Sony DRX-500UL DVD Writer

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Sony DRX-500UL

USB2, Firewire, 8MB
More info
$350 8.1/10
19 votes
Read 22


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DVD Media comments for this DVD Writer (click on the link to read the comments):
2 Accu 1xDVD-R (LD..........) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 BMI 4xDVD-R (PRINCO......) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 1 poor.
1 Caldisc 4xDVD-R (LONGTEN 001.) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 1 poor.
1 CompUSA 1xDVD-R (PRINCO......) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Datawrite Classic 8xDVD+R (MCC.....003) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
3 KHypermedia 1xDVD-R (CMC00RG200..) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 2 poor.
1 KHypermedia 1xDVD-R (CMC00RG300..) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 1 poor.
1 Maxell 2.4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR00) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Memorex 1xDVD-R (CMC00RG200..) comments, 0 good, 1 mixed, 0 poor.
2 Memorex 1xDVD-RW (ProdiscDVDRW) comments, 0 good, 1 mixed, 1 poor.
1 Memorex 4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Mitsumi 2.4xDVD+RW (INFODISCA01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Optodisc 1xDVD-R (OPTODISC....) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Optodisc 1xDVD-R (OPTODISCK001) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
2 Optodisc 4xDVD-R (OPTODISCK001) comments, 0 good, 2 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Princo 1xDVD-RW (PRINCO......) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 1 poor.
1 Princo 4xDVD-R (PRINCO......) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Prodisc 4xDVD-R (ProdiscS03) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Ritek 1xDVD-R (RITEKG03....) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
4 Ritek 4xDVD-R (RITEKG04....) comments, 2 good, 1 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Sonix 4xDVD-R (AN32........) comments, 0 good, 1 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Sony 4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 TDK 4xDVD+R (CMC MAG.F01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 TDK 4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 TDK 2xDVD-R (TDKG02000000) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Verbatim (DataLifePlus) 2xDVD-R (MCC 00RG200) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 1 poor.
1 Verbatim (DataLifePlus) 2xDVD-R (TAIYOYUDEN..) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
Post your DVD Media comments here
22 comments, Showing 1 to 22 comments

I have had my Sony External drive for a year and a half. I have recorded over 600 DVD discs. The only problems I have ever had were discs problems (and not very many), not the burner. It is a work horse day in and day out. I love this burner and never have had an issue burning anything at 4x which I always do. I love it and would recommend it for anyone who is going to put some serious clock time on a burner.

Comments posted by Megalis from United States, August 12, 2005. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

We just purchased a DRX510UL to use with a brand-new machine. Firewire did not work at ALL, the machine "sees" the machine through USB, but is unable to write anything.

The Sony DVD Architect software doesn't recognize the drive.

So far, this thing is an expensive doorstop. Of course the Sony tech support people have not gotten back to me. . .

Comments posted by Eric from United States, March 12, 2004. Rated this writer 1 of 10.

I read that there is now a firmware upgrade online at the sony site to increase your speed to 4x on the +R media. Always great to get free firmware upgrades that improve proformance.

im buying mine in a week or so, either PC MALL , E-COST, or PCNATION Is selling it at around $382-$390.

Comments posted by FORDMAN from Other, February 22, 2004. Rated this writer No rating.

perfect, buy it. only coasters were with nero, and i blame that on nero. works well with recordnow max. worth every penny.

Comments posted by clif from Other, February 14, 2004. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

I bought this external drive just over 1 year ago and have had absolutely no problems writing DVD+R's or DVD-R's until about 1 month ago.

Now, it seems, Nero will burn a disc and it will report it was written successfully but upon testing the disc's it burns, they are corrupt and NOTHING can be read off of the discs.

I am now burning about 3 coasters for every successfully burnt DVD. It has started to make horrible noises like track seeks or whatever.

I paid around $450 for this drive only because all of the internal versions at the time were out-of-stock ALWAYS so I broke down and got this one.

Overall, it has been a really nice drive, but if it can't last more than 1 year, it's time to go with another brand. I've always loved Plextor drives and have never had a problem with them but at the time they didn't have any DVD writers. Now, Plextor has one and I think I'll see what people have to say about them.

Summary is that this drive worked like a dream for 11 months and then started to die slowly. It's not dead but I don't think I wanna create any more $2 coasters. Maybe their newer models are better and have improvements but not sure if I'm willing to spend another $200 on a Sony.

Comments posted by John from United States, January 31, 2004. Rated this writer 5 of 10.

I found out that I was not able to record or format a Memorex DVD-RW 1x-2x no version number disk on this drive. I wrote to Sony, and waiting to here what there reply is. I think I just wasted some money on these disk. According to there support web page only Memorex DVD-RW Version 1.1 will work. Anybody else have this problem?

Comments posted by Eugene from Other, January 01, 2004. Rated this writer No rating.

I have been waiting for an external dvd writer and is here now. It is very easy to install: just plug it in to the computer. The main problem I have experienced so far is with the software it comes with (MYDVD)and its inability to know if the size of the file to burn is of not too large. I wish Sony had their own editing software.

