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View Poll Results: Do You Label Your DVD's

Voters
584. This poll is closed
  • I label them all, no problems so far

    222 38.01%
  • I did label them, but no longer as it has an adverse affect

    127 21.75%
  • I have never labelled my DVD's

    158 27.05%
  • I use a thermal printer to print directly on the disc

    10 1.71%
  • I use an inkjet printer to print directly on the disc

    67 11.47%
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  1. Originally Posted by LeeBear
    Originally Posted by lchiu7
    I have had intermittent label problems too - with some players they work fine, with others I get pixelation etc as the disc plays on.

    I guess what I can't understand is, the commercial discs I rent all have plastic labels on them together with two security strips and so far I have had no problem with reading these discs

    I wonder if there is a difference between a labelled commercial disk and a lablled home burnt one?

    Larry
    Commercial disks don't use 'stick' on labels. The labels on commercial disk are usually silk screen onto the disck The fact that rental places uses security strips that causes unblance to the disk yet no playback problem are experience is why many rule out that the sticky label makes the disc unbalance and that's what's causing the problem. Even if you don't experience problems with sticky labels I'd still avoid using them now until a clearer answer to the cause of the problem is found. Even if your disc plays fine with a label on it, my test clearly shows the error rate is much higher, so your disc is that much closer to not working.

    -LeeBear
    The discs I rent have a piece of thin plastic film on them which cover 2 thin metal strips that presumably are some sort of detection device. So this thin plastic layer must add some weight and yet they play on all my players whereas discs I have labelled myself which play okay before labelling, don't play after labelling

    This is just a data point - not a conclusion

    Larry

  2. Let's put this one to bed. Consider the following, culled from posts above:

    1. Commercial DVD with unbalanced metal strips attached: Plays fine.
    2. Writable DVD with random gobs of glue still attached: Plays fine.
    3. Writable DVD with no label: Plays fine.
    4. Writable DVD with full sticky label: Data errors.

    Of these four conditions, the first two represent UNBALANCED discs -- yet they still play fine. The last two represent BALANCED (or very close to it) discs -- one of which will not play. The only variable is the sticky label.

    Conclusions:

    1. Perfect balance is not a requirement for successful playing.
    2. Out-of-balance discs do not necessarily show errors.
    3. Discs with full sticky labels do show data errors even when well-balanced.

    Therefore, it may be safely concluded that balance problems ARE NOT the reason that sticky labels cause data errors.

    I'm not saying that I know what the real problem is, just that it is possible with our collective observations to rule out balance problems as an issue.

    This is not to say that problems with spin frequency (mentioned above) might not turn out to be the culprit. But balance will not.

    +

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    And you really think this the end to the debate?
    Hello.

  4. rixware - since you do this professionally-

    I am going to be coming out with a VHS to DVD business soon...what do you recommend I use to label the discs?
    NOTE: I have an Espon R300 (allows you to directly print on disc). Should I just buy printable media and print right on the disc? If so, what works for you?
    :)

  5. Member
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    Originally Posted by rixware
    Let's put this one to bed. Consider the following, culled from posts above:

    1. Commercial DVD with unbalanced metal strips attached: Plays fine.
    2. Writable DVD with random gobs of glue still attached: Plays fine.
    3. Writable DVD with no label: Plays fine.
    4. Writable DVD with full sticky label: Data errors.

    Of these four conditions, the first two represent UNBALANCED discs -- yet they still play fine. The last two represent BALANCED (or very close to it) discs -- one of which will not play. The only variable is the sticky label.

    Conclusions:

    1. Perfect balance is not a requirement for successful playing.
    2. Out-of-balance discs do not necessarily show errors.
    3. Discs with full sticky labels do show data errors even when well-balanced.

    Therefore, it may be safely concluded that balance problems ARE NOT the reason that sticky labels cause data errors.

    I'm not saying that I know what the real problem is, just that it is possible with our collective observations to rule out balance problems as an issue.

