View Full Version : OS X supported optical drives?

08-12-2005, 02:58 AM
Does anyone know if the BenQ 16x DVD burner is either supported in OS X (Panther or Tiger) or if Patch Burn will take care of it?

I read a review that showed the Pioneer burners to be middle of the pack in terms of performance, although they at least completed all of the tests unlike some of the tested burners, but still had a great many errors.


08-12-2005, 05:40 AM
Maybe not helpful but I took a look at this BenQ 16x DVD burner (http://www.hardwarezoom.com/viewcontent.php?docid=238&page=1&doctype=Reviews) and the review really likes it.

As I read more about this subject, there are complaints that in general many DVD players don't like DVDs burned at faster than 8x. Using a 16x DVD-R in my G5 SuperDrive Pioneer DVR-109 which is supposed to burn that media at 16x it was apparently burned at 12x tho I cannot find a way in iDVD to tell what speed it is claiming to write at. I burned at Best Quality. The DVD played just fine in my DVD player. Of course any speed that a burner is writing at is an average, inner part of the DVD being slower, outer being faster.

I don't burn DVDs to play on a computer. I burn them for my DVD player and relatives DVD players. So compatibility is very important to me, even if I have to do it at 1x or 2x with slower rated media. k

08-12-2005, 08:48 AM
Hello Kaye,

Thanks for the link to the review. It is good to see that multiple reviewers like the BenQ. I finally found the review that made me wonder about this. I had thought that it was at Tom's Hardware, but it is actually <a href="http://www.anandtech.com/storage/showdoc.aspx?i=2260">AnandTech</a>.

Like you, I am interested in playing DVDs on DVD players and both compatibility with a variety of players and the quality (and hence reliability) of the burn are a consideration to me.

The media prices are still way too high for the Light Scribe discs, but it would be nice to have the ability to burn things directly to the disc when prices do get more reasonable and have a burner that does a good job of burning in the mean time.

I have only just reinstalled my DVR-109 after receiving it back from Pioneer for service. It was having some serious problems (with 8X media) even though I had updated the firmware to version 1.55 on a PC with their utility. Obviously, media quality is an issue as well. I had terrible luck with some Sony branded 8X media in even in my 108 and 105 burners. Sony were very nice about it and asked me to send in the media for replacement. I will see what happens when I get some back (about 150 discs). I have had generally good luck with Memorex and some TDK that I wait until there are specials at CompUSA or OfficeMax or where ever to buy. The test at AnandTech used Verbatim media as their "gold standard" of quality media. I suppose I ought to try some.

At least my DVR-109 burned the two (16X Memorex) discs I did yesterday OK. I hooked the DVR-109 up to the on-the-board ATA 66 controller rather than using the ATA 33 controller that is dedicated to the optical drive just to make sure that there are no issues associated with that.

If I understand things correctly, the speed rating of the drive and media is the maximum speed attainable (on the outer band of the disc, which is the last area to be burned). Just why they do not begin burning on the outer area of the disc is a mystery to me, but may be related to some of the small discs that are very rarely used. I would prefer to begin on the outer band because of the better read speed of the disc, but it is unlikely that it will be changed.

Have you checked the firmware version of your drive in System Profiler? I know that media compatibility is one of the things listed in the description of the firmware updates. As far as I know the current firmware version for the 109 drives is version 1.57. You can take a look <a href="http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pna/article/0,,2076_4249_201803982,00.html">this</a> page from Pioneer. I believe that it applies to both the A-09 and DVR-109 burners, but double check to be sure before attempting any firmware update. There have been some things about a Mac program to update optical drive firmware over at XLR8yourmac, but I have not tried it as yet.



P.S. I forgot to mention...(drool) nice G5! Video work is a pure horsepower race in many ways. My little GD 1.33 GHz upgrade CPU is a big improvement over the stock 733 in many ways, but "I feel the need for speed".


08-12-2005, 09:07 AM

The firmware on mine is Firmware Revision: A912. I am going to leave it at that for now. I use 52x TDK CD-R and BeAll (Samsung) 16x DVD-R, just got both and they burn just fine and no complaints from the folks I sent them to. Previously used 48x TDK CD-R and BeAll 2x DVD-R with no problems so I was expecting the new media to work.

I have not tried them yet but I got a small quantity of 3 Verbatim DL DVD+R that are listed at 2.4x, 4x, 5x, and 6x. My Pioneer DVR-109 Apple sez will burn those at up to 4x. Eventually I will find out if they burn OK, and at what speed, and whether they play OK on DVD players. Seems like this is a crap shoot at best, particularly when you read the Apple forums. k

08-12-2005, 09:28 AM

Yea, I am reluctant to change firmware on these things if they seem to work at all OK. Mine was way out of date. It was delivered with firmware v 1.17 or so. When I got it back from Pioneer it had the same version as when I shipped it to them (v 1.55). I was a little (well not much) disappointed that they did not bring it up to date while repairing it.

I need to try some DL discs soon. Let me know how yours work out if you think of it.



08-18-2005, 02:23 PM

I tried the Verbatim DL disks and they work just fine. http://www.meritline.com/dl-dvd-r-dual-double-layer-verbatim.html and I purchased the 3 pack. They burned at 4x. Choices in Roxio Popcorn were Best Write Speed, or 2x or 4x. I chose Best and they burned at 4x which is the max burn speed for DL media in the SuperDrive DVR-109. k