DVD media preference

Being a fairly new Newbie, I’ll post this here, perhaps the media section might be more appropriate?:
My general question is what type of DVD media typically works the best as far as quality (I know a loaded question)?
I have been using the Verbatim Digital Movie DVD+R (the one with the movie reel imprint) and have been having pretty good luck with it. Is there any reason to change? I want to be using the best quality without problems. Obviously it is important that my (a) stand alone dvd player can read that format. I have a fairly new system with a NEC burner (not sure what version) that can burn both +and -RW. They typically have been costing about a $1 each in a 25-count spindle.
Also what is the difference with now DL (dual layer?) DVD’s, do they copy simply on both sides?
Looking for some opinions or suggestions!
Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Brand doesn’t matter much. What matters is the media code (who actually made the disk). Download dvd info pro (do a google search, it’s a free program) and see what the media code on your disks are. You may buy the same exact disks and get three or four diffrent disks (actual manufacture).
Read this
When you buy media, you look for a certain media code. there may be several brands that are all using the same disks that will have the same media code. These disks will all be the same (same manufacture and model). If you shop by brand, you may get several diffrent disks, some good, some bad.
Dual layer actually has two recording surfaces on the same side. It reads through one to see the other. Prerecorded dvd movies are like this (though they are pressed, not burned). It allows almost double the space on one side. Recordable dual layer disks are new and still VERY expensive though.
Fyi, those single packed disks like the ones you are buying are often way over priced. If they work well for you, you can probably get the same exact disks (same media code) in a spindle pack for a lot less money. Even if the brand is diffrent, if the media code is the same, they will be the same disks and give the same performance.

Thanks for the great info-
So, once identifying the media code that works best for you, how do you go about finding and ordering the same ones (media code discs)?

verbatim rules, but you know what, i have now taken to purchasing the cheapest dvd blanks i can get regardless of brand, code, the phase of the moon etc…lucky i never have any trouble

It’s hit or miss unless you see a post by someone around here who actually bought the exact same item. The exception is Taiyo Yuden- they have a very distinctive ‘cakebox’ spindle that can be easily identified at B&M shops.

Btspm is right to some extent. In some cases you never can be sure. There are ways to make it veryprobable that you will get what you want. The first thing you want to do is look here
You can enter any brand or any media code and see other users experiences. Be sure and read the coments. Don’t count on this to be 100% accurate but it is resonably close.
Also look here
When people find good deals on good media and post here, people that buy it usally discuss haow to identify it, where to get it, and if anybody gets media that is not the right media code (meaning that there may be more than one for that brand and type), that often gets posted too.
and here
Sometimes it is fairly positive. Office max has some imation dvd’s that have been consistantly ricoh rjpn01 (good 4x disks that burn good at 6x and 8x). I am confident that if I get that exact same product (same label, barcode etc.) that I will always get ricoh rjpn01.
Here is another one that is pretty positive.
I seems very reliable. These fuji disks (read the description in the posts) are consistantly Taiyo yuden (and the posts discuss other places that have it).
A little while back I purchased some khypermedia disks. Some were cmcmag, some were cmcmagaf1, and some were tdk. It was the same exact package and barcode at the same store. Thats an example of where it is not so sure. Go to the first link I gave. Thats a good starting point and it will give you a pretty good idea of what disks are what. I wouldn’t stock up yet. Just get what you need now and as you watch the forums, you will probably learn what some good disk are to try, and when you find what works with your drive and firmware, you will probably find where you can get them reliabily. You have to do your research but when you find a reliable source for good disks you can keep getting them.
Did that make sence? After you have looked at the links (or at least the first one), ask and I or someone else can try to help further.
one other very important thing. it doesn’t mater if you are ordering online or buying locally. Know the return policy at the stores you buy at!!! Some stores will let you return blank media for a refund. If you are getting bad burns then as far as I am concerned, that defective so you should return it as defective. Some stores will only let you exchange for the same item (can be usefull if you know that there is a chance it will be what you want like medias that may be more than one media code). It is really not fair to go exchange and exchange till you get the media code you want (when you knew from the start that the media could be diffrent media codes) but sometimes if you make a mistake it can keep you from getting stuck with media that wont work. Once again, my thought on this are, if it won’t produce good burns and it name brand media, it’s defective, return it. Some stores will not take return on media at all. I wouldn’t recomend buying from stores like this (like fry’s electronics) unless you are certain (within reason) that the media will be the right media code (like the taiyo yudens I linked to above). Even if it is the right media code, if you get a bad pack (it hapens, even with taiyo yuden), you are screwed!

