Turn off the Ad Banner  

To print: Select File and then Print from your browser's menu.

    -----------------------------------------------
This story was printed from CdrInfo.com,
located at http://www.cdrinfo.com.
-----------------------------------------------


Appeared on: Monday, August 22, 2005
Samsung SH-W162


1. Introduction

In this review, we will be taking a look at Samsung's latest release in the DVD burner market, the SH-W162C, a DVD±R DL capable drive. The maximum speed for +R DL remains the same, that of 5X while with -R DL media, the drive can write at up to 4X burning speed. Apart from that, Samsung has gone a step further this time, providing the end user with a utility that can "tweak" the max recording speed. This utility goes by the name of "Magic Speed" and we will have a closer look at it later on in this review.

Apart from the 5X+R DL and 4X-R DL support, the drive also offers 8X DVD+RW and 6X DVD-RW media burning speed. It can also write +R and -R media at the maximum speed of 16X.

- Drive Features

Lets have a look at the drives unique features as reported by Samsung.

Speed Adjustment Technology
Intelligent detection of media type. Error-free reading of all media types, increases life of drive.
Double O.P.C. Technology
Provides reliable, zero-error recording.
Tilt Actuator Compensation Technology
Improves recording capability on deformed media.
Magic Speed
Enables flexibility of drive operation, low noise mode, high-speed mode.
Buffer Under Run Free Technology
Prevents Buffer Under Run error, enabling high-speed writing of media.
Automatic Ball Balancing System
Vibration control for unbalanced discs.
Eco-Product
Minimal Usage of drive operation, low noise mode, high-speed mode.
Firmware Live Update
Automatically upgrades the latest firmware version through Internet by continued support of newer media.

- Specifications

Model Samsung SH-W162C
Data Transfer Media Type Write Read
DVD+R 16X (21.6MB/sec) 12X (16.2MB/sec)
DVD+R DL 5X (6.75MB/sec) 8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD+RW 8X (10.8MB/sec) 8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD-R 16X (21.6MB/sec) 12X (16.2MB/sec)
DVD-R DL 4X (5.4MB/sec) 8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD-RW 6X (8.1MB/sec) 8X (10.8MB/sec)
DVD ROM - 16X (21.6MB/sec)
CD ROM - 48X (7.2MB/sec)
CD-R 48X (7.2MB/sec) 40X (6.0MB/sec)
CD-RW 32X (4.8MB/sec) 40X (6.0MB/sec)
Burst Transfer Rate PIO Mode 4 (16.6MB/sec)
Ultra DMA Mode 2 (33.3MB/sec)
Average Seek Time DVD : 130ms
CD : 110ms
Supported Disc DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-R DL, 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
Buffer Memory 2MB
Dimensions
(WxHxD mm)
148.2x 42x 184
Weight (kg) 0.75

Information about the drive given by various utilities...

- Nero Info Tool

- DVD Info Pro

The general drive information concerning serial number, firmware revision and such..

And the drive's features...

- VSO Inspector

- Retail Package

The Retail package includes: the SH-W162C internal tray load mechanism burner, an E-IDE (ATAPI) cable, mounting screws, a comprehensive Quick Installation Guide and bundled software including Nero Express, InCD4, Nero Showtime, and a wide collection of Nero Utilities. The drive did not contain any blank media but the accompanying software more than makes up for it..

 

 

-The Drive

The tray loader has the Writemaster and SAMSUNG logos at left and centre, and the DVD R/RW, DVD+Rewritable and Compact Disc Rewritable Ultra Speed logos on the right. Typical design, very much like all the latest releases from Samsung.

On the rear panel you can see the analogue and digital outputs (SPDIF), the IDE connector and the power input.

A closer look on the interior of the drive reveals the Mediatek chipset used on LiteOn drives. Note that this does not make the Samsung drive an OEM version of LiteOn drives. Clicking on the image below will bring up an enlarged photo.

click to enlarge!

