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07-15-14, 05:02 PM
I know this has been discussed about CDs - and the longevity of how long the disc is "good" for until it starts to fail.

But I haven't seen any threads on this website about burning movies to DVD-R discs. I have quite a few discs I copied VHS from, from 2006 that seem to still be holding up okay.

And then taking into account those DVD-R Warner discs folks have been buying off of Amazon.

Anyone know how long the DVD discs (burned) are made to last? I've been burning a lot lately - mostly movies from my DVR player that I recorded.

Alan Smithee
07-15-14, 06:37 PM
I've read that a burned DVD's expected lifespan is about 70 years, but of course none have been around that long to prove it. I think it's been about 10 years since I got my first DVD recorder, I should dig out the DVD+RWs I first made with that and see if they still play. All the important stuff I've copied to non-rewritable discs, as I usually reuse the RWs and the non-rewritables are supposed to last longer, plus they can't be accidentally erased.

07-15-14, 06:44 PM
Beats me. I've got some stuff that I burned when I lived in Japan 11 years ago that's still playing fine.

Having said that, I bought a portable HDD specifically to back up DVD-Rs. Most of my Warner Archive discs are backed up on that HDD...just in case.

07-15-14, 09:34 PM
This has been my experience I started burning dvds back in 2005 (Home Movies, Recorded off tv, backups, etc...) Anyway most of mine are dvd+r although some are dvd-r. I have burned a good many since then but have slowed down since I backup to hdd now. I have recently checked the readability of a good sampling of of older disc (probably about 100) and found that most of them showed no problems. I have seen outright failures of what was supposed to be a TY disc which where fujifilm branded in more than one disc. In 2012 I had a failure of one fujifilm TY disc so I started pulling and checking others like it and sure enough I found two others that were unreadable. One I had previously copied to a hdd when it was 6 years old but at 7 1/2 years it had became completely unreadable. I still have a couple of those fujis that are now 9 years old yet completely readable. I have also seen degradation issues on some older Maxells and a few other brands, I have yet to see anymore complete failures. Strangely enough I have not had a problem out a successfully verified cmc magenetics made disc which i find weird because of their reputation with cds.

07-17-14, 12:59 AM
Falcon media has a Gold Achival DVD-R that claims to last at least 100 years (300 years for their CDs!).

I guess a company can make these claims without much fear of recourse 100 years down the road.

07-17-14, 03:05 AM
I have CD-Rs i made in 2001 that still play fine.

I used to back-up and archive my files to CD from about 2001 to 2007, and finally got around to transferring to a hard drive, and of 150 or so discs, only two had problems, and that was limited to about five files.

Ash Ketchum
07-17-14, 11:05 AM
There's a Japanese video store in NYC that takes DVDs from Japan and burns copies to sell/rent to customers. I buy a lot of those (mostly anime and sentai/tokusatsu films/episodes) for price a lot cheaper than buying the originals from Japan, and a significant minority of them break up after a short time in the player. Why do I keep buying them? The price is right and I'm something of a completist with certain series.

In contrast, I have VHS tapes that I made 30 years ago that look and play just as good as they did when I recorded them.

07-17-14, 07:17 PM
I have read in more than one place that the gold dvd-/+r is not the best. I have also heard of one called M-disc made out of stone that is supposed to last a 1000 years. Although a really good question is how long will we keep using optical media and how long will the hardware or backwards compatible hardware be produced.

A good dvd blank media quality guide can be found at digitalfaq

07-18-14, 09:00 AM
In contrast, I have VHS tapes that I made 30 years ago that look and play just as good as they did when I recorded them.

Of course, there are somewhat different criteria with VHS as opposed to a burnt optical disc. One bad spot on a VHS tape won't cause the entire tape to be unplayable.

On a burnt disc, however, all it takes is one blemish to trash the entire disc.

I have a few 35-year-old tapes that still play just fine, while I've had a few DVD-Rs not even make it to a year before becoming unreadable (sent to me by someone else, on discount store media).

07-18-14, 07:06 PM
Varies by disc brand (ie: quality). I've had Memorex DVD's fail after less than a year.

EDIT: That was my first and last spindle of Memorex media.

