No blank media present.

-The Drive

The external look of the drive is the same as the previous releases, with the DVD+R and DVD+R DL logos and activity led which turns green upon disc insertion. All these of course also apply to the black bezel.

The rear panel has the usual analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), IDE connector and power input.

We opened the drive case to take a closer look at the inner workings of the drive. Opening the case, voids the drives warranty, so we strongly advise against it. By clicking on the image below you can see a larger, more detailed picture...

click to enlarge

- Installation

The drive was installed as secondary master and under WindowsXP, recognized as "LITE-ON DVDRW SOHW-1693S ". The drive came to our labs with the latest firmware release, KS04, as it is reported by Nero properties in the image below.

For the needs of this review, we will be comparing the drives capabilities alongside the NEC ND-3530A and the BenQ 1640 drives, both 16X/16X drives and with overall, similar specs.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.70
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v3.00
  5. PlexTools v2.20(Reader: Plextor PX-712A firmware v1.05, Reading speed 8X CLV for CD-R)
  6. DVDInfoPro v3.51
  7. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.8
  8. DVD Decrypter
  9. CopyToDVD

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