DVD disc lifespan?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by aikea, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. aikea

    aikea
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    Hi,
    I've recently taken the plunge and purchased a Phillips DVD+R machine and have been happily getting to grips with recording on it.
    I have been told by a friend the other day that it has been said somewhere that because these discs don't have a protective layer like pre recorded DVDs, they only have a shelf life of a couple of years.
    Is this true?, will all my recordings rot in a few years time?
    I remember this being said about CDs when they first started, which has been proven wrong with time,
    I'm just hoping that this is the same!,
    Can anyone put my mind at rest before I bin all my VHS recordings?
    Thanks
     
  2. Rasczak

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    All DVDRs have a finite lifespan - not just from degradation but also from physical damage (anything from bad handling to sunlight can cause this). Thus if you have a recording on a single DVDR then at sometime, somewhen it will fail and you'll suffer full or partial dataloss.

    You can avoid any chance of this [dataloss] by making backups, using high quality media and proper storage conditions (note it is all three). Personally I make an 'original' recording on a high quality disk. I then make a 'daily working copy' on a cheap disk and another backup on a HQ disk. Both original and HQ backup are then locked away in (seperate) dark, cool cabinets. In addition I have a system of 'rolling backups' whereby each original copy is checked and duplicated (again to a HQ disk) every 18 months. I've been using this system for several years now (with PC data) and have found it works equally well for set-top DVD recordings.

    Even if you only make a single backup of each recording though the odds of suffering dataloss is greatly decreased! But do use HQ disks for archiving.
     
  3. calscot

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    Degradation will be FAR less than VHS. IMO A prerecorded VHS at 5 years old and played a few times is ready for the bin.

    I've read that the lifespan of DVD's is up to 100 years and an expectation of about 50 years is reasonable.

    CD-R's are rated at about 10 years due to less protective layering.

    You will probably start finding the quality of even good VHS recordings, unacceptably poor when you get used to your dvd recorder.

    I think the discs are more likely to fail if you rewrite them many times and +RW is expected to last for about 1000 recordings. That may not sound a lot but even if you record every day using say 7 discs in rotation, they should last about 20 years and cost about 20 quid.

    Cheers,
    Cal.
     
  4. Rasczak

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    Maybe for commercial DVD media. But for DVDR media only the High Quality stuff is going to last even a fraction of that length. Already there have been instances of low-cost media failing. Panasonic 'guarantee' their DVDRs for 90 years (and I believe so do other major brands) but all the same we don't know for certain they will last this long even in perfect cases (I assume nobody had a DVD-R in 1913!). Whatever not having a backup is a very, very risky thing IMHO.
     
  5. calscot

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    Maybe for really crucial data but a recording off the telly surely can't be that important. Home video recordings might be a bit more crucial.

    If it's a film, the prerecorded version will be in the bargain bin in 10 years time.

    I think aikea probably wants reassurance that the recordings will still be playable in about 10 years which is a reasonably safe bet.

    Cheers,
    Cal.
     
  6. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I honestly wouldn't bank on that - there have been cases (reported on these boards) where disks have failed within a few months. The disks are only as good as the dye in the recording layer. That can degrade causing loss of data (i.e. a loss of the recording). Making backups buffers you against such effects.

    Well it depends. For timeshifting of course not - but if you go to the trouble of archiving something do you really want it to be lost? I have archived some TV series that have never been reshown on Satellite and will certainly never get a DVD release. In such situations should the disk be damaged then the series would be lost forever.
     
  7. Northerner

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    This raises the question of disc quality. So far I've purchased a few Panasonic RAM's and some TDK DVD-R's but these are expensive. I've visited the SVP Communications page and got confused with the specs and prices. What would you regard as HQ and what should I buy for every day use?
     
  8. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The best indicator is the price. If you buy disks for 50p each they are probably not the best to archive on but are fine for daily use (i.e. as a disk to lend to people). If you pay a bit more, and get a brand name, you are going to get good quality, e.g. disks from Panasonic, Sony, JVC, TDK, Maxwell, Pioneer, Verbatim etc. That's not to say many non-brand name disks aren't just as HQ. Somepeople, on these boards, look for 'Ritek' dye to be the indicator.

    Looking at the SVP page though you can get some high quality disks - take the JVC ones for example (available at £1.40 each). Ok so they are triple the price of the cheapest but, if your not going to backup your stuff, then they are probably worth it for long term archiving. If you ARE going to backup your stuff you can quite happily go on using whatever cheap disks you want (as there is clearly much less chance of BOTH original and backup failing together).

    I should point out though if you pay over £2 for a DVD-R (online that is) your just being ripped off!

    You don't need to worry to much about the longevity of DVD-RAM - it's primary purpose/use is long-term data storage for business applications so, be deafult really, it offers the same to home users. The media is more expensive which means you don't have the same 'bargain basement' issues.
     
  9. malcom

    malcom
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    I agree with Rasczak. I would not dream of not having a back up disc. Even of a TV program. I don't yet have the advantage of a computer DVD multi drive so i am having to do things the long hard way and record everything twice and always on different disc type or brands. Then i watch each recording through to make sure there are no glitches. Then and only then do i move on to the next project.

    In the beginning I used FWS (Original dye type) because they were well priced. now that popular brand names have become cheaper I always seek them out as a preference. Having said that there is not a brand name I have used that hasn't at some stage let me down with faulty media and that includes the ever popular (with me) verbatim discs.

