Samsung SH-B123 Blu-Ray Drive Review

Samsung SH-B123 Blu-Ray Drive Review

I recently decided to upgrade my DVD-ROM drive for the Samsung SH-B123 blu-ray drive. While I was looking at blu-ray writers as well, I found that I wasn’t going to burn many blu-ray discs in the future, and didn’t want to pay more for a drive that I wouldn’t need. The Samsung SH-B123 drive, however does burn both CD and DVD optical discs, so I still have the ability to burn discs, although I won’t be using it to backup my data.

After performing some research, as well as having a specific price point, I settled on the Samsung SH-B123 blu-ray drive to play blu-ray movies. After spending some time using the drive I was impressed with the drive, but it did come with a minor issue.


Samsung SH-B123 Blu-Ray Drive Review

What is Included?

The Samsung SH-B123 drive box included all the necessary hardware needed to connect the drive to your computer and then use it almost immediately. The following is a list of what you will find included with the Samsung SH-B123 blu-ray drive:

  • The BD-ROM drive.
  • An SATA cable to connect the drive to the motherboard.
  • The 4 screws to secure the drive in your computer case.
  • The instruction manual.
  • A blu-ray disc containing the user manual in 19 languages and various software.
Samsung SH-B123 Contents

Samsung SH-B123 Contents

Installing the Samsung SH-B123 Blu-Ray Drive

The installation of the drive was really easy. I decided to only have one optical disc drive installed in my computer, so I removed the current drive and installed the Samsung SH-B123 drive in its place.

I just disconnected the old drive, removed the screws holding the drive in place and then removed it completely. I then unpacked the blu-ray drive and slid it into place in my computer case. Next, I connected the SATA cable that had been connected to the previous optical drive and secured the Samsung drive with the same four screws that had secured the previous drive.

Once the drive was installed, I restarted the computer and waited for Windows 7 to load. Once Windows loaded, it automatically detected the Samsung SH-B123 drive and installed the corresponding drivers. After the drivers were installed, the drive was ready for use.

Since I didn’t have an application that could play blu-ray discs currently installed, I inserted the blu-ray disc that came with the drive and installed the software.

Software Included with the Samsung SH-B123 Drive

When I researched the drive before buying it, I read many comments about the software being older. The software included with the drive allows you to watch blu-ray movies, author your own DVD movies, and burn CD or DVD optical discs. Since the drive I have also includes LightScribe capability, there is even software that allows you to use the LightScribe feature of the drive. All software that is included with the drive is software developed by CyberLink.

The main software that most people would be concerned with is the one that plays blu-ray movies. Since I mentioned that the provided software is developed by CyberLink, the blu-ray playing software that is included is PowerDVD. The version that is included is version 9, which is two versions behind the current version available as of the date of this post.

It would have been nice to have the updated version, but I was more concerned with how the drive would work than the software that was included. Software is constantly being updated anyway, so I would eventually be updating to the latest version.

Testing the Drive

Before talking about how the drive performed, I read reviews where some people had difficulty watching some of the newer movies without a firmware update. To avoid any issues, I checked for the latest firmware update for the drive and discovered that the latest firmware was already installed on the drive. Having the latest firmware installed is great since many people may not understand how to install the latest firmware if they are having issues with their drive.

For my test movie I played “The Lord of the Rings – Extended Edition”. I chose this movie because not only is this trilogy great, but it was recently released and has amazing picture and sound quality.

When I played the movie I was amazed at the picture quality. The drive didn’t disappoint in that area as the picture was nice and crisp. The sound was also just as good as the sound was crystal clear and sounded great.

Part way through each disc of the first movie (each movie for the trilogy is spanned over two discs) I noticed a distinct stuttering, where both the picture and sound paused and resumed. This occurred twice during the first disc and once during the second.

I couldn’t determine if it was the drive, the software, or the system that caused the issue. When I viewed the performance charts for my computer, nothing seemed to be using too much CPU, disk usage or memory during that point. I’ll have to find other blu-ray playing software to determine if it is the software.

Besides the stuttering, the movie played back great and I wasn’t disappointed with the quality.

Samsung SH-B123 – Pros

  • Can burn both CD and DVD discs.
  • Has Lightscribe capability.
  • Included latest firmware version.
  • Easy to install – all hardware and cables were included.
  • Installed without problems on Windows 7 64-bit.

Samsung SH-B123 – Cons

  • Software included is older version of PowerDVD.
  • Stuttering at times during blu-ray playback.

Overall I find the Samsung SH-B123 a great blu-ray drive and have had no problems with the drive since I have had it installed. While I have seen stuttering at times when playing blu-ray movies, I am not sure if it is caused by the Samsung SH-B123 drive or the software.

15 Responses to “Samsung SH-B123 Blu-Ray Drive Review”

  1. David says:

    Hi Paul! Great review!
    I got this toy home today, but after installing, updated and tested it don’t work? it stand “” There is a disc with a unsupported format in drive E: “” in PowerDVD , this error message i get on every blu-ray disk i play, it never start to play, i checked that the Samsung SH-B123 was in the bios and it was, and i can se the disc i wanna play in my computer , Do you no any solution?
    /David 🙂

  2. Luke says:

    Hi Paul, I am interested in the cyberlink software, powerDVD 9 that came with the samsung Blu ray drive. What audio channels does the player support, 5.1 or 2 ch stereo. maybe not a biggie with a laptop but do need it on a home theatre set up. I am finding little or no info concerning this? thanks

    • Paul Salmon says:

      It supports 5.1 channels, as long as you have the hardware to go with it. I am thinking of upgrading the software anyway, as PowerDVD is now up to version 11. I am currently using that software because it was free with the drive.

  3. Blu-ray Disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The disc diameter is 120 mm and disc thickness 1.2 mm plastic optical disc, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB (23.31 GiB) per layer, with dual layer discs (50 GB) being the norm for feature-length video discs. Triple layer discs (100 GB) and quadruple layers (128 GB) are available for BD-XL Blu-ray re-writer drives

  4. I would like to ask the same question asked by @Andrew, I like to buy this Samsung Bluray because someone that it works so good, but I’m not sure how much does it cost. Is it still too pricey up to now?

  5. Priya says:

    Currently my DVD-ROM working properly but when it won’t, I’ll buy a new bluray Drive. Now it’s time of Blueray….

  6. Is this Blue ray drive compatible in any kind of disc? well if you prefer to create one system unit. well this is the right choice.

  7. Danica Stone says:

    The stuttering is not a good sign because the drive is still new therefore the playing sequence must be continuous. Did you try another CD to the drive? Maybe its just the CD?

    • Paul Salmon says:

      The stuttering was playing a blu-ray movie. All other discs worked fine. It could have been where the disc changed over to the next layer, much like when playing a dual layer DVD. Overall I am pleased with the drive’s performance.

  8. Hi there. I was thinking of buying myself a bluray drive, but I don’t know when since it’s still a bit pricey. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I was thinking about buying a blu-ray drive for some time. Although they are more expensive than DVD drives, I don’t think they are too bad for price. The blu-ray burners are much higher in price, though.

      • felix says:

        sir i would like to know what are the system requirements of this blu ray player (optical drive) because i already bought one and when i played my blu ray disc, all can see is pixelization. is it because of my video card? pls tell me what video card version do i have to buy. pls respond plsssssss

        • Paul Salmon says:

          The system requirements aren’t too high: Pentium 4 3.2 Ghz, 1 GB RAM and Windows XP SP2 or higher.

          What video card do you currently have, and what resolution is your monitor set at?

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