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  #1  
03-24-2008, 01:15 AM
kctexan kctexan is offline
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Hey, all. I'm a recent addition to the forum, and have been making standard definition DVDs going on 4 years now. Now, I'm interested in making Blu-Ray discs.

Just read an interesting article at http://www.dv.com/features/features_...leId=196602808 in which the author details his trials and travails in trying to make a playable Blu-Ray disc. Some astounding facts and figures in there.

Is anyone here yet making these types of discs, with HD content, of course, or is it still too early for home enthusiasts to be involved. I feel the price of the capturing, authoring and burning soft/hardware will come down to sane levels someday, but not sure when that will be.

Thanks for your comments! Russell / KCTexan
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  #2  
03-30-2008, 03:29 PM
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I edited your post, inserted the link the the DV.com article.

I've been around video long enough to observe a failed product when I see one. In most cases, Sony is the one making the flop. I've watched them choke on everything from minidiscs (CD-Audio and MP3 are the standard) to Memory Sticks (CompactFlash and SD is the standard).

HD-DVD stood a chance for the niche enthusiasts, much like Laserdisc, D-VHS and S-VHS did. Laserdisc was too bulky and didn't really work that well (CLV vs CAV discs, for one thing, along with rotting disc aluminum from sub-grade materials). D-VHS was doomed to fail because people were already tired of tapes. It serves a very tiny amount of folks. I think BD will be much the same.

People are honestly tired of discs. A disc is simply a fragile item, with scratches and warping being the two most common ways to damage it -- even by the most careful individual! Every time the data area is divided smaller, damage increased about 10-fold. A CD still plays pretty well, but a scratch on a DVD is 7 time worse than an IDENTICAL SCRATCH on a CD. Micro-abrasions (scratches not easily seen by the human eye) are often a reason a "disc with no scratches" (as perceived by human eye) will not play. Many people call it "disc rot" with almost no evidence to support their ridiculous claim (DVD media DOES NOT ROT that easily).

When it comes to a Blu-Ray disc, you can expect yet more of this. DVDs have various protective optical coatings that are similar to eyeglasses, such as TDK's "Armor" discs or Verbatim's "VideoGard" discs. It costs a lot, and is why media coated in these materials are so much higher. Pressed media should use this, but they do not. It would increase disc price by up to $1 each, and in our modern "make big bucks" corporate economy, such an "extra" is deemed too hard to the bottom line.

So you'll have all these easy-to-scratch uncoated discs that are easier to damage than a DVD -- and people are already aggravated with discs.

On the other hand, you're starting to see many people ditch traditional day-to-day computer storage. Recordable media are being dumped when not used for audio, video or large storage (for mailed transport or secondary archives). CD-RW and DVD-RW/+RW/-RAM are on the decline. Floppies and "floppies on steroids" (Zip discs, etc) are all but gone. What we have now are thumb drives.

People love thumb drives! It's one of the biggest "prizes" of a promotion these days (free give-aways), even bigger than a free t-shirt. We use them in our digital cameras, be it point-and-shoot or a professional digital SLR (my Nikon D3 body holds two CompactFlash discs, and I have cards up to 16GB each!). You can drop them, scratch them, WASH THEM, leave them in the heat, etc -- and they almost always come out A-OKAY!

Thumb drives, flash drives -- whatever you call them -- are referred to as "solid-state media". It's a solid material that is "flashed" with data. The technology is really not new, it's existed for decades on computer mainboards, though in tiny sizes (a few kilobytes). Now they are exceeding the sizes of optical media, and with more stable storage than a hard drives or disc.

Now, you ALWAYS want to back up important data in several ways on good media (tape AND disc AND hard drive is wise), but solid-state is becoming viable too.

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD did not exist from consumer demand. We're largely fine with DVDs. They still look brilliant upscaled to an HD tv set. And let's be honest -- unless you've got a huge screen (55" or larger) or you have 20-15 vision and sit 3" from the screen, you'll be hard-pressed to see much difference in quality from a good upscaled image (on a good tv set) from a good source. This tech only exists because electronics companies wanted something else to sell. HD discs are the answer to a question nobody asked.

