How To Choose CD/DVD Archival Media

(Last updated January 11th 2013)

Translations: Serbo-Croatian by Jovana Milutinovich

Ahh, I’ve been planning to write this one for awhile: an entire article on archival quality media. As I do professional software development as well as professional photography (what a weird combination), I need archival quality CD and DVD media to store my data on.

However, one of the hardest things to is actually find good media, or even understand why it is good media. This article focuses on the history of Compact Discs, writable CD/DVD media, and why DVD+R is superior to DVD-R. If you want to just know what media is worth buying, skip to the summary at the bottom.

Short history of the Compact Disc
The invention of the Compact Disc has had a large impact on both music and computing in the last 20 years. Invented in 1979 as a joint project between Sony and Philips to counter the self-destructive nature of consumer audio playback (such as tapes and records that could only be played so many times before the recording degraded significantly) by switching to a resilient digital format.

The CD was also designed to store standard computer data, as in 1985 the first CD drives for computers were released; massive, bulky, and expensive, it was not until the mid-90s that they really took off, driven almost solely by video games and large multimedia applications.

In 1990, Sony and Philips went back to the drawing table, and then came out with the CD-R, a record-once medium. Yet again, the first CD burners were large, expensive, and bulky, but by the late 90s having a CD burner was the new ‘in’.

The first few generations of CD media, designed by Taiyo Yuden (a company who I respect, and buy all my archival quality media from), actually kind of sucked; it wasn’t until around 2000 that companies started producing very high end media.

CDs and DVDs store individual bits (encoded in various ways depending on the media) with spots of reflective and non-reflective areas. This method is called ‘pits and lands’, where pits ‘absorb’ light (ie, are ‘off’ bits) and lands ‘reflect’ light (ie, are ‘on’ bits).

With pressed media, the pressing method causes pits to reflect the laser’s light away from the sensor, and the lands to reflect it back at the sensor. With burned media, a high energy laser causes spots of organic dye to go opaque and obscure the reflective surface for the pits, leaving the organic dye for lands alone.

Short history of the DVD
While burning was becoming popular in the late 90s, so was playing high quality video on DVDs. Storing almost 7 times the data of a 700MB CD (or almost 13 in the case of dual layer DVDs), allowed companies to store massive amounts of data on one disc, leading to the movie industry to drop VHS tapes and the video game industry to drop CDs.

In 1995, the first DVD specification was ratified by over a dozen companies including Sony and Philips, as well as Thompson, Pioneer, and Mitsubishi. By 2000, at least half the homes in the US and Japan had DVD players.

So, obviously, the next step was to produce burnable DVDs. Two separate, and incompatible, efforts took hold. The first one, Pioneer’s DVD-R (pronounced ‘DVD dash R’) was released in 1997, using different data storage methods than pressed DVDs (appearing to be more like CD-R than DVD), a poor error correction scheme, and the ‘wobble’ laser tracking system of DVD-R is inadequate for the job.

The second effort, lead by the DVD+RW Alliance (headed by Sony, Philips, Mitsubishi, and Thompson) was released in 2002, as an alternative to the poorly implemented DVD-R. DVD+R uses a superior ‘wobble’ laser tracking system, a far better error correction method, and the media quality itself is typically higher. (See the ‘Why DVD+R?’ section below for a more technical explanation)

Why archival media is hard to produce
Unlike pressed CDs/DVDs, ‘burnt’ CDs/DVDs can eventually ‘fade’, due to five things that effect the quality of CD media: Sealing method, reflective layer, organic dye makeup, where it was manufactured, and your storage practices (please keep all media out of direct sunlight, in a nice cool dry dark place, in acid-free plastic containers; this will triple the lifetime of any media).

The silver and aluminum alloys used in virtually all blank CD/DVD media has one major issue, requiring the manufacturer to lacquer a protective seal over the entire disc: silver and aluminum oxidize when they hit air, turning the normally reflective layer into silver or aluminum rust. Some (very expensive) media uses gold instead which doesn’t oxidize, however DVD media cannot use gold due to design issues (not true anymore, see update 1 below). Today, only the cheapest of the cheap media has severe issues with sealing practices (as such, avoid any media made outside of Japan and Taiwan; especially avoid media made in India).

Assuming that the protective seal and reflective layer are manufactured correctly, the next issue is the organic dye. The first organic dyes, designed by Taiyo Yuden, were Cyanine-based and, under normal conditions, had a shelf life of around ten years; simply, that was simply unacceptable for archive discs. Taiyo Yuden, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Mitsui Co., and Ciba Specialty Chemicals spent the next ten years trying to produce the best organic dyes, eventually reaching archive-quality CD media.

