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DVD Rot ?

Old 03-06-17, 10:37 AM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

That I can remember: The Host, Signs, Trancers Box set. But I feel like 5 or so more have had this problem as well.

I remember when DVD first came out, it was suppose to be archive quality. Discs were estimated to last 90 to 100 years. I wonder how much of my collection has secret rot right now...
Old 03-06-17, 02:51 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

I've uploaded nearly every DVD I have to my PLEX server. I only had an issue with a few discs reading and those were mostly confined to a chapter. For example some episodes on random Futurama discs, and an episode of Smallville would error out. Otherwise, all of my movies read fine. Even the very early DVDs.
Old 04-01-17, 05:07 AM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

Add Superman II (from the 2-Disc SE) to the list. I'd watched it on this BD player one other time without issue, this time it froze at the 108 min. mark and would play no further, even at subsequent chapters. Bullshit.
Old 02-18-18, 11:55 AM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to post some of my recent discoveries. I have started ripping some of my classic DVD movies to a Plex server for easier viewing and have discovered some discs that rotted. All of them were Warner Bros. Shockingly, all of my dual sided, dual layered Universal discs ripped with no issues. Some of those could be problematic playing is certain DVD players, but the data itself was fine.

For rot I discovered I had lost disc 2 and 3 of the Classic Comedy Teams collection and disc 2 and 4 of the William Powell and Myrna Loy collection.

4 out of about 300 DVDs I ripped is not the end of the world, but I was shocked that Warner had all the issues. All of the DVDs from smaller companies like Roan and Anchor Bay were fine.

Many movies are easily available on Blu-ray or digital, but I'm trying to make an effort to back up more obscure movies that were only ever available on DVD before more of my collection becomes unreadable. I'm also backing up my Warner Archive discs. If the pressed Warner discs can have this happen I can only imagine how fragile the DVD-Rs will be.
Old 05-16-18, 04:19 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

I've just discovered a huge issue with several of my Warner Bros. DVDs. In the last day alone, I've skimmed through at least 100 discs distributed by the studio and found eighteen that have serious playback errors. This is NOT a hardware issue, as I've tested the faulty DVDs on three different players. So far, it's almost exclusively been titles released between 2004-2007. I purchased most of these a few years after release (around 2008-2011), so some of the defective ones might be from later pressings.

I'm really disgusted right now. All these titles were bought brand new and played just fine when I last watched them. They were stored under ideal conditions in their original cases. I'll try to get Warner Home Video to provide replacements, but it appears some of these editions are OOP. I don't know what help they're willing to provide. I literally have hundreds of WB discs in my collection, so these are just the duds I've identified so far -- I'll update this list when/if I find more:

*UPDATED LIST* - My faulty Warner Bros. disc count is now at least 49! That's more than 10% of the WB DVDs I own.

4 Film Favorites: King of Horror
- The Dreamcatcher side of Disc 1 doesn't load in any player. That side of the disc has become discolored. It has sort of a gold tint compared to the shiny silver side with Dolores Claiborne.

Alfred Hitchcock - The Signature Collection
All these discs fail at the layer change:
- Foreign Correspondent
- Strangers on a Train: Two-Disc Special Edition (both discs)
- Stage Fright
- Suspicion
- The Wrong Man

Batman - The Complete Animated Series
- Volume 2, Disc 3 starts skipping at episode 5.
- Volume 3, Disc 2 doesn't play the last episode.

The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection
- Extended Edition of Superman: The Movie starts glitching up during the romantic flight with Lois.
- Superman II fails at the layer change. The bonus features disc freezes and stops during the last Fleischer cartoon.
- Superman IV freezes and stops about thirty minutes before the end.

Doctor Who - The Complete First Series: Disc 4 doesn't play.

Doctor Who - The Complete Second Series: The last episode on discs 3, 4 and 5 don't play and the bonus features disc stops playing halfway through.

The Exorcist - The Complete Anthology
- Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist fails at the layer change.