Enlarged view of the Mediatek Chipset, the SH-W162C.

- Installation

The drive was installed under WindowsXP and was recognized as "TSSTcorp CD/DVDW SH-W162C ". The SH-W162C came with firmware revision TS07 which is the latest available firmware.

Throughout this review, we will be comparing the Samsung model with two other latest release drives, the BenQ 1640 and the NEC 3530A.

Having looked over the main features and contents of the drive and its retail box, let us move on to the rest of the review and get started with the testing.


2. Transfer Rate Reading Tests

- CD Format

In order to test the Reading capabilities (Transfer Rate) of the SH-W162C drive, we use Nero CD-DVD Speed (4.01 latest version) and a set of test media including both pressed and CDR copies.

With Pressed CD media, the Samsung drive reported the highest average speed. Despite starting at a very low speed, it managed to finish with an end speed of 50X. In the other two tests, with CDR and USRW media, the SH-W162C showed very good performance. Unfortunately, the CDR media transfer rate for this drive is locked at 40X while the other two drives go up all the way to 48X.

- DVD Format

We repeated the process with DVD Pressed media this time and present outcome in the tables below.

 

No significant speed differences between the drives, but the Samsung drive was slightly faster.

The two layers of a PTP DVD-ROM disc are read sequentially with the drive starting reading from the inner part of the disc, which is the beginning of each layer, progressing towards the outer range for each layer. Once more, the Samsung drive did not manage to keep up with the other two drives, due to it's lower max reading speed of 8X, this time with PTP DL ROM media.

The first layer of an OTP dual layer DVD-ROM is read exactly the same way as the first layer of the PTP disc we tested previously. The difference here is the reading strategy of the second layer on the disc. 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. Similar performance as with the PTP DL media.

As we can see from the above graphs, the performance from all four drives is consistent. With ±R media, the Samsung drive was limited to 9X while the BenQ and NEC drives reached 12X. With ±RW media, the Samsung was again 3X slower than the other two drives managing 6.2X.

As expected, the BenQ drive proved to be the fastest ripper among the three. The Samsung drive reported a nice ripping speed though, ranking high in the fastest rippers list.

What we've seen in this series of tests, is that the Samsung drive is not a very fast reader with DVD media. Now let us move on to the rest of the tests and see if the Samsung drive makes up for this lack in speed with error correction and quality.

-Appendix

Nero CD-DVD Speed Graphs

CD Pressed / CD-R / US-RW
DVD Pressed SL / DVD Pressed DL / DVD-R / DVD-RW / DVD+R / DVD+RW


3. CD Error Correction Tests

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

- ABEX TCD-721R

Errors total Num: 887147
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 48189 Avg: -73.9 dB(A) Max: -36.0(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 2838 Avg: 1.0 Samples Max: 8 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 76.9 points (of 100.0 maximum)

Very good performance from the Samsung drive with the specific test disc. The total error count is very low and the maximum error loudness is below the Redbook Limit. There were no skipped samples reported and the total test result of 76.9 out of 100 is very good.

- ABEX TCD-726

Errors total Num: 0
Errors (Loudness) dB(A) Num: 0 Avg: -174.0 dB(A) Max: -174.0 dB(A)
Error Muting Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Skips Samples Num: 0 Avg: 0 Samples Max: 0 Samples
Total Test Result 100.0 points (out of 100.0 maximum)

As with most drives, the 726 media test disc, is an easy task for a drive's reading capabilities. A perfect total result of 100 points, indicates the good CD error correction capabilities of the SH-W162C.

- 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 (i.e. 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 SH-W162C 5/5 5/5 4/5 0/5 0/5

Average outcome, neither good nor bad. Most drives available today manage to read up to the 3rd level with only a few exceptional drives managing to read the 4th or even the 5th level.

- Summary

Overall, good CD Error correction capabilities.


