My philosophy behind Blu-ray data backup



It’s been 7 years since I stopped actively burning DVDs.
In the meantime I kept loosing data as my hard disks kept failing one after another. So I decided to get back to optical storage. But this time the game is upped: it’s much more expensive and discs and burners are harder to obtain. The bottom line is, nobody is burning discs anymore.

Do you think that Blu-ray data backup has any future? Are you preferring this way of back up to hard disks?
The way I see it is:

  • DVDs have never failed me, I have hundreds of DVDs burned and they work.
  • hard disks are extremely unreliable storage, even if you use them in RAID (computer case can fall over, lightning can strike and burn components, bad PSU can induce hard drive failure…). The risks with fragile hard drives are just too great, plus nowadays hard disk quality is worse than ever.
  • price of hard disks still isn’t falling. They’re making greater capacities - yes, but smaller capacity disks never drop the price. In my country, the prices for 1TB drives are even higher than before the flood.
  • cloud storage requires you to rent it on monthly basis which I can’t imagine doing and it also requires high upload speeds.

My reason tells me that bluray backup is the most viable option for me but there’s a doubt that this format will be even less available as time goes by.

It’s as if hard drive manufacturers, cloud storage providers and Sony have joined to make personal storage more unattractive than ever. Personally hosted data backup is in crisis.

What’s your take on this?


There has been a consistent theme on backing up data from the members of this site. Don’t rely on any one form of backup, whether it is optical, hdd or flash based.

If the information is truly irreplaceable, you should have copies on discs, hard drives stored in sites away from your residence and these days, online storage is a viable option as one form of storage. Some people still use tape backup, if they can afford it, and have enough data to justify it.

One of the problems with optical discs is getting good quality discs to begin with, and this situation isn’t getting better. We’ve lost Taiyo Yuden as a manufacturer of CD’s and DVD’s, and Verbatim is no longer selling discs with their MID codes on a consistent basis. Many Verbatim Blu-ray and DVD’s are using CMC MID codes. Panasonic Blu-ray are hard to find in the US…don’t know about other areas. So optical discs that we have consistently recommended around here are not as easily found as they once were.

Large hard drives are not particularly expensive in the US, and the quality hasn’t changed much as far as I can tell from reports from BackBlaze and other sources. There are some drives that are worse than others, but Hitachi/HGST drives seem to be very good, though consistently more expensive than others from Toshiba, WD and Seagate.


[QUOTE=espresso;2768778]It’s been 7 years since I stopped actively burning DVDs…DVDs have never failed me, I have hundreds of DVDs burned and they work.[/QUOTE]

I don’t understand why then you stopped using them?

Look-up M-DISC. I use their BDs for archival storage and they’ve never failed me, though I haven’t lived 1,000 years yet.



I started piling data on hard drives (I still kept burning really important stuff). After loosing data on 3 hard disks I realized it was time to re-examine my strategy. And since high capacity Blu-ray disks dropped price even more, I thought it was the right time to start burning again.
I’m not someone who is ready to invest large amount of money in multiple backups so I need the safest solution and optical discs have never failed me.

I have no doubt that this is the right solution for me, I just don’t like the road ahead optical storage. One day I may not be able to get a new burner when I need it.


Blu-ray burners will be around for some time. The problem as it exists right now is the the fact that really high quality media is hard to come by, and this situation will only become worse.

Optical storage is only as good as the discs you use. It is the primary concern. And M discs just haven’t been around long enough to judge their reliability. Blu-ray discs haven’t either…not really. We’ve only been burning them since 2007-2008 era, and that isn’t enough time to know how they stand up in normal storage conditions.


Espresso I share your concerns. Having a read only data copy makes me feel safer in any case. And as you imply there is no real roadmap for read only data media in the consumer maket.

I still use BD-R for this purpose. Given the decreasing availability of quality media it might be good to rotate burns every few years as to avoid ageing aspects of lower quality media.


I’ve switched to DL BD-R as my preferred backup medium. You can do around 45GB of actual data on them.

Last purchase I did was Taiyo Yuden “That’s” brand. These were actually manufactured by Panasonic (MEI-T02), which are really good.

I haven’t had any degradation issues with BD-R as of yet. You must store them in jewel cases or some sort of case. Wallets are bad on the scratch proof coating (indents on the disc after long periods of storage).

As for obtaining good quality BD-R, it’s actually very simple. Panasonic. Stay tuned to the forums and people can update you on who the true MIDs are of the discs you wish to buy.

My last purchase was with an ebay 10% off special. I bought 2x 30 packs of DL That’s BD-R. Cost around $150 AUD for 60 discs (free postage). 60x potentially 45GB per disc = 2.7TB data. A bit more expensive but more reliable than one 3TB HDD deciding to quit on life. 3TB here is around $135 for seagate and WD budget drives.

I’d keep the biggest and most cost effective HDD possible and use that as primary backup, then use DL BD-R for secondary backup.


Wallets are bad on the scratch proof coating (indents on the disc after long periods of storage).

I’ve read about that. It seems they have some sort of regenerative surface…
But anyway, I keep each disc in a separate case.

There isn’t much of a choice of media in my country so I’m basically destined to a few media codes by Verbatim. So far I’ve used verbat-imf-000 (BD-R DL) and verbat-imk-000 (BDXL).
And BDXL 100GB definitely seems most attractive to me. I’m paying 7.6 USD per disc while BD-DL is 5.3 USD.
I think I’m going to be purchasing only BDXL from now on. I like the idea of having that much data on a single medium. The only thing I noticed is somewhat slower access time on that disc. I hope this is normal?
And why are discs with printable surface much cheaper than the rest?


