How to choose a good DVD disc

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Wai_Wai, Dec 30, 2005.

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  1. Joliet Jake

    Joliet Jake Registered Member

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    Why are people getting failures?
    I've burnt 1000's of CD's/DVD's, all cheap and many are years old and they are still fine.

    Spending vast (relatively) amounts of money on CD's/DVD's to back-up purchased discs is a waste.
    If the dye in a cheap CD 'only' lasted 10 years, buy another and make another back-up-it's still cheaper and who has proved that all expensive disks will out last the cheaper brands significantly enough to make it worthwhile?

    When I hear of DVD heads banging on about 'mega premium' disks it reminds me of wine buffs who bang on about the '52 vintage, lol.
    A kind of legend evolves that attracts like minded people.
    Who, in the real world, can tell the difference?
     
  2. zak_dashiell

    zak_dashiell Registered Member

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    i haven't thought about that...

    actually, i do not know how to :oops: ...
     
  3. teddy60714

    teddy60714 Guest


    Good post Joliet Jake, I just hope your right because I have a lot of data stored on cheap dvd/cd disks.
     
  4. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

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    Well i for one can tell you. When i first bought my DVD writer i bought 200 Bulpaq princo dye'd disks. All burned perfectly.

    Within a year all were naff. All. Cyclic Redundancy checks on all disks at over the 4 gig mark, nothing at all will read over the 4 gig mark.

    Do not buy Princo Media Disks

    Cheap disks are fine if they are shudder either Ritek or (much better) CMC-MAG. But do not even if they are 100 disks for 1 penny by Princo disks.
     
  5. zak_dashiell

    zak_dashiell Registered Member

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    I agree... that is the reason why as much as possible i do not burn more than 4.2gb regardless of the alleged quality of the discs.

    i was also a little surprised with my current spin-x spool of 50 (mid: cmcmag ae1)... they surpassed my expectations regarding bad burns... i hope they last a little longer...

    unlike my princo cd discs... i am now on the process of rebuilding/reburning all of them since they are having crc errors, peeling or unreadable and most are not even a year old... i am now trying to salvage whatever i can using cd/dvd inspector and putting them to allegedly better quality dvd's (taiyo yuden and unfortunately cmcmag)...

    that is why i am now using a lot of dvd's lately... it is not the cost (relatively cheap and bearable) but the time it takes to rebuild them... :(
     
  6. <DreamCatcher>

    <DreamCatcher> Registered Member

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    I agree with BigC, Verbatim are always good quality. I also like Maxwell and imation DVD/CDR + disks.
     
  7. Wai_Wai

    Wai_Wai Registered Member

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    What CDs/DVDs did you purchase?

    I've heard some people get failed discs just after 1-2 years.
    I encountered the same problem with my Team-5 CD-RW. Most of them couldn't be accessed after 1-2 years.
    Thus that seems to me people might risk losing your data on cheap discs after 1-2 years (NOT just after 10 years).

    That's my opinion about dear/cheap discs.

    Try to think why some discs can be so cheap. It's because they save their production costs when they produce the discs, say using cheaper dyes, less advanced machines, fewer quality control, and so on.

    For the good ones, they use better dyes which means the data can be stored for a much longer time safely. You know, better dyes can stand for erosion, wearing much longer than the poor ones.
    Also after you burnt the disc, even if they are readable, there're still differences. If you use some software like Nero to scan your disc, you will see a good disc get excellent results (very few errors), while a cheap disc is not. that's also the reason why the data cannot keep long.
    For the cheap discs, you may experience some problems when you burn more and more data into the cheap discs. Eg: For the first 3GB data, you are safe. But for the rest of it, errors occur and you couldn't read them.

    Unlike some cases, we are not just paying extra for nothing, or just paying extra for the brand.
    Price and quality is somewhat positively related. We cannot get very cheap disc and expect very good quality, but you might get some good discs at decent price. That's why I say "somewhat"!

    After all, I'm not sure how expensive the "premium" discs are in your country.
    But in my country (Hong Kong), DVDs (even for the best ones) are just very cheap nowadays.

