Red-Hot Stuff: 11 DVD Burners Reviewed

Teac DV-W50D

Firmware: 1.3

The DV-W50D doesn't just share the Pioneer A06's looks - it is its twin in every other regard except the name. So it's no surprise that the scores and defects are almost entirely identical.

The most important discipline is the DVD burning. The W50D passes all the tests with flying colors, as we expected. DVD+R and -R burn at 4x, DVD+RW at 2.4x at DVD-RW at 2x.

The drive is no laggard when it comes to reading out video DVDs - as long as they aren't the original discs. The Teac and the Pioneer were the two slowest devices at reading all three DVDs (Cast Away, Pink Panther, 5th Element). On the upside, the DV-W50D did manage - slowly - to read out the entire 5th Element DVD despite it being covered in scratches.

The write performance of 16x is no great shakes, but it is still acceptable. The Teac needs around five minutes to burn 646 MB of data to a CD and eject it.

On the other hand, reading out audio CDs is one of the DV-W50D's specialties - it only needed two minutes for the entire disc, making it just as fast as Pioneer and Sony. Writing an image using our SVCD was, like with the Pioneer A06, about as fast as a fly swimming through a jar of molasses: almost 20 minutes. Say what you will about why this happens with Mode-2 CDs - it's still too slow for us.

The burned DVD+Rs refused to work in four of the nine DVD players, while DVD-R media caused no balking at all. This happened with several other drives in this test, too.

And then there's the time it takes to access a newly loaded disc in Windows. As with the Pioneer, we waited 20 seconds on average; CD-Rs only took 11 seconds.

  • Very informative review. Tedious reading and loading it though...It would have been nice to see a chart or graph at the end of the article with all the drives together. This loading page after page after page sucks big time. too much other crap. Otherwise, I did find what I was looking for. Thanks Tom's Hardware!