Taiyo Yuden produced ‘Super Cyanine’, a chemically stabilized version of the original Cyanine dye designs, while TDK offers media that uses ‘metal-stabilized Cyanine’ dye, leading to similar shelf lives as Taiyo Yuden’s media. Taiyo Yuden states their Super Cyanine dye is chemically stable for at least 70 years, and TDK states their metal-stabilized Cyanine is also stable for 70 years.

On the other hand, Mitsubishi went in a different direction and produced what is called a Metal Azo dye, that they claim is stable for around 100 years. Azo dyes are chemically stable, however, the shelf life of media using Azo dyes typically does not exceed that of Super Cyanine and metal-stabilized Cyanine.

The third dye produced for CD media is called Phthalocyanine dye, with the majority of such dyes produced by Mitsui and Ciba. Typically marketed as more resistant to heat and UV radiation than Cyanine and Azo, modern Cyanine and Azo dyes last just as long in extreme conditions.

DVDs also use similar dyes, however manufacturers have intentionally kept what dyes they use a secret (instead of a feature in their marketing of the media), and all blank DVDs are intentionally the same color (as different dyes on CDs make blanks different colors, however, it is not indicative of what dye is used due to some manufacturers using different colored silver alloys and non-reactive additives in the dye).

Why Taiyo Yuden media, and how to buy in the US
The best discs in circulation tend to be Taiyo Yuden media. In Japan, you find their media under the brand That’s, which are wholly owned by Taiyo Yuden.

As of late 2009, Taiyo Yuden announced they were buying the JVC Advanced Media brand, and making it a wholly owned and operated brand for TY products. They did this to put Taiyo Yuden products on store shelves worldwide. See update 4 at the bottom for a full explanation.

Simply put, I have never had problems with any kind of Taiyo Yuden media. Ever. I have bought CDs and DVDs under a dozen different brands (including non-Taiyo Yuden manufactured TDK and Verbatim), and the only ones that have had a 100% success rate is Taiyo Yuden.

If you cannot find any company selling media under the Taiyo Yuden/JVC Advanced Media brand, I suggest buying from the SuperMediaStore.com, who offer a wide range of Taiyo Yuden CD media, DVD-R media, and DVD+R media. I tend to buy just from them, as they are the only company that guarantees that their media is actually from Taiyo Yuden and not a fake (see the above linked FAQ on information about fake Taiyo Yuden media).

Why DVD+R?
This is the most technical section of the article. If you don’t understand the basics of how CD/DVD media works, or find such technical discussions boring, skip to the next section.

As I said earlier, DVD-R sucks for data preservation for three reasons: inferior error correction, inferior ‘wobble’ tracking, and the fact its data writing methods look like an un-needed halfway point between CD-R and DVD+R. The wobble tracking I shall explain first, then the error corrections method, then the specifics of ATIP/pre-pit/ADIP optimum power settings.

For a CD/DVD burner to track where it is on the disc, it uses three things: the ‘wobble’ of the data track (where it actually wobbles back and forth instead of in a straight line) to tell where it is in the track, the position of the track to tell where it is on the disc, and some additional information on the disc to tell where the track (singular, as CDs and DVDs only have one track, and it is written in a concentric spiral) begins and ends.

This additional information on a CD-R is called the ATIP (Absolute Time In Pregroove), which contains how long the track is, where it begins, what the maximum and minimum writing speeds are, what formula dye it uses, who actually made it, optimum power control settings, and error correction data. The ATIP is stored as a frequency modulation in the wobble itself.

However, since the wobble changes subtly to encode data, it is impossible to use with the small size of tracks DVD requires, as electric noise in the laser pickup and wobbles introduced by the electric motor spinning the disc, these could easily be read as frequency changes in the real track itself.

On DVD-R, they tried to solve the problem with something called ‘pre-pits’ where spikes in the amplitude of the wobble appear due to pits fully out of phase with the rest of the track (ie, between two spirals of the track, where there is no data). This can be viewed as a simple improvement over CD-R as it makes it easier to track the wobble (since the wobble is constant except for the easy to detect and remove spikes).

Unfortunately, this method as one flaw: due to electric noise in the laser pickup, it would be very easy to miss the pre-pit (or read one that wasn’t actually there) if the disc were damaged or spun at fast speeds. The time to read a pre-pit is 1T (roughly .0000000038th of a second), which even for a computer can be easy to miss. DVD-R traded hard to track frequency changes for hard to read wobble-encoded data.

