I have read so many fallacies and misconceptions regarding DVD Media over the last few months, I thought a sticky would do a nice job of clearing some of these things up.
I have also seen the same questions repeated over and over so I thought I would cover the most common questions regarding media as well.
FAQ'S ABOUT DVD MEDIA
What's better, DVD-R or DVD+R? There is no correct answer here as both formats are extremely compatible and have many similarities. Although DVD-R has been around longer and is "statistically" sold around the world more then (DVD+R), that doesn't make it better. Both are compatible with the majority of the standalone players on the market and although the compatibility between the two formats (in terms of percentages) favors DVD-R, the difference is so infinitecimal, it has no bearing.
My disks seem to burn fine but in some instances I notice pixelation or freezing/studdering issues towards the end of the movies. What is causing this? In almost all cases, the cause for this is inferior media. The true test of media is what it can do from the 4GB mark on up. Being able to consistently burn 4.3+ GB's of data or more on a particular type of media is what seperates the pretenders in media from the contenders.
My blank DVD-R/RW/+R/RW says I can burn 4.7 GB's of data. But I have heard that you can only burn up to 4.38 GB's of data. Which one of these facts is true? Actually, both of the facts are true. The confusion comes because the "real" world and the "computer" world have different mathematical computations. It can get confusing, and for the most part, what you really need to know is when you see the 4.7 on your DVD MEDIA, it is referring to 4.7 billion bytes. Which equates to approximately 4.37 GB's. To simplify, you will need to keep your project to 4.37 GB's or less.
I downloaded ADVDINFO/DVDInfo but I get errors or can't get the program to read the structure of my blank media, why? There are a few reasons why you may have this problem. First, ADVDINFO is an older program and the author had not updated it in quite some time. As a result, it will not read DVD+R/RW disks, nor will it read the structure of a DVD-R in a DVD-ROM. If you are using ADVDINFO, make sure you put the media you want to read in your DVD BURNER and select "OE" from the drop down box, and hit the "READ DVD STRUCT" button.
I personally reccomend nicw's DVDInfo which can also be downloaded here. For more information on the program, read the sticky on this site titled DVDInfo DICUSSION APP." A quick summary of DVDInfo is that it has many options which ADVDINFO does not offer. To name a few, you can test both DVD+R/RW disks, as well as the ability to read disks from a DVD-ROM.
Note: Some DVD Burners may NOT be able to read the media id's of "BLANK" DVD Media. Therefore, in some instances, you will need to burn your project onto the media, and then check the media ID. Two burners which will read blank media id's with the latest firmware are the Ricoh and Sony burners. (see the -jsl- post below.) Thanks -jsl-
What's the Best media out there? Again, there is no such thing as Best media. No two people's computers are exactly alike, and different hardware as well as different software make this question impossible to answer. There are other reasons as to why you can't assume a BEST when it comes to DVD MEDIA as I will explain later.
Now for the Biggest Miconceptions and Fallacies of DVD MEDIA.
Just like with everything else in the world, I ALWAYS get what I pay for. If I pay extra money for expensive DVD MEDIA then i'm surely going to get the best quality, right? This is the ABSOLUTE BIGGEST FALLACY regarding DVD MEDIA. I have seen many posts where people think that they are getting the best quality media simply because they spent a few extra dollars. This couldn't be more false. Yes, MANY times in the real world, you get what you pay for. You won't get filet mignon for the price of salsbury steak, and you won't get a Ferrari for the price of a Ford. In many cases you do get what you pay for. But in the world of DVD MEDIA, you absolutely can NOT associate price with quality.
I will give two strong examples. It was assumed for a long time that companies like Verbatim make some of the best media in the world. If you spend extra money for name brand "VERBATIM" disks...you were getting what you paid for, right? Wrong! Recently, Verbatim has been known to have allowed the production of countless inferior Verbatim disks from a variety of different production plants and manufacturers. CMC is the company primarily responsible for producing the MAJORITY OF Verbatim's crappy media, but other companies have been known to produce faulty, error-plagued Verbatim disks as well. A Verbatim search on this forum will give you more information.
The point though is that you must first understand that the MAJORITY OF THE TIMES you are purchasing "name brand" media, the name on the top side of the disk, is not the name of the company that actually manufactured the disks. You also have to understand the DVD Production process a little. You can't just assume things. You can't just say for example, that because TDK is making excellent disks now that they will always continue to make excellent quality disks. Most of these DVD manufacturers have a wide erray of production plants around the WORLD. Companies like Verbatim have at least 7 different manufacturer's of their media! They also have manufacturing plants in different States as well as different countries!
