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  #1  
04-07-2010, 01:57 PM
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Hi, I am new to this forum and this is my first post.

My Story:

A few years ago (in 2004-2005) I began backing up an extensive VHS collection to DVD.
Prior to an anticipated extended military deployment (in which I did not want to take my original collection) I also backed up all of my commercial DVDs to locally purchased blank DVD media.

When I first began backing up to DVD I had the general myth in my head that DVD media was vastly superior to VHS for archiving and would last 100 years or more if properly handled and stored. Although I lacked net savvy, I did consult a couple of computer “guru’s” and always asked the sales staff of differences in brand quality, the general response was either “they all come from the same place,” or there was little to no difference in media within a particular genre (i.e. comparing DVD+R with same, or DVD-R with same, etc).
I was also ignorant that there was no DVD “standard” and, thus inappropriately armed, thought that all DVD media was of relative equal quality. With that thought in mind, I generally sought out media from the local suppliers that was on sale at the time and purchased bulk 100 unit spindles.
As a caution, I did seek out names that I was familiar with and thought could be trusted (i.e. TDK, Maxell, Memorex, Imation) but on a couple of occasions I did purchase store brands such as Ativa after being assured by department personnel that they were of equal quality to an item that was currently “off-the shelf” at the time. But the lions share have been TDK.

Throughout this process I always burned at the highest recommended speed that the media and/or the DVD burner allowed and may have averaged up to five unsuccessful burns per spindle (which I assumed was the norm). Each recorded DVD was verified for accuracy by the image burn software at the time, and has since been successfully viewed. The various software used for these processes were the current versions of: DVD Shrink, DVDFab Decrypter, DVD Decrypter, ShrinkTo5, ImgBurn, and Nero.
I did go through 3 or four DVD burners which were generally HP models.

When I returned from my stint in the desert I discovered that most of my stored personal property including ALL of my VHS & DVD masters were “missing.”

However, despite this loss I still had my extensive DVD back up collection and thought that at least that was safe.
I have since added numerous additional titles, recorded from cable TV. And my DVD collection is currently around 4,000 titles.

By happenstance I have recently been directed to this forum and have found it a wealth of belated wisdom. I have now been enlightened to the error of my past ways but also find myself in a quandary.
In the future (or until advised to do otherwise) I will now use Verbatim brand DVD R+, manufactured by Mitsubishi for all of my DVD recordings.
However, I am seriously concerned about the security of my existing DVD collection.
I have downloaded “DVD Identifier” and after a sample checking of several of my earlier recordings I am dismayed that the media had been outsourced to second class manufacturers such as RITEK and CMC MAG.

My Questions:

Do successful burns with RITEK and CMC MAG manufactured media become unstable with time?

Although everything that I have recorded has been successfully viewed at least once, and some several times, since initial recording (though most not for a few years now) my concern is that even with proper storage (i.e. kept in soft sleeves, in a cool, dry environment, avoiding direct light) could these DVDs somehow degrade and become un-viewable?

My oldest DVD recordings are currently 5-6 years old. Since these recordings are now my only “Masters” should they all be re-recorded on first class Verbatim media as soon as possible?

How much time do you think I have before my collection will insidiously disintegrate?

Is my collection relatively safe as is, or am I on the verge of losing or worse possibly have already lost some of my treasured collection?”

Also, when ordering Verbatim DVD +R media from sources such as Amazon, how can one be assured (before actually receiving and checking a disc) that the product one is ordering will have been manufactured by Mitsubishi and have an acceptable ID number?

I also have about 100 GB of MP3 audio on a couple of hard drives that I’d like to burn to quality CD media as well.
Which is the best brand for CD or DVD archiving MP3 audio?
Verbatim?

Thank you for your time and patience in hearing me out.
Any expert advice is sincerely appreciated.
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  #2  
04-07-2010, 06:28 PM
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I took a chance and brought back a couple of cases (4 spindles each of 100) of unused TDK DVD+Rs to my local retailer who was kind enough to give me a refund. I then rechecked Amazon.
In the time it took me to return those DVDs Amazon changed the price on the Verbatim DVD+R media from $19.99 to $24.99. I could have saved $40 if I'd ordered a replacement before I left, but I wasn't sure if I was going to be hung with TDK err RITEK-F16-001 & CMC MAG-M01-000 media or not.

I was also hoping that I would get a response to my query assuring me that these were in fact the DVD's that I wanted for archiving.

Amazon Verbatim DVD +R link:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B0009YJXMS

Based on the Image shown it appears to be a Verbatim "branded" non-"value" package. Of course the image may not be accurate. The price is still good so I ordered a 4 pack. Hopefully they will be manufactured by Mitsubishi. If they are I'll be ordering enough to reburn my entire collection, pending what the experts here have to say in response to my query.
What ID # after the manufacturer should I be looking for?

I feel very anxious that I may be losing my entire collection and not know it. I'm assuming that I'll be told the worst....
Hopefully those TDKs that I've already burned will hold out long enough for me to get the job done?

Without taking untold hours to rewatch everything after the fact, is there some way to know (a software diagnostic tool) before I reburn a disc that the "Master" is still intact?

BTW here is a link to the AVS forum that referred me to Digital FAQ:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...4&postcount=20

At the bottom of the page the author states:

Quote:
Tips on Disc HANDLING and MARKING
2. Store discs vertically.
Prevents warpage or "sagging edges" over time, which can cause read/write problems as the laser gets closer to the outer edge of a disc. The machine speeds disc rotation as the laser travels towards the outer edge to maintain a constant read/write rate, and a mis-shaped or floppy disc edge can cause problems.
I was reading in this forum (Digital FAQ) that DVDs/CDs should be stored flat. That makes sense. But I have been storing mine vertically in sleeves in drawers for easier retrieval. Hopefully that will not cause them to warp?

