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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders 8x

Thursday, November 13, 2003
Philips DVR824P

1. Features - Installation

Philips DVDR824P DVD+RW - Page 1


The DVD recording market welcomes the new Philips DVDR824P DVD+RW recorder. After Plextor PX-708A, Philips increases the burning speed at 8x for DVD+R media. The drive supports 4x writing speed for DVD+RW and it is also a CD-R/RW recorder at 24x and 10x respectively. On the reading part the new Philips drive reads DVD±R/RW disc at 8x, DVD-ROM at 12x and CD-R/RW at 40x.

- Features

Seamless Link was initially introduced by Acer CM, currently BenQ. The technology allows a CD-RW/DVD+RW drive to automatically monitor the recording status to prevent buffer under run from occurring.

Seamless Link allows the CD-RW drive to store the RecEnd address, the point in the data to which the recording mechanism has progressed, and pause the recording before a buffer under run occurs. When the buffer is again full, a Seamless Link-enabled drive locates the RecEnd address and resumes the recording process. The gap between the stop and restart point is closed, while managing the recording process precisely and transparently-eliminating under run errors while maintaining recording accuracy.

Dynamic Calibration

To ensure optimal writing quality over the entire disc at higher writing speeds, Philips has introduced the Walking OPC algorithm. WOPC directly measures and optimizes the actual writing quality during the writing process.

At certain intervals, the writing process will be briefly interrupted, the writing quality directly evaluated and the writing power adjusted accordingly, if required. The Philips DVD+R/RW writers use a more dynamic implementation based on position on the disc and temperature inside the drive. The graph below shows the writing graph of the Philips 8x DVD+R/RW on a Philips 8x DVD+R disc.

In addition, Philips Dynamic Calibration includes a tilt calibration feature. The best reading and writing quality can be obtained if the angle between the disc and the laser beam is 90 degrees. However, if the disc is warped, the laser beam will no longer be correctly positioned which will cause a distortion of the laser spot which will result in decreasing writing quality if it is not corrected.

The tilt calibration will reposition the Optical Pickup Unit (OPU) to maintain a 90-degree angle between the laser beam and the disc surface at all times ensuring an optimal spot shape, even on warped discs. The frequency of the tilt calibration depends only on the position on the disc according to a non-linear function. Near the end of the disc the risk for warping is higher so the frequency of the tilt calibration will increase accordingly. As with WOPC, the writing process will be briefly interrupted, the tilt measured and the OPU repositioned if required.

Walking OPC and Tilt Calibration together form the Dynamic Calibration. Although they act independently from each other some effort is taken to synchronize the Tilt Calibrations with the disc position dependent component of Walking OPC.

- Specifications
ATA/ATAPI (PIO mode 0/1/2/3/4 DMA mode 0/1/2 UDMA mode 0/1/2)
Writing Speed

DVD+R: 8x max (10800KBps) ZCLV, DVD+RW: 4x max (5400KBps) CLV, CD-R: 24x max (3600KBps) P-CAV, CD-RW: 10x max (1500KBps) CLV

Read Speed

DVD+R/-R/+RW/-RW: 8x CAV

DVD-ROM: 12x (16200KBps) CAV, CD-R/RW: 40x (6000KBps) CAV
Random Seek
DVD: 160msec, CD: 120msec
Buffer Size
Supported Disc Formats
DVD: DVD single layer / Dual layer, DVD+R (Ver.1.0), DVD+RW (Ver.1.1), DVD-R (Read Only), DVD-RW (Read Only)
CD: CD-DA, CD-ROM XA (m1, m2f1/m2f2), CD-R CD-RW, Bootable CD, Photo CD (single & multi-session), Video CD, Super Video CD, CD-Extra, Mixed-mode CD, CD-Text, CD-Graphics
Supported Writing Types

Disc-at-once, Track-at-once. Multi-session, Packet writing, Raw writing, Direct Over write, Test Write

OS Compatibility
Windows 98/ ME / 2000/ XP

Of course, the most awaited feature of the new Philips DVDR214P is the supported writing speeds. The new drive offers 8x DVD+R (6-8x Z-CLV) recording, and DVD+RW at 4x CLV.

The maximum CD writing speed for CD-R is 24x P-CAV and 10x CLV, when using High Speed CD-RW media. Reading of CD-ROM/-R/RW can be done at 40x CAV maximum. The drive is slower than other compatible DVD recorders in this area, but these are mostly limitation of the NEXPERIA chipset of the drive.

Single layer DVD-ROM media can be read at 12x CAV, while DVD±R/RW discs can be read at 8x CAV.

Philips chose an 8MB buffer to obtain safe recordings at 8x. The drive also supports RAW DAO 96 writing (CD). According to Philips, Mount Rainier is not included in the drive's specifications mainly because the implementation would delay the drive's appearance in the market.

Philips DVDR824P uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. For our tests, we set the region code to 2 (Europe).

- The drive

Not a great experience is required to identify the drive by looking at its front panel. The white front bezel with the golden-iridic horizontal line refers to the previous DVD Philips writers. The Philips logo is stamped on the middle of the tray, and the "DVD+RW824 series" logo is on the left. According to the disc loaded, a LED will light up to blue or red for CD and DVD discs.


On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital audio outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input.

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures. Philips DVDR824P is built upon the Nexperia DVD+RW reference design. You can click on the mainboard picture for a higher resolution image:

Click for Higher Resolution!

The Nexperia PNX7850 DVD+RW processor delivers maximum writing at 4x DVD+R/+RW, 32x CD-R and 12x CD-RW; reading at 16x DVD and 40x CD. However, combined with a high performance OPU (Optical Pickup Unit), the Philips DVD+RW chipset can support the 8x DVD+R writing speed.

- Installation

Philips DVDR824P was connected to our test PC and was identified as "PHILIPS DVDR824P" under WinXP. All tests were done with firmware revision vP1.2.

In the following pages we include the test results of three other DVD burners, the Ricoh MP5240 DVD+RW, the Optorite DD0203 and the Plextor PX-708A dual DVD burners.

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