    This is not to say that problems with spin frequency (mentioned above) might not turn out to be the culprit. But balance will not.

    +
    Since hub labels are "sticky" labels, and have not caused any known problems, this leaves a hole in the sticky label hypothesis.
    Hello.

  6. Hub labels do not cover up any area of the writable surface. Also they are small and located at the center of the disc, which if you see from my error graphs even with a full sticky label you don't really see the error rate go up until the outter edges of the disc. So the full sticky label theory is still valid.

    -LeeBear

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    Originally Posted by LeeBear
    Hub labels do not cover up any area of the writable surface. Also they are small and located at the center of the disc, which if you see from my error graphs even with a full sticky label you don't really see the error rate go up until the outter edges of the disc. So the full sticky label theory is still valid.

    -LeeBear
    I stand corrected.

    I use the hub labels because they are sharp looking, cheaper than full labels, have no adverse effects, and are replaceable if they are misprinted or misapplied.
    Hello.

  8. Just let me add my experience which is the rental discs I encounter have two strips of metal on them - on opposite sides of the center so they are placed to balance each other out

    Larry

  9. Originally Posted by Tommyknocker
    And you really think this the end to the debate?
    No, unfortunately the debate about why sticky labels cause problems will go on -- mostly because the label companies won't admit there's a problem. (Interestingly, the disc companies unanimously recommend against using labels of any type on writable media -- but don't give the reason.) Thanks to LeeBear, we have documented proof that there is a data problem when full sticky labels get attached.

    I'm just hoping to lay the theory about unbalanced spin to rest since there is now plenty of evidence to refute it...

    Originally Posted by lchiu7
    Just let me add my experience which is the rental discs I encounter have two strips of metal on them - on opposite sides of the center so they are placed to balance each other out

    Larry
    Larry, thanks for your input. Please keep in mind that we are discussing problems with writable discs not commercially produced discs. The discs you rent from the store have a different physical structure, are made with a different process, and labeled with a completely different process.

    The fact that they have metal strips attached (regardless of where they are placed) does serve to partially refute the theory that unbalanced spin is what causes the data errors LeeBear reported. Beyond that, there is too much difference between the types of discs to make a useful comparison.

    Originally Posted by virtual133
    what do you recommend I use to label the discs?
    NOTE: I have an Espon R300
    I use the Epson R200 (just like the R300 but without the media slots) and Ritek printable media.

    +

  10. Lots of anecdotal and pragmatic experiences here. I guess what I take from this

    1. Commerical discs because of the their pit technology are easier to read by the lasers and therefore less susceptible to increased weight from labels, off centre labels etc.

    2. YMMW will vary with your burnt ones. For my part I have DVD's I have burnt that labelled with CD type labels that will play in my Sony DRU500A and a cheap supermarket DVD player but not in other units

    3. To be sure probably don't label them at all, use a Sharpie or perhaps print on printable labels

    4. I wonder how much less compatibility will come with dual layer discs that we burn which are probably going to be more picky

    Larry

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    Originally Posted by whytless physh
    Hum. I've labeled about 20 DVDs over the past year burned with various drives and software. I've never encountered a single problem with them. I don't have an inkjet printer (color or mono) and have steadfastly used my reliable HP-LJ4 for several years. I use generic paper labels (Avery I think) and a CD Stomper application device.

    I wonder if using colored ink, or any ink for that matter, is the problem here? SLK001 stated that the use of Neato's Metalic Foil labels has also not given any trouble. Those particular labels are not ink permeable. I would suggest that over time the ink will bleed through paper labels and introduce a wide spectrum of color on the opposite side of a platter. This might have the effect of causing strange refraction on the read heads of a player.

    Might it be prudent to start a poll to collect some data on what printers, labels and colors are used on these troublesome discs? I would certainly like to know what is causing this aberration.

    I think the important thing to remember when applying labels printed with ink is to give the label plenty of time to dry before applying.

    I've successfully authored over 150 DVDs from my VHS library and I haven't had a single problem with any of my movies.

