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need advise on the best blank DVDs to buy

Sun May 04, 2014 6:20 pm

Hey guys,

I sort of need advise on what's the best blank DVDs to buy. I saw this article but I'm not sure if they're accurate or not [NOTE: I had a problem copying & pasting the "Manufacturer, Sample Media IDs, Origin, Formats & Notes" parts from the link]:


Blank DVD Media Quality Review

Not all media is good. Buying a good disc is not a simple matter of using a “name brand” disc, or paying for the most expensive disc on the shelf. With the continued production of cheaply-made Chinese and “bulk-quality” Taiwanese media, about half of all media is inferior quality. Bad discs are a complete waste of time and money.

This review/guide is meant to shed some light on who manufactures and brands good and not-so-good quality DVD media. Use this list as an assistant when selecting what media to buy and use. It shows what generally works as the best media. Individual results may vary, depending on the burner and how the media chooses to cooperate, though typically not by much.

While some cheap media may work for you, it’s a gamble that often loses. Try to use 1st class media, maybe 2nd class if the situation must budget tightly. Do yourself a big favor and just outright avoid 3rd class media, if at all possible.

What are the Best Blank DVDs?

Not everybody has the time or the need to learn about why/how media is good or bad. If you’re simply after the quick advice on what discs will almost always work the best in any DVD player or DVD burner, then get one of these:
1.Mitsubishi Verbatim DVD-R, DVD+R or DVD+R DL, made in India, UAE, Singapore or Taiwan. (Do not buy the “Life Series” or “Value Series” discs.) Good Verbatim is getting harder to find in local stores.
2.JVC Taiyo Yuden DVD-R or DVD+R, from an authorized dealer only. Our list to the left only includes authorized dealers.
3.Sony DVD-R or DVD+R, made in Taiwan only. These are getting harder to find, as Daxon (the outsource for Sony manufacturing) went bankrupt in January 2010, but old-stock is still out there on shelves (as of January 2011). Newly manufactured Sony-branded media will be Ritek (Fuji dye), which is also made in Taiwan.

Verbatim DVD-R, Verbatim DVD+R and Verbatim DVD+R Double-Layer discs are our top suggestions for the ultimate in disc quality, as Mitsubishi-made media have been a consistent high-quality performer since 2001. JVC Taiyo Yuden media is an excellent second choice.

Gold discs ARE NOT the best discs! Gold discs have lousy reflectivity, and the dye quality found on these blanks simply does not burn well in our tests (or the tests of others). It’s a waste of money for mediocre media.

Who Really Makes the Disc?

Realize that most media is produced by a relatively small number of factories, located in several different places. These factories are mostly present in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, China and India. There are more, but those are the largest ones. The best media generally comes from Japan, Taiwan and Singapore. The worst typically comes from China and Malaysia.

Understand that the blank disc brand means almost nothing. Apple is a great brand, but they do not make their own discs, instead outsourcing to a company like Mitsubishi Chemicals. Common companies like Memorex, Maxell and Imation all outsource to media vendors.

It is the media ID that is important, as it reveals the disc manufacturer. Unfortunately, this is not written on packaging or anywhere else. Companies want consumers to be oblivious to this sort of behind-the-scenes information.

To learn the media ID code, a blank disc must be put into a computer DVD burner drive and the ID read by a special utility. Some burning software reads the code, such as ImgBurn or Toast. Or you can download freeware media ID tools in our forum, for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and Mac OS X and Linux.

The following information is arranged in three groups. Some companies may have listings in different classes because quality is better/worse in other disc formats. The “media ID” column is an example of media codes available from that manufacturer, it is not supposed to be a complete list of all available codes, and some codes have been abbreviated for space. Again, DVD manufacturer, not brand name. Brand means nothing.

Note for charts: Manufacturers in bold are still actively producing, while the others are not (or cannot be confirmed to still be an active media producer in 2011).

~ 1st Class Blank DVD Media / “Archival Grade” Discs ~

Almost flawless burns with 95-100% reliable results. These discs are suited for pretty much anything. They will usually serve as excellent archival quality media, as well as video masters.

~ 2nd Class Blank DVD Media / “Duplication Grade” non-Archival Discs ~

Mixed quality media, average 75-90% of discs tend to be good. These discs are not suggested for archival data or video masters. These are best suited for data that can be replaced easily, such as secondary backups or data/video distribution. In bulk, can often be purchased at low prices.

~ 3rd Class Media / Cheap, Unreliable, or Complete Junk Discs ~

Quality can be very questionable, sometimes less than 50% of a spindle is usable. Some of these discs serve no other purpose aside from filling our landfills. These are discs best suited for small burns (under 2GB of data). Be prepared for failed burns. Also be prepared for various DVD-ROMs and players to not see the disc or freeze up because the player cannot read it very well (not the same as a bad burn). Many of these are known for sham marketing ("archival grade" and whatnot) and can actually cost more than better-classed media. A lot of these discs are not even made anymore, so this information is largely historical. The worldwide recession killed off most makers of the absolute worst DVD media made. A few appear to possibly be put on “stand by” of some kind (Princo, Optodisc), as the companies still operate, but no new media can be detected in North America, Europe or from our contacts in Australia and east Asia. Some still-in-business low-quality manufacturers may have simply switched to using fake IDs.

Re: need advise on the best blank DVDs to buy

Mon May 05, 2014 2:35 am

Most of it is still pretty accurate. Depending on what you are archiving would really be the question.
The ones that are still made in Japan are top of the line regardless of the brand.

Re: need advise on the best blank DVDs to buy

Tue May 06, 2014 8:13 pm

Thanks Promiseland, now I have an idea of what to get, greatly appreciated!

Re: need advise on the best blank DVDs to buy

Fri May 09, 2014 7:28 am

elvis4life wrote:Thanks Promiseland, now I have an idea of what to get, greatly appreciated!

Anytime glad to help! :smt020