0 Replies Latest reply on Jan 24, 2006 5:51 AM by neil wilkes

    Does the make of Blank Media I use really matter?

    neil wilkes Adobe Community Professional & MVP
      Brand-name vs. discount DVD blanks

      In its latest issue 14/2005, c't has tested blank DVDs. There was one major finding in the test of 63 brands: the quality of the blanks is not, contrary to common opinion, relative to the purchase price. Good blanks are available at 8x burning speeds starting at 60 cents. For instance, discs from Taiwan and India sometimes offer as much quality as brands from Japan. No wonder: after all, manufacturers from less expensive production sites sometimes supply blanks to Japanese brands and have gained their expertise in the meantime. Anzeige

      The biggest problem with supermarket blanks is that customers cannot easily tell from the packaging which manufacturer has made which disks. One package may even contain media from various producers. The indication of the country of origin may help consumers discern the manufacturer. However, you can only be sure if you read out the manufacturer's ID on your PC. But even here, you have to be careful: one manufacturer from the Chinese peninsula of Macao imitates the ID of a Japanese brand without attaining the quality of the original. These very inexpensive imitates produced a much larger number of burning errors.

      Blank DVD-Rs had much better quality than blank DVD+Rs. The reason may be the physical differences between the two burning formats. For instance, plus media work with a higher wobble frequency and have much greater radial disturbances in the record tracks than minus blanks.

      In a climatic chamber test, c't simulated the ageing of the media and discovered some surprising differences: some disks that revealed very good quality just after burning were hard to read after spending time in the climatic chamber, while others that only had mediocre recording quality withstood the climatic chamber almost without deterioration. If you want to archive your data for many years, you should choose your storage media carefully.

      The great risk of burning errors is still due to burning speeds that are too fast. Fortunately, in the meantime a few manufacturers of burners and blanks have managed to produce speeds up to 16x reliably. However, many recorders try to burn 8x blanks, in particular, too fast. In such cases, you should manually slow down the burning process to prevent errors and ensure the durability of the media. c't checked the optimal burning speed for each blank based on six different burner models and gives explicit recommendations for blanks for each model.

      For details on the test of blank DVDs, tips on the best combination of blanks and burners, and background information on the technology of writable DVDs, see the specialist website below, "Nomorecoasters"

      Additionally, there is a freeware application you can download called "DVD Identifier". It can be found at http://dvd.identifier.cdfreaks.com/
      All you need to do is load up your blank, and it will tell you exactly who made it.