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admin 02-12-2009 11:41 PM

TY "Valueline" -- Is this a lower grade?
from e-mail...

On your link to, I see a TY "Valueline." Is this a lower grade than their other line?
Taiyo Yuden considers themselves to be the best of the best of optical disc makers, it's just the mindset of this old and respected Japanese company. It's a company from the "old days" of Japan, meaning a bad product was on par with being dishonorable. To this end, TY views its media as professional-grade, broadcast-grade or industrial-grade products. Poor products are entirely unacceptable.

So, is VALUE LINE a lower grade? Yes.
Is it an "eww yucky, lower grade" type of step-down? No, not at all.

Value Line did not meet their high standards for "Premium" status. What these high standards are, exactly, is not always clear. Judging from the combined experiences of many buyers and users, it could be anything from:
  • surface scratches off the production line,
  • to slightly inferior foils and polycarbonates,
  • to perceived higher-than-normal burning potential when an unburned or burned disc is scanned. (Note: Manufacturer test equipment is customized gear, very expensive, they're not using consumer drives to guess at quality like so many users in those other forums online.)
ValueLine TY media is usually packaged cheaply in tape wrapping, and sold at a cost that rivals lower-grade manufacturers best media.

The one thing that can be said is even the worst "value" discs from TY can outperform the best discs made by other manufacturers. So there's really nothing to worry about.

Because even the best media can exhibit a 1% to 5% fail rating -- meaning 1-5 discs per 100-spindle could exhibits errors recoredings or playing -- it's always good to test a disc that is used for archival needs, even it's it TY! Premium or Value, run some tests.
Testing is discussed here:

Are you familiar with comic books? Or comic book grading? A TY "Value" disc would probably be rated as "near mint (NM)" while the Premium is "mint (M)" grade. Comics have a lot of grades:
  1. Poor,
  2. Fair,
  3. Good,
  4. Very Good,
  5. Fine,
  6. Very Fine,
  7. Near Mint,
  8. Mint
Does that help put it into perspective?


There is also a "Linkyo Taiyo Yuden." Is this a different line from their premium discs.
The Linkyo Corporation, owners of several media products and online stores, is an official distributor for Taiyo Yuden media. They re-brand it as "Linkyo TY" media. From what I know, the Premium Linkyo TY is marked as Premium, while the non-Premium could be assumed to be Value Line discs. Not the similarity in pricing.


Sorry - I'm new to this forum and to this brand! I'm looking for GOOD blank DVDs and CDs which are inkjet-printable (I have an Epson 320 printer).
Taiyo Yuden inkjet media is pretty good. I personally prefer Verbatim inkjet, but you won't go wrong with TY media.

The only thing to remember about inkjet is that the media needs a long time to dry, and even then, you might want to consider certain "curing" sprays that exist out there, similar to what is used on inkjet photos or artist paintings.
One such spray is on Amazon at


Also, is "silver thermal" printable by conventional inkjet or is that some special surface?
Silver thermal surfaces are made for thermal printing, using thermal printers or even silkscreening to the surface -- similar to what is done to replicated media, at a duplication house. When not printed on, these discs are fingerprint magnets, and get quite nasty just from normal handling.


I'll be ordering through your site. Many thanks.
Thanks very much.

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