Any expert advice or comments about my concerns is appreciated.

Thank you for your time.
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04-07-2010, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry View Post
Hi, I am new to this forum and this is my first post.
Welcome!

Quote:
When I first began backing up to DVD I had the general myth in my head that DVD media was vastly superior to VHS for archiving and would last 100 years or more if properly handled and stored.
Yes and no.
  • DVD is vastly superior to VHS, yes
  • DVD will last a long time if properly handled and stored, yes
  • 100 years? Eh.... maybe, maybe not. With good media under ideal circumstances (good handling and storage), you should be able to count on a minimum of 25-30 years, with a likely lifetime of 50-75 years.
But the biggest problem with the DVD format is not the disc, but the players. Those lasers, diodes and assemblies have a terribly short life, just a few thousand hours max. Most players, recorders and burners die out after just 2-5 years.

Quote:
Although I lacked net savvy, I did consult a couple of computer “guru’s” and always asked the sales staff of differences in brand quality,
General rules:
  • "Computer people" (techs) don't know crap about media, design or communication theory. While media, design and communication has shifted to digital formats, it's not a "computer thing" and it's far outside the expertise of "computer people".
  • Sales staff are the lowest common denominator for knowledge. They are a common source for passing on myth, misinformation, hearsay and company/corporate propaganda. Their job involves zero research -- they only exist to sell products, assist lost customers in the store, restock shelves, etc. I come across harsh and often piss off salespeople, but this is the stark truth. A salesperson that actually knows something is a niche minority at best.

Quote:
the general response was either “they all come from the same place,” or there was little to no difference in media within a particular genre (i.e. comparing DVD+R with same, or DVD-R with same, etc).
I'm replying as I read this.
Judging from this post, you've probably already come to understand there are nuanced differences in the format.

DVD-R is a bit more compatible than DVD+R (even with bitset/booktype set to DVD-ROM), due to physical disc differences.

More important than anything else, however, is to just use good media. Most people who think DVD-R is worse than DVD+R, or vice versa, made those conclusions from an unfair comparison. A crappy Princo DVD-R is going to be worse than a Mitsubishi DVD+R, of course. But that doesn't mean DVD-R is worse than DVD+R -- that's a Princo vs Mitsubishi issue!

Quote:
on a couple of occasions I did purchase store brands such as Ativa after being assured by department personnel that they were of equal quality to an item that was currently “off-the shelf” at the time.
A perfect example of a lying idiot salesman.

Quote:
Each recorded DVD was verified for accuracy by the image burn software at the time, and has since been successfully viewed. The various software used for these processes were the current versions of: DVD Shrink, DVDFab Decrypter, DVD Decrypter, ShrinkTo5, ImgBurn, and Nero. I did go through 3 or four DVD burners which were generally HP models.
UNRELIABLE! The "verification" testing done by Nero, DVD Decrypter and ImgBurn gives a lot of false results, be it false positives or false negatives. These tests are just a waste of time. Better testing is found at http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/media/dvd-tests.htm

Quote:
However, despite this loss I still had my extensive DVD back up collection and thought that at least that was safe.
Maybe. Test each disc. Anything out of the ordinary should be copied to a new disc immediately.

Quote:
By happenstance I have recently been directed to this forum and have found it a wealth of belated wisdom. I have now been enlightened to the error of my past ways but also find myself in a quandary.
In the future (or until advised to do otherwise) I will now use Verbatim brand DVD R+, manufactured by Mitsubishi for all of my DVD recordings.
Excellent. Glad you found your way here, and hopefully you'll use the info here to always get good burns archived.

Quote:
However, I am seriously concerned about the security of my existing DVD collection.
I have downloaded “DVD Identifier” and after a sample checking of several of my earlier recordings I am dismayed that the media had been outsourced to second class manufacturers such as RITEK and CMC MAG.
You're right be concerned. Those discs should be tested further, for quality.
Use the methods listed at http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/media/dvd-tests.htm


Quote:
My Questions:
Do successful burns with RITEK and CMC MAG manufactured media become unstable with time? ..... my concern is that even with proper storage (i.e. kept in soft sleeves, in a cool, dry environment, avoiding direct light) could these DVDs somehow degrade and become un-viewable?
Yes and no.

"With time" is often more of a reflective of the time between the initial burn and the ill-conceived notion that the disc is "fine", compared to a later experience when the data is discovered to be "not fine".

This is almost hard to explain sometimes...

A disc can be burned well, with all data intact, or it can be burned with errors.

The DVD-Video format expected some degree of errors, so error correction is built into the data structure. When a DVD player plays the disc, it can either use error correction or just fumble through the recording with some visual/audible artifacts (when error correction runs out). If you're good with math, and are curious, you can read about error correction at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reed-So...ror_correction

Other times, the disc is just harder to read, due to inferior materials, be it in the reflective properties of the foils, or the foils+dyes, or just imperfections in the dyes themselves. (Replace "dye" with "phase change material" when discussing DVD+RW/-RW/-RAM media.)

The other issue at hand is the player. Yes, again, people forget about the player. The lasers/diodes/etc age. As they age, they get weaker, and their ability to pick-up data off the disc is reduced. When a disc was already hard to read, and the player is weak, you run into problems.

Many people buy a new DVD burner/player, get involved in DVD recording, and then play a disc as their test. When everything seems "fine", they falsely assume the disc was also "fine". When they try to play the disc a few years later (after their equipment has aged), and there are problems, the disc is often blamed. This is where the "disappearing data" myth comes from. In almost all cases, simply trying the disc in a known-strong reader yields an okay read. You can recover 99.9% or 100% of the data to a new disc. The problem here, however, is many people will counter with "I tried a brand new DVD player, and it still fails, so you're wrong!" However, note that I said a known-strong player/reader. Many (most?) DVD readers/players are cheaply-made Chinese crap. The upside of a Chinese player is that it can play both PAL and NTSC, but the downside lies in the strength of its parts. Many computer drives are inferior readers too, especially the commonly-found LG drives or LiteOn drives (*based off personal experience, and an Internet full or related reports).

