iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






DVD±RW/DVD±R TEAC DV-W50D Drive Review

Although summer is traditionally dead season in the IT industry, the launch of optical drives of the new DVD-Dual format started exactly in the summer months. The drivers come mostly as OEM solutions of other drive makers, but such drive has one vital advantages - they are usually cheaper than those coming from direct developers and manufacturers. Today we have a DVD-dual drive from TEAC. Unfortunately, this is not a long-awaited original solution but an OEM version of Pioneer's DVD-Dual drive. However, this fact doesn't make it less interesting as previous Pioneer's solutions made a good showing. 



  • Read formats supported. 
    • DVD: DVD-ROM, DVD-R(v2.0), DVD-RW(v. 1.0 & 1.1), DVD+R(v. 1.0 & 1.1), DVD+RW(v. 1.2) 
    • CD: Kodak Photo CD Single and Multisession, CD-Extra, Video-CD, CD-R, CD-RW 

  • Write speeds. 
    • DVD-R: 1/2/4 X CLV 
    • DVD-RW: 1/2 X CLV 
    • DVD+R: 2.4/4 X CLV 
    • DVD+RW: 2.4 X CLV 
    • CD-R: 4/8/12/16 X CLV 
    • CD-RW: 4/10 X CLV 

  • Recording modes: 
    • CD: Track At Once, Session At Once, Disc At Once, Packet Writing
    • DVD: Disc At Once, Random Recording, Restricted Overwriting, Incremental Recording, Multi-border Recording

  • Read speeds (max). 
    • DVD-ROM: 12 X CAV 
    • CD-ROM/R: 32 X CAV 

  • Access time (Random Average) 
    • DVD: 160 Msec 
    • CD: 150 Msec 

  • Interface: ATAPI (EIDE) support U-DMA mode 2/PIO-Mode 4 
  • Data buffer: 2 Mbytes 
  • Installation: horizontal or vertical. 
  • MTBF: 60.000 
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 148 x 42.3 x 197.7 mm 
  • Weight: 1.1 kg. 

We got the drive in the OEM package, right at the time it started selling abroad. A bit later, when we were finishing the tests, TEAC sent us its retail version, so that we could see what's bundled with the drive and make sure that the drives are identical. 

TEAC didn't redesigned the exterior, like in case of its DV-W50E drive. The front cover design is identical to the whole DVD recording drives line from Pioneer, with the air holes in front and space for a fan behind being their distinguishable features. 

The drive has a standard suite of proprietary features first used in the Pioneer 105 and later enhanced in the 106 (here you can find in-depth information about them).

The drive sells with several software CDs, TEAC's 700 Mb CD-R, 4x DVD-R, IDE, analog audio cables, screws and a couple of booklets with useful information. 

Software bundled: 

  • NERO 5.5.9 is one of the most popular programs for managing recordable CD and DVD drives.
  • TEAC CD with a database on its optical drives, various utilities and firmware versions. 
  • Pinnacle Studio 8 SE is the most popular programs that supports all types of video operations: capture, editing and recording on CD and DVD media. 
  • WinDVD 4 is a popular software DVD-Video player which can also play Video CD and multimedia files. 

Here is the board it's assembled on. 

As you can see, the drive is based on NEC's chip. The photo below shows the internal design. 

The label on top informs us when and where it was made. 

The installation caused no problems. A user is offered a standard procedure, like that of an ordinary CD-ROM drive. The drive needs no special drivers. You can do just with the NeroBurning Rom but you should use the latest versions as the older ones don't know it. I used v6.0.0.9. 

Now let's use other utilities to get more information on the drive, for example, Nero Infotool, which tells what formats and disc types the drive supports:

As you can see from the screenshot, it's still impossible to turn the drive into RPC-1 (according to www.rpc1.com). However, you can use the DVD Region free program which provides the regional protection.  

EAC (EAC Configuration Wizard) tells us whether it supports Audio CDs. 

Test results

DVD recording

First I checked its compatibility with various non-brand-name media. No compatibility problems were detected, the drive perfectly reads and records the most of them. It should be noted that at the moment there are few drives able to detect and burn Princo's 4x DVD-R discs, and this model is one of them. 

The discs were recorded without any problems, or errors at all speeds supported. 

Here is the burn time for various media. 

DVD-R recording
Drive burning at 1x, min. burning at 2x, min. burning at 4x, min.
TEAC DV-W50D 57:43 24:23 14:48
NEC ND-1300 58:36 30:48 14:33

DVD-RW recording
Drive fast cleaning, min. burning at 1x, min. burning at 2x, min.
TEAC DV-W50D 00:30 57:28 27:46
NEC ND-1300 00:32 58:23 29:11

DVD+R recording
Drive burning at 2.4x, min. burning at 4x, min.
TEAC DV-W50D 23:14 14:02
NEC ND-1300 23:14 14:26

DVD+RW recording
Drive fast cleaning, min. burning at 2.4x, min.
TEAC DV-W50D 00:21 23:12
NEC ND-1300 00:24 22:41

All DVDs recorded passed the control reading test on two reference DVD-ROM drives Toshiba SD-M1712 and Pioneer DVD-117LJ. The tests on the home DVD player BBK 939 revealed no problems with reading, the movies were played without artifacts. 

