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Discussing "DVD rot"

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Lecagr, Nov 10, 2018 at 3:47 PM.

  1. Lecagr

    Lecagr Stunt Coordinator

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    I've heard this being discussed before, "DVD rot" is those milky/cloudy looking spots that appear on the playing surface of some DVD's. Some of the DVD's I own have this problem, fortunately not too many of them, although the DVD set I have of Space 1999 from A & E has the "DVD rot" problem pretty bad and most of the discs have those nasty looking spots on the playing surfaces. The discs still play but my concern is the discs might eventually stop playing because of this issue. Does anyone know what causes this "DVD rot" to occur? Are some studios using poor quality DVD media? I take care of my DVD collection and keep the discs in a dry location but occasionally some discs develop those nasty looking spots which is not good.
     
  2. tlc38tlc38

    tlc38tlc38 Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a few DVDs in my collection that have that “cloudy, milky” film on them. They do still play ok but sometimes they pause or skip.

    I’ve heard it has something to do with a chemical reaction between the discs and the type of a plastic used in the cases. Not sure.
     
  3. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    I recently had a brownish haze on my Blu-ray Criterion release of Walkabout which made parts of the movie unplayable. Since collecting dvd's from 1998 only a few did I throw away because they did not play anymore.
     
  4. tlc38tlc38

    tlc38tlc38 Stunt Coordinator

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    Discs in these sets have the “cloudy, milky” film...at least on my DVDs:

    Silver Spoons: season 1
    Blossom: seasons 1/2
    Small Wonder: season 1
    Mr. Belvedere: seasons 1/2 & season 3
    Designing Women: season 2
    What’s Happening Now!!: season 1
     
  5. Lecagr

    Lecagr Stunt Coordinator

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    Aside from my Space 1999 DVD's, I also have the cloudy/milky spots on these discs:

    Family: Seasons 1 and 2 release from Sony.
    Leave It To Beaver: Season 3 only.

    The Leave It To Beaver thing is weird, I bought the complete series from Shout Factory when it came out and all the discs in the set still look fine except for season 3, that season is the only one where the discs are getting those milky spots. Very strange.
     
  6. Mr. Handley

    Mr. Handley Supporting Actor

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    I own over 5,000 DVDs, collected over nearly 20 years. Haven't found a single one with this problem.
     
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  7. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_rot

    The Kentucky Fried Movie (2000 Anchor Bay DVD release) was the only optical disc of any type (cd, dvd, hd-dvd, laserdisc, Blu-ray) that ever failed on me due to rot.
     
  8. Lecagr

    Lecagr Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think it has anything to do with the DVD cases, I believe that the problem is with the actual DVD's. Some studios are probably using inferior quality DVD media which allow these milky looking stains to appear over the course of time.

    I was just looking at my Space 1999 DVD's again, damn those discs look terrible, milky stains are present everywhere on the discs, I'm surprised these are still playing in my DVD player but I suspect it's a matter of time until they won't play anymore. Too bad these are copy protected, otherwise I would transfer the discs on to DVD-R's through my CD/DVD copier.

    On the subject of DVD-R media for home use, I've had much success with the Gigaware brand that Radio Shack used to sell. I don't know if the Gigaware discs are still in production or not, but glad I still have plenty on hand whenever I need them.
     
  9. stringbean

    stringbean Stunt Coordinator

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    Although you could be right I'm not so sure and wouldn't totally dismiss it myself. I've been reading up a bit on this and have come across a couple of forums of people discussing the plastic cases issue. It seems that certain plastic cases do indeed have a chemical reaction known as 'Outgassing', leaving a smeary oily substance which in turn causes a chemical reaction to the playing side of the disc.

    You can clean and wipe the case, put the disc back, put the whole thing back in the cupboard and six months later when you go to watch it again the case has outgassed again.

    I also learnt that humidity plays a big part in disc rot too. Also, discs can expand and contract during fluctuations of room temperature causing the glue under the label to start shifting.

    Basically, we were all lied to about the disc technology lasting hundreds of years. Our collections will eventually suffer some kind of degradation and I don't think we can prevent it totally no matter how well we look after them.

    I now make raw .ISO backups of my most favourite shows and films just in case.
     
  10. Lecagr

    Lecagr Stunt Coordinator

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    I suppose it's possible the disc cases could be a cause for the problem, but I remain skeptical about that, I believe the more likely cause is poor quality DVD media.

    I had some Philips brand DVD-R's that I received in a trade, the discs played fine for a few years but then I started having problems with them, they started freezing up and eventually became completely unreadable and unplayable. I think what probably happened is the purple dye layer on the discs began breaking down which eventually made the discs unreadable. Not good. I thought Philips is supposed to be a good brand, maybe they aren't so good. I've been using these Gigaware brand DVD-R's and so far I haven't had problems with them.
     
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  11. John Karras

    John Karras Second Unit

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    One of the contributing factors to problem discs (most notably pressed discs) has to do with inferior glue used in manufacturing. Also: it was discovered that the main reason laser discs developed "laser rot" was attributed to impurities in the water during the manufacturing process which triggered unanticipated chemical reactions.
     
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  12. Lecagr

    Lecagr Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with this and believe it to be true. Inferior quality glue is causing the milky looking stains to appear on some DVD's.
     
  13. JQuintana

    JQuintana Second Unit

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    I guess another good reason for me to continue streaming. :)
     
  14. stringbean

    stringbean Stunt Coordinator

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    Why is inferior glue still being used then if it's found to be causing DVD rot? Is it because there is no actual proof and that once again, rot could be caused by a number of circumstances? Is there no industry standard out there when it comes to the manufacture of discs?
     
  15. John*Wells

    John*Wells Second Unit

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    Forgive my lack of knowledge, what is a Pressed disc?
     
  16. Lecagr

    Lecagr Stunt Coordinator

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    Pressed discs are those with the silver color playing surface, compared to DVD-R's which have a purple color.
     
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  17. Jerseydevil

    Jerseydevil Agent

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    I read somewhere the holder button in the dvd case can cause small cracks in the disc if you remove them improperly which lets air enter between the plastic layers
     
  18. TJPC

    TJPC Cinematographer

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    No one has mentioned CD rot. All CDs used to have the information printed on the opposite side from the playing surface. They then started to put fancy coloured labels on them.

    I bought a 12 CD set of the Complete Caruso. They had very fancy dark red labels made to look like the original “red seal” 78s. In a few years the playing surfaces of all the discs became milky white. Although at first they could be cleaned, one became unplayable.

    I contacted RCA and they sent me a replacement. It is significant that the one they sent did not have the fancy label. Now this replacement is the only one that still plays. Luckily I copied them all before it was too late.
     
  19. Gary Seven

    Gary Seven Grand Poo Pah

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    I popped in a disc one form the 90's Flash set and found that two episodes on the disc no longer play. The pilot plays fine but the subsequent episodes do not. Looking at the disc, it is flawless. Yet it doesn't play. Discs can apparently rot without visible defects or clouding.
     

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