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Dvd-r Life span

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by ferris57, Apr 19, 2003.

  1. ferris57

    ferris57
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    Just thought I would make a quick post about this for those of you that are either wondering or where unaware about dvd-r media lifespan. Appologies if it is old news, which I am sure it will be for many. The main reason is that I have noticed that peoples main reason for making dvd's is to transfer video footage or camcorder footage presumably for archieving.

    First of all dvd-r's use organic dye, which is burnt with the laser to to make patches of light and dark colour, this emulated the actual pits of a normal pressed dvd (retail dvd's). When they are read by a dvd laser it see's the dark patches in the same way it sees the pits in a dvd (which would obviously appear darker as they are in effect holes).

    Since the dye is organic based it degrades. At what speed depends on three factors. The quality of the media, the quality of the burn and the conditions it is kept in. They should be kept out of sunlight and away from extremes in temperature and humidity.

    Now cheap dvdr's can degrade to the point where they are unreadable within a matter of months! even when stored carefully and correctly. The life time of quality media such a verbatim should be much longer but the exact lifespan is still unknown, allthough I would expect it to be in line with the 100 years a good cd will get. The average media will probably only last 2 or 3 years.

    So if you are making archiev footage DON'T skimp on the disks. The extra 50p will really be worth it! For the record I would say verbatim would be the safest bet at a reasonable price (about £1.80 each). And not the spindle verbatim which use a different dye from the single jewel case variety. Im not saying don't use cheap media at all, as it is really all i use, just if you want the recordings to last avoid it.
     
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    For people who are archiving on DVD it is best to ensure you have a good, regular backup system if you want to ensure the preservation of your recordings.

    Personally I archive all my recordings on official Panasonic DVD-Rs (as they seem very good quality even if they are £4 each). They are also 'supposed' to have a life span of 60 years (which will see me out). I then burn a backup on £2 Mirror disks that I use for every day playback. I have a 'backup' timetable where I reburn a title (on cheap Mirror disks) every 36 months - this backup then gets put with the original backup and not used.

    Doing this is easy if you have a DVD burner of your PC. If you don't then many internet cafes do - supply your own blank disks and you won't get charged for anything more than the time you use the PC for. You don't need any 'ripping' software - you can just copy the files.

    I would recommend making backups whether archiving on DVD-R or DVD+R as well as people who archive on DVD-RW, DVD+RW and caddyless DVD-RAM (as all three unprotected disks are prone to damage). No format is 100% safe.
     
  3. harrisuk

    harrisuk
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    This is a very good point. And this is why people who properly understand the standards are going for DVD +R in the P.C market in a big way.

    There are a number of reasons for this but a key one is that DVD +R drives are very accurate in the way they wright data. That is why a bog standard +R P.C drive can record at 2.5 speed where as most -r drives out ther at the moment are limited to one speed.

    OK 4 speed drives are now available but the good ones cost.
    You can get a really good 2.5 speed +R drive for your P.C for £120. The same price of a 1 speed -r drive. A decent 4 speed drive will cost £250 or more.

    Most people with -r drives for the P.C at the moment are on 1st gen 1 speed drives. Another factor +R media is marginaly more expensive. But most of it is of a much much higher quality than the cheapo dvd -r you see around. Most of the blank +R discs available at the moment use the Ritek dye which is well known to be the most compatabile and durable available. Although slightly more expensive you can still get high quality +R for around £1 a disc is you look around. This is a much much better bet if you are bothered about storing you valuable P.C data that 60p for cheapo -r.

    At the end of the day you pay for what you get.

    I want to make it very clear I dont want another Format war type of thread here. I have just bought a Panny 50e so I am not biased and I am not saying there is anything wrong with -r. I have bought the 50e because I believe it is the best value for money in terms of DVD recorders at the moment. With decent quality dvd -r I dont think life span is an isse.

    But I still believe +R to be a better more durable format and that is why I use it for my P.C backups at home and at work.

    I have recorded over 200 +R discs and never had one coaster. http://www.dvdrhelp.com/ has loads on info on this topic. including reviews on all the drives available for the P.C and the blank media as well. If you look at the reviews for the +R media and recorders you wont see many complaints which is not the case for -r P.C recorders.
     
  4. Rasczak

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    This is yet to proven. DVD+R was launched into the mass market early 2002 which means it's only had just over a year - insufficient time really for any substantial failures. DVD-R, on the other hand, has been around significantly longer.

