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This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
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Appeared on: Monday, March 21, 2005
Samsung TS-H552U


1. Introduction

Samsung TS-H552U Recorder - Page 1

Samsung's TS-H552B 16X drive, reviewed by Cdrinfo 3 months ago, now has a "twin brother"... Only a little bit faster... the TS-H552U is Samsung's brand new model supporting 16X DVD+R, 16X DVD-R, 5X DVD+R DL, 4X DVD±RW, 40X CD-R and 32X US-RW.

We were glad to see (after being previously informed by Samsung), that the DL writing speed has increased, supporting up to 5X, as in our case with Verbatim media which we will see in the following pages of this review.

- Specifications

Interface
EIDI/ATAPI
Average Seek Times
DVD-ROM/R/RW: 100ms, DVD-SL: 130ms, DL: 140ms, DVD-R/RW: 130ms
Buffer Memory
2MB
Supported Disc
DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, CD-ROM/XA, CD-Audio , Video CD, Photo CD, CD-I (FMV), CD-Extra, CD-TEXT
Features
Media type
Write
Read
DVD+R
16X (21.6MB/sec)
8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD+R Double
2.4X (3.24MB/sec)
-
DVD-RW
4X (5.4MB/sec)
8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD-R
16X (21.6MB/sec)
8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD-ROM
-
16X (21.6MB/sec)
CD-ROM
-
48X (7.2MB/sec)
CD-R
40X (6.0MB/sec)
48X (7.2MB/sec)
CD-RW
24X (3.6MB/sec)
32X (4.8MB/sec)
Burst Transfer Rate

PIO Mode 4 (16.6MB/sec)

Ultra DMA Mode 2 (33.3MB/sec)

 

Below are the drive's main specs as provided by NeroInfoTool and DVDInfoPro:

The drive uses the RPC II region control, allowing a user to change the drive's region at most 5 times. For our tests, we set the region code to 2 (Europe)

- The drive / Retail Package

The retail package includes the internal TS-H552 drive, a setup guide as well as an audio cable, mounting screws and atapi cable. There is also a DVD included in the package with Instant CD/DVD 8 from Pinnacle with manual and Acrobat Reader.

 

 

 

 

The retail version of the drive comes in two versions, black and white. As you can see from the above image, the drive we had in our hands and reviewed was black.

On the rear panel you will find the analogue and digital audio outputs (SPDIF), the IDE Master/Slave/CS selector pins, the IDE connector and the power input.

Opening the device's case will void the drive's warranty, something we don't recommend. Press on the image below for an enlarged view.

Click to enlarge

The main chipset is from Mediatek and is the same as that used on the LiteOn SOHW-1633S.

- Installation

The device was installed in our test PC and was identified as "TSST corp CD/DVDW TS-H552U" under WinXP.

For comparison reasons, the review includes two other drives, the NEC ND-3520A and the LG GSA-4163B, both 16X recorders.

We received the drive with the latest firmware revision, US03.

- Testing software

In order to perform our tests we used:

  1. Nero CD-DVD Speed v3.61
  2. CDVD Benchmark v1.21
  3. ExactAudioCopy v0.9 beta5
  4. Nero Info Tool v2.27
  5. PlexTools v2.19a
  6. DVDInfoPro v3.51
  7. Nero Burning Rom v6.6.0.6
  8. DVD Decrypter 3.5.2.0
  9. CopyToDVD 3.0.42

2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 2

Transfer Rate Reading Tests

What follows in this section of the review, are the reading speeds of the three drives for pressed CD/DVD and R/RW media formats.

- CD Format

Results for CD media with pressed media, a copy on CD-R and HS-RW media....

The drive confirmed Samsung's stated specs, reaching in all cases its maximum reading speed, except with RW media...

- DVD Format

We repeated the same tests, this time with DVD media.

With DVD SL media, the drive once again confirmed its stated specs, though it didn't manage to achieve the title of the fastest drive in the comparison with the other two 16X drives, coming in second although the difference between all three drives is negligible.

Using PTP DL media (where the two layers of the disc are read sequentially with the drive starting reading from the inner part of the disc, which is the beginning of each layer), the drive reported the fastest reading speeds in the comparison as shown in the graph below.

The graph below indicates the reading performance of the TS-H552U with OTP dual layer media. While the first layer of the DL DVD is accessed by the drive in the same manner as with PTP DL media, with OTP DL media the beginning of the second layer is located in the outer part of the disc, so the drive starts reading from the outer tracks towards the inner part of the disc. Again the Samsung drive was fastest and times were very similar to those with PTP media.

