Initial impressions of the TS-H552U

I just picked up an OEM version of one these drives to play with despite the marginal review from of the drive with the US03 firmware. I flashed it up to US06 firmware and burned a Nero test disc using an 8x Sony DVD+R disc.

These Sony discs tend to be problematic media, often supported at lower than their rated speeds on drives such as my LG 4163B and Plextor PX-716A, and coaster every time at 8x and 16x in the BenQ DW1620 even with the latest B7V9 firmware.

To my surprise, it burned the media fine at 8x, and with decent quality (PIE and PIF error rates of 39 and 0.25 respectively with jitter averaging 11.50%). Nice work Samsung, I’ll continue my media testing and let you guys know how things look. Time to throw some of my really ugly media at it now… :wink:

did use bitsetting also

No, I haven’t tested bitsetting on it as I don’t use bitsetting since all I really do is analyze burn quality of my many drives and media. :wink:

I am truly stunned, I just burned one of my junk MEDIAID001 code discs (Cicero brand blank shiny surface DVD+R 4x) and I got my best quality results ever, PIE and PIF averages of 11.83 / 0.31 respectively. Jitter was 9.84%.

I have burned this media successfully on my PX-716A, DVR-109, ND-3500A, and DW1620. The LG 4120B, 4160B and 4163B generally coaster these discs with the usable portions normally producing PIE indexes between ~60 to 260. The previous best burn was on the Plextor 16x, and the NEC restricted the speed to 2.4x. Burn quality on the Samsung disc (PIE index) was nearly twice as good as the Plextor. Truly surprised…

Where did you get your TS-H552U? The Canadian Samsung site only shows firmware of the TS series and not the US series.

I picked it up from and I downloaded the latest US06 firmware from

Thanks for the reply. I’m planning to get one next week to replace my CD-RW.

I’ll continue to post some errors levels of CD media for you then. Thus far I have only tested Sony 48x CD-R media on it, but quality levels were among the best I’ve tested on DVD burners. It was significantly better on that media than the BenQ 1620, LG 4163B and Liteon 1633S.


Just wondering why you decided on picking up the TS-H552U versus some of the other competitors. By the way, the 32x CD-RW burning works nicely on Verbatim media and is something most of the others don’t have. It burns a full Nero Data disc in 2:53 which is very nice, considering it burns CD-R’s @ 40x in 3:07.


Thanks for the info on cd media. I already owned a LG4120B and a Benq1620 and want to get a DVD writer that can do K-probe. Have read many reviews and I prefer not to get a Lite-on. I keep my Aopen cd-rw mainly for burning audio disc because the LG is not good at that. I used TY, Ritek, and Kodak Gigastorage (got 4 spindles from FutureShop after reading your test result on them). The Benq burned audio discs sound better than LG and I think I can now replace the Aopen with another DVD writer with testing ability. After reading this forum, I don’t think the TS-H552U is that bad a machine. Your favourable review on cd media has reinforced my decision.

nice to see people talk positively about the TS-H552 drive


I’ve owned the 4120B as well as the 4160B and 4163B, and I would concur that they are not the greatest for CD burning. Currently my 4163B burns with C2 errors on quality media like Fuji (Taiwan mfg) Prodisc and Sony CD-R media. This has been very disappointing, as I have used LG CD burners for years with very good luck.

I actually switch to Liteon for a while once I started using DVD’s, because I had audio burning problems with my Pioneer DVD burners on CMC media. I began using Kprobe quite extensively and found it useful, but eventually started to find that bad kprobe results were Liteon firmware problems and not the actual burns. I was also tired of weird Kprobe drive lockups, and Liteon claiming my drive was defective and needing to be exchanged every time I pinned down a firmware bug for them to fix. I also found the Liteon Kprobe readings more “optimistic” about the actual levels of errors found, and their severe problems evaluating certain media (mainly low quality CD-RW media and low grade DVD media) finally made me stop using Kprobe for the most part. I picked up a modern generation DVD burner of their recently to check on their progress (1633S) but still found them to be lackluster drives despite their frequent firmware updates.

I did find LG more responsive in fixing bugs which I found and identified to them, but their media support is not as wide as the Liteons for bad media. I have not yet emailed them about the consistent C2 errors on the media identified above.

