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  1. Been looking at these on newegg and amazon as an alternative to Verbatims. Trying to find something a bit cheaper right now. Was wondering if anyone has used them and how they are? They don't have a ton of reviews but what they do have seems mostly favorable...
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  2. Banned
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    Smartbuy huh?

    Let's go to the website of this company and check the company info:

    http://www.smartbuy-depot.com/company/

    Jeez, that's not much, no info, no address, no owners, no infor for how long in business.

    Okay, let's check the whois info:

    Hey, that's funny why would a reputable company anonymize their info through "Oneandone Private Registration".

    Wait now, hold on, hold on they got a quality label:



    Let's tineye it!

    https://www.tineye.com/search/c23cf6070c1f4b7a7e793a1a0f1c4cb8b7149e44/

    Hmmm, that's a lot of folks who have that......

    Oh wait, found the address !

    http://smartbuydisc.com/eng/p4_contact.php

    Headquarters in Taiwan with a branch office in the USA and Panama.

    Xinzhuang District, New Taipei City New North Road, three block number 7 21F -7

    Hey, same USA address as ServPro Damage Restoration?
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/servpro-baldwin-park

    So, no thanks, I stick to Verbatim.

    Last edited by newpball; 23rd Jul 2015 at 20:03.
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  3. They don't have a ton of reviews but what they do have seems mostly favorable...
    The "reviews" are from a bunch of demented sheep bleating "wowsa, these are the cheapest blanks I ever saw in my life! Hooray!" (and a couple real dolts on Amazon saying "I love these discs because they're so cheap! I haven't actually received them yet, but gawd, the price is a wet dream!")

    Not much to go on there.

    Trying to find something a bit cheaper right now.
    Why, exactly?

    If you have a specific purpose in mind where the burns only need to be viable a short time (temporary non-critcal storage, discs for kid users in a minivan, marketing handouts, dupes for family and friends who will only view them once) then sure, buy anything.

    But if these are for personal use archiving stuff thats at all important to you, forget it. Stick with Verbatims, and of those only the version marked "AZO" (non-AZO Verbatims are the same as this SmartBuy crap). If you watch Amazon carefully, they put Verbatim AZO 100-paks on sale pretty regularly for $21.99 or less, with free shipping if you buy two paks. Better safe than sorry.

    Other than TY/JVC (which is closing down) and Verbatim AZO, all other brands of blank dvd today are crud designed to sell cheap with no consideration to burn quality or durability whatsoever. The overwhelming majority comes from the CMC factory, which private-labels most of the big brand names. They offer four types of DVD-R: passable, barely passable, poor, and guaranteed coasters. 85% of their brand name clients opt for "barely passable" or "poor". The few brands that don't subcontract from CMC buy from Ritek, which is worse (current non-AZO Verbatims are Ritek).
    Last edited by orsetto; 24th Jul 2015 at 06:00.
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  4. When calculating price don't forget to factor in the cost of coasters. Expensive disks generally end up cheaper overall.
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  5. Been looking for DL to backup my dvds, the 100 for 21.99 is single right?
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  6. Yes, the periodic Amazon 100/$21.99 specials are for single layer Verbatim AZO.

    I somehow missed in your first post that you were looking for DL, which many bottom-feeder brands don't even bother with anymore. These "SmartBuy" DLs are ludicrously, unbelievably cheap: half the price of Verbatim. That alone would give me pause: there has to be a reason the bottom fell out on pricing. "SmartBuy" might be repackaging factory seconds, or scooping up excess inventory from dead lines, or something: the price is that low. Traditional warnings about choosing quality blank media go double (ahem) for DL: from the beginning, DL was tricky media and "bargain" DL rarely proved worthwhile. Over the years and up thru today, the only "known good" DL has been Verbatim AZO +R DL. Its expensive, but the peace of mind is usually worth it.

    So the key question is how significant are these DVD backups you want to make? If they're for casual use, and you don't particularly care if they last more than a year, or they're for kids use, then el-cheapo DL like this SmartBuy brand may be worth a spin. Just be aware "bargain" DL often comes with a high initial failure rate, so you might end up with 10-30% coasters in each batch of 100. Depends on your burner, burning software, and blind luck. If these backups are important to you, and you need them to be durable fallback library copies, spend the money for the Verbatims. All recordable DL technology is a "Hail Mary" kind of thing: its a miracle it works at all, so even the Verbs may not be as archival as standard single-layer long term. But they'll give you an edge over lesser DL blanks.

    All that said, I have a number of crappy Memorex DL discs I burned as backups in 2006 that still play perfectly after years of casual storage sitting near a sunny window, and some Verbatim AZO single layer burned last year that already went corrupt on me in cool dark storage. Burnable media is voodoo tech: more luck than anything else. But statistically, your odds are better if you start with high quality media: whether the additional cost is worth it for your purposes, only you would know.
    Last edited by orsetto; 24th Jul 2015 at 17:56.
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    I didn't see the price or a link posted for these "cheap" DLs but as others have said, DL media is a crap shoot to begin with, purchasing the gold standard Verbatim AZO DLs give you the best chance of success, but not a 100% chance.
    That said I believe almost as important(and maybe even more) as the disc brand is the burner you'll be using and how compatible it is with your discs. My somewhat newer HP laptop refuses to reliably burn anything other than Verbatim AZO DLs, even those have a 5??% initial failure(I scan every DL blank I burn to verify at least it plays). My standalone DVDRs as well as a basically new Dell i5 are similar, Verbatim DLs or nothing at all. I've also got a older Compaq PC that seems to burn almost anything, verifies and even scans through without incident. I also have a LG USB DVD burner that burns almost anything without issue.
    I do somewhat worry about the longevity of the cheap DLs but since mine are for DVD backup it isn't that important, if they fail I could always just make another copy.
    Again I don't know what the price of your cheapos are but for non critical burns only on select burners I've been burning quite a few of the Windata brand from Microcenter(B&M for me as I have one not to far from me) I bought several spindles on a very good sale for $29.99/100 but I believe the normal sale price is $34.95, regular price $39.99/100. I also purchase a 50 spindle of HP DLs from Amazon for $27.98/50 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008YQAFH0?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00 which are nice as they are the flat top printable DVDs if you like those. Both Windatas and the HPs burn fine in 2 of my many burners but fail miserably in my other burners, it's all about matching the discs to the burner. Of course all my burners burn the Verbatim AZO DLs but then they cost 2-3 times what my cheapos cost and to me some things just aren't worth the $1+ the Verbatims go for. YMMV
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  8. jjeff, these are the discs in question: http://www.amazon.com/Smartbuy-100-disc-240min-Double-Spindle/dp/B00K5D1DK8/ref=sr_1_1...smartbuy+dvd-r.

