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DVD-R lifespan - we have a problem

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Peter RalphDVD-R lifespan - we have a problem
by on Jan 26, 2006 at 5:59:00 pm

I have done preliminary research on the issue of DVD-R longevity. Once the research is complete we will be sending a letter to all our clients informing them of our recommended course of action. Meanwhile here is a brief summary of my findings:

1. CD-Rs and DVD-Rs over 5 years old are failing in large numbers, the essential elements of the IBM findings (DVD-Rs and CD-Rs last 2-5 years) are not disputed within the industry.
2. The number of times the disc is played and the condition (cleanliness) of the player affect longevity dramatically as do light, temperature and humidity.
2. The quality of the burner affects both compatibility and longevity
3. If you copy a 3 year old disc any degradation on the original will be transferred to the copy - so you cannot avoid the problem by duplicating the disc every few months.

If you would like a copy of our client letter when we send it out email DVDletter@timberlinevideo.com

If you do have first hand experience of producing large numbers of DVD-Rs that have lasted in use for over 5 years please contact me at peter@timberlinevideo.com


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Colvin EcclestonRe: DVD-R lifespan - we have a problem
by on Jan 27, 2006 at 10:58:08 am

I have already altered my contract to say that the dvd can only be regarded as delivery media and not for long term storage. Maybe I should offer them the original tapes now as an option?


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Doug GrahamRe: DVD-R lifespan - we have a problem
by on Jan 27, 2006 at 3:04:20 pm

*Do* we have a problem? Here's an excerpt from a Mitsui spec sheet:

Mitsui DVD*R discs' expected lifespan is in excess of 100 years.
Available in General Purpose and Authoring Types, ver 2.0

Approved for Rimage's Everest, Prism & Liberty and Primera Technology's Bravo, Signature IV, SignaturePro & Inscripta Printers
Phthalocyanine Dye - Multi Speed Compatibility
Superior Longevity - 100+ Years - Lifetime Warranty

All the studies I've seen have said that the expected lifespan of CD-R/DVD-R technology is 25 years or more.



Regards,
Doug Graham


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Mark SuszkoRe: DVD-R lifespan - we have a problem
by on Jan 27, 2006 at 4:05:59 pm

They said something similar for Capacitance Discharge video disks and laserdisk, and the media may well survive that long, but the only players still around able to read them will be in museums, or bubble-packed in nitrogen and cosmoline in your basement.

Can you even FIND a working laserdisk player anywhere besides ebay now?

I think most DVD-R's will last longer than the players will be available, and our future involved "bumping-up" old media to new formats every decade or so, for the rest of our lives.


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Charlie KingRe: DVD-R lifespan - we have a problem
by on Jan 27, 2006 at 6:10:05 pm

Feeling concerned about this, I did a google search adn the first hit was this address. It explains a lot and takes a lot of worry out of the equation.

http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/specsformats/CDDVDlongevity.php

Charlie

ProductionKing Video Services
Unmarked Door Productions
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada


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Peter RalphRe: DVD-R lifespan - we have a problem
by on Jan 27, 2006 at 11:54:18 pm

any chance of a link to those studies Doug?

The IBM Gmb research reported by NPR and the BBC in primetime news:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/124312;_ylt=A0SOwlFfKMZDbnMAYg4jtBAF;_ylu=X...

The only other study I am aware of is from the NIST. It is more optimisitic, but it is based on storing and using the discs in controlled environments (protecting the discs from airborne contaminants!) and cleaning discs before storing (with an air blower!). Not sure if it has much relevance to discs stored and used in living rooms and cleaned with glass cleaner. The real problem is that regular DVDs work fine with that treatment, and many consumers don't understand that a DVD is many times more resilient than a DVD-R.


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Doug GrahamRe: DVD-R lifespan - we have a problem
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 1:43:53 pm

Some people question Gereke's statements, since he provides no basis for them. The writer of that article is quoting an "authority", but we don't have any information on what the authority's qualifications are, or the data that backs up his claims.

The studies I was referring to is the NIST work...thanks, I'd forgotten where I read it. But I wasn't aware that their study only considered highly controlled conditions.

My own experience with discs is limited (heck, ALL of us have limited experience, the things have only been around for what, five years?) but so far I've had no problems except with media that's been physically damaged. No rot, no delamination.



Regards,
Doug Graham


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Peter RalphRe: DVD-R lifespan - we have a problem
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 10:14:09 pm

that is my concern Doug - none of us have much much experience with discs 5+ years old. All sorts of folks can tell us of uncles who lived to 80 after smoking 50 cigarettes a day for 50 years, so a few stories of dvd-rs lasting 6 or 7 years don't provide much comfort. For us wedvidrs who boast of videos "that will continue to delight for generations to come" this info is extremely disturbing. Advising clients to copy their discs every year or two might be a solution of sorts - at least that way there are more copies out there - but I would rather have a better solution before too much attention is focused on the problem.


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Brent WarwickRe: DVD-R lifespan - we have a problem
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 6:56:28 am

[Peter Ralph] "3. If you copy a 3 year old disc any degradation on the original will be transferred to the copy - so you cannot avoid the problem by duplicating the disc every few months."

Whoa, I'd like to know the reasoning and evidence behind that one. The whole idea of error handling mechanisms within the media is to eliminate the possibility of bits being misread. It shouldn't matter if you have a disc that degrading or not. If the data can still be properly read by a good reader, then the intact data would be transferred to a new, clean, pristine disc and the degredation clock starts over at that point. I myself have made copies of two year old discs to new media and had no problems at all when playing back the new disc in a DVD player. But it sounds like you're saying that my new disc might as well be two years old. Sorry, but I don't agree. We're not playing in the analog world (where I would indeed agree with you), this is different.

So obviously your finding disagree with me. Can you elaborate?


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Peter RalphRe: DVD-R lifespan - we have a problem
by on Jan 28, 2006 at 9:11:44 pm

You are correct Brett the physical degradation will start anew - but the data stream on the new disk will be as degraded (have as many disc errors) as the original at the time the (second) copy was made. Actually it may have more as regular grade discs are typically allowed to have 400-1000 bad sectors per disk. The highest rated discs avaialable (medical grade cd-rs used to store cat scans etc) are allowed up to 200 bad sectors per disk. The burn process itself may also introduce errors, particularly when using consumer grade equipment.

The copy may last marginally longer than the original, because physical degradation of the copied disc is likely to start in different areas than on the original. Disc errors only become a problem when a lot of them occur close to one another. But with each copy MTF (mean time to failure) will fall. At least that is my understanding.


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mccaincowRe: DVD-R lifespan - we have a problem
by on Feb 13, 2006 at 8:43:38 pm

My solution: I have bought a spindle of MAM-A DVD Archive discs (they are about $2 a piece). The guy at tape warehouse where I purchased them claims this is the longest term solution with a differnt dye formulation. I send one of these out with each project with a sticker that tells the user to store this copy in a safe and only use it for duplication, if the other copy goes bad. This is the best solution I can think of.


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Peter RalphRe: DVD-R lifespan - we have a problem
by on Feb 15, 2006 at 8:06:04 pm

MAM-A gold is top banana - cd-lab.com has good prices and versions for different printers. Strangely the MAM online store doesnt stock the printable version

One tip - the MAM-A gold is a relatively new format make sure the firmware in your burner is up to date. Outdated firmware is the major cause of problems with DVD-Rs.


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