On a DVD+R, however, they came up with a much better method. Instead of changing the frequency of the wobble, or causing amplitude spikes in the wobble, they use complete phase changes. Where CD-R’s and DVD-R’s methods make you choose between either easy wobble tracking or easy ATIP reading, DVD+R’s method makes it very easy to track the wobble, and also very easy to encode data into the wobble. DVD+R’s method is called ADIP (ADdress In Pre-groove), which uses a phase change method.

With ADIPs’ phase changes, the direction of the wobble changes and continues on going in the exact opposite direction (ie, counter-clockwise to clockwise, or the reverse). For example, if the wobble was ‘going up’, the phase change causes it to instantly reverse direction start ‘going down’ no matter where it in the wobble cycle. The phase change is very easy to detect, and also continues for a set period (in this case, one 32T section of the track, or 32 times longer than the pre-pit method of DVD-R).

The state of the phase change (clockwise or counter-clockwise) encodes the individual bits in each block In essence, with the phase change method, not only do you have an easy way of tracking the wobble, but you now have an easy way of reading wobble-encoded data.

As I mentioned earlier, this wobble-encoded data includes error correction of wobble-encoded data itself. Error correction is the most important part of media, because if it does not work, then you’ve lost your data, even if there is nothing seriously wrong with the disc.

The DVD-R specification states that for every 192 bits, 64 of them are not protected under any scheme, 24 of them are protected by 24 bits of parity, and the last 56 bits are protected by another 24 bits of parity. This weird (to put it mildly) scheme allows you to easily scramble or lose 25% of the data that is required to read your disk! This information is almost more important than the actual data burned on the disc itself.

The DVD+R specification, however, states that for every 204 bits of information, it is split into four blocks of 52 bits containing 1 sync bit to prevent misreading because of phase changes, 31 bits of data, and a 20 bit parity (that protects all 32 bits of data). The sync bit is always the same value in all four blocks, and exists only to prevent phase inversions.

Now, the third item on the list: how DVD+R discs burn better. As I said earlier, ATIP/pre-pit/ADIP stores information about optimum power control settings. This information is basically formulas stating how much output power is needed, what the laser startup power should be, and other pieces of information you require to properly burn a DVD.

Optimum power control output is dependent on three things: burning speed, laser wavelength, and information given to the drive about the media. DVD-R basically fails on all three accounts because DVD+R simply includes far more information about the media in the ADIP data than DVD-R does in it’s pre-pit data.

DVD+R includes four optimum profiles, one for four major burning speeds (usually 2x, 4x, 6x, and 8x, though this can change as speeds increase). Each of these profiles include optimum power output based on laser wavelength, more precise laser power settings, and other additional information. With this information, any DVD+R burner can far more optimize it’s burning strategy to fit the media than it can with DVD-R, consistently providing better burns.

For comparison, DVD-R includes one profile, optimum power output based for that one profile only and uncalibrated towards what wavelength it is for, less precise laser power settings, and no other additional information. Typically, DVD-R burners have to already know how to burn a certain piece of media (and include this information in their firmwares) before they can properly burn to it. New media often is not properly supported.

In addition to the optimum power control profiles, DVD+R also gives four times more scratch space for the drive to calibrate the laser on; more space can only improve the calibration quality. So, in short, DVD+R media exists to simply produce better burns and protect your data better.

And finally, the end of the article…
Finally, after roughly three pages of technical discussion, we arrive at the end of my dissertation on archival quality CD/DVD media. So, you’re probably now wondering, in simple terms, what media do I recommend?

To begin with, I do not recommend CD-RW, DVD-RW, or DVD+RW media in any form for permanent storage. This is mostly a no-brainer, but those discs are meant to be able to be changed after burning, and they are simply unsuitable for long-term archival storage. I also do not recommend DVD-R media due to DVD+R’s superior error correction and burning control.

That said, I recommend Taiyo Yuden media across the board. Taiyo Yuden currently manufactures 52x CD-R, 16x DVD-R, and 16x DVD+R media in normal shiney silver, inkjet printable, and thermal printable forms. Taiyo Yuden may be one of the most expensive (if not the most expensive), but their media quality is unsurpassed. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I recommended buying from SuperMediaStore.com as they are the only online US distributor that guarantees that their Taiyo Yuden media is certified as coming from Taiyo Yuden.

So, what am I using? Due to Taiyo Yuden’s superior media quality, and DVD+R’s superior design, I use only Taiyo Yuden DVD+R media. I recommend this media to everyone who wishes to keep their data for a long, long time.

