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11-09-2010, 02:33 AM
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I noticed today that Flash's dvd-recordable.org is now gone, replaced by geeks.org.uk -- meaning all of the valuable information on blank DVD media once found on that site appears to be gone. I'm hoping archive.org still has some of it.

Anyway, it's referred to numerous times in another article on 2004-2006 issues with Ritek media, which is an important historical situation to remember for those that follow blank DVD media business practices.

Be sure to read my commentar below the quoted interview...

Originally Posted by http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/News/Details.aspx?NewsId=12652

Read our interesting interview with Mr Tim Smith, Sales and Marketing Manager for Ridisc, where we discuss with him Ridisc's background, its development and its product range.

Tell us a little bit about the history of RiDisc and what the brand stands for?
The founding principle of the RiDisc brand was to bring to the consumer, access to the highest quality media from Ritek Taiwan without having to pay the premium associated with Tier One brands such as Verbatim, Sony, TDK and Philips. Through our partner Ritek Taiwan, RiDisc aimed to offer uncompromising quality to enable customers to safely choose a brand of media that was guaranteed to give them consistently high quality results.

Tell us a bit about the development of RiDisc with regards to your relationship to Ritek Taiwan?
From it's conception the RiDisc brand was a joint project between RiDisc and Ritek Taiwan. With Ritek providing the technical expertise and RiDisc providing the sales and marketing proficiency, RiDisc were always able to retain their independence and most importantly their own quality control working in conjunction with Ritek. In the summer of 2004 RiDisc's independence and desire for "nothing but the best" was put to the test when Ritek's production of the then new Ridisc 8X G05 media ran into problems. The overall quality dived as Ritek struggled to meet demand for increased volumes while still maintaining consistency. By the autumn of 2004, Ridisc management took the decision to swap production of the Ridisc 8X to another Tier 1 manufacturer in order to maintain it's own integrity and fundamental principles. The decision was seen as a bold move in a industry traditionally reliant on old alliances between brands and manufacturers, but in the case of Ridisc, unlike others in the market, the decision was a clear case of prioritising quality over profit, especially as other brands including some of Ritek's own, were content to use & sell G05 media of inconsistent quality to further sales.

Tell us why the Original Ridisc G05 was discontinued so quickly?
The original success of the Ritek dye (proliferated by the success of RiDisc) wasn't unnoticed by competitors, and other brands started to jump on the bandwagon. Very soon Ritek DVD of every grade possibly was flooding into the market. Media of B quality, C quality, and even worse, was all being sold as Grade A Ritek media and very soon, customers began to lose faith in the dye and the brands that carried the codes G04 and G05. It didn't help that even Ritek themselves knowingly sold discs of lesser quality (even with their own brands) into the market to customers that didnt care about quality just as long as they made money. Even Ritek's European Branch office, Conrexx Technology BVBA, was held responsible for introducing the notorious "Down Grade" disc into Europe. In an email to our DVD Recordable's guru Flash, Ritek Taiwan remarked: "We have same feeling that this should be a dumped DVD-R material, should be scrapped and would have no possibility to re-ship to market" As a result, the customers who had once trusted the codes G04/G05 began to look elsewhere for an alternative, as they no longer had faith in the Ritek dye. In a sense, Ritek and RiDisc became victims of their own success.

Tell us a little bit about why RiDisc opted for CMC Magnetics to make their 8X DVD-R.
With all the problems that were happening in the market that basically went against everything that RiDisc stood for, an internal decision was taken to continue RiDisc 4X with our partner Ritek Taiwan but to swap the production of the new RiDisc 8X DVD-R to CMC Magnetics, the world's largest OEM manufacturer of media. This new alliance with CMC Magnetics dawned a new era for the RiDisc brand. With their unlimited support, CMC brought to RiDisc a promise of quality with no compromises whatsoever. The sales figures of RiDisc 8x DVD-R spiralled upwards giving us absolute vindication for our decision to partner with CMC during Riteks troubled times. It is widely accepted that CMC utilises the most advanced production lines for media in the World and continues to innovate with state of the art Research and Development (R&D) at their Taiwanese headquarters. This is backed up by the fact that all the top brands trust CMC to develop and manufacture for them. Verbatim, TDK, FUJI, Memorex, all hold OEM manufacturing contracts with CMC.

