Transforming your Single Layer DVD Recorder into a Double Layer One

DVD-9 standard DVD recorders – with capacity for 8.5 GB – are finally on the market. To record with this capacity, you have to use double layer media. The recorders and media available nowadays are form the DVD-5 – single layer – standard, with capacity for 4.7 GB. 8.5 GB media is still difficult to be found, and expensive.

The good news is that some recently launched 4.7 GB DVD recorders can be transformed into DVD-9 standard recorders. That is possible because some manufacturers, in order to cut costs, manufacture several models using the same mechanical and electronic parts, just changing the firmware. The firmware is a small program that is inside the DVD recorder and says who it is; it is as if it were the recorder BIOS. Thus, supposing internally identical two models, the different firmware enables additional functions in the more sophisticated model, which are not included in the simpler model. That includes the possibility of double layer (DVD-9) media recording in some models.

In such cases, since the recorders are absolutely identical, if we do a firmware upgrade in the simpler model using the more sophisticated firmware, the recorder will become a more sophisticated model.

Of course few models allow this type of upgrade. Up until now we have been able to detect 12 models of DVD recorders on the market into which we can make the firmware upgrade so they can become DVD-9 standard recorders. For instance, if you make a firmware upgrade in the Sony DW-U18A recorder using the latest Lite-On SOHW-832S firmware available, it will becomes a Lite-On SOHW-832S, allowing the double layer media recording. This model from Sony (as well as the one from Gbyte and the one from TEAC, shown in the table below) is, actually, manufactured by Lite-On (model SOHW-812S) and that is why the firmware upgrade should be done using a model from this brand.

Model Relabeled Upgrade to
BenQ DW800A   BenQ DW822A
BenQ DW822A   BenQ DW822A
Gigabyte GO-W0808A Lite-On SOHW-812S Lite-On SOHW-832S
Lite-On LDW-451S   Lite-On SOHW-832S
Lite-On LDW-851S   Lite-On SOHW-832S
Lite-On SOHW-812S   Lite-On SOHW-832S
NEC ND-2500A   NEC ND-2510A
NuTech DDW-061   NuTech DDW-082
NuTech DDW-081   NuTech DDW-082
NuTech DDW-082   NuTech DDW-082
Sony DW-U18A Lite-On SOHW-812S Lite-On SOHW-832S
TEAC DV-W58G-A Lite-On SOHW-812S Lite-On SOHW-832S

The firmwares listed above can be downloaded from the site of the original manufacturer of the unit site or from We recommend the latter, for you can download the firmware with already unblocked area configuration (RPC-1), killing two birds with one stone. The upgrade process is relatively simple: just download the file and run it, following the screen instructions.

We remind you that the firmware upgrade, as well as the motherboard BIOS upgrade, is a procedure indicated only to more experienced users, for a poorly done upgrade (for instance, using the file of another equipment by mistake) can permanently damage your peripheral. Therefore, be very careful when downloading the upgrade file, double-checking if it is really the correct file for your DVD recorder. We are not responsible for any type of damage cause by this procedure. Do it at your own risk.

Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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