Update 1: It seems MAM-A and Kodak actually has managed to make a gold DVD, though no one else seems to be manufacturing them (Taiyo Yuden/JVC Advanced Media now makes an archival gold disc, see update 6). However, MAM-A’s gold archival media still doesn’t seem to exceed TY quality (although Mr 60,000 in the comments below puts TY second best to MAM-A). Due to the extreme cost of gold archival media ($2+ a disc) with very little increased protection (if any), I’ll still say TY media is better. I want to see more independent tests on this before I change my recommendation.

In addition, I’d like to mention that Verbatim has been relabeling other brands of disc as their own. If the box/spindle/cakebox the discs come in don’t say they’re manufactured with Verbatim’s proprietary Azo dye (sometimes called Advanced Azo, sometimes not, depending on the product) then they aren’t Verbatim media at all and should be avoided as they may not meet typical home archival standards.

Update 2: (Sept. 19th 2007) Its almost been a year since I first wrote this article. My recommendations for media have not changed, my recommendations for DVD burners have.

Samsung: Samsung is currently producing two drives worth owning, the
Samsung SH-S222AB
(SATA). They’re not considered archival grade, but they’re not bad.

TEAC: TEAC makes an archival drive that is ISO/IEC10995 compliant, and is very expensive. Comes in two forms, external USB DV-W5000U and internal SATA DV-W5000S. I’ve seen DV-W5000U drives for sale for $500, and refurbished DV-W5000S drives for $150-200. This is the elite of drives, and recommended if you’re very serious about 30+ year archival storage.

Update 3: (July 26th 2009) Its been awhile since I updated this article. Pioneer is no longer manufacturing drives worth using. Just buy a Samsung or TEAC drive like I link to above. I’m using two Samsung drives now after my PX-716 finally died after years of service.

My recommendation on TY and Verbatim hasn’t changed, and I imagine it will never change; DVD media will not change significantly from here on out. Bluray in my opinion is not worth switching over to unless you’re storing data that can be measured in hundreds of gigabytes, and at that point you might want to look into archival tape storage.

When Bluray is worth switching over to, I’ll write a follow up article to this one. High quality single layer media will have to drop below 50 cents a piece and Bluray burners will have to become ubiquitous (much like DVD burners are now) before that happens. I’m thinking 2011 or later.

Update 4: (August 3rd 2010) Taiyo Yuden has bought the JVC Media brand and is now operating under the JVC Advanced Media brand. You can now buy TY inside JVC boxes and get your usual TY quality. This site has the conversion of part numbers.

JVC has not bought Taiyo Yuden, and Taiyo Yuden is in full control of this new venture. They merely bought they name so they can put TY products on store shelves worldwide.

SuperMediaStore.com is selling almost all JVC Advanced Media branded TY products in place of the old TY branded ones.

Update 5: (September 27th 2011) A few people have asked about how PIE/PIF scans work.

DVD-R and DVD+R both employ two stage error correction.

PIE (Parity Inner Error) just means error correction was used, PIF (Parity Inner Failure) means the error was unrecoverable using the inner ECC block but still may be recovered using the outer ECC block . On tools that give avg/max/total, max PIE values above 140, or max PIF values above 4* means the disc needs to be replaced but the data most likely isn’t corrupted yet**.

For a burn to be considered still pristine you want max PIE below 20 and max PIF 3 or lower.

Discs will NOT be pristine after 5 years, but there is a fall off of PIF/PIE increasing after 6 months and doesn’t seem to start picking up again until 5-10 years depending on storage environment.

Totals for PIF can be as high as 100k yet have a max of 20, and total PIF can be as high as 1000 but have a max below 3. Max PIE is considered mostly fatal above 280 and can reach as high as 1664, and max PIF can reach as high as 208*.

DVD+R generally will maintain lower values for both due to superior error correction techniques.

* Some tools and/or drives won’t list above 4 for PIF.

** Some tools and/or drives also list PO (Parity Outer) uncorrectable errors. This is for any read that has a max PIF above 4. This indicates a mostly unrecoverable data corruption error, which would effect (if I’ve done my math right) 36k of data (although that doesn’t mean the whole 36k of data is corrupted, just that its corrupted inside of that 36k). This still does not indicate the disc is unreadable, some obsessive ripping tools will try multiple reads in an effort to get a valid read or different incorrect reads that can be merged into a valid read.

Update 6: (January 11th 2013) Taiyo Yuden announced last year that they are now producing an ISO/IEC10995 compliant archival grade gold alloy DVD-R. Sadly, its not DVD+R and I’m hoping they’ll consider making a DVD+R version as well. Not many vendors carry this disc yet.

