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Pioneer DVD-116 - Conclusion

  March 27, 2001 Author: Tim Zakharov  


On paper, there's not much difference between Pioneer's DVD-115 and DVD-116. The most noteworthy change is the switch from 12X CLV DAE to 16X CLV DAE. A side benefit is that the DAE problems uncovered in our review of the DVD-115 have all vanished in the DVD-116.

Otherwise, performance between the two drives is nearly identical. While the interface upgrade from ATA-33 to ATA-66 looks impressive on the spec sheet, the fact remains that the drive's maximum transfer rate is well below ATA-33's ceiling.

There are many positives with this drive: It offers the fastest DAE available for a DVD-ROM, in addition to 44X max CD and CD-R transfer rates, 32X max CD-RW transfer rates, and DVD transfer rates up to 14X (measured).

Countering the positives, the DVD-116 comes up short in our low-level access time measures, has difficulties reading from some Verbatim 16X CD-R media, and fails to reach 16X in our DVD transfer rate measures. Also, it's worth noting that transfer rates with DVD-Videos are substantially slower than with data DVDs.

The Safe Buy Award

Simply put, this designation means we'd purchase this product without regret. Sure, there may be a slightly better, slightly faster, and/or slightly less-expensive model from a competitor, but you can't go wrong with this particular unit. This award is applicable, of course, to all units at the top of their class, but also applies to units that, though not quite best-of-class, provide a strong showing nonetheless. Despite its minor shortcomings, the DVD-116 offers a lot of bang for the buck. At $75 this drive provides speedy DAE as well as excellent CD and DVD performance.


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