Pioneer 103, Pioneer A03 / 103 Review ! buy DVD writer.
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Write Support

DVD-R (4.7 GB for General disc only*), DVD-RW, CD-R, CD-RW

Read Support

DVD-ROM single layer/dual layer, DVD-R (all types), DVD-RW,
CD-ROM Mode1, CD-ROM XA Mode2 (form 1, form 2)
Photo CD (single and multiple session), CD-DA, CD-Extra, CD-R,
CD-RW (Supports AM2)

Write Speed

DVD-R 2X-CLV (2.76 MB/s), 1X-CLV (1.38 MB/s)
DVD-RW 1X-CLV (1.38MB/s)
CD-R 8X-CLV (1.41 MB/s), 4X-CLV (0.70 MB/s)
CD-RW 4X-CLV (0.70MB/s)

Read Speed

DVD-ROM (Single) Max. 4X-CAV (5.52 MB/s)
DVD-ROM (Dual) 2X-CLV (2.76MB/s)DVD-R, DVD-RW 2X-CLV (2.76 MB/s)CD-ROM Max. 24X-CAV (4.23MB/s) CD-R,CD-RW Max. 16X-CAV (2.82MB/s)CD-Audio Max. 10X-CAV (1.76MB/s) Video-CD 4X-CLV (0.70MB/s)

Access Time* DVD 200 Msec (Random Average) CD 180 Msec

*When DVD-ROM Single Layer Disc and CD-ROM Mode1 Disc are used

Interface ATAPI (ATA/ATAPI-5 & SFFC INF8090 Ver.5)

Data Buffer 512 k Bytes (Read) 2Mbytes (Write)

Mounting Orientation Horizontal only

Power Consumption Maximum 23.8W

Dimensions (W x H x D) 148 x 42.3 x 207.5 mm 5-13/16" x 1-11/16" x 8-2/16"

Net Weight 1.1 kg 2 lbs. 7 oz

Our Test Machines Specs:

Pentium 4 1.5GHz (not overclocked)




2 x IBM GXP75 30GB (not in RAID mode)


Pioneer is one of the DVD Forum founder members, together with a consortium of nine other manufacturers (Hitachi, JVC, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, Philips, Sony, Thomson, Time Warner & Toshiba) are backing the DVD-R format. The other competing format is DVD+RW.

The Pioneer DVR A03 is the first affordable consumer DVD recorder available. Pioneer has been making DVD writers for a few years now but they have never been affordable and the media has been prohibitively expensive. It was nicked named the "Super Drive" because of the fact that it could write (and read) on almost all modern optical disks i.e. CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW. (Pioneer has had an Authoring drive out since 1997 (DVR-S201)).

Pioneer released the A03 at the CE-BIT show in Germany earlier this year. The drive was requested by us in June, but the demand was so high that Pioneer could not supply us with one quick enough.

OK, that's the background information out of the way.. lets take a look at the drive.

What the package includes

The package contains:

1 x Pioneer DVR-103 DVD Writer
1 x Operation Manual
1 x Audio Cable
1x Packet Mounting Screws
1 x Staedtler Pen
2 x DVD-R Pioneer Brand Disks
5 x CD-R Disks
1 x MyDVD Version 2.3 Software
1 x VOB Instant CD/DVD Software

(Our special package didn't come with any CD-Rs but a DVD-RW, which IMO is better choice. You can experiment on the re-writeable media instead of using costly DVD-Rs many times over.)

The front of drive has a headphone socket, a volume control, an emergency eject hole, an LED that tells you if a disk is inserted In the drive and another LED to tell you if the drive is writing.

At back of the drive you will find the usual connectors: jumpers for making the drive a Master/Slave, the SPDIF output connector and a fan for cooling. Note: the manual states that the operating temperature should not exceed 45c (which is not very high).

Page 1 - Last Updated: 21 October 2001



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