This thread has compressed several older stickies and linked to other info found on this site and others. Also, remember to read this: https://www.videohelp.com/dvd
1. What brand DVD media should I buy?
This is a trick question, because brand name doesn't mean much. Most media like "Memorex" and "Fuji" is bought from one of a few select media makers, and then they stamp their pretty name on it. To learn who made the media, you have to look up it's media ID. (You can find a long-winded rant on this top here: https://www.videohelp.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=172496 though note it's very old, so some of the brand/ID information is outdated.)
2. How do I find the media ID?
Use software like DVDInfo or DVD Identifier (PC), or DVDMediaInspector (Mac). Note that some older burners cannot read ID until AFTER the disc is burned.
3. Where can I find a list of good/bad blank media IDs?
The best discs tend to be Mitsubishi, Taiyo Yuden and Maxell.
The worst discs tend to be Princo, CMC, fakes and unknowns/nobodies.
4. What's better, DVD-R or DVD+R?
There is no correct answer here as both formats are extremely compatible and have many similarities. If you want to get really detailed, DVD-R has a slight compatibility edge over DVD+R, but it's minimal.
5. Why do my discs freeze/studder toward the end of the movie.
In almost all cases, the cause for this is bad media or bad burns. A good test for blank DVD media is if it will burn well past 4GB. Being able to consistently burn 4.3GB or more data on a blank, with no flaws, is usually what separates good media from bad media.
6. Why can I only burn 4.38GB on a disc if the package says it's 4.7GB?
Because, in the computer world, 1KB of data = 1024 bytes so 4,700,000,000 bytes / 1024 = 4,589,843KB / 1024 = 4482MB / 1024 = 4.38GB.
7. How can I make a disc that nobody else can copy?
You cannot. The end.
8. Can I overburn DVD media to have more than 4.38GB?
No. Or at least, you're not supposed to be able to. Some of the earliest DVD burning and authoring software from 2001 and before accidentally allowed some discs to burn more than what most modern programs consider the max space. If you need more space, use more discs. Or compressed the data a little more.
9. Can data disappear off my media?
Not really. Most "disappearing data" can being attributed to other issues.
10. How long do discs last?
Nobody knows. For DVD-R and DVD+R, the best estimates are decades at minimum. For DVD-RW and DVD+RW, it can be a matter of months.
11. How can I burn a disc like "Hollywood" does?
Discs you buy in stores are pressed metal, not burned. This process is expensive, often requiring orders of 500 or more copies of the same disc. Owning the equipment takes an investment of thousands of dollars ($USD). For more information on the differences between pressed and burned CD/DVD media, see this video: https://www.videohelp.com/~cobra/OpticalDrivesFAQ.wmv
12. Should I use sticky labels or inkjet media?
The general consensus is that labels are bad. Use inkjet discs and buy an inkjet printer if you really need images on the top of the discs.
13. Will Sharpie markers mess up my DVD?
No. That's just a bad rumor from the CD days. You see, CD had no protective upper layer like DVDs do. So they could be damaged more easily. One rumor was that "acid" in the Sharpie could eat away at the surface of the CD, but again, just a rumor with few facts or empirical data to back it up. DVD has a plastic upper, so this rumor is not even remotely plausible.
14. What are "scans" and what do they mean?
Although not 100% accurate, there is software that can scan your media and rate it's properties, often using a good/bad system, or a more complex set of measurements. Nero CD-DVD Speed, DVDInfo Pro and Kprobe are three such programs. For info on how to use these, check the guides.
15. How else can I test my media?
Again, not 100% accurate, but the old-fashioned "two eyes" test works pretty well, both by looking at the media dye for anomalies, and then by playing the disc in a player and see if there are any glitches in the playback. The most accurate way to test media is to BOTH do "two eyes" tests and the software scanning methods, together.
Many of these issues and more have been discussed throughout the forum in the past couple years. Do a forum search for more information on any of these topics, or for topics not discussed.
If you'd like to see something else added here, reply to this post and/or PM me.
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To learn who made the media, you have to look up it's media ID.
But anyway this is a great thread! Nice job lordsmurf!
Here is a graphical illustration of the importance of media ID. Right now, I have about 300 movie backups that I stupidly put in a binder. As a result, they are all scratched. So, I went out and bought 3 spindles of 100 discs to correct the situation, and now I am in the process of making new backups (by copying the old backups). The new backups are, of course, going to go into jewel cases.
In the process of buying the 3 spindles, I went through a learning curve. The first 100-spindle was $30 Memorex DVD+R, on sale at Best Buy (media ID: CMC-MAG-M01). As you can see from http://www.digitalfaq.com/media/dvdmedia.htm, this is "third class" media. Then I read that Fuji was, on the whole, better than Memorex, so I bought a second 100-spindle, $35 FujiFilm DVD+R, on sale at Best Buy (media ID: RITEK-R03-02). As you can see from the above link, this is "second class" media. Then I read that "Made in Japan" media (it says on the label) was generally better than "Made in Taiwan" media. So later that week, I bought a third and final 100-spindle, $35 FujiFilm DVD+R, made in Japan, on sale at Best Buy (media ID: YUDEN000-T02). As you can see from the above link, this is "first class" media.
The following were the results I got when running a burned DVD from each of the three groups through Nero's Disc Quality test. First, the CMC disc (third class):
Next, the Ritek disc (second class):
And finally, the Yuden disc (first class):
As you can see, CMC was given a score of 97, Ritek was given a score of 99, and Yuden was given a score of 100. You'll also notice that CMC has the most unstable jitter and jumps in the CI errors after 95% (probably because the outer edge of the disc is flawed).
I was going to run a Disc Quality Test on a 4th class media, a Platinum 4x DVD+R (media ID: AML-001-00), but I couldn't even find one that was 100% good on the surface scan!
Originally Posted by lordsmurf
sorry,just coudnt help posting..
edit: ..but hey this is a sticky!
Originally Posted by z0k
The optical-disc makers, like the hard-drive manufacturers, are using the standard "metric" definition of a "giga-" as 1,000,000,000 in order to make the number look bigger and more impressive. (Which is why most OS'es report your spiffy new 500Gb hard drive as only having 465Gb of free space before you've even saved a single file to it -- trust me, not even Windows is so inefficient as to suck up 35Gb of space just for the filesystem!) Thus, when they promote the DVD blanks as having a capacity of 4.7Gb, they mean 4,700,000,000 bytes -- which, when you divide by the computer world's definition of a "gigabyte" as 1,073,741,824 bytes, yields a "true" capacity of 4.377Gb.
(The reason for the difference between the "metric" and "computer world" definitions is, of course, because all computer-world definitions, from bytes to words to kilo-, mega-, and gigabytes, are based on powers of two, while metric divisions are based on powers of ten.)