Optical media of all kinds, now an obsolete technology


Probably time to face the facts folks. Optical media is dying, and has been for a decade. What we have now are just the dregs of blank optical discs to choose from when burning. The only reason optical has any momentum left is due to the distribution of movies through DVD’s and Blu-ray, and that is going by the wayside, to the point that even they will become niche products. Some of these types of tech hang on for a long time after they drop from the public consciousness, like VHS or floppies, but some vanished quickly like Laser discs and DIVX discs.

How many manufacturers are left for computer burners? Three, maybe four? And not all of them are still making Blu-ray burners, especially not the half-height burners that most of us prefer.

So, now that I’ve got that little rant off my chest, time for my question. How many discs have you burned this month? Not for testing purposes, actual saving data to an optical disc, whether that is for data storage or backing up a movie. I can tell you my answer. Zero. I can’t even remember the last one I burned, probably back in the spring sometime, when I made a couple for my nephew. And remember, MyCE is one of the main sites on the net for optical storage, where the most dedicated users of the tech still reside. Maybe you guys will surprise me and the results won’t be as dismal as I believe


Oh and I was going to make a poll, but failed miserably. The new forum software still kicks me around.


Zero burns, I’m afraid. Using USB Flash Drives all the time, however.


Very few CD burns, most of them for elderly members of the family that find it hard to use a USB flash drive, and they prefer CD’s.


In the last month I have burned 15 DVDs for transferring valuable, some irreplaceable vinyl discs on this format so I can listen to them in high quality. From the vinyl to FLAC lossless uncompressed to DVD via “HD Audio Ultra”. I’m constantly buying new 180 gram vinyl albums that only get played via a turntable on special occasions and to digitize them. I now only burn the very special unobtainable, irreplaceable ones to DVD to try and preserve my stock of decent discs.

Doing this is the best sound and the easiest way to see what’s on a disk without using a computer. Imagine what it would be like if all your discs had blank surfaces with no info on them. A flash drive is exactly like this and it could hold multiple albums on it. Which one would I choose from the drawer ? No proper labelling, It would take hours to find a album, let alone a track.

Loosing optical discs is a real pain, without them, it’s just another little bit of the enjoyment of computing removed from our hobby and our lives and Microsoft are doing a great job of helping this lack of control as well.

I have 3 DAT recorders and hundreds of data DAT tapes that work very well, not quite the same as DVD, but better than flash drives. I also have a NAS, but again, it ain’t the same.

Has anyone thought why vinyl discs have become more and more popular lately. A superb sound (with good equipment) with magnificent amount of cover art all to be enjoyed all at once. Not surprising is it. People like visual, tactile things. Digital invisible, or tiny storage has no soul as far as I’m concerned.


So far I have not written any discs this month and have yet to install the Blu-ray writer from my previous PC. When I purchased my current PC, the included DVD drive was just described as being a slimline DVD-ROM (laptop type) in the HP spec. However, it turned out to be a DVD writer, which shows how little relevance manufacturers find DVD writers now.

One thing I really wish DVD recorder manufacturers had done years ago was make an “idiot proof” DVD recorder with clear easy to follow instructions. For example, if one inserts a blank disc and the user presses record, the DVD recorder would discretely carry out the initialisation process, hold the current recording on flash memory and transfer it on disc once the drive catches up, transparent to the user. If the user ejects the disc, it would ask the question “Do intend making further recordings on this disc?”, in which case if they select ‘No’, the drive finalises the disc and ejects it, ready to play on any DVD player.

VCRs were popular due to their simplicity - Just pop a blank tape in and press record. Back in the 1990’s, pretty much every house had one and I’m sure many regularly used them for taping programming. Now, pretty much everyone uses PVRs which store everything on its hard disk.

With any set-top DVD recorder I’ve seen, it does not come with any quick start guide, leaving the user to figure out how to record to DVD. First there is the confusion of which blanks to buy, i.e. DVD-R, +R, -RW, +RW or -RAM, not to mention the ‘X’ speed. Even with the right blank DVD, some DVD recorders require the user to go into the menu to initialise the disc. When the user wants to record something, it can take a short while for the DVD recorder to start recording. Finally, the user must finalise the disc before they can play it elsewhere, which I found surprisingly complicated with some DVD recorders. What about reusing a rewritable disc later on? No wonder DVD recorders never caught on. :disappointed: With a VHS tape, the tape is always ready to play elsewhere and reusing it is as simple as rewinding the tape and recording from the start.

Just recently, a neighbour asked if I could record something from TV onto DVD as he was interviewed in the programme. Even though this person has a DVD recorder, I had no luck showing him how to use it as it had a complicated procedure just to prepare a blank disc and another tedious procedure to finalise it afterwards.