Once our technology completely shifts to a larger HD size universally, in about 5-10 more years, it'll just about overlap with pennies-cheap solid-state media, and a new format will be born. I expect it to be a successor of MPEG-4/AVC codecs, fitting huge amounts of compressed data in a relatively "tiny" (64GB+) space. All in a disc roughly twice as thick as a credit card, yet only as large as two side-by-side postage stamps.

Blu-Ray is nothing more than a "DVD on steroids" -- it'll have about the same popularity as a Zip disc -- temporary. I hope Sony enjoys it while it lasts. I'm sure they'll eat a stock loss in a few years when it fails.

People are also addicted to DVRs, on-demand, PPV (pay per view), thus cutting into ALL discs sales, DVD or otherwise. Cable and satellite are the winners here.

There's also a shift to tiny screens, be it PSP, iPod Video or whatever else. When people are "fine" with Youtube quality, why on earth would they care about a few more lines of detail on a bigger screen? This reverse in quality standards -- viewing something that looks WORSE than VHS ever did -- is confounding to many companies and video professionals, including myself.

Considering our poor economy, especially in the USA with a our weak dollar, nobody buys such frilly items anymore. We worry about bills, mortgages, etc.

So Blu-Ray has a lot going against it. Not just competition from DVD, but from better physical media, economy, smaller screens, cable/satellite services, etc.

So I don't foresee much adoption, much less mass adoption.

By the time any of this gets to "sane levels" we'll be on to the next media format that overall works better.


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  #3  
03-30-2008, 06:41 PM
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You wrote in e-mail:
Quote:
"Ok, so we’ll store the programs on fixed drives. Since I definitely want to be able to continue to author programs, removing ads and whatnot, it seems I’ll need a DirecTV HD receiver or DVR (DVR in my case) and a capture program, similar to ATI Media Maker 8, but that can capture in MPEG-4. Then, an authoring program that can open that file and author it. But, it seems that then I would have to create a new, authored file or files, to save to the fixed drive. The article I sent you said that the limit for consumer Blu-Ray disc was 25Gb, instead of the commercial 50Gb, so don’t know if that’s changed or not. If I’m not going to use BR DVDs, I guess it’s a moot point. (?)"
My response is this:

Well, it'll basically have the functionality of a hard drive (commercial releases will be hardware-locked to prevent tampering or deletion), but consumer ones will be erasable or lockable. A mix of DVD-R and DVD-RW at the same time, with DVD-RAM/hard-drive type writing.

Data on the drive would still be authored. A DVD disc is just a holder of data, the DVD-Video players look for a certain type of data (VOB/IFO/BUP inside VIDEO_TS folders) and then play based on what it knows and what the disc has. A solid-state could be treated the same, not an issue.

If studios and delivery companies (satellite/cable) would pull the sticks from their butt, and understand consumers want replay rights of their own, then ideally you could just download a program and save it to your media.

The trend may already be going here, because shows now do a lot more product placement (such as Nikon cameras in CSI shows) rather than wasting time on commercial breaks.

Optionally, if they'd again, pull their heads out, they could charge extra for a receiver that allows for downloading commercial-free, while the lower-priced version is watch-only. But it would need to be a reasonable additional price, maybe even based on an on-demand model ($3 for the HD episode sent to a Firewire port on the receiver -- not hard since the same lines often carry broadband). iTunes is already a low-quality version of what I propose (choppy Quicktime junk, for the most part -- only works well on iPod for many people). The only issue here may be bandwidth -- the USA is a third-world country in terms of connectivity speeds. But in 5-10 years, we'll probably be better off.

This is just my guess, but it's one based off a broader perspective of both IT and media, as I work in a multi-media situation (video, audio, web, photo, design, writing), but closely with IT (due to tech needed to transport the various medias).

That's just my opinion on the matter. Hope it helps.

If nothing else, it gives you something to think about before dumping a ton of money into something like Blu-Ray!

