Philips DVDR1640P 16x DVD Burner



Review: Philips DVDR1640P
Provided by: PhilipsEurope (NL) Firmware: P2.1 & P2.2
Manufactured: August 2004


Philips was kind enough to send us their latest DVD-Writer; the Philips DVDR1640P. This drive supports 16x DVD+R writing and DVD+R9 DL writing technology, allowing dual layer discs of 8.5Gb to be written. Philips has enjoyed a long history of developing optical drives and has in the past joined up with BenQ for manufacturing and development. This strategic alliance seems to benefit both parties. BenQ has the production facilities, while Philips designs chipset/electronic components as well as being one of the main DVD+R/RW developers.


Company information:

We are sure that most of you know Philips already, but let us take a look at some of the company information found at


Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is one of the world’s biggest electronics companies and Europe‘s largest, with sales of EUR 29 billion in 2003. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, and one-chip TV products. Its 165,300 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, semiconductors, and medical systems.

Global Leader

Royal Philips Electronics is tenth on Fortune’s list of global top electronics corporations. We are active in about 60 businesses, varying from consumer electronics to domestic appliances and from security systems to semiconductors.


We are a world leader in digital technologies for television and displays, wireless communications, speech recognition, video compression, storage and optical products as well as the underlying semiconductor technology that makes these breakthroughs possible.

We have world class solutions in lighting, medical systems (particularly scanning and other diagnostic systems) and personal and domestic appliances where our investments in design and new materials are critical to success.

Translated into figures, we produce over 2.4 billion incandescent lamps every year, and some 30 million picture tubes.

Around 2.5 million heart procedures (scans and interventional procedures) on X-ray equipment are carried out each year using our technology.

One in seven television sets worldwide contains a Philips picture tube, and 60 percent of all telephones contain Philips products.

Thirty percent of offices around the world are lit by Philips Lighting, which also lights 65 percent of the world’s top airports, 55 percent of major soccer stadium, and 30 per cent of hospitals.


The strength of Philips’ global operations is reflected in its (value-based) leadership position in many of the markets in which it is active:








Consumer Electronics (audio/video)



Monitors (units)






Steam irons






Color picture tubes



DVD recorders



Medical imaging equipment



Dental care (electric toothbrushes)




Company strategy:




The BEST program is Philips’ chosen path to achieve business excellence. It describes a set of methods and tools by which we continuously improve our efforts. Previous successful initiatives are incorporated in the program to make sure we learn as much as possible from our successes in the past.


Business Excellence

We are all committed to improving processes in-line with the company’s strategic targets. To this end, Philips has adopted BEST to reach this goal. It is our ambition to be one of the best companies in the world: the best to trade with, work for, and invest in.


Our Measures:

         Customers are fully satisfied by the quality of Philips’ products and services
         Employees develop and use their full potential
         Shareholders get a premium return on their investment
         Suppliers choose to work with us as this generates superior value for both
         The larger community appreciates our contribution to the quality of life


Speed and Teamwork
Speed and Teamwork lie at the heart of the BEST initiative. Each and every individual within Philips knows that only by fully cooperating and working together we are able to perfect our business processes.
That’s why we focus on:

  • Working smarter and reducing the cycle-time of processes
  • Working in teams and learning from the best practices of others

The tools and approaches in the BEST initiative all are based on these two focal areas and all fit in the improvement cycle:


“Plan – Do – Check – Learn”

If you are interested in reading more company information, please visit


Drive specifications:


These are the specifications of this drive, found on the Philips site:


Commercial Specifications:


Storage Media

‘¢ Access time (typical) 120ms on CD, 140ms on DVD 

‘¢ Disc capacity 8.5 GB DVD+R DL, 4.7 GB DVD+R/R 

‘¢ Mass storage class compliant yes 

‘¢ Recording format UDF and ISO 9660 

‘¢ Recording media 8cm CDs (only in hor. pos.), CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+R double layer, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW 

‘¢ Supported formats 8cm discs, CD-Audio, CD-Bridge, Stereo out (2 cinch), CD-I, CD-Recordable, CD-Rewritable, CD-ROM, CD-Text, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-ROM, DVD/R, DVD/RW, Photo CD 