Also, a few people have asked when I’m going to write that Bluray follow up article. I don’t think Bluray is viable for long term archival storage yet. I continue my recommendation that if you need to store hundreds of gigabytes of data or more, consider archival tape.

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Published October 30th, 2006

Comments

1,249 Responses

mike: Wow, sounds like you either got a bad batch of 8x, or they aren’t TY at all.

I’ve been using DVD-R’s for a while now. I started with the 4x DVD-R’s (GD000xxx) which I found to be excellent. When they stopped making those I switched to 8x DVD-R’s (GG000xxx) and have to say I have not being terribly happy. They still burn fine but their compatibility with various DVD players seems to be quite average.

I’ve done exactly the same burns on the two different medias and have the 4x play fine while the 8x have played with glitches in the same player (but it will play fine in other dvd players). Addionally, the 8x become even more unreliable once they have had a bit of wear and tear (finger prints/scratches) than a 4x disc in the same condition.

jonagold: There are two separate arguments here. First, does DVD+R trump -R, and the answer is yes. Second, does gold trump a properly sealed high quality ‘normal’ DVD, and the answer is probably not.

Oh, and yes, there are gold DVD+Rs, I’m not sure who makes them, but I saw them recently. (If any of my loyal readers do find them, post the URL).

The reason these are separate arguments is because the only difference between DVD-R and DVD+R (assuming same quality of media and whatnot) is how the data is laid out on the disc.

Thats it. Thats the only difference. DVD+R lays the data out using better error correction and error prevention (such as calibration data). TY non-Value DVD-R and TY DVD+R use the same plastic and the same chemicals and are assembled the same way.

Back to gold DVDs, I simply don’t think they have a lower failure rate. Verbatim and TY discs last a long time; maybe not as long as their claim, but long enough that I can skip a generation or two of disc technology and grab whatever replaces Bluray or Bluray+1.

TY or Verbatim may not be archival according to archival fetishists, but neither are gold DVDs: “tape backups or bust!”

Thank you for the excellent article and all of the follow-up answers to questions.

After all that has been written, I’m still unclear as to the desirablility for archival purposes of the gold-plated DVD-Rs (I’ve only seen gold -Rs, not +Rs) by Verbatim or Kodak or Delkin. How would the Verbatim “UltraLife Gold Archival Grade” 8X DVD-R compare with theTaiyo Yuden White Inkjet Hub Printable 8X DVD+Rs (both sold by SuperMediaStore)? Does the +R technology trump the gold layer?

Gillie: I’ve never used the book type change trick, I’d avoid it. But yeah, both Verbatim and TY’s non-Value line -Rs are archival quality. Either is good.

XMAN: I suggest you start playing the lottery with that kind of luck.

“Patrick McFarland, on February 3rd, 2007 at 11:22 pm, said:

hemingway: Because they don’t last 5-10 years. They last about 1. Cheap disks simply don’t last long at all.

Class 3 and 4 disks (using the popular 4 class system) need to be avoided at all costs.”

Tell that to the sum 200 DVD-Rs, no name(CompUSA Specials) I have sitting at home, on a shelf that are still read today without errors. All made range from 2-4 years old.

Patrick,

Since sending the previous message last night, I have discovered that I have a “Book Type” program for my Lite-On drive which will chage the Book Tpye of a +R DVD to -R. I am assuming that if I do this, the disc will play in my Pioneer stand-alone DVD Player which plays -R but not +R. If I am correct in this assumption, would I be better off getting the TY +R disks?

I have created several travel videos from our trips (and continue to do so). I want to store a backup copy on archive quality disks so read your article with interest.

Since our DVD player plays -R and not +R, I will have to stick to the -R format. I am wondering if the Taiyo Yuden Shiny/Silver (TYG02) is suitable for archiving. I have located a Canadian distributor for Taiyo Yuden disks at blankmedia.ca but they indicate this disk for “General Use”. The only TY disk listed under their Archiving tab is the +R TYGO2 which is listed along with 3 Verbatim brands (+R Branded, -R Verbatim Gold Ultralife, and -R Verbatim White Inkjet Hub Printable Hard Coat). Since I have to have the -R for compatablility, should I go with the TY -R or would one of the Verbatim -R disks be better?

hemingway: Because they don’t last 5-10 years. They last about 1. Cheap disks simply don’t last long at all.

Class 3 and 4 disks (using the popular 4 class system) need to be avoided at all costs.

