Pioneer DVR-110D review: Pioneer DVR-110D

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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Pioneer DVR-110D is a mature, stable drive with excellent DVD+R ripping and writing performance.

The Bad The Pioneer DVR-110D suffers from mediocre rewrite performance and has no digital audio output. Phone support is limited to weekdays.

The Bottom Line The Pioneer DVR-110D is a swift, reliable burner for movie fans, but those looking to back up by using rewritable discs might be disappointed.

6.5 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 6.0
  • Service and support 6.0

Pioneer DVR-110D

If movies are your thing, the Pioneer DVR-110D and its brethren really shine, outperforming all their competitors in ripping DVDs and most rivals in burning single- and double-layer DVD+Rs. The DVR-110D is only a mediocre rewriter, but in a couple of months of steady use, it didn't hiccup once. Moreover, Pioneer has posted several firmware revisions to support new media and fix a bug or two that affected a small number of users. The drive is available under a couple of different names, with different software bundles and support options. But underneath it all, the hardware is the same. The basic DVR-110D, the one we reviewed, is the bare drive (available in black, silver, or beige). The retail version, the DVR-R100 (available in black, silver, or beige), bundles Ulead DVD MovieFactory 4 authoring and mastering suite, Ulead CD and DVD PictureShow 3 SE, Ulead VideoStudio 9 SE DVD, and NovaStor NovaBackup. The DVR-610 version (available in black and beige), which is available primarily through e-tailers, bundles Ulead DVD MovieFactory 3.5 SE, Ulead Photo Explorer 8.5, and a 30-day trial of Computer Associates eTrust EZ Antivirus. No matter what the moniker, the software, or the faceplate color, it's the same drive, and you can bring it up-to-date with the same firmware upgrades.

Installing the DVR-110D is like installing any other DVD burner: straightforward. However, while Pioneer provides screws to affix the drive in an open drive bay, it doesn't include an IDE cable or an analog-to-sound-card adapter cable. There's no digital cable either, but that's less of a problem, since the DVR-110D lacks the digital output most drives offer. The Ulead software is straightforward and simple to install. It's generally easier to learn than Nero's software, but Nero can perform a wider variety of disc jobs.

The DVR-110D's movie-ripping performance was the best we've seen: it took a mere 5 minutes, 54 seconds to rip a 4.4GB movie and 11 minutes, 18 seconds to rip a 7.9GB movie. It also burned video quickly, taking only 18 minutes, 10 seconds to write a 7.9GB double-layer DVD and a mere 5 minutes, 53 seconds to burn a 4.4GB movie to a +R DVD. It wasn't nearly as handy at rewriting, so if backup is your primary focus, you might want to go for something swifter in that department, such as the Plextor PX-716A . However, it's fast enough for most users, even with its pedestrian audio-CD ripping and writing speeds.

DVD movie rip/burn tests (min:sec)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
4.4GB DVD Video burn test  
4.4GB DVD Video rip test (from DVD Video)  

Double-layer DVD movie rip/burn tests (min:sec)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
7.9GB DVD Video burn test  
7.9GB DVD Video rip test (from DVD Video)  

CD Audio rip/burn tests (min:sec)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
74:35 CD Audio burn test  
74:35 CD Audio rip test  

RW read/write tests (min:sec)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
4.22GB RW write test  
4.22GB RW read test  

Unless otherwise mentioned, all write tests are run with Verbatim media, rated at the drive's maximum speed. Find out more about how we test optical drives.

Pioneer supports the DVR-R100 bundle with a one-year warranty. Free technical support is available weekdays from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PT. Online support for the DVR-R100 is helpful and easy to find. The main product page prominently displays links to online registration and manuals. The only other things we would like to see are a prominent link to firmware upgrades and a user forum to augment Pioneer's e-mail support. The docs that ship with the drive are more than sufficient to guide you through setup and minor troubleshooting issues. E-tailers are the first line of support for the DVR-610, and their hours may vary.

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