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

Friday, September 09, 2005
LG GSA-4167B

1. Introduction

After November 2000 when the joint venture between LG & Hitachi took place with a mutual target, the manufacturing of quality drives, the "HL-DS" series has provided the market with some good burners, with the last addition, the LG GSA-4163B, having been released several months ago. Now LG releases it's latest drive, the 4167B model, an upgrade of the 4163B. In the ensuing pages, we will take a thorough look among other things, at the reading capabilities of the new LG 4167B, as well as its error correction mechanism and writing quality.

Note here that due to writing quality issues with certain media, the release of this review was postponed until a newer firmware was released by LG. Therefore, all reading and error correction tests were made with the old firmware (the DL10) and writing tests were made with the latest firmware installed (DL11), since upon flashing the drive, all writing tests were repeated.

- Features

- Can read and write DVD+R, DVD-R and DVD-RAM formats

- Supports DVD±R DL burning

Below are the full specs for the drive:

Compatible Formats
Write DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, CD-R, CD-RW
Read DVD (single/dual), DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD+R Double layer, DVD-RAM, CD-Digital Audio&CD-Extra, CD-Plus, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA-Ready, CD-I FMV, CD-TEXT, CD-Bridge, CD-R/RW and Photo-CD (single & multiple session), Video CD and DVD-VIDEO
Write Speed
DVD+R 2.4x, 4x (CLV), 8x (ZCLV), 12x, 16x (PCAV)
DVD+RW 2.4x, 4x (CLV), 8x (ZCLV)
DVD+R DL 2.4x, 4x, 6x (CLV)
DVD-R 2x, 4x (CLV), 8x (ZCLV), 16x (PCAV)
DVD-RW 1x, 2x, 4x, 6x (CLV)
DVD-R DL 2x, 4x (CLV)
DVD-RAM V.1.0 2x
V2.2 2x, 3x (ZCLV), 3x-5x (PCAV)
CD-R 4x, 8x, 16x (CLV), 24x, 32x, 40x, 48x (ZCLV)
CD-RW 4x, 10x ,16x (CLV), 24x, 32x (ZCLV)
Read Speed
DVD-ROM SL 7x-16x (CAV)
DL 3.3x-8x (CAV)
DVD+/-RW 3.3x-8x (CAV)
DVD+/-R
4.2x-10x (CAV)
DVD-VIDEO 3.3x-8x (CAV)
DVD-RAM V.1.0 2x
V2.2 2x, 3x (ZCLV), 3x-5x (PCAV)
DVD+R Double layer 3.3x-8x (CAV)
CD-ROM/R 17x-48x (CAV)
CD-RW 17x-40x (CAV)
Data Transfer Rate
CD Max 7.200Kb/S
DVD Max 22.160Kb/S
Average Access Time
DVD-ROM 145ms
DVD-RAM 175ms
CD-ROM 125ms
Interface IDE / ATAPI
Burst Transfer Rate PIO mode 4 / Ultra DMA 33
Cache Memory 2MB
Interface IDE / ATAPI
Weight 0.75kg
Dimensions 146(W)×41.3(H)×170(D)mm

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

The drive uses the well known RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times.

- Retail Package

The LG GSA-4167B retail package includes the internal SuperMulti burner, an IDE and an audio cable, four mounting screws, 1 CD-ROM disc and the warranty. The CD-ROM contains several software solutions, such as Nero Express, Nero BackitUP, InCD, PowerProducer Gold, PowerDVD.

- The drive

The front panel of the 4167B drive at first glance is more or less a typical LG one. One though may notice except of the SuperMulti and MultiRecorder logos located on the far left and far right sides of the face, a DVD+R DL logo and different overall design, with a different eject button and activity led. Also, the gray bottom has been replaced by a white one.

On the rear you will find the analogue and digital audio outputs (SPDIF), the IDE master/slave/cs selector pins, the IDE connector and the power input.

The label of the drive, indicating among others the model name, SN, ROM version (default firmware), and Manufactured date. In this case, its August 2005.

Now, let us take a closer look on the drives mechanism (board and chip). Note that by opening the drive, one would render the guarantee void, so we advise against it. Instead feel free to take a look at the pictures below.

Below is a photo of the main chipset used for this drive:

- Installation

The device was connected in our test PC and was identified as "HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-4167B" under WinXP. We received the drive with firmware version DL10, as it can be seen in the screen below, and we flashed it to the latest revision, the DL11.

As discussed earlier in this page, all writing tests were made with the DL11 firmware revision installed.

For the needs of comparison in this review, we will be comparing the LG-GSA 4167B, with two other latest released drives, the NEC ND-3540A and the Pioneer DVR-110D.




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