Who really cares how good a burn is or how long it’s gonna last? I mean, if you are going to get a good burn on cheap media that’s 5cents a disc as opposed to a Taiyo Yuden 25-50 cent per disc that will last 5-10 years until Bluray takes over as an archival format then it’s worth it when you can port them over and dump the old DVD’s right? If I spend all this trouble trying to nickel and dime my way into finding elusive Taiyo MIJ’s just so the media will last 70 years but I’m going to port them over to Bluray in 5 years then Holographic Crystals in ten it all becomes moot.

John: Nope, as far as I know Nero does not use either ISO, BIN+CUE, or floppy-style IMGs; nothing else can burn these.

I’m against pirating software, but please people, if you’re going to rip a CD or DVD, rip it as ISO or BIN+CUE; you can’t “stick it to the man” if no one can use your rip.

Does anyone reading these posts have a suggested program to run on the Mac under OS X that will provide similar info as Nero CD/DVD Speed? I would prefer not purchasing a Windows emulator at this point and I don’t have one of the new Intel Macs
John

Great article. Very useful.

I found a study made by the National Institute of Standards and Technology on the life expectancy of different CD and DVD. You can check it at

http://www.itl.nist.gov/div895/gipwog/StabilityStudy.pdf

It seems that phtalocyanine CD are much more stable, especially when associated with a gold layer. It makes the CD almost not affected by light, temperature or humidity over time.

This study also gives good numerical parameters to evaluate the quality of CD and DVD (maximum jitter, BLER, PIE…)

Davy: As I mentioned earlier, some Verbatim retail packs contain TY media. Thats normal to find some.

Also, yeah, there are a few NEC fans in the world. In fact, my next drive may be a NEC, favoritism of Plextor among good burner fans has gone down in the past few years.

Sam: I actually agree. People who use crappy burners get crappy burns no matter the media.

However, the quality of the discs are not identical. More often than not, just grabbing TDK off the shelf will get you a decent or good brand, but why fuck with it when you can just aim for the best?

As for fail tests, rarely does media ever fail for me unless its really really cheap stuff (which I just don’t bother with anymore, even if I’m giving it away it just isn’t worth it. TDK is good for that).

I’ve been reading your comments people and I must say I’m lost. DVD-R may not be the same writing style as DVD+R but I’ve burned what, hundreds of DVD-R’s on many different burners, never did 1 not read. I think the main thing you’re all missing is that it’s not the quality of these discs that matters anymore (since they’re all basically identical) but the burner itself.

If you’re using a cheap-o burner then naturally the media won’t record well. I have no idea what the deal with with you guys having so many problems but I bought all kinds of media and never had 1 problem reading that wasn’t the fault of a drive. I think you must learn to relax, this is completely ridiculious to suggest DVD+R is going to be better than DVD-R. Here’s a test, burn both, file them, see which one fails a read first. I bet niether will ever, lmao

Nice read, this one

Just thought I’d add a few more comments, as I’ve been reading about this topic on many sites for a few years now.

First of all (this one really battles me) I have these Verbatim PastelDisc CDR’s. On the wrapping around the box it says “Verbatim corporation, 2004 A Mitsubishi Chemicals Company Made In Japan” This is all still what I would expect… but… looking at the disc itself… the ring in the middle of the disc on the recording side, it says “80 PG1213″ and from experience I know that means it is a genuine TY disc. Even Nero CD/DVD speed identifies these discs as Taiyo Yudens… A little help here? I’m confused as hell

Also, a tip for people who want to be sure they’re ordering genuine TY’s from a site: just send them an e-mail asking them to check if it says “made in japan” on the wrapping around the cakebox. Somehow all companies that make fakes think it’s blasphemy to print “made in japan” on fake TY spindles, and it’s a good thing they think it is.

A recorder can only handle that much media codes, so companies tend to sell their media codes to other manufacturers so their disc will burn in any recorder. Quite a pity, I know, but there’s no other easy solution. Any recorder will recognize these discs as an original TY (or other) and will be able to burn to these discs. So there’s the reason for these fakes.

The harder way to check, is more difficult, because you’d already have to have a disc. TY cd’s always have a code in the inner ring of the writing side, similar to “80 PG1207″ and for DVD+R’s it’s similar to “TG001158″.

I also read that CD-R’s and DVD+R’s aren’t made the same way. DVD+R’s shouldn’t oxidize as quickly because of this. I have a few TY CDR’s where you can see the inner edge starting to signal the decay of the disc, but they never really do go further than just a few spots in the inner circle.