Below are also results of reading the recorded discs for the Lite-On drive with the KProbe utility. The KProbe utility is a new test program developed for Widows OS which estimates a level of C1/C2 errors on a disc tested. The outcome may depend on whether the drive favors a given disc, but we can obtain some general data anyway. 

TEAC DV-W50D, DVD-R, 4x burn speed (Princo)

TEAC DV-W50D, DVD-R, 2x burn speed (Fujifilm)

TEAC DV-W50D, DVD-R, 1x burn speed (Princo)

TEAC DV-W50D, DVD-RW, 2x burn speed (TDK)

TEAC DV-W50D, DVD+R, 4x burn speed (Verbatim)

TEAC DV-W50D, DVD+R, 2.4x burn speed (eproformance)

TEAC DV-W50D, DVD+RW, 2.4x burn speed (Verbatim)

DVD media reading


Test DVD reading

TEAC DV-W50D, single-layer DVD (stamped DVD-Data)

  TEAC DV-W50D NEC ND-1300
Average speed  9.41x CAV 8.76x CAV
Random Seek 142 ms 122 ms
Full Seek 319 ms 180 ms
CPU usage (Max Speed) 3 % 3 %
SpinUp Time 0.01 sec 0.04 sec
SpinDown Time 4.32 sec 2.86 sec
Disc Recognition Time 9.23 sec 12.04 sec

TEAC DV-W50D, two-layer DVD (stamped DVD-Video)

  TEAC DV-W50D NEC ND-1300
Average speed  2.06x CAV 3.47x CAV
Random Seek 147 ms 127 ms
Full Seek 323 ms 193 ms
CPU usage (Max Speed) 1 % 2 %
SpinUp Time 0.01 sec 0.08 sec
SpinDown Time 2.51 sec 0.73 sec
Disc Recognition Time 12.18 sec 14.24 sec
Layer Change Time 24 ms 58 ms

Traditionally, the speed is limited at 2x in case of DVD-Video. It's good for watching movies as it eliminates noise, but such limitation is inconvenient for making backup copies. 

Reading of recordable DVD

DVD+R reading


DVD+RW reading


DVD-R reading


DVD-RW reading


The drive flawlessly reads all types of recordable DVD media, as well as multiborder DVD discs. 

DVD Video copying with Smart Ripper

CD-RW drive Average speed
TEAC DV-W50D 1.9 X
NEC ND-1300 3.4 X

CD-R and CD-RW recording

CD burning time

Traditionally, we used two types of media - with cyanine and phthalocyanine coating. The number of the trade marks were lift up to 4, 2 of each type, to provide more information of how the drive treats discs of different trade marks. Below are the ATIP data of the discs tested.

Mirex 48x
Disc Type = CDR (B-)
Lead In = 97:27:18
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Plasmon Data Systems Ltd.

Disc Type = CDR
Lead In = 97:26:24
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = SKC Co., Ltd.

Philips 32x
Disc Type = CDR (A-) 
Lead In = 97:15:17
Lead Out = 79:59:73
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 73f/LBA:359848)
Manufacturer = RiTEK Corporation

Verbatim 48x
Disc Type = CDR (A+) 
Lead In = 97:34:23
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation

The burning results will be partially represented in the graphical form. 

Recording on the TEAC DV-W50D ( Mirex 48x, phthalocyanine)

The screenshot above looks the same for all trade marks. The burn speed was the same for all trade marks and types of media. We also tested ability of the drive to record cyanine discs at the minimal speed, - this mode is usually used by audiophiles to get the highest quality sound. 

CD-R disc TEAC DV-W50D NEC ND-1300
Philips 32x 5:32 5:26
Verbatim 48x 5:30 5:24
Mirex 48x 5:31 5:25
SKC 4x 21:24 21:19

To extend the picture, I added the results of the eproformance CD-RW 10x. 

Lead In = 97:27:10
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Plasmon Data Systems Ltd.

Recording on the TEAC DV-W50D (eproformance 10x CD-RW)

Time of CD-RW full formatting in UDF with InCD ver. 4.0.17

CD-RW recording in UDF format, 530 Mb test packet in 3000 files. 

eproformance 10x 

CD-RW drive Burn time (min.) Formatting time (min.)
TEAC DV-W50D 10:15 12:48
NEC ND-1300 10:04 12:14

Operation with 80mm CDs (tested with a CD-RW disc), formatting and recording in UDF

Formatting and recording of the 80mm CD-RW disc in UDF, 4x write speed. 