The following two graphs include the reading performance with recordable and rewritable media, where the NEC drive reports the highest reading speeds for +R/-R (almost twice as fast as the Samsung) while the TS-H552U reported the highest speeds with RW media but not by a large margin compared to the other drives.

We ripped the contents of a pressed Double Layer movie to the hard disk with the Samsung drive. The results are summarized below:

High transfer rate for the Samsung TS-H552U drive.

-Appendix Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs


3. CD Error Correction Tests

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 3

CD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we check the drive's behavior when reading scratched / defective audio discs. The test discs used were the ABEX series from ALMEDIO.

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total
Num: 4494034
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 92361
Avg: -66.1 dB(A)
Max: -6.1 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 15964
Avg: 1.2 Samples
Max: 24 Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 2
Avg: 6.0 Samples
Max: 6 Samples
Total Test Result
69.6 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Average performance with this test disc. A very high total error count, the error loudness is rather high too at -6.1 dB(A) and there were also 2 samples skipped. A total test result score of 69.6 points is indicative of an average test rating.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total
Num: 25257
Errors (Loudness) dB(A)
Num: 2295
Avg: -75.5 dB(A)
Max: -46.6 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples
Num: 52
Avg: 1.0 Samples
Max: 1Samples
Skips Samples
Num: 0
Avg: 0.0 Samples
Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result
84.0 points (of 100.0 maximum)

The Abex 726 test disc is usually much easier for drives to read in most cases. Normally, most drives manage a test result score of 100 or close to but this is not the case here. With an overall score of 84.0 points, the drive's performance can simply be characterized as good.

- CD-Check Audio Test Disc

The CD-Check Test Disc is a very useful tool for evaluating the Sound Reproduction / Error correction capabilities of a CD player. The disc offers a signal combination with disc error patterns to rate the drive's abilities to read music and reproduce it completely. Five tracks on the disc contain a sequence of progressively more difficult tests. These tracks are referred to as Check Level-1 through Check Level-5.

The tracks are reproduced through a software multimedia player (e.g. Windows Media Player). Each level is considered as passed, if the tone is smooth, continuous without interruptions, skipping or looping. The higher the Check Level passed, the more reliable the sound reproduction of the tested drive.

Error Level
1
2
3
4
5
Samsung TS-H552U
5/5
5/5
5/5
0/5
0/5

The drive successfully passed three out of five check levels for this test. This is average performance but a"good" drive will read up to the fourth level and the very best drives manage to read the fifth track.

- Summary

The CD error correction capabilities of the drive are average although performance with the ABEX TCD-726 test disc was disappointing where we expected better results.


4. DVD Error Correction Tests

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 4

DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examine the DVD reading capabilities of the drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media came from ALMEDIO.

- Single Layer media

ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with 4.7GB capacity, and its surface has an artificial scratch of dimensions varying from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

The following transfer rate picture comes from the CDVD Benchmark v1.21 transfer rate test.

The drive read the contents of the TDR-821 test disc without reporting any reading errors or problems.

ABEX TDR-825

This is also a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM of 4.7GB capacity. The data structure of the disc is exactly the same as that of the TDR-821, with the difference that there are no scratches on it but instead defective areas of dimensions ranging from 0.5 to 1.1 mm.

There are also fingerprints sized between 65 and 75 micrometers.

Similar performance here as with the TDR-821 test disc, no errors or problems.

- Dual Layer media

ABEX TDR-841

This is an 8.5GB dual layer, single sided DVD-ROM disc with artificial scratches of dimensions ranging from 0.4 to 3.0mm, on both layers.

.

The defective areas in this test disc were no match for the drives error correction mechanism. Both layers completed successfully with nice, clean graphs.

ABEX TDR-845

The disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc with a capacity of 8.5GB. The only difference between the TDR-845 and the TDR-841 is that the first includes defective areas and fingerprints. The dimensions of the defective areas range from 0.5 to 1.1 mm and the fingerprints are sized from 65 to 75 micrometers.

Once again the TS-H552U showed very good performance. The drive's error correction mechanism performed well with all four test discs, providing us with excellent graphs as seen above.

ABEX TDV-541/

The TDV-541 is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc, with a capacity of 8.5GB.The disc is based upon the TDV-540 series which is designed for inspection and adjustment of DVD-VIDEO players. The disc checks the layer switch operation from layer 0 to layer 1 and also includes test pictures and test signals for DVD sound files.