4. DVD Error Correction Tests

In the following tests we examined the DVD reading capabilities of the Samsung SH-W162C drive with scratched / defective DVD media. For the tests, we used CDVD Benchmark and Nero CDSpeed. The reference test media comes from ALMEDIO. These tests were made prior to the release of the 1.01 firmware upgrade and were not re-tested, as the latest firmware does not improve error correction capabilities.

- Single Layer media
ABEX TDR-821

This is a single sided, single layer DVD-ROM with a 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 behaviour of the SH-W162C drive with the DVD error correction tests remains consistent in all cases. As can be seen from the above graph, the reading was completed successfully and the drive managed to read over the defective area, reaching a final, maximum speed over 12X. One thing that is apparent is the faint, second line at around 1X that spans all the way from start to finish. This however, is not due to the defects but appears to be a characteristic of the drive itself.

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.

In this case, the final speed reached was 16X but once again we have the ghost line hovering around 1X.

- 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.

Again the drive managed to read over both defective areas in both layers. The second, ghost line is again present but more pronounced. There's also a major region of activity over the second defect where the drive obviously found it rough going.

ABEX TDR-845

The disc is a single sided, dual layer DVD-ROM disc of 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 micro meters.

Same performance here as well and the drive seems to be more sensitive with defective areas in the second layer.

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 on 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.

click to enlarge!

Excellent performance in this case. The SH-W162C managed to read flawlessly, all the way to the end, producing this smooth graph without any speed drops during the layer change as is the case with most drives.

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 data surface, sized from 0.4 to 1.0 mm. It has also 65 - 75 micro meter fingerprints.

click to enlarge!

Last test with defective media and the 545 test disc was no match for Samsung's error correction mechanism. Great performance once more.

- Summary

The Samsung SH-W162C DVD Recorder may be a bit slow in reading but surely gets the job done. Expect it to read over almost any kind of bad quality - defective media. Good error correction with DVD media but we didn't like the multiple speed falls while reading.


5. Protected Disc Tests - Reading Tests

- Reading Tests

To create the image of the various protected titles to the hard disk, we used Alcohol 120% software with the appropriate settings, according to the protection type of the inserted disc. Below you can see the duration of each process as well as the transfer rate in each case.
The protected games used to test ripping capabilities...

Game Title Protection Scheme Duration Reading speed
PSX "NBA Jam Extreme" Lybcrypt 00:01:41 min 895 sectors/sec
Serious Sam The Second Encounter v1.07 SafeDisc v.2.60.052 00:04:10 min 1342 sectors/sec
VRally II SecuROM v.2 00:03:28 min 1653 sectors/sec

Not bad with any of the above cases in protected games ripping. Samsung drives traditionally perform well with safedisc protected games. In our case, the SH-W162C managed to complete the Safedisc ripping in only 4mins.

- Writing Tests

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 making 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.

- FIFA 2004 - Safe Disc v3.1x
- The Sims Superstar - Safe Disc v2.9x
- The Sims Unleashed - Safe Disc v2.8x
- Serious Sam Second Encounter - Safe Disc v2.51.021
- Max Payne - Safe Disc v2.51.020

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

Drive

Fifa 2004
SD v3.1x

Sims Superstar
SD v2.9x
Sims Unleashed
SD v2.8x
Serious Sam-Second Encounter
SD v2.50.051
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
Yes

Plextor PX 740A

Excellent performance. Note that the Samsung SH-W162C is one of the very few drives that can successfully create working backups of SafeDisc v3.1.


6. DAE Tests

- Pressed and CDR Audio CD results

The SH-W162C as well as the NEC drive support up to 40x CAV DAE speed, while the BenQ supports up to 48X. The following results were reported when using Exact Audio Copy software.

Highest average DAE speed was reported by the BenQ drive obviously due to its 48X supported max DAE speed.

- Advanced DAE Quality

The reviewed drive managed to score 100 in the Advanced DAE Quality test while it reported an average speed of 29.14X.

The drive cannot read Leadin and Leadout data, but can read CD Text and Subchannel Data.

