PlexTools's diagnostics and durability of media

vbimport

#1

Hi.

My main concern is how long burned media will last, not burning speed.
With this in mind, do the diagnostics found in PlexTools provide a good indication? More specifically, I bought a few spindles of Verbatim +R DL media because this is the only DL media Plextor recommends, I thought I would get the best (and most expensive) around. However, results show not-so-exciting performances. For example, I also used Sony +R DL media, which are much less expensive, and diagnostics return better results (in terms of PIF, Jitter). (Curiosly enough, 2.4x media gives best results if burned at 6x compared to 2.4x and 4x).
Now, if a burned media gives better results, do I have to expect better reliability and durability in the future? If this is the case, I might just as well buy a couple DVD’s for each brand and see which gets me the best results, then settle with them.
I’m a bit disappointed because I bought an expensive Plextor (755UF) and expensive media (Verbatim and Plextor/TY) but, based on tests available on cdrfreaks.com and cdrinfo.com, it looks like there are much cheaper combinations out there with better results.
Does it still pay off paying more for Plextor and Verbatim? Suppose a bulk disc performs better with diagnostics than Verbatim/TY, does that means that better? Or there’s more to the picture than the diagnostic features cannot show?

Thank you very much.


#2

For judging durability, the FE/TE-Test gives you an indication on the mechanical quality of a disc (flatness and if the writing area is properly ‘centered’). This not only allows a prdiction how well a media will burn but also if there are potential problems concernign future readback.

The other tests (PI/PO, Beta/Jitter) show the current state of media. Performing these in time intervals allows to check for any changes in the long term stability of media.

Unfortunately that cannot be concluded from such tests. While media with better results can be seen as more future proof, because they have more ‘reserves’ when they start to decay, a low(er) error count in early days does not necessarily indicate a slower decay rate. There have been shown media that produced very nice error rates at the beginning but became unreadable after a few weeks or months.

So basically there is no test that really allows you to judge the long term durability in advance for certain. Long term durability is also determined by the dye used and if the media have been properly produced and stored (glue used, lacquer applied, etc.). You can partially check such things by visually inspecting the media. You’ll find more information about this in the blank media forum (http://club.cdfreaks.com/forumdisplay.php?f=33)

I’ve never had problems with media from well known brands (Yuden, Verbatim, Sony, TDK, …). So far the extra price over cheap reselling brands that buy and label just about anything paid off for me.


#3

PMFJI. I did some tests with audio cd-r’s I burnt up to five years ago. The idea behind it was to archive them onto dvd, so Plextor’s quality checks didn’t matter, just readability.

The results were somewhat frightening: I had about 20 discs out of, say, 500 which were not readable at all. Some 50 or so took rather long to be read, and the rest was fine. The scary part: The highly recommended Kodak discs (the ones with gold plating) were the worst discs I came across. Imation was second (from the end) and Intenso third. All the fine discs were manufactured by both so-called high-end companies as Plextor and Verbatim, and cheap media, such as Platinum.

In the end, there is only one thing you will be able to do: Test the most important ones every six months.

Hope this helps a little bit.


#4

I’ve seen some accelerated ageing tests where the discs with the highest initial error rate lasted longest. Plextools can tell you whether you have a disc with a low error rate but that tells you nothing about its longevity.

Cheers

James.