Samsung SH-S182M or LG GSA-H42LI?

Looking for a new DVD burner. These two drives seem pretty close in features and price, so I could use some help understanding their pros/cons to pick one.

Main uses: Data backups, audio CD’s, Lightscribe labeling, backup some of my DVD movies (the usual). Going into an older PC to replace a CD, so top speed isn’t as important as getting it done with quality burns and good compatibility with media (although I favor Taiyo Yuden).

I’ve read here about the S182-series problems with the lead-in being off, so I’m naturally concerned about that. Does the “M” have a firmware fix yet from Samsung, or is it just the CD Freaks version?

How are LG and Samsung on reliability for their DVD burners? Would prefer not to have to replace it in a year.

Seems to be more info available online for the S182M. I can’t find anything, and I mean anything, online for the LG GSA-H42LI in terms of reviews - it’s like it doesn’t exist. Both are available at Best Buy (not best price, but easy returns). Seems to be good reviews on other LG’s online, but this one is an unknown to me.

Also, faster/easier recognition of media upon insertion is usually good, but not the winning factor.

Appreciate any insight on these, especially if you have one. What’s the good, the bad, and ugly?

I would go with the LG.
I had ASUS and sold it, and bought LG. LG works fine …
Also I would tell something about Lite-ON, they are also good offering possibility to quality-test your dvds.

Try finding the H42L. I keep hearing about this LI version being only available at Best Buy, and I’m afraid that you’ll be left behind in terms of firmware upgrades.

Thanks, that’s what bothers me most about the H42L, along with the lack of reviews. Only Best Buy seems to carry it and firmware updates look to be nonexistent. If they don’t sell that many, there’s little financial incentive to develop more firmware updates.

Without seeing a good in-depth review, I just don’t know what to expect from it, even though it looks pretty close in performance and features to the Samsung.

I think I’m getting the Samsung, as it’s already on the 4th or 5th firmware update. At least that shows some commitment to supporting the model, and it seems to be more of a known commodity in the Samsung forum here.

I appreciated the replies, thanks.

I just bought an H42L at Best Buy. No indication that it’s an LI. The box and all diagnostic utilities say it’s an L.

I would wait for the first firmware update for the LG H42N before deciding because this drive has some serious issues burning CD-R’s, but if you are using this for strictly DVD media then I would have no problem recommending it.

Personally i dont own the Sammy 182, but i do own the 183a sata (same internals) and i dont really like it. It has very poor booktype options and you have to manually change it every time you burn with it. I hardly ever burn on it, i use my LG’s for that. I have H12N, H22L, H42N and compared to my samsung they are miles better. I think the 182 IDE is faster, so it allows the drive to attempt to compete with LG, but they are not in the same league IMO.

My 2 cents. :bigsmile::bigsmile:

Well, I got the Samsung S182M just a few days ago but am really starting to regret it. :frowning: Plays movies very nicely, but it’s failing miserably on DVD+R data burns. See my problems posted here, along with my system specs:

Any more comments on the LG H42LI? For my needs on a legacy PC, burn quality and media compatibility are far more important that sheer speed (especially since it’ll never hit the max speeds anyway).

Also appreciate suggestions for any other quality burner with similar features (DVD +/- R/RW/DL, Lightscribe, etc.). Mainly will be used for burning audio CD’s, and data, photo, and movie backups to DVD. Now that I think about it, having more slower burn speeds available is better for my immediate needs.

If you are burning CD’s with this drive keep the speed at 16x (I would recommend 16x for audio anyway). At that speed it burns CD’s VERY well.

Update: Got the LG – Night and Day Difference!!!

Went to Best Buy yesterday to exchange the Samsung. Even though they confirmed several in stock on the phone, they only had one box left that was wide open, that I saw on the shelf a week ago. Argh. No salespeople were available to check for more (busy on Sat.). So I said “forget that”, and bought the LG GSA-H42L. Kept the Sammy for comparison until I knew the LG would work.

The LG is working perfectly out of the box. Burned a data DVD+R without problem, several audio CDs and tried Lightscribe as well on both – sweet. Plays pressed DVD’s just fine too. I like that it comes with two bezels to match my PC’s lighter color. Also sounds as quiet as the Samsung (quieter, actually, due to the Samsung’s high-pitched whine at high speeds).

While the H42L isn’t on LG’s U.S. web site, it is listed on several of their European sites. Perhaps it’s so new they didn’t update the U.S. site yet? I’ve seen that happen with other Korean manufacturers, sometimes you have to check their international sites. There’s no firmware update yet, but I probably don’t need any – it’s working just fine.