    I do believe applying the label before it is completely dry might have a destabilizing effect on the disc.

    When I first came to this site I was simply videodummy. Now, I'm a dummy with an attitude.

  12. I've enjoyed reading the great detective work posted on this thread. I work in a University Media Library and I thought I could shed some light on this cause, as it has plagued our circulation proceedures since we began building our DVD collection.

    FIRST:
    Security Labels on commercial discs DO CAUSE PLAYBACK FAILURE. In fact, most rental stores have abandoned this security method and instead use lockable boxes that are unlocked upon check out. This, like stated earlier is highly variable depending on the player in which the disc is viewed.

    SECOND:
    Playback failure seems to be linked to a combination of Warping and Unbalance. This is especially true with burned discs. Their lack of aluminum pits and leads tends to encourage distortion of the data on the disc.

    THIRD:
    HEAT, HEAT, HEAT!!!!!!! This is the most important factor in these discs pixelating and failing to play. As shown in earlier threads, errors increase in the later half of the disc. What is not shown is that if the movie is started at the end, and played in 1x rewind, the errors will occur a the beggining of the film. As the laser warms the disc, the adhesive on the label begins to melt. As it melts, the glue releases portions of the label and the air between the disc and label expands. One way we've determined this as a factor is by letting a malfunctioning disc cool and then skipping to the place in the film where the errors began to occur. The discs will play fine if the label is re-stomped and left to cool. However, any prolonged time in a hot environment will lead to more problems.

    The HEAT causes both a warping effect and a tendency for the disc to become unbalanced. The warping is best comparded to a bed sheet. If a taught bed sheet is stiched around the edge of the bed, and then pulled upwards from the center of the bed, then the edges are pulled as well. This causes a "cupping" effect which is gone when the disc returns to room temperature. This is also why labeled DVDs will become increasingly difficult to play with time. The disc is being bent and unbent repeatedly, and eventually the data is compromised.

    The unbalance results as the label shifts and bubbles while in the player. You wouldn't want to stick a freshly labeled DVD in the player until the glue sets. Unfortunately, when heated, the glue returns to a state more like when it was first applied. As the thickness of the disc increases, the uniformity of wieght, and yes, air resistance, varies in an unpredictable manner.

    CONCLUSION:

    DON'T LABEL DVDs, use a sharpie on the disc, and label the case instead. We must understand that the players are trying to read 30 miles of digital information in a very finite amount of time. This is why the label problem is really only prevalent in DVD players that are high-quality, or more precise machines. In a cheap $40.00 APEX model, so much data is ignored by the machine anyway, that if some is not readable then it is simply overlooked. X-BOXes, Playstations, and Hi-Q DVD players are extremely precise and rely on a steady stream of information to function normally. (remember in VG consoles, most often the disc is not constantly spinning, b/c information is downloaded and accessed via the unit hard drive)

    Recordable discs are more likely to have problems with labels, because the playback is not only dependent on the player and the disc, but also on the ability of the DVD burner to effectively imprint the proper information on the disc. Remember, commercial disc are produced in mass quantity. We we burn a movie, most often it is the only time we burn that information to any disc. Imperfections are worked out via repetition and practice burning the same source file.

    If you don't have a problem GREAT! However, DVD players are becoming more and more precise and are constantly adding new features. If you are burning and labeling DVDs for archival purposes, you could face losing all the information on that disc if your new player is "too good."

    TIPS FOR PLAYBACK SUCCESS:

    1. DONT LABEL

    2. Let labeled discs cool and press the label back to the disc (use a piece of felt so you don't scratch the underside)

    3. Don't play labeled discs in a computer. The environment is hotter, and more glue will melt.

    4. Unstack components of your home theatre. Have your DVD player seperate from other units and set aside where airflow is relatively free.

    5. Buy a cheap DVD player. If you have problems with any particular disc, most often you can get at least a low quality playback with the cheaper players. Reserve the use of expensive and HI-Q players for discs without labels.