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  #4  
03-30-2008, 06:57 PM
kctexan kctexan is offline
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Well, I think you've talked me out of making homemade Blu-Rays. However, you earlier touched on one of the prime reasons I make my own DVD-Rs: stability and reliability. A DVD is not suddenly going to "crash," for NO discernible reason, like regular disc drives. That's why I think the solid state media boom is so exciting. I just HAVE to know that my storage media is going to be permanent (at least while I'm here) .I just thought of Blu-Ray as a natural progression of DVD-Rs. I'm storing about 1600 homemade DVD-Rs in about 6 Fellowes-type black storage books, so that's pretty darned compact, all told. But you make a better case for SSM. I can see 20 SSM 3Tb "books" lining my shelves (maybe I can swap some old VHSs for them, if I can ever get the shows transferred!)
Anyway IF and WHEN anyone you or anyone in the forum gets to the point of recording HD programs in MPEG-4, authoring and creating "final files" of the shows, and storing on SSD, I would love to share the process, so I can start what I know is the next stage of recording and storing good programs. Thx, RussellKCTexan
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  #5  
03-30-2008, 07:27 PM
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You're correct that Blu-Ray is a "progression" of DVD technology (actually HD-DVD was a true progression, but moot at this point), however it's not really "progress" from a technology stance.

A primary reason that VHS displaced VHS was due to quality, physical protection (no more "eaten tapes"), and ability to move from content to content (example: chapter marks) without having to REW and FF tapes and randomly guess, stop, and play (and then HOPE it was there, or you'd have to stop, REW/FF and play again, repeat as needed).

The only thing Blu-Ray can say is "it holds more data" and "it looks a little sharper". Even the "holds more data" is a bit misleading, as HD streams take up more space, so you won't actually gain any storage space unless you stick to SD video -- which destroys the point of BD to being with. Or so I would think.

From a data side, DVD held more than 7x as much data as CD. But BD (25GB consumer) only holds maybe 2.5x as much a $2 DL DVD or 5x as much as a 35-cent SL DVD. And at a cost of $20 each blank. Even if prices fall, it's unlikely to displace DVD on cost alone.

I've already got some pretty nifty cases than hold my CF cards on the go in my camera bag. From a marketing perspective, and from a packaging costs perspective, there's more real estate to gain (hello ads!) at a lesser cost.

Several modern DVD recorders have USB2 ports that theoretically could have played DVD-Video content from a thumb drive, but they were often hardware-locked to only read JPEG and MP3 files. Not sure why -- stupid choice, in my opinion. It refuses to read XVID MPEG-4 files or anything else.

I don't foresee this for a few years.

In the meantime, I'm happily using DL and SL media (Verbatim, Taiyo Yuden, Pioneer) and putting in multi-disc cases with color-laser artwork. I've started to even trash or give away CD and DVD cases from purchased movies. Keep the movies in a wallet, put the inserts in a small keep box. media no longer requires more than a single shelf unit in one room. Once upon a time, my VHS collection spanned a whole room, closet and part of another closet. No more of that mess. I do have about 25 tapes left for archive purposes, but that's it.

Just keep doing what you know looks good, and leave the future to the future. In 5 years, we can reassess the situation.


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  #6  
01-04-2011, 03:16 AM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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Interesting to test your prediction
Quote:
By the end of 2010, there are expected to be 25 million U.S. households with TV-connected Blu-ray playback devices, including stand-alone players and PS3. (Source: Adams Media Research) Considering that there are currently some 115 million U.S. TV households (estimated by Neilsen), that means Blu-ray is installed in over 1/5 (and is approaching 1/4) of all U.S. TV households.

The adoption curve for Blu-ray is fairly consistent with that of DVD in its first 5 years (there were roughly about 30 million DVD players in U.S. homes at the end of the same period, including stand-alone players and PS2).

By 2015, Blu-ray format penetration is expected to hit 45% in the U.S., with some 20% of that capacity BD3D capable.

