10 DVD Burners: 16x and Dual-Layer - or Nothing!

Blank-Media Compatibility, Continued

As you can see from the table above, DVD media certified at a certain speed were not necessarily recognized by all burners as usable at that speed. Take for example the Traxdata 16x media, which only two burners out of our selection of ten wrote at 16x.

This is not due to the quality of the media, but issues with the firmware versions of these models, which are unable to recognize the Media Code of these newer discs. For that reason, it's highly recommended that you update the firmware of your DVD burner. You should also visit the manufacturer's Web site regularly, to check for new versions and updated lists of media compatibility.

On the other hand, certain 8x media was actually able to be recognized and burned at higher than rated speeds. The 8x DVD+Rs from Imation, made by Ricoh (Media Code RICOGJPNR02), were written at 16x speed on the BenQ.

The real problem for consumers is knowing which supplier uses which manufacturer. Verbatim is about the only one that sells DVDs it makes itself. The rest don't manufacture their own media, they purchase them seemingly randomly from the eight or nine actual manufacturers (Mistubishi / Verbatim, Taiyo Yuden, TDK, Philips, Ricoh, Ritek, and so forth.) The problem is more or less the same as for LCD displays: you know who manufactured the monitor, but not the panel. Manufacturers of blank DVDs should show the DVD's Media Code on the package, but I guess that's not compatible with marketing practices. The bottom line is that you can't know whether or not a type of media is compatible with the burner you have at the time you buy the discs. The best solution is to find a good batch and then immediately buy a larger supply.