The current TDV-541 also checks the error correcting capabilities of the drive and includes scratches from 0.4 to 3.0 mm.

Very good, if not excellent error correction in this case too, with a near perfect, smooth graph for both layers.

ABEX TDV-545

The TDV-545 disc is based on the TDV-540 series. It is a single sided, dual layer DVD-VIDEO disc with a capacity of 8.5GB.

The TDV-545 includes artificial black dots on the disc's surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It also has 65 - 75 micrometer thickness, fingerprints.

Again in this case, great reading, indicating once again a great error correction mechanism.


5. Protected Disc Tests

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 5

Protected Disc Tests

- Reading Tests

To create the image of the various protected titles to the hard disk, we used Alcohol 120% software and the appropriate settings, according to the protection type of the inserted discs. Below you can see the duration of each process as well as the transfer rate in each case.
Game Title
Protection Scheme
Duration
Reading speed
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme"
Lybcrypt
07:20 min
205 sectors/sec
Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07
SafeDisc v.2.60.052
04:30 min
1242 sectors/sec
VRally II
SecuROM v.2
04:30 min
1273 sectors/sec

Best performance came with the SafeDisc protected game, while the TS-H552U reported poor results with the PSX protected game disc. With the SecuROM protected game, performance was average.

- Writing Tests

The drive supports the DAO-RAW writing mode. For checking the drive's EFM correction status, we used 5 different game titles with different SafeDisc 2 versions having the latest software patches installed. After copying the images of the various titles onto the hard disk, we burned them (maximum speed) with Alcohol 120% v1.9.2.1705. Two different discs were created for each title; one with the "Bypass EFM error" enabled and one more with the function disabled.

The table below shows the results of the attempted backups and whether they worked (game installed / played normally), or not.

Drive

Fifa 2004
SD v3.1

Sims Superstar SD v2.9
Sims Unleashed SD v2.8
Serious Sam-Second Encounter
SD v2.51.051
Max Payne
SD v2.51.020
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
EFM OFF
EFM ON
Toshiba
SD-M1502
No
Yes
Creative CD5233E

Samsung TS-H552

The drive's Safedisc2 backup capabilities reached up to v2.8. The drive doesn`t produce working backups with the newest v2.9 and v3.1.


6. DAE Tests

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 6

DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR AudioCD results

The drive supports up to 48X CAV DAE speed. The following results were reported when using Nero CD/DVD Speed.

The Samsung TS-H552U performed well in this test, beating the other two drives in speed and confirming the 40X reading speed as indicated in the drives specs.

- Advanced DAE Quality

The drive received a perfect quality score of 100. As you can see on the graph, the Average Speed low. Strange indeed, as the same low speed was reported by the previous version of this drive, the TS-H552B. A double check has been made and the results were more or less, the same.

- Ripping 90mins AudioCDs

- Ripping 99mins AudioCDs

Both 90min and 99min AudioCDs were ripped successfully.


7. Protected AudioCDs

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 7

Protected AudioCDs

For this test procedure we used three audio discs with different audio copy protections. The ripping process on all protected Audio discs was carried out with Exact Audio Copy v0.9beta5.

The sample protected Audio discs were:

The Cactus Data Shield 200 disc contains artificial errors that are not easily bypassed by the reader, while the Key2Audio contains a second session, causing problems for readers when trying to read the Table Of Contents (TOC).

The tested tasks are:

The Samsung drive recognized up to the 12th Audio track of CDS200 disc,

and with the "Retrieve Native TOC" option removed, the 13th track was also recognized.

The test results are shown in the following table:

Key2Audio
CDS200
Samsung TS-H552U
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks
Cannot rip or read contents of the disc

With Key2Audio discs, EAC didn't report any timing problems and at the same time, Read&Test CRC check comparison was the same for corresponding tracks. The drive could not rip at all the CD200 disc.

This is a "special" CDS200 build, since it doesn't contain any artificial errors during the ripping process. Most problems occur when trying to write the ripped wav files, since the produced CD-R disc contains C2 and CU errors! This "problem" is rumored to be connected with specific chipset weaknesses.

We ripped the disc contents with EAC and burned the wav file produced from the Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a disc with the latest Nero version as AudioCD+CD-Text. The burned media was checked for C1/C2 errors and for BETA/Jitter errors with PlexTools software using Plextor PX-712SA (firmware v1.03) and LiteOn LDW-811S (firmware vHS0Q).

CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
Samsung TS-H552U
Reading/Writing performed without any errors

Very good readings, very low C1 and almost no C2, and a good Jitter result.

