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DVD ripping test using a single layer 3.85GB media



Seek times could not be calculated as the program had a 4GB requirement. The 10X DVD rating appears as if it could be easily attained with a larger capacity disc. Pioneerís minimum rating of 4.1X is close enough to the observed 4.05X to satisfy me. Notice the almost perfectly linear "curve", good consistent performance.

DVD ripping test using 2 layer 7.73GB media


This was a surprise. Not only did the 10Xíer not come anywhere near 10X, introducing the second DVD layer caused to hiccup near the layer change. The "hump" is caused by the laser reading the outer track, then switching focus to read the second layeróbut still on the outer portion of the disc, then moving inwards toward the end of the media. Also, the minimum read speed dropped from 4.05X using a single 3.85GB disc to 2.92X using a multi-layered disc. The 91mS seek time jibes with the expected specs of 90mS. The CPU utilization is very good at only 8%. As noted previously, this doesnít represent CPU usage when decoding a surround sound movie.

Should You Buy One?

Arguably the best DVD/CD solution, the Pioneer is not an expensive upgrade. Consider the future of NTSC however, and a very different picture unfolds. All NTSC broadcasts will be outlawed in a few years as per the FCC. Iím willing to predict that although converter set top boxes will crop up for existing TV sets, no such miracle devices will make video recorders and DVD players compatible with HDTV.

Mega-speed drives, like the Kenwood 72X true speed CD-ROM, are priced in the same category as the Pioneer combo drive. If you need a replacement drive for an existing DVD or need an efficient dual duty drive itís a "no contest." The Pioneer 10X will easily meet or exceed your expectations.

Summation

With ample performance in all the three major categories, CD data, CD audio and DVD playback, the Pioneer DVD-104S satisfies with great aplomb. Usable even for CD audio ripping, the 40X data rating keeps up with the faster 8X writers. Current online pricing places this drive in the sub $100 category and then it suddenly becomes a "must have." Got 10X DVD? I do.

Provided by: advanced design of kentucky




William Yaple
00/01/29








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