There are a increasing number of reports stating that DVDRs may become unreadable after time, not because of deteriorating dye, but from slight warping of the disc itself. Players can only tolerate a certain amount of variance in the laser-to-disc distance and/or the vibration caused by an out-of-plane disc.
Standard DVD cases provide a DVDR a dark storage environment to protect their dye from light; a low-tension retainer to protect the disc’s hub from damage; and often a ridge in the case disc recess to support the outer rim of the disc. All good things.
But what about the stability of the case? Even the best, standard-thickness, hollywood-movie-grade case available will easily flex with a disc in it. And since the disc’s rim is in contact with case, when the case flexes the disc must flex too. There are a lot of common storage scenarios where the case could be in a position where it could force the disc into a slightly twisted orientation for months or years at a time. And the standard thickness DVD cases offered in bulk quantities from most e-merchants are less sturdy and even more vulnerable to warping a disc…
Jewel cases are not commonly recommended for DVDR storage because many of them use a high-tension retainer which can damage the disc hub upon removal; also, even with a case insert to help block light, they don’t provide a disc the darkness a typical DVD case can.
But a jewel case has at least one great advantage over a DVD case: a much more rigid, flex-resistant case. Since the disc is only supported by the hub retainer (not an outer ridge support land like DVD cases provide) the case would have to be severely twisted before it made contact with the outer rim of the disc; therefore, this case design can’t warp a disc. There are plenty of jewel case designs sporting a low-tension hub retainer, so that needn’t be a problem. (Most DVD cases have a very stubborn disc hub release mechanism, which often won’t release without a snap, and may require significant flexing of the disc as it is being pulled out.) Also, a jewel case can be stored in a cabinet to protect the disc dye from light.
So what do you guys think is the best case for archiving DVDRs?