Highest quality Blu Ray blanks?
by Nick Griffin on Jun 14, 2012 at 3:07:05 pm
I'm surprised that I can't find this on the COW, so maybe I'm missing something. That said, What's the highest quality / most reliable brand of Blu Ray blank disks? Are there different grades, for example "Mastering" versus regular?
I also have yet to find white/printable Blu Ray blanks. Are there such things and where would you recommend buying them?
Re: Highest quality Blu Ray blanks? by Matt Townley on Jun 14, 2012 at 4:13:03 pm
I have tried Line 1, Falcon, Verbatim and a few other "off brand" discs for BD-R. So far I have been happiest with Falcon and Verbatim. We use white thermal discs in the shop here, but I know they have inkjet, too. I get all our discs from The Tape Company, which bought Media Distributors and now all goes by Media Distributors.
Not sure about the issue of different grades for "mastering" vs. regular quality. I know there are various grades, just as there are for CD/DVD, but I'm not sure how the manufacturers actually describe those differences. We use "A" grade for everything except for our lowest value-line offering of silver CDs that we do black only printing on for local bands and musicians that just want the cheapest of cheap.
Re: Highest quality Blu Ray blanks? by Dave Haynie on Jun 15, 2012 at 2:19:21 pm
[Nick Griffin]"I'm surprised that I can't find this on the COW, so maybe I'm missing something. That said, What's the highest quality / most reliable brand of Blu Ray blank disks? Are there different grades, for example "Mastering" versus regular?"
There certainly are. But there's no standard for any of these things, so it's really one manufacturer telling you their "mastering" or "archival quality" disc is superior to their cheaper one... and by extension, the other guy's, too.
One thing that's physically different out there in the BD-R world is "HTL" vs. "LTH" media. The original Blu-ray disc is "HTL" (High to Low), based on a non-organic technology. The disc starts out highly reflective ("H") and the laser burns the non-reflective pits ("L"). The original technology used a layer of copper and a layer of silicon. When heated by the laser, the two materials combine, forming the low-reflectance part. This is a very reliable technology (in theory, much longer lasting than the organic dyes used in CD-R and DVD-R), and it's also stable in sunlight.
However, everyone's after cost savings, so some time after the BD-R was introduced, some manufacturers introduced the LTH BD-R. This uses the same kind of organic dyes used on DVDs (more or less... some tweaks are needed to change the optical response); the disc starts out low reflectance, and the laser changes the dye layer to expose the reflecting layer (this is the opposite of the way HTL, CD, and DVD work, but the technology is similar to that of DVD). LTH discs have the same vulnerabilities as DVD. Older BD-R writers won't support LTH without a firmware upgrade (pretty obvious).
[Nick Griffin]"I also have yet to find white/printable Blu Ray blanks. Are there such things and where would you recommend buying them?"
Inkjet printable BD-Rs have been available for several years; I started using them around the time I bought my BD-R reader, which was in February 2008, right after the Blu-ray victory over HD-DVD had been assured -- Warner Brothers dropped HD-DVD support, and the game was over.
Anyway, I buy in bulk, CD/DVD/BD online, for several reasons. The prices are usually better, but also, companies like Rima (http://www.rima.com/) publish the ID codes of the media they sell. That's important... maybe not as important as the early days of DVD+R/DVD-R, but important. Many store brands sell whatever they happened to buy in bulk under the same product name (a few, like TDK, only sell their own discs). So buying this way, once you know the disc you want, you can keep getting it, no surprises. Tragically, they don't list more details, such as LTH vs. HTL, but knowing the disc codes, you can look these up elsewhere.
I have mostly used TDK. I wouldn't worry about using the HTL discs from Verbatim, either, though they also sell LTH, and you don't always know the difference from the packaging or online details.