    6. COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN. As in earlier messages, label companies won't admit their fault in the problem unless they hear from unsatisfied customers. If you don't have a problem, complain anyway. A better solution is the only way to prevent an inevidable failure during playback. If your labels work fine now, just wait until you have to buy a better DVD players that has more heat and less tolerance for inconsistent data strings.

    HOPE THIS HELPS

  13. I'm getting scared after read this thread. I've used both Full face and regular labels. I've labeled over 250 DVD-R (mostly Ritek), matte tops. However, I haven't encounter a problem about they playing back in my Standalone DVD Players (Panasonic, Apex, Aspire Digital, Pionner, AMW, and Sony).

    I still have about 800 Full face labels yet. I'll try all my DVDs and see what will hapen before label the rest on my DVD-R. Hopefully thing will go well.

  14. If DVD labels do cause playback issues (which may be my case) then can you still rip the movie on the burned labeled DVD copy and then reburn it onto a new blank DVD disc?

    Thanks!

  15. Just remove the label, they come off ok with warm soapy water.

  16. I've used labels until I found that my dvd's started having playback problems... I thought I was crazy for thinking that maybe the labels were the cause, but now I know It's not just me.
    Anyways, I stopped using the labels, and the problems also stopped!.
    I've never tried printing directly to the disc though, I hope it's better than labels.

  17. MeDiCo_BrUjO: If you want to print directly onto the disc you will need a printer that can do that, and you'll also need to buy media's with a printable top. I have the Epson R200 printer now to print my disc (instead of labels) and I've done some scans of the discs and they don't exihibit the 'increased error rate' that the disc with labels have and it also looks better imo.

    -LeeBear

  18. Here's another take on the read problem associated with labels-- I noticed a friction change particularly related to paper labels. The DVD player has to grab the disk and spin it somehow, and usually it's a simple friction fit relying mostly on a little round sponge thing and very little pressure applied to hold the DVD in place.

    I have a cheap DVD player with an overheating problem I fixed by simply opening the case cover to vent the player better. So I can watch the DVD spin or reach in and mess with the thing. This particular player has a little grey disk-sponge which is not terribly flexible, and doesn't provide much friction. On burned titles I had applied paper labels to, I discovered by pressing in against the outer edge of the DVD I could stop them from spinning (independent of the drive motor which kept spinning) with very little effort. On pressed titles with the standard paint or plastic surfaces there was some extra amount of pressure required to stop the spinning disk. It occurred to me that when the player changes speed abruptly to access different parts of the program, the paper labeled DVDs slip freely in the mechanism and won't "brake" properly. The result is crappy playback. I was wondering what would happen on a "real" DVD-- so I put a paper sticky label on a professionally pressed DVD, and it ALSO slipped in the mechanism and messed up while accessing different chapters--as well as during layer changes. Any time the player speed changed, the DVD slipped a little and the playback glitched. I'm guessing the low-friction surfaces of paper labels are the cause.

    I'm thinking this might explain some of the weirder unexplainable cases where the DVD isn't cupped or out of balance. Since speed changes are important and frequent, maybe this is significant. It seems the labels only bother the cheap player. The Playstation2 and Sony DVD changer didn't mind the labels, and all of our PCs have no issues. Maybe some players with inadequate buffers just cannot handle the little speed differences?

    Richie

  19. Guest
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    Originally Posted by Jiggly
    Here's another take on the read problem associated with labels-- I noticed a friction change particularly related to paper labels. The DVD player has to grab the disk and spin it somehow, and usually it's a simple friction fit relying mostly on a little round sponge thing and very little pressure applied to hold the DVD in place.

