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  #1  
05-11-2011, 02:26 AM
gleda gleda is offline
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After almost exclusively purchasing Sony discs for my recording needs the past six years, I was disappointed to find out that they had changed manufacturers. I discovered this after my stand-alone dvd recorder would not accept or could not burn a disc from my new Sony purchase earlier this year. Thanks to this site, I was able to find out what was going on and so I switched to Verbatim.

I ordered a branded 100pk dvd+r spindle through Amazon from the link provided on this site and received my first shipment yesterday. I was dismayed to see the quality of the discs, as there were obvious blemishes and inconsistent swirls visible on them. One of the discs even had what almost looked like the tip of a thumbprint swirl on the edge, a sort of smudge. Very disconcerting, but I tried them anyway.

Like the newer Sony's, my recorder would display a "disc not recordable" message on many of the discs, and when I finally got a disc to load, I recorded a few minutes off a tv channel to test it. Immediately after recording, I looked at the result and saw many glitches in the video. I unloaded and reloaded the disc and was then not able to view the recording.

Now, my recorder is about 6 years old and although I know it could be the source of the problem, it still loads and records my few remaining older Sony's without any difficulties, as well as some HP's I purchased in the interim before the Verbatims arrived. I am currently looking to purchase a new stand-alone dvd recorder, but as the old one still works, I wasn't in a hurry to do so. Are these Verbatim's worth saving for the future dvd recorder or should I attempt to return them and try something else?

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. I don't have much technical knowledge when it comes to things like this. I had a kind of crash course on things while perusing this site, which has been a wealth of information, even if some of it is beyond my understanding, lol. It seems I sort of lucked out when I originally settled on Sony's as my recordable media and so I never explored other options until now.
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  #2  
05-12-2011, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
as there were obvious blemishes and inconsistent swirls visible on them
Those discs have been damaged and are unusable. Return them for a replacement. That is not typical of either Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden media, nor of the shipping quality you'd generally receive from Amazon, Meritline or Supermediastore (the stores we most recommend, due to pricing and quality of service). The discs have been cracked along an edge, the glue unbonded, and oxygen has destroyed the dye layer.

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my recorder is about 6 years old
What is the brand and model number?

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  #3  
05-12-2011, 11:48 PM
gleda gleda is offline
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Thank you for clarifying that I got a bad batch of Verbatim's. I'm a little hesitant to ask for a replacement instead of a refund, as getting burned the first time out of the gate is off-putting. I'm trying not to attribute the bad discs having been made in India as the cause, since I've read on here that shouldn't be a reason for concern, but I must admit it crossed my mind.

My recorder is a no-name brand, or rather, according the the manufacturer, "the name-behind-the name" brand. It is a Protron DVR100. It was a Christmas gift and came from QVC. I figured it would last a short while and I would move on to something else, but the darn thing has hung in there through thousands of recordings with just a handful of failed discs, lol. Quite the workhorse, but I think it's time it be put out to pasture. I'm looking to purchase something that would allow me to use Taiyo Yuden discs, since this current recorder is a +R only.
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  #4  
05-13-2011, 02:20 PM
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I think it would be a mistake to just seek a refund. You would do far better to simply get an exchange. Dye blemishes of this nature are a fairly rare manufacturing defect. In all odds, the discs were probably jostled too much early in their lifespan, during shipping/loading from the factory.

In the past 10 years, with Verbatim media, I've only see this once. One disc, from a Taiwan package, from 2009. And that's from using tens of thousands of Verbatim DVDs in the past decade.

