The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I mentioned this in another thread, but decided to expand on it in its own, so I could get some feedback. :slight_smile:

I recently ran across some discs that I totally fell in love with. Those’d be Optodisc, 8x. Man, they worked great. First time I’ve ever gone through a hundred of 'em and didn’t get any bad burns or defective discs. Happy as a clam. Stable, steady burning, too.

Ok, things seem great, right? So I head back to Shop4tech for another batch. I kinda think that outfit isn’t so hot, since they openly shill for themselves everywhere, but they do keep the price down and usually deliver, so what the heck, bank account trumps my pride. The new batch got here today, and right off I see something ain’t right. The little paper label that sits on top is different. Says “Acro-Circle” on it, and it’s a yellow checker pattern, not the familiar brown background. I do a little digging, and in a few places I see that Acro-Circle is supposed to be a sub of Optodisc. So, natch, I think everything’s cool. They musta just changed their label and did a little housecleaning or something. But then I fire up DVDInfo and DVD Identifier, to see if they’re the exact same Optodiscs with a new label, or a different type, merely from the same company. Since I liked the previous ones so much.

Imagine my surprise. These aren’t Optodiscs at all. The info says they’re Taiyo Yuden (TYG02). That’s the same code I got when I made the mistake of buying those lousy BurnMasters from AllMediaOutlet (read: crooks). Real garbage. Factory rejects or bootleg fakes, one or the other, I’m sure. I’ve burned half a dozen today to give them a shot, and they suck. Oh, they’re burning alright, but they’re performing like 2x discs. I should point out here that I’ve got a Pioneer 107 and an NEC 3520A. Actual TYs are compatible with these drives. These discs have the descriptors for up to 12x, with a stated manufacturer’s rating of 8x. Bull. The discs can’t accept the data at that rate, even though the drive is trying to because it thinks they can. It keeps having to reload the buffer ever couple of secs. Takes half an hour to burn one of these. Ridiculous.

Anyway, I’m very curious if anyone else has gotten ahold of any “Acro-Circle” discs (yellow, checkerboard insert/label), and if they ID as these, or Optodisc (they’re supposed to have a manufacturer’s ID of “OPTODISCR008”), and how well they work (if you’ve got the real thing, of course). The Optodiscs I got that came with the brown label on top, with a listed part # of 1660939000, were just wonderful, and I want to buy them exclusively. Don’t know what to make of Acro-Circle, though. Even their homepage doesn’t mention Optodisc, but other sites swear up and down they’re the same thing (which would be weird, since Acro is in Taiwan, and Optodisc is in Japan, or so I read).

Heh, I want to complain about the screwup, but I’m not sure what to complain about. Do I get upset that these are Acro-Circle and not the same thing they sold me before, or just ticked that it wasn’t even what was supposed to be in the cakeboxes?


optodisc = Taiwan = low quality in my opinion. My general experience with optodisc is, dye isses on many discs making them unreadable, and poor dye stability which makes the discs unreadable within a year.

The other TY’s is probrbly fakes and garbage quality.

If that’s the case, I can only come to the conclusion that Optodisc has, as did AMD, gotten their act together in a big way. The actual Optodisc batch I bought were absolutely superb, so much so that I’m confident in saying I’ll happily stick with this brand for the long-run, assuming I can find them, and not get saddled with fakes again.

I just put in the call to Shop4tech. I’ll admit, I really expected to get the runaround, but darned if they weren’t polite and willing to address the problem. Guess maybe they’ve gotten their stuff together over time, too. I think they went into a bit of a panic, though. The system accidentally dumped me out, and I had to call back. When I did, despite there being 30 operators, they instantly recognized what I was calling about, because the brass were all standing around talking about the fake TYs I’d told them about. They’re beginning an investigation, and are even going to send me a shipping label so they can see the fakes for themselves. They’re supposed to call me back within the hour with more info. I don’t think I’d want to be in that vendor’s shoes right about now (the one that they got the shipment from). Something tells me Shop4tech is gonna be seriously pissed.

