TDK 420N DVD Writer

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TDK 420N

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$200 8.9/10
32 votes
Read 36


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DVD Media comments for this DVD Writer (click on the link to read the comments):
1 Bencole Platinum Series 4xDVD+R (........001) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
2 CompUSA 2.4xDVD+R (OPTODISCOP1) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 2 poor.
1 CompUSA 2.4xDVD+R (OPTODISCOP2) comments, 0 good, 1 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Digital Matrix 4xDVD+R (MEDIA ID001) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Fujifilm 2.4xDVD+RW (RICOHJPNW01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 HP 2.4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR00) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Imation 4xDVD-RW (CMCW03......) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Imation 2.4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR00) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Imation 2.4xDVD+RW (RICOHJPNW01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 KHypermedia 2.4xDVD+R (CMC MAG.R01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 KHypermedia 2.4xDVD+RW (CMC MAG.W01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Liquid Video 2.4xDVD+R (OPTODISCOP2) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 1 poor.
3 Memorex 4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR01) comments, 3 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
2 Philips 2.4xDVD+R (CMC MAG.R01) comments, 2 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Philips 2.4xDVD+RW (CMC MAG.W01) comments, 0 good, 0 mixed, 1 poor.
1 ProMedia 4xDVD+R (MEDIA ID001) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Radius 4xDVD+RW (OPTODISCOP4) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Sony 2.4xDVD+RW (RICOHJPNW01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 TDK 8xDVD+R (CMC MAG.E01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
4 TDK 4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR01) comments, 4 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 TDK ScratchProof / Armor Plated 2xDVD-R (TDKG02000000) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Verbatim (DataLife) 2.4xDVD+RW (CMC MAG.W01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Verbatim (DataLifePlus) 2.4xDVD+R (MCC.....001) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Verbatim (DataLifePlus) 4xDVD+R (MCC.....002) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Verbatim (DataLifePlus) 2.4xDVD+RW (MCC.....A01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
Post your DVD Media comments here
36 comments, Showing 26 to 36 comments
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Have been using for about a month now. Great drive; fast, easy install, no compatability issues. Put into new dell 4550, 2.8ghz, 180gig, Canopus ADVC-100. Great setup, great drive. In process of converting vhs collection to dvd. Drive & ADVC-100 working great for capture/conversion and dvd backup. Would recommend both.

Earlier comment about black CDR's. I have burned around 50 black cdr's no problems, two different brands.

Comments posted by James from Other, May 12, 2003. Rated this writer 9 of 10.

I installed my TDK IndiDVD 420N and installed DVD X Copy and I am in the process of backing up my collection of DVDs, this baby is fast, it reads a whole movie in about 15 minutes, and takes an average of 25-30 minutes to write, perfect copies, I have a winning combination!

Comments posted by katesmate from Other, May 10, 2003. Rated this writer 7 of 10.

I got the TDK IndiDVD 420N and so far it is good and by far comparable to the Sony's Top of the line and Panasonic. It came with the software Pinnacle Studio ver. 8 and other Pinnacle product add-ons, TDK Digital Mixmasters, Ahead InCD and Nero burning software. Then TDK came out with a new one, I think same hardware but with different softwares. If I were to pick out, I'll get the one with the DVD software player (DVDMax) that came with it and the Easy CD & DVD Creator 6. See for yourself at the website and choose.

Comments posted by eddie B. from Other, May 02, 2003. Rated this writer 6 of 10.

so far so good.
very easy install with excellent written install documentation
i do not use the nero software or music player currently included.
I did install the pinnacle dvd software. I am satisfied with roxio creator 6 and generally use this to create dvd/cd's or duplciate dvd (of cousre not the copy right protected dvd) There seems to be no conflict with pinnacle studio version 8se with roxio creator 6 or windows movie maker.
Cost new was $209 (with the rebate included)

I am pleased as of 04-27-2003

Comments posted by doug from Other, April 27, 2003. Rated this writer 9 of 10.