- Ripping 90mins Audio CDs

Unfortunately, the drive could not identify the inserted 90min audio CD.

- Ripping 99mins Audio CDs

click to enlarge!

In this case, reading progressed flawlessly up until the end. Unfortunately, ripping could not be completed, reporting the above message.


7. Protected AudioCDs

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

The tested protected Audio discs were:
Audio Discs Protection
Celine Dion - New Day Has Come Sony's Key2Audio
Natalie Imbruglia - White Lilies Island Cactus Data Shield 200
Aiko Katsukino - The Love Letter Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a

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

The drive recognized up to the 13th Audio track of the CDS200 disc and with the "Retrieve Native TOC" option removed, the drive recognized the 14th track.

The test results are shown in the following table:

Samsung HS-W162C Key2Audio CDS200
Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks Ripping process completed, EAC reports no problems, Read&Test CRC comparison successful for all tracks

Cactus Data Shield 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a (Aiko Katsukino - The Love Letter)

This is a "special" CDS200 build, since it doesn't contain any artificial errors which create problems 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 to 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 Audio CD+CD-Text. The burned media was checked for C1/C2 errors and for BETA/Jitter errors with PlexTools software using a Plextor PX-716A (firmware v1.08).

 

Samsung HS-W162C CDS 200.0.4 - 3.0 build 16a
Reading performed without any errors.

C1C2 Error rate from PleXWriter PX-716A (8X CLV reading speed)

BETA/Jitter Error rate from PleXWriter PX-716A

The C1/C2 error and Beta Jitter test graphs show that the SH-W162C managed to produce a 100% error free backup.

We then tried to extract all wav files with the Plextor PX-716A and PlexTools DAE Error Correction 5th Level enabled:

No errors were reported after extracting all files. The drive can backup the disc 100% accurately.


8. CD Recording Tests

- CD-R Format

The drive supports 8X, 16X, 24X, 32X, 40X and 48X (CAV) writing speeds.

According to Nero CDSpeed, the drive clocked in an average speed of 37.21X.

- 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 depicting all recording times with various media.

Fastest performance came with Ridisc media, burned in only 167sec.

- CD-RW Format

The Samsung SH-W162C supports 4x, 10x, 16x, 24x and 32x rewriting speeds, with Ultra Speed Rewritable Media (US-RW).

Below you can see the Nero CD-DVD Speed writing simulation test with blank 32x US-RW media from Mitsubishi Chemicals. Average reported speed was 28.04x.

click to enlarge!

- CD-RW Mount Rainier

The drive does not support the Mount Rainier feature.


9. 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 is the latest PleXTools Professional and in particular the built-in Q-Check utility. The reader was the Plextor PX-716A (1.08 firmware).

Intenso 80min 52X @ 48X

Maxell 80min 52X @ 48X

Ridisc 80min 52X @ 48X

Traxdata 80min 52X @ 48X

TY 80min 48X @ 48X

- Summary

Some C2 errors were reported with Maxell media. All other scans show low C1 levels and few to none C2 errors, indicating good quality burning.


10. 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.

Intenso 80min 52X @ 48X

click for more details!

Maxell 80min 52X @ 48X

click for more details!

RiDisc 80min 52X @ 48X

click for more details!

Traxdata 80min 52X @ 48X

click for more details!

TY 80min 48X @ 48X

click for more details!

- Summary

While Plextools scan can be a very reliable utility, when it comes to the Clover Systems CDX test, we need look no further. The CDX is the final "judge" of the quality of a CD. Due to its tough criteria, we can clearly discern which is the best quality burn and which is not by looking for its pass/fail verdict. As one can see from the above graph, only TY media managed to achieve a "pass" mark, with no E22 or E32 errors whatsoever.


11. DVD Recording Tests

- Writing Performance

The Plextor Samsung SH-W162C supports up to 16x burning speed with both +R and -R DVD media formats. Nero Burning Rom's reported speeds are shown below.