Lois & Clark - The Complete Fourth Season: Disc 4 freezes at episode 3 on one player and read as invalid on another.

Spawn: The Animated Collection - 10th Anniversary Signature Edition (Steelbook)
- Disc 1 freezes and skips over the opening eight minutes of the first episode.

Smallville - The Complete Sixth Season: Disc 2 skips and freezes. Discs 3 and 4 only play the first two episodes on one player and read as invalid on another.

Stanley Kubrick - Warner Home Video Director's Series
- 2001: A Space Odyssey special features disc skips and freezes on some of the documentaries.
- A Clockwork Orange special features disc doesn't play.
- Eyes Wide Shut fails at the layer change.
- The theatrical trailer on The Shining disc skips and freezes. The movie itself still plays (for now, at least).

Tales from the Crypt - The Complete First Season: Disc 1 doesn't play.

Tales from the Crypt - The Complete Fifth Season: Disc 2 froze before the end of the last episode on one player and read as invalid on another.

Tales from the Crypt - The Complete Sixth Season: Disc 1 & 2 won't play some of the episodes. At least three are inaccessible.

TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection - Horror
- None of the special features for Freaks play.

The Val Lewton Horror Collection
- The Ghost Ship doesn't play.
- I Walked With a Zombie doesn't play.

Veronica Mars - The Complete Second Season: Disc 2 froze before the end of the last episode on one player and read as invalid on another. Discs 5 and 6 show only a black screen after hitting "Play".

Veronica Mars - The Complete Third Season: Disc 6 won't play the "Season 4 Presentation" and "Pitching Season 4" featurette. Those were the main content on the disc.

The following movie discs crapped out at the layer change or read as invalid:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Two-Disc Special Edition
East of Eden - Two-Disc Special Edition
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Two-Disc Special Edition
Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut
Superman Returns - Two-Disc Special Edition (The special features disc also read as invalid.)
Twilight Zone: The Movie
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? - Two-Disc Special Edition

Playback errors on special features discs:

The Golden Compass - Two-Disc Platinum Series: Half the documentaries freeze up and no longer play.
Hairspray - Two-Disc Shake & Shimmy Edition: "You Can't Stop the Beat" documentary freezes and stops halfway through.

This goes way beyond bad luck and seems to be a widespread case of discs turning defective over time due to faulty manufacturing. I feel like I've flushed my money down the toilet. I can't be the only person this has happened to. Not to cause alarm, but you might want to give your WB discs released around this period a quick check to see if they're still functional.

Last edited by joe_b; 06-03-18 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 05-16-18, 08:09 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

^ Have you checked your New Line discs, too?

Fuck... I'd like to check mine, but I don't have the spare time.

Not really sure how many WB/New Line discs I have from that period. I have seven boxed sets of Babylon 5 I bought around 2009/2010. Trying to recall other tv sets from that mid-aughts period...
Old 05-16-18, 08:38 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

I'm currently working my way though all of them, including the HBO and BBC stuff distributed by WB. I've just been chaptering ahead to make sure the areas of each DVD are accessible for now. There may still be glitches in the discs that passed my initial inspection, but I simply don't have the time to sit down and watch them all straight through (or even fast forward through everything). Talk about a headache... and a collector's nightmare.

I wonder if these faulty WB discs came from the same plant that manufactured all those defective HD DVDs.

UPDATE: I'd contacted Warner Home Video about the Christopher Reeve Superman DVDs (before discovering the many other duds hiding in my collection). As expected, they said they couldn't replace the box set because it's no longer being distributed. It would have been nice if they at least offered to provide an equivalent set of those movies -- even the "4 Film Favorites" version you find in bargain bins would have sufficed. They did offer to exchange the Donner Cut of Superman II.

I'm still going through my WB library and have now chaptered my way through over 400 DVDs. I've updated the list in my previous post, as the defective disc count is now up to 49. Except for one 2009 release (TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection - Horror) all my defective titles were released between '04-'07. Nearly all the faulty discs came from 2-Disc editions or box sets. Twilight Zone: The Movie and Superman II: The Richard Donner cut are the only defective single disc releases I've discovered this week.

