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

Monday, June 28, 2004
Philips DVDRW885K DL

1. Installation - Retail Package

Philips DVDRW885K Double Layer - Page 1

Philips was the first manufacturer to develop DL recording, in cooperation with Mitsubishi Chemicals. The brand new recorder from Philips supporting this feature is the DVDRW885K. The recording speed for this format is up to 2.4X. The drive also supports DVD+R/RW recording with speeds at 8X and 4X respectively. In the CD category, the drive offers 24X for CD-R and 16X for CD-RW media.

Below are summarized the drive's features according to Philips:

  • 8.5 GB storage capacity
    Single sided double layer disc with 8.5 GB storage capacity.
  • Single sided, double layer
    Two layers accessible from the same side of the disc, so no need to turn the disc.
  • Dynamic Calibration
    Dynamic Calibration optimizes DVD writing quality of high-speed DVD+RW drives.
  • DVD compatibility
    DVD Compatibility ensures playability of self-made DVD discs on as many set-top players and DVDROMs as possible.
  • Seamless Link
    Seamless Link prevents loss of discs caused by writing errors.
  • Thermo Balanced Writing
    Always the best and fastest recording of any of your recordable discs.
  • Smart disc detection
    Application software feature detecting the actual disc used and automatically selecting the correct applications.
  • Extensive Software Package
    Complete software bundle offering all functionality in a simple intuitive way.
  • How to.. manual
    Photo guided step by step tour through both installation process and applications.
  • Intuitive Software Launcher
    Intuitive launch screen to provide an overview of all available applications and to start them.

Seamless Link was initially introduced by Acer CM (now BenQ). This 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 decreased 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

Buffer Size
2 MB
Recording format UDF and ISO 9660
Access Time
120ms on CD, 140ms on DVD
Write Speed
8x on DVD+R, 2.4x on DVD+R DL, 4x on DVD-R, 24x on CD-R
Rewrite Speed 4x on DVD+RW, 2x on DVD-RW, 10x on CD-RW
Read Speed
12x on DVD-ROM, 7x on DVD+R DL, 7x on DVD+R, 7x on DVD+RW, 7x on DVD-R, 7x on DVD-RW, 40x on CD-R, 32x on CD-RW
Supported Formats

8cm discs, CD-Audio, CD-Bridge, CD-Extra, CD-I, CD-Recordable, CD-Rewritable, CD-ROM, CD-Text, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-ROM, DVD/R, DVD/RW, Photo CD

Writing mode
Disc at once (DAO), Fixed packet, Multi Session (MS), Over-burn writing, Packet writing, Raw mode burning, Session at once (SAO), Track at once (TAO),Variable packet
Support OS
Windows 98 SE, 2000, ME, XP
20x15x4 cm (LxWxH)
0.95 Kg
Support both 8 cm and 12 cm disc of CD and DVD family

More information about the drive in the following screenshots from Nero Info Tool and DVD Info Pro:

- Retail package

Below is given the retail packages with all the appropriate inclusions. You can see written on the box, the capacity of 8.5GB.

The specific DL media is from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

- The drive

The DL logo on the upper left makes the difference.

Removing the screws and opening the drive's cover voids the drive's warranty. For reference reasons, we post the following pictures.

Click to enlarge


The main chipset comes from the NEXPERIA series.

- Installation

The Philips drive was connected to our test PC and was identified as "PHILIPS DVDR885P" under WinXP. All tests were done with firmware P0.6.

In the following pages we have the results of the Philips DVDRW885K in comparison with the previous Philips model, the DVDRW824P.

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