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DVD Burner Test: Seven Times The Capacity

Pioneer DVR-A05

Pioneer DVR-A05
TypeDVD-R/RW
Read speed, CD32x
Read speed, DVD12x
Write speed, CD-R16x
Write speed, CD-RW8x
Write speed, DVD-R4x
Write speed, DVD-RW2x
Avg. access time, CD130 ms
Avg access time, DVD140 ms
Memory cache2 MB
Firmware version0.58

It's now one and a half years since Pioneer brought out the first DVD burner for the general public. The DVR-A03 was the first to make burned DVDs compatible with home players. It did have some teething troubles, such as random DVD-RW recording. Pioneer corrected this with the DVR-A04, but added nothing in the way of speed. This has now been rectified by the DVR-A05 (OEM version) and DVR-105 (own version). These two are the fastest burners on the market at 4x, i.e., 5.54 MB/s in DVD-R mode and 2x (2.77 MB/s) in DVD-RW mode.

Software Package

The package contains two programs: Instant CD/DVD for burning, and Sonic MyDVD for authoring. They could have included a video editing program, though this is often provided with acquisition cards.

Beware Of Killer DVD-RWs!

Burning with the DVR-A05 at 4x (DVD-R mode) and 2x (DVD-RW mode) requires high speed blanks. If you were to use these on the older Pioneer burners - the DVR-A03 (or DVR-103) and DVR-A04 (or DVR-104) - you risk damaging them. To prevent this, you have to update the burner Firmware. Updates for Pioneer DVR-A03 or DRV-103 are available here .

Updating the burner also means that recording speed in DVD-RW mode goes up, from 1x to 2x. And for once there's no charge, so go right ahead!