Only regret is that it can’t scan errors compared to the Sammy, but small price to pay for having no fuss out of the box for a legacy PC. I don’t think it has Mt. Ranier either, but I never had a use for it anyway, no loss there. Either I got a defective Sammy, or it’s just really picky on power (lots of posts on that issue in the Samsung forum). It was also putting out a high-pitched whine that didn’t sound good.

Okay, the only other regret is that one day later @ BB, the LG is now on sale this week for $13 off what I paid. That’s a pretty good deal @ $49.99 for store pricing. The Sammy was a lot more there, over $80, which is overpriced IMHO. Usually BB is pretty good on price adjustments if you ask nicely.

Haven’t put the LG through all its paces with different media types (No “-” or DL yet), but so far, so good.

FYI, its minimum specs are a 1 GHz Pentium, but it works well below that. My legacy PC is a Compaq DeskPro EN small form factor with only a PIII 733/133, 384MB RAM, and a lowly 120W PSU, and it works just fine at the mid-burn speeds and lower, which is okay for me. I’m just glad it’s working, and so far would recommend it over the Samsung.

For anyone who’s considering this LG drive, I have no complaints. I’ve only had it a week, but I’ve burned several audio and data CD-Rs (with Lightscribe), data DVD+Rs and a video DVD+R DL with absolutely no problems. It’s quiet and fast.

Regarding burn quality, on 48X Fuji-branded Taiyo Yuden CD-Rs, Nero CD-DVD Speed reported zero C1 and C1 errors at max scan speed. (Two audio CD-Rs burned at 16X and 32X.)

The drive can’t scan DVD errors, at least not in Nero. However, I backed up one of my movies using RipIt4Me/DVD Decrypter and ImgBurn to a Verbatim DVD+R DL at 2.4X. I always start at the lowest speed for the first burn to verify the drive/media can handle it and move up from there. It verified 100% and plays perfectly in my two DVD standalone players (bitset to DVD-ROM), including my increasingly picky Cyberhome cheapie in the bedroom.

Read and write speeds are good. I’m not sure if this drive is riplocked or not. When reading two different pressed DVDs with DVD Decrypter, it reported max speeds of 4X. I thought riplocked drives were limited to 2.4X.

I haven’t done any -Rs, as I don’t really have a need yet. So far, no need for any firmware update either, as it’s handling everything I’ve thrown at it. I think the key is using good quality media, Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim in particular. I also tried a Fuji DVD+R that was a PRODISC R05 (001), and that worked well too. Again, I couldn’t scan the burned DVD media, only CD, but it completed the burns without errors, verified okay, and is readable. As long as it stays that way, I’m good.

Compared to the Samsung SH-S182M, which was a nightmare, the LG has distinguished itself so far – [I]especially[/I] in a legacy system with low resources by today’s standards (PIII 733/133, 384MB RAM, and 120W PSU with only a single strand for both HDD and burner power leads in series).

You know, I never liked Goldstar products in the 80’s and 90’s, far too cheap in quality. But in recent years, LG has really, really come through in quality for me at great prices. I have their cell phones, a new LCD monitor with zero dead pixels and great performance, and now the H42L. Whatever LG is doing, it’s working, and they’ve all been at great prices. No relationship to the company, just a happy camper. :cool:

Every CD has at least some C1 errors. Your LG just won’t report them, it can only report C2.

LG is infamous for not updating their various web sites with information about new drives. Also, the information on one country’s web site about a certain drive may differ slightly with that from another country’s web site.

So what you have encountered is fairly normal for LG’s websites.

Give the poor guys writing firmware updates at LG a bit of a break, if you can. At the pace LG has been releasing new models, I imagine they must be up to their necks in writing firmware updates. It has been a cycle of releasing new models, then quickly rushing firmware updates out to patch bugs, for the past 6 months or so.

Typically, if a new model doesn’t have any serious bugs (e.g. burns DVD-R discs that most drives cannot read, cannot burn audio CDs properly), LG can take a while to release a firmware update for a drive, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t do so in the future.

You know, there is an obvious solution to that problem - RMA the Samsung and when you get its replacement back, use that to do scanning. :slight_smile:

u can always wait for bufflo FW for H42L:)

Purchased at BB. I am using some cmc 40x and 48x cdr’s. At rated speed, they have very high C2 errors and won’t even run under nero speed. I can read them in my nec, benq and liteons. Still shows a lot of errors.

