Sony DRU 500A: Test and Review

You want to switch to DVD burning but hesitate between -R / RW / + R / RW? Sony circumvents the issue by proposing the first recorder compatible with both public standards.

Until then, the only known DVD burner bistandard allied DVD-R / RW and DVD-RAM, as the Archos DEx DVD-RW. But there was no multistandard solution using + R / RW. In addition, DVD-Ram are much less attractive to the general public because their use is limited to computers.

The Sony DRU 500A burner is the first solution multistandard + R / RW and -R / RW, for the general public.

There are several advantages to using a burner bistandard -R / RW and + R / RW. Already, this allows to use the cheapest blank media.

Another argument, one can thus take advantage of the technological advantages of the most advanced standard of time. At the time of writing, the -R dominates in terms of speed, but that will probably not always the case. The next generations burner + R / RW should catch up before mid-2003.

Obviously, this is because the DRU 500A, Sony is a success that all these have weight. DVD burning, its primary function, it keeps its promises. DVD-R burning at 4x takes 16 min 4 sec. This is more than the Teac DV-W50EK, that merely 14 min 47 s, but still much faster than 2x model, which takes about 30 minutes.

Prowess engraving

DVD-RW, it takes 29 min 44 s to fill a disc. This is the time it took to complete a 2x DVD-R burner with an older generation. But it’s also twice as long than burning a DVD-RW drive on the same first generation, then the operation took almost an hour.

DVD + R / RW, no surprise: the engraving is done by 2.4x. It is therefore about 23 minutes 30 seconds to burn a disc, whether or not rewritable. The technology has not evolved is logically almost the time taken by the first burner + R / RW Philips out there over a year.

In burning CD-R, traditionally the weak point of DVD recorders, Sony makes prowess. With 24x the meter, it is the fastest combo.

In practice, it takes 5 min 38 s for a CD 700MB This is much more than a CD-R as the recent Teac CD-W548E, which puts less than 2 min 40 s. However, it is honorable for a DVD recorder whose time at this level are often closer to 7 to 8 minutes.

In rewriting CD is limited to 10x. The filling time of a disc is affected, over 8 minutes. It’s long, but it’s in the middle of DVD burners.

In playback, either CD or DVD, it is not either a great warrior, but he is doing again with honors. 24x on average for a data CD or 3,52Mo / s and 22x for CD audio is 3,22Mo / s. Access times are correct with 166 ms and 120 ms DVD CD.

The DRU is the most versatile and one of the most successful writers of the moment. It should further benefit in March 2003 of a software update allowing it to burn DVD + R at 4x. Sony then continue in the race for speed. Remains to be seen if any compatibility problems will arise at the time.