‘¢ Write modes Disc at once (DAO), Fixed packet, Multi session (MS), Over-burn writing, Packet writing, Raw mode burning, Session at once (SAO), Track at once (TAO), Variable packet 

‘¢ Reading speeds 16x on DVD-ROM, 10x on DVD+R DL, 10x on DVD+R, 10x on DVD+RW, 10x on DVD-R, 10x on DVD-RW, 40x on CD-R, 32x on CD-RW 

‘¢ Recording speeds 16x on DVD+R, 2.4x on DVD+R DL, 8x on DVD-R, 40x CD-R 

‘¢ Rewriting speeds 4x on DVD+RW, 4x on DVD-RW, 24x CD-RW 



‘¢ Other connections 12 V DC in, Analogue audio left/right out 2x, Master/slave select jumper, IDE interface connector 



‘¢ Ease of installation Plug & Play 



‘¢ Included accessories 4 mounting screws, CD-ROM with software & manual, Quick install guide, User manual, DVD+R 16x blank disc 



‘¢ Ahead Nero Suite 6 Nero Burning Rom 6, InCD 4, Nero Vision express 2, Nero media Player 1, EasyWrite Reader 4, Nero Burning Rights 1  


System Requirements 

‘¢ Hard disc space 500MB 

‘¢ PC OS Windows 98 SE, 2000, ME, XP 

‘¢ Processor Pentium III 500MHz or faster 

‘¢ RAM memory 128 MB 



‘¢ Product dimension (WxDxH) 20x15x4 cm 

‘¢ Product weight 0.95 kg 



‘¢ Adaptor type DC 5V/12V 

‘¢ Power consumption 25 W 


Technical specifications 

‘¢ Humidity 5 – 90 %RH (no condensation) 

‘¢ Operating temperature range 5 – 50 °C 

‘¢ Safety standards EN60950, EN60825, UL1950 

‘¢ EMC standards EN55022, EMS55024, FCC Part 15 

‘¢ Access time CD: <120msec (typical), DVD: <140msec (typical) 


Whats inside the box?


On this page we will take a look at what the drive came
shipped with, and take a look at the drive and its technology.


Since our drive might be a pre-release drive it came in a brown cardboard box and can be seen on the picture below together with the content of the box:



Please notice that this might be a pre-release drive, so the content may vary on the final retail product.

  • The drive itself
  • 4 mounting screws
  • Nero Software installation CD
  • Nero DVD-VIDEO plug-in Rebate Code
  • Quick install guide
  • How to…? (How to install this drive in your PC? How to use the software with this drive?

Now it’s time to take a look at the drive itself:




The Philips drive sets itself apart from most other drives we’ve had by providing a more functional front bezel. The most interesting feature is the LEDs, which are both fancy and useful. There are separate LEDs for showing if there is a CD or DVD disc in the drive, as well as a long LED for showing the operation done. The long LED glows red while writing and blue while reading. Look below for examples.



The Philips DVDR1640P is now reading a DVD-Disc, the DVD light is on and the function led lights blue.



The Philips DVDR1640P is now writing a DVD-Disc, the DVD light is on and the function LED lights red.



If you try to eject the disc while writing a CD or DVD the function LED will light purple/pink.



On top of the drive we found two stickers, and we can read it was manufactured in Malaysia , dated August 2004.



On the back of the drive there are from the left: digital audio connector, analogue audio connector, pins and jumper to set the drive to cable select, slave or master, IDE connector, power connector.


We installed the drive without any problems and here is a screenshot from Nero info tool:




Our drive came shipped with firmware P2.1, and was later upgraded to firmware P2.2. (In this review we have used both firmwares). From the screenshot of Nero InfoTool above, we miss Mt.Rainier support and a larger buffer size.


And another shot from Nero Burning ROM:




We do not really find anything alarming here, but Mount Rainier and a larger buffer would have been nice.


But let us continue this review and see how it really performs.


On the next page we will take a look at the test machine, the software, the drive features and the included software…………