Samsung SE-506AB Blu-ray Burner includes ancient PowerDVD 9 software

The Samsung SE-506AB Blu-ray burner includes ancient CyberLink software that's no longer supported & may not play some Blu-ray discs.

Initially I thought the Samsung SE-506AB unit I bought was defective — it would not play Blu-ray discs. I had purchased it along with a Samsung Series 7 Chronos laptop.

The Samsung Blu-ray burner comes with CyberLink PowerDVD 9. The Samsung laptop came with CyberLink MediaSuite, with a free download upgrade to PowerDVD 10. I assumed v10 was better than v9. Wrong.

PowerDVD 10 kept insisting “There is a a disc with an unsupported format in drive X:”. I finally noticed an asterisk in CyberLink’s help file with a footnote that not all versions of PowerDVD 10 support BD playback … apparently, the free upgrade offered through Samsung was the DVD-only version. CyberLink needs to make that more obvious, like perhaps mentioning it in their troubleshooting FAQ??!

However the copy of PowerDVD 9 bundled with the Blu-ray burner works fine. Basically you have to use the vastly outdated software to play Blu-ray discs. Consider that:

  • Samsung began shipping the SE-506AB Blu-ray burner in September 2011.
  • PowerDVD 10 was released in March 2010. Plenty of time for Samsung to have included it.
  • PowerDVD 9 was released way back in March 2009.

In other words, PowerDVD 9 was already 1 ½ years out of date when the Samsung SE-506AB began shipping.

It’s not just a simple issue of wanting the latest version. According to the CyberLink website, “Any Blu-ray Disc titles released after 2011 June may not be compatible with CyberLink PowerDVD 9…”

So why is Samsung shipping a brand new Blu-ray burner with vastly outdated software? Taking cost-cutting to the extreme, perhaps? That’s fine, until you start to tick off your customers.