We then tried to extract all wav files with the Plextor PX-712A and PlexTool DAE Error Correction 5th Level enabled:

No reading errors were reported after extracting all files.


8. CD Recording Tests

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 8

CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Format

The drive supports 8X, 16X, 24X, 32X and 40X writing speeds.

The simulation test under Nero CD Speed, confirmed the manufacturer's specifications and the drive finished the task reporting a maximum speed of 39.56X after 2:46 mins. The test started at 20.82X and had an average speed of 34.17X.

- CD-R Recording Times

We created an 80min data compilation with Nero Burning Rom and recorded it on a 700MB disc. The writing performance varies according to the inserted media. Below is a chart demonstrating all recording times with various media.

The best recording time was achieved with TY media which needed 2:54 mins.

Samsung was the fasted CD recorder in comparison with the LG and NEC drives.

- Other features

The Samsung TS-H552U supports overburning, writing up to 101mins and can read/write CD-Text.

- CD-RW Format

The drive supports both the HS-RW and US-RW formats. According to the specs written on the drive's retail box, the TS-H552U can write RW media at a max speed of 24X. However, as you can see in the following graph, the drive supports up to 32X max writing speed which is also written on the front of the retail box. We were pretty confused over the fact that the specs and the markings on the retail box did not match (we also had max writing speed for CD-R media labeled as 48X while according to the specs it was 40X which was confirmed by the previous tests), but eventually all was sorted out once the tests started. So...

Below you can see the Nero CD-DVD Speed writing simulation test with blank 32x US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive reached a maximum writing speed of 31.72X. The test started at 21.04X and had an average speed of 31.72X.

- CD-RW Mount Rainier

The drive doesn't support the Mount Rainier feature.


9. Writing Quality Tests - Clover System Tests

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 9

Writing Quality Tests - Clover System Tests

The Clover Systems CDX Compact Disc Analyzer is a high-speed tool to quantitatively measure the quality of a CD. It will analyze CD-DA, CD-ROM, CD-ROM XA, CD-I, CD-R, Photo-CD, Enhanced CD and CD-RW discs at 4X, 8X, 24X, 32X or 40X speed. It effectively measures disc quality by examining the quantity and severity of CIRC errors generated during playback. It also provides the capability to measure signal parameters related to pit geometry, such as asymmetry and reflectivity. Together, all these bits of information provide a thorough analysis of disc quality. The Clover Systems Analyzers can also perform various format-checking tests on data discs, and do bit-for-bit data comparison on all types of CDs. All tests are carried out at the maximum speed of 40X.

CIRC error correction uses two principles to detect and correct errors. The first is redundancy (extra information is added, which gives an extra chance to read the disc), and the second is interleaving (data is distributed over a relatively large physical area). The CIRC error correction used in CD players uses two stages of error correction, the well known C1 and C2, with de-interleaving of the data between the stages.

The error type E11 means one bad symbol was corrected in the C1 stage. E21means two bad symbols were corrected in the C1 stage. E31 means that there were three or more bad symbols at the C1 stage. This block is uncorrectable at the C1 stage, and is passed to the C2 stage. Respectively, E12 means one bad symbol was corrected in the C2 stage and E22 means two bad symbols were corrected in the C2 stage. E32 means that there were three or more bad symbols in one block at the C2 stage, and therefore this error is not correctable.

BLER (Block Error Rate) is defined as the number of data blocks per second that contain detectable errors, at the input of the C1 decoder. Since this is the most general measurement of the quality of a disc, you will find BLER graphs for all media tested below. If you click on the images you can see a more detailed table, indicating error levels. The Red Book specification (IEC 908) calls for a maximum BLER of 220 per second averaged over ten seconds. Discs with higher BLER are likely to produce uncorrectable errors. Al low BLER shows that the system as a whole is performing well, and the pit geometry is good. However, BLER only tells us how many errors were generated per second, and it does not tell us anything about the severity of those errors.

BenQ 80min 52X @ 40X

Maxell 80min 52X @ 40X

Waitec 80min 52X @ 24X

Traxdata 80min 52X @ 40X

TY 80min 48X @ 40X

- Summary

Taiyo Yuden media revealed the best writing quality from amongst all the media tested. However, all discs reported E32 errors, a key point that Samsung engineers should consider in their next firmware release.


10. Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 10

Writing Quality Tests - C1 / C2 Error Measurements

We measured the C1 / C2 error rate on the recorded discs we burned at the various supported writing speeds. The software we used was PleXTools Professional, and in particular the built-in Q-Check utility. The reader was the Plextor PX-712A (firmware v1.05).

Taiyo Yuden 80min 48X @ 40X

TraxData 80min 52X @ 40X

BenQ 80min 52X @ 40X

Waitec 80min 52X @ 40X

Maxell 80min 48X @ 40X

- Summary

As we can see in the above graphs with the aid of the plextools C1/C2 function, TY and BenQ media reported the lowest C1 counts, while some media reported C2 and even CU in the case of Maxell media in which case the disc was rendered unreadable.

- Appendix

Media Label
ID Code
Manufacturer Name
Lead Out TIme
Maxell 48X
97m15s17f
Ritek Co.
79m59s70f
TY 80min 48X
97m24s 1f
Taiyo Yuden
79m59s72f
TraxData 80min 52X
97m15s17f
Ritek
79m59s70f
BenQ 52X
97m22s67f
Daxon
79m59s74f
Waitec 80min 52X
97m28s26f
Multi Media Masters & Machinery SA
79m59s74f

11. DVD Recording Tests

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 11

DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The Samsung TS-H552 supports 16X for DVD+R, 16X for DVD-R, 4X for DVD±RW and 5X for DVD+R9.

Nero Burning Rom reported speeds are shown below, after inserting a Mitsubishi Chemicals DVD+R 16X certified disc.

We used CD-DVD Speed with DVD-R and DVD+R media, in order to check the writing strategy for each media. Click on the screenshots below for a complete CDSpeed graph.

- Burning Tests

Best performance came with CMC Magnetics media, indicating a successfully firmware upgrade, as the previous firmware version on this drive ( the TS-H552B) burned the same disc at the max speed of 12X. Traxdata 16X media burned at the max speed of 12X.

Best performance came with TDK 16X DVD-R media requiring only 5:17 for a full burn, while the Optodisc media was burned at the max speed of 12X.

- Comparison with other drives

Below are summarized the maximum speeds for each media format with our three drives.

- DVD Overburning Tests

Using Nero CD-DVD Speed, we tested to see if the drive is capable of overburning DVD+R and DVD-R media. Unfortunately, this feature is not included in the drive's advanced specs.

- DVD+MRW Tests

The drive doesn't support the Mount Rainier feature.


12. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 12

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 1

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

16X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

While all quality scans reported PI values below or only a little above the 280 limit, the CD Speed graphs report a completely different image of the writing quality.


13. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 13

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 2

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

8X DVD+R Writing Speed

- Summary

In this case, the writing quality is much better than that with 16X media.


14. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 14

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 3

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

4X DVD+R Writing Speed

 

- Summary

Extremely low PIE values with TY media producing the best graph until now.


15. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 4

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 15

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 4

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

16X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

CD-DVD revealed poor quality with all brands while Plextools in most cases reported low PIE error levels...


16. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 5

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 16

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 5

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

8X, 4X DVD-R Writing Speed

- Summary

Although the PIE levels in most cases are low, the POE max out in all cases, as it is confirmed by the CD speed graphs.


17. CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 6

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 17

CDSpeed/PlexTools Scans - Page 6

In order to test the writing quality and readability of the burned media we used two readers with two software applications:

In general, a "perfect" disc should have a smooth reading curve, very low PIE/POE and zero (0) POF error rates. Most times however, even though a disc has very low PIE/POE error rates, the reading curve may not be smooth containing dropoffs. Due to the fact that we oversped the reading capabilities of the LiteON SOHD-167T, such drops are expected, especially near the outer area of the disc.

The measurements below should be taken not as the absolute criteria of the burning quality, but as an indication level.

DVD+RW and DVD-RW media format

- Summary

The recording quality with most RW media is poor.


18. DVD+R DL - Page 1

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 18

DVD+R DL - Page 1

- Writing Tests

The Samsung TS-H552 model supports Double Layer media recording with writing speed up to 2.4X. We burned a Verbatim DVD+R DL and a Traxdata DVD+R DL disc with DVD-Video content. The source disc was "Gladiator Movie - Special Edition" Disc1 with a total size of 6.86GB.

First, we transferred the movie to the hard disc with DVD Decrypter in ISO format (single file). We used the latest version of CopyToDVD software to burn the image file to Traxdata Double Layer media. We chose the "GLADIATOR.ISO" image and we selected the LG burner to start burning.