Comments posted by Leon Ghitis from Other, December 23, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

The freakin' thing only would burn DVD+R and +RW. No -R, no -RW and half have the CDs I tried were coasters. Had I paid $350 for this drive I would be highly upset but since I got it from a friend I am not complaining. But why spend the extra cash when this this is basically just a +R drive?

Comments posted by dalton4life from Other, December 12, 2003. Rated this writer 5 of 10.

Great burner, I have made dvd+r ps2 games and dvd+rw dvd backups both work great (fuji media btw). Made one cd, it works great as well so no complaints. Its a little big and heavy (it almost dwarfs my laptop). Best part is I got it for $365 open box at bestbuy. But the I-Link (sony's dumb name for firewire) is only 6pin to 6pin which i had to get a converter for 6 to 4.

Comments posted by Phonger from Other, June 08, 2003. Rated this writer 9 of 10.

uh, err-- that should have been 8 of 10--- not 4 of 10

Comments posted by patch from Other, April 01, 2003. Rated this writer 8 of 10.

Once I stopped trying to use the crappy software that came with it (the Sonic MyDVD wouldn't install at all and the Veritas software caused my computer to crash)and gave up on Sony Tech support and the USB 2 connection, the burner worked great, no failures whatsoever.

I'm not sure what the deal is with the USB 2 connection, I may have to brave another call to Sony (do you have 45 minutes to sit on hold before you talk to anyone?), but the firewire works well.

Combo of TMPGEnc and Ulead DVD Movie Factory 2 turns xvid files into beautiful looking dvds.

I'd give this drive a higher rating, but the sucky software and support pulls it down.

$380 at Essential Computer, in stock and only $9.00 for US delivery.

Comments posted by patch from Other, April 01, 2003. Rated this writer 4 of 10.

After spending a few days on my own wiht other party software, I finally figured out that Sony skimped on the software they shipped, along with alot of documentation.

The drive works quite well, but Sony's crappy software, constant computer crashes while both installing and using it, and they arrogant support network would make
anyone who isn't a more seasoned user return it in a second.

After spending a week between the Sony drive, my computers, and my Pioneer dvr-7000, I finally figured out the settings and software to make this all work.

One could hope that Sony would not wimp out on software and support so badly, always offering to "make it work if you upgrade each package one by one for $49".

Backup works well and is very fast.

Comments posted by Rich from Other, March 19, 2003. Rated this writer 3 of 10.

I have had the drive for 3 weeks now. Its Excellent, im using it on firewire and writes at ALL speeds.
Use many brands of CD-R with no problems, however the traxdata seem to be the best.
Nero5.x and Discjuggler 4.x work great.
Only downside is no region free hacks at the moment, i would appreciate any help on the region free issue.
My advise is buy one.

Comments posted by Dave from Other, March 14, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

Best buy I have made, especially after loads of troubles with a Pioneer A03 that Pioneer didn't want or seem able to fix. Have tried DVD-R disks that consistently failed on A03 (with firmware revision 2)with 100% success (Bulkpaq x2 and Monarch (Princo)). It's a pleasure to be able to write at 2x with no coasters. Have tried DVD+R Datawrite x2.4 with no problems. Adios Pioneer, long live Sony!

Comments posted by NobbyC from Other, February 16, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

Anyone here trying to use Pinnacle Studio v8.3 to attempt to burn a DVD with the Sony DRX500UL and getting system failure? (Error message: "sbp2port" {referring to the DRX 500UL}- The driver has detected a device with old or out of date firmware. The device will not be used) I've updated the firmware from Sony's website and the Pinnacle upgrade isn't helping either. In case it matters I'm running 640mb ram and two hard drives one 20 gig and a 200 gig both logically partitioned about 50/50. Any links or advice appreciated.

Comments posted by Jim Mitchem from Other, February 09, 2003. Rated this writer No rating. had the best price, but I wasn't waiting around for them to restock; I went to and they had it in stock.

This is the most powerful, versatile, and slickest piece of recording hardware I've ever owned. Burns to every disc I can find, supports USB and FireWire, and even works with my laptop. The only possible way they could have improved it was if it took power from the FireWire cable instead of a separate brick. It even has a power switch, which I think every external-enclosure device should.

Works wonderfully with DVD X Copy, which has become an essential piece of software for me since the purchase of this drive.

Be sure to grab the firmware update posted earlier; 4x is definitely the way to go, here.

Comments posted by Jason Payne from Other, February 05, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

I have had this drive for about 3 weeks now and have been very impressed with it. I have not made a bad DVD yet. I have used it both on a Windows2000 system and a WindowsXP-Pro system. Here is the software and DVD brands I have successfully used with it so far:

Sonic MyDVD (both included version with drive and retail versions)
Sonic DVD-It LE
Pinnacle Studio 8
Dazzle DVD Complete version 2.06 ESD
Ahead Nero version
Veritas Record-Now

Sony DVD+RW (2.4X)
Maxell DVD-R (2X)
Memorex DVD+RW (2.4X)
HP DVD+R (2.4X)
Fujifilm DVD+R (2.4X)
Fujifilm DVD+RW (2.4X)
Smartdisk DVD-R (2X)
Smartdisk DVD+R (2.4X)
Generic DVD-R (4X)

Comments posted by Jeff Ingeman from Other, January 07, 2003. Rated this writer 9 of 10.

