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Old January 10th, 2006, 08:10 PM   #1
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"Shelf Life" of Burned/Pressed DVDs

I heard somewhere that a "burned" DVD has only a shelf life of five years, as compared to a "pressed" DVD. Is this a bucket of hooey, or fact? Anyone have another opinion?
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Old January 11th, 2006, 11:19 AM   #2
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According to the "Care and Handling Guide for the Preservation of CDs and DVDs - A joint Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and NIST project" guide,

"Among the manufacturers that have done testing, there is consensus that, under recommended storage conditions, CD-R, DVD-R, and DVD+R discs should have a life expectancy of 100 to 200 years or more; CD-RW, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM discs should have a life expectancy of 25 years or more. Little information is available for CD-ROM and DVD-ROM discs (including audio and video), resulting in an increased level of uncertainty for their life expectancy. Expectations vary from 20 to 100 years for these discs.

"Few, if any, life expectancy reports for these discs have been published
by independent laboratories. An accelerated aging study at NIST estimated the life expectancy of one type of DVD-R for authoring disc to be 30 years if stored at 25°C (77°F) and 50% relative humidity. This testing for R discs is in the preliminary stages, and much more needs to be done."
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The guide mentions that five years is the shelf life of unburned disks.

You can also see the following study:

Stability Comparison of Recordable Optical Discs—A Study of Error Rates in Harsh Conditions (PDF)
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Last edited by Christopher Lefchik; January 11th, 2006 at 07:01 PM.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 12:15 PM   #3
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At this point the best thing that you can do to ensure the longevity of your DVDs would be to use DVD media from a manufacturer with a good reputation, such as Taiyo Yuden or Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation. See http://www.digitalfaq.com/media/dvdmedia.htm for more information.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 02:27 PM   #4
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Thanks for the really helpful info, guys!
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Old January 11th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #5
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Didn't know I had a split personality, but you're welcome!
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Old January 11th, 2006, 09:30 PM   #6
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Doh!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old January 11th, 2006, 11:44 PM   #7
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I would second the point about only using good quality media; in my experience the archival value of cheap media is poor. You also need a good burner - my Pioneers consistently give better burns than my LiteOn drive. Important discs I would also test with software such as Nero DVD Speed or KProbe.

Hope that helps.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 04:46 PM   #8
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4 year old DVD's won't play - TOAST

Recently looking at my multiple copies of older projects, and I am finding that NONE of them are fully playabe anymore. Some won't load, with error code 13:00 on my Sony 9000ES dvd player. Most will play for about 2/3 - 3/4 of the way through before locking up. Playing them on the computer, or other DVD players seems about the same.
These were disc's burned in late 2004-early 2005!! Only 4 to 4 1/2 years old!! They were burned onto Compusa , Fuji, and Memorex blank DVD-R discs. The results are pretty much the same with all 3 brands, no one stands out as far as play ability at this time. Ofcourse, all of these discs played fine originally.
I have VHS tapes from 1980 that still play fine. Everyone loves to bash tape, but its archival quality seems to be a lot better than DVD. Anyone else have similar experiences? Thanks - PK

Last edited by Paul Kepen; April 16th, 2009 at 11:25 PM.
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 10:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kepen View Post
Recently looking at my multiple copies of older projects, and I am finding that NONE of them are fully playabe anymore.
I'd start looking at your storage conditions/burner/other factors. I have a large variety of data CDs & DVDs, music CDs, video DVDs from as far back as 1998 for CDs and 2002 for DVDs. I have found none that are bad. In fact, I just found one of my original DVD-Rs purchased in 2002 and apparently not burned until 2006. It looks like I had no trouble burning a four year old DVD then and no trouble playing back a six year old DVD now.
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