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When it comes to burning DVDs and CDs we’ve got many choices, the  first thing that comes to mind is the internal writers, but there are also many external versions available as well. Most people wouldn’t think of an external drive, but they have their place, they’re portable so you can take them with you, they’re also a great addition to a laptop, and they’re also useful if you run out of available bays on your computer. As with any product though not all are created equal and some have features other do not.

Today I’ve got the Pioneer DVR-X162Q Qflix Enabled External DVD/CD Writer for review and from my time with it, and comparing it to two other external drives, I’ve found it’s a very fast drive. As for the Qfilx part of it, Qflix is something that only a few drives have on them, it’s special feature that works in conjunction with CinemaNow and Roxio Venue to allow you to purchase, download and burn movies to DVD, something I think is a very nice feature, especially if you watch a lot of movies as I do.


As usual I’ve got an unboxing video for you, not sure why I did an unboxing for this, but what the heck right?

The box features pictures along with specs and features all over it, very nicely done and informative.

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Inside we find the drive itself, along with documentation, blank Qflix media, software/drive disc, power supply, and USB cable.

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The drive itself is a very glossy black, this tends to pick up fingerprints and attract dust easily, while it looks nice, I’ve much rather have a none glossy surface, or I’ll be cleaning it all of the time to keep it looking nice.

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On the back we find USB port, power switch and power connection, while on the bottom we see an identification label.

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There are sort of ‘V’ shaped indentations on the sides of the drive, these are for the optional stand, so you can mount the drive vertically to save space.

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The stand is a stand, nothing special, but it doesn’t really attach to the drive, so if you pick up the drive the stand stays where it was, kind of annoying actually, would be nice if it attached to the drive in some way.

Specifications:

Pioneer DVR-X162Q Qflix External DVD/CD Writer

DVR-X162Q

Qflix External DVD/CD Writer

    * 20x DVD-R/+R Writing Speed
    * 12x DVD-R/+R Dual/Double Layer Writing Speed
    * Qflix™ DVD Download & Burn
    * USB 2.0 Interface

The DVR-X162Q External DVD/CD Writer from Pioneer, and included software from Roxio®, enables computer users to Download & Burn Hollywood movies from online content providers and create their own DVDs. The included software will also allow users to create personal videos, make digital photo slideshows, burn music CDs, and back up data files onto DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW discs with ease. The Pioneer DVR-X162Q has a writing speed of 20x for DVD-R/+R and 12x for DVD-R/+R (DL).

* Features Qflix™ – Download & Burn technology that allows users to purchase Hollywood movies from the Internet and burn them to DVD
* Dual/Double Layer recording provides nearly twice the capacity of a single layer recordable DVD-R (8.5 Gbytes vs. 4.7 Gbytes)
* Easily connects to PC through USB 2.0 Interface

Qflix™
Qflix is the new technology that allows consumers to download and burn licensed movies to DVD.  With the Pioneer DVR-X162Q, Roxio Venue™ software, and Qflix enabled DVD media, consumers can purchase and download Hollywood movies from CinemaNow.  The result is a DVD that can be played in a set-top DVD player, in the car, or virtually any other DVD player.

Software bundle includes:
* Roxio Venue™ – manage and burn downloaded DVD content
* CinePlayer® – play DVDs on your PC
* Roxio Easy CD & DVD Burning – create back-up DVDs and CDs

Pioneer DVR-X162Q also includes two (2) pieces of Verbatim® Qflix enabled blank DVD media

Price: $100.00 (*Approx)


There is a green LED in the drive to indicate activity so you know when it’s working, right next to a silver button that kinda seems out of place…

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The Pioneer DVR-X162Q Drive is meant to be used in conjunction with the Roxio Venue Software and Qflix, which if you don’t know allows you to buy movies, download them and burn them to disc, but you need a Qflix enabled drive and Qflix blank media to do this.