Did the move over to CMC Magnetics cause any problems with Ridisc's relationship with Ritek Taiwan?
As for causing problems with Ritek I think we can say that Ritek and Ridisc are as closely linked as Santa Claus and Christmas. I don't want to go into details but the move to CMC did result in the launch of the RiDisc Xtreme range, which will prove to be the best Ritek manufactured disc in the world, bar none! Having seen the quality of the CMC manufactured RiDisc media, Riteks management in Taiwan know that they will need to provide only the highest quality media in order to impress RiDisc's discerning customers.

Has not having a G05 disc in your range for so long cost you market share?
Not at all, RiDisc have seen the take-up of their CMC RiDisc 8X DVD-R go from strength to strength in markets that were previously focused predominantly on Ritek G05 and other more established brands such as Verbatim etc. The lack of a high quality G05 has allowed others to come in and steal more market share. We are not the only companies to recognise this, look at that the success that Datawrite in Europe and the Middle East have had with CMC and their Datawrite Titanium DVD. Platinum in Germany also, have recently started using CMC for their DVD-R production after switching from Ritek who have been their main manufacturer for so long. All these companies recognise that to survive in the ever-competitive market, it is impossible to rely on dated practices of old alliances and the only way to stay on top is to keep abreast of what the competition is doing and be prepared to change at a moments notice if necessary.

What sets out the Xtreme range from other Ritek manufactured products?
Right now, Ritek is still a popular choice in many countries, but every market is different and customers are the ones who ultimately decide what discs are best for them. Here at RiDisc, we recognise that there is some demand still for Ritek, especially for a quality G05 dye and we aim that with the imminent release of "RiDisc Xtreme", we can give them the results they expect every time without fear of getting ripped off. With the Xtreme range, RiDisc aims to deliver to even the pickiest of consumers, exactly what they are craving for. A no holds barred, Grade AAA+ Ritek G05 DVD-R that has the uncompromising qualities of one of the best manufacturers in the world. This coupled with Our quality control system which has zero tolerance should ensure that RiDisc Xtreme offers customers the assurance and safety in knowing that every disc from every pack that they buy will perform consistently and perfectly and is certified as being the best of the best of all Ritek products on the market.

How do you guarantee that you will get the highest grade of Ritek media?
Even though we are intimately linked with Ritek and have helped Ritek media become one of the most recognised discs in the market, we are not 100% Ritek owned brand name. In essence, we have the ability to go elsewhere if our standards of quality or pricing requirement aren't met. Brands which are 100% owned by Ritek don't have this luxury. If we suffer any quality issues we can move our production to another manufacturer whose quality will live up to our standards. We have maintained that our discs are AAA+ grade if for any reason our RiDisc Xtreme range doesn't live up to this we will move to another manufacturer and dye for this range. This puts a lot of pressure on Ritek to ensure we receive only the best discs from their production line. Unfortunately, brands which are 100% owned by Ritek don't have this luxury. This we feel will give us the edge over any other Ritek manufactured disc including Ritek's In house brand names (Ridata, Traxdata and Arita) that are 100% owned by Ritek.
There were so many stories about Ritek media at the time, that's it's almost hard to follow what was truth and what was not. Ritek issued some press releases about fake media, which I still think was a ploy to cover up low-grade discs leaked to market. A number of people came to the same conclusion, as discussed in various forums and articles of the day. Most of those, sadly, are now gone, lost to the black hole of the unarchived web.