    For a 50 DVD discs, the difference between the best and the worst is just too small, about US$6-8. So you just pay about US$0.12-0.16 more per disc. Why bother?
    - Worry & trouble: If you buy cheaper discs, you have to worry about a lot of things - "coaster" & "longevity" issues. If the data did lose, you may be in (great) trouble.
    - Longevity: If you are unlucky, a cheap disc can be "deterioated" after 1-2 years, it could be a huge trouble to you if you data is important to you. Even if you burn multiple cheap discs, it might not help since they can all go wrong at about the same time. You will be much safer if you burn on deaer discs due to the fact they have much fewer wirter/read errors, better palstic/dye etc.
    - Time/Effort to rebuild your disc: If you store your data on cheap discs, you may need to rebuild your discs more frequently just to be safe. If the cheap discs did last for just 1-2years, while a good disc, 10 years. You need to rebuild at least 5-10 times more than a good one. It costs you much time. If you count your time/effort/trouble as one of your cost, what you saved is more than enough to offset the small cost of US$0.12-0.16@disc.
    - cheap discs can't hold more than dear disc: Bear in mind although both dear and cheap discs are "apparently" 4.7GB, you need to take some volume out of the cheap discs due to its poor production - plastic/dye spread problems etc. For example, you may need to take the 1-2GB out since if you burn more than its "actual" limit, the data is not accesible. Thus you can only burn 2.7-3.7GB for the cheaper discs. As a price/volume ratio, the cheaper one is about US$0.062-0.085/GB while the dearer one is about US$0.076-0.081/GB
    - Large program/film etc.: The problem may arise when you wish to burn a large program/film (eg more than 3-4GB) into one disc. As you know, some volume in the cheap discs are "actually bad" already before you burn. You can't really put it on 1 disc. The workaround is to split your file into 2. But then you need to use 2 cheap discs, and the cheap solution becomes relatively expensive than using 1 dear disc.
    - Burn Speed: Bear in mind although both good and cheap disc are rated at the same burning speed, the cheap one may not get up to the rated burning speed. As it is pointed out at Toms Hardware, the manufacturers should rewrite the statement as "the disc is up to ?X". The ?X is just the maximum possible burning speed. For example, there's a test report showing a 4X KHypermedia disc can be burnt at 1X only!! Oh! What a lie!
    - Guarantee/warranty issue: If you ntoice, discs from famous/good companies have better guarantee or after-sale services (eg if you did burn some coasters, you can ask for a refund/replacement).

    That's my 2 cents. Frankly, I do think buying cheap discs just to save some little money is an unwise decision, especially for the times where discs are just very cheap. The dear discs aren't really expensive. The difference is just US$0.12-0.15 anyway. Comapred that if you are willing to dine at high-class restauratns, or buy a "Nike" shoe or "Rolex" watch, the "subtle" cost should be nothing to you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2006
  8. Wai_Wai

    Wai_Wai Registered Member

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    To your information, here's why cheap discs go bad much easier than good discs:
    ==================================
    DVD media is still new, and methods for creating faster and better discs are always being perfected. Discs are created in an interesting manner (note that this is a basic description). Plastic is laid down, then metal reflective foil, then dyes are poured onto the foil. Another plastic is laid on top, then the disc is spun at high speed to spread out the dye, hopefully evenly. It even sounds like an unstable method!

    Dye imperfections. Bad foils and dyes, as well as bad dye spread are the most common issue that causes bad media. If the dye is uneven or does not reach to the edge of the disc, it is often bad. CMC is known for bad inner-disc spread (dye thinning) and Princo is known for not reaching the edge (short spread).

    Problems past the 4GB mark. Balancing is also a side effect caused by faulty plastic, foils or dye spread. A disc spins faster on the outside than it does on the inside (ask any college physics professor). And round objects tend to be most unsteady at the outside. While DVD media allows for some degree of error (data is written in a "wobble groove"), exaggerated wobble will caused the laser to spew data in areas not meant for writing. It thus disappears, and the data comes up as missing on the disc, resulting in freezing, blockiness and other odd visual errors (caused from the decoder attempting to compensate for material that is missing). Simple explanation: bad disc.

    Fake media. Fake media is often bad. If you ever acquire good media like TDK, Taiyo Yuden or Maxell, and the results are bad, check to see if the media is legitimate. Many of these top-tier media companies only have branded discs, not plain white-top or silver-top ones. TDK, MXL, TY, SONY and RITEK have been spoofed before. These discs often are cheaply-made unbranded media with faked write speeds (never exceed write strategy!) and Media ID codes. Fake media is often sold on eBay and by unauthorized online merchants. If you want to have guaranteed legitimate media, only buy that media from authorized media resellers. Visit the disc manufacturer Web site to get a listing of authorized distributors.