I'm waiting until I check every WB DVD I own before contacting WHV again. It'll be easier to report all the titles I know to be defective in one e-mail. I'm not exactly hopeful, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed they'll step up and exchange the ones that are still in print.

BTW, I've noticed another anomaly with my WB titles (mainly TV seasons that came in a clear case): Several discs appear to have had a chemical reaction with the plastic used for the tray holders. The worst offender is Batman: The Complete Animated Series. I bought that collection shortly after release and the discs looked fine. Nine years later, every DVD in the set now had this crap covering the the data side:



It's very hard to remove this built-up residue. It can be done, but requires some serious buffing with a damp cloth. The stuff doesn't wipe away easily. I suspect it might have eventually started eroding the surface of the disc.

Last edited by joe_b; 05-28-18 at 01:45 AM.
Old 05-19-18, 12:53 AM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

I checked my Superman collection after seeing this and discovered 9 of the 14 discs are defective and 19 of the 20 discs containing the movies of the James Bond Ultimate sets are defective, just frustrating but at least I know what to replace now. I replaced the Bond movies with the older one disc editions and they all work perfectly fine.
Old 05-19-18, 03:40 AM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

Originally Posted by joe_b
BTW, I've noticed another anomaly with my WB titles (mainly TV seasons that came in a clear case): Several discs appear to have had a chemical reaction with the plastic used for the tray holders. The worst offender is Batman: The Complete Animated Series. I bought that collection shortly after release and the discs looked fine. Nine years later, every DVD in the set now had this crap covering the the data side:



It's very hard to remove this built-up residue. It can be done, but requires some serious buffing with a damp cloth. The stuff doesn't wipe away easily. I suspect it might have eventually started eroding the surface of the disc.
I've seen that, too.

It seems limited to disc stored in clear cases, mostly the slim ones.

I'd guess that the clear cases are outgassing or something, leaving a residue on the discs. So far, it doesn't seem to effect playback and can be removed with a bit of effort.
Old 05-19-18, 12:20 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

I have a Blu that seems to be experiencing problems that are rot related. The US Sigourney Weaver version of Planet Earth. Unplayable in any machine.
Old 05-20-18, 10:01 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

So far I have two copies of "The Hand" from Warner that crap-out at the layer break and one copy of "Cruising" along with "The Boy Who Could Fly" that do not play at all despite looking perfect.

Anchor Bay titles Like "Kentucky Fried Movie" and "Spacecamp" are also duds.
Old 05-30-18, 04:34 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

Originally Posted by orangerunner
So far I have two copies of "The Hand" from Warner that crap-out at the layer break and one copy of "Cruising"
Sorry to read that. I own copies of both of those and they still seemed to be working when I checked them. *knocks on wood*

For anyone wondering, I did contact Warner Home Video again. I e-mailed a list of all the defective TV season sets first, along with ISBN/UPC numbers and pictures of the disc art for the faulty ones I hoped to exchange. Sherri Bogard (an executive assistant) replied after a couple days and said it might be easier if she could call and speak to me directly. I suspected I was going to be politely told that I was out of luck.

She called a few minutes after I sent her my number. She said she didn't intend to sound rude, but (as I expected) Warner Bros. offers no warranty on discs going bad after several years. While she tried to put it delicately, "nothing lasts forever" was sort of the basic sentiment. That didn't sit well with me, since this wasn't the result of mishandling or misuse on my part. I guarantee that anyone who spent their hard-earned cash building a personal library of DVDs didn't expect a single disc to turn into a worthless coaster less than a decade after buying it -- let alone dozens of them.

I told her there were customer reviews on Amazon (like with the Kubrick set) that supported my belief that these discs turned defective due to faulty manufacturing. It seems like too much of a coincidence that many of my faulty DVDs were released within the span of two years. I assume most were pressed at the same factory. While she seemed open to helping me, I'm still not sure how many titles they're willing to exchange.

