Danger of going cheap on DVD-R's?



I’ve been having problems with an almost “strobe light” effect (jerky movement for a few moments here and there…maybe like frames being lost) on my Lite On stand-alone DVD recorder. (I’m not the only one…others have seen it too.)

Someone suggested the media may be to blame. I don’t think so, but it did get me thinking…how cheap can you go?

The LiteOn is my first recorder…don’t even have a computer burner, so I’m new to recordable DVDs.

I’ve heard that some discs (at least at one time) were found to be poorly made and that something inside was found to be “loosening” after a while, and anything on the discs would be unreadable, eventually.

Is that true?

The discs I’ve begun using have seemed ideal for my purposes. Open areas on the top and bottom for my thermal labeling printer, available all the time at a local wholesale store (also known as “price clubs”), and for $40 you get a spindle of 100 discs.

I’ve had NO problem recording on them or playing back.

But then there’s the matter of the “breakup with age” thing.

I don’t THINK this is old stuff the wholesale store has bought up, because it actually has their logo on the discs (tiny, to leave open space for printing, but there nonetheless).

AM I in any danger of having these discs go bad on me eventually, as the discs age, or is the “the stuff inside goes bad” thing just an urban legend?

Help for a newbie?


Go to Best Buy to pickup a 100 pack of genuine Fuji 8x DVD+R Taiyo Yuden media for $40. Look for Made in Japan near the bar code. DO NOT use CHEAP CRAPS from Taiwan!!!


This link here will answer alot of your questions. http://www.digitalfaq.com/media/dvdmedia.htm

I think there is a misconception that bad media, once recorded will turn bad over time. That article address this issue and pretty much debunks it. So unless you store your discs in an oven or hot car (the better disc can take this, bad quality discs likely won’t) I dont think its an issue. Simply put, store your discs in a safe place, inside, and it protective enclosures. They will last for years.

What is true however is bad media gives more errors when burning. So the burned disc either will skip, pause etc. or just won’t play. Ergo CHECK your disc after you’ve burn it by playing it to see the quality of the movie you’ve burn. If it stinks, try again. Often also, with poor media, you’ll end up with alot more coasters than the good quality discs.


Just don’t take digitalfaq’s DVD±R(W) media evaluations as given truths. Things change pretty fast and the article is not brand new.

Prodisc is no longer a second rate media (at least not R3). It is third rate at best. It’s the only discs that consistently makes coasters on my NEC3500. And that’s a burner that doesn’t do many coasters at all in my experience.

Otherwise an interesting link - thanks cbboy777.


unless your data is not important to you, then buy cheap media


I, and many others, have reported loss of reading capability on poor quality discs over time. Smurf at digitafaq insists that media cannot degrade over time and you cannot loose data. It is a matter of terminology, but whatever the reasons, bad media can become harder to read over time. Get TY or MCC for no problems. Here is a link to a discs which may or may no have “decayed over time”.



Anyone who says poor quality media by and large will not deteriorate over time, in that it does not get harder to read back your data, is normally either a fool, a liar, a nutter, a member of the public who is taken in by discs carrying a USB symbol, or ‘Grade A rainbox top media’, or bought off.

We all see how often cheap media is poor to start with (there are exceptions, but in the main and for most batches, this is the case). Then we see how error rates increase months on, as the media is too poor to burn properly - the pits and lands blend in with one another. Too many web sites seem to praise crap media just because they seem to be paid to do so - and freaks is NOT one of them.