I just figured I would throw this in. This is just my personal opinion, but even though they are 4x disks (and probably so cheap because 4x is being phased out), they will burn at 6x or 8x fine in most burners with hacked firmware and I consider them to be one of the best you can get. As far as everybody elses opinion (based on posts I have read, not trying to speak for everybody else), these are good quality disks. As far as my opinion, they are far beyond good. the are extremely exelent disks. I get beter burns with these than anything else I have tried including (prepare for everybody to flame me) taiyo yuden. I must add a disclaimer. I have only tried taiyo yuden dvd+r 8x disks and I have a liteon.
I think the rebate has expired but it is still a good deal. Newegg may have jacked up the price as they are so popular though. Read the thread. In my opinion only, these would be a good first purchase as they seem to work at least decent on most drives.


The Best media available commercially is Taiyo Yuden - period.

And at a price point of $.60 or less each from a very good vendor www.rima.com ($30 + shipping for 50 cakebox and $58 + shipping for 100 cakebox)-

Either the 8x -R’s or +R’s will work excellent in your NEC burner - and - if you happen to just have a 3500 the 8x -R will burn at 12x and the 8x +R will burn at 16x-

Using the best media will give you the best burns-period.


I have to agree with the above post. You can save yourself the hassle of trying to figure out what is what and trying to time everything right so you can find things on sales in stores to get a good deal. You can get 8x Taiyo Yuden DVD-R or +R in 50 packs for $30+shipping (60 cents a disc + shipping) and they are better quality than the Verbatims. Don’t get me wrong, the Singapour (MCC manufactured) Verbatim discs are great but the cost just doesn’t add up when you can get the best media out there for about 30 cents per disc cheaper (after factoring in shipping and tax). The other good thing is that the cost on the TY discs at rima only gets better. The price usually drops just a little bit every 3 weeks or so. So no worries about juggling rebates or getting in on the weekly specials in order to get a good deal. :wink:

