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Old November 2nd, 2003, 10:02 PM   #1
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Pioneer DVR-A06

I've recently done a lot of research on adding a "superdrive" to my dual 1.25 mac. All of the research I found made reference to the DVR-A05 (with a couple regarding the A06) and included details on having to move the dvd burner to the top optical bay as the master drive and updating firmware, among other things, to make the computer recognize the new drive properly. However, I've found that all of this information is very outdated. 10.2.8 recognizes the Pioneer DVR-A06 as the oem superdrive (DVR-106) without any problems, even in the lower optical bay as a slave drive. I've already burned cd-r and dvd-r successfully and everything is working as it should. Unfortunately, 10.2.8 does not recognize the dvd+r format which is supposed to be available soon with 10.3 (I understand that, as of this date, the first release of 10.3 does not have dvd+r capability - however I do not have experience with this os).

Basically, I'm writing this thread simply to inform people of more recent information about adding a dvd burner. I've read everything from moving the combo drive to the bottom bay to having to cut the plastic in order for the new drive to eject (not necessary due to the easily removable face of the DVR-A06) and even installing the drive on a pc first to update the firmware, then removing from the pc and installing into the mac. This is a lot of complicated stuff that caused a lot of unecessary frustration. Hopefully anyone thinking about installing a burner will be more confident after reading this thread, and even save some time and frustration.

This is a fairly common installation and, due to all the old posts (not necessarily on this forum but all over the net) many questions will arise. I plan to periodically update this thread as OSX becomes more compatible with the DVR-A06, hopefully providing more reliable, updated information for others in the future.

Also, I am running a G4 with Jaguar and can only provide my experience with this setup. If anyone with a G5 and/or Panther would like to post updates on their experience with the DVR-A06, it would be very helpful.

nicholi
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 08:16 AM   #2
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Thanks very much for sharing your experiences Nicholi. I have two G4 desktop machines neither of which have a superdrive. I'm getting to the point where I want to start burning DVD's and have been pondering my options. I'm sure that iDVD would be fine for my immediate needs but I've heard in various places that there's no way to get this software to recognize a third party drive. In fact our own Jeff Donald recently said this in another thread.

So I have been considering buying a standalone DVD recorder, and I still might go that route. But your post has got me thinking again. And I *knew* I read that it was possible to get iDVD to work with third party drives somewhere. Well I dug around a bit and found the following article in the August issue of MacWorld.

Quote:
Apple says you need a Mac with a SuperDrive to run iDVD, but what iDVD really requires is a DVD burner on an internal ATA bus. Install a DVD-RW drive in an older Power Mac G4, and iDVD will find what it's looking for. You can pick up a 4x Pioneer DVD burner (the DVR-A05, the same model Apple uses) for less than $250 online, so now's a great time to turn your first-generation G4 into a DVD-burning computer.
Now this article makes reference to the Pioneer DVR-A05... what's different with the A06? Does iDVD recognize your DVD drive or are you using other disk burning software? This article implies that I could drop the A05 into my old G4/733 and get it to work. Would love to hear about any other experiences installing DVD burners in both old and new G4's since I will need to decide which way to go in the next week or so.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 08:59 AM   #3
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To get the drive to burn from iDVD you may need to use a hacked firmware upgrade. This would of course void the warranty, if that's an issue. The other issue is the ethical one. Apple doesn't support the external/internal DVD burners (other than OEM SuperDrives) because a MPEG license has not been paid for and would be in violation of Apple's licensing with the MPEG group. Let your conscience be your guide.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 10:52 AM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald : To get the drive to burn from iDVD you may need to use a hacked firmware upgrade. -->>>

I installed the Pioneer DVR-105 drive into my G4 800 QS and it worked OK without a firmware upgrade (I have also installed numerous of the same drive in other machines without firmware) so newer machine may not need this update, the only issue that I have had is Apple's DVD Player will not launch (It bounces and dissapears without notice), i remedied this with the VLC player (Which also supports 5.1) and everything has been good since!
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 01:57 PM   #5
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I'm glad I can help Boyd. Trying to weed through all of the available information on this topic can get very frustrating very fast. Hopefully we can straighten it out a little here.

This morning, I tested the compatibility of my DVR-A06. I've successfully burned DVD-R discs from both Toast Titanium 6 and iDVD 3.0.1. Everything worked out perfectly with no need for firmware hacks or updates or anything of the sort. I want to emphasize that I'm using OSX 10.2.8. I think that this current version of Jaguar is the key to all of this working properly.

Just as a note, I found that iDVD does not properly burn a DVD-RW disc. DVD-R works perfectly.

The Pioneer DVR-A06 (full model name is DVR-A06U) is the next generation to the DVR-A05. The A05 (otherwise known as DVR-105 or the stock Apple Superdrive) has been around for years. The DVR-A06 (DVR-106) was released in June of 2003 and is now being used as the stock Apple Superdrive. The big difference between these two burners is that the A05 only has CD-R/RW and DVD-R/RW capabilities, while the newer A06 is also able to recognize and burn DVD+R/RW discs. As of this date, OSX does not have the ability to recognize the DVD+R/RW format, but is supposed to soon. As I'm sure you've read, many problems have been reported regarding the DVR-A05. Considering that my A06 has worked so well (fixed the A05 problems?), I would lean towards that particular drive. Also right now, maybe due to the lack of use for DVD+R, the A06 is actually less expensive than the A05, which makes it even more appealing. I actually found CompUSA and BestBuy to have better prices than the more reliable internet sights, so you may also want to check that out.

As far as the internal dvd vs. standalone, that is going to be a preference thing. However, I actually started this project with a standalone recorder, but it was taking so much unnecessary time to transfer everything all over the place that I ended up just buying the internal burner... and I'm very happy with the results.

Also, for future posts regarding this issue, please include details of your system. Are you running G4 or G5? What processor(s) do you have? What version/update of OSX are you running? What software version/update are you using?
There are many different combinations out there, each being no more important than the others. The more experiences we get posted, the better we will understand how to approach this. However, only specific and detailed first hand information will provide the most help with the least confusion, and that is the goal.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 02:59 PM   #6
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Nicholi, if you run the Software Update in System Preferences does it show a DVD Firmware available?
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 03:14 PM   #7
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Jeff,
No, I don't get any firmware related messages when I run Software Update. However, I checked the recorder settings for the DVR-A06 drive and my firmware is 1.05 / MMC-3. This is the firmware version that came already installed/updated right out of the box. If this helps out any, let me know. I'm curious about how to get all these drives running like they should.
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