Can LiteOn/Slimtype DS8A1H laptop DVD recorder burn dual layer DVDs?

Many mid-2000s Compaq/HP laptops which shipped while DVD media was predominant included this unbranded “Slimtype DVD A DS8A1H” DVD recorder, which is actually a rebadged LiteOn drive.  It’s not that great a drive, but it does work to burn double/dual layer (DL) DVDs for use on a console DVD player.  Here is what you need to know to produce DVDs that work on a console player.

  • Verbatim DataLife Plus (AZO) media is expensive (~$1/blank), but it works!  Do not use Verbatim “Life Series” media, as the DVD will not read well in a console player, and it will probably cause this drive to produce a coaster at some point during burning anyway.  More information on the distinction between the Verbatim lines here.  You want the MKM media ID, not the CMC MAG media ID, as shown by dvd+rw-mediainfo.
  • Ensure that you are recording at 1x or the lowest speed.  In practice the lowest speed will be 2.4X.  Speeds above 2.4X will successfully record, and the media is nominally rated for 8-10X.  However, the console player’s laser pickup will audibly struggle to read DVDs recorded at a higher speed, and artifacts and freezing may be visible on screen.
  • Use xorrecord instead of growisofsgrowisofs, even with its -dvd-compat flag, has two main problems for this application: the first is that geometry is often calculated incorrectly for dual layer media, resulting in a wasted half-recorded disc, and the second is that even if -speed=1 is specified, higher speeds than 2.4X are utilized and as a result the media is not 100% readable without errors in a console player.
  • If you are having problems, clean the laser pickup lens with 90% isopropyl alcohol and blow dry with bitterant-free compressed air.  Depending on the external attributes of the laptop, the drive internals may be a grime magnet.

Other than that, fire up DVDStyler and get creative!

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