A disc does not generally "go bad" all by itself. (It's super, super rare for that to happen, nowhere near as common as false reports lead people to believe.) The truth is:
  1. Some discs are harder to read, and it takes time to find a drive that can read the disc well.
  2. Discs get mishandled or stored badly, including wallet storage. Not all damage is visible to the naked eye. Remember that the data is written in microscopic sized areas, so micro-abrasions and micro-scratches can also cause problems.
Quote:
Although everything that I have recorded has been successfully viewed at least once, and some several times, since initial recording (though most not for a few years now)
Because of ECC and the ability for the player to fumble over bad areas, this isn't really a test. Most data loss is not seen by simple playing. Most people also don't 100% pay attention on to the TV when watching something -- we all miss things. It can be easy to overlook minor data loss, even when it has viewable/audible issues.

Quote:
My oldest DVD recordings are currently 5-6 years old. Since these recordings are now my only “Masters” should they all be re-recorded on first class Verbatim media as soon as possible?
I would say "yes" only as a matter of good archival policy. A good archive policy dictates that you should keep several copies, on several kinds of media.

The old cliche of "don't put all your eggs in one basket" is sage wisdom.

Quote:
How much time do you think I have before my collection will insidiously disintegrate?
If the burns are good, the discs should last a few decades.

I have TV movies recorded onto Princo media, one of the worst _______ (insert word of choice here) media ever made. To call it "crap" is to give it a compliment. If you're wondering why I would have used such a sorry disc, realize this was at a time when a good disc was $3+ each, and these crappy Princos were only $1 or less each -- and the movies I recorded were never anything special, something I knew I could replace fairly easy.

I have those same discs saved as ISO files on a hard drive, and then several are commercially available anyway, so I can always replace the Princo if it magically "goes bad". But the discs tested fine 6+ years ago, and it still tests fine now. Real testing, not psuedo-testing you find at some sites, or watching it in a DVD player.

The worst thing I run into is some of the players reject the media, too hard to read. By no coincidence, it's the newest players in the house/office that do it, all of which are Chinese. This includes a "brand new" Samsung bought just 3 months ago.

Quote:
Is my collection relatively safe as is, or am I on the verge of losing or worse possibly have already lost some of my treasured collection?”
You're always at risk of loss. An earthquake, mudslide, tornado or hurricane -- depending on where you live -- is an obvious path of loss. Or maybe it's from discs being damaged by accident (you dropping it while putting it in a DVD player). Good archival policy states that you need at least two backups (in addition to the "original" disc), preferably one on-site, and one-offsite. I have dupes of discs here, masters in cases and backup on spindle in closet, some are ISO files on hard drive locally, and some are ISO files on hard drive at family 700+ miles away.

Quote:
Also, when ordering Verbatim DVD +R media from sources such as Amazon, how can one be assured (before actually receiving and checking a disc) that the product one is ordering will have been manufactured by Mitsubishi and have an acceptable ID number?
Anything we've linked to should be authentic Mitsubishi-made Verbatim-branded discs. We avoid linking to unknowns like TigerDirect or Newegg, where the ol' switcheroo has happened before. Those links are at http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm

Quote:
I also have about 100 GB of MP3 audio on a couple of hard drives that I’d like to burn to quality CD media as well. Which is the best brand for CD or DVD archiving MP3 audio? Verbatim?
Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden CD-R.
Although this DVD guide links to DVD media, look at those same stores for quality MCC or TY CD-R.
Links at http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...-com-1528.html

Quote:
Any expert advice is sincerely appreciated.
Glad to help.

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04-07-2010, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry View Post
I was reading in this forum (Digital FAQ) that DVDs/CDs should be stored flat. That makes sense. But I have been storing mine vertically in sleeves in drawers for easier retrieval. Hopefully that will not cause them to warp?
Any expert advice or comments about my concerns is appreciated.
Discs should be stored "flat", but that can be on any axis. Flat can be vertical or horizontal. The "flat" part refers to not letting the disc get bend or warped in any way. Many wallets and cheap DVD cases warp discs, which leads to crack, breaking of bonds, and potential alterations in the disc materials -- all of which lead to a damaged disc that you can't play or read anymore.

Sleeves are fine, as long as the discs don't get scratches from the paper or cloth in use. Warping is an issue of pressure, when it comes to sleeves, so don't cram too many sleeves in the drawer!

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04-07-2010, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry View Post
So is the only reason why second class media is not recommended for archival purposes because of a higher burn failure rate and nothing to do with long term storage of the accurately burned media?
You made this reply before I made all my replies. This was already covered in the longest post here.

However, just to reiterate ... ...

2nd Class media suffers from several issues, not just higher errors, more coasters. The discs are often harder to read. RITEK is a perfect example of a disc that tends to choke many players, burners and readers. The disc works fine when it works -- but getting it to work in a device is always the hurdle.

(We'll be adding some of this expanded information to the site guides sometime this year.)

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04-07-2010, 08:27 PM
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Also want to add this...

TDK-branded 16x RITEKF1 DVD-R media is excellent duplication media. I would not use it for archival masters, but it's great for dupes. It works better than past RITEK media, especially 4x RITEKG04 and 8x RITEKG05.

I've had maybe 5 coasters out of 500 discs. Those were all burn failures, however, each disc was not tested with advanced testing. But there was a lot of random spot checking (10+ discs per spindle), and the samples were all excellent, passed everything. It was representative enough to earn my respect, and I don't please easily.

