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

Friday, February 06, 2004
LG GSA-4081A

1. Retail Package - Installation

LG GSA-4081B Multi DVD Recorder - Page 1

Most people know of LG as a consumer electronics manufacturer. It is among the top Electronics manufacturers in Korea, and one of the largest worldwide. Lately, LG has also managed to become a leader in the optical storage industry, offering fast and affordable CD/DVD recorders, and is among the few companies supporting the DVD Multi Recording standard.

The first "Super-Multi" drive, the GMA-4020B, was announced last year. The drive was born from the joint venture between LG and Hitachi. Although the company initially supported only the DVD-R/-RW and DVD-RAM formats, the next step towards the "plus" camp was not late in coming. The GSA-4040B added DVD+R/+R writing while also boasting of recording speeds of 4x DVD±R, 2.4x DVD+RW, 2x DVD-RW and 3x DVD-RAM.

LG upgraded the specifications of its processor drive (GSA-4040B) offering 8x DVD+R and 4x DVD+RW writing. Of course, the drive supports 3x DVD-RAM and 4x DVD-R writing.

- Specifications

The specifications for the LG GSA-4081B Multi DVD Recorder from LG Electronics are given in the following table.

Interface E-IDE / ATAPI
Buffer 2MB with buffer under run proof technology
Write DVD-RAM: 2x (Ver. 2.0), 3x (Ver. 2.1)
  DVD-R: 2x 4x CLV
  DVD-RW: 2x CLV
  DVD+R: 2.4x, 4x CLV, 8x ZCLV
  DVD+RW: 2.4x, 4x CLV
  CD-R: 4x, 8x CLV, 16x, 24x ZCLV
  CD-RW: 4x, 8x, 12x, CLV, 16x ZCLV
Read DVD-RAM: 2x (Ver. 1.0/2.0), 3x (Ver. 2.1)
  DVD-RW/-R/+RW: 8x max
  DVD-Video: 8x max
  DVD-ROM: 12x max (single), 8x (dual)
  CD-RW: 24x
  CD/-R/ROM: 32x max
Access Time DVD-RAM: 185 ms
  DVD-ROM: 155 ms
  CD-ROM: 135 ms
Writing Method CD-R / RW: Disc at once, session at once, track at once, packet write
  DVD-R: Disc at once and incremental recording
  DVD+R: Sequential recording
  DVD-RW: Disc at once, incremental recording & restricted over
  DVD-RAM/+RW: Random write

The LG GSA-4081B Multi DVD Recorder supports DVD+R writing at 8x ZCLV and DVD-R at 4x CLV . For the DVD-RAM format, the supported writing speeds are 2x CLV (Ver. 1.0/2.0) and 3x CLV (Ver. 2.1). The DVD+RW discs can be burned at 4x CLV maximum, and2x is selected for DVD-RW. The maximum reading speed for DVD-ROM and DVD Video is 12x CAV for single layer and 8x CAV for dual layer discs.

For CD-R media, you can select among 4x, 8x, CLV and 16x, 24x ZCLV writing speeds, and 16x Z-CLV writing for CD-RW format. The CD-ROM-R reading speed is 32x CAV, while CD-RW media supports 24x reading.

The drive has 2MB of buffer store, and technology to protect from “buffer underrun errors” during the writing process.

The supported RPCII region control allows the user to change the region code a maximum of 4 times.

The drive offers the following writing modes: TAO, packet writing, SAO, multisession and according to Nero InfoTool, DAO RAW 96.

- The package

The retail package does not include any blank DVD or DVD-RAM media. What you can find is a multilangual quick start manual and two CD-ROMs containing application software and DVD-RAM drivers.

The application software comes from BHA. It includes “B's Recorder Gold 7 Ver7.10” software which offers increased recording and editing functionality for CD/DVD media. For easy DVD authoring there is the "neoDVD Ver5.1" software, while packet writing is offered through "B's Clip Ver5.38". “Power DVD v5” is also included, allowing playback of all DVD and CD formats.

Finally, in the retail package you will also find included an internal audio cable, IDE interface cable and mounting screws.

Looking at the front panel, on the disc loading tray are from left to right, the "super multi" and "DVD+RW" logos, the "LG" brand logo at centre, and finally the "DVD multi recorder" and "compact disc rewritable" logos. The emergency eject hole is located just below the tray door right of centre, while on the very right is the eject button, and lower still and left of centre is the power/activity LED. The LED lights up when a disc is loaded or the drive performs a read/write task. There is no headphone jack or volume control.

On the rear panel we have the analog audio output for connecting to you PC's sound card, the device configuration pins and jumper, ATAPI interface, and power input.

After removing the screws and opening the case, we photographed the internal components of the drive, the photos of which are presented below. It was immediately discernible that the main chips of the drive are manufactured by Hitachi and NEC.

Click to enlarge!

The drive shares the same mainboard and chipsets with the LG GSA-4040B Multi recorder.

- Installation

The drive was identified as "HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-4081B" under the WinXP opersting System. The drive was installed as the master device on the secondary IDE channel of our test PC using the Ultra DMA Mode 2 transfer mode. The model came with firmware version vA028 installed, which was throughout all the tests.

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