Protron is not a DVD recorder manufacturer.
Indeed, it's a cheap no-name once sold at Walmart and Walmart.com back in 2007.
And it has horrible (valid!) reviews: http://reviews.walmart.com/1336/7755...ws/reviews.htm

I would imagine this is either a LiteOn, Apex or Cyberhome kitted clone model DVD recorder, based on the specs, as well as the complaints found online. QVC had a really bad habit of reselling Cyberhome gear at straight MSRP (not a deal at all), and therefore I'd guess it's based on a Cyberhome chassis. And I can confirm absolutely terrible disc reliability with those units, because the DVD burner inside the unit was garbage. The power supply was also crap, and Cyberhome gear was known to burn out (same for Apex PSUs). Cyberhome went bankrupt due to inability to pay royalties to patent owners of DVD technology. Cyberhome cut a lot of corners in this way, as most owners of their gear know. If you opened the unit and looked inside, I bet you'd find a Cirrus Logic encoder chipset on the mainboard. That you had a good experience with a Protron is actually rare. However, I would imagine the quality of recordings is not anywhere near what it could be, from other DVD recorders.

Are you recording off TV, or converting VHS to DVD? I can give suggestions on what would work best for you.

For TV shows, I would highly suggest this model: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...SIN=B0020ZW8P8
DO NOT be afraid of the 12 bad reviews. All 12 were written by what I could only describe as (to be frank about it) idiots. If you want detailed information on why those reviews are invalid, I'll be glad to expand on that. Only one "bad" review (given 4 stars) is valid, but is more of a "quirks list" than anything else, as noted by the author, who likes the recorder. So don't be misled by stupid people.

Glad to help you out.

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  #5  
05-13-2011, 04:57 PM
gleda gleda is offline
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a1.jpg

This is an attempt to show the blemishes on the discs that I got. I was getting a lot of reflectivity, thus the prismatic colors. The larger blemish to the left was only on one disc, but the smaller one was on every single disc, along with what looked like hills and valleys in the coloring of the dye. I could not see anything like that on any of my Sony's, HP's, Maxell or TDK discs.

I took your advice and have arranged a replacement with Amazon. Terrific customer service, as they are sending a new spindle tomorrow and will pick up the damaged one without any cost to me. Fingers crossed I get a better batch!

I came across the same bad reviews for the Protron a couple of years after I received it and counted myself as very lucky to have gotten a good one. The recordings are actually very, very good, crisp and clear, and have held up well, judging from my first recordings. I have family members with Sony, Panasonic, etc, units, and I have not seen a discernable difference between mine and theirs. I have about 2000 discs that I've burned, and about a quarter to a third of those have multiple recordings on them.

I was curious and took a quick look inside my unit. From what was visible to my eye, I saw a Samsung tuner, a Philips burner and something that was marked TDK.

I mainly record off of tv, but I do have some older vhs tapes that I am looking to convert to dvd. Thank you for the link, and I will look into that unit more closely. I've looked around a bit and one of the more available units at a very reasonable price was a Toshiba DR430 and a Magnavox combo unit, model RZV427MG9, neither with a tuner, but as I have a cable box, that's not really a problem.

Again, I really appreciate all your help and suggestions. Thank you!


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  #6  
05-14-2011, 08:24 PM
Nisaea Nisaea is offline
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Hello,

A thought: did you get the correct Verbatim model?

Nisaea
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  #7  
05-14-2011, 10:32 PM
gleda gleda is offline
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Quote:
A thought: did you get the correct Verbatim model?
Hi, Nisaea. If you mean the branded Verbatims, then yes, as I mentioned in the OP. It was the purple and blue packaging for +R's.

An update: today I got my replacement order, and sad to say, it was worse than the first one. I opened up the box, found a lot of bubble wrap (good omen, I thought), only to find pieces of broken plastic and the container opened and partway up the spindle, exposing the discs at the bottom. Then I saw that the base of the spindle was completely broken away from the spindle itself, in two pieces. I don't know exactly what happened, but it wasn't good!

I called Amazon immediately, was met with profuse apologies, and at their urging, I am giving it one more try. It's either going to be a third time's the charm scenario, or three strikes and you're out.

I checked out the discs anyway and didn't see any blemishes on them and noticed that they also felt smoother around the edges than the first batch. These came from Taiwan and had the impressed code around the clear part of the hub as opposed to the black ink stamped code on the ones from India.

