Newbie Confusions

Ok, so I’ve got a new computer with a DVD+/-RW drive. My first DVD writer.
I’ve gone on the internet to do a little homework and now I have tons of questions.

I’ve had numerous problems with DVD write qualities. I do not know if this is an issue with my media, my DVD player or my DVD player firmware. I am using Nero 6.06 (which I’ve read is very good).

I’ve discovered that my DVD unit is actually a Samsung TS-H552B with TS05 firmware. I’ve been able to burn CD’s with no problem. The write quality of the burner is not an issue with CD’s, the only problem I have had is with cheap media. CMC CD’s (bigstore brand) have a problem with songs at the end of the disk, whereas I do not have this problem with namebrands. I’ve discovered on the internet that some manufactures are excellent (primarily Japan), whereas others have poorer quality. This also appears to be true of DVD media.

The real issue I am having is with DVD’s. My burner can burn DVD’s with no problem, including cheap DVD’s. The issue I am having is the quality of the DVD write. My computer can read both DVD+R and DVD-R that I have burned, my home Sony DVD player can play both, where as my son’s Xbox DVD player (it appears) can only read DVD-R’s. In addition, my car’s DVD player (it appears) can only read DVD-R’s.

What I have also observed is that when I burn DVD+R’s the quality of the write is always good and that I usually have no problems with write quality.

When I burn DVD-R this is when I have problems. I originally bought cheap media (DVD-R, whereas I had good success with same cheap media in DVD+R). At the time, I only had experience with CD’s so I assumed that if my burner had no problems with all different types of CD media, the same would apple to DVD media (wrong). I then purchase some Maxell DVD-R’s 8X. This media burned fine and quick, however when I playback the recording, the movie jumps and / or locks at certain locations. I haven’t had the chance to burn a second Maxell DVD so I don’t know if this was just a bad DVD in the stack.

I’ve gone on the internet and discovered some information on bitsetting. I’ve discovered that I can use this to change my DVD+R’s to DVD-ROM. So…
I figure great, I can burn the DVD+R disks, which I have no problems with write quality and use bitsetting to change them to DVD-ROM. But no, now I discover my drive does not have this feature.

Then I go to the cdfreaks TS-552B forum and discover that the issue I am having can also be related to the firmware I have. The latest post states that TS-08 will make my drive write better DVD-R’s, however it will do this while sacrificing the write quality of DVD+R’s.

So now I see three options. One is to keep experimenting with DVD-R media (I think I have to use this because of my son’s Xbox and my cars DVD player) or I can load the firmware and hopefully solve this compatiblily question, or (based on the cdfreaks forum negative reviews of the TS-H552B DVD writer) I can go out and for $65 USD and buy a BenQ DVD writer and have less problems (I think).

I’ve also discovered that there is some software out there (Kprobe etc) that can check the write quality of the media. I haven’t looked closely at all the articles, but it appears that you have to be a rocket scientist to analyse the results and that sometimes it would be quicker to just watch the movie I just recorded on the DVD rather that test the quality after the burn.

Right now I’m tempted to go on the internet and purchase vaious name brands of DVD-R media. I can then test my drive to see how well it does with each type, the problem is that to try this different type of media it will be costly. The various internet sites have test of drive with different media, unfortunately, I have yet to discover a site with tests on media compatiblity for the TS-H552B.

Any suggestions / comments would be welcome.


Look on the web site for the manufacturer of your burner, and see what media that they recommend for -r. Personally, I only burn Taiyo Yuden -R, or Ritek G04’s. I have never had a problem in any of my 4 burners with those media. Cheap media = Cheap end product. Garbage in, garbage out…


Good Media = Good Burns - and - Crap Media = Crap Burns