Below, you can see the writing speed graph, as reported by Nero CD-DVD Speed.

click for more details!

The writing strategy confirms the manufacturer's specs of 16X speed. Notice the WOPC, activated for DVD+R media.

click for more details!

Both writing strategies confirm the manufacturers specifications. The DVD+RW media climbed all the way up to 8X reporting an average speed of 7.52X, while DVD-RW media reached up to 6X with an average reported speed of 5.88X.

- Burning Tests

All media was burned at the stated speed with the exception of Optodisc 16X -R media which was burned at 12X. Fastest burning was with Verbatim DVD-R media.

Once again, no overspeeding while using DVD+R media. All burning at stated speeds and once more we faced an exception when burning with Philips 16X+R media which was burned at 8X.

- Comparison with other drives

Fastest burner with DVD+R media proved to be the BenQ drive in comparison with the reviewed drive and the NEC ND-3530A, although the speed differences are negligible. Using DVD-R media, the NEC drive managed to achieve the fastest burning times.

Using DVD±RW media, the SH-W162C showed satisfactory performance, there not being much between all three drives.

- DVD Overburning Tests

Unfortunately, overburning feature is not supported.


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:

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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

According to the CD-Speed utility, not a single burn was of excellent quality. Plextools however, reports low PIE values indicating good quality. Overall, average to good quality burns.


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:

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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

All media reported average quality CD-Speed scans and good quality Plextools scans with all values below the 280 limit. Overall, average to good, much like the 16X burning quality.


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:

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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

The samsung drive seems to do better with DVD+R media, reporting good quality burning overall. Best burn came with Optodisc media, with a smooth CD-Speed graph and very very low PIE levels.


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:

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-716A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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 SH-W162C managed to perform best with MKM and TY media, with best burn TY. With CMC and Maxell media, we can say that it was average quality.


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:

- The LiteON SOHD-167T with patched firmware being able to read DVD5 up to 16X CAV and DVD9 up to 10X CAV. For the transfer rate tests we used the latest Nero CDSpeed version.

- The Plextor PX-712A with the latest available firmware. For scanning the disc, we used the latest PlexTools version at 2X CLV reading speed, BURST mode, with middle accuracy.

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

- Summary

Thus far, we can say that the Samsung drive is an average to good quality burner with no surprises. So, inserting good quality media, the drive will make the best of it and produce a good quality burn. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the DVD±RW burning capabilities of the SH-W162C burner which are far from good. Out of the four media tested, only one in each case managed to achieve a full scan. Only Ricoh DVD+RW media at 8X and Verbatim DVD-RW at 6X managed to report average quality burns. For the remaining media, one in each category, the scanning process could not complete, reporting the messages seen in the screenshots above.


17. Writing Quality Tests - Almedio AEC-1000

The AEC-1000 consists of a DVD Drive and the "ALChecker" error measurement application which can check the written data quality. The application is capable of 1X CLV measurement as well as 4X CLV on DVD-Video/ROM and finalized DVD+R/-R media.

There are three measurement modes:

- Fine Mode: checks a series of eight consecutive ECC blocks,

- Rough Mode: checks eight consecutive ECC blocks every 100h ECC blocks

- Quick Mode: checks three specified areas

The checking status is shown graphically in real time while you can save the error graph at the end of the test. The reported errors are the PI and the UncPO. In the case of PI, it counts the number of rows corrected by the PI error correction in each group of eight consecutive ECC blocks. In the case of UncPO, it counts the number of ECC blocks in which more than one byte is uncorrectable in eight consecutive ECC blocks. For our quality scans, we set it for 1X CLV and Fine Mode which is the slowest and with the safest results. Also, we chose to measure all the media burned at the maximum available writing speed, namely 16X.

- Summary

We chose four 16X burned media, and ran Almedio's "ALchecker" to validate their performance. The scans are posted with quality priority, so the first three scans can be described as good quality, while the Ridisc scan, the last one can be described as bad, managing to complete the test while it reported a max PI value of 251 with the absolute limit at 280 PI. The plextools scans on this media differ from the "ALchecker" outcome.


