Burning speed x2 better? Why?

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I saw recommedations here to burn the VCD at x2 speed. Why? Isn't the burning process writing digital information? How can it write it any better at a lower speed?

-- Josh Zachary (jzari55@hotmail.com), May 29, 2001


It's gets a little "technical" but the short answer is that it really depends on the CD burner you are using.

Some burners have less than the best laser burning capability. While the disc is spinning the "power" of the laser can in some cases make a difference. If the power is too weak for the media being used (depending on the dye type etc.) then the burn may not make the "pits" in the media properly. If that's the case slowing to a lower speed helps as the laser now has more "time" (so to speak) to burn the disk. I had this problem myself with an older 4x Philips CDRW drive. When doing VCD or SVCS with certain brands of media, I had to reduce the burning speed down to 2x or less to get it to work reliably.

A note .. I've since switched to the Plextor line of SCSI CD burners. They actually have a "variable" power laser. They read the disc before burning and then adjust the power of the laser to work best with the disc. Too much power will also create problems as well as too little. So the Plextor sort of "matches" it's burn according to how it perceives the media being used. I imagine other more modern drives may or may not use a similar technique these days. I do know the Plextors do and I have burned several hundred VCD and SVCD discs in the last couple years and have not had ONE single coaster. And that's on any old 39 cent bulk disc I can find at their highest rated speed. In fact, I often can exceed the disc's specs for burning speed without a problem.

Hope that explains it for you.

-- Rich (rich@pcphotovideo.com), May 29, 2001.

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