Also, there is this website where I always bought my discs : http://www.cdrwinkel.com (i think they only ship to holland and germany anymore) they don’t ship to belgium anymore, unfortunately cause that’s where i live. I know they have genuine TY’s, cause that’s where I got mine. Unfortunately (yet again) they don’t have a lot of DVD+R’s from TY at the moment, only the very expensive Plextor-branded. When looking under “CD-R’s – spindel” you can see Verbatims with TY dyes, and also other dyes (???) Strange… Anyway, since they haven’t had TY DVD+R’s for a while (except the expensive Plextors) I bought some RICOH’s. So, Patrick, I’ve tested some of these I burned about 2 years ago, and they still have the same PIE/PIF values they had when I wrote them. So PLEASE stop comparing them to ritek/ridata (I know these two are worthless)

Also another advantage of DVD+R’s over DVD-R’s that I haven’t read on this site: If you have Nero CD/DVD Speed, you can go to “Extra – bitsetting”. Here you can tell Nero Burning ROM to burn the DVD+R as a DVD-ROM; so your standalone player will recognize the DVD+R as a DVD-ROM. A major flaw of the DVD-R is that it already has some data written on it when it’s “blank”, telling your burner and your standalone player that it is in fact a DVD-R.

And now for the most important thing I wanted to add…
Someone asked what speed you should write a CD/DVD. Well, there really is no easy answer, so here’s the long one:
It depends on what disc you use (dye as well as its supposed writing speed), what recorder you use (once again, the brand as well as the speed of the recorder) and what firmware version your recorder has. First thing you need to do is download Nero CD/DVD speed at http://www.cdspeed2000.com (it’s free, so no problem there) Then arrives the first problem; not all burners are able to do this test. Start up Nero CD/DVD speed, click on “disc quality”, set the speed setting to “5x” (just do it, I know why, but it would be way too long to explain it here) and hit START. If your burner is not able to do the job, I suggest you go out and buy a cheap NEC recorder, these should all be able to do the PIE/PIF tests with Nero CD/DVD Speed. BTW, I personally prefer my NEC to my Plextor recorder (experiences tell me so).

How to know what speed is right for your disc/recorder/firmware:
just write a couple of discs, all at different speeds. Scan them all with Nero CD/DVD speed. The top graph shows you the PI Errors (C1/PIE), you can totally forget about these, they don’t mean a thing. The bottom graph shows you the PI Failures (C2/PIF) ; this is what’s important. You’d want these to be as low as possible (also, don’t mind the “score quality”, it only looks at spikes in the graph, and spikes don’t mean a thing) The best writing speed is the one where there are no yellow/red colours or spikes continued over a longer period of the disc (this is always bad) and where the average in C2 is as low as possible. (my personal average is 0.03 to 0.08, which makes my DVD+R of better quality than pressed DVD’s. 😉 )

From personal experience, I know that when the C2 error rate goes over 200, my Pioneer standalone player won’t play it anymore, but my Plextor PX-708A is still able to read it most of the time. Just remember this ; if a DVD+R has a very low C2 error rate when just burned, it can handle more aging and scratches than when it already has a high C2 error rate at the start. Oh, and I’m very satisfied with that cheap (90 euros over a year ago) Pioneer standalone. It played everything I threw at it (DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD-ROM, CD, CD-R, VCD, divx, xvid) only the last few months it won’t play DVD-ROM anymore, it says “NO DISC”. Don’t understand this at all, but it’s OK as I always back up my DVD-ROM movies (as a protection against scratches mostly)

I’ve written over 1000 discs using my NEC, and it still writes better discs than my Plextor EVER did. This is the result of the last RICOH DVD+R (code RICOHJPN R02) I burned. (the TY’s I have should get an even better result, oh they’re FUJI branded ‘cheap’ TY’s.)
PI Errors: (not important, but just so you know how it should be)
Average : 11.92
Maximum : 38
Total : 143536
PI Failures :
Average : 0.06 (when over 0.15, i throw the disc away, just being VERY cautious)
Maximum : 4 (meaning there isn’t a single yellow or red spike, but don’t worry about a few spikes here and there too much)
Total : 627
I wrote this 8x disc at 6X, when writing at 4x, the beginning of the disc has high PIF values, and when writing at 8x, the end of the disc has high PIF values.

When burning with Nero Burning ROM, you can also let Nero verify the written data, but this just means it’ll read the disc. And from personal experience, i know my NEC will be able to read it if the PIF-values aren’t constantly above 150, so that doesn’t tell you much about the actual quality of the writing.

If anyone is wondering; no I DO NOT work for any of the above mentioned brands, I just personally prefer these brands, through many bad experiences with other brands. I think that’s enough said.

Thats rather weird. I do not know of a MCC plant in India… maybe they are farming out their formula to other companies now.