Wow 7.6 USD for BDXL is pretty good! Slower access time should be normal I would think, as there are three layers and more data. As long as it does not take minutes on end, then there may be an issue. Printable is always cheaper as it’s the most widely used surface of discs these days.

Which brand of burner do you have?


I bought BH16NS55 a few days ago. It’s some sort of newer version of 16NS40. But it’s listed only on LG’s Dutch site which is strange.


I would buy BDXL at those prices. Care to share where those can be bought? The only issue I have with multilayered media is the perceived possibility of more data being damaged when a disk degrades, especially at the outer edges. Single layer disks tend to keep me more cosy. I try to burn them not all the way to the edge, however this is impossible with layered disks assuming you’ve burnt at least more than one layer’s worth of data.

Also I tend to store my disks in spindles tucked away in a non-transparent box.

PS: Pozdrav sa interneta.


Pozdrav. You seem to be too far away to benefit these prices :slight_smile: It’s a local importer Virtikom, so when you’re passing by, give them a visit :slight_smile:

I always burn to the edges if there’s enough material and never had an issue with Verbatim DVD-R/DVD+R.


That’s much less than half the price of the cheapest BDXL BD-R I’ve seen anywhere. Bonus points for styled and non-printable surface. I wonder if they’d ship down to Australia. In bulk it would be a bargain.

Which Verbatim product code do your disks have on the back of the jewel case?


It’s 43790. Try sending them an email (but I doubt since they’re not into export business).


I prefer optical media. HQ DVDs have never failed me, low quality DVD-DL have, but, who’d use cheap DL media for backups?

I put some disks at relatives houses in case my house goes up in flames or whatever. + the write once disks are less susceptible to trojan attacks. What use is a USB backup drive if it’s always connected and could be erased, hacked, dropped, or fail at any time. (Well, I have a Time Machine backup as well, but trust Opticals more)

High Quality BD media are difficult to find, and my burner doesn’t seem to be very consistent. It was easier in the days of 8x verbatim DVD+r. I’d have to say I had good success with Sony some years ago, but later Sonys aren’t the real deal. Neither are TDK, have had many TDK coasters. Have some garbage Riteks here as well, can be Sony or TDK, I don’t remember, I use them for DVD backups as they won’t burn reliably beyond 15 GB. Some burn great to 23 GB though so I don’t believe its writing strategy of my drive.

Even if Verbatim BD-R aren’t the best, they (for me) have given very satisfying and even quality, I’ve burned maybe 100 from different batches and never had a single coaster that I remember. I use cheaper Verbatim, with CMCMAGBA-or whatever mid, for TV- and movie backups, and more expensive Verbatims with verbatim MIDs for backups of photos and stuff. For fun I sometimes buy other brands but I can’t be bothered to check quality as thoroughly as I used to do. Have like 5 50GB TDK BD-RE, they work great, but I haven’t dared go to BD-DL for backups yet, they might play in my machine but I have no other machine to test on and DVD-DL wasn’t reliable so…

As I mostly use OS X these days, and virtual Windows won’t let me do disk quality scans (I can check read speed though), I rarely scan for quality except Photo and home video backups. Back in the days I used to scan most disks right after buring them.


hi espresso

I emailed those guys but no reply :frowning:


[QUOTE=caspian80;2769889]hi espresso

I emailed those guys but no reply :([/QUOTE]

I got a reply, they only ship within their country. We’d need someone to post them internationally for us. Maybe espresso is up to it? :bigsmile:


This is more complicated than one might think. Sending multiple items in a package is treated as export here. Even without that, the entire procedure is requiring time that I currently don’t have at my disposal due to work.


[QUOTE=cd pirate;2769146]I’ve switched to DL BD-R as my preferred backup medium. You can do around 45GB of actual data on them.

I do the same. However, as I also scan, I recommend one [B]only burns at 2x speed on BD-R DL [/B]discs. Many of my 4x burns (on the best availalble made in Japan media with the best Pioneer BD-R burners) are marginal when scanned and fail to read on other BD-R drives.

So, 2x for archival.

I haven’t had any degradation issues with BD-R as of yet. You must store them in jewel cases or some sort of case. Wallets are bad on the scratch proof coating (indents on the disc after long periods of storage).

This is not the best approach. Several studies way back from late 90s and early studies show that the [B]plasticizers used in jewel cases[/B] cause a micro-climate inside the case, [B]lowering the pH and speeding up the corrosion[/B] process.

The best archival grade approach is [B]Corrosion Intercept sleeves/cases[/B] by Archival products (very expensive):

These slow down oxidization rates, have no solvents/pH-attackers and are visible light protected cases. Meant for professional archiving.

Of course, humidity and temp are the accelerators and CI-pockets cannot really stop those, only slow down the process.

So, if you’re living in Singapore, on Malta or some other high-humid, high-temp situation, you need to figure out to keep the temp ok and humidity away.

As for BD-R DL quality I concur. Panasonic all the way through and if you really want to be sure, Panasonic Premium (very expensive).


Ingesting information. This makes me wonder whether i should revise my current storage method for BD-R: I keep them enclosed within spindles/cakeboxes and inside a nontransparent storage box.

I do smell buildup of chemical smell inside the box so i ventilate it once in a while.