REALLY SLOW recognition times on discs. Like 13-15 sec on a cdr. Pulled it after about 3 burns and it was pretty warm. Seems more sturdily built than a samsung, falls short of older nec’s and benq’s.

Also found it to be a poor reader. My 2 cents. With the real nec’s and benq’s out of the game, there doesn’t seem to be many burners out there that are really quality anymore. It all seems to be price and throwaways.

Two suggestions:

  1. Burn CD-Rs at 16x.

You’ll get better burns and it doesn’t take that much longer.

  1. Change your media.

Perhaps I’m biased, but you may have identified a good chunk of the problem: CMC. Others may disagree, but I’ve steered clear of CMC CD-Rs as I think they are lower quality. I had too many inconsistent burns with them a few years back and never tried them again. Guess what? All the burn problems went away when I went with Taiyo Yuden (TY).

So my best advice is to go with TY. At BB, you can get the Fuji-branded CD-Rs that use TY media. That’s what I use. I’ve used both over the years, and have seen night and day difference in quality between them. No more CMC for me, and TY all the way for CD-Rs. Hope this helps.

P.S. I agree with your comment that there are fewer and fewer high quality drives available. Even Plextor recently made some announcements due to competition and lower margins. It took me a bit of time and online research to settle on either the LG or Samsung. Got a defective Samsung first, and returned it at BB for the LG – the latter was priced $30 less and is working so much better for me. Go figure.

Thanks for the comments and confirmation that LG is slow to update some of their web sites. A few of my own:

I wasn’t complaining about the lack of firmware. It was more of an observation. The drive is working very nicely for me, so I don’t really need it. Haven’t burned any DVD-R media, though, just DVD+R SL and DL, and CD-R. I agree, if a new drive doesn’t experience any major problems, it’s not going to be at the top of their firmware to-do list. I also use good quality media like Verbatim and Fuji, so that probably helps avoid a good number of issues.

The solution re: the Samsung isn’t so obvious – this PC doesn’t have another available drive bay, so I can’t use the Samsung without constantly swapping drives in and out. Also, considering this legacy PC only has a 120W PSU (it’s a small form factor), and after reading a good number of posts on the Samsung’s power sensitivity (needs it’s own dedicated power lead, etc.) in the other forum, I’m pretty happy the LG works as well as it does.

Just sharing some feedback. Sure, I wish it could scan errors, but I’m also not burning media at its top-rated speed either. I figure that should help keep any errors to an acceptable lower level. Thanks again.

I’ve got a BenQ 1655w, LG GSA-H42LI, and NEC 3540A and I’ve had pretty much the same experience with the exception of the BenQ being good (my BenQ must be broken or something because it’s never been a good burner for me at all.)

I’m actually using my old NEC 3540A as my main burner because I was sick of my BenQ 1655w not being able to burn DL media. So I went to best buy, and picked up an LG GSA-H42Li and that won’t burn DL media either. I’m hoping that taking it back and getting another one will fix this issue because I’m getting really really sick of having so many drives that don’t work.

Sorry to hear that. Have you tried the LG using Verbatim DVD+R DL? I’ve only used it to burn video using ImgBurn at 2.4x with it bitset to DVD-ROM, and it’s been great. BTW, OfficeMax has a 10-spindle of the Verbatim DL on sale this week for $15. That’s a really good price for quality media in a smaller count pack – perfect for an inexpensive sample for testing.

If that doesn’t work, then maybe you got a bum drive. I had that happen recently with the Samsung. I hear you re: the waste of time and effort to troubleshoot and return them. You’d think by now this technology would be better as it matured, but it’s just all about the margins and is probably too commoditized. Just my two cents.

[Edit: Just saw your other thread re: burn problems, and that you already tried the Verbatims. If it doesn’t work with ImgBurn, then I’d probably try exchanging the drive if it’s still within the 30-day period.]

Has anyone tried the GSA-H42LI in the Vista environment? I have an older LG gsa4163B and it did fine in XP but is crashing my system when I try to use it for DVD-RAM (VRO files). LG doesn’t have good tech support and I’ve spent hours trying different things to correct the problem (can’t find new drivers or firmware for Vista OS).

I figure for $50 I’ll quit wasting my time…if it works. Like someone else said here - we’ve become a throwaway society. My other LG is only about 18 months old, but at 50 bucks I can’t see spending mor time on it. I just don’t want to get another one that won’t run on vista either.