So, we'll see what happens with this next shipment. Like the customer service representative said, if these next ones aren't good, I might have to try Office Depot, lol.
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  #8  
05-15-2011, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
pieces of broken plastic and the container opened and partway up the spindle, exposing the discs at the bottom
Do you have other spindles from past media buys?
You may just want to re-stack the discs. I've done that a few times, when spindles arrived broken.

The spindles themselves are rather cheaply made -- and that's on pretty much anybody's media these days. Verbatim is, believe it or not, one of the better spindles. This happens because weight is not evenly distributed on the inner shaft, when it's laid on its side. Gravity pushes down against a rigid 90-degree angle piece of plastic, which then breaks. Spindles should not be stored on the side, but shipping people in warehouses are apparently quite often idiots. "This End Up!" should not be a hard concept. It's written on the pallet box the spindles come in, from Verbatim.

The bottom disc on a 100-stack if often damaged anyway, so just don't worry about the very, very bottom disc. (At worst, bottom 2-3 discs.) It's worse for tape-wrapped media, which often has 1-2 discs on the top damaged, too. Sometimes all 100 discs arrive flawless, while other times you'll have to just toss out 1-5 blanks for scratches (or more accurately, circular rub marks from the spindle/tape packaging itself). Trash your 50 cents or so worth of bad discs, and use the rest of them.

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I checked out the discs anyway and didn't see any blemishes on them
It sounds like the media is good -- I'd keep them.

Quote:
and noticed that they also felt smoother around the edges than the first batch
The edges can either be a bonding issue, or issue with the accuracy of the polycarbonate platters (i.e., how perfectly round the punches are being made, due to condition of the assembly line). Smoother is not necessarily a determining factor on "better". Some of the worst bonded media I've ever seen was smooth on the side. Some of the very best discs I've ever tested were a mix of smooth and not-smooth.

Based on what we see here, the bonding (glues) and/or polycarbonate cutouts are better on this Taiwanese batch of media, than the Indian batch. The Indian discs may have been early or late into that batch -- NOTE: Remember that a "batch" is 10's or 100's of THOUSANDS of discs.

Office Depot only carries junk-brand media. (TDK RITEKF1 excluded, though those are still not Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden archival quality.)

Don't let your buying be swayed by the condition of the package. The package will be in the trash long-term, right? Worry about what came in the package. You want good media, not bad media in a nice case.

In the past 100 or so spindles I've bought from Amazon, only 1-2 ever arrived broken like this one.

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  #9  
05-16-2011, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gleda View Post
This is an attempt to show the blemishes on the discs that I got.
This is a perfect example of dye oxidation -- the disc in ruined and cannot be used.
The edge of the disc was either damaged in transit, or was a rare manufacturing defect.

Just get an exchange.

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  #10  
05-16-2011, 08:28 PM
gleda gleda is offline
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It sounds like the media is good -- I'd keep them.
I went ahead and tried the discs and found the recording to be very glitchy, just like the first batch. Since the dye looked good, I'm thinking that maybe whatever happened to break the spindle completely apart may have damaged the discs as well. It's to late to keep them, even if I wanted to, as UPS picked up the first two orders this morning to return to Amazon.

Today, I got my third spindle and it seems to be somewhat better. At least my recorder didn't spit them out and the brief recording I made on one of them doesn't show any glitches. What I'm not happy about is that about 10 or so of the discs got imprinted on the dye side from the written side of the next disc. I could see partial words and lines on the underside of the disc from the previous disc. It makes me question the integrity and quality of the whole spindle and whether I can trust my recordings on them for the long term.

Quote:
Just get an exchange.
Yes, as I stated in a previous post, I did get an exchange, which turned out to be the broken one. I'm now on my third batch, lol.

I don't know. This really hasn't been a good experience for me regarding Verbatim. In all the years I have bought media, I had never come across a complete spindle of discs with blemishes, imprints or broken spindles. Maybe I was just lucky all this time, but it has been quite a hassle.
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