I just discovered that the SB04 firmware in my Samsung SH-S182M has wrecked the drive's performance when writing to RICOHJPN R03 DVD+R media. Previously, with both the SB02 and SB03 f/w, it would write at almost 16x, writing a disk in about 6:40, and CD-Speed disc quality scans would typically show just 400 or so PI failures.
With the SB04 f/w, it can only write at 1.1x - taking about 49 minutes to write to a disk! To add insult to injury, the CD-Speed scans show a huge rise in PI errors and failures - the latter typically 15000.
Fortunately, I've been able to restore the earlier f/w - but is it common for a f/w update to be detrimental to writing performance in this way?