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Am I Experiencing What is Known as "Disc Rot"? (1 Viewer)

Kaskade1309

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Attempted to watch the New Line DVD of American History X last night, and about halfway through, the disc began freezing and pixelating, ultimately forcing me to stop playback because it wouldn't go any further. The same thing happened with another DVD we attempted to play some weeks back, the Selena Special Edition, but on that disc, we couldn't get it to go any further than the FBI warning messages -- it refused to play, exhibiting the same colored pixelation distortion as seen on American History X.

I attempted to clean both discs, because they hadn't been taken off the shelf in a long time (leading me to consider the "disc rot" theory), but neither would play in my primary spinner, a Panasonic DP-UB9000. When I took both discs (on different days, obviously) upstairs to our bedroom player, a first generation Panasonic DMP-BD10 A BD spinner, neither would play in the exact same spots.

So it's DEFINITELY the discs.

What is going on here? As I said, the only common factor is that these discs haven't been played in a LONG time -- is this the dreaded "disc rot" I keep reading about? I don't really know what to do here, because we have a substantial SD DVD collection and I don't want to lose them one at a time to this issue.

Is there something I can try cleaning the discs with, specifically? I understand that disc rot is not reversible, but is there anything I can do? Is there something I should be looking for on the disc surface to indicate it's succumbed to rot?
 
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Robbie^Blackmon

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star-trek-hes-dead-jim.png

Nothing you can do about it. Once the data layers become unreadable due to oxidation, dried out binding or otherwise, it's over. Sometimes people have moderate success pulling files off some discs, but once the media is gone it is gone. For what it is worth, I'm still checking my WB discs to find the dead ones. Even if the company can't replace them for reasons, they need to know all that are affected.

I've got reels of old tape, cassettes, videos and film that have succumbed to time and deterioration as well. The most peculiar is a Three Stooges 16mm short (Fiddlers Three) where the picture is fine, but the soundtrack is fading into oblivion at a steady rate, mostly loud, crackly hiss and almost completely transparent (I screen many of my films about once every two years).

Bit of a tangent, there, but it just illustrates that no media is forever.
 

YANG

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my FOX released PATTON dual disc edition and NEWTON BOYS do not have evident "black dots" as described in other discussion threads or forums, same as UNFORGIVEN as well as other DVD9 discs, they all cannot be read or freezed half way during layer change. under certain light conditions, u'll not be able to notice any damage on the surface or the information layer of the disc. but when u stand close to a window during a bright day, u'll notice some kind of "faint discoloration" that starts from the center of the affected discs as if air had entered the supposedly vacuum layer.

the only logical thing i can think of, is the loss of bond of the thin glue that sticks to the information layer as well as the other layer of plastic.
the first few titles i've encountered are DVD-14 releases such as HART's WAY and DwD as mentioned above. i thought it was MGM Region1 releases that could be suffering from manufacturing faults. however when more "less replayed/revisited" discs such as those from WARNER, FOX and UNIVERSAL DVD-9 discs have the same issues... the only excuse i can give it will be "AGING".
initially some discs can be saved if during playback, few hiccups are encountered and i ignore it and proceed with playback until the end before engaging the player to go repeat whole title replay in the player for hours. one such successful attempt goes to the R3 release JackKnife and R1 release EVOLUTION. but not others that totally cannot be chapter skippable.
 

YANG

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...... I've got reels of old tape, cassettes, videos and film that have succumbed to time and deterioration as well......
for video cassette tapes, my suggestion is not to rewind the tape after each play until the end, such that the tightness generated during playback that reels the tapes into another spool is tight enough to keep the air out in between layers.

i recently found a porn tape that i hid within my clothes when i guess i might have done when i was in my early age of 20s... surprisingly the tape that wasn't rewind don't show signs of mould! other home-made off air recordings had to be dumped away, because majority of them were rewinded...
 

Robbie^Blackmon

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That is certainly the optimal way to store video cassettes as, not only is the tension optimal, but the winding should be even, as well, to prevent damage to the edges of the tape and shifting of the tape on the reel which can cause bunching, dropouts and other playback problems. One caveat is that the tape should have enough blank space or unimportant information for the first bit of windings to avoid creasing from the hub clamps and the leader splice working its way into the program content.

Not always ideal depending upon film stock, but storing film on a takeup reel "tails out" is also preferable if one doesn't have, say, access to a properly tensioned set of Neumade rewinders. This can also prevent warpage of film for long-term storage and, if a film has begun to shrink and sag on the takeup reel, it can be reverse-wound by turning the emulsion side out with a twist at takeup to help settle out the shrink (again, depending upon the film stock, pliability and other variables).

Delicate, thy name is Physical Media.
 