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04-09-2010, 02:03 PM
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Amazon has a limit on the number of Verbatim DVD-/+R that you can purchase right now. I've maxed it and will be needing more.
I've checked other sites and found some Verbatim 8x Silver DVD-R as low as $.23 each for a 2000 unit order (not yet sure about S/H): http://www.discmakers.com/shop/ItemD...D=DVD031-00001

Disc Makers is not on your list of affiliates?
One of their tech reps is supposed to contact me ASAP to verify whether or not they are Mitsubishi manufactured as they appear to be made in Singapore per illustration.
But they may be the "shiny silver" which you seem to recommend against?
Why?

I write on my discs with a sharpie, would this be a problem?
http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...ival-1396.html
The 8x shouldn't be a concern, should it?
Since you recommend 8x TY and advise to burn at slower speeds, perhaps 8x should be my max burning speed anyway.

Also, the reference for JVC TY Branded media
http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm
at Meritine.com
http://www.meritline.com/taiyo-yuden...--p-18384.aspx
Is for "Valueline" media
( Taiyo Yuden (DVD-R47VAL600SK) Valueline DVD-R 8X Silver Thermal Lacquer Blank DVDR Media Discs 4.7GB in 100 Pack Tape Wrap. )
Granted $.25 -.20 per is certainly a value, but I remember reading somewhere either here or from AVS forum
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...4&postcount=20
to avoid any thing with "VAL" listed in it.
Are these discs as good as the premium for archiving?
I presume that they must be at least on a par with the Verbatim since you do recommend them, but since they will be used archival masters I just want to be sure.
I went ahead and ordered a 100 just to check them out, while waiting for your confirmation.

Admin has provided a great deal of detailed info and I very much appreciate all of the input. Much food for thought.

I am aware that rapid technolgy changes will likely force me to transition to another form of media well before this archive quality DVD becomes unreliable in 25-30 yrs or so (maybe 50-75 yrs, but I won't be around then to be concerned).
VHS is still here since the 1970's, though fading. I don't expect DVD or BlueRay technology to have a functional lifespan as long as that.
But perhaps it would behove me to have a few extra DVD players stockpiled to insure the maximum usefulness of what I currently have.
As is, even with the current BlueRay backward compatibility to read DVDs, most of what I've transfered and recorded, especially my non HD old silent and B&W film collection, would not visually benefit from a BlueRay media transfer anyway, and the cost of that media is super high compared to DVD right now.
Besides I have yet to be spoiled by watching anything on BlueRay and don't even have a really big High Definition quality TV or monitor that would fully accomodate that technology.
But I'm an old fart and I remember being content with my parents having a black & white TV and when a neighbor bought a color TV we'd sit around and marvel at all of the "off-set" colors.
I remember when compact cassettes supplanted 4 & 8 track players, we all rushed to replace our audio collections and thought that cassettes would be around forever, then came CD's.
I thought VHS was great and only within the last decade have I really gotten into DVDs and most of my cable recordings have been analog.
So I'm in no big rush to join the "BlueRay" crowd at the moment.
I just want to do my best to preserve what I have for as long as I can, and maybe pass it on to my grand kids one day.

Thank you so much for all of your input. I am learning a lot and sharing that knowledge (as well as this website) with my colleague's.
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04-09-2010, 03:49 PM
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I've gone through several DVD/CD burners from NEC, LG, Lite-On, & HP.
I now prefer the external USB for most of the burning and leave the internals for primarily read, unlease I'm in a crunch. All of the externals I've used thus far have been HP. They read and burn fast and work well with both my PC & notebook. But they don't seem to last long, I've gone through a couple of them within a year. When they eventually fail they will either begin to misread, slow down, misburn, or not burn at all.
However after what I've now learned fast burns greater than 8x may not be all that realiable and likely shortens the life of burner as well as the media, so that may be one reason why they go out so quickly.
Knowing how shortlived they were I try to keep a spare so I'm not stopped in the middle of a project.
However I'm becoming aware that HP or other relatively inexpensive USB burners may not be the most accurate for archival media, so I'm wondering
which external (as well as internal) DVD burners are the best?
(best: consistently read and burn with the greatest accuracy, and have the greatest longevity)

Any expert suggestions/recommendations (as well as reliable sources) are very much appreciated.
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04-09-2010, 04:27 PM
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The "Tech" guy from Disc Makers finally called me back.
Turns out that he was not really a technician after all but a salesperson which another salesperson transfered me to that was supposed to be able to answer technical questions like "who is the manufacturer of this media."
He couldn't tell me.
He said that the people (should I presume "techs"?... nah!) he spoke with on the other coast (where the physical company is located?) didn't know for sure either.
I provided him the link for a freeware download of DVD Identifier. After awhile he said that he was surprised to discover that didn't have the administrative authority to install it on the company PC.
His solution was to send me a FREE spindle of 50 to check out for myself.
He then proceeded to say that it appeared that there was only 1,200 of the Verbatim 8x Silver DVD-R left in stock and apparently they were replacing it with the newer 16x, which is the likely reason why it was on sale, to clear out their old inventory.
"If" it turns out to be Mitsubishi manufactured, and you guys tell me that "shiny" silver will be okay, I'll likely just clean out his entire inventory, but I'll still be needing more (either archive quality Verbatim or TY) to back-up all of my old 2nd class burns.

Maybe you'll tell me that the tape wrapped Taiyo Yuden "Valueline" DVD-R 8X Silver Thermal Lacquer Blanks that I ordered from Meritine.com are archive quality?
If so I can bulk order a bunch of those....
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04-09-2010, 04:46 PM
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Lord Smurf said

Quote:
TDK-branded 16x RITEKF1 DVD-R media is excellent duplication media....
Although the ones I've checked so far have been either RITEK-F16 or CMC MAG-M01
That information is somewhat reassuring. Maybe my old TDK burns will be good enough to make some decent masters on the new archive quality media (when it arrives) after all.