This burner does it all, and it does it very well. I downloaded the new firmware for it and I am now able to burn at 4X on several types of media. This drive comes with all the software you need, and I have yet to have a bad DVD burn. For CD-R and CD-RW, this drive is also quite fast. I don't even use my other CD-RW drive now, because my Sony is convenient and speedy.

Comments posted by Norman from Other, December 16, 2002. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

I've had my DRX500UL for a couple of days now and all I can say is WOW! Great media support, Huge Buffer, and the free upgrade to 4x Burn speeds. Like Sam, I needed to pickup a 4pin to 6pin cable to use it with my laptop. Purchase Price $429 + $19 for the Belkin cable.

Comments posted by Anonymouse from Other, December 15, 2002. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

Although it's not officially Mac compatible, it works great with Roxio Toast Titanium (and my TiBook). It does NOT work with Apple's built in burning software, and certainly not with iDVD, but that's no loss since I never use them anyway. On the Windows XP side I've burnt several CD-R's but I haven't tried anything else. Since Audible uses Roxio's EasyCD I assume EasyCD is compatible. It looks like I'll be posting my beloved Velocity external on eBay 'cause I don't need two CD-R/RW's. And this weekend I authored a DVD on XP then used Roxio Toast on the Mac to burn it to a DVD-R. Works beautifully!

Comments posted by David Cloutier from Other, December 10, 2002. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

I just recently got this drive, and it's worked great so far. It only comes with a 6pin-6pin firewire cable, so I tried burning with USB1.1 the first day I had it.... it took FOREVER but it worked fine. I went out and bought a 4pin-6pin firewire cable, and it worked great on that as well.

Comments posted by Sam from Other, December 08, 2002. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

I just picked up this drive at Comp-USA for $429.00. I am very pleased with it's performance so far. It is external Firewire, or USB 2.0. I even plugged it into my USB 1.1 just for kicks, and it works. I didn't however try to burn through USB...

Anyway. This drive stays nice and cool when powered on (thanks in part to an external power supply). It is rather heavy, which adds to it's apparent ruggedness. Very tough case, doesn't collapse when pressing on it.

I bought this drive mostly for it's ability to burn any DVD other than DVD RAM, this way I can buy my media based on whatever is the best/cheapest.

I highly recommend this drive.

Comments posted by tjdmobile from Other, November 21, 2002. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

22 comments, Showing 1 to 22 comments

1 DVD Writer hits, Showing 1 to 1 DVD Writers
Column Explanation:

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New comments= New comments since your last visit.
New Writer = New DVD Writer since your last vist.

Original Equipment Manufacturer.


The manufacturer of the main chipset the DVD writer/recorder is based on.

Write support / Read support
= Works
DVD-R = Is not supported
DVD-R? = Not tested

Single Layer(4.7GB) write speeds
1x (CLV) = about 58 minutes
2x (CLV) = about 29 minutes
2.4x (CLV) = about 24 minutes
4x (CLV) = about 14.5 minutes
6x (CLV/ZCLV) = about 10-12 minutes
8x (PCAV/ZCLV) = about 8-10 minutes
12x (PCAV/ZCLV) = about 6.5-7.5 minutes
16x (CAV/ZCLV) = about 6-7 minutes

Dual/Double Layer(8.5GB) write speeds
1x CLV = about 105 minutes
2.4x CLV = about 44 minutes
4x CLV = about 27 minutes

Single Layer (4.7GB) read speeds
1x read speed is 1.321MB/s = ~56 minutes
6x CAV (avg. ~4x) read speed is max 7.93MB/s = ~14 minutes
8x CAV (avg. ~6x) read speed is max 10.57MB/s = ~10 minutes
12x CAV (avg. ~8x) read speed is max 15.85MB/s = ~7 minutes
16x CAV (avg. ~12x) read speed is max 21.13MB/s = ~5 minutes

DVD Write types
CAV = Constant Angular Velocity, the DVD is written at a constantly increasing speed.
CLV = Constant Linear Velocity, the DVD is written at a constant speed.
ZCLV = Zone Constant Linear Velocity, the DVD is divided into zones. After each zone the write speed is increased.
PCAV = Partial Constant Angular Velocity, the DVD is being written at an increasing speed until a certain speed. After this speed it will not increase anymore.

Desktop = Standalone desktop DVD Recorder
EIDE = Computer DVD Writer with EIDE/IDE connection
SCSI = Computer DVD Writer with SCSI connection
USB = Computer desktop DVD Writer with USB 2.0 or/and 1.1 connection
FireWire = Computer desktop DVD Writer with IEEE 1394/FireWire/i.Link connection (some standalone desktop dvd recorder supports this also but then it is usually to connect your DV camera to the recorder)

The first rating is based on a weighted rank (the true Bayesian), it requires at least 5 votes to get a weighted rating.
The second rating between the ( ) is a normal average rating.

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