One stumbling block was that I asked if I could hang on to the original packaging for the TV seasons. That's because most of them have been reissued in slimmer cases. Any replacement seasons they provide at this point probably wouldn't match the packaging of the other non-defective seasons I own of the same shows. WHV normally require you to send in the entire package before they'll exchange anything. It sounded like exchanging individual discs from box sets is something they're incapable of doing.

She did make one thing crystal clear: If any defective DVDs I mail to WHV arrive damaged or scratched in the slightest way, they will not grant an exchange. I told her that some of my season sets came with discs that had small scuffs/scratches from the factory. Anyone who owns many TV box sets from WB should be able to attest to this. It was nothing that effected playback when I first watched them. Considering all of these now defective discs were purchased brand new and were handled with extreme care, I'd be pretty upset if anything got rejected for that reason.

She asked how many more defective discs I needed to report aside from the TV seasons. I began reading her the movie list while she checked on their current availability. She started sounding impatient after looking up around eight titles. I guess she considered it to be a suspiciously large amount. I told her I had inspected nearly 500 WB DVDs over the last two weeks, which she mistakenly assumed was the number of titles I expected them to exchange. She shut me down real quick before I spoke up to tell her that wasn't the case. The communication between us wasn't the best (which I'll take partial blame for).

I doubt the call lasted more than fifteen minutes, but she had seemingly grown tired of dealing with me. She asked in a flat tone if I was almost finished because she was ready to go to lunch. I didn't intend to take up anyone's personal time, but there are certainly more polite ways to wrap up a call -- especially since she's the one who wanted to talk directly. She could have waited until things were less hectic before phoning, as she mentioned earlier (before putting me on hold briefly) that she was attempting to juggle three things at once during our conversation. I told her I would just e-mail her the rest of the list. She can get back to me at her convenience.

Last edited by joe_b; 06-02-18 at 02:17 PM.
Old 06-03-18, 08:35 AM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

After reading MR Round's earlier post (and also accounts from users on Home Theater Forum), it seems there is also an issue with certain Fox/MGM DVDs produced during the same period. These were presumably pressed at the same factory as the WB discs that have now turned faulty. I'm currently checking my titles from those studios as well and will provide a list of defective discs as I find them.

*UPDATED LIST* - Fox/MGM DVDs:

The Addams Family - The Complete Series: Disc 1, side B of Volume 2 skips throughout the final two chapters of the last episode.

Blue Velvet - Special Edition: Definitely a later pressing (bought in '07) that came without the booklet. It doesn't load in my PC and freezes at chapter 24 on my BD player.


Originally Posted by SterlingBen
That I can remember: The Host, Signs, Trancers Box set. But I feel like 5 or so more have had this problem as well.
I can now add The Host to my defective list as well. Another 2007 release. I only own two Magnet/Magnolia DVDs, so at least I won't have to spend hours checking other discs distributed by them. Still, it's extremely frustrating. Based on your post, I'll have to give all my Full Moon discs a quick spin to see if any have stopped working.

Last edited by joe_b; 06-15-18 at 10:52 PM.
Old 06-16-18, 01:02 AM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

Two WB titles I had go bad:
The Yakuza (immediately stops playing around the 1 hour mark - I'm guessing at the layer change)
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (starts to freeze up about 10 minutes from the end, freezes completely about 3 minutes before the end)

Both of these were in my unwatched pile, in their original shrinkwrap.
Old 06-16-18, 04:00 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

Based on the title, I assumed this thread was announcing the 'Definitive Michael Bay Collection'. Carry on.
Old 06-16-18, 04:04 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

Originally Posted by Surfinhank
Two WB titles I had go bad:
The Yakuza (immediately stops playing around the 1 hour mark - I'm guessing at the layer change)
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (starts to freeze up about 10 minutes from the end, freezes completely about 3 minutes before the end)

Both of these were in my unwatched pile, in their original shrinkwrap.
I've seen it suggested that the decaying plastic in shrinkwrap contributes to a disc going prematurely bad. Something about acids leaking out from it that affect the disc.