    I have a cheap DVD player with an overheating problem I fixed by simply opening the case cover to vent the player better. So I can watch the DVD spin or reach in and mess with the thing. This particular player has a little grey disk-sponge which is not terribly flexible, and doesn't provide much friction. On burned titles I had applied paper labels to, I discovered by pressing in against the outer edge of the DVD I could stop them from spinning (independent of the drive motor which kept spinning) with very little effort. On pressed titles with the standard paint or plastic surfaces there was some extra amount of pressure required to stop the spinning disk. It occurred to me that when the player changes speed abruptly to access different parts of the program, the paper labeled DVDs slip freely in the mechanism and won't "brake" properly. The result is crappy playback. I was wondering what would happen on a "real" DVD-- so I put a paper sticky label on a professionally pressed DVD, and it ALSO slipped in the mechanism and messed up while accessing different chapters--as well as during layer changes. Any time the player speed changed, the DVD slipped a little and the playback glitched. I'm guessing the low-friction surfaces of paper labels are the cause.

    I'm thinking this might explain some of the weirder unexplainable cases where the DVD isn't cupped or out of balance. Since speed changes are important and frequent, maybe this is significant. It seems the labels only bother the cheap player. The Playstation2 and Sony DVD changer didn't mind the labels, and all of our PCs have no issues. Maybe some players with inadequate buffers just cannot handle the little speed differences?

    Richie
    will the next gen of labels have a sandpaper hub?

  20. have not read through this enormous thread yet, but i have been also having problems with dvd labels. i use the neato fellowes brand and apply them perfectly. most of the problems i have are with the end of the movie, and things freezing and such. i have about 300 movies with labels, and about only 15 of them so far are messed up. it is difficult to check them all, so i check each one by hand, but do not watch the whole thing...i fast forward throughout to try and catch errors. i believe it is a label issue because i have started writing to discs without labels and they all seem to be ok. just my $0.02.

  21. Guest
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    Originally Posted by Jiggly
    Here's another take on the read problem associated with labels-- I noticed a friction change particularly related to paper labels. The DVD player has to grab the disk and spin it somehow, and usually it's a simple friction fit relying mostly on a little round sponge thing and very little pressure applied to hold the DVD in place.

    I have a cheap DVD player with an overheating problem I fixed by simply opening the case cover to vent the player better. So I can watch the DVD spin or reach in and mess with the thing. This particular player has a little grey disk-sponge which is not terribly flexible, and doesn't provide much friction. On burned titles I had applied paper labels to, I discovered by pressing in against the outer edge of the DVD I could stop them from spinning (independent of the drive motor which kept spinning) with very little effort. On pressed titles with the standard paint or plastic surfaces there was some extra amount of pressure required to stop the spinning disk. It occurred to me that when the player changes speed abruptly to access different parts of the program, the paper labeled DVDs slip freely in the mechanism and won't "brake" properly. The result is crappy playback. I was wondering what would happen on a "real" DVD-- so I put a paper sticky label on a professionally pressed DVD, and it ALSO slipped in the mechanism and messed up while accessing different chapters--as well as during layer changes. Any time the player speed changed, the DVD slipped a little and the playback glitched. I'm guessing the low-friction surfaces of paper labels are the cause.

    I'm thinking this might explain some of the weirder unexplainable cases where the DVD isn't cupped or out of balance. Since speed changes are important and frequent, maybe this is significant. It seems the labels only bother the cheap player. The Playstation2 and Sony DVD changer didn't mind the labels, and all of our PCs have no issues. Maybe some players with inadequate buffers just cannot handle the little speed differences?

    Richie
    I was thinking about your concept. What about 2 sided discs without any thing on either side?These have to be slippery. I think glossy labels would have more grip..

  22. So, how many people use inkjet for printing and how many use laser? I always wondered if the inkjets had something to do with it because of the ink possible harming the data on the disk. I've always used a laser printer to print my labels and have printed hundreds for myself and other people with zero failures yet using the neato matte finish labels. My dad on the other hand printed his on the same type of label with an inkjet printer and it failed in my dvd player. It was the first failure my dvd player had after the hundreds of my laser printed labels put through it. During the laser process the toner is physically melted to the label and then dried through the fuser so there will never be any chemical bleed like you can get with inkjet prints.

    Just a thought!