As for my own use, it looks like I am finished with optical discs. They are bulky, slow and too low in capacity. For example, a 1TB USB HDD is tiny compared to a stack of 40 BD-R’s. For verifying, I could do something as simple as SHA1 checks across the contents without being near the PC. With BD-R’s (DVD-Rs or CD-Rs), I have to manually load each disc one by one to test them. Sure, a disc failure loses less data than a HDD failure, however, it’s easier to backup to another HDD than to create and periodically verify a second set of discs.


The only Disc I have written in the last 2 months have been for OS Installs.
I generally use Rufus and a flash drive but I had to make a couple Disc for safe keeping
I haven’t had the time to continue to burn my VHS to DVD’s lately but I will get back to that come early winter.
I agree with you Sean they sure could make that process easier and maybe a lot more people would be still using disc.


I have two Panasonic recorders, one is hard drive only, the other will record straight to a blu-ray, DVD or hard disc. Dubbing from the HDD is also possible on Blu-ray if it was recorded on the highest HD setting. It’s quite easy to dub a DVD, you have a choice, either use a minus disc and it records straight away, or a plus disc that needs formatting first and finalize it at the end. Both types need finalizing. No hassle at all really, it works every time. The decent GUI I suppose helps.

I really need a decent DVD editor programme, all the ones I seem to find are way to comprehensive with stuff I don’t need, or free useless crap. All I want to do is edit out the unwanted stuff that comes with the dub from the HDD.


I get where your going with this, and you may be right.
Personally I prefer streaming my purchases of movies
from google play or amazon. They store them for me and:relaxed:
I can watch them on my tv through my Roku. The reason
is while I still enjoy my dvd’s Bluerays, and music cd’s.
I like it better that you don’t have to worry about scratches
water, or some other kind of damage on your movies or
songs, as well as software you purchase.


Voxsmart, for an editor, have you tried VideoRedo TV Suite?


Thanks Kerry, I haven’t found that one, I will hopefully give it a try.


I use Videoredo since years and I can highly recommend it. If you want to do simple cuts or join files together Redo is the right one.

You can try it here



Was looking at Panasonic and JVC Japanese market BluRay video recorders earlier in the game.

IIRC they were all crippled by not having HDMI or component video inputs.

In effect, dubbing from a video source was limited to SD, allowing you to use the higher storage capacity of the BD but not the resolution.

Do your models do better with that?


@ schuster, to start with, my Panasonic Blu-ray recorder is no longer available. If I record in HD from Freeview, yes it records in HD Blu-ray. I have never needed any component, or HDMI inputs, it obviously has HDMI out. It’s not limited to SD I think Panasonic discontinued this machine soon after it was released as I wanted to buy another. All that was available then was BD play only and no recording of any kind.

@ Tester_1, I can’t seem to make this proggie work. It can’t read VOB 1 because it’s a start menu, it complains that the audio cannot be synced? Maybe because the is none. I can’t get past it and it also holds the start of the TV programme. Any ideas would be welcome.


It don´t like data without audio, that´s right.

What kind of data you use? Standard-DVD-Video or BD Movie (m2ts)?

What´s the source? HDD, DVD, BD?

Standard-VOB from DVD-Video it can open directly (drag&drop) or via File-Menü -> Open title from DVD -> Select folder

M2TS it also can open via drag&drop


Hi Tester,
I never use BD, for TV transfer to disc, not really worth it. The machine uses VR data (Video recorder)
for SD recordings. VideoReDo seems to change it to VOB (Video object) VOB files are OK, but it can’t cope when there’s no audio. As I said, it cant sync. The first file is a mixture of the menu screen and some of the start of the movie. If I could get rid of the menu screen It would be OK It just goes round in circles telling me to use the “fix” utility.


Do you have .vro-files?

Maybe you can use Avidemux to copy it to PC.


What I have Tester_1 is an old computer with TMPnG DVD Author on it. This little proggie works great, but only on Windows XP. I fed up wit assing around trying to grab a few programmes of the TV. I really have better things to do. Thanks for your suggestions Tester_1, it’s most appreciated.
I will recover it from the storage unit tomorrow and resurrect it. I don’t need to connect it to the net as there are no updates for the TMPng anyway and none for XP.


I’d have to agree though I still regularly use BD-R 25GB, especially M-Disc (rated stable for hundreds of years) for archival purposes. Just got into the swing of it I guess.

It would be cheaper and a lot quicker to use USB external HDD 2 TB, but the thought of one failing is not pretty. One would have to use at least 2 units for archiving.

Quality ODs are expensive, unfortunately - will hardly help them survive…


BD-R can be also cheap. I bought 25pcs cakebox of Mediarange with CMCMAGBA5 for 10,79€, 625GB for this price isn´t expensive

And sometimes I have data, old downloads with special tools which some Antivirus-programs don´t like and erase them. Can´t happen on an optical media :slight_smile:

Other eason is if you have data that must not changed.


You got PM