    If your WinData discs are also DL, priced at $29.95-$39.95 per 100, they're cheaper than this SmartBuy stuff if available at a store near OP Bluevyper.

    It would be interesting to know who makes the SmartBuy discs and at what "quality tier" (if any- I think only CMC bothers with more than one line these days).

    Oddly, I've never personally had any problems with low-end or no-name +DL, yet SL discs from the same bargain brands give me grief. For SL, I stick to Verb AZO and TY. Speaking of which, I better stock up on TY before they shut down for good this fall.
    Last edited by orsetto; 24th Jul 2015 at 17:55.
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  9. If I compress my dvd backups onto single layer they will lose alot of quality right? I've been under the impression they need to be completely uncompressed.
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  10. It depends partly on the original DVDs and partly on how picky you are with viewing on a particular size of screen.

    Some here become unhinged at the thought of compressing any dvd more than 10%. They notice every little conceivable difference. Others here think nothing of 50% compression and are content with VHS quality on a 50 inch screen. There's no "right" answer, only what works for you personally.

    Each commercial DL dvd is mastered differently: some compress to SL with no obvious degradation, while others look terrible. All you can do is try each one at SL and see what you think. Of course, if you don't mind rolling the dice with very cheap DL discs, you can just make uncompressed DL backups and not bother about compression.

    Most backup utilities will show you a bar graph indicating how much compression they need to fit the original onto a single-layer disc. As a broad generality, I've found most DVDs can take a 20% hit without obnoxious quality loss. And a lot of commercial DL discs don't really take advantage of the DL capacity to improve PQ anyway, so compressing them to SL isn't a big deal. You could also check the disc size in Windows to make a rough guess: discs below 5.8GB will usually compress reasonably well, discs closer to 8GB will not. You can make further tweaks in some backup software that will significantly reduce compression ratio: many DL releases are loaded with disposable crap like trailers for other product and multiple worthless behind-the-scenes nonsense clips. If your software lets you disable those items from backup, you can often get the size down to a near-exact fit for SL.

    Backing up TV series discs can be much trickier and may require DL blanks. After having several expensive series sets "rot" after a year or two on a shelf, I've made a habit of backing up every new series set I buy to Verbatim AZO +DL for safekeeping. I've been unpleasantly surprised how many brand new series sets have slight damage that makes them unplayable in a DVD or BD player, but can be read by cloning software to make a backup. The backup route is less stressful than exchanging sets over and over, only to find different defects in each one.
    Last edited by orsetto; 24th Jul 2015 at 19:39.
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  11. Well then, looks like I better just suck it up and get the Verbatim DL packs lol.
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  12. Member
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    Originally Posted by Bluevyper View Post
    Well then, looks like I better just suck it up and get the Verbatim DL packs lol.
    CONGRATULATIONS!!! Two big pats on the back!!!

    I seriously thought this was going to continue as yet another "But, but, they're good enough for me" or "A friend of a friend swears they're the best discs he's ever bought!" thread.

    You've shown great maturity, understanding and acceptance by listening to the great advice you've been given!

    Two Thumbs UP to Bluevyper!!!
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    Personally for something I really care about I don't like to compress much more than 10%(90% on Shrink). That said for other things I use whatever it takes, sometimes up to 50% for TV on DVD and I'm pretty satisfied with the result, things like old sitcoms where the original quality wasn't that great to begin with doesn't look that much worse using the higher compression ratio.
    Also if you only care about the main title on a movie, many times re-authoring to just the movie(with no extras or possibly just the movie and no menu either) will allow one to fit a DL master on a SL blank, or get it down to much less compression, preferably the popular 10%-20%.

    Personally I'll probably stick with my ~$35/100 Windatas http://www.microcenter.com/product/354262/dvdr_dl_8x_85gb_240_minute_disc_100_pack which are cheaper than the Smartbuy discs and I know burn on at least some of my drives, not sure I'll order more of the HP DLs as they don't really burn any better and are twice the price but I guess if I cared more about the printable top they may be a good option. I know nothing of your Smartbuy discs but if you burned lots of DLs and had several drives to burn them on I'd probably give them a try. They are probably made by the same company than makes the Windatas or maybe even the HPs, cheap discs that may or may not work in a particular burner.
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    Yes, I have been using the SmartBuy DVD=DL median for a while now and have not had any issues. The disks burn as they should and playback without issue in a multiple of devices. Personally, based on my experience with them and the cost, you cannot go wrong, barring any manufacturing changes. The current spindle I have are re-branded Riteks, while some Memorex DVD-R are rebranded CMC
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