    Gradual data loss (dye media). Also known as "disc fade" and "laser rot", this is actually not very possible due to the mechanics of dye-based DVD recordable media (DVD-R, DVD+R). Terms like "disc fade" and "laser rot" only apply to pressed metal media, which are altogether different from recordable media in structure and physical/chemical properties. These problems apply only to the corrosion of the metal discs, and was very common on the Laserdisc format. It's application to pressed DVD media is still hotly debated. The only feasible explanation for burned media "rotting" would be a breaking of the vacuum enclosure of the disc, allowing air and moisture to permeate the metal and dye. But such chain reaction would occur fairly quickly, within mere seconds, not at a gradual pace of months. Simple explanation: The likely reason people face "disc rot" is that they simply did not check the media when it was first burned. Or the player/reader is now dirty, and not related to the disc at all. Improper storage (cheap cases, wallets) can also cause damage to discs, either warping the media or subjecting it to micro-abrasions.

    Gradual data loss (phase change media). Unlike the dyes found in write-once media, phase change crystals are subject to deterioration, sometimes at a disturbingly fast rate. Whether the discs are used or not, phase change crystal can begin to break down in as little a six months! Phase change media includes DVD+RW, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM. As usual, better quality media will fend off problems. These media are often touted as having a lifespan of 10,000 or more rewrites, but discs can break down after as few as a dozen uses. Never used phase change media for long-term storage solutions! The only exception may be DVD-RAM, as it has a lifespan closer to that of a dye-based DVD medium because of how it is constructed.

    Dye melting from excess burn speed. Some discs simply cave in under high speed burns. In the past, for example, both OPTODISC and RITEKG04 media were reported as doing this. The dye simply cannot handle the write speed. Poor production is to blame. This happens mostly on bad discs, but can also happen on good discs due to user error. Many hacked firmwares and poorly-written firmwares will allow a user to burn a disc faster than it's write strategy and media ID speed. The side-effect of these illegitimate burns is ruined dye. The dye appears discolored or otherwise unusual.

    Not a media error (Editor's Note: Compatibility isues). This is another very frequent "problem" with discs. The simple fact is not every player or DVD-ROM will read a burned DVD media. Some players were not made to play anything other than official to-spec pressed metal discs. Non-media errors may also include players that have a weak laser or a dirty laser. A non-playing disc is not a sign of a "bad" disc, but rather just means that particular player/ROM cannot play it. Run real tests to see if the disc is truly a coaster. Also be aware that some formats are more compatible than others (with DVD-R being most compatible of them all for DVD-Video content). This is often call a reflectivity error. This is not necessarily the media's fault.
    ===========================================
    Modified from http://www.digitalfaq.com/media/dvdmedia.htm
     
  9. Wai_Wai

    Wai_Wai Registered Member

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    Where do you live?

    Just walk in and ask.
    Next time, ask them if they would allow for a refund/replacement if the discs are failed. If they say "yes", go and buy. Otherwise visit another shop.

    By the way, "refund" is nearly impossible in my own country.
     
  10. Joliet Jake

    Joliet Jake Registered Member

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    Scotland
    Gradual data loss (phase change media). Unlike the dyes found in write-once media, phase change crystals are subject to deterioration, sometimes at a disturbingly fast rate. Whether the discs are used or not, phase change crystal can begin to break down in as little a six months!

    That's all I use.
    I'm using Datawrite DVD's and the CD's I'm not too sure, nothing written on them :)
     
  11. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG Registered Member

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    Its simple, just use Verbatim DVDR Disks. Period!

    I get mine for 28p each. Now come on, anyone who thinks that is too expensive for guarrenteed reassurence is definitely on another planet.

    And also i dont understand the people who say i use cheap media simply for backups. I do not understand this. The whole point of a backup is to have a secure backup!.

    If the original fails and you need the info, what point is there in going to it and find its useless too.

    If want or need to do a backup (i.e the data is so important for me to need a backup) then it is always done on the best media i can find to ensure it is safe if worst comes to worst an it is needed. I am perplexed how others think the opposite to this.

    i.e that because it is just a backup i can put it on the worst dodgiest media i can findo_O
     
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