Robbie^Blackmon

Second Unit
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Messages
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my FOX released PATTON dual disc edition and NEWTON BOYS do not have evident "black dots" as described in other discussion threads or forums, same as UNFORGIVEN as well as other DVD9 discs, they all cannot be read or freezed half way during layer change. under certain light conditions, u'll not be able to notice any damage on the surface or the information layer of the disc. but when u stand close to a window during a bright day, u'll notice some kind of "faint discoloration" that starts from the center of the affected discs as if air had entered the supposedly vacuum layer.

the only logical thing i can think of, is the loss of bond of the thin glue that sticks to the information layer as well as the other layer of plastic.
the first few titles i've encountered are DVD-14 releases such as HART's WAY and DwD as mentioned above. i thought it was MGM Region1 releases that could be suffering from manufacturing faults. however when more "less replayed/revisited" discs such as those from WARNER, FOX and UNIVERSAL DVD-9 discs have the same issues... the only excuse i can give it will be "AGING".
initially some discs can be saved if during playback, few hiccups are encountered and i ignore it and proceed with playback until the end before engaging the player to go repeat whole title replay in the player for hours. one such successful attempt goes to the R3 release JackKnife and R1 release EVOLUTION. but not others that totally cannot be chapter skippable.
I have a copy of the dvd titled The Lost Films of Laurel and Hardy Vol 4 that has a crack from the center all the way out to the edge on the label side. It plays beautifully, mostly, with a hiccup here and there depending upon the player (I do have a fully intact replacement copy).

I have double-sided Universal discs of The A-Team and others where the bonding in the center of the disc is turning into dry, white bubbly/powdery substance and the disc surfaces have that coffee stain look. I have a Columbia/TriStar disc of The Three Stooges in Orbit where the playback surface has developed actual bubble holes in the acrylic. These discs still play!

The WB dvd's in the ever-growing list of problem titles exhibit zero signs of deterioration (much like those older Anchor Bay discs like Heathers, Wicker Man and so on) and do not play.

You just never can tell.
 

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Kaskade1309

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Thanks everyone...

I totally understand that nothing lasts forever, even these discs, but does it sound like what I am describing is disc rot? As I said, only two DVDs I have pulled off the shelf after years of not watching them have acted up like this in both my Panasonic Blu-ray players -- American History X and Selena. They freeze and pixelate in the same spots on both players, so I assumed something went wrong with these discs.
 

YANG

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on the left is my latest “fail” to play disc, Dont Mess with Zohan.
on the right is the Schindler’s List disc 1 DVD.
IMG_20240326_121525258~2.jpg

Zohan DVD doesn't show obvious rot spots like Schindler DVD do. but if the picture is able to show correctly on your side of display, you may be able to spot the discoloration at 6o'clock position of the Zohan DVD that could be a symptom to disc glue losing bond...​
 

Kaskade1309

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on the left is my latest “fail” to play disc, Dont Mess with Zohan.
on the right is the Schindler’s List disc 1 DVD.
View attachment 217637
Zohan DVD doesn't show obvious rot spots like Schindler DVD do. but if the picture is able to show correctly on your side of display, you may be able to spot the discoloration at 6o'clock position of the Zohan DVD that could be a symptom to disc glue losing bond...​
Thanks YANG -- so your Schindler's List DVD was already messed up from rot?

I'm trying to make out the obvious spots you're referring to; do you mean those black dots?
 

YANG

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Thanks YANG -- so your Schindler's List DVD was already messed up from rot?

I'm trying to make out the obvious spots you're referring to; do you mean those black dots?
yes... partially.
those black spots in the other area of the disc, depending on size would cause playback skipping. i have another disc with few spots which i can't remember which for the moment, would load and play with little skipping with the black dots sized like black pepper bits. but on this Schindler's List disc, the black dots is just too big. in addition if you notice, there's something like a small black bar at the center of 9o'clock position, i think that's where stopping the disc to play.
 

Kaskade1309

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yes... partially.
those black spots in the other area of the disc, depending on size would cause playback skipping. i have another disc with few spots which i can't remember which for the moment, would load and play with little skipping with the black dots sized like black pepper bits. but on this Schindler's List disc, the black dots is just too big. in addition if you notice, there's something like a small black bar at the center of 9o'clock position, i think that's where stopping the disc to play.
Thanks again; I will have to look at the surface of these discs and see if I notice anything. Upon a casual glance before attempting to clean them, I didn't see anything -- not a scratch nor a blob. It must be something coming unglued from the layers that I cannot detect with my eye.

What else could cause two randomly different DVDs to freeze up and pixelate at the exact same spots in two different players? It can't be the lasers of the players, because it's occurring in the exact same spots on both. Plus, other DVDs are playing fine (for now)...does this sound like these two discs may have succumbed to some kind of random failure?
 

Kaskade1309

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Okay, I'm starting to get concerned now that something else is going on....

I put on my JFK Two-Disc Special Edition last night (always view it on Easter because of the scene in the film) and around the halfway mark of the Director's Cut -- where "X" speaks with Garrison in DC -- the disc began doing the whole stuttering-and-pixelating thing. It didn't completely freeze up on me like American History X did, as I was able to watch the rest of the film after a few moments of the pixelated stuttering, but this is now the THIRD DVD I have watched on my Panasonic UB9000 since getting it back from service (they replaced the drive) that has exhibited these symptoms seemingly out of the blue.

Now, while my kneejerk reaction is always to blame the player and its laser, the fact remains that when I bring these troubled disc upstairs to my Panny Blu-ray player in the bedroom, the issues occur at the exact same spots. So, in reality, something is happening to the DISCS that I simply can't explain -- it's too much of a coincidence for all three of these DVDs to suddenly experience disc rot at the same time, isn't it?

Further, I cannot explain what could be causing the issue with the DVDs outside of the rot -- there hasn't been any change to the environmental conditions of my home, and while the living room and house in general can use a good cleaning (going to probably get to it tomorrow), I can't see how any dust could suddenly begin degrading discs to the point they're breaking up and pixelating.

Does anyone have any thoughts?
 

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