Pioneer Blu Ray / DVDRW (BDC-202BK)
Posted on: 13.10.2008 01:00:00

For the purpose of this review I will be testing the Pioneer BDC-202BK with the following system.

CPU

AMD Phenom 9750

Cpu Cooling

Zerotherm Nirvana NV120 Premium

Supplied by Zerotherm.

Motherboard

Abit AX78

Supplied by Abit.

GFX Card

3870XT

Sound

Xfi Extreme Music

Main Memory

4GB Team Elite

Non-removable Disks

Seagate 80gb x2, Samsung 250gb

Removable Disks

None

Optical Drives

ďOn ReviewĒ

Case

SilverStone LC20S-M

Supplied By SilverStone

PSU

OCZ Stealth Xtreme

Supplied By OCZ

On Review

BDC202-BK

Supplied by Pioneer.

To test the BDC-202BK I will be burning a number of disks, both CD and DVD, to see how quickly and reliably the BDC-202BK burns them. All the disks will be burnt with Nero Express software. I will also be checking out the Blue Ray playback, this will be somewhat subjective though as there is no real way to ďmeasureĒ the quality of playback other than my personal opinion. Also as I have no other player to compare it against I can only go on a comparison with DVD playback.

Fitting the BDC-202BK was, as to be expected, no different to fitting any other optical drive, I had to remove my drive cage from the pc then fit the drive into the cage. As you can see itís a little longer than a normal DVDRW so if fitting to a micro atx system you might want to check you have the room.

From the front the only thing that really sets it apart from its Pioneer DVDRW stable mate is the Blu-Ray logo.

Once the BDC-202BK was fitted in the drive cage I refitted it into the case. Like the DVDRW I reviewed recently, also pictured, once in the case there is nothing to suggest itís a Pioneer drive?

Once powered up the pc automatically installed the drivers for the BDC-202BK so I installed some software to play Blu Ray disks, as Vista Media Centre Edition doesnít play them :o(, and set about testing it for picture quality. Playing a DVD the playback is nothing less than I expected coming from a giant like Pioneer i.e. as good as any top quality DVD player not only is the picture quality great but it plays perfectly and silently, I couldnít hear it over my case fans from the outset and whilst not totally silent they arenít loud at all.

So I moved onto trying out a Blu Ray disk, this is where things didnít go quite according to plan. The software I was given kept asking to be upgraded, and the drive was set to North American region A once I had spent a while sorting these issues out I finally managed to get a film to play. All I can say is it was worth it, never having watched a film in Hi Def before I was amazed how sharp and crisp the picture was compared to a normal DVD.

All very subjective I know but until there is a definitive way of measuring picture quality etc you will just have to take my word for it.

Onto the burning tests.

Again I used Neroís built in benchmark program and we can see the BDC-202BK is within a few milliseconds of the quoted random access time etc. The disk I used was x16 speed but as the BDC-202BK ďonlyĒ burns at x12 hence the max speed is approx x12.

Ok onto the burning tests for each ďBurnĒ I will fill the disk to as close to capacity as I can with mp3ís. I chose lots of smaller files as I feel this will be a sterner test than burning say a film which would consist of a handful of large files, the disks will also be verified as part of the burn process.

The first disk I burnt was a 4.7Gb +R disk full of mp3ís, which it happily burnt at its rated maximum speed of x12. At almost 14mins to burn and verify is pretty good going considering the dedicated DVD burner I looked at recently took a similar amount of time at a supposed faster burn speed.

The next disk I burnt was a 8.5Gb dual layer +R disk. Even though the disk I burnt was supposedly rated at x8 speed the BDC-202BK only burnt it at x4 even though it is capable of burning dual layer disks at x8 speed? As expected it took quite a while to burn / verify the dual layer disk at x4 speed, in total it took just under 45 minutes, which sounds about right for the speed it was burnt at.

Next I burnt a 4.5Gb DVD-RW, this was rated at x6 and burnt at the correct speed. As you can see the BDC-202BK took a shade under 20 minutes to write / verify a full DVDRW which is comparable to a dedicated DVD burner.

The final DVD I will be burning is a DVDRAM, these are disks a lot of DVD writers canít burn so the BDC-202BK has one up on a few writers even before the Blu Ray playing ability is taken into account, including the Pioneer DVD writer I looked at recently. The disk burnt at the correct speed, x5, and took approx 35 minutes. Again about what you would expect from the rated speed.

Thatís it for the DVD burning onto the CDís.

First I tried a normal CD as before it was filled with mp3ís, the BDC-202BK burnt it at its max speed of x24, which is a little slower than a DVDRW might burn at, and even so it took a respectable 8 minutes (ish) to burn and verify a full disk of mp3ís.

The final disk I will be burning is a CDRW again full of mp3ís. The CDRW was written at the BDC-202BKís maximum speed of x24. It took fractionally longer to burn than the CDR at just over eight and a half minutes but I was expecting it to take a little longer anyway.

Next Page - Conclusion





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