PIF's PIE's and playability-what good are they really?

I’ve burned almost 100 DVD’s and each one has been checked w/ Nero CD-DVD Speed Disk Quality Test and a Transfer Rate test. I’ve become accustomed to throwing away about 20% of the disks I burn :Z . If the total PIE is >100,000 (30-40 max) or the total PIF is >500 (8 max) I generally pitch them. (It seemed that disks that exceeded these values would have skipping/dropping out problems on my STB DVD player.)

BUT THEN…I ran the same quality checks on a pressed original movie of mine and WOW about 50,000 PIE (OK) and 4,000 PIF’s :eek: ! I’m beginning to think that PIF’s and PIE’s don’t tell me squat about whether a disk will play in my player or not. It seems to me there are other gremlins at work here. What REALLY determines playability?

Are there other quality checks that would give a more reliable indication of playability? Am I being TOO stricted in my definition of a good burn?

What the HECK?

Well no wonder you throw away most of your discs if 500 PIF’s is your max.

I don’t think I’d have any copied DVD’s if I was as strict as you.

I’m happy with mine so long at its a constant PIE and no huge jumps. I think the max is 350.

I wish DVD Disc makers were as strict with quality as you. Then I wouldn’t have more coasters than I do cups. Haha

I was growing somewhat afraid that was the case. So I’ll relax my standards a bit.

But I still ask the question: Are PIE’s and PIF’s the best barometer of a DVD’s playability?

I still can’t figure out why a couple of disks I burned would skip and drop chapters. In both cases the disks did have a spot where the PIF’s were a bit more concentrated that the rest but not anything terrible (max of 6 or 8 and a small run over a tenth of a gig or so). Using that as a standard my original pressed disk should fail miserably. That’s why I think there is something else going on here when it comes to playability.

On a related topic someone suggested doing a surface scan…which I’ve tried. They take a really long time and I’m not sure what it tells me.

It depends on some things, like the pie/pif, the media you use, and the standalone
player. Normally there’s a max of 280 pies and 4 max pifs. But as i said the standalone
device could have problems in some cases for example with 100 pies or 40. I saw this on different devices. One player has no probs with 250 pies and the other one hooked up
at 93 and a crappy player with 40. Also it depends on the disc if its heavy scratched,
bad media etc…

i would have kept all those discs you “chucked”…they’re WELL WITHIN SPEC. it’s your stand-alone player that is the problem. purchase a new cheap one (~$50) and you’ll be amazed that it will probably play all your burns flawlessly.

True what you say rapid fire and drpino. I bought a new player and have had no problems with the few movies I have watched on it. BUT how come my old player has never had a problem playing pressed discs with 4,000+ PIF’s but coughs up a DVD-R that has less than 300?

I think a PIF on a pressed disc means something different than a PIF on a burned disc. Is the reading of a pressed disc more fault tolerant than reading a DVD-R?

Curious if anyone knows.

it all depends on the playback laser pickup of the player. the early players are just fine with pressed dvds and some will not play recorded ones at all… irrespective of how many pies or pifs are there… at the end of the day pressed dvds have the info stamped into an aluminium layer,whereas dvdr is burned into ink. They are 2 radically different manufacturing processes. Most players will play pressed dvds better than dvdr… I recently found a pressed pirate dvd from china that showed up 3000 pie and 1700 pif (not total)!!! and it still played in my philips 642 although i’m not sure how

have you done a beta/jitter scan? that could be the cause of the skipping/dropouts.

It’s possible (probable) the laser/lens pickup is not tuned for the relectivity of the dye used in dvdr’s (purple) but is fine with silver ones (pressed). This was the case with early expensive CDDVD players such as Sony’s - many were great with pressed discs, but until udal pickups came along, most could not play burnt media.

Most cheap players these days can cope with almost amything, as long as the media is good enough. Incidentally, if your discs were really dire, or the burn, then even those you kept may drift and be much worse some months after - this is the worry regarding media longevity in other discussions.

Posted after I got back to the PC - I did not see the earlier post regarding pickups.

Media longevity is one reason I bring it up (the less errors now the better). Some of this material is archival and I want it to be playable for a long time. So it seems that, in the end, you really can’t compare pressed to burned (makes sense). PIF’s on a pressed disk can not be compared to PIF’s on a burned disk. I looked into the beta/jitter scan. What software is that in? I have had low steady jitter in Nero. I couldn’t find anything that said beta.

I think one thing I will start looking for is anomolies in addition to the level of errors. That seems to be more predictive of failure potential.

Thanks. All that really does help to better understand some of the anomolies I’ve seen.

Total error counts are meaningless. Even average values can be misleading. A DVD player should be able to play a disc with far higher levels that the ones quoted, if it doesn’t then it has general issues with either error correction or the specific media. Players do not conform to any known standards for error correction or media compatability, and even high quality burns can see issues in some players.

Then why check PIF’s and PIE’s? What should I really look for? Anomolies? Should I reject disks that don’t have a consistent set of errors across the surface? Spikes? What do you look for rdgrimes?

As to “archiving” data on a DVDR, there’s no reason to assume that recordable optical media is, or is not, a reliable archiving medium. All optical media degrades over time.

The purpose of error scanning is to find the combination of speed and media type that gives the best results in your burner. That does not translate to playability in any given DVD player. However, after testing a few dozen discs you should be able to get a sense of what your player will tolerate and what it won’t. My experience has been that PIF levels are the ones to watch, and that the total count or even the max value are not so important as how closely the errors are grouped. I’ve seen playback issues with discs that had a brief but tightly packed group of PIF as low as 4. But this is also media dependant, ie: it might cause a problem on a DVD-RW but not on a DVD+R. I’ve also seen discs with outrageously high PIF levels that played back just fine in the same player.
It really depends on your player and it’s own idiosyncracies.

I started looking at PIEs and still am not too sure what would be considered ok. I usually follow the color code in Nero CD-DVD Speed.

What do you think of this scan? Most of my discs are like this and they play just fine.

That looks alright.

Below I have attached 2 files.

Terminator 2 stamped shows more PIE and PIF than my burned 360 backup, however it’s graphs are nearly a flat line. I would have thought it would be the other way around. Can someone explain this? thanks