Achhhh...the weird marks on the underside of my dvds were ink all right -- off my own freshly printed dvds.
With my regular Verbatims, I never stack them because they are a bit tacky when they come out of the printer. But I got sucked in by these "instantly dry" Watershields, and stacked them as I printed them...not realizing that they don't print to the edge like the Verbatims. I see now that the TYs leave an thin line of white along the outer edge.
I was still using my Verb setting for the outer edge of 119. So I was printing on that outer circle of white which doesn't absorb ink. So the ink was sitting there and transferring to the dvd I stacked on top of it -- giving me those special ink marks that I'd never seen before. Very glad it was just that and not a printer problem.
I see CDan has recommended elsewhere 24 - 118 as settings for the TY WS because of the need to leave that outer ring inkless.
Oh well, in the process of cleaning off the ink from the undersides I did discover they can take a fair amount of abuse and still burn okay. Let's see: started with terrible generic Kleenex rubbing dry, followed by spit and the palm of my hand, all of this rubbed the wrong way on the dvd which by then was full of dust and smeared ink and needed to be further cleaned with water and higher quality Kleenex also rubbed the wrong way and finally finished off with a micropore cloth rubbed the right way. Never did get them totally clean, but sure did get them full of minor surfaces scratches in all directions. And they still seem to be burning fine. So there.
Thanks for the tip about the burn speed between 8x-16x. I'll keep it in mind when I get my new computer.
Not a problem at the moment since I'm burning these at .6x (yes, that's a decimal point!). My burner is 16x, but my new computer bit the dust (just off warantee), and I'm temporarily using my old one which has a corroded transitor. To make it worse, my stuff I want to burn is on an external hardrive which, over USB 1, produces a burn speed of .6x alternating occasionally with a blistering .7x. And now you know why I wanted to print dvds without having to burn them first...sigh.
About photos, I usually print on Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper using the Photo setting (not Best Photo, waste of ink). I don't find it expensive if I buy the 4x6 size in the 100 pack on sale. At least not any more expensive than other brands. But I only buy 4x6. For my bigger photos I use my colour laser printer.
The photo quality of the 800 seems to be about the same as my old R220 and R200 i.e. excellent and waterproof. Tho the photo life span may be longer now. The specs say 200 years for the 800, I can't remember the old specs.
I may have some non-Epson photo paper around to try -- I'll have a look.
I do have some other reservations about the Artisan 800, and I'll put them in another message, maybe tomorrow. Big question is: what will Epson's new line up of cheaper DVD printers be like. Will the Artisan 800 look so appealing when something cheaper might have the same benefits (as far as dvd/photo printing goes anyway).