bigmike7, jesterrace, let me say this. Everybody and their dog say’s that TY is the best and I do mean everybody (with very rare exception). They did not get a reputation like this making crap media or even average media. I know that TY is very good media. I guess when I was refering to the best media, I take two things into acount, the quality of the media and it’s compatibility. Please don’t take this wrong. I had heard again and again and agian and again (and a few dozen more agains) that TY was the best. I never bought it because it was too expensive. I saw posts on the fuji ty at fry’s and had to get some. Here is an early scan
Understand, I do not nessasarilly blame this on the media. I have a liteon 851s and I tried every 851 firmware avalable and got very bad scans. The one firmware that worked was 851s@832s (vsob). now I get scans like this
That is actually a pretty bad scan (it’s the only one I already had uploaded to pbase). I often get scans much beter than this.
This is not based on my own experience. This is based on on what I have read here and on videohelp.com (and I may be way off so please corect me if I am wrong). Ty seems to have built it’s rep on dvd-r disks (a lot more people seemed to have used - than +). I havent tried TY - disks but I would say, they are pretty much bullet proof. These disks always (and I do mean always) give good burns!! They are the best!!! Take a look at all the dvd media avalable. TY - disks are the best. Every drive works well with them. So on to TY +4x. They seem to be just as good, but not near as many people seem to have used them (still a lot though). Once again, for the most part, no bad reports. Nothing has tarnished their rep. TY IS THE KING!! Now for TY + 8x. Once again, everybody is raving about how good it is. Not very many people have tried it though (compared to thier other media). Corect me if I am wrong (and I may be) but TY +8x disks were only introduced in march of 2004. There do not seem to be very many reports from users of these disks (compared to those that have used other TY, which makes sence, they are newer). I am sorry but I canot find the thread where it was discussed, but at least one other person here had similar bad results like me.
When I said that I would even recomend ricoh rjpn01 over TY, that was based on my own experience (I did qualify that, right?, and now I have explained it so you understand my opinion).
I am guessing that the TY +8x disks are every much as good as other ty media (as far as the actual manufacturing quality). Maybe it is not as good to blanket say, all ty is the best. Come on. Now 4x media is being discontinued and 12x drives are out and not that expensive for the latest. What comes next. Ty 12x is the best? I am sure that the manufacturing quality will be exelent, but if half the drives don’t support it and therefor cannot burn it well, the drive is good, the media is good, they just dont play well together yet.
ptregium, the problem here is that there is poor standardization. Don’t expect it to change. Blue ray and hd-dvd are already fighting for the next spot at crappy standardization and competing formats (instead of one good standerdised one). Taiyo yuden is pretty much universally considered the best media made. But if it doesn’t play well with you drive
This can happen (above 300pi or 20 po is considered unreadable).
It is VERY rare for this to happen with TY though. Its the best quality media. Ricoh rjpn01 works very well with most drives (these are specific media code disks). If I had a link to a good deal on ty -r disks, I might have linked to it. I did link to the ty + 8x even though I had abad initial experience.
My personal opinion… The best disks I have ever used are ricoh rjpn01. Beter than the taiyo yuden +8x disk on my liteon. THey may be helped by the fact that they are older than the ty+8x(and every drive knows how to burn them because they have been around longer), but I still recoment them as a first purchase. Ty is the best is just to much of a blanket statment. Could you ty experts please recomend specific ty media code? Any advice on how to avoid counterfeits (I know watch the forums).
I’ll shut up now and wait to hear where I am wrong (if you show me where I am wrong, then I know where I was wrong, and what is right and become smarter :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: :iagree: :iagree: :rolleyes: :smiley: :cool: :cool: :cool:

I guess that I’m one of the exceptions then.

On my Lite-on 832S with unmodified VS0B firmware, there’s no question that Singapore manufactured Verbatim DLP 8x -Rs (burnt at 8x) produce superior results to TY 4x -Rs (burnt at 4x).

Don’t get me wrong, the TYs are very good discs, it’s just that the Verbs are better (and I do use both :wink: ) :slight_smile:

Everyone and their dog recommends TY discs simply because they have consistantly proven to be great discs. Part of the problem is also that people are picking up name brand discs instead of purchasing straight from the source. In addition, I am firmly convinced that if people would ditch the picky Lite-On writers and go with an NEC or Pioneer writer then they wouldn’t have as many issues. The scanning feature for Lite-Ons is great and I recognize it’s value but I for one would rather have a burner that gives me the best results with widest range of media rather than have a Lite-On tell me what kind of scans a certain type of media (or batch of media) gets. Plenty of people have had the experience where if they burn a certain type of media on the Lite-On that it didn’t function properly, but if they burned another disc from the same batch with an NEC or Pioneer burner, the disc turned out fine. Yes, you can do firmware updates, ect. but even so there are still more media compatibility issues with the Lite-On drives than the other two that I mentioned. To be quite honest, ATM I use Ritek DVD-R. It’s cheap and has consistantly worked for every single application that I have used it for. My GF recently purchased an $18 AR Coby DVD Player and it plays my Ritek backups without a hitch. The same has held true for my PS2, XBOX (with all of the different DVD Drives), and for data backups. While I have had great success with these discs (as have many others), the fact of the matter is that Taiyo Yuden consistantly scores the best overall. There are always exceptions but it seems to me that if a person asks for the best media, that it makes sense to recommend the media that has consistantly proven to be the best. I have a Samsung drive in my XBOX that plays Princo DVD-R (backups and movies) without a hitch. Does this mean I should go out and tell everyone that Princo is great media simply because it has worked great for me? No. As it goes against the over-all experiences of everyone else. I visit a number of different forums and the fact of the matter is that the same names for media keep coming up again and again. Sorry if it seems like I am slapping you down here. I was simply telling the guy which media has consistantly recived the best overall rating.