I actually reviewed the Qflix service a little bit ago, so I’m not going to go into all of that again her , you can read the entire review HERE if you wish, but here’s a couple screenshots of the interface:

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Included with the DVR-X162Q is Roxio Easy CD and DVD Burning Suite, it’s actually not a stripped down version as you might sometimes find bundled with products, this one seems to have all of the features intact which is a very nice thing.

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I’ve got two other external DVD drives on hand, one of them is a Qflix drive as well, so I’ve got them up for comparison. I’ve review both here before, one is the Liteon EZ-DUB External DVD RW Drive DX-20A4PU, and the other is a Dell branded Qflix drive with a LiteOn drive inside of the enclosure.

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Not sure if you can tell from the above picture, but the Pioneer drive is larger than the other two, at least in length, it’s longer, and a bit higher as well when standing vertically.

For testing I used Nero9 DiscSpeed, I ran the Creation Test and the Benchmark as well to see how these drive compared to one another. I used 16X DVD+R for the tests.

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As you can see at creation the Pioneer has the best time and the fastest average speed, which is something that everyone can appreciate.

Here’s the Benchmark:

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Here we see a different story though, it appears the other drives do better than the Pioneer in this test overall.

Personally if I’m looking to buy a DVD burner then I want the one that is the fastest, coming in at over 20 seconds faster to burn a complete DVD, the Pioneer DVR-X162Q is the one I would choose.

Here’s the screenshots from the test, the left side are all the Creation Test, while the right side is the Disc Benchmark Test. With these screenshots comes a quick lesson in how discs are burned, or really what methods are used.

If you look closely and compare the graphs for the Creation test, you’ll notice the Dell Qflix and the LiteOn drives have a nice smooth curve to them while the Pioneer is just everywhere, while you might think that is a bad thing, it’s not. If you notice in the box labeled ‘Type’ the Pioneer has listed ‘P-CAV’, while the other two show ‘CAV’, CAV means Constant Angular Velocity, and P-CAV means Partial Constant Angular Velocity, most newer drives feature P-CAV. With CAV the disc rotates at the same speed no matter what area of the disc is being accessed, with P-CAV the disc rotates at constant speed on the inner part of the disc while the data that is delivered varies in speeds, and when the drive is accessing the outer part the disc the data being delivered is at a constant speed while the disc speed varies. Get it?

In the graphs the green line is the burning speed, while the yellow line is the speed of the disc or RPMs, and you’ll see the dips and peaks match accordingly. You might think seeing all of those dips and peaks is not good, well theoretically it is good, this is the Active OPC kicking in, or Optimized Power Control, or Optimum Power Calibration. What OPC does is check the proper writing power and the reflection of the media then it calculates the optimum laser power and adjusts it in real time, theoretically this should result in a better burn. Essentially you’re seeing the Pioneer drive doing more real time adjustments, than the other drives are doing which is supposed to be a good thing really.

Pioneer:

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LiteOn:

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Dell Qflix:
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As for sound, for the most part the Pioneer is quiet, but at times it can get noisy, making almost a buzzing sound really, not too loud though, and it’s only for a very brief time it does this.


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Conclusion:

As you can see from my comparing the Pioneer DVR-X162Q to a couple other drives, it’s certainly one of the fastest out there today. Not only is it fast, but with Qflix, it allows you to purchase movies online, and then download and burn them to have a physical copy that you can keep forever.

One of the drawbacks of Qflix though is the media, it does cost more than standard blank DVDs though, but in the end I think the convenience of doing it from home is worth the extra cost.

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Pros:
Fast burn time
Easy to use
Qflix enabled to download and burn movies
Includes good software

Cons:
Larger than others
Glossy surface picks up dust and fingerprints easily
Can be loud at times

Grades:  
Overall score 9 10 thumb1 Pioneer DVR X162Q Qflix External DVD/CD Writer
Design score 8 10 thumb1 Pioneer DVR X162Q Qflix External DVD/CD Writer
Performance score 9 10 thumb1 Pioneer DVR X162Q Qflix External DVD/CD Writer