Perhaps I shouldn't have been so quick to return all my current backstock since it only cost me $.20 per disc, with an average of 5 or less "obvious" bad burns per spindle.

However most of it was CMC MAG and I haven't heard you guys say anything good about that manufacturer, yet.

In any event, so long as I can get an adequate supply of archive quality media from either Verbatim (Mitsubishi) or TY to back-up what I have and plan to add, then I'll rest alittle easier.
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04-11-2010, 04:25 AM
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What a long thread! Have some replies to make...

For Harry, numbered off some things, point by point.

I would still have taken back those RITEK TDK-branded discs, it's not what I'd call archival media. It's good for dupes, but not archiving as your only copy. Maybe as a 3rd backup copy?

CMC is not suggested. It's an unreliable disc, according to user reports and reviews through the years, never giving consistently good results like the archival grade DVDs listed at the blank DVD reviews page.

I would buy TY from DiscMakers, but I don't know that they are a trusted source for Verbatim. However, 8x discs are probably MCC/Mitsubishi media.

Don't confuse MCC with CMC, not the same, just FYI. MCC = Mitsubishi, CMC = CMC Magnetics. You may already know this, but I want to mention it again, just in case.

Most of the boogeyman "Valueline isn't good" myth has already been busted. Read TY "Valueline" -- Is this a lower grade? You're fine. All said, I'd go for printed discs, not the shiny silver media. That's also discussed in the first link, as well as other threads. For example, read Dangers of "shiny silver" discs?

If Amazon is limiting you buying power, look to use Meritline or Supermediastore. More links at our sponsors page.

For an external DVD burner, I'd highly suggest buying the Pioneer DVD burner drives from Geeks, or Sony or Samsung external DVD burners found in local stores. The HP is a LiteOn DVD burner, not my favorite. LG is worse.

Phew! Hope I got it all.

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  #12  
04-12-2010, 04:49 PM
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Thanks so much Admin, for cutting through the chase for me.

I think right now I'll use Meritline as my primary source for TY DVD's since they appear to have the best prices overall, esp. when ordering in bulk., and use Amazon for Verbatim whenever they are available at a good price.

When I know that I am actually getting a solid product that I will be using a lot of (and it's available at a decent price), I like to purchase in bulk quantity, whenever practical. That way, if things change (i.e. manufacturers, class quality downgrading, etc.) I can be assured that I have a decent stash that will hopefully see me through until I can locate a suitable replacement.

BTW is there a "shelf life" for unburned blank DVD's (& CD's)?

If so, how would one identify the manufacturer date so one could determine how long they could be safely stored before burning became unreliable?

Also, I noticed on the Blank Media Quality Quide page:

http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm

That TDK is still listed as 1st Class (Excellent Archival Media)?

I believe that it has been established both here and in other forums that this is no longer the case, since TDK has apparently been purchased by Imation and now seems to be outsource manufactured by RITEK & CMC Magnetics, etc. (which are listed as 2nd Class Media producers).

AVS Forum reference
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...4&postcount=20

Also I'm a bit confused about Sony (Daxon) and Hitachi Maxell being in the 1st class media category?

Daxon appears both in the 2nd & 3rd Class Media manufacturer lists with similar countries of manufacture origin (Taiwan: 2nd class, and Malaysia, 3rd class).

In the Blank DVD Branding Data section it has recent manufacturers for Maxell as RITEK & CMC, (as is TDK).

Sony is still listed as Sony as well as TY, Mitsubishi (very good) & Ricoh (Ritek)?

Granted the Example Media IDs vary, but this more definitive information is not readily accessible in sealed packages and difficult to acertain from on-line sources.
All these variances make it very confusing, esp. for the uninitiated, to be sure that one is actually getting the best archival media when one places an on-line order or makes an off-the-shelf "Brand Name" purchase.

Without the prior recommendations and source quality assurances from reputable forums such as yours, it would strictly be a "buy it and find out later" process, which can be both a time consuming, expensive, and sometimes (too frequently) disheartening after the fact experience.

My own case in point: I purchased large quantities of TDK because I had been told that they were a First Class Archival quality media. At one time they evidently were, but I was too niave to know that TDK was not really TDK anymore, and no longer the archival quality product that it once was.
Everything, of course, is subject to change, and without timely information we are all doomed to sometimes make costly errors.

I am so greatful that I have finally found this forum and will try to always reference it prior to a related purchase.

Thank you for the time you have spent to help educate me in these matters.

Last edited by Harry; 04-12-2010 at 04:52 PM. Reason: Typo
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  #13  
04-13-2010, 01:59 PM
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Admin said:
Quote:
For an external DVD burner, I'd highly suggest buying the Pioneer DVD burner drives from Geeks, or Sony or Samsung external DVD burners found in local stores. The HP is a LiteOn DVD burner, not my favorite. LG is worse.
Geeks has a lot of external DVD drives to choose from (both new & refurbished), as do other sources, i.e.
Pioneer DVR-X162Q 20x DVD±RW DL USB 2.0 External Drive
Samsung Super WriteMaster SE-S084C 8x DVD±RW DL USB 2.0 Slim External
Hitachi/LG GE20LU10 20x DVD±RW DL USB 2.0 External Drive
Hitachi/LG GP08LU10 8x DVD±RW DL USB 2.0 Slim External Drive

Light Scribing is not important to me as I just label my DVDs by writing on them with a sharpie.
I generally buy new, usually full retail, so I have the advantage of whatever warranty is provided.
But I was wondering if you advised against purchasing "refurbished" units or not?

