Samsung Writemaster TS-H552U DVD Burner

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Tom Keating
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Samsung Writemaster TS-H552U DVD Burner

My Plextor 708a DVD burner died a few months ago - like the day after the 1-year warranty expired - Murphy's Law... It was a Christmas gift from my wife and if I recall it cost like $350 two years ago. I've been hesitant to replace it since I just assumed they were still pretty expensive, but a recent trip to CompUSA and I find some, shall we say "generic" Taiwanese "no name" brand DVD burners for like $75. I've experienced bad things when trying to buy cheap CD burners, like buffer overruns, buffer underuns, etc. that caused more coasters than you can shake a stick at! So I was hesitant to plop down $75 for some no-name brand. I've learned to trust the Plextor brand with their excellent buffer overrun/underrun protection. They've also been on the "bleeding edge" performance with typically the fastest CD burners and DVD burners. When you wanted the best DVD or CD burner you went with Plextor - plain and simple. But Sony, Samsung, and others have certainly caught up to Plextor.

In fact, I just came across a news release from a major electronics company, namely Samsung offering a super fast 16X DVD burner with 5X dual speed recording - all for just $75 bucks! Nice! Now Samsung is a brand name I can trust. Looks like I might finally replace my DVD burner after all...

Check out the release:


San Jose, CA - February 17, 2005 - Samsung Electronics Ltd., the worldwide digital consumer electronics and information technology leader, builds on the tremendous success of its award-wining 16X DVD ReWritable disc drive technology with the introduction of the faster, more powerful Writemaster TS-H552U. Designed for the consumer market, the TS-H552U offers an amazing 5X dual layer speed recording -- one of the fastest in the industry today. The TS-H552U is currently shipping nationwide with an estimated street price of $75.

The 5X dual layer speed recording of the TS-H552U is twice as fast as Samsung's first 16X dual layer DVD RW drive. This dramatically improved speed helps to significantly cut down on timing issues, such as backup recording. For example, a file that would have taken 30 minutes to back up, now just takes 15 minutes, which is particularly helpful for users who conduct vast amounts of video or data backup. The 5X dual layer speed also allows users to input large amounts of data, such as video, photos or information from a database, onto a DVD at a much fast rate compared to Samsung's first drive. The TS-H552U also offers further advanced stability in dual layer operation than in prior drives.

Supporting all the popular DVD recordable/rewritable formats, the TS-H552U provides computer users with greater storage power and even more flexibility to enjoy favorite movies and music, and archive data without regard to format variations.

"With DVD storage now the standard media format, Samsung is capitalizing upon the success of its current line of drives and is looking for ways to offer consumers even greater drive speed, quality and features," comments Albert Kim, National Sales Manager, Storage Systems for Samsung SSI. "The new TS-H552U provides users with one of the fastest dual layer drives on the market today, allowing them to burn or convert video clips, create custom CD-R discs in just minutes and save vast amounts of data faster than ever. The TS-H552U further empowers computer users and multimedia enthusiasts by offering cutting-edge technologies at an ultra-affordable price point."

The TS-H552U offers double-layer data storage up to 8.5GB in one disc, which is two times more than single-layer DVD and 12 times more than a CD disc. Samsung's latest drive also features its Silent Pulse Width Modulation (SPWM) technology and an Automatic Ball Balancing System (ABS) to reduce noise when recording or reading at high speeds and ensure outstanding functionality.

Many high-end technologies are featured in the TS-H552U to ensure quick and reliable performance of the drive. These technologies include Speed Adjustment Technology (SAT), which automatically optimizes the speed according to the disc quality; Tilt Actuator Compensation (TAC), which gives the disc a tilt with the objective lens for the most reliable writing condition; and Double Optimum Power Control (OPC), which strengthens the writing performance by controlling the laser power in the inner and outer sides of the disc. The drive also includes a power save function and technology to prevent Buffer Under Run Error.

The TS-H552B is capable of recording DVD+R media at 16X, DVD-R at 16X, DVD+/-RW at 4X and double layer DVD+R. For more information about Samsung's Optical disc drives visit the Web site at

TS-H552U Specifications

Data Transfer Rate

Media Type





16X (21.6MB/sec)

8X (10.8MB/sec)


Double Layer

5X (6.75MB/sec)

8X (10.8MB/sec)



4X (5.4MB/sec)

8X (10.8MB/sec)



16X (21.6MB/sec)

8X (10.8MB/sec)



4X (5.4MB/sec)

8X (10.8MB/sec)




16X (21.6MB/sec)




48X (7.2MB/sec)



40X (6.0MB/sec)

48X (7.2MB/sec)



32X (4.8MB/sec)

32X (4.8MB/sec)





Burst Transfer Rate

 PIO Mode 4 (16.6MB/sec)


 Ultra DMA Mode 2 (33.3MB/sec)

Average Seek Time

 DVD-ROM: 130ms



 CD-ROM: 110ms


Supported Disc


 CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM/XA, CD-ROM, CD-Audio, Video-CD,


 CD-I(FMV), Photo CD, CD-Extra, CD-TEXT

Buffer Memory

 2 MB



Dimensions (WxHxD mm)

 148.2 x 42 x 184


Weight (kg)




About Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2003 parent company sales of US$36.4 billion and net income of US$5.0 billion. Employing approximately 88,000 people in 89 offices in 46 countries, the company consists of six main business units: Corporate Technology Operations, Digital Appliance Business, Digital Media Business, LCD Business, Semiconductor Business and Telecommunication Network Business. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is the world's largest producer of color monitors, color TVs, memory chips, TFT-LCDs and VCRs. For more information, visit

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