Got this drive for Free! Works great, not one coaster! Only drawback was that Now TDK has a +\\- R drive. Not that it really matters, you still need to burn one way or the other. Ive had 2 standalones not recognize the media out of about 15 but thats expected with +R, also the Ps2 reads them and microshaft is backing +R and the decisions they make usually have to do with money so maybe thats a good sign for +R. This drive burns an 4.3 image file in about 6-8 minutes at 4X, thats fast enough for me! Im using DVD-Dycrypter(which is free)and pinnicle Instant copy($50 retail, beats DVD-Xcopy at $99)and havent had 1 problem ripping(thanks to the guides here). Media, Ive stuck with Verbatem 4x
(6-8minutes) or fuji 2.4X(takes about 30-35 minutes). No problems installing and I havent even flashed it with the new firmware.
Great drive, highly recommended. Maybe the price will come down now that the +\\- is here!

Comments posted by Udontknowme from Other, April 07, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

One thing users should know that hasn't been mentioned is that
the 420N had problems recording on black CDR's. It would not even recognize it (fails to retrieve status).

Overall it is a very good drive. I have successfully copied about 5 movies so far.. I did run into some problems with DVDXCOPY on a couple of movies, where the disc would not complete and failed during finalization while it was at 100%.. The movie plays fine in my DVD player, though.

Also, I bought the TDK brand because I liked my current TDK VeloCD 8x CDRW drive and wanted to replace it with a DVD burner, so naturally I stuck with TDK.. But after I found out all those cool black CDR's I bought will not work with the new burner, I installed my TDK VeloCD back on my system, and encountered a freeze when trying to burn on the VeloCD. I moved the VeloCD to a different IDE port, and it worked fine.

For the amount of money it costs, I would expect better reliability and compatibility from TDK (especially with it's own products)..
While it certainly could be a number of things that caused the burns to fail, I am still a bit disappointed with TDK. Not enough to go to the trouble of returning the drive, but in retrospect, I think I would get a pioneer A05 next time (media is cheaper too).. Plus media is double the price! I knew that going in, but now regret it, since there is little practical advantage for a person who wants to archive movies, and store digital photos. I was swayed by Microsoft's decision to support the DVD+ Alliance.

with it so far, I'm a bit disappointed

I do think the black-CDR issue is a hardware issue.
, but I don't know if the problems I had were caused by the software or a hardware issue

Comments posted by ScottyScott from Other, March 25, 2003. Rated this writer 7 of 10.

No problems, expect for a few coasters I burned at first which was my fault, I was testing burning options. Since then I have burned 100+ movies using various medias, Sony, Fuji, HP, Verbatim, TDK, and Imation. No problems with any format, and the disc work in every single DVD player I have tested, from Pioneer to Apex to Onkyo.

Comments posted by Alindy from Other, March 22, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

Purchased this unit (TDK IndiDVD 420N) from local Best Buy as "Open Box", probably a customer return.

Burned archival data 4.4 GB fine at 2.4x speed. Verifies no problem.

Burned a "test" DVD+R (SVCD-DVD multi chapter) using U Lead DVD Workshop, from SVCD's encoded from VOBs at MPEG-2/2200 kbps/29.97fps/CBR/audio224 stereo.
All chapters seemed to playback great.

A few help notes from some snags I ran into:

(1) Had to reinstall ASPI layer using the "Force ASPI" found on this site.

(2) There was a problem with Nero Vision Express. I stupidly installed it into the same directory as Nero 5.5 burning ROM, which seemed to screw things up a little with Nero.
***My fix for this was to install into a new directory...Nero Vision...You have to define this manually during install so be attentive during install dialog process (unlike what I did).

(3) There was a HUGE problem with fatal exception errors from a file SCSIHLP1.VXD virtual device driver (most likely the reason that it was returned Im guessing). This file SCSIHLP1 provides compatibility with very old input devices. Since the Win98 only allows 7 devices max (4 of which are taken by the OS itself), the FIX for this problem was to rename the file to "ASPIHLP.OLD" and re boot.

