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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage > DVD Recorders Double Layer

Monday, January 09, 2006
Samsung SH-W162L

1. Introduction

Samsung recently released their new DVD±R DL burner, the SH-W162L, equipped with LightScribe (Disc Labeling) technology. The maximum speed for +R DL has been increased to 8X, while -R DL writing speed remains at 4X. Apart from that, 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

Let's have a look at the drive's features as supplied by Samsung.

Direct disc Labeling
Easy disc Labeling. Just burn, flip and burn
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.
Weight Balance System Technology
Mechanically designed for minimal vibration and noise.
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.


Model Samsung SH-W162L
Data Transfer Media Type Write Read
DVD+R 16X (21.6MB/sec) 12X (16.2MB/sec)
DVD+R DL 8X (10.8MB/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, LightScribe DVD±R, LightScribe CD-R, CD-Audio, Video-CD, Photo CD, CD-I(FMV), CD-Extra, CD-TEXT
Disc Labeling Time Best 36 minutes: Normal 28 minutes: Draft 20 minutes
Buffer Memory 2MB

Below are the specs for the drive as given by NeroInfoTool and DVDInfoPro:

- Nero InfoTool

- DVD InfoPro

- Retail Package

The Retail package includes: the SH-W162L internal tray loading burner, an E-IDE (ATAPI) cable, an audio cable, mounting screws, a comprehensive Quick Installation Guide and bundled software which includes Nero Express 6, 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 LightScribe, Writemaster and SAMSUNG logos from left to 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 at the interior of the drive reveals the Mediatek chipset also found in 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.

Close-up view of the Mediatek Chipset.

- Installation

The drive was installed under WindowsXP and was recognized as "TSSTcorp CD/DVDW SH-W162L". The drive came with firmware revision TS01 which at the time of the review was the latest available firmware.

Throughout this review, we will be comparing the Samsung model with two other latest release drives, the Plextor 750A and the NEC 4551A.

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

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