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Iíve had my Pioneer 105/A05 for over a year now and Iíve been more than happy with it. At the time a paid a princely sum of £160 for this piece kit, these days you can get a similar spec DVD writer for £50.
My drive was OEM so it came with no cables or instructions but it was a synch to install. People are often afraid of upgrading their PCís but I often say that if you can put a piece of flat pack furniture together you can do most jobs on your PC. OK there are exceptions to this rule but for the most part itís slide the old CD writer out and slide the new DVD writer in, screw in, reconnect cables and away we go.
The drive burns DVDs at 4 speed which is around 15 minutes for a typical DVD. It is only compatible with DVD-R blanks so you have to be careful when buying your discs (donít get DVD+R). As a general rule you shouldnít be paying more than 50p for a blank 4 speed DVD these days.
The drive looks like most PC DVD drives, white and uninspiring. The name Pioneer is reassuring, I definitely connect the brand Pioneer with quality goods. I knew straight away that I wanted to update the firmware as I had heard that the Pioneer was limited to 2 speed rip rate (the rate at which it copys the DVD). I updated with the unofficial firmware (got it from the DVD-105 forum) and I was relieved to find that my DVD writer still worked. However it still only ripped at 2 speed, I then found out you need to change the memory access to DMA for the device (in device manager) and hey presto full burn speed for the drive was achieved (4-8 speed).
Since then burning with the drive has been a joy, I personally prefer NERO as the burn tool of choice (its the most user friendly of the bunch). Iíve only had one set of discs not work with the drive and these were really cheap unbranded discs bought from Ebay.
The quality of play back of DVD is superb, which was no surprise most PC DVD drives have great playback.
The discs I burnt with this drive all seem to be very compatible with all the DVD players Iíve had. If I had to recommend a brand of DVD to use with this drive Iíd probably say Datawrite (and theyíre cheap).
You can usually pick up these drives up cheap on Ebay, I would probably recommend unless your on a tight budget paying a bit extra and get an 8 speed burner which is compatible with both DVD-R and DVD+R.
Oh no my Pioneer DVD 105 died last night!! it seemed to grind down the surface of a cd-rom i inserted into it! now it crunches and grinds but doesn't detect anything. Only 13 months use out of this DVD writer isn't good, might be a word of warning for people using non offical firmware (could this of caused it!). Oh well time to upgrade to a 8X dvd writer!
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