Until I have further information I can only assume it is of the same quality to Verbatim made in China/Taiwan (MCC themselves) or Japan (TY rebanded).

Since I can not easily find TY available here in the UK, other than mail order and the one company that I could, charges so much for Shipping that it made a single purchase of 100 pack, (being the smallest available,) some what overpriced.
Therefore I decided to try some Verbatim being told that this is the next best for a good archive life.
So I just walked into a local store that sold Verbatim media, and selected the tub of 50
DVD+R and read the content of the packaging to see “Made In India” Now I remember that in this article that it had commented on accept only media made in Japan or Taiwan, but certainly not from India, now I was not sure if this was only in connection with TY or any media at all, although I thought that it was a general term.
With this I had a look at Panasonic DVD+R media since it is for use with a Panasonic Set top DVD recorder that I want the media for!
And this also said Made in India, as did the Sony, TDK and in fact all the media in both + & – in the shelves bar one the stores own value line which was made in Taiwan.
Surprised by this but also intrigued by this concept, of whether or not his was a geological marketing strategy on the parts of the media manufacturers.
I stuck by my guns and bought a tub of 50 Verbatim DVD+R discs as this was the advised product on most accounts.
When I returned home I set to and checked one in Nero Info, Which informed me that it
Was Verbatim MCC003 (000) dye.
I have not used any of these discs as of yet, as this is purely aesthetic as to how reliable from the point of archive life, and data integrity which is the whole question in point.
What are your thoughts on this Verbatim Media being made in India?
Oh and Verbatim do make Lightscribe discs, and dual layer as these were all among my choices today!
Thanks and keep up the good work
Dave

They shouldn’t affect the disc at all; however, as far as I know, neither TY nor Verbatim actually make Lightscribe discs.

That said, the Lightscribe medium should not effect the longevity of the disc whatsoever, as there is a layer between it and the data layer (ie, three polycarb discs in the whole construction, like a dual layer disc).

Well, 6 more years with CD or DVD’s and we’ll swap to another media. I’m wondering if or how Lighscribe burners – where one is burning the label into the disk – affects the longevity of the disk.

They look possibly reputable. I don’t know if TY CD-Rs come with the label (which I photographed off my DVD+R spindle), but I think they do; also, they should come in the famous TY cakebox.

The store itself looks reputable, but I’m not going to order from them to find out.

Does anyone know of the reputability of Meritline.com? I bought tape wrapped packs of 100 DVD+R and CDR from them. The DVD+R had the Taiyo Yuden label, the CDR had nothing on it to show who made them. They claim that box they came in says “Made in Japan”.

Gothic: Verbatim discs are made by Verbatim themselves. They go by the name Mitsubishi Chemical, and the MCC media codes are theirs, but everyone just calls them Verbatim when talking media. The Verbatim retail brand is just like TY’s Thats.

I use digital cameras. More and more professional photographers are either going full digital, or partially digital and just scanning the negatives directly.

Super Duper: No, you cannot inkjet print on media that doesn’t have an inkjet layer on it. TY does make both clear and white inkjet printable media in DVD+R form… I think my article pretty much devastated SuperMediaStore’s TY stock. Oops.

Great article. I want to archive my son’s videos that I’ve been making on GQ (Fry’s Electonic’s brand) DVD-R. I realize now that those discs aren’t going to last. The oldest disc is about 18 months old so I want to archive them quick.

Question, I’ve always used the white, inkjet printable ones (makes nicer looking discs for family that gets a copy) on my Epson R200. I only see “silver” inkjet printable TY DVD+R discs for sale. Will these work? Otherwise, the Verbatim are the only DVD+R white inkjet printable ones that may last.

So can I use the “silver” TY DVD+R media on my Epson R200 (may be replaced with an R340 soon)?

Thanks.

Thanks again, Patrick for your advise, My set top box does record on DVD+R it in fact records on all formats with the exception of DVD+RW which I have no intrerest in any way as my day to day “recordings watch and disgard” is done on DVD-RAM, I have been asured by my supplier that the discs that I mentioned are in deed the TY Value range made in Japan and priced at $32 per 100 cello wrapped.
They also sell a full range of Verbatim discs +/- printable non printable even gloss printable, the only thing is they are all using a Azo dye, which I presume places them with another manufacturers not TY, The other company that I had sourced for TY I have found would need be a reasonable order to warent the cost of delivery (shipping) as this puts them up to $68 for the 100 pack.
As a mater of interest as a pro photographer do you use digital of film based cameras, scanning the negs to CD?
Thanks and keep up the good work, although it supprising that you are able to be so quick in your responce to the forum questions, well done

Cheers Dave

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