I shouldn’t respond because it is just going to cause an argument and I don’t want that (though you seem very resonable and intelegent, and read what I say and do not blindly attack). I agree with most of what you said and I do agree, TY got it’s reputation because the majority have had the best experiences with TY. I wouldn’t fault anyone four recomending it as the best. With the firmware that I am using now, the scans are exelent. But you see that only one firmware (out of all avalable) provided that. I gather that It is light on drives that seem to have problems with ty and I tend to agree with you that they are picky drives. Still, I think compatibility is part of the quality of a disk. When I originally bought my drive, I bought a pacific digital because I didn’t know what a good drive was (and I got it for 50$ from office max, which was a hell of a price for an 8x drive at the time). You don’t know how happy I was when I started learning about dvd burining and found that I got a good drive. I didn’t really start questioning it till I tried ty disks. With my current firmware (the one I have to use to get good burns with ty +8x), I get bad burns with media that burned good with other firmwares (I am going to have to change back at some point and use up the disks). I am realizing they are picky and firmware dependant. I actually was thinking of getting a second drive to improve may compatibility and have not done any research yet, but the nec 3500 seems to be very recomended and was the first I was going to look at (Recently found out that the wife was prego though, our first, so no chance of affording that now). But if you look at cdfreaks news, liteon has record profits. There are a LOT of lite on drives out there and they seem to be considered decent drives. Even if your media is the best quality, if it is not compatible with one of the most common drives out there (rebadged under many names), can you really say it is the best? Is betamax the best? Even if it is beter that vhs, it has 0 support so it is not the best. For me, for something to be called the best, it has to have the best quality and the best compatibility (reguardless of who’s falt the compatibility issues are). If you exclude ty +8x media, it does seem to be the best, even with lite on drives. That is why I say maybe it is beter to say a particular ty media ccode is the best. You would get no argument from me there.
what about the poor newbie that paid a lot for a drive and didn’t really know what he was buying. He goes and gets ty +8x media because it is suposed to be the best, and he gets burns like this
Is it really fair to make a blanket statment that ty is the best, even though one of their media codes (it only seems to be the +8x at least that I am aware of), has poor compatibility with one of the most common (and generally considered decent quality) drives out there? If you were to say that ty (insert media code here) -r disks were the best, I couldn’t coment because I haven’t tried them, but I suspect that if I had tried them, I would have to agree. While less people seem to have used the 4x +r’s, again I thing I would have to agree (based on user reports, noone seems to have problems with these either, including liteon users).
On the flip side, have you heard anybody complain about ricohrjpn01 disks (with any drive)? I am very far from being an expert here (still kind of a newbie actually) and welcome critisism if I am wrong? I suspect that ty 4x -r disks would be just as compatible and good, and probably have beter scans (but I cannot personally recomend them as I have not tried them). Does anybody have problems with ricohrjpn01 disks? Am I wrong for recomending them as a first purchase (and then he can make his own judgments when he becomes a little more experienced and knoledgable).
Fyi, ptregium, jesterrace and others are right. In my opinion. TY (taiyo yuden) is the best with a hard earned and well deserved reputation, with one exception. The +8x disks, while very good quality, have given a rare few people problems (problems so severe that the disks are completly unusable). I am not the only one (if I were I would probably just shut up and not coment on it). For most people they perform as well as other ty disks but if a rare few (specifically becfause I am one of the rare few), have major problems with the media, I have to coment on it. The odds are VERY high that if you bought any ty media including the 8x+r, they would perform outstanding, but there is a small risk (a very small risk) that you might have bad problems with the 8x+r. Just my opinion. I am not trying to say that ty is bad here, I am just recomending ricohrjpn01 as a first purchase as I think it is fairly bullet proof (whatever firmware comes preinstalled on your drive should burn it well), and you can get it prety cheap!!!
Does anybody think that ricohrjpn01 is a bad recomendation?
Fyi look here to see what disks might be ricohrjpn01 and read this thread if you ar considering buying some.
If you chose to look for ty, it’s also a good choice (and there are other good disks out there so the most important thing is find your own favorite that performs best with your drive).