For one reason or another, not only can one "brand" of disks be better manufactured then another..such as TAIYO YUDEN Verbatim disks being higher quality then say CMC...but in addition, the quality of the disks that come from a plant in Singapore, may be superior in quality to a plant in North Carolina. Quality control can also be more leniant at one plant then it is at another. It can also certainly be more stringent for a company like Taiyo Yuden, then it is for a company like CMC. For this reasons as well as many others, you can't just ASSUME because a disk is more expensive, it is absolutely better.
The reverse can also be said. Just because a disk is inexpensive, does not make it cheap or of inferior quality. As a matter of fact, there are NUMEROUS unbranded "generic" media being sold at many online sites which is superior in quality to alot of more expensive "NAME BRAND" disks such as Verbatim, Memorex, Fuji, etc.
Just to name some of the highest quality disks I know the majority of people have had the most success with success with are as follows:
Ritek, (mainly G03 & G04), Ricoh, Lead Data/ Primarily sold under the name ACCU, DUPEZ, AND PIODATA. Prime disks - Manufacutred by Gigastorage. Samsung BeALL DVD-R (Not +R) Optodisks - The highest quality appears to be the Gold-Topped 4x disks from the majority of the people who have used them. This is a list of the most compatibile and highest quality inexpensive media which can in many cases be far superior in both quality AND compatibility to more expensive name brands. Which certainly is better for all of us.
Last but not least, I want to mention that i've seen too many fallacies and assumptions from people who think because they got one bad batch of disks from a manufacturer, then surely, all that particular manufacturer's disks or brand of disks must be crappy. Again, this simply isn't true.
Case in point: CMC has been known to produce a high percentage of inferior disks which have some type of issue or another. In the Verbatim example listed above, they were known to be responsible for the majority of inferior Verbatim disks. However, CMC also manufactures many other brands of disks. Philips DVD+R media for one is produced by CMC. And for one reason or another, the Philips media CMC produces is of a higher quality and superior to that of most other CMC Produced media. There can be a number of reasons for this. It could be the dye used for the Philips disks is of better quality...maybe it's because the Quality Control is more stringent for the Philips disks then it is other brands. Or maybe it's because the entire production process is just better for the Philips disks. Whatever the reason, one thing that is for sure... is that I burned a successful 75 out of 75 with these CMC disks. In addition, I have not read a single post to date from anyone saying that they've had negative issues with the Philips media. I have, however, read many posts where people have had success with the Philips (CMC) media.
So as you can see, you can't just ASSUME that because CMC produced the media, that the media will absolutely be crappy. And the exact opposite is true. Memorex has had a lot of negative Feedback regarding their DVD MEDIA. Incidentally, the majority of their DVD-R media is CMC manufactured..and of POOR QUALITY.
So this means that everyone who has used Memorex media can say that Memorex sucks and they'd be correct, right? Once again...WRONG! Memorex also has DVD+R media and their DVD+R media happens to be produced by RICOH..one of the world leaders in DVD+R media and one of the companies at least at this point in time who people can rely on for high quality media. The point though is that just as poorly as the Memorex CMC DVD-R disks are...the Memorex DVD+R disks are some of the best out there.
The point is that you are only misinforming yourself by saying that all Memorex media is crap or all CMC media is crap,...or ALL Verbatim media is the Best...because the facts prove otherwise. In order to continue to get the highest quality media possible, you have to keep up with the times. At any given time a company may contract with a media manufacturer and you wouldn't even know there was a change. Today Memorex has CMC manufacturing its DVD-R media, but tomorrow they may contract with Taiyo Yuden and cut CMC. The same can be said for ANY media company. Right now the TDK DVD-R disks are produced by Maxell and themselves (TDK)...tomorrow they may decide to cut costs and allow a lower quality product to be produced...and they may contract CMC to produce their DVD-R media. What a nightmare that would be..lol...but it can happen.
As long as people understand these concepts and look a little deeper then just the obvious...then they should have no problem staying on top of the highest quality DVD media on the market at any given point in time.
Hopefully this info will prevent from the constant repeat posts, as well as inform people that you can not just ASSUME anything, especially when it comes to DVD MEDIA.
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Originally Posted by kirpen
so, you need to convert that GB to computer GB....
4.7 GB = 4,700,000,000/1024/1024/1024 = ~4.38 GB (computer GB)
a simplistic view:
their GB is referring to 1 GB = 1000 MB. computer GB is referring to 1 GB = 1024 MB. hence, their GB is less than a computer GB, so when you translate their GB to computer GB, the size will be less.
I think kirpen was making the suggestion that one of the MEDIA FAQ's has to do with the the calculations for media and that I should add that to the FAQ's. I haven't seen that question asked much as of late but I think that kirpen is right...so I will edit the post and add that question too.
