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

Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Pioneer DVR-111

1. Introduction

We had originally received the DVR-111DBK and DVR-111 burners from Pioneer, both with 1.06 firmware installed. Since then, we released the review for the DVR-111DBK a couple of days ago. We then decided to wait a little longer, before beginning tests on the DVR-111, for the release of the new firmware, v1.19.

So, lets see what changes have been made on the new firmware v1.19 according to Pioneer:

Firmware changes
1. Supports New 8x DVD-R Media
( 8x writing:TMI )
2. Supports New 16x DVD-R Media
( 16x writing:KingDisc, Postech, BeAll, CMC,Prodisc,Daxon,Ritek,Optodisc,Gigastorage,
Princo,MBI )
( 12x writing:Must Tech, Umedisc )
3. Supports New 4x DVD-R DL Media
( 4x writing:Ritek )
4. Supports New 8x +R Media
( 8x writing:CMC/DAXON/INFOMEDIA )
5. Supports New 16x +R Media
( 16x writing:Philips)
( 12x writing:Interaxia,Postech,E-TOP, Umedisc, Wealth Fair, DST, MJC, CMC )
6. Supports New 8x +RW Media
( 8x writing:Philips, CMC )
( 3.3x writing:Infomedia, MBI, Prodisc )
7. DVD-R DL Writability has improved.
8. DVD-R DL Readability has improved.
9. DVD-RW Readability has improved.
10. DVD+R DL Writability has improved.
11. DVD+RW Readability has improved.
12. DVD-RAM Writability has improved.
13. DVD-RAM Readability has improved.
14. CD-RW Writability has improved.

- Features

The DVR-111 offers writing support for Dual Layer media at the speed of 8X, along with 16X writing for DVD-R/+R, 5X writing for DVD-RAM, 6X writing for DVD-RW and 8X writing for +RW.

- Specifications

Write Support
DVD DVD-R (Ver 2.0 & 2.1 for General disc only), DVD-R DL (Dual Layer, Ver 3.0), DVD-RW (Ver 1.0, 1.1 & 1.2) , +R (Ver 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 & 1.3), +R DL (Double Layer Ver 1.0 & 1.1), +RW (Ver 1.1, 1.2 & 1.3), +RW High Speed (Ver 1.0).
CD CD-R (Type 74, 650MB & Type 80, 700MB), CD-RW (including HS, US, US+)
Read Support

DVD-ROM (Single & Dual Layer, Single & Dual Sided)
DVD-RAM (Ver 2.0, 2.1 & 2.2, non-cartridge version)
DVD-R, DVD-R DL (Dual Layer), DVD-RW
+R, +R DL (Double Layer), +RW


CD-ROM Mode 1, CD-ROM XA Mode 2 (Form 1, Form 2)
CD-Text, Photo-CD (Single & Multiple Session), CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD-Text, Video CD, CD-R, CD-RW (including HS, US, US+)

Write Speed
DVD-R 16x, 12x, 8x, 6x, 4x, 2x, 1x
DVD-RW 6x, 4x, 2x, 1x
DVD-R DL 8x, 6x, 4x, 2x
DVD+R 16x, 12x, 8x, 6x, 4x. 2.4x
DVD+RW 8x, 6x, 4x, 2.4x
DVD-RAM 5x, 3x, 2x
DVD+R DL 8x, 6x, 4x, 2.4x
8cm DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW with Adapter 2x, 1x
CD-R 40x, 32x, 24x, 16x, 10x, 4x
CD-RW 32x, 24x, 20x, 16x, 10x, 4x
Read Speed
DVD-ROM (single) Max 16x CAV
DVD-ROM (dual) Max 12x CAV
DVD-R, DVD+R Max 12x CAV
DVD-Video (Single Layer) 5x CAV
DVD-Video (Dual Layer) 5x CAV
CD-ROM, CD-R Max 40x CAV
CD-RW Max 32x CAV
Video CD 9.3x CAV
Access Time DVD-ROM 130 msec
Access Time DVD-RAM 210 msec
Access Time CD 120 msec
Mounting Orientation Horizontal and Vertical (+/- 5 degrees)

*80mm discs cannot be used when the drive is vertically mounted. The case remains even when an adapter is used.
IDE Interface

PIO Mode 4, Multi Word DMA Mode 2, Ultra DMA Mode 2, Ultra DMA Mode 4 (Ultra-DMA66)

* It is required to use a cable corresponding to U-ATA66 (80-wire conductor cable)

Data Buffer (size) 2 MB
Dimensions (W x H x D) 148 x 42.3 x 180 mm

Below are the main specs as given by NeroInfoTool, VSO Inspector and DVDInfoPro:

- Nero InfoTool

- DVD InfoPro

- VSO Inspector

- The Drive

We received the bulk version of the DVR-111, without bundled software.

The front design, is nothing special, just a beige colored panel with a DVD MULTI RECORDER logo in the middle, which means the drive is able to write DVD-RAM discs.

- Front panel view

- Rear panel view

- Top view

- Inside view

We do not recommend removing the drive's cover, since this will void the manufacturer's warranty. You can take a look inside the drive with the pictures below. Click on the image below for a larger and more detailed photograph.

Inside the DVR-111, we find the NEC chipset, which was also used in the DVR-111DBK.

- Installation

The drive was connected to our test PC and was identified as "PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-111" under WinXP. The drive came with firmware version 1.06 and we upgraded it the newer v1.19.

Throughout this review, we will see how the Pioneer DVR-111 performed against two other latest release drives, the Sony DW-G120A and the BenQ1655.

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