Now there’s the best advice you can get. :iagree: :smiley:

ptregium, you may go try www.yesbuy.net. I always buy my media from them. Great experience. Good quality.

Just one more little side note. Ignore packaging (except to identify what disks they are). You see individual packaged disks that say they are for movies or otherwise imply that they are premium and they defanatly charge a premium price. The packaging means nothing. Just look at the media codes. the stuff in the “premium” packaging are the same disks you get in spindles and may even be of lesser quality than some in spindles if the spindle stuff is a beter media code.

The fundamental flaw in this argumentation (and it seems to be the key statement of your post) is that media producers can only influence the quality of their media, they don’t have any control over the firmware and therefore write strategies of optical storage hardware (unless they produce both, which is very rare) used to burn their discs. It’s up to the drive manufacturers to implement correct write strategies for the media, not the other way around. And actually, this is one of the main strenghts of TY, since normally, every drive manufacturer tests their drives with TY media, and implement the right write strats which guarantee outstanding results. LiteOn is an exception here. And this exception does not change anything about the fact that TY media (especially +R) has outstanding quality with the right write strategy. The correct write strategy is a precondition for good burning quality.

The reason why Ricoh media (which is produced by Ritek, but with Ricoh know how and quality control) is well supported by most drives also is the same btw.: Almost all drive manufacturers test their drives with their media as well (since Ricoh is one of the key players of the DVD+RW alliance).

P.S.: Your Betamax-VHS analogy is flawed also, since Betamax is a completely different format than VHS, while we are talking about the same kind of discs here.

Yo packetloss-

Again you get right to the meat of the issue-

Again - I am impressed-


@ripit. While I agree that sometimes people buy the wrong drives first and get “stuck” with them, I am amazed that people think they are stuck with their drives. You can find enough suckers on ebay who will almost pay what you paid for it brand new. That and an NEC 3500A can be purchased for as little as $75 with shipping from www.newegg.com and the Pioneer 108 for $84 with shipping from the same site. As long as your drive is semi-current you could easily cover the majority of the costs of eaither one of those burners by pitching it. I personally don’t think Ricoh is a bad recommendation. For +R they are great discs, however there does seem to be some question as to what you are really getting on Ritek DVD+R discs lately (not all are Ricoh). That is another reason why I point out TY as it is a very cost effective way (approximately 70 cents per disc with shipping for 8x +R and -R TY from rima.com) to get a high quality disc without having to play guessing games. That is why I recommend them so often.

I’m not trying to say that TY is poorly made. It is obvious that it is not. I understand and agree that it is firmware dependant and that is the drives manufactures fault. It doesn’t matter what the disk is, if it doesn’t have a good write strategy, it’s not going to burn well. My original intent was just to help someone that is new, have the most chance of sucess with the least hassel. I wasn’t quite sure that it was a liteon only problem and didn’t want to recomend an initial media purchase that might have problems to someone that may not even know how to upgrade his firmaware yet. As it does seem to be a liteon only problem, I’ll change my statments a little. Perhaps it would be beter to say that for someone just starting out, TY 8x+r disks may not be the best choice to start out with if you are using a liteon drive. None of the firmwares that were written for the 851s (official firmwares) would produce a readable burn on my drive. Thanks to the help of others here (including packetloss, thank for that), I was able to solve the problem using 851s@832s firmware. Now I get scans like this
Would you consider this a fair statment? TY disks may not be the best media for liteon users as it has compatibility problems with many firmwares but will produce exelent burns if you get a firmware that does work as it is good quality media.

I also suspect that it may have something to do with how new the 8x+r is(march of 2004 if I am not mistaken). There are plenty of firmwares that are older than that and you cannot expect a firmware to burn a disk well that didn’t even exsist. While there are firmwares that are newer than this that did not work (for me anyway), perhaps liteon will get it fixed and it will not be a problem anymore.
On a side note, would you say that 100 ricohrjpn01 disks for 31$ (maybe higher now) is a good recomendation for a newbie, reguardless of the drive you use? These seem to work great for everybody and even burn great at 8x for many. It’s half the price of ty too (for as long as we can get it at that price anyway).