Also, can you recommend any specific external models for me to look for in Pioneer, Samsung, or Sony?

What about those Hatachi's? I gather that they are the same as LG, which you recommend against, right?

I can also check out Amazon, and other affiliates as well as B&M stores, but I'd like to have some specific models in mind, unless it really dosn't matter?

BTW, My Amazon order arrived yesterday evening (3 spindles each of Verbatim + & - R DVDs) And Amazon allowed me to place a repeat (limited) order as well today.
DVD Identifier happily revealed:
DVD+R:MCC-004-000 & DVD-R:MCC-03RG20, respectively, (Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.)

Today my first order from Meritline allso arrived (Taiyo Yuden (DVD-R47VAL600SK) Valueline DVD-R 8X Silver Thermal Lacquer Blank DVDR Media Discs 4.7GB in 100 Pack Tape Wrap.)
All the wrapper said was "Value DVD-R," and there was no TY identifier visible on the discs, but happily a scan revealed:
DVD-R:TYG02 (Taiyo Yuden Co. Ltd)

I see what you mean about the "shiny silver" surface. Must be handled very carefully to avoid fingerprints, and they do have a tacky feel which could make them dirt magnets.
I will use this batch for initial off cable recordings and be sure to make a back-up using the Verbatim as a "Master."

Still waiting for the DiscMaker sample to arrive, but I feel confident now that I will be sticking with both Amazon & Meritline for my media suppliers.

Thank you so much for turning me on to these guys!
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04-13-2010, 07:40 PM
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Don't confuse TDK the manufacturer with TDK the brand. Remember that the guide is about media ID, manufacturers, not the brand names. TDK no longer manufactures media, so that 1st class data is historical information now.

Sony's Daxon/Taiwan production generally worked better than Daxon's own discs, which were both better than Sony's Daxon/Malaysia media. Those are 3 separate discs.

Yes, it's confusing. The guide is here to help un-confuse you, as is this forum.

Pioneer DVR-X162Q is a good drive, I'd buy this one if I needed another external burner. Otherwise yes, any model of Pioneer, Sony, Samsung -- all are great, 16x or higher.

I suggest buying refurbished equipment. It's a great deal on an essentially-new item. Refurb does not mean used, or anything negative, although some people mistakenly believe that to be the case.

Taiyo Yuden's USA branding sucks. That generic weenie "Value" wrapper is their official container, as sad as that may be. Now that they own the JVC name, I expect they'll do better to brand themselves in the future.

When I started burning discs, there were all of about 5 choices of manufacturers, and all of them were good. It got really ugly from there. Believe it or not, media in 2010 is generally better than it was 5 years ago. While we've lost a few good manufacturers, we've lost a lot of crap, too. That's one of the only positives of the recession -- crap companies went under.

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04-14-2010, 05:17 PM
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Thanks again Admin for all of this very helpful info.

I think right now, just to keep it simple, I will only use Mitsubishi manufactured Verbatim & Taiyo Yuden (Japan) manufactured blank DVD's from reputable suppliers for the best assurance of archive quality media.
I will monitor your forum for possible quality status changes.

I received the sample 50 pack of Verbatim DVD-R 8x from Disc Maker's today.
They came on a spindle labeled "DataLifePlus" made in Taiwan, were "shiny silver" and the individual discs were branded "Verbatim" DVD-R 8x on the rim center hole.
DVD Identifier provided the Unique Disc Identifier: DVD-R:MCC-02RG20 & Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. They also carry Taiyo Yuden so they deal in good quality media. Although at the moment Meritime offers TY at a better price per quantity for both the "Shiny" silver & White Inkjet DVDs.

I think for the value the "Shiny" silver media would be very good for archive quality back-ups, but for something that was played a lot they would have to be handled very carefully to avoid messy fingerprints and any sticky debris.
For frequent use the White Inkjet or a top surface other than "Shiny" silver would be preferable. Also easiler to label with a sharpie.

Admin said:
Quote:
I suggest buying refurbished equipment. It's a great deal on an essentially-new item. Refurb does not mean used, or anything negative, although some people mistakenly believe that to be the case.
Lemons do happen. Even from companies with a very good reputation one may occassionally (usually rarely) receive a "new" item that is flawed.
From this standpoint one would think that a "refurbished" item would be even more reliable as all initial flaws should have been discovered & corrected, but sadly this is sometimes not the case.
I have both personally experienced and read stories where the purported "refurbished to be like new" item was also defective upon receipt.
Whether or not this was the original "uncorrected" problem or a different problem is uncertain. But it all depends on the standard of thoroughness of the refurbisher.
In theory at least an overhauled motor has been thoroughly tested and had all of the wearable components replaced, so it should be as good as new (and sometimes even better than new).
In practice, once again, this is not always the case.
There is a host of variables as to why this happens, but if a job isn't well done and the product not thoroughly tested, both before & esp after repair/refurbishing, then it is possible to get another lemon.

That said, reputable firms most often do what they can to make things right in any advent.

Quote:
Pioneer DVR-X162Q is a good drive, I'd buy this one if I needed another external burner. Otherwise yes, any model of Pioneer, Sony, Samsung -- all are great, 16x or higher.
New full featured (usually also full sized) Pioneer DVD/CD burners are quite expensive and not that easy to find.
In fact full featured, non-slim line, burners of any brand seem to be in the minority these days.
So based upon your recomendation of Geeks I ordered 2 "refurbished" Pioneer DVR-X162Q's at a killer price.
I will test them both after they arrive, and keep one as a back-up.

Admin said in a different thread:
Quote:
The LiteOn DVD burners are decent burners,...
http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/show...lite-2174.html

Question:
May I also safely include LiteOn (along with Pioneer, Sony, & Samsung) in my overall best DVD burner round-up?