Alan Smithee
07-18-14, 07:16 PM
Memorex are universally regarded as the WORST, both DVD and CD media.

07-18-14, 10:37 PM
Usually Media that fails within the first year was either not verified or compared when burned (which means it could have been a bad burn all along), burned at too high of speed, or just junk media to begin with. I agree that memorex usually is junk but I have both 4 and 9 year old memorex dvd+r that are still perfectly readable. One thing about memorex I have found is that one disc will pass a quality test with almost flawless results and the next disc will flat out fail, so quality varies from one disc to the next.

I am also wary of any disc someone gives me if it is important I will at least put it through a readability (transfer rate test) and quality test, or I might just copy it

Store brands are usually iffy but it all depends on who makes the disc. In the past I have burned most of my disc at 4x and always verified also I tried to stick to name brands maxell, sony, verbatim, etc..., So that is probably why I have seen so few failures.

I am currently using a samsung and a sony re-branded samsung drive and have found that I can get good quality burns at 12x using discs with the media codes Ritek F16, CMC MAG M01 and MCC 004. My favorite is the verbatim azo dvd+r which has the MCC 004 media code. Burning at 16x usually sacrifices some quality so I don't do it

Usually the verify or compare option is somewhere in the burning program. I now prefer Imgburn for almost all of my burning, also you can use cdcheck (freeware) to compare data and use nero cd-dvd speed or opti drive control to do trt and quality test

07-23-14, 08:06 PM
Stick to 4x or less when burning *all* DVD-R media. Why not sacrifice a few minutes during the burn for the payoff of increased longevity / fewer c2 errors in your burns? Also, keep all burned discs in as dry (ie, low humidity), cool, and dark an environment as possible. Those who have many burns which fail after 1 year or less probably either: (a) burn at greater than 4x speed, (b) live in a hot, humid climate, or (c) use very bad media brands like Memorex.

Regarding bad brands, though, I've still got old CompUSA PRINCO DVD-R burns from 2001 which read back fine. The trick was, I burned that at *1x* back in the day!

07-23-14, 08:36 PM
In the limited testing that I've done, I've not seen any difference in quality by reducing the burn speed. The only time that I've seen it matter is if trying to burn faster than the discs rated speed. Aside from recommendations by many people in forums, the actual testing that I've read is not conclusive. I've seen testing that showed burning slower than rated speed also caused errors. I'm not making judgements or recommendations. Just stating what I've seen and read.

The disc issues I've experienced in my 100's of burns (since DVD+/-R was released) were the result of cheap media or failing drive. I noted the Memorex issue above because 9 times out of 10, when you tell someone to use quality media they say "I"m using Memorex".

Memorex doesn't produce their own media. They buy in bulk and relabel as their own. The disc type and quality can vary from spindle to spindle. If you aren't using a tier one brand, you should be checking the media id to verify the actual type of media that you are using (assuming you are having burn issues or quality issues if you are testing the burns).

And just for reference, for those that aren't aware: http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm

Alan Smithee
07-24-14, 04:08 AM
My main DVD player for a long time was a Pioneer DVL-909 combo laserdisc/DVD player made in 1998, finally retired after I got an HD setup 13 years later. Despite being a 2nd-generation DVD player, it played most discs with little to no problems (even dual-layer blanks), but I found that playing DVDs burned at anything higher than 4x would glitch on it. I still burn DVDs at 4x just to maintain compatibility with as many players as possible, and the possible longevity gained from that isn't bad either.

I know that most brands don't actually produce their own media, but Memorex is almost consistently the worst no matter whose discs they really are. They must go out of their way to find the absolute worst discs- they've certainly succeeded in trashing their name. "Is it dead, or is it Memorex?" :)

07-24-14, 08:45 AM
I know that most brands don't actually produce their own media, but Memorex is almost consistently the worst no matter whose discs they really are. They must go out of their way to find the absolute worst discs- they've certainly succeeded in trashing their name. "Is it dead, or is it Memorex?" :)

I don't know, in my experience, TDK discs have produced more coasters per spindle than anything else I've used. I only use those for stuff I'm only burning once to transfer from my set-top recorder to my Mac for correcting incorrectly set aspect ratio flags, etc. or for people who seem to insist on that brand.