There are currently over 3,000 Blu-ray software titles available in the States. At the same time, the unit sales numbers for Blu-ray software are effectively doubling every year. This year, they're up 116%, or 94% for 2009. (Source: Adams Media Research)

BD player sales in Europe are increasing steadily as well, with a current 10.9 million installed players today, and a projected 30.7 million installed by 2014. (Source: Futuresource Consulting)

BD players also dominate in Japan - 65% of all videodisc hardware in the country is Blu-ray, compared to 35% standard DVD. (Source: GfK Japan)

On the Blu-ray 3D front, 19 models of BD3D player are now available, with more due at CES. The expectation is that by the end of next year, anyone buying a new, affordable Blu-ray player model will have a hard time finding one that DOESN'T have 3D capability.

Currently, there are 1.8 million 3D HDTVs in the U.S., compared to 39.3 million regular HDTVs. By 2015, there are expected to be 27.1 million 3D HDTVs in the U.S. compared to 45.3 million regular HDTVs. (Source: Futuresource Consulting)
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  #7  
01-08-2011, 03:57 AM
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If anything, my predictions are coming true -- media players that rely on solid-state and streaming tech are far more desired than Blu-ray. The most popular BD players, by no coincidence, are the ones that accept non-disc media and connect to streaming video services. For many users, the Blu-ray part of the device is a sideshow to their primary use -- legacy DVDs and the streaming/USB functions. It's not like they had a choice of DVD players with these options. Computers (HTPCs) are "too hard" for many (as were clocks on VCRs, or recording with DVD recorders), and these BD devices offer idiot-friendly solutions to get non-disc content on their TV set.

A lot of those numbers by BD-friendly surveys count the Playstation 3 video game system, when in fact surveys have overwhelmingly showed a PS3 is mostly used for games and not BD playing.

Same for forced inclusion in computers when it's only used for DVD access.

Any survey that overlooks the non-BD aspects of the hardware is biased and results are skewed. (And that's me being nice -- I'd almost rather call the surveys utter bullsh-- propaganda. It's very obvious to anybody working in the field.)

The "by 2015" speculation is almost ridiculous. 3D has been a flop so far.

The Japanese stat is also pointless. The Japanese are gadget whores -- they buy anything new because that's their culture. You simply cannot extrapolate any other locale based on what happens in Japan. It's a one-of-a-kind culture there. Probably 50% of all tech that's popular in Japan (and I think I'm being conservative here) is never even made available in other countries. They get cool tech "toys" that we'll never see. Discussion of Japanese stats almost shows the desperation of the above propaganda survey.

I'm curious where you sourced that quoted document.

I freely admit when I'm wrong, made a mistake, etc -- but this isn't one of those times.

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  #8  
01-08-2011, 04:45 AM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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The one statistic we could agree on is the sales of Bluray disks themselves.
Actually I agree with you on most of your points - streaming is going to be very big. Who knows what will happen with 3d.
As to your original point though, you're wrong - archiving into bluray will leave you with a disc that will be playable for some time to come.
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  #9  
01-08-2011, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac698 View Post
The one statistic we could agree on is the sales of Bluray disks themselves.
Maybe. But those can be fudged quite a bit, too. For example, all of the Blu-ray+DVD combo releases. It's not like you have a choice of getting the Blu-ray, but I can pretty much guarantee you a biased survey will put that into the win column for BD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmac698 View Post
As to your original point though, you're wrong - archiving into bluray will leave you with a disc that will be playable for some time to come.
Structurally speaking, a Blu-ray has the same problems a CD does, but upside-down. You should look into the structure of a BD vs DVD vs CD. It's just not a safe archival medium. The data layer is so close to the bottom platter, and the laser assembly hovers so close to it, that damage can be caused easily by normal use and even slight mishandling. DVDs are far more rugged, comparatively speaking, and people were already pretty pissy about the fragility of DVD.

Hence the popularity of solid-state, which has displaced the CD-RW, DVD-RW/DVD+RW, and before that the Zip disk and floppy (which were known to fry themselves for no real reason). The only solid-state that performs miserably is the SD/SDHC card, with massive numbers of failures being reported online by camera owners. You don't see that much with USB thumb/flash drives. Solid-state is also reusable, unlike discs.

Optical has one type of better longevity, and I support optical media, but DVD (single layer DVD to be precise) is the safest of disc-based optical storage.

