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Pioneer DVR-104WB


This model is actually an OEM clone of Pioneer DVR-A04. The black color of the front panel will match black or dark-gray system cases very nicely. The white markings on the tray say that this is a real DVD-burner. Besides the eject button and the LED labeled “busy”, the front panel has a horizontal slit to allow air intake. This slit also has a certain decorative effect making the front panel look not so gloomy. The black color of the tray should reduce the jitter. When the tray is open, you can see that in order to make the drive work in a vertical position, you should manually unfold two white catches.

There is a round plastic gag above the spindle on the upper cover of the drive case. The back side of the drive looks rather original due to the miniature fan nestled outside, in an isolated niche. It sucks the warm air from inside the case. Pioneer DVR-104WB has only one analog audio-output and no digital one. All other things are the same: the power and interface connectors, and the pin set with a jumper, which is provided with a small “tail” for easier mounting.

This drive can burn DVD-R and DVD-RW discs at 2x and 1x, respectively. CD-R and CD-RW burn speeds are 8x and 4x. DVD-ROM discs are read at 6x, while CD-ROM discs – at 24x. DVD access time is 200ms and CD access time is 180ms. The size of the internal buffer is 2MB.

Pioneer’s European website says that owners of older DVD-burners should update the firmware of their devices. The DVR-104 drive is also on that list. It is connected with September 17, 2002 when DVD Forum announced specifications for new high-speed media types. They are DVD-R 4x and DVD-RW 2x. The use of these discs in older burners may result in various crashes and failures. Firmware update is going to address this issue. So, the owners (actual and potential) of DVR-104WB should keep this in mind. You can check the necessity of making the update with the help of a special utility, available for free download on the European site.

The drive comes all alone, without any accessories.

Pioneer DVR-A05


The front panel of this Pioneer is purely white. The tray is covered with symbols, indicating the device type and telling the name of the manufacturer in black letters. The front panel is highly functional: the eject button, headphones socket and volume control wheel, LED and two slits that serve both esthetical and practical needs: they allow outside air to come to the electronic chips inside the drive.

The tray is made of black-colored plastic to reduce the jitter. The LED and the audio output have labels telling their function – for those who are not familiar with the traditional symbolic marks. The back panel of the drive boasts some features distinguishing this product from other optical drives. Namely, there is only one audio output: the analog one. The digital output is not there. Of course, there is a power and interface connectors and the pin set with the jumper. Also, the back panel is provided with slit-like vent holes forming a circle.

This drive is faster than the previous model from this company. It can write DVD-R and DVD-RW discs at 4x and 2x speeds, respectively. Write speeds for CD-R and CD-RW are 16x and 8x, respectively. Reading speeds are: 32x DVD-ROM and 6x CD-ROM. Average access time is 140ms for DVDs and 130ms for CDs. The size of the buffer is 2MB, as by all the previous models.

A number of innovations are packed up into the device to improve its high burning quality and reliable functioning. A liquid crystal skew technology ensures stable head positioning when the device is reading or writing data. Special construction of the laser helps to maintain the appropriate level of the record signal at high burn speeds, while absorbing components of the tray can imbibe the vibration of misbalanced discs. Of course, there are also buffer underrun protection technologies included.

The OEM version of the drive comes without any extra stuff.

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