In the past I have burned about 200 Princo 1x 'white top' dvd-r, and had no problem with the quality. I watched many movies over 2 hours all the way through, and never had a problem.
Recently, however, I got a 100 count spindle of Princo 1x dvd-r, the ones with the logos. I burned a couple movies, and watched *most* of a movie, and thought there was no problem. However, I started noticing that, near the end of the movies, the disk would start pixelating, skipping, and finally freezing - as mentioned in this post! I was hoping that it was just a bad batch, but now since I read this is common, I think it just may be the Princo logo discs. I'm totally bummed, cuz it's been almost 2 months since I purchased them, and the website I got them from won't return/exchange them. Oh, well, at least they were cheap. I guess I'll go with some Ritek or Optodiscs next time
There are a few reasons why you may have this problem. First, ADVDINFO is an older program and the author had not updated it in quite some time. As a result, it will not read DVD+R/RW disks, nor will it read the structure of a DVD-R in a DVD-ROM. If you are using ADVDINFO, make sure you put the media you want to read in your DVD BURNER and select "OE" from the drop down box, and hit the "READ DVD STRUCT" button.
Worth mentioning also is that you with most DVD+R/RW writers and DVD±R/RW writers can't check the media code on blank DVD+R/RW media, only on media you've burnt something on (the exceptions is Sony's drives and Ricoh's drives with the latest firmware).
Not in opposition to, but rather to expand on defense's post, we are able to make several "safe bets" or generalities at this point in time...
Maxell is good. The MXL media formula, not the brand.
Pioneer is good. The PVC media formula, not the brand.
Ritek is good. Most RITEKG03 and all RITEKG04.
Apple is good. The brand. They have a high quality control in their contracts.
Verbatim is good. The MCC media formula, not the brand.
Optodisc is good. The gold ones. OPTODISC media code.
Lead Data is questionable. LEADDATA or LD01 or LD or LEDA media codes.
Accu is questionable. ACCU media codes.
Princo 4x is questionable. PRINCO media codes.
CMC is bad. The CMC media formula, not the brand.
Princo 1x and 2x is bad. PRINCO media codes.
No-names brands like GQ*, Kyphermedia, and others that often use CMC or Princo.
No-names brands like Matrix and shop4tech that have their own media ID and brands.
* Yeah, just like defense said, these change. GQ used to be Ritek G03, but are now Princo 4x. Not a good trade-off. At least not to me. GQ discs are $1.50 each in stores.
AND THE UGLY:
Fake MXL media. Silver-topped "Maxell" fakes.
Fake TDK media. White-topped and silver-topped "TDK" fakes.
Fake Pioneer. The "PioData" with PIO codes are NOT Pioneer. Pioneer is PVC.
These are generally true. Not always, but most times.
All my comparisons are with the DVD-R format.
Again, to expand on defense, the DVD-R and DVD+R are different as well. So while CMC has proven itself a loser on the -R front, it appears to have decent footing on the +R front. Ricoh is not a -R manufacturer at this time either. So be sure to treat -R and +R media comparisons differently, as they are seemingly made differently as well. Otherwise, I'd assume I could use a +R disc in my -R burners, but since I can't, I'm going with the assumption that +R is a different kind of animal altogether from -R.
I just got done buying 100 Optodisc Gold 4x for $132 and 30 Maxell for $43. With good media hovering at just over $1 apiece, why buy lower quality just to save pennies per disc? Sure, it turns into dollars when buying large amounts, but think of all the coasters you throw away! That's a factor in pricing too. At least to me.
BJ_M said:defense -- may i repost this in another forum with credit to you ? very well written btw and i agree 100% with what you have said
@jsl, thanks for the info. I'm gonna leave the ADVDINFO +R/RW media code part the way it is,...because even though it may check some +R media...it's ability is limited because I didn't have any success with it checking my +R media. Would it be safe to say that DVDINFO is more versatile with +R media then advdinfo? I'm gonna update the "blank" media id issue..because I do have a Sony burner, and was unware that other burners wouldn't read blank DVDR media as I had never read that in a post. Thanks
@ lordsmurf...good info in your post. I have already seen a decrease in repeat questions, so hopefully pepole are being informed and hopefully that trend will continue.
Originally Posted by paulwill
Seriously though, that has to really suck!!!! i have had problems with vcd's & svcd's, i think because i have tried to squeeze too much video on them but i have yet to have a problem with dvd+r's, funny though, i have heard of the problem with verbatim but i have yet to have a problem with them, i use them almost exclusively, hope my luck holds out!!