CD-RW drive Formatting time (min.) Burn time (min.)
TEAC DV-W50D 9:05 5:54
NEC ND-1300 8:50 5:59

The drive reads and burns 80mm discs quite well. 

Reading of the discs recorded for the Lite-On drive with KProbe

Reading of Philips CD-R disc recorded on the TEAC DV-W50D 

Reading of the Verbatim disc recorded on the TEAC DV-W50D 

Reading of the Mirex disc recorded on the TEAC DV-W50D

Reading of the SKC disc recorded on the TEAC DV-W50D 

Reading of the eproformance CD-RW disc recorded on the TEAC DV-W50D 

The level of errors is not that high. Later we will publish the test results obtained with the professional equipment CDCATS SA3.


Here is the ATIP of the discs tested:

Verbatim 48x
Disc Type = CDR (A+) 
Lead In = 97:34:23
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation

Intenso 99 min
Disc Type = CDR (A-)
Lead In = 96:43:37
Lead Out = 79:59:74
Nominal = 702.83MB (79m 59s 74f/LBA:359849)
Manufacturer = RiTEK Corporation

CD-RW drive 80 min CD-R 99 min CD-R
TEAC DV-W50D 81:22.45 81:25.05
NEC ND-1300 81:52.45 89:48.65

CD reading

CDWinBench 99

  TEAC DV-W50D NEC ND-1300
Winmark 1210 1940
Inside transfer 2420 Kb/s 2840 Kb/s
Outside transfer 4670 Kb/s 5490 Kb/s
CPU Utilization  1.56 % 1.87 %
Access Time 116 ms 94.3 ms


Test CD reading


  TEAC DV-W50D NEC ND-1300
Average speed  25.29 CAV 28.64 CAV
Random Seek 128 ms 110 ms
Full Seek 297 ms 174 ms
CPU Usage 8X  5 %  6 % 
SpinUp Time 0.01 0.05
SpinDown Time 1.20 0.81
Disc Recognition Time 1.14 sec 0.13 sec
Accurate stream Yes Yes

CD-ROM Drive Analyzer

Test CD-R reading


Test CD-RW reading


Low-quality CD reading


CD audio track extraction (CDDAE 99, EAC)

Average extraction speed 23.6x  19.5x 
Total errors  0.00% 0.00%


Advanced DAE Quality(Nero CD-Speed)

TEAC DV-W50D drive

The detailed information on the tested parameters is given in the help file to the Nero CD Speed test program. If you don't want to download the utility, then here you can find the HTMl help file. 

DAE Quality (EAC)

This test was developed by EAC and named DAE Quality (here you can find its description). In short, it measures quality of audio data extraction and of C2 error processing using a special test disc. But in this case we couldn't measure C2 processing quality, and below are only general data on quality of audio track extraction. 

TEAC DV-W50D drive

    TEAC DV-W50D
  • Errors total Num : 954007
  • Errors (Loudness) Num : 26871 - Avg : -69.5 dB(A) - Max : -16.5 dB(A)
  • Error Muting Num : 8920 - Avg : 1.5 Samples - Max : 213 Samples
  • Skips Num : 0 - Avg : 0.0 Samples - Max : 0 Samples
  • Total Test Result : 76.1 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Direct copying of information from 780 MB CD-R to HDD

The drive copied the contents of the 780MB disc without errors. 

TEAC DV-W50D drive

The copy time was 

  • TEAC DV-W50D - 6 min. 12 sec.
  • NEC ND-1300 - 10 min. 15 sec. 

Physical characteristics of the drive


CD-RW drive Tray CD-Seek CD, total DVD-Seek DVD, total
TEAC DV-W50D 7/10 7/10 7/10 8/10 8/10

The drive works pretty quietly except those cases when it works with CDs which are not properly balanced and when it works at the maximum speed. 

Thermal conditions

CD-RW drive T inside PC case, C T of the upper surface, C T of the lower surface, C
TEAC DV-W50D 36 48 48

The drive doesn't get too hot even when used a lot. But be careful when placing other devices close to it as they can burn.

Vibration in case of unbalanced CDs

The drive vibrated a little when worked with such discs but it finished reading them at a high speed and without errors. 


This drive can be recommended even for very demanding users. No grave flaws or problems were noticed. The impression is generally positive, though it burns CD-R and CD-RW too slowly, and I hope that its next versions will have it lifted it up to match the up-to-date level. Since the OEM manufacturers is Pioneer, a leader on the DVD-R market, we can see that it finally accepted the DVD+RW format. 

Roman Shelepov (srl@ixbt.com)

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