At that point I picked up a BenQ and the results are much more reliable, and I really find the jitter measurements valueable. I have found cases where two discs with similar C1/C2 readings fail to play properly, and the one which does play properly is the one with the lower jitter reading. I’m not sure whether you use your DW1620 for this, but definitely convert the drive to the B7xx firmware as the G7xx firmwares do not support error scanning as well. They are restricted in speed, and some firmware versions will not even report certain errors types. I have now purchased a 2nd DW1620 and it has showed the same characteristics. Another quirky feature of the DW1620 (B7V9 f/w) is that they only burn Verbatim 10/12x CD-RW media at 4x, but they burn 32x CD-RW media (which they don’t really even need to support based on their specs) at 16x albeit with a terrible C1 index > 250 and jitter > 20%.

Let’s say I have confidence in Korean Products, even though they may be made in China or somewhere else.


One other reason why I decided to get the TS-H552U is the new official firmware provided by Samsung. I think they do try hard to improve on their product.

Before I made my purchase on the Benq1620, I did consider the TS-H552U. Eventually it’s the jitter report ability of the Benq that came out on top, and I am quite happy with it. I used the OEM firmware version G7P9 which I read in the Benq forum that it is similar to the B7P9. The G7L9 that came with the drive (bought from NCIX) did not report C2/PIF, but the G7M9 and G7P9 did. I think I will hang on to the OEM firmware for a while before switching to the retail version.

It is nice that the TS-H552U can handle 32X cd-rw well. Did you try the slower 10X and the 4X ones? Speed is not a priority for me when burning cd and cd-rw as I usually burn audio disc at 16X.

After a few different media tests now, my biggest beef about this drive (firmware US06) is a nasty PIE spike around the CAV-CLV transition on 8x burns. It doesn’t happen on all media, but POF’s actually occur during this ugly spike. I have seen this symptom on Prodisc F01, Sony D11, and Taiyo Yuden TYG02 media. Prodisc R03 and CMC E01 media did not show this symptom during 8x burns.


I did test high speed CD-RW on the TS-H552U, both CMC and Verbatim 12x capable discs. The C1 indexes were 1.64 and 0.90 respectively, both with no C2 errors. Oddly the Verbatim media had higher jitter (10.61% vs. 8.83%) despite the lower C1 index. I have yet to test any slow CD-RW media on it.

I’m in South Korea and I sometimes talk to people who develop LG and Samsung DVD writers. LG DVD writers are OK. Samsung DVD writers are not.

LG DVD writers have Hitachi-designed chipsets. Samsung DVD writers of the current models have MediaTek-designed chipsets. LG group is very serious about ODD business. Samsung group almost forgot that it even has their own ODD business division.

LG has over 70% ODD market share in South Korea. Samsung has about 20%. Lite-on has about 6%. The rest have 2-3%. Samsung group itself has about 130 billion USD annual sales, far bigger than LG group.

I never had any C2 error on any LG-burned CD disk. But then, I never had any C2 error on any disk I burned in Plextor, Samsung, Lite-On, LG, Yamaha, either.

That + poor 16x writing is the main problems with this drive.

Let’s hope that they will devote some efforts to improve on their ODD. Yes, I found my LG4120B a better built and more attractive machine with better burn quality than the TSH552U on most of my stock media. My interest in the Samsung is its ability to do Kprobe and its cheaper than a Liteon. With all the bad reviews, it is a pleasant surprise to find out that the TSH552U does very good on such media as TYG01, CMC AE1 and SONY08D1 plus some of the media mentioned by cbjwthwm. But I’ll heed OC-Freak’s advice and stay away from 16X media with this machine.

I bought the TSH552U last week and have been doing some tests in the past few days. I can confirm that the hugh spike is also present in the Prodisc S04, Optodisc 8X-R(with TYG02 MID) and Maxell 002. In fact, the 8X Maxell, both + and -R, did poorly in this Samsung. The MXLRG03 failed at 8X, but OK at 6X. But despite of the spike appearing in the BenQ1620 CD-Speed scan, all the discs with the exception of the Maxell 002 can be played in my Daiwa DVD player. Another nice surprise is the burn quality on TYG01 is better than those of my LG4120B. It also did very good with the BenQ SONY08D1, better than the 1620.