I've been in "the hobby" for a long time and clearly remember when TDK was one of the most-trusted and reliable manufacturers out there (TDK E-HG videotape was the gold standard for most people I traded with). Since they stopped making their own tapes in the '90s, they became a 'junk' label.

The only store brands of DVD-Rs I used to buy were ones made in Japan (Sony, mainly), but when Japanese-made media started disappearing, I switched to Verbatim DataLife (AZO dye). I assumed the Verbatim discs still made by Verbatim (AZO ones) were good, but some people are starting to suggest that those might not be as good as they used to, so lately, I've been buying Taiyo Yuden discs online. Since Verbatim AZOs got so hard to find in stores a couple years back, I've given up on buying discs in a store and now only buy my media online (unless a trader absolutely wants store-brand media).

07-25-14, 01:26 AM
Quality vs burn speed usually boils down to the burner and media combination. I have seen slight but not huge quality differences at 12x vs 16x on the combinations I am currently using. I have also found that some older drives can be more picky and will throw errors on discs burned at higher speeds. For instance I have a old nec drive that will throw read errors on mcc 004 burned at 12x but will happily read the disc if burned at 4x or 8x. It usually gives no problems reading cmc or ritek media burned at 12x, but the mcc 004 burned at 12x seem to do well on every other drive or player I try them on. Perhaps I need to replace the old nec drive or rethink my media of choice though.

Also the "slower than rated speed" is somewhat of a myth because a disc with a 16x rating is also rated to burn at other speeds too. A lot depends on how fine tuned the drive is to burn on certain media at certain speeds, which depends on who makes the drive and sometimes this can be improved with firmware update.

07-25-14, 11:18 PM
How about if you are burning them on a VHS/DVD player attached to the TV? I understand the speed thing if you're using something hooked up to a computer and can select the speed - but you can't on those stand alone players.

I also got a spindle of Verbatim 100 DVD-R+ discs at GW today for $8. Hopefully they do okay with the burning - altho one person on here didn't have good luck with them.

07-26-14, 01:50 AM
On the stand alone dvd recorders you either get a good burn or you don't. You could test the disc on the computer with nero cd/dvd speed, opti drive control or possibly another program. You could also test the disc on other players by either playing the whole thing or at least scanning through the whole disc.

I used one of those vcr/dvd recorders for a while. When I did I mostly used dvd+rw (rewritable). I would than copy the rewritable to the computer and edit them with a dvd authoring program, before I burned the content to disc.

The problem with the unit I had was the fan and drive configuration (which caused the laser to get dirty), also the vcr part was not very good. The laser would get dirty causing problems writing to rw disc. I would disassemble and clean the laser lens and that would restore performance. Eventually I missed up the machine disassembling it so many times.

After that I got a capture card which I like a lot better than using one of those dvd recorders because it gives you more control over resolution and bitrate.

Alan Smithee
07-26-14, 03:40 AM
I use a DVD recorder and its discs play fine straight out of the player, but I still load everything onto the computer so I can make clean edits at the beginning and end, allowing me to start the DVD recorder before starting the tape I'm going to transfer. Of course it's also essential for cutting out side breaks on laserdiscs.

07-26-14, 05:27 AM
All my DVD-R/CD-R burning has been through Taiyo Yuden discs (Made In Japan). I usually burn at the slowest speed. Here's where I've gotten them:


For dual-layer discs, I use Verbatim (Made in Singapore):



07-27-14, 05:57 PM
Regarding burn speed, it is true that some drives are better tuned (in fact, tuned with custom writing strategies) for specific media ID types (eg, MCC 04, CMCMAG, etc). These drives may burn better at faster speeds on those media types than a drive which burns all media using a generic writing strategy. The brand and age of a burner are also other variables thrown into the mix.

But, to be sure, I'll stick to 4x on my burns.

As a general rule, though, the age of good-quality burners and great-quality media are far behind us unfortunately, as these items have been cheapened into commodity products. I think around 2002-05 was the golden age. I've still got a few "Made in Japan" Taiyo-Yuden Verbatim 4x blank DVD+Rs which were, and are still, the golden standard. Compared to them, 99% of modern blank media are garbage.

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