Questions:
Also, Someone told me that 'Unburned" DVD media is not a "durable" item. Something to the effect that the chemicals of the unburned dyes are less stable and can degrade if left unused on the shelf for a long (subjective term) period of time. Is there any truth to this?
If so does it apply to DVD-/+R "Write-Once" DVD media, and is would it be true with archive quality media such as Verbatim (Mitsubishi) and Taiyo Yuden (Japan)?

I know that we have alreday discussed that good quality archive media should retain it's data for anywhere from 25-75 years after burning, if stored properly.
But since there is no "expiration" date on DVD packaging, should one be concerned about a "shelf life" for unburned blank DVD's (& CD's)?
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04-14-2010, 05:32 PM
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My personal laptop is a refurb, as is various equipment here, be it computers, DVD recorders, DVD burners, capture cards, or other components of video systems or computers. The worst I've had to date is a broken tab on a plastic case, but I just glued it together. (It did not need to be opened anyway.)

Refurbs are fine, great deals on like-new gear.

I have Pioneer PVC001002 4x DVD-R here, unused, saved for special archival needs, and manufactured 6-7 years ago. The discs burn and scan/test fine. Same for some other private stock of archival discs, most of which are no longer manufactured.

I don't think there's anything special about an unburned disc vs a burn one, in terms of longevity on the early end (within 10 years). If it gets to 2013, and the PVCs are not burned, I may worry a bit, but that's still a ways off.

This is actually a topic I've wanted to research in depth (reading over docs from OSTA, DATarius and NIST, to start), and then run experiments, but just haven't had time. Most time is spent on already-burnt discs.

Discs aren't milk, they don't spoil in 3 weeks. Unburnt media should be fine for at least a few years.

I wouldn't include LiteOn, no. That's a second-tier drive, compared to those other three drives. It's "decent" while the others are "good".

Thanks.

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04-15-2010, 09:47 PM
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kpmedia wrote:
Quote:
Refurbs are fine, great deals on like-new gear.
Quote:
I wouldn't include LiteOn, no. That's a second-tier drive, compared to those other three drives. It's "decent" while the others are "good".
Quote:
Discs aren't milk, they don't spoil in 3 weeks. Unburnt media should be fine for at least a few years.
All this is great & reassuring info. Thanks.
I usually keep a couple hundred or so Blanks on hand and I always rotate my stock.
Because I am in the process of creating back-up Masters on Verbatim & Taiyo Yuden archive quality Media for all of those TDK's I am going way over the usual amount of blanks that I would normally carry. Not sure how long it will take me to back-up my collection, probably well over a year, since I am habitually adding to it. But so long as I've got at least a few years shelf -life on my blanks, I shouldn't have a problem.

Quote:
This is actually a topic I've wanted to research in depth (reading over docs from OSTA, DATarius and NIST, to start), and then run experiments, but just haven't had time.
It would be nice to know whether or not Unburned media degrades at a faster rate than burned media, all other factors being equal.
Please send me a PM or make a sticky post in this forum if you ever find out more about this topic. I feel certain that we are not the only ones interrested in this subject.

Quote:
Either choose a $20 one-time payment for a 5-year membership, or the $10 yearly recurring payment option (automatically renews at the end of the year).
http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/payments.php

I don't make it my practice to join pay sites, and So far you folks have responded to my queries within 24 hrs or less, so I'm already receiving that benefit of a membership up-grade.
But I feel as though I've already benefited tremendously from your expert knowlege base and I would like to contribute to it's continued success.
However, before I join at the $20/5 yr level I'd like to make sure that my credit card will NOT automatically be charged for an automatic renewal 5 years from now.
I'd like to reserve that option for when the time comes.
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04-16-2010, 11:09 AM
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It's a one-off payment for the $20.

Magnetic media seems to be fine at the same age, used or unused. Optical media appears to be very much the same in this regard. Film is the only media I can think of that degrades with age, losing optimal quality in maybe 2-3 years. However, I have some pro film that is almost a decade old, and it was fine in a recent test shoot.

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05-11-2010, 12:12 AM
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Per recommendations in this thread,
about 3 1/2 weeks ago I ordered two refurbished external Pioneer burners from Geeks.com (DVR - X162Q-R Pioneer DVR-X162Q 20x DVD+/-RW DL USB 2.0) and have since used them to reburn approximately 200-300 DVDs from my collection.

But referring to the "DVD Burning & Media Quality Concepts Visual Test"
http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/media/dvd-tests.htm


I have been experiencing a condition that appears to be similar to image 2 & 3and I am fearful that it may be #2 (dye melting).

I am using ImgBurn 2.5.0 software set to read and burn at 8x.

I am using branded Verbatim DVD -R & +R media purchased from Amazon (100 unit spindles)
DVD -R

Unique Disc Identifier: DVD-R: MCC-03RG20
Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.
Manufacturer ID: MCC 03RG20

DVD +R
Unique Disc Identifier: DVD+R:MCC-004-000
Manufacturer: Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.
Manufacturer ID: MCC
Media Type ID: 004
Product Revision: Not Specified
Blank capacity: 2,295,104 Sectors - 4.70 GB (4.38 GB)
Recording Speeds: 1x-2.4x, 4x, 6x-8x, 6x-16x
(per DVD Identifier, respectively)

(These are 1st Class Media 95+% Reliable, Recommended for Archival Data/Video Masters)

The 8x speed ImgBurn software setting would appear to rule out
Quote:
"a good burn made on a variable speed drive."
And the Verbatim archive quality discs should rule out
Quote:
"a bad dye spread or dye melting"
due to inferior dyes in 2nd or 3rd class discs.

