Yes, there's been some confusion by readers in the past year. We're working to make DVD brand vs DVD manufacturer
more prominent on the page. Maxell, TDK, Sony, JVC and a few others are both brands and manufacturers -- but the brand doesn't always use what's made by the parent company's manufacturer.
But it's good to hear you've now realized the difference in TDK (brand) vs TDK (manufacturer).
"TDK media" is now made by Falcon Technologies (FTI), although it's not fully TDK in spec -- it uses a TDK ID (TDK stamper) on Falcon production. It's not as good as TDK media was, back when it was still manufactured by TDK, but still better than most.
We're considering expanding the DVD media list back out to a 4-tier list, because something something like Falcon is better than CMC or Ritek (currently 2nd Class media), but not what I'd rely on for "archival" quality for video/audio masters and important data backups. It's not on par with Taiyo Yuden or Mitsubishi media. Although in an interesting twist, FTI does make some of Mitsubishi's discs (to MCC/MKM specs, of course, so it's not FTI media). It's similar to Prodisc's situation.
I would also suggest that RITEKF1 TDK-branded DVD-R 16x media is pretty decent for non-archival use. I personally use about 100 of those a month, for duplication and transport copies. It's cheap and easy to find, often in the $15/100-pack range on sale at one of the local office stores. (I would not pay more than $20 for it, however, being that it's not archival grade, for as long as Verbatim and TY is in the $20-25/100 range.)
Thanks for the feedback!