As DVD burners have gone mainstream, they've also evolved into an economical burning solution, but this wasn't always the case. When DVD writers were first introduced a few years ago, they got everyone's attention with their functionality and their high price. We saw initial offerings in excess of $600 yet today the prices have dropped below the $200 mark. With pricing becoming less of an issue, the only thing left to decide is which format is the best choice for you.
Since the first DVD writers were introduced there has been a format war raging. The two choices, DVD-R and DVD+R have become embroiled in a tug-o-war similar to the one we saw between VHS and Beta 25 years ago. The only difference today is that there will most likely be no clear winner like there was with VHS. In fact, the two formats are surprisingly similar in technology, although each has its own merits. DVD-R/RW was initially introduced by Pioneer while DVD+R/RW has the backing of Philips, Ricoh, Dell, Sony, Yamaha, HP and Microsoft. The DVD-R/RW format offers a slightly wider range of compatibility with set top DVD players, while DVD+R/RW offers support for Mount Rainer which will be native to future Operating Systems. The DVD-R/RW format is the only one of the two that has been standardized by the DVD Forum, although this is not an ISO standard, but rather a private standard.
As we can see, each format has its virtues, but with the growing popularity of Dual Format drives, the main issue of compatibility is essentially a moot point. This will be further backed as the technology continues to evolve and newer set tops supporting both formats are introduced to the masses. We've seen a number of Dual Format drives appear from the like of Sony, Pioneer, and Lite-On, but today we are going to focus on the latest offering from Teac, the DV-W50D DVD±R/RW CD-R/RW Dual Format Drive. Lately, Teac has been in the hunt for a larger piece of the burner market by introducing drives at very attractive price points. The question is, did they have to trim too much to make the DV-W50D a cost effective solution? Let's take a look.
| || |
| Specifications of the Teac DV-W50D |
| All This and a Great Price! |
DVD Write Speeds: DVD+R: 4X CLV; DVD+RW: 2.4X CLV
DVD-R: 4X CLV; DVD-RW: 2X CLV
DVD Read Speeds: DVD-ROM: 12X CAV
DVD-R/-RW: 6X CAV
DVD+R/+RW: 6X CAV
CD Write Speeds: CD-R: 16X CLV
CD-RW: 10X CLV (High Speed)
CD Read Speed: 32X CAV
Access Time: DVD: 160msec
Buffer Size: 2MB
Buffer Management: Buffer Underrun Prevention
Write Methods: Track at Once; Disk at Once;
Multi-Session and Incremental
Read Compatibility: 8cm/12cm; Audio CD; CD-ROM
Mode-1;Mode-2 (Form 1, Form 2);
CD-ROM XA; CD-R; CD-RW;
Video-CD; CD Extra/CD Plus;
CD-I; CD-DA; CD-ROM; CD-TEXT;
DVD-ROM, single/dual layer; DVD+R;
DVD+RW; DVD-R; DVD-RW
| Write Verification: Running Optimum Power Control to Dynamically Adjust Laser Write Power |
Drag and Drop Recording: EasyWrite (Mount Rainier) Supported
Disc Loading: Power Loading Tray
Front Panel: Built-in Power Eject/Load Button,
Power Requirement: +12V DC and +5V DC
Mounting Orientation: Horizontal or Vertical
MTBF: 60,000 POH
Dimensions: 5.83?(W) x 1.67?(H) x 7.78? (D)
Weight: 2.4 lbs.
Setup of the
Hmmm...Something Looks Different
The unit we received for review was an OEM version that did not include any additional hardware and the only software provided was Nero 6. We suspect that the retail version of this drive will include the same components as the Teac CD-W552E we reviewed earlier this month. The drive itself is nothing striking to look at. The bezel is a familiar beige and sports most of the common functions one would expect to find on the face of a CD or DVD drive. There is one exception, however, that makes the Teac drive a little different. With the DV-W50D, Teac opted not to include a separate headphone input and volume control. We've been wondering when manufacturers were going to start moving away from that feature since most users don't use them anyway. This is also another way for Teac to keep costs down, by removing features that the everyday user would not likely miss.
The front of the drive has an activity light, eject button and emergency eject hole for when things begin misbehaving. The rear of the drive offered an IDE connection for data transfer, jumpers for setting the drive priority from Master, Slave or Cable Select, and an analog audio connection. We also found that the drive included a rear mounted fan to keep temperatures in check. Aside from that, the Teac DV-W50D is a fairly plain vanilla drive on the outside, but then again, it's what's on the inside that really matters with this drive.
HH Test System and Benchmarks