18. DVDR DL - Page 1

- Writing Tests

We burned some DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL discs 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 as ISO format (single file). We used Double Layer media provided by RiDisc and Verbatim (MKM).

We then used the latest CopyToDVD, and specifically the "Movie & Pictures" option, and then "Write DVD Video". The software prompts us to select the Video_TS/ISO image folder.

The Samsung SH-W162C can burn up to 5x on +R DL media and 4x on -R DL media. Now lets see how the drive performs with the following media:

For comparison reasons, we post DL burning times for other writers, with the same disc content and same recording software. The Samsung drive did quite well, achieving a ranking placing it alongside some of the faster than average DL burners out there.

Drive Time (mins)
Samsung SH-W162C 17:15
Plextor PX 740A 13:52
SONY DRU-700A

38:39

ASUS DRW-1604P (4X) 23:10
ASUS DRW-1604P (2.4X) 38:08
Pioneer DVR-108A (4X) 23:10
Pioneer DVR-108A (2.4X)

38:23

NEC ND-3500A 22:52
TDK 1616N 22:51
NEC ND-3530A 17:48
BenQ DW1640 14:14

19. DVDR DL - Page 2

- Writing Quality

In order to test the Samsung SH-W162C's DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL writing quality, we used the LiteOn SOHD-167T and the Plextor PX-716A drives.

With Verbatim DVD+R DL media, we got very good quality graphs in both cases (CD-Speed & Plextools graphs) at 6X effective burning speed. In the case of Verbatim DVD-R DL media, we got similar performance with the +R DL media. Overall good quality DL burns.


20. SH-W162 vs. SA300 - Page 1

For checking exactly what the SH-W162C reports, we used three different media, burned with other burners. The three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested Samsung SH-W162C drive. Using other drives, even another SH-W162C, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#1st Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 8X Reading speed

From the above graphs, we can see that the error line trend follows the same pattern as the original CATS scans.


21. SH-W162 vs. SA300 - Page 2

For checking exactly what the SOHW-1693S reports, we used three different media, burned with other burners. The three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 8X reading speed.

lease note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested Samsung SH-W162C drive. Using other drives, even another SH-W162C, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

In this case, the graph pattern differs from the CATS error line pattern.


22. SH-W162 vs. SA300 - Page 3

For checking exactly what the SOHW-1693S reports, we used three different media, burned with other burners. The three media have been measured with the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 8X reading speed.

Please note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested Samsung SH-W162C drive. Using other drives, even another SH-W162C, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#2nd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

Completely different trend line in this case.


23. SH-W162 vs. SA300 - Page 4

For checking exactly what the SOHW-1693S reports, we used three different media, burned with other burners. The three media have been measured using the well known AudioDev SA300 DVD CATS system at 1X.

The drive is capable of reporting PI/PIF errors, so we will compare those measurements at 8X reading speed.

lease note that the posted results are only valid for the specific tested Samsung SH-W162C drive. Using other drives, even another SH-W162C, can produce totally different results. Be aware!

#3rd Test Disc - PISum8/PIF Comparison - 4X Reading speed

And lastly, a trend line very close to the original CATS.


24. Bitsetting - Magic Speed

- Bitsetting

The Bitsetting feature allows the user to change all inserted DVD plus media to DVD-ROM to maximize compatibility with stand alone players. The Samsung SH-W162C is a Bitsetting enabled drive and all inserted media's booktype was changed to DVD-ROM through the automatic feature while burning with Nero. Thus, DVD+R,+RW,+R DL were all changed to DVD-ROM after burning. An issue occurred while using DVD+RW media, were the drive wouldn't recognize the booktype media change. The problem is outlined in the following two screenshots.

Verbatim media was identified as DVD+RW by the Samsung drive, even though the booktype change to DVD-ROM had been made successfully.

