DVDs Lifetime

Like many others, when I got a decent computer with DVD writing capabilities I decided to convert my VHS home movies to DVD. My thinking was that the DVDs would last far longer than the VHS tapes. I realize that all things have a life span and if for no other reason than keeping up with the latest technology, I or one of my children will have to conver the DVDs to a new format.

My question is: How long should the DVDs last in storage with moderate or little use? We don’t drag the old movies out very often, but I’d hate to lose them.


No-one can actually tell you how long DVD media will last, all media degrades over time, some faster than others.

According to experts, 5 years at most…

…with a sarcastic grin :smiley:

Different manufacturers make better or worse discs. For instance, there are some really terrible Princo discs out there, but Taiyo Yuden’s discs are always good.

If you want to store your movies in DVD format, your best bet is probably to order DVD+R discs online from Taiyo Yuden. Make sure to burn at a low speed such as 2.4×, and store the finished discs in a cool dry place. Since you can buy discs in bulk for a low price per unit, I suggest you burn two copies of each movie for better peace of mind.

be aware of cake discs…tests show they tend to be worse than their boxed brothers…you never know whats behind a brand name… unless you check it with an appropriate application that will tell you the story (real manufacturer, place of factory, used material…).
Tests are quite diverse when it come to conclusions…but you can find leads
don’t trust too much on RWs …some say CDs live longer than DVDs…DVD-RAM is also said to live longer. And then you have those “archive quality” and other arguments we never know if they are for real of marketing bla bla
Anyhow, take good care of them: no grassy fingers, no scratches, no positions to favour shape modifications, not direct sunlight, not that much warm nor humidity…and faith!!!