CAUTION: Pinpoint holes in DVD data layers!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matt_P, Jul 16, 2002.

  1. Matt_P

    Matt_P Second Unit

    Sep 19, 2000
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    Greetings, everyone.

    Lately, I have discovered a new hazard in the world of DVDs/CDs: Pinpoint holes in the data layers (visible by holding the disc up to a light). These are small holes in the gold/silver layers within the plastic disc. I encountered a copy of the Schindler's List soundtrack that had a couple, causing some periodic skipping in the beginning of a track. I just picked up Amelie today, and my Disc 1 has one lager pinhole, and couple of minute speck holes in the data layers. I watched the film up to the layer switch, without any problems...which is odd. I was expecting a the film to break up at a certain point, due to missing data. Even though I haven't experienced any problems so far, should I exchange the disc? How could the disc play without a hitch with holes in the data layers? Is this a defect that could lead to future problems? Anyone else experience this?

    Any help/comments would be helpful! Thanks.
  2. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

    Dec 25, 2001
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    I've seen this on a couple really cheap audio CDs I have (I think they were K-Tel things). Never affected playback. Not good with the technical stuff, but I've assumed whatever error correction technology is employed by the format took care of the 'gap'.

  3. Lyle_JP

    Lyle_JP Screenwriter

    Oct 5, 2000
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    I have seen this often on CDs, though not on a DVD yet. This is usually caused by being a little rough on the label side of the disc. Try to remember, the plastic on the label side is much thinner than on the read side of a CD.
    A good way to prove this is to take a CD you're not fond of, and first drag a thumbtack with a little pressure across the read side of the disc. You'll make a nasty looking scratch, but if you have a CD player with decent error correction you'll probably never notice. Now, if you do the same thing to the label side of the disc, and then hold it up to light, you'll actually see that where you made the scratch there is now part of the aluminum data layer missing! This sucker is going to skip no matter what you play it in.
    Now, as for pinhole spots of the data layer missing, I've found that most often happens when the label side of the disc is continually exposed to friction, wearing away at the plastic on the label side and eventually the data layer underneath. What used to do it to my CDs were the very early Case Logic cd wallets, which held the discs too tightly and which had platic sleeves far rougher than they should have been. Many a CD were killed by these wallets before I learned. I understand the design is much improved now, but I still insist on carrying jewel cases around just in case.
    One thing the manufacturers could do (and many do) to help is full color label side artwork. This extra layer of printing is also an extra layer of protection, and I've yet to see "pinhole" damage on any CD that has an edge-to-edge printed label.
    -Lyle J.P.
  4. Jason Elrod

    Jason Elrod Auditioning

    Jan 23, 2001
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    Yes, I have this problem on disk 2 of The World at War.
    Being that it is a two sided disk, it screwed up chapters on both sides. I haven't tried to replace it yet.

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