Having recently started getting into the whole arena of DVD production and duplication, we are looking to find a definitive answer regarding the archival quality of the DVD masters we are creating. I have searched up and down on the net, and I have found a variety of answers, ranging from 3 years to 100 years. So my question is basically twofold. One, do you need to 'gold master' or 'glass master' a dvd for the best archival quality, or will ordinary DVD-R's suffice? Secondly, is there a brand or type (+R, -R, RW, etc.) that provides the best lasting quality for keeping these things around for a little while. I understand of course that hard drive backup is the most desireable, but I hoping that all these DVD masters I have created have at least a little time on the shelf before they all begin rotting. Any help, or websites that people can point me two would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I don't understand what you mean by gold or glass mastering for archival storage. A glass master is the mother master used to create the stampers for DVD replication. They are quite expensive to manufacture (we charge around $1,000 per layer), and they don't fit into your DVD drive/player. They are used in a variety of industrial molding and stamping equipment.
The Llibrary of Congress is doing archival storage using MAM archival quality DVD-R stock, and these are generally thought to be good for 100 years. (I have no idea how they figure out the life of the storage medium!)
It's also important to store DVDs where they will not be affected by temperature & humidity extremes.
Senior Editor/DVD Author
New York City