Another conundrum is that when I burn these discs in my much slower internal DVD drives I do not see such "artifacts."

Playback symptoms:
In a few of the few worst discs that I have thoroughly viewed there have been visible stacatto flaws or freezing then skipping spots in the video at points which may have corresponded to where the darker dye circle is on the DVD.
Another burn and subsequent viewing at those same points did not repeat the error even though the DVD disc still displayed similar visible "artifacts."
So could this have been within an "acceptable" 1-4% burn failure rate?
Howver, since I have not viewed all of these similarly "marked" discs the failure rate could be much higher than this.

The only definitive correlation so far, is that this has only occurred in the Pioneer burner/s, which leads me to wonder since these were "refurbished" drives purchased from Geeks.com.

These drives still fall within Geeks 90 day "warranty" period, so I called them and spoke with one of their "technicians" (Chris ext 1317 at 1-760-726-7759 incident #350593).
He said that he'd never heard of such a problem before and gave me the direct tech number to Pioneer (1-800-872-4159).
After a 12 minute wait I spoke with one of the Pioneer technicians who said that he'd heard of such a problem though had never actually seen it with his own eyes.
He said it could possibly be from a laser diode beginning to fail, and recommended that I return those drives immediately to be checked and repaired as necessary.
He also said that Pioneer does not sell "refurbished" drives and may rarely offer one as a replacement only when another original model cannot be found.
He could not comment on what "refurbished" meant to other companies but
suggested that when a drive is returned many companies that sell refurbished units simply do a cursory check to see if a unit reads and burns and if it does, they then offer it for resale without checking for further problems.

The Geek tech did not comment in depth on their "refurbished" units which makes me again wonder on just what they actually do or don't do to a returned unit before offering it for resale?

Since the whole purpose of this exercise was to reburn 4000+ discs that were erroneously recorded on 2nd class media to the archive quality Verbatim media I don't want to be defeated by possibly inadequate burns from "refurbished" Pioneer USB drives.

Signs:
I will try to describe the burned disc condition a little better.
Using the visual test from
http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/media/dvd-tests.htm
what I'm seeing is not as dramatic as image #2 and more pronounced than image #3.
Typically, the slightly darker purplish "ring" extends from the center hub out to about an inch.
At this point there is a darker, generally incomplete "circle" or "halo" approximately 1-2 mm wide that, (depending on how you hold the disc), is clearly discernible on the north & south hemispheres, but fades, almost indistinguishably near the equators.
From this point to the outer edge is a typically normal appearing burn.

I'm curious as to how a "failing" laser diode (if that is the cause) would cause these fairly consistently formed irregularities from two separate DVD burners (albeit a bit darker from one burner than the other).
It doesn't seem to matter whether it's the first or 10th or more burn in a row, so a warmed up or heavier used unit does not appear to be a factor.

Before I go to the hassle of returning these drives I was hoping for a comment indicating whether or not my concerns over these discolorations are valid?

This evening I will try another experiment and reduce the ImgBurn speed to 4x from 8x to see if that may be a factor...

Based on my description, can anyone offer a suggestion as to what is causing these regularly occurring irregularities?
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05-11-2010, 03:14 AM
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Update,

I forgot to mention before that the same strange "artifacts' also occured with Taiyo Yuden (DVD-R47VAL600SK) Valueline DVD-R 8X "shiny" Silver Thermal Lacquer Blank DVDR Media Discs 4.7GB in 100 Pack Tape Wrap.

Media Brand: Taiyo Yuden DVD -R
Unique Disc Identifier: DVD-R:TYG02
Manufacturer: Taiyo Yuden Co. LtdManufacturer ID: TYG02
Media Type ID: ?
Product Revision:
Blank capacity: 2,298,496 Sectors - 4.71 GB (4.38 GB)
Recording Speeds: ? 1x-2.4x, 4x, 6x-8x,
(per DVD Identifier)
And these discs have a maximum rated speed of 8x so perhaps we can safely say that the Imgburn software is doing it's job, speedwise?


Tonite I began burning discs with ImagBurn scaled back to 4x.
The first disc was as clean as a babies behind.

I adjusted ImgBurn up to 6x and the burn was as visually clean and crisp as the 4x and noticeably faster.

But when I jumped it back up to 8x I saw the same strange "artifacts" as described in the previous post.
Back down to 6x and burned half a dozen discs in rapid succession with no sign of the artifacts.
This test (and I wish that I thought to try it 250 reburns ago) seems to clearly indicate that the "problem" is speed related.


Now is this a definite corruption of the media data (as in "a bad dye spread or dye melting"), in which case I would need to burn again all of those reburns and have wasted 2 1/2 spindles of archive quality DVD media?
Or do you think that those reburns are still good as in "a good burn made on a variable speed drive." Even though the setting was at 8x?
Is there anyway to know for sure one way or another?


Another question comes to mind...
Based upon my limited experience, this problem still appears to be unique to these 2 "refurbished" Pioneer burners
(DVR - X162Q-R Pioneer DVR-X162Q 20x DVD+/-RW DL USB 2.0)
Should this even be ocurring at 8x speed with these burners?
Based upon what both the Geek & Pioneer techs say, NO!
So are these burners faulty?

One more question/experiment...
I have always used my full size external burners in the vertical position (for better air circulation), as opposed to the horizontal, or flat position.
Do you think that discs spinning in the vertical position could cause these irregularities?
None of my flat burning internal burners have ever displayed this, but then neither did my horizontal HP externals, even at max burning speed.

I will try this out for myself and report back if there is any noticeable difference based on burner positioning.

I sure hope that I don't have to again reburn all of those reburns due to this and I really hate the RMA process unless it is absolutely necessary.

Any professional/experiencial comments/observations/recommendations as to what and why this is occurring are appreciated.
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