Great value burner: DVR-A06

With a comprehensive software bundle, fast specifications, sup­­­port for both popular DVD writing formats and a competitive price tag, the DVR-A06 builds on Pioneer’s line of market-leading DVD writing units for the PC.

It is ideally suited to any consumer who doesn’t want to think twice when purchasing blank DVD discs: the drive writes to both DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW discs, the latter being the basis for Pioneer’s previous models.

The speed ratings are not that different to those of the A05 drive, apart from the CD-RW speed, which has been boosted to 10x, as opposed to 8x. Pioneer has ditched Veritas recording software for the A06 in favour of Nero Express, and the writing performance of the drive was excellent, as expected. Nero can also be used to burn data on DVD media, and its performance in this area was equally impressive for both DVD- and DVD+ media.

In addition, a plethora of utility software is provided, which boosts the ‘out of box’ experience tremendously. Ulead VideoStudio 7 SE is provided for video editing, and can work in conjunction with Ulead DVD Workshop AC-3 SE to produce a professional looking (and sounding) DVD. Ulead DVD MovieFactory 2 SE will burn your movies to DVD and Ulead DVD Player will play back DVD movie discs.

If still picture presentations are more to your liking, then this task can be easily accomplished via Ulead DVD PictureShow 2 SE. A tutorial for VideoStudio 7 is provided, as are trials for a host of other packages. As a bonus, Pioneer offers TMPGenc Plus 2.5, which is a good quality software MPEG2 encoder for converting file formats such as AVI into MPEG.

The completeness of this package makes it highly unlikely that you will require extra software in order to produce and burn DVD discs, meaning you probably won’t have to spend any more money on extras.

For the drive itself, technological improvements include a liquid crystal tilt mechanism (this is also found on the A05) that improves the accuracy of reading and recording to media with uneven characteristics. Ultra DRA is a technology that aims to reduce the vibration effects of unbalanced discs during recording and playback. DVD-RW overwrite performance is also said to be improved with the implementation of Precision Recording Technology, which introduces better algorithms and defect management to ensure compatible writing on discs that have been rewritten numerous times. It nonetheless had problems deleting and formatting one of my troublesome Laser-branded DVD-RW discs, and is not able to perform miracles.

Using new media, however, DVD-RW reading and writing performance was very solid. Quick formatting takes just 16 seconds to prepare a disc.

Pioneer DVR-A06 Read/Write Times
DVD-ROM read time 12m 21s
CD-ROM read time 3m 17s
Audio extraction 2m 48s
CD-R write time 5m 31s
CD-RW write time 15m 53s
DVD-R write time 13m 44s
DVD-RW write time 26m 22s
DVD+R write time 13m 38s
DVD+RW write time 22m 51s


In brief: Pioneer DVR-A06
This drive is highly recommended to anyone looking to purchase a DVD writer. It supports both popular writing standards, is very fast and reliable and, overall, a great value package.
Price: $599
Vendor: Pioneer
Phone: 1800 060 862
URL: www.pioneeraus.com.au

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