  23. the problem with labels is that dvd's have to read a very small path..a label even if you think its on perfect still is out of round a hair..cd's have a larger path to read so this is not an issue with them..but a dvd with the extra weight and the weight of the ink will always offset the balance of a dvd eventually..if you applied a label with ink on 1/2 and played it, the balance problem can be easily seen..to solve this issue you can apply the label PRIOR TO BURNING. so the laser burns out of round with the disk..that way all is balance...BUT and i do mean BUT..just remember if you are burning an off balance dvd with 4.7GB being burned to the edge..1 side will have some space left while the other side will be missing some due to the wobble..think about this before applying paper labels..inkjets do a great job on printables and thermals do a great job but just print them 1st then burn..the chances are far less of being off balance than with paper..

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    Wow!

  25. I've labeled about 40 backups from my personal collection and have had no problems with playback on my Panasonic unit. My guess would be the quality of the labels being the problem; uneven adhesive layers, cheap paper.
    I am Jack's medulla oblongata

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    Yes, we have heard to no end those who have labeled hundreds of thousands of DVDs/CDs with no problems. This thread was never meant for them. This post is about those of us who have problems with them. I am happy you have no problems, but many of us do, and this thread is for us.
    Hello.

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    I've had enough trouble with paper labels that I quit using them and went first to just using a Sharpee, and later to printable discs. Probably 30% out of the first 100 I applied labels to would stumble, pixelate, and lockup at the end. And I didn't realize this until sometime later when I would play one of them to it's conclusion. Now I burn, and check for errors with Nero's CD-DVD Speed before I print the label on them .... no sense wasting the ink on a bad disk. I print with an Epson R300 on only Ritek G04s and Taiyo Yuden's 4x -Rs, or 8x +Rs at this time. Even with recent Ritek's I had a bad series in the last stack .... so the media hasn't evolved to any kind of reliable consistency! But I have increased my success rate by doing the above.
    "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms." - THOMAS JEFFERSON .. 1776

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    Tommyknocker........

    Excuse me, but I don't see where this thread is only for people who have problems with labels. It appears that labels are only a problem for some...many others, including myself, have labeled hundreds of DVDs and thousands of CDRs and experienced no problems. Instead of whining that this thread is for those who are having problems with labels, why don't you just stop using them? You know...if it hurts, then stop doing it...

    I suspect the answer is similar to that of which media to use...we all know the combination of hardware/software/firmware/media is different from individual to individual and sometimes even the same combinatin will work for one person and not another. Perhaps the combination of media/label/player is variable enough to account for some folks having problems and others not.

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    Originally Posted by Halm
    Tommyknocker........

    Excuse me, but I don't see where this thread is only for people who have problems with labels. It appears that labels are only a problem for some...many others, including myself, have labeled hundreds of DVDs and thousands of CDRs and experienced no problems. Instead of whining that this thread is for those who are having problems with labels, why don't you just stop using them? You know...if it hurts, then stop doing it...

    I suspect the answer is similar to that of which media to use...we all know the combination of hardware/software/firmware/media is different from individual to individual and sometimes even the same combinatin will work for one person and not another. Perhaps the combination of media/label/player is variable enough to account for some folks having problems and others not.
    Why would I want to give this up?:



    You see, my esteemed colleague, I had problems with labeled disks, I found a solution, and shared it. You had no problems, can't see why anyone has the problems and suggest we do not use them in the first place.

    Your solution is similar to telling an unwed mother not to get pregnant in the first place. A viable solution in the past, but has no use to her in the here and now.
    Hello.

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    Tommyknocker,

    I'm puzzled....how in the hell is suggesting that disks not be labeled if the labels cause problems, rather than continue to label them and try to find very elusive causes for the problems, anything like telling a pregnant woman she should't have spread in the first place? Give me a break! There is a difference between STOP DOING IT and YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    Secondly, who suggested you give anything up? If you don't use sticky labels....fine. Who cares?

    Thirdly, I suggested that the problem may be a combination of variables...hence the fact some have problems, the majority don't.




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