However, the same Verbatim DVD+RW media after the booktype change had been made, was identified as DVD-ROM by the LiteOn 167 DVD-ROM drive.

We inserted the same Verbatim DVD+RW disc in several other drives (all burners) and all reported DVD+RW booktype.

- Magic Speed

The Magic Speed Utility enables the user to set the reading speed of the drive in either of two modes. High speed and Silence mode. High speed enables reading as far up as 16X while the latter supports up to 4X reading speed as well as a more silent functioning of the drive. The procedure is quite easy and requires all of "two mouse clicks" to get you there.

Selecting the drive and checking silence mode, we press "Set" to get the work done.

Nero DriveSpeed Utility confirms the speed changes.. We inserted a DVD-ROM disc to check the speed and we got the following...

And back to High Speed mode...

an easy to use and useful feature of the Samsung drive..

Again, with the same media we ran the Nero DriveSpeed Utility to confirm the changes...

That covers the expert features for the Samsung drive. Now let us move on to the last page, the conclusion.


25. Conclusion

Suitable for most of the every day back up needs, Samsung's latest release, the SH-W162C DL burner is sure to win a place in the end users wish-list. Speed, quality, some handy features are all part of the SH-W162C's design and capabilities. In a few words, a good drive.

In the transfer rate tests, the Samsung drive gave its best, managing to keep on par with the other two comparison drives ( the other two being two of the best speced drives on the market), with no significant speed differences when it came to CD media. But with the DVD reading speeds, the Samsung drive lags behind. In the error correction arena, the SH-W162C battled its way to the top of the list with some of the best, managing to successfully read all the defective media inserted. Both CD and DVD error correction was good. Overall a good mechanism that would allow processing of most defective media inserted.

When it comes to protected media, audio protected CDs were no match for the drive's ripping capabilities, as it managed to rip and backup successfully, all inserted audio media. The drive also managed to rip all protected games media inserted. Remarkably enough, the SafeDisc protected game was ripped in only 4:10mins. The amazing thing here is that the drive is capable of creating working backups of Safedisc protection up to v3.1!!!

Moving on to writing quality, one could describe the drive as a decent writer. With the exception of a few media, the SH-W162C managed to produce good burns with low PI values even though the CD-Speed graphs reported some ups and downs in the process. At 16X burning speed, the drive managed to burn even some of the not so high a quality media, such as Optodisc, reporting good quality burns for both DVD+R and -R media. Good quality was a fact with 8X media also, while with DVD+RW/-RW media, quality was somewhat divided. DL quality with both formats was satisfactory with 5X burning speed for +R DL and 4X for -R DL.

Bitsetting with all plus format media is included in the drive's advanced features. The only problem we encountered was when we set the booktype of a +RW disc, the changes could not be recognised by the Samsung drive itself or by any of the other burners we used to read the particular +RW disc. However, with the Lite-On 167 DVD-ROM drive, the particular disc was confirmed as DVD-ROM. An interesting addition is the MagicSpeed Utility provided by Samsung, which enables the user to set the drive for one of two speed modes, one to to maximize the reading capabilities of the drive for the inserted media and one for silent operation. The magic speed utility can be found on Samsung's web site.

- The Good

- Good CD and DVD error correction capabilities
- Supports audio protected discs
- Can create working backups of Safedisc v3.1
- No problems against Key2Audio and CDS200 AudioCD protections
- Magic Speed utility
- Supports bitsetting for DVD+R and DVD+R DL

- The Bad

- Cannot play 90/99min Audio CDs
- Cannot overburn DVD recordable media
- No DVD-RAM support

- Like To be fixed

- Writing quality with specific DVD media
- Minor Booktype issue with +RW media

Retail Package
Reading
Error Correction
Protected Discs
Writing
Features


Home | News | All News | Reviews | Articles | Guides | Download | Expert Area | Forum | Site Info
Site best viewed at 1024x768+ - CDRINFO.COM 1998-2014 - All rights reserved -
Privacy policy - Contact Us .