Double-Layer DVD: Philips, LaCie, Asus and LG

LaCie D2: External, Double Layer

LaCie sent us an external DVD burner at the outset. A ND2510A from NEC is behind the d2. From which we can infer once again that NEC is still supplying the reference design that numerous sellers can easily modify (mostly only as regards the firmware) and then flog it under its own logo.

The d2 is the first external device to reach our offices that can write double-layer media. Weighing in at 1.5 kg, however, it's anything but light. That said, it does score points for its very robust and high-quality metal housing.

In spite of an audio-extraction speed of 25x (CD speed) it was not possible in the test to copy an audio CD on-the-fly at 16x with the LaCie burner. The datasheet even claims a maximum 40x. However, at this speed an image file should always be accessed. We suspect the USB interface to be the cause for this, because in contrast to FireWire, it is not designed for real-time data transfer. Switching to the existing FireWire interface produced some improvements.

In extracting DVD videos the LaCie was again not the fastest, taking around 25 minutes - its rivals could do the same in half the time.