And very nice defense, learned a few things and some good answers to questions i had not even asked yet
The real world says that a byte is 1000 kb's, while the computer world says a byte is 1024 kb's . When you see the 4.7 on DVD MEDIA it is referring to 4.7 billion bytes, which equates to approximately 4.37 GB's. To simplify, you will need to keep your project to 4.37 GB's or less.
From digital 101, I learnt that 1 byte = 8bits, never heard of 1byte is 1000kbs = 125 KBytes[/i]
Where in the world did you learn that a byte is 1000 kbs,
From digital 101, I learnt that 1 byte = 8bits, never heard of 1byte is 1000kbs = 125 KBytes[/i]
When you see hard drives and DVD-R media talk about size in gigabytes, they are talking about billions of bytes. Because the computer world is base-2 numeric system (binary), numbers are powers of 2. there is no 1000, there is 2^10, which is 1024. 1 kb=1024 bytes. 1 megabyte = 1024 kilobytes. 1 gigabyte =1024 megabytes. So you have a DVD-R disk that is "4.7 gig" but is actually 4,700,000,000 bytes, which is actually 4.3772 gigabytes. An 80 gig hard drive is actually 80,000,000,000 bytes, which equates to 74.5058 gigabytes.
Originally Posted by LanEvo7
got it from here ... i asked defense for permission first and re-wrote some of it and changed the tense and such ...
defense is THE man (or women) .."Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems." - Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
oh - sorry lordsmurf , yes -- true.... if you want we will credit you as the lordsmurf , i mean lordsmurf ...
that will look certainly interisting -- but just let me know ...
and thanks for your efforts ..
good work"Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems." - Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
BJ_M wrote:defense is THE man (or women) ..
BJ_M ...you probably want to change the byte/Kilobyte part of the total size of a DVDR. I wrote it quickly and swapped byte for kb...I actually learned in the 4th grade that 1024 bytes make up 1kb...but I typed it wrong. Amazing I even learned that in the 4th grade because I never paid attention and always threw in my "OREGON TRAIL" game floppy.
Anyway, you may just want to delete or reword that to reflect the true size for a project. I did read somehwere that it can also be worded simply as saying the 4.7 on disks reflect a "Giga Binary Byte" which is mathematically different in size to a "GB" or GigaByte....of course the breakdown in Billions of Bytes (4.7) to a GB or MB will work too....the most important thing is people understanding they can NOT put 4.7 GB's of info on their disks..which MANY have attempted to do from posts i've read.
when i was in the fourth grade, we were learning about how to grade hides and make good spear tips from bronze --- missed it in proofreading ,, will be fixed ."Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems." - Rene Descartes (1596-1650)
Because the computer world is base-2 numeric system (binary), numbers are powers of 2. there is no 1000
I think the point is not that there is no 1000 but that it isn't a convenient number. In the decimal system we have special prefixes that represent powers of 10 (killo, giga..). People who work with binaries a lot found that it was more useful to have a special name for 1024 and "stole" the term Gig. This would be ok if it remained technical jargon but as computers have gotten so popular the two different uses of the word are ending up in the same sentence which is just not reasonable.
Because of thread cuts, this MISCONCEPTION was almost lost from this sticky... adding it back as I think it is important...
"Hollywood" doesn't burn media.
"Real" discs are pressed metal, mechanically made media. The presses are precise. Burning is a sloppy method to recreate the process, using dyes that can have pits and grooves "burned" into the chemical, making an illusion of how a "real" disc would look and work.
That's another reason "Hollywood" has DVD-9 discs. They take two pressed layers and merge them, a process that cannot be recreated with burning, at least not now, and probably not for a long time, given the limits of burning technology.
If you compare a pressed media and a burned media under a microscope, you can see that the pressed media is fairly precise, while the burns are fairly erratic, and it's almost a miracle that burning works at all. They're going to have a hard time when Blu-Ray gets here, as the window for error has been made even more finite, and the 4x and 8x DVD burning is already pushing the envelope.
I guess that's another MISCONCEPTION ABOUT DVD MEDIA: pressed discs and burned discs are not the same in any regards.
More TDK confusion:
My first TDK DVD order was for unbranded (silver/purple). They burned great at 2x, every one of them. My next two batches of branded tdk 2x had problems sometimes at 2x. Never at 1x. They're rock solid at 1x... I've never burned any other discs at 2x so it's hard to compare to any of the 1x riteks or generics I've used.
If any of you remember the days when TDK always made their own CDs... it was a sad day when they let CMC start producing for them. I have no faith in any brand for 2x now, since TDK used to be the last brand you could trust to have some consistency (rather than just branding whatever crap is cheapest today).
Originally Posted by Thorn