    The logic with me is that the best known brands will want to protect their reputation and if they sold dmedia that was to degrade in just a few short years I don't think that reputation would hold water. So!! I hope. I think they will take more care in there choice of supplier and manufacturer... Let's hope so or I am jumping out of the window for sure.....:D :D
     
  10. Northerner

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    I don't either. Got an up-to-date PC with DVD & CD rewriter ,so what am I looking for. Don't want to rely on the geeks at PC World to tell me what I need.
     
  11. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Look - I hope I'm not encouraging anyone to spend money on DVD burners they don't actually want/need! I'm sure, if stored properly, your disks will last for quite sometime. This is something to think about in the 'medium term', i.e. the next time you buy a new PC make sure it has a DVD burner (it probably will anyway). I know I said some fail in a matter of months but this is a very, very, very small minority. There is no need to panic about systematic loss of all your recordings! Even if one fails - there are plenty of companies with the technology to recover the data at quite reasonable prices!

    There are also alternatives. If you scan your local press you'll find many companies offering DVDR burning or failing that an internet cafe (and about 1.5hrs of your time) will suffice!

    All that said a good DVD burner to get (for RAM users and most others given it's price) is:
    http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=50918
    I will point out though, if you want to backup DVD-Rs, then ANY burner will do as all you have to do is copy the files to the HDD and then burn to another DVD-R/+R.
     
  12. Northerner

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    Don't worry about that, Rasczak, I'm a gadget freak and can't live without the latest techie things I really want to be able to edit my RAM's onto DVD-R's. There was a Hackman movie on C5 last night - couldn't put it onto R as there are adverts and now it's on a RAM and needs the ads editted out. I'm going to need a DVD burner and software to do that - am I thinking in the right direction?
     
  13. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Well certainly the drive I linked to (or any other RAM/-RW/-R drive) will see you right. If you have a look at the post "Newbe Question" you'll see how you can go from there.
     
  14. Northerner

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    You've been a great help Rasczak (as always) and I've now referred to the posts you mentioned and I think I'm well on the way
     
  15. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    No worries - when I went through this process there was very little help available and so the whole experience was alot more 'painful' than it could have been - so it's good to help people avoid that. If you do run into any problems (you shouldn't!) you can normally find me on here (probably only at weekends though when I go back to work in a week or so) or, if not, you can always get top advice from people who know EVERYTHING about PC video editting at the Digital Digest forums:
    http://forum.digital-digest.com/
     
  16. malcom

    malcom
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    No worries. I don't have a DVD burner because i have decided my present computer to be to old and having too small a hard drive to be worth the expence and bother by someone like me who does not feel confident enough to carry out the work myself.

    So it will be my next computer that i will most deffinately obtain a DVD drive. As i do so much backups I do really need one. Any one got any spare cash for my next one..:D :D :D
     
  17. Ferris_bueller

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    discs using princo dyes discs are notorious for failing at the outer limit within 6 months. If you are going to use cheapo discs like these (eg bulqpag, datawrite (mostly princos) then stay under 3.5 to 4GB. Ritek G04 is the best reasonably priced disc (around £1.10 each) and has much better longevity.

    I learned this from bitter experience, after backing up an entire DVD collection with princos, then finding half of them didint play within a few months. AFter checking around different forums its a common problem.
     
  18. malcom

    malcom
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    I have visited the Memorex web site and downloaded a pdf file about taking care of DVD-R discs. Below is a copy of a statement made by Memorex in that pdf file. Note they claim they can last up to 100 years if taken care of properly. Is it spin or is it fact. You decide.:D


    CARE AND HANDLING CARE AND HANDLING
    Recorded DVD+ R and –R discs can last up to 100 years…
    •… if they are handled and stored properly.
    • Keep them in their Memorex protective cases.
    • Remove them gently to protect the hub area.
    • Keep them away from heat and light.
    • Do not touch the bottom layer of the disc.
    •The laser has to look through this layer to record the disc
    or to read from it.
     
  19. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    We'll know for certain in 2103! I don't think I'll care one way or the other by then :D
     
  20. mentsugi

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    The major problem is also handling issues with the surface of the coated disk. TDK have just released their new 'armour' coated DVD-R's which you can attack with steel wool and make no damage.

    See the article:

    http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/6866

    These are bound to be more expensive but once available they will come down in price and extend to other brands quickly I am sure. Looking at the internet they will come in at about 3 pound each.

    Other formats such as DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW will also get this treatment in the future (no mention of DVD-RAM at this time).
     
  21. Ferris_bueller

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    I must admit the life of DVD does concern me a bit. Certainly I want my purchased retail DVDs to last 30-40 years at least. I'm spending a fortune building up a collection and dont want half the discs, whcih in that time will become classics, to not work.

    This is one area where VHS has some advantages. WHilst quality deteriorates, it does so gradually and will still play. Once a dvd rots it goes from being perfect to unplayable in one sitting.
     
  22. Rasczak

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    Unless your VCR decides to screw up the tape! :D I agree though - with DVD you can get complete sudden loss. But certainly with you home DVD recordings you can make backups. I appreciate this doesn't help with your official DVD-Video collection.

    I wouldn't worry about the longevity of your DVD-Videos though - you know you'll want to upgrade them to HD-DVD when available ;)
     

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