I sell several hundred DVDs a month through my website primarily for use on standalone home DVD players. I started out with “+R,” then went to "-R, " and now for some time I have been changing the booktype on “DVD+R” discs on my Lite-On 812s & 832s burners to “DVD-ROM”. This has cut down compatibility conflicts to a very low number, but to my chagrin, has not eliminated them.
Even using “DVD-ROM” I still get a small percentage of users whose players either will not play discs or have unacceptable amounts of skipping etc. I have tried a number of brands, but usually use Ricoh R01s that Kprobe at what are considered excellent levels. Almost all of the problems have involved Toshiba or Samsung players, and most of those have been “combo” vcr/DVD units. (Read “cheap.”) Some of these models are currently for sale, so it is not just an “old player” thing.
It does appear to be mostly a manufacturer specific issue. When I get the the “problem” discs back, a few are just bad blanks, but in most cases, the PIFs are below 15 and the PIs 3 or below, with no noticeable defects. I had always heard that a discs burned as “DVD-ROM” with low error rates would play on anything. Obviously not the case.
I have found the best fix is to send out DVD-R replacement discs (usually Ritek R04s) that almost always cure the problem, despite the fact that they KProbe an order of magnitude worse than than the “problem” bitset +Rs. Since the manufacturers in question are in the DVD-R camp, this would make sense if I was sending out straight “+R” discs in the first place, but I am changing the booktype to “-ROM.” I have verified that many times.
Recently I tried a couple hundred Verbatim MCC03s (also duped at 4x). Despite the fact that they are Kprobing similar to the Ricohs, the customer problem rate, though still very low over all, has noticeably increased.
Does anyone have any idea what is going on? Could the players be reading “disc type” as well as book type? A dye/reflectivity thing? Is it just a question of lousy players? Then why do they play -Rs? I realize “zero defects” is impossible, but there is enough of a pattern here that I would hope there is a fix.