BD has only viably been around for maybe two years now -- and I give it a lifespan of maybe 6-7 years total before it hits a downtrend again. In 5 years, we will all have moved on.

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  #10  
01-08-2011, 01:53 PM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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I will be back in 5 years and we'll see Btw, who has a bluray writer? I meant to put bluray format on a DVD. And I've had two usb drives fail.
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02-23-2011, 12:49 PM
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Obviously, many of us have very strong opinions on the topic of Blu Ray data storage right now:-) I thought I would add some data derived from our statistical analysis of user reviews on Blue Ray media:

(1) user ratings for the best and most cost effective Blu Ray media are comparable to those for the best and most cost effective DVD media
(2) the best media brands are not always the same between DVD and Blu Ray (although several are in common)
(3) the "good enough" inexpensive media brands are different between DVD and Blu Ray
(4) some top optical media brands are not as successful (yet?) on Blu Ray
(5) the best Blu Ray media are never very cheap - but they can be inexpensive
(6) the best Blu Ray online media stores are not always the same as the best DVD online media stores

Incidentally, cost per GB for archival grade Blu Ray media is roughly the same as for archival grade DVD media. We are publishing the data we compiled, so you are free to look through it and judge for yourself: it is coming out in a pretty long series of articles at ConsumerPla.net on Blu Ray media for archival: what brands of media, what specific media, and what media stores to pick. The series is ongoing for another month or so.

As for the appropriateness of Blu Ray archival storage - there is not much of a choice if optical media storage is desired. With many users carrying 50GB to 150GB of data on their HDs, DVD archival has become fairly unreasonable. Clearly, using spinning media (HD) is an excellent primary strategy - but data safety probably requires more than one approach to backup and archival. Blu Ray is the only practical choice to optical media data storage and archival today for anyone with a decent amount of data.

At ConsumerPla.net, we sync our data servers locally (i.e. to other servers at the office), to a hosting provider, and to the cloud. We backup locally and on the cloud. We archive and back up to Blu Ray, and store optical media locally, away, and in a bank safe. Blu Ray is part of our data safeguard strategy.

Hope this makes sense! Best -

George Gear

Last edited by GeorgeGear; 02-23-2011 at 12:58 PM. Reason: typos
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  #12  
03-20-2011, 02:37 AM
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Hi George, thanks for the post and welcome to the site.

Quote:
(2) the best media brands are not always the same between DVD and Blu Ray (although several are in common)
Never buy based on brands. Learn who the manufacturer is.

Quote:
(3) the "good enough" inexpensive media brands are different between DVD and Blu Ray
There's really no such thing as a "good enough" blank disc. It either works, or it does not. The only differences between media is the likely number of bad discs on a spindle, coupled with readability/longevity issues.

Quote:
(6) the best Blu Ray online media stores are not always the same as the best DVD online media stores
That's something I'll look into. Thanks for mentioning it.

Quote:
Blu Ray is the only practical choice to optical media data storage and archival today for anyone with a decent amount of data.
This comes from an assumption that the media is physically durable enough to meet stringent ideas on what "archival" is supposed to mean. Given a number of factors discussed in this thread, plus several others in the forum, that's a debatable topic. BD-R is somewhat fragile compared to a DVD, with more physical attributes in common with a CD-R -- a non-archival media.

Quote:
At ConsumerPla.net, we sync our data servers locally (i.e. to other servers at the office), to a hosting provider, and to the cloud. We backup locally and on the cloud. We archive and back up to Blu Ray, and store optical media locally, away, and in a bank safe. Blu Ray is part of our data safeguard strategy.
How can that be accurate? You're hosted through Blogger, and the site is relatively small and new. That doesn't correspond to your own statement. From what I can see, your whole SQL database would fit a CD-R, with room to spare. Perhaps you're referring to some other activity separate from your own site? I'd like to know more about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeGear View Post
from our statistical analysis of user reviews on Blue Ray media:
Commentary on these methods has been discussed here: DVD dye vs Blu-ray dye - Organic vs Inorganic optical dyes - LTH vs HTL BD-R


Again, thanks for your input.

