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Old December 4th, 2003, 06:05 PM   #1
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life expectancy of a dvd burner

In an effort to get an idea of exactly how much it costs me to burn a single DVD, I am trying to calculate how long the Pioneer 105 Drive in my Bravo DVD Publisher will last before it stops burning, or more specifically exactly how many times can media be burned on the drive before it stops working... 1000 burns? 2500 burns?

Anyone have any estimates on how many burns the average DVD-r burner can handle over its lifetime?

Thanks.
Krishna
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Old December 5th, 2003, 06:00 AM   #2
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Most likely it will be obselete before it stops working.

Try in the manufacturer's site if they have a MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) figure for your recorder.

Best regards,
Arnaldo
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Old December 5th, 2003, 07:39 AM   #3
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My old Pioneer DVR-A03 died after two years and less than 30 burns.
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Old December 5th, 2003, 07:43 AM   #4
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Something's wrong there then. I've burned well over 100 DVD disks, and also that number of CDRs on my DRU500A and it's still going strong.
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Old December 5th, 2003, 11:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

Arnaldo, I was able to find the 'MTBF' on Pioneer's site...

"100,000 POH (Duty 20%)."

I had to look up what POH meant, "Power On Hours". Does that mean the average lifetime of the burner is 11 years with the power on? (Divided 100,000 hours by 24 hours in a day and divided that by 365 days in a year.)

Unless my math is wrong, that seems like a lot of time? What does 20% duty mean? (I couldn't find that in any glossary online.)
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Old December 6th, 2003, 10:52 AM   #6
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Well, the average internal optical drive will be powered on more than it is actually used...so if it only in use 20% of the time (which I believe Duty 20% means), perhaps one could say that the drive will last 11 years of being powered on if it is only actually in use for 2.2 years. Of course, in 11 years you'll have long upgraded your system and have ditched that drive anyway... :)

By the way, do you want to calculate the cost-per-disc so exactly just as an intellectual exercise, or is there a more pressing need for this info?
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Old December 7th, 2003, 08:56 AM   #7
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I think 20% duty means that it can be powered on for 11 years but only actually working (burning or reading) for 20% of that. That still seems very high though, and much more than what the warranty covers. Maybe it's a maximum.
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Old December 7th, 2003, 11:32 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by John Britt :

By the way, do you want to calculate the cost-per-disc so exactly just as an intellectual exercise, or is there a more pressing need for this info? -->>>

John, just making sure I'm taking everything into account when setting rates for DVD dupes for my videography clients.
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Old December 8th, 2003, 09:21 AM   #9
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Krishna

IMHO, I don't know if that's the best way to set rates, for a few reasons...

It would probably be best to simply see what the going rate for DVD authoring is in your area. I don't know what you will be burning to DVD, but for example, almost a year ago I called around to the local chains that do home-video-to-DVD transfers (eg, Wolf/Ritz Camera) to see what they charge -- I think it worked out to be about $30.00 per hour of video, although this may have drastically changed by now.

But basing your prices only on a vague cost-per-disc formula is kind of shaky. There are too many variables involved: what if fewer client than expected want DVDs -- do you raise the price? Since you bought a dedicated DVD duplicator/printer, I assume you expect a large number of interested clients... If your machine goes down and needs repairs, do you start charging extra until the repairs are paid off? You see where I'm going with this... :)

Also, do you really expect to be paying off the $2000-ish you paid for the Bravo for the next 11 years? Probably not, so a total lifetime cost-per-disc figure is useless -- hopefully, you plan of having this paid off and making money long before it dies out. Calculate what the going rate is for DVD duplication against how many clients you think will want it against how long a period you want to take to pay the Bravo off. And how much of your current profit margin can you afford to allocate towards paying off the Bravo?

Also, depending on how you claim you business on your taxes, you may very well be able to write off part of the cost of the machine.

There is already more or less a going rate for DVD authoring and duplication, and you must expect to keep your rates somewhere within those limits -- depending on your clients; I don't know if you're talking about putting wedding videos on DVD or transferring home movies or authoring DVDs for indie filmmakers for festival entries. Regardless, there is typically already a going rate in your area for any of these that you have to comform to to some extent.

Just my 2-cents...
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Old December 8th, 2003, 03:48 PM   #10
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Hey there Krishna,

I try to not think about it. Write it off. Makes you happier in the long run.

By the way, my Bravo came with the 106 so now I can write +R 's and +RW's too. I actually sent mine back to B&H because they said it would come with the 106 but I got old stock. They eventually sent me the one with the 106. (Nice thing about B&H. I paid a bit more - $1800 when other box houses were quoting as little as $1500 and something. But B&H always seems to do right by me if something goes wrong.) Oh yeah. I don't buy media there, - way way overpriced.

Before it wears out I'm sure I'll want to be writing to dual layer disks. I'd guess within the next 2 years. Use the old one as much as possible, then move on.

That's one reason I never invest in extended warranties, - besides being pretty much unneccessary, I don't want to repair old tech, I want new tech.

Brad
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Old December 15th, 2003, 07:18 PM   #11
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My Apple G4 Superdrive lasted about 2 years 3 months before it died. last month I replaced it with the new Pioneer DVD superdive that come with the G5 Mac. only $350 Australian Dollars. It can burn 4x and do more fromats too. Disappointed the old Superdrive only last 2 years and about 120 DVDR burns + less than 50CDR burns. It made the G4 orginally $2000 Aust more expensive.
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