TDK 840G External DVD Writer

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What is the DVD Write speeds? CAV, CLV, PCAV, ZCLV. Read our DVD Writer colum explanation.

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TDK 840G External

USB2, Firewire, 2MB
More info
$300 8.7/10
3 votes
Read 4


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DVD Media comments for this DVD Writer (click on the link to read the comments):
1 BenQ 4xDVD+R (DAXON...AZ1) comments, 0 good, 1 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Generic/Unbranded 4xDVD-R (Yi Jhan 001.) comments, 0 good, 1 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Maxell 4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Memorex 4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 RiData 4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Sony 4xDVD+R (RICOHJPNR01) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Sony 8xDVD-R (SONY08D1....) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Taiyo Yuden 4xDVD-R (TYG01.......) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 TDK 2xDVD-R (TDKG02000000) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 TDK 4xDVD-R (TTG01.......) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Verbatim DigitalMovie 4xDVD-R (MCC 01RG20) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
1 Verbatim DigitalMovie 4xDVD+R (MCC.....002) comments, 1 good, 0 mixed, 0 poor.
Post your DVD Media comments here
4 comments, Showing 1 to 4 comments

I recently purchased the TDK-840G external as an addition to the TDK-440N external I already own and have been using for a year now. The 840G does not seem to have as high a degree of compatibility as the solid, flawless, albeit slightly slower 440N. Both units are connected via Firewire and I use them on two different Firewire enabled systems - my audio studio's PC, and my graphics studio PC. The 840G is working somewhat better since I updated the firmware to version 1.07, but it seems as though the 840G has had several firmware updates since it appeared on the market, whereas the other models of indi externals have not - indicating that TDK must have had, and may still be, having issues with this particular model.
That aside, the problems I've encountered with the 840G are:
1)in some programs the drive is slow to spin-up, occasionally not spinning up at all. This happened in DVD Architect 1.0 alot, sometimes in Pinnacle Studio 9 and DVD-X copying program. DVD Architect 1.0 doesn't seem to want to write to it at all, always culminating in a write error (luckily before it taints the disc), but will write twenty four-7 x 365 to my TDK-440N! These drives are not different enough to explain that - seeing as they're both OEM Plextors with Sanyo Chipsets. On the brighter side - in other programs like Roxio 6 and Ulead Burning software, where I have mainly used the 840G and those programs for archiving data or storing huge audio .wav files, audio mixes, lots of entire raw photoshoots, etc., the 840G was smooth, quiet, fast, and accurate. And it blazed thru all CD-R, data and CDA Audio burning I threw at it.
TDK seems to be working out the quirks of the 840G external with the firmware updates and I have just emailed tech support to get their story on it. If they come up with a final, "all issues taken care of firmware update", or whatever else is the case, I'll change my 7 rating to a 10, or maybe at least a 9. Anyway, as it sits, and with the price of this solidly built external drive coming down more and more, and if TDK continues the support, it's a worthy deal . . . especially the factory refurbed units which can be had for around $69.00 after price drops and rebates, and you can't beat that for the drive plus it's Firewire/USB 2.0 maneuverability. However . . . if you want the most proven reliable, external 1394/USB2 burner anywhere, and need highest quality finished product way more than maxed out burn-speeds, the 4x+/2x- TDK indi440N is the vehicle to buy cause it's a tank . . .

Comments posted by Rick Meyer from United States, September 28, 2004. Rated this writer 7 of 10.

I have been using this drive for about 2 months now and I can say it works fine. I haven't used the software that came with the drive, thus I cannot comment on that. I've been backing up movies without any problems. The one hitch to using this burner is in regards to the 8x speed. DON'T USE IT WITHOUT 8X RATED MEDIA! I was able to burn some 4x rated media at 8x. However, I have found out that those discs do not play well in all DVD players. Thus if people are having problems with discs not working in various dvd drives, I suggest slowing down the burn speed to 4x. I checked with tech support for the burning program I use and they do not recommend burning at 8x without 8x rated media.

Other than that I am quite pleased and am willing to wait for 8x media to come out.

Comments posted by Robert from United States, March 21, 2004. Rated this writer 9 of 10.

I bought this box yesterday, took it back home, bought a 25pack DVD+R x4 at $1 per Disk at best buy (good deal) and got all excited thinking I could get rid of those 4.5 GB of work data I had on my laptop (with Win XP). First thing, the Firewire cable delivered is a 6 pin (big one) and my laptop has a 4pin connector ... 25$ for a belkin cable 6 to 4 pin ...

Then, I follow the instructions, connect it through 1394 (my USB is 1.1), power on ... it detects it like a charm. THEN ... they say put the install CD #1 in it and let it autoplay ... I never got this external drive to read any data disk. It did read once an audio disk but this is it. I also tried on my Sony Vaio with WinME without sucess (firewire too).
I really got pissed, really pissed. Then I went on the TDK web site, downloaded the 1.04 firmware, flashed the frive, desactivated my antivirus, shut my PC down, power back up and ... Voila ! it seems to work now.

I was then able to burn a full DVD+Rx4 at about x6-7 (10 minutes)... great ! but then I tried to read this DVD+R with my internal DVD-ROM drive (a toshiba DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo) ... no success, I tried on my Vaio (pioneer DVD-ROM), no success ... Weird. I then burnt again the same data but on the DVD-Rx4 ... I can read this disk very well in my 2 other DVD drives ! (did I screwed up the first burning?)

So should I buy DVD+R (that I tought were better) or DVD-R ?? I'd rather go with the +R as they burn faster but ... If I always need the TDK burner to read them, it is like burning DVD-RAM ! haha...

Didi you guys also had problems installing this burner ???


Comments posted by Guillaume from United States, March 19, 2004. Rated this writer No rating.

Burned about 50 DVDs so far on Verbatim (CMC), BeAll, and Maxell media. Verbatim & BeAll are rated at 1x speed but they burn at 2x. A bunch of the BeAlls skip & freeze but it turned out to be bad media. The Verbatims are flawless. The Maxell had very minor stuttering when burned at 4x. Burning at 2x works perfectly. Not sure if thats the media or the drive's fault. The drive is whisper quiet and worked straight out of the box. No set up other than plugging the cables was needed.

Comments posted by oama from United States, March 01, 2004. Rated this writer 10 of 10.

4 comments, Showing 1 to 4 comments

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

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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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