    The drives are all about the same price. For instance at www.dabs.com (which offers a nice range of manufacters) the LG 4020B offers 2x DVD-R, 1 x DVD-RW and 2x RAM and is only £3 more expensive than the cheapest DVD+RW drive. As I say nothing in it.

    Firstly DVD-R has been around that much longer and has that many more users especially as it is the sole official write-once format. Secondly we are yet to see bargain basement DVD+Rs due to it being a relatively new format. Thirdly because it's a new format there hasn't really had enough time for disks to fail. Finally because DVD+RW is a compatible format many users write to DVD+RW rather than +R.

    As I've said before there is nothing in the PC DVDR market between a DVD-RW/-R drive and a DVD+RW/+R drive. However, due to the DVD Forums 'DVD Multi' badge the former will have support for DVD-RAM which is good news for E20/30/50/HS2 users and those requiring random access in their backups.
     
  5. ferris57

    ferris57
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    "You can get a really good 2.5 speed +R drive for your P.C for £120. The same price of a 1 speed -r drive. A decent 4 speed drive will cost £250 or more."

    Two quick points. A x2 speed -r writer is around £150 with 25 blanks. A four speed pioneer ao5, teac x4 are both sub £200.

    1 speed dvd-r writers are almost obselete-I can only think of 2. the panasonic 311 and the vivastar. The main drives are the pioneer 103, 104 and 105, teak (105 clone), sony 500's (dual format) and panasonic (sw 9581), which all write at between 2-4x.

    The ritek dye is also used by some of the better dvd-r such as traxdata and ritek 1one.

    Lastly, I would say any advantage of durability or error rates is probably down to media quality, not format. If the plus format appears to suffer fewer errors, it is at least partially because the plus media market does not currently have any of the really cheap media. When I say cheap I refer to bulkpaq and gogo ect.. If you only used panasonic, tdk or verbatim dvd-r you would never have a coaster. The problem is very cheap dvd-r media, with which you ahve to be willing to accept a failure rate if you buy.

    So if you buy a + writter there are no real problems with any media quality therefore the perception is it may be a more reliable format, if you buy a - r you must be selective in what media you purchase, but you can achieve similarly good results with a bit of care. To be fair though, as I have said, the majority of problems do not come from the format, they come from the media, software and user error.

    If you use quality media you will not have a problem with either format.
     
  6. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Absolutely.
     
  7. harrisuk

    harrisuk
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    I agree with the points you have made. The media quality is a major factor. But +R units are much more accurate in my opinion and this is reflected in the higher entry level speed of 2.5.

    There are still loads of places selling 1 speed -r writers for £100 - £140. I will certainly wait until the "decent" 4 speed writers come down to around £250. The Sony device is still £250 - £270 if you can get one !
     
  8. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    If any CD/DVD burner was inaccurate you wouldn't get disks that worked. The fact is that most companies are going initially going to work on developing drives that are 1 speed, then 2 then 4 etc. Philips decided not to do this to create exactly the impression that you now have - that is must be a more 'accurate' device which is why Philips sourced DVD+RW drives (including the majority of non-Philips badged drives) are 2.4 speed.

    I would suggest the difference between 2 speed and 2.4 speed is negligible, i.e. approx. 21 minutes for a 2.4 speed drive and 25 minutes for a 2 speed drive for a 4.7GB disk.

    Then you should avoid these as you can easily pick up a 2 speed DVD Multi burner for £150.
     
  9. harrisuk

    harrisuk
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    I dont know about the technology so probably not the best person to go into detail. But I have read alot about "Loss less linking" etc which is meant to be the reason for increased accuracy and thus speed. You might know more about it than me. I have seen some very interesting threads on this on google groups from the real tech heads.

    But I dont know enough about it really. By accuracy I really mean speed and succeful writes. Anyone here written 200 -r without any coasters honestly ?

    As I said look at DVD help. I prefer this for the more "PC" point of view. And if you read about the various devices and media v DVD -r you will find alot of people going the +R route in terms of price / reliability.
     
  10. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Lossless Linking is the feature added to DVD+RW to allow ANY editting ability whatsoever. If it didn't have this feature the disk would have the same characteristics as a VHS player (less if you count the VHS players with the advert skip option).

    Lossless Linking keeps the files within the correct parameters of the DVD Video specification enabling compatibility. It has nothing to do with the error control features that are similar to what can be found on any DVD/CD burner. As I said the 2.4 speed is effectively a 'gimmick'.
     
  11. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    I agree, this lossless linking business is just marketing by the +RW Alliance/a certain biased website/ and Philips.

