CDTV uses proprietary CD drive at 1x speed. Most burners out there cannot run slower than 4x, x8. Same for CDs as the lowest I found was 2x.

What speed should I burn it at to be able to use it with CDTV and can it be still done with faster drives / cds?


2 Answers 2


Why would you think that you need a single speed writer to write a CD for a single speed drive?

With an ideal writer, and ideal media, the resulting CD would be the same, no matter at which speed it was written. But the process of writing a CD is analog -- a laser beam locally changes the chemistry of the CD -- and faster writing means applying more energy to more sensitive media at a higher speed. So if you take both the writer and the media to their upper limit, the result may be marginal, resulting in problems if the player is equally marginal. My personal rule of thumb, therefore, is to set the recording speed a notch or two down from the maximum.

  • 2
    Good answer. All drives should create appropriate 'burning' at all speeds available with disks qualified for that drive (laser/focus) and speed. There's more than just the energy per time issue. Also, even when burned at correct parameters, the resulting disk may still fail for the CDTV drive - mostly due an unsuitable dye. Before playing with different speeds when a disk produces errors, I'd rather go and try different blanks to see which gets read best by the drive.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 19:42
  • @Raffzahn "All drives should create appropriate 'burning' at all speeds available with disks qualified for that drive (laser/focus) and speed." -- Indeed. But when in doubt, marketing will always choose the higher speed factor, even if the result is marginal, that's why I slow it down a bit when I run into problems. In addition to the dye, some discs have a more reflective (probably thicker) metallic layer, which may also help. Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 21:31
  • Jup, all true. My point is to look first at the blanks used, as they do differ in dye used, which reflect at different wavelength than 'real' CDs. So it's less about the 'burning' and the writing drive, but the materials used and their workingsin conjunction with optics, laser and detector of the CDTV drive.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 21:54
  • I find that older PCs (i.e. those produced before the 32X CDs came along) are unable to read disks written at top speed but they can read disks recorded at the lowest possible speed. It doesn't make sense but if someone told me the ISO was bad and I told them to record at a lower speed, it always worked.
    – cup
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 22:16

If this is for your personal use, I'd say "whatever works".

Make attempts at the fastest speed with proper CD-Rs, and test them on the real machine.

If it doesn't work, reduce the speed. But in my experience, the quality of the CD-R themselves is more important than the burning speed.

Also, CDTV may suffer from dying laser, and you can burn perfectly okay CDs and not being able to read them because the laser is too old (replacing the drive is in that case the best option, as opposed to the CD32, I didn't find any good resource on lens/laser replacement for the CDTV)

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