***FIX: Rename to SSIHLP1.OLD...Found in c/windows/system/iosubsys/...Reboot and youre all fixed up! this file is not required apparently.

****FIX for "ULead DVD Workshop* (not included with drive...Download trial available though)...It is important that you De-Select "Motion time out" (or menu time out)...Otherwise the menu will self-start at the first track in 5 seconds from loadup on a standalone DVD player (I made a $3 coaster thanks to this). Otherwise DVD Workshop is a nice piece of software...Much better than the Studio!

***FIX for *slow ripping/reading of DVD's...Set DMA in properties to ON (check). How? Start-->settings-->control panel-->system-->under device manager-->CD-ROM-->Settings tab (middle tab)-->CHECK "DMA".

I had to "uncheck" DMA for my second drive, a CD rewriter, the slave in the secondary IDE chain.

*****Make sure that the DVD burner is set to "master" jumper on the physical drive (the rightmost-jumper -->CSEL-Slave-{{{Master}}}<-- should be closed).

*****This drive needed a thick heavy duty IDE cable. Scrap the cheap thin cable. I am using a "rounded" IDE ATA/100 cable, vs the old ribbon type.

***Drive gets a little hot...Needs airflow. I wouldnt recommend this for use with a micro ATX case unless it was well-fanned.

***Finally, Im no expert...These are just some observations from trial and error with this drive.

Hope this helsp somebody out.

Comments posted by Stephan from Other, February 27, 2003. Rated this writer 8 of 10.

This drive only supports DVD+R/W but that shouldn't be a problem. Here are the methods that have gotten to work using Memorex DVD+R media:
1. For DVD-5(single layer) movies just use the newest version of DVDXCOPY. It will get the menus and all of the features. You can also use this method for DVD-9 movies, but it requires two blank DVD's.

2. For DVD-9(dual layer) movies first use DVD Decrypter to copy the main movie files to your computer. Then use DVD2ONE to make them able to fit on a single 4.7GB DVD. I then used Nero 5.5.10 with the DVD(UDF/ISO) setting. Use the following settings: ISO Level 1, ISO 9660, no joliet, and all "relax ISO restrictions" UNCHECKED. Then make sure to use UDF 1.02 and check the force XBOX compatibility box. You won't have any menus or extra's but it will be on one DVD.

I got these to work on my Sanyo DWM-370(purchased 1+ year ago), Pioneer DV-333(purchased 3+ years ago), and more surprisingly my XBOX. I was not able to get method #2 to work on my roommate's Samsung DVD-S221(he purchased this JAN'03). All my coasters for some reason came when I tried using VOB Instant CD/DVD. I don't know what I did wrong, but thankfully I was able to get Nero 5.5.10 to work.

Hopefully this review has helped some people. Please, don't hesitate to email me with questions.

PC Specs:
WinXP Professional
PIII 866
768 MB RAM

Comments posted by Keith from Other, February 14, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

I took this back because i decided i better get a unit that supports both plus and minus, plus are harder to find in the stores i noticed. I bought a sony instead.

Comments posted by Jim from Other, February 04, 2003. Rated this writer 8 of 10.

Ok, I admit it...I bought this burner mostly because of its black front bezel. I don't know of any other 4X burner with black bezel...

2.4X DVD+R burning has been fine, I haven't tried any 4X media yet. I've burned about 10 movies and 5 Xbox games, no coasters. I'm using Verbatim and Fuji DVD+R's and Sony DVD+RW's.

For some reason, CDR's burned on this unit won't get recognized by my PSone. That's ok since I have a separate cdrw burner for that.

Definitely recommend this unit.

Comments posted by Tony from Other, January 20, 2003. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

36 comments, Showing 26 to 36 comments
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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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