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  #13  
03-20-2011, 10:08 PM
jmac698 jmac698 is offline
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Interesting thread here
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=157976
They generally say they want to buy physical media to keep, digital is ok for a quick entertainment. They would also rather rip their own versions of movies.
http://www.bdfile.com/content.php?32...ital-Downloads
magazine article about it
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  #14  
03-21-2011, 02:32 AM
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Interesting? I don't know. Not really.

To start, I wouldn't even call that a "magazine" to be honest. It's a rather new UK-owned website with minimal traffic, on a shared hosting account from HostGator (meaning it's probably really tiny). The "article" in question is simple a brief editorial/opinion piece written by the owner. From an authoritative point of view, it's just one opinion from one user of unknown background -- not much different from an amateur blogger or even an Amazon reviewer. I don't detect any data based from trending research. (In contrast, most of my information is based upon quantifiable qualitative data.)

As much as I like Doom9, remember it's a niche site that has an inherent audience bias. Of course those people would prefer to rip their own copies -- that's how that site even started some 10+ years ago!

I'd even point out that the Doom9 thread didn't get past the third post before the author's knowledge was questioned. (The DRM aspect.)

In fact, I just came home from a late-night trip to Walmart (ran out of laundry detergent), and as usual, I poked around the DVD/TV area. There was a nice rack of Blu-ray media, yes. One rack. And then there was about 7-8 rows + multiple bins and kiosks full of DVDs. That author must not actually go to a Walmart very much. (Does UK even have Walmart? I thought those were all branded as Asda.)

Will physical media be around? Yes, definitely, if for no other reason than online connectivity logistics.
Will it be Blu-ray media? Based on my years of research -- no. Solid-state will be the true successor to DVD and all other discs.

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03-23-2011, 12:37 PM
GeorgeGear GeorgeGear is offline
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Hi kpmedia - thanks for your very informative site, which we quoted several times! Some comments follow:

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
There's really no such thing as a "good enough" blank disc. It either works, or it does not. The only differences between media is the likely number of bad discs on a spindle, coupled with readability/longevity issues.
Semantics:-) Quoting you on your DVD guide page: '2nd Class "Consumer Quality" grade, suggested for replaceable one-off burns' = "good enough"


Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
This comes from an assumption that the media is physically durable enough to meet stringent ideas on what "archival" is supposed to mean. Given a number of factors discussed in this thread, plus several others in the forum, that's a debatable topic. BD-R is somewhat fragile compared to a DVD, with more physical attributes in common with a CD-R -- a non-archival media.
If your backup strategy requires more than spinning media, you don't have any choice, really, as soon as your storage needs are high enough. In our small office we have a low number of terabytes of data. We separate ongoing, frequently changed data ("small set"), with large amounts of reference data ("big set") and use spinning media, cloud and BD storage in difference configurations. For anybody who passes above the range of 100G-150G of data, it is simply impractical to use the small size of a DVD, and, at this time, solid-state is not cost-effective enough. It is possible, however, to use an incremental storage duplication policy for the Big Set, and a regular full back-up policy for the Small Set, both using BDs as one of the means to insure multiple storage images.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
How can that be accurate? You're hosted through Blogger, and the site is relatively small and new. That doesn't correspond to your own statement. From what I can see, your whole SQL database would fit a CD-R, with room to spare. Perhaps you're referring to some other activity separate from your own site? I'd like to know more about this.
Who is talking about SQL db? You, not me:-) Our data servers are not customer facing and need safeguarding. Our storage needs are comparable to that of a private individual with an interest in music, video or photography (i.e. a low number of TB), and are reasonably typical, albeit a bit on the large side, of the average customer for Blu-Ray archival. And, yes, we are one among several sister organizations (the smallest).

Btw - you were mentioning stores. We are publishing right now a long series of articles on the best Blu-Ray media stores, including average pricing, inventory breadth, CS, and low-end/high-end selection. Let me know what you think. We really value your opinion and would gladly quote you with link backs.

Thanks again for the great site! take care -

George Gear
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