Best DVD burners and what about these new dual layer burners

What's your favorite DVD & CD burner?  I really only need -DVD format (because my Suburban's factory player doesn't like +DVD, so I never use it), but I see that most burners nowdays are dual format.  I'm in no hurry to explore dual-layer DVD since the media prices are still high and I'm not sure how good the whole dual-layer home-burner process will be.  It sounds like it could potentially be finicky because of the required precision for the way the dual layering works, but I dunno.  I have to burn single layer DVDs at 2x to get a good enough burn for that crappy Panasonic player that GM puts in Suburbans. It's a special OEM configuration so I'm stuck with it.

Would you recommend one that has dual layer?  What brands & current models are the highest regarded by most experts?  Getting a highest-quality burn even at faster speeds would be ideal.

Is an 8X burner more likely to make a higher quality butn at 4x than a 4x burner would make at 4x speed?  When they rate those speeds, theere ought to be an industry-standard "crappy burner" that is used, cuz 4x or 8x may NOT mean that you can get by with burning that fast, it mostly depends on how good your players are at error-correction.
mark876543Asked:
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CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You can get the drives now, without buying the media and be able to take advantage of it when the prices come down, which is only a matter of time.  The dual layer drives I would recommend are the Sony DRU700A, NEC 2510A, and Pioneer A08.  I personally have a Sony and Pioneer burner, and they perform well.  I doubt that you can get reliable burns at the higher speeds, because it's a function of accuracy, and the slower you go, the more accurate you are.
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crazijoeCommented:
I would hold off on a dual layer unit because the media is still kinda pricey. Check buffer memory on burners the more the better. Sonyand Plextor make very good units.
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jaycaCommented:
What do you mean "quality"?  It is digital information, either it burns or it doesnt.

I prefer to buy the cheapest ones I can find and use em until they die.  Problem is, I have gotten 4 of them for under 20$ each over the past year and I am still waiting for the original one I bought to flake out on me, but it hasnt yet!

:)
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DoTheDEW335Commented:
I'd go with what Callandor says. The dual layer burners still burn single layer dvd's and they are very cheap to purchase (the drives)  Plus gives you the edge when the dual layers kick in that you'll already have the technology to do it.
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mark876543Author Commented:
I see the Sony DWD18A is a very common, current one on Pricewatch in the lowest price range (around $72).  Wow, my TDK 440n I think I paid $3xx for in the store a few couple years ago!   I don't see the DRU model, but the models change so fast...   I'll go with that $72 Sony unless someone has some other suggestion.  I agree about the dual-layer.  

What I meant about 'burn quality' was because I have a weak player that is finicky about reading home-burned DVDs without freezing.  Slowing down burn speed helps a lot.  Switching media brands helps only a little.  I like for my movies to be able to play in the car for a trip with the kids, so that is my driver for how I have to burn.  Even though it's digital, the way the laser writes on the dye can have enough sloppiness or errors that it causes some players to freeze and screw up.  Other players handle it better.  But if replacing the player isn't an option, you have to improve the burning job by slowing down, using different media, or something.  I was wondering out loud if different burners do better at this, for a given speed.  I don't know any evidence if they do, it just sounds reasonable that they might.  There's too many variables and it's very hard to know what's affecting what, especially if you don't have any problem-players for testing results on.
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crazijoeCommented:
Just remember when the media does come down in price, you will be able to buy twice the performance of what you bought today for the same money.
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mark876543Author Commented:
Crazijoe, I can't see that they get very much cheaper to get a single-layer burner.  The cheapest DVD burner on pricewatch is around $50.   So if there was a reason to look for a single-layer burner, it would have to have more to do with some technical advantage, but I can't find any reason to suspect that.  I agree that the dual-layer thing is probably immature.  They might later come out with -R9 that would work better for me maybe.  But the things are so cheap already it's not like it's costing extra to be R9.   But yeah everything about computers is that way, if I just wait a year or two it will be cheaper, faster, better....  

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