Philips DVDRW228

  • Editors' rating
    7.5 Very good
  • $479.99


  • Good multimedia software bundle;
  • easy setup;
  • buffer under-run protection;
  • generally fast performance.


  • Lacks a backup utility.

The DVDRW228 is Philips's second-generation DVD+RW drive. Like its predecessor, it reads and writes CD-R, CD-RW and DVD+RW media. However, the new model also adds support for DVD+R write-once discs so that you can prevent important data from being overwritten. Philips rounds out the package with a multimedia-rich software bundle, making the DVDRW228 a must-have for digital video enthusiasts.

Because the printed documentation included with the £323 (ex. VAT) DVDRW228 is astonishingly brief, the prospect of installation looks a little intimidating. But if you pop the included CD into a functioning optical drive on your computer before connecting the DVD+RW drive, everything becomes clear. The CD leads you through the entire process and includes a video describing how to connect the drive, so even novices should feel comfortable with the process. More printed material would be nice, but the CD contains a detailed manual and additional materials that should be sufficient for most users. The drive is compatible with Windows 98, NT 4.0, 2000, ME and XP.

The DVDRW228's software bundle is geared more toward multimedia tasks than data processing. It includes Sonic Solutions’ MyDVD 3.5, a simple DVD-authoring program, as well as Ahead Software's Nero Burning ROM 5.5, which is good for both DVD- and CD-writing tasks. You also get Pinnacle Systems' Pinnacle Studio 7 software, a sophisticated movie-editing program, and CyberLink’s PowerDVD decoder software for watching DVD movies on your computer. The one hole in the software package is its lack of a backup utility -- you can use Nero to create data discs, but it doesn't compare to a full-fledged backup application.

In our performance tests, the Philips DVDRW228 completed its tasks rapidly. It was faster at writing DVD+RW media than other drives we've tested, but slowed a bit when reading separate files. This means the drive is better suited to applications that read large chunks of data sequentially, rather than dealing with several files at once, which is often required in data operations. To help make sure you get successful recordings every time, the drive uses Seamless Link technology, which protects against buffer under-runs. It also uses Thermo Balance Writing, which adjusts the writing process to match the characteristics of your CD-R or CD-RW media.

The Philips DVDRW228 reads all common CD formats and can also write to inexpensive CD-Rs and CD-RWs. If you need more capacity than CDs offer, you can use 4.7GB DVD+RWs to archive large chunks of a multi-gigabyte hard drive. And because DVD+RW media is rewritable, you can easily write over the old data for subsequent backups.

Philips backs the DVDRW228 with a two-year warranty. If you need assistance, you can chat live with Philips or send email via the company's Web site. Or you can call Philips’ technical support: the UK customer care centre is open between 8.30am and 6pm Monday to Friday, and between 9am and 6pm on Saturdays; calls are charged at national rates.

Top ZDNET Reviews

Overall, the Philips DVDRW228 is a significant improvement over its predecessor. If you want to work with digital photography, either still or motion, the DVDRW228 provides an excellent way to manage and distribute your files on discs that can be read in almost any DVD player.


Power Device
Type none
Drive Type DVD writer
Product Type DVD+RW drive
Enclosure Type internal
Interface IDE
Optical Storage
Form Factor 5.25" x 1/2H
Form Factor (metric) 13.3 cm x 1/2H
Read Speed 32x (CD) / 8x (DVD)
Write Speed 12x (CD) / 2.5x (DVD)
Rewrite Speed 10x (CD) / 2.5x (DVD)
Supported Recording Modes disk-at-once, mixed mode, multisession, packet writing, session-at-once, track-at-once
Supported Media Formats CD Extra, CD Text, CD-DA (audio), CD-I, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, Photo CD, Video CD
Supported Media Types CD-R, CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-ROM
Buffer Size 2 MB
Buffer Underrun Protection Seamless Link
Access Time 120 sec, 140 sec
Media Load Type tray
Features dust sealed mechanism, emergency disk eject hole, headphone jack, horizontal/vertical mountable, volume control wheel
Media Included Qty 3
Compliant Standards CD-Bridge
Expansion / Connectivity
Connections 1 x storage - EIDE/ATAPI - 40 pin IDC
Free 1
Interface Provided
Gender female, male
Connector Qty 1
Type audio, headphones
Interface line-out, output
Qty 1
Connector Type 2 pin digital audio, 4 pin MPC, mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
Mounting Kit included
Media Included Qty 3
Hard Drive
Type none
Video Output none
Software / System Requirements
OS Required Microsoft Windows 95 OSR 2, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 SP5 or later, Microsoft Windows XP, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition / Windows ME
System Requirements
OS Required Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Microsoft Windows 95 OSR 2, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition / Windows ME, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 SP5 or later, Microsoft Windows XP
Environmental Parameters
Min Operating Temperature 41 °F
Max Operating Temperature 95 °F
Humidity Range Operating 5 - 90%
Brand Philips
Product Line Philips DVDRW
Model 228
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility PC
Interface Required
Connector Type 40 pin IDC
Gender female
Connector Qty 1
Expansion Slots
Type none
Dimensions & Weight
Width 5.7 in
Depth 7.7 in
Height 1.7 in
Weight 2.2 lbs
Bay Required
Total Qty 1
Type front accessible
Form Factor 5.25" x 1/2H
Form Factor (metric) 13.3 cm x 1/2H
Slot Required
Type none
Cable Details
Type audio cable
Included Qty 1
Type Drivers & Utilities, NERO Burning ROM, NERO InCD Packet Writing Software, Sonic MyDVD
Service & Support
Type 2 years warranty
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty
Full Contract Period 2 years

Top ZDNET Reviews