    Lossless linking only comes into play when a recording is halted and started again. On a PC Drive this is essentially buffer under-run and lossless linking provides Burn-proof protection. So unless your PC is below spec or has problems keeping up with the data rate it will not be used during normal authoring of DVDs anyway. So whether it has lossless linking or not would not make much difference.

    Other uses of lossless linking are for re-writable discs and also write-once discs in real-time recorders. This is mainly to stop buffer under-runs from ruining a disc. If you are recording in real-time using a high compression setting so a low data-rate the drive is continually getting buffer under-runs. For example it wants to write at x1 speed which is ~10Mbits/sec but the user has selected a 2 hour recording rate which is ~5Mbits/sec. Lossless linking allows the drive to stop, wait for the buffer to fill and write until the buffer is empty while maintaining a zero loss, this just means there are no visible joins so that a player doesn’t have problems reading it back. Lossless linking also allows editing, which Philips use in its set-top recorders to allow some limited divide and hide options.

    The bit the adverts for +RW/+R do not tell you about lossless linking is that it is also on DVD-R and DVD-RW and has been in the spec since 1997! A certain website that has a bias towards +RW tells a different story, which is rubbish and is where a lot of these myths come from.

    Also a lot is made about defect management on +RW/+R hardware. This is just marketing as the DVD Video format cannot support defect management. Defect management is only applicable to Mt Rainier on PC Drives when used for data and even now you cannot buy a DVD PC Recorder that supports this. Just vapourware.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  12. harrisuk

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    Faster, more reliable, cheaper etc.... As I said I am no expert. My problem is alot of bias here. Not the best place to get impartial advice. Sorry guys. Thats the way I see it. And you might say I am bias but I have bought -r and +R recorders I am just saying the way I see it.

    No one has replied to the point I made about recording 200 +R DVD R without any coasters. I know plenty of people with -r drives who have had problems.......
     
  13. Rasczak

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    I have burnt over 300 successful DVD-Rs. I have NEVER had a coaster with Panasonic or Mirror disks. The only coasters I have ever had have been with cheap (60p each media). When we see equally cheap DVD+Rs then a fair comparison can be made.
     
  14. ferris57

    ferris57
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    I second that.

    In fact I have only ever had one disk that played but began to skip towards the end. It was a 60p disk. I have had one or two disks fail to even be recognised before burning however, and these again where cheapies. I suppose you could call them coasters but since they didn't write in the first place I don't really class them as coasters, more as media failures.

    Zero coasters/freezing or skipping with decent media.
     
  15. harrisuk

    harrisuk
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    Well there we go then three people who have done 200+ DVD R in the +R and -r format without coasters. No reliability of durability issues then in either format in the experience of said people.

    I will continue to use +R.
     
  16. bobbles

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    I have been using the tubs of 50 yellow from bigpockets to archive, no coasters yet.

    are you seriously saying that the things I am archiving may only last a few years

    that is pants beyond belief

    I just hope they will last until the next gen thing comes along
     
  17. ferris57

    ferris57
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    It's certainly a possibility! make sure and store them properly and hope for the best. There's no definative evidence yet about exact lifespan but I know of a few friends who made recordings on bulkpaq around 6 months ago and these are already unplayable.
     
  18. harrisuk

    harrisuk
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    bobbles. I think the Yellow tops from Big Pockets are Data Write ?
    I get my stuff from there and have some of these discs.

    If its the same stuff I have been getting its data safe media. Its not cheapo stuff. I think they use Ritek die witch is meant to be both the most durable and compatable available.

    So I wouldnt worry. One interesting point. What is classed as safe storage ? Obviously away from heat or light. I have started archiving into these big 200 cd cases to save space.

    But I have heard the sleeves can scratch / damage the disc surface. What do we think ? Cant use cases any more take up too much space and dont fancy the storage tower route.
     
  19. ferris57

    ferris57
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    Datasafe yellows actually use princo dye, which gets a lot of stick. The yellows are pretty much regarded (or where since they are no more) to be a good x1 budget disk. Datasafe is a pretty respected company though and I would imagine they would be fine. (I'm getting way to anal about dvd media!-3:30 in the morning and Im disscussing dye types *shakes head in disbelief*)

    Harrisuk: I think the cases are fine for storage. Buffy and angel dvd boxsets use a similar material in the sleeves so I imagine they should be o.k. I suppose frequently taking them out of the sleeves could cause wear but realisticly how often do you watch each dvd.
     

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