That is why I open all my discs, even if I don't plan to watch them immediately.
Old 06-16-18, 06:51 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

I open all my discs right away also just to see what they actually look like inside, and also to make sure the correct discs are inside and they aren't damaged.

Still, I've run into two defective Tales From The Crypt discs after checking the ones mentioned in this thread. I already have a FedEx mailer from Warner for the Popeye set which had TWO bad discs out of four, I'll be sending these along with it along with a note about how they need to either take responsibility for these bad discs or else have me buying FAR fewer items on impulse and have their company's "goodwill" irreparably tarnished. I already took a bath on many HD-DVDs, but having bought those at discount prices (and Warner did replace a number of them with Blu-Rays) and the format being dead I was willing to let that go a bit. This is simply inexcusable however. I'm glad that at least the manufacturer isn't making discs anymore.

And no, this won't convince me to "go digital". It'll just convince me to do without entirely.
Old 06-16-18, 10:15 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

I've had a FedEx mailer from Warner Bros. for about a month now. I'd initially contacted them about a single defective DVD and Sherri Bogard sent the label right out. However, contact with her has been a bit difficult after I brought up all the other defective discs I'd recently discovered.

As I mentioned, I e-mailed her the list of DVDs that she was too busy to look up during our phone call. I waited over a week and didn't get a response, so I sent a follow-up. She replied on 6/8 to say she hadn't forgotten about me, but she was dealing with a work emergency and wouldn't be able to focus on my case until after the weekend. She was supposed to confirm what (if any) titles were currently unavailable, but that obviously didn't happen. I don't want to be a pest, but I guess I'll try again next week. Her job must be exhausting if she's the sole person dealing with customer exchanges for WHV.

I didn't want to just pack everything up and ship it with no guarantee I'd be able to obtain replacements for every title. With the TV seasons, at least SOME of the episodes on the defective discs still play. I'd hate to send them off and get nothing in return.

I'm not sure if I'll bother contacting Fox/MGM. I've now skimmed through nearly 500 discs distributed by them and only the two I listed in my last post froze up or skipped before the end when chaptering ahead. Don't get me wrong, having even one disc suddenly fail is one too many -- but I'm just relieved this wasn't as widespread an issue as what I've experienced with my WB titles.



UPDATE: It took a month, but Sherri Boargard finally sent an e-mail to confirm what titles were no longer available from my list in post #30. If you're experiencing playback errors/rot on any of the following titles, it appears you're out of luck getting a replacement from WB:

- The Alfred Hitchcock Signature Collection - Box set is OOP, but they can replace Suspicion and Strangers on a Train. The following titles I inquired about are no longer available: Foreign Correspondent, Stage Fright and The Wrong Man.

- Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist

- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Two Disc Special Edition

- Lois & Clark: The Complete Fourth Season

- Veronica Mars: The Complete Second Season

- Veronica Mars: The Complete Third Season

- TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection - Horror

- Twilight Zone: The Movie

- The Val Lewton Horror Collection - Box set is OOP, but they can replace The Leopard Man/The Ghost Ship double feature disc (presumable with a MOD copy). The double feature of I Walked With a Zombie and The Body Snatcher is apparently discontinued.

So that's 13 out of 49 discs they're unable to exchange. As long as they come through with replacement copies for the rest, I guess it could be worse. Hopefully I'll find time to ship the discs off next week, since the nearest FedEx location is out of town.

Last edited by joe_b; 06-30-18 at 02:32 AM.
Old 06-16-18, 11:25 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

I'm just going to keep the address and send any further bad discs I run into, and just say that they can either replace them or say goodbye to my purchasing- and everyone here knows I buy a LOT I don't have room to keep discs that won't play though.

You can add Tales From The Crypt Season 3 to the list too. Also going to scan Season 1 on the computer to make sure it's OK, I chaptered through it earlier today and it seemed fine but as there's no chapters in the middle of the episodes on that one, there could still be a problem.