I’ll post more as this plays out. I’ve seen some very positive comments in here about Rima, and was just about set to switch and start buying from them, but if Shop4tech actually comes through, and deals with me fairly, I’ll give them their due and stick around (unless they raise prices, of course). Still good to know about good alternative sources, though, so I’ve definitely bookmarked Rima if I need 'em. :slight_smile:


Acro Circle is actually Optodisc’s high quality A-grade only brand. If you end up getting stuff with an optodisc MID, you should be fine, but their fake TYG02 is awful when burned with the TYG02 write strat. On my BenQ 1620, I have the TYG02 strat replaced with the OPTODISC008 strat (which is what they actually are), and they burn very well. Does MCSE work on NEC drives?

From what I can see, NEC drives aren’t supported by this, and my warranty would be toast if I did it, anyway. Are you saying you’ve seen Acro Circle discs before that claimed to be TYs?

Oh, Shop4tech never called back. They were supposed to email and call back within the hour. After two, I called them back, and got someone that didn’t have a clue what I was talking about. She passed me off to someone else, who also didn’t have a clue, and when he heard me mention a mixup with the discs, he just sent me over to the RMA department, where I got a really annoying guy that couldn’t speak English very well, and simply wouldn’t listen to me. It was like trying to order coffee in Australia, and they keep hearing “beer.” :slight_smile: The people I’d been talking to before had said they were going to send me a shipping lable, along with the correct discs I’d intended to order, and that I could just send back whatever was left of the discs I’d gotten (since I’d already burned some). This guy couldn’t fathom that, and kept telling me I’d misunderstood (I hadn’t), and that the only thing he could do is send me the label, and then, after I returned ALL of the discs, including any I’d burned already, he’d ship me replacements. He actually said that if I returned them and some were missing, they’d open the replacements up and remove an equal amount! This is SO frustrating. I’d only had enough money to order one batch of a hundred, and I paid the extra two bucks to bump the shipping up a notch to shave off a few days. I’m in need of discs badly at the moment, and have people waiting on me to send stuff. Now I’ve either got to put things off again, or just take the crap discs and be done with it. I told the guy to forget it, I’d just wait and see if the other people that I’d spoken with called back the next day. If they don’t, that’s it, I’m done with Shop4tech for good, and I’m taking my club membership with me (heh, I run some media clubs, and I’ve got about 2500 members, many of whom buy from Shop4tech regularly, who will stop if I report this fiasco to them and offer an alternative).

I am curious about one other thing, though. The [actual] Optodiscs have a code that reads: OPTODISCR008. However, when I went to Optodisc’s website, to look at their current media, they’ve only got one -R disc they currently make/sell, not counting the 16x discs they’re going to be releasing soon. It’s an 8x disc, has visible branding on the top, and the code is different: OR470-000. So far I can’t find them online in anything larger than 10-packs, with jewel cases. No large cakeboxes. I also don’t understand if these are the new kids on the block, and the stuff I bought previously, and still wish to get ahold of, are outdated or what. Anyone know more about this?


The Optodiscs with the TYG02 code don’t “claim” to be TY, they just “borrow” their code. Optodisc TYG02 media is really OPTODISCR008, but with the TYG02, supposedly for compatibility. Unfortunately, since the drive uses the TYG02 write stategy they burn like crap. :a

And, yes, I actually have a few Optodisc Acro Circle TYG02s left. The burn like crap with default write strat, but burn perfectly with the OPTODISCR008 strat. Optodisc is well known for making 8X DVD-R media with the TY code.

I haven’t had any problems with OPTODISCR008 at all. Burn DVDs (movies, data, etc) and all sorts of stuff. Burner is Sony DW-D22A (BYS3). Anyone else run these flawlessly?

Screw the warranty :), about half the people on this website use hacked, ‘warranty-voiding’ firmware on their drives. Swap write strategies as has been suggested, or settle for coasters. NEC drives are VERY commonly used with hacked firmwares, and rarely do issues occur. And you can nearly always flash back to any other firmware that you choose, so it isn’t really that great of a risk.

I concur with OC Freak that Optodisc are budget media at best. The problem with most cheap “budget” media isn’t necessarily that it is all bad, it is the fact that there is so much quality variation from batch to batch. Honestly though, if you live in the US, why on earth would you bother with anything but the best quality media? Have you had major issues with TY or something?

Totally agreed. According to the shop4tech website, the OP paid $33 with free shipping for 100 fake TYG02 discs while he/she could get the real ones for $32.99 plus shipping at:

Was saving a few bucks on shipping that critical?