Quick Review: Verbatim 4x LTH BD-R (VERBAT-IMv)

In my (lazy) quest to seek out some different Blu-Ray media, I ordered some of these straight from Japan. After one taste of LTH with the Taiyo Yuden (That’s) discs, I needed another comparison. The choice of LTH media on the market is rather limited at this time – but these are the other major LTH disc on the market – the Verbatims.

Verbatim 4x LTH

The cake box isn’t just any cake box – this one has a surrounding cover sleeve which differentiates it from the others. On the back, a whole bunch of Japanese product information which I don’t understand.

Verbatim 4x LTH Box Back

Removing the cake box from the cardboard sleeve, we can see a piece of paper on top of the discs which claim they are “Number One” – but of what, I’m not sure. Taiyo Yuden made a similar claim on their LTH discs – everyone’s #1!

Cake Box Top

The discs themselves aren’t completely mark-free printable tops – there is a faint marking on the side. Curiously, these discs are claimed to be “for Video” – there is nothing to my knowledge that separates a Blu-Ray recordable for video or data (unlike early DVD-Rs which were for Authoring or General which worked at different wavelengths, or CD-Rs for Music which had a specially written code which was read by music recorders to ensure royalties were paid for that blank disc).

Printable Top Marking

The underside of the disc is a gold colour, like the Taiyo Yudens, but a bit darker.

Verbatim LTH 4x Disc Underside

Naturally, my BCA collection has been updated with a scan of the BCA of this type of disc. The mediacode is VERBAT-IMv. The DVD Identifier dump shows the following:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unique Disc Identifier : [BD-R-SL:VERBAT-IMv-000]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disc Type :              [BD-R SL : Class 0 - Version 1]
Manufacturer Name :      [Manufacturer Not Found In Database]
Manufacturer ID :        [VERBAT]
Media Type ID :          [IMv]
Product Revision :       [000]
Stamper Date :           [Not Present On Disc]
Layer Info :             [1 Layer (L0) : 25.03 GB (23.31 GiB) Per Layer]
Blank Disc Capacity :    [12,219,392 Sectors = 25.03 GB (23.31 GiB)]
Recording Speeds :       [1x , 2x , 4x]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
[ DVD Identifier V5.2.0 - http://DVD.Identifier.CDfreaks.com ]
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

So lets start cooking some of this media using my LG GGW-H20L (an “elderly” burner) and the newer LiteOn iHBS312 and see how it fares. Being Verbatim branded, I expect nothing short of excellence.

Testing with the LiteOn iHBS312 PL16

This media is supported at 4x only on the iHBS312. The burn graph is below.

IMv-312burn

The readback transfer-rate test is flawless, as expected. The 6x speed limitation appears to be due to the drive and LTH media – LiteOn doesn’t go faster than 6x on LTH discs.

IMv-312trt

And the quality scan shows acceptable quality. There are the occasional spikes which detract from the overall quality, but excluding those events, the disc itself seems to be fairly well burnt – quality quite similar to the T-Y’s. Looks like LTH media burns well (at least, initially – longevity apparently is an issue). On the face of it, I’d probably prefer the T-Y’s for consistency.

IMv-312ldc

The strange thing is the number of spikes. The media was swiftly transferred from spindle (sealed) to drive with one quick motion, and written and scanned without removing from drive (one of the main ways to get dust onto a disc). Hmm. They’re thick spikes too suggesting maybe the LiteOn was doing some funky W-OPC stuff or maybe having other difficulties. Inspection of the surface of the disc failed to show any dust spots.

Testing with LG GGW-H20L YL07

This media is supported at 2x only in the GGW-H20L. This is the burn graph – there is one slight buffer interruption due to the computer being “distracted”.

IMv-H20L-2xburn

The readback is of course, flawless on the GGW-H20L. The readback is only at 2x, also likely due to the drive limitation – as the H20L is one of the earlier LTH capable burners.

IMv-H20L-trt

Here’s the graph from an error scan at 4x using the iHBS312.

IMv-H20-ldc

Interestingly, the LG seemed to have a few thick spikes too. Error rates increased towards the outer edge of the disc too – which suggests physical disc problems possibly. Bad batch of media? Not likely, but just a sign that each of the burners had to do some “adjusting” during the burn – maybe their factory strategies don’t match the media that well.

Of course, if I had the money and time – I would go and shell out for a modern Pioneer (15x) and a modern LG (14x) drive just to see what they can do.

Conclusion

There’s not many varieties of LTH media on the market – Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim manufacture the majority of it. So far, LTH media seems to burn quite well, but usually at slower speeds. Readback is also at slower speeds due to drive limitations.

Compared to the T-Y’s, these discs are somewhat disappointing. The burn quality is very good in most parts, but marred by a few thick spikes all over the disc. Maybe this will get better as the drive “learns” how best to burn these discs, however, compared to the T-Y’s, the spikes are disappointing. This holds true for the LG burn as well as the LiteOn burn. For the LiteOn, jitter levels are also elevated compared to the T-Y’s. Price wise, these were marginally more expensive than the T-Y’s, so I think it’s a win for the T-Y’s overall.

Regardless, there are concerns about the longevity of LTH discs, and despite promises that it would be cheaper than HTL, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Compatibility may be a problem with older set-top players. As such, I cannot recommend the use of LTH media except as a curiosity and for limited-time storage. Who knows? They might last longer than the Ritek HTL discs!

Count my curiosity satisfied for now!

Postscript

Just for kicks – here’s the list of Blu-Ray mediacodes I have used over time:

  • CMCMAG-BA3 (BD-R)
  • CMCMAG-BA5 (BD-R)
  • CMCMAG-CN2 (BD-RE)
  • INFOME-R30 (BD-R)
  • LGBRA-S04 (BD-R)
  • MEI-T01 (BD-R DL)
  • PHILIP-R04 (BD-R)
  • PRODIS-CR0 (BD-R)
  • RITEK-BR1 (BD-R)
  • RITEK-BW1 (BD-RE)
  • TDKBLD-RBA (BD-R)
  • TDKBLD-RBB (BD-R)
  • TDKBLD-RFB (BD-R DL)
  • TDKBLD-Wfa (BD-RE DL)
  • TYG-BD-Y05 (BD-R LTH)
  • VERBAT-IM0 (BD-RE)
  • VERBAT-IMe (BD-R)
  • VERBAT-IMv (BD-R LTH)

Of course, there are much more types of media on the market, just unfortunately, I normally buy only what is cheapest and makes most sense. Sometimes I buy just on curiosity only when the price is appropriate. If anyone feels generous, donations of media (or drives) would be highly appreciated. But of course, I’m just dreaming.

Media codes I would have expected to be easy to get, but have not come into contact with yet include:

  • LGBRA-S06
  • MAXELL-RS1
  • MAXELL-RS2
  • MBI-R04
  • MBI-R06
  • OTCBDR-001
  • OTCBDR-002
  • RICOH-R01
  • RICOH-R02
  • SONY-NN1
  • SONY-NN2
  • SONY-NN3

About lui_gough

I'm a bit of a nut for electronics, computing, photography, radio, satellite and other technical hobbies. Click for more about me!
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