(Without mentioning specific programs as their legality is questionable, I had a problem scanning season 2 of the same show, getting stuck on 2 of the 3 discs, but watching the offending episodes on my Oppo it actually got through them with no glitches! Score another one for Oppo, and if it can't play a disc then you KNOW it's got a problem!)
Old 07-15-18, 08:05 AM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

Originally Posted by kd5
I've only experienced it once (so far), that was with Demolition Man. WS/FS flipper disc (snap case), WS side would only boot to the menu, would go no further, had to watch it on the FS side (). I've since bought it on BD, threw the DVD in the trash.
That definitely sucks that the widescreen was the corrupted one. That was unexpected.
Old 07-23-18, 03:48 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

I ran into this issue several years back. I had Shout! replace a few disks from my "Leave It to Beaver" complete series set. As previously mentioned, the likely suspects are disks in slim cases and regular cases that contain trays with the shiny (slimy) substance on the plastic. I think the closer the disk is to the plastic the higher the likelihood. TV shows on DVD are at the highest risk, as a result.

During further analysis, I found that the substance is generally on the disk early on but hasn't always manifested into a visible form. I typically clean all my DVDs once opened. A quick test is a light steam or even moist breath to create a light fog on the disk. If it is there, it will show up immediately (even if not otherwise visible yet) and you can easily remove it with a light cleaning. Once it becomes visible it has already reacted to the external coating of the disk and is harder to deal with. Eventually, without care, it will become deep enough to make the disk unreadable. I've seen all sorts of patterns emerge from doing the fog test. Many manifest as finger prints (as shown above) and some as splotches. I even had one that mimicked the spokes of a case designed to be more environmentally friendly with sections cut-out.

I'm not convinced it is just the cases. I suspect disks may acquire a substance on it during the manufacturing process to prevent damage as it moves through the system. That could explain finger prints when disks are handled during packaging and other the odd patterns that can result. It could also explain why certain facilities may have a higher incident of the issue since not all factories may be designed the same. As for the cases, I think there may be out-gassing going on based on how those cases are made, that in conjunction with the substance already on the disk adheres to and leaches into the outer layer of the disk. If it was only the cases, I think the damage would be more constant across the disk.

Anyway, that is my theory.
Old 08-02-18, 03:31 AM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

I shipped my defective discs to WB in early July and still haven't gotten any replacements. It's nice they were willing to exchange some of them, but I'm starting to lose hope anything will actually turn up.
Old 08-02-18, 01:13 PM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

Originally Posted by bsmith
During further analysis, I found that the substance is generally on the disk early on but hasn't always manifested into a visible form. I typically clean all my DVDs once opened. A quick test is a light steam or even moist breath to create a light fog on the disk. If it is there, it will show up immediately (even if not otherwise visible yet) and you can easily remove it with a light cleaning. Once it becomes visible it has already reacted to the external coating of the disk and is harder to deal with. Eventually, without care, it will become deep enough to make the disk unreadable. I've seen all sorts of patterns emerge from doing the fog test. Many manifest as finger prints (as shown above) and some as splotches. I even had one that mimicked the spokes of a case designed to be more environmentally friendly with sections cut-out.
I've had that "crud" show up on some of my DVDs in clear slim cases, but it always comes off with some isopropyl alcohol cleaning. Most of these were DVDs I that haven't been touched in eight or more years.
Old 08-13-18, 09:37 AM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

Just discovered that white filmy stuff on my Dexter TV show discs Season 1-3. It does effect the play - even after cleaning it off. One DVD player had a lot of screen freezing and skipping, while my little portable one played them all just fine without any issues.
Old 08-13-18, 10:07 AM
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Re: DVD Rot ?

Seems like a lot of Warner Bros. DVDs are like this. My wife has discovered several random discs in various seasons of "Friends" and "Gilmore Girls" that look fine but either freeze up in specific spots or won't load at all.

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