What's amusing is that RitekG01, RitekG02, RitekG03 and RitekG04 were really not all that impressive, in terms of being a good disc for both burning and playing/reading. Much of the love for RitekG03 and RitekG04 was misplaced, and often based on a comparison to the utter crap made by Princo and others at the same price point. Mitsubishi (MCC), Maxell (MLX), Pioneer (PVC), TDK (TDK), and Taiyo Yuden (TY) was always a far better choice.

What I find even more amusing is a company seeking "top quality" has traded up from Ritek to CMC, which has proven itself equally unreliable amongst users, even if it does use Mitsubishi AZO dye on some of its discs. It's like exchanging a dog turd for a cat turd -- you still have a turd. If you want chocolate mousse, get TY or MCC!

(I will, however, cut Ritek a break -- their RITEKF1 DVD-R oxonol-dye based media is not bad at all!)

Again, information archived for it's historical significance.

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11-09-2010, 08:00 AM
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I wasn't paying attention to the blank media industry at the time, but I'm surprised that anyone though Ritek made Grade A media. It was well known back in 99-2000 that Ritek media (then CD-R) was pretty much a "bottom of the barrel" brand. Sure, quality could improve with companies over the years, but brand perception from past experience is hard to change.
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11-11-2010, 04:01 AM
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You're not wrong.

The problem was all the newbies who had only been burning discs since about 2003-2004, from the time drive prices fell to under $200. These were folks who never really burned their own CDs, never used early generation DVD burners, knew nothing about the "format war" of DVD-R vs DVD+R, and were otherwise in the dark about pretty much everything.

At that time, you could buy Apple, Maxell, TDK, Pioneer or Verbatim discs for about $5 each -- or you could go online and buy something called Princo or Ritek for under $2. The ad said the media was "Grade A" and "certified" (nevermind that neither term meant a thing), so they were bought in piles.

DVD burners had also come to a point where drives would just push through crappy discs. The Pioneer 103, by contrast, would barf and eject a disc at the first sign of burning issues. So all these newbies had discs that "burned good" (meaning it wasn't kicked out of the drive during the burning process) and then stowed away in a wallet.

Between the lack of testing and the poor storage, the people never realized they had bought and burned poor discs. In the meantime, however, they were posting all over the internet in forum, professing their love for RITEKG03 and RITEKG04. The discs were not "bad" like Princo or Infosmart, but they were also undeserving of the flowery praise that (in some circles) ranked them right alongside Maxell (MXL), Pioneer (PVC), Mitsubishi (MCC) and TDK (TDK). Can't say I was a big Taiyo Yuden fan during the 1x-4x discs, hence my omission.

Some time later, these folks -- mostly idiots copying movies (so-called "DVD backups") from Netflix or where-have-you -- found their precious flicks to be a pile of coasters. Rarely did I see somebody who professed their undying love for Ritek use the media for homemade projects, data backups etc. When I did, I felt really bad for them.

It wasn't until RitekG04 media started to perform really poorly that the old myth of "disappearing data" reared its ugly head around mid/late 2004. Prior to that, the idea of "laser rot" or "disc rot" had long been debunked as crap for the CD-R crowd. That had been fixed long, long ago, due to lacquer coatings being applied during manufacturing for CD-R. The term itself was borrowed from Laserdisc.

However, the newbies from the DVD-R/DVD+R generation had not been around in the 1990s, and therefore missed the memo. Thus a stupid myth was reborn. It was around 2005 that somebody with ties to IBM (a magnetic, not optical, media vendor) wrote a piece about "discs dying in 2-5 years" that was pure baloney. Sadly, it's stuck with some people who seem to believe anything they find on page 1 of Google, and the myth simply will not go away.

The only thing that has really changed for the better, in terms of Ritek, is the use of Fuji oxonol dies for RITEKF1 DVD-R and RITEKF16 DVD+R. Those discs do seem to fair decently. Maybe still not as good as Mitsubishi et al, but still a vast improvement of their earlier G01-G05 lines.

This is really a case of ignorance spreading.

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