The recorder needed sometime to initialize the inserted media and the recording process started after some seconds. Total burning time reported by CopyToDVD was 37:25mins with 2.36X average writing speed.

We then repeated the same procedure with Verbatim Double Layer media. CopyToDVD required 18:13mins total burning time with 5X average writing speed.

For comparison reasons, we post some burning results with other DL writers, which all burned the same content ("Gladiator Movie - Special Edition" disc1), using the CopyToDVD software:

Drive
Time (mins)
Samsung TS-H552U (5X)
18:13
TDK 1616N (4X)
22:51
NEC ND-3500A (4X)
22:52
ASUS DRW-1604P (4X)
23:10
Pioneer DVR-108A (4X)
23:10
NEC 2510A (2.4X)
37:17
ASUS DRW-1604P (2.4X)
38:08
LG GSA-4120B (2.4X)
38:12
Pioneer DVR-108A (2.4X)

38:23

LiteON SOHW-832S DVD+R DL BookType
38:33
LiteON SOHW-832S DVD-ROM BookType
38:36
SONY DRU-700A (2.4X)

38:39

BenQ DW830A (2.4X)
39:14
BenQ DW1620A (2.4X)
40:03
BenQ DW1600A DL (2.4X)
40:16

Up till now, the TDK 1616N has been the fastest DL device, but in this case, the Samsung TS-H552U wins the title of the fastest DL recorder, burning the Gladiator image in only 18:13, with an average speed of 5X.


19. DVD+R DL - Page 2

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 19

DVD+R DL - Page 2

- Writing Quality

In order to test the Samsung TS-H552U's DVD+R DL writing quality, we used the LiteOn SOHD-167T and the Plextor PX-712A drives.

- Summary

Unfortunately, the writing quality in this case, as in the previous test with DVD+R/-R media is poor, rendering the 5X burning speed void.

- Compatibility

Unfortunately the drive doesn't supports booktype change and for this reason both burned media were not playable in our standalone players from Pioneer, Philips and NeuNeo.


20. BookType Setting

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 20

BookType Setting

We used several software applications to investigate the booktype setting support for this recorder. Unfortunately, the Samsung TS-H552U does not officially support booktype changes. We hope to see bitsetting support with a newer firmware release. As you can see in the table below, none of the +R formats is set to DVD-ROM by default.

Media
Booktype
DVD+R DL
DVD+R DL
DVD+R
DVD+R
DVD+RW
DVD+RW

 

 


21. Conclusion

Samsung TS-H552U Burner - Page 21

Conclusion

Samsung's release, the TS-H552U, an upgrade of the H552B, proved to be pretty much the same as its predecessor, a really good drive. In the error correction arena, the drive's mechanism managed to read successfully all defective discs, producing smooth graphs. Fast DL ripping and ripping speed as a whole and really good cd writing quality. That's pretty much the outcome of this review in a nutshell. Moving on...

In the protected media section, the drive didn't do so well, in comparison with the other drives. Although it managed to rip all protected games successfully, it didn't manage to produce a 100% working backup. The performance with the SecuROM media was excellent while with the Safedisc and PSX, poor. With the Audio protected discs, the H552U did really well ripping and successfully producing a backup disc of the Aiko audio media, which among the three types of protection schemes tested in this review, is the latest and thus hardest to rip. The CDS200 protection could not be ripped or the disc identified by the drive.

Writing quality unfortunately isn't the strong point of the TS-H552U as it was for the H552B. Most media burned at good speeds, but did not yield good quality as can be seen by the graphs and scans in the previous pages. As for the DVD DL writing speed, well, the 5X writing speed, is, fast indeed, the fastest among all the DL burners, although the writing quality still remains poor in this case too.

Finally, as stated before in the review, the labeling on the retail box is very inaccurate, creating to the potential buyer an image which is not quite the truth. Unfortunately, I believe that this is something that can not be fixed, so I'll state here the inaccuracies between the labeling and the specs : Number one, is that the speed labels on the front of the retail package state that the drive can support up to 48X writing speed (while the specs, located on the side of the box, state the max writing speed is 40X), and number two is that the 32X max speed for CD-RW media on the front is the right value, while on the side of the box (specs) reports as max speed with CD-RW media, 24X which is a false value. No media are also included. Those are the reasons the retail package was given few stars, in comparison with other retail drives.

The price for the drive at the time of this review was around US$79 for the retail package and $65 for the OEM/Bulk version.

- The Good

- The Bad

- Like To be fixed

 

Retail Package
Reading
Error Correction
Protected Discs
Writing
Features


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