DVD/CD rot? The sky is not falling...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Vader, May 13, 2004.

  1. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    Disclaimer: The following is only a rant provoked by the media coverage of "rot", and is based entirely on my experience. I am in no way contesting the experiences of others (indeed, all of us are stricken by the same love of HT), and I welcome any input or correction.
     
  2. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    I've only had one LD that I have personally purchased at retail that has gone bad & I treat my LDs correctly. The others in my collection that have gone bad were not personally bought initially by me at retail, so I cannot say how prior owners treated them. I'm not aware of any CD or DVD rot cases in my library.
     
  3. Jake Johnson

    Jake Johnson Second Unit

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    I treat my dvds like they are my children (which they are until I become a father), and I have never had an issue with dvd rot. Treat your collection like it should be treated and you'll do alright.
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    ...and here I thought I'd never have any problem with this. I went to play The Jackal today (1998) and it wouldn't play. I got it when it came out and have probably seen it about a dozen times, but this has been in a DVD changer the whole time. Fingerprint and scratch free.

    I have since tried it in four other players and they all either come up blank or say that it needs cleaning, but I've done that. Even with my DVD drive in my PC it not only won't play, but I can't even view the files on it. Any ideas? Oh, and there aren't any 'holes' in it either.

    Glenn
     
  5. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I've never seen any good, solid figures on the incidence of CD or DVD rot. It's all anecdotal. Certainly there's never been any solid evidence that it's a big problem, even though some people with agendas (reporters trying to be sensational, diehard LP supporters who hate digital, diehard LD supporters who hate DVD) claim otherwise. I've read posts from one LD diehard in particular that claimed that not only did he have a very high incidence of DVD rot, but everyone else either did or was about to, even if people directly contradicted him and told him they saw no evidence of it in their collections (he made the rather silly claim that every single second of every DVD has to be viewed often to catch signs of the coming "disaster").
     
  6. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

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    Excellent article. I read that AP article too, and was pretty much thinking the same thing...theyre spreading unnecessary panic. I too, am amazed at the poor ways people have taken care of their CDs, DVDs, etc and these are probably going to be the same people who are going to be complaining the most.
     
  7. CraigL

    CraigL Screenwriter

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    I've had rot on CD-R's before...but never on a store bought disc. But I have to say that the CD-R's were supposed to be some of the best. [​IMG]
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    This sounds like a good topic for Penn and Tellers "Bullshit" [​IMG]

    As far as CD rot...CD's aren't dual layered (where most rot comes from) so I can't see why this is any sort of issue. I (along with MANY others) have been buying CD's for over 20 years, as explained, people treat them badly, they leave them in their car, they use them as frisbees and coasters and I haven't heard anyone complain of a bad disc yet.

    I can believe the LD rot because of the manufacturing process, but the DVD rot just seems like it's blown out of proportion to the number of real cases.

    It would seem that the mass amounts of DVD's being sold would suggest that there would be quite a few cases where people experience 'rot' but when you compare that to the number of discs being bought, that percentage is probably infinitesimal. I can believe that because store bought CD's are 'pressed' whereas CD-R's are 'burned'. Also, I'm almost positive that 'burned' CD's have deeper grooves, so it just seems that the combination of deep grooves and being burned would suggest a better chance of something going wrong over a 'stamped' CD.
     
  9. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    Personally, I'd never permanently store a large number of DVD's in a changer. Call me paranoid, but don't most players generate at least a little heat internally while operating? Kind of like leaving all your discs next to a heat source-that can't be good long-term.
     
  10. Michael Hall

    Michael Hall Stunt Coordinator

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    My main fear is that J6P will begin to see these articles and use them as an excuse for their own poor handling of their discs. If something goes wrong, it's automatically "rot" and someone else's fault. This goes along with my theory that people have no sense of personal responsibility and are always seeking to blame others for their own shortcomings, but I digress. [​IMG]

    The article mentioned the other day implies that CDs/DVDs were always meant to be indestructible and if something goes wrong, it must be the manufacturer's fault. This is giving off a really bad message, in my mind, because even though quality control issues do occur from time to time on the manufacturing end of things, more often than not, the deterioration of a product is due to mishandling or abuse on the part of the consumer/owner.

    I've actually stopped renting DVDs totally, as the last few movies I had rented were horribly damaged. Most recently, a copy of "Thirteen" from the local video store number 1 had a scratch on it that was deep. I'm talking if this were a cut on flesh, it would require stitches deep. I gave it back to the clerk and they said, with a straight face, "this shouldn't affect the disc playing." The worst incidence was about a year ago when I rented "The Animatrix" from this same video store and brought it home to find a piece of food stuck to the data side. When I took it back, the clerk looked dumbfounded and proceeded to pull the Windex trick on it and tried to give it back to me saying "it's ok now." [​IMG]

    This is the kind of mentality that the general public (not everyone, mind you) is embracing...not to mention the CD visor things mentioned above, which to me is someone begging to have their discs scratched up. I was raised from the time I was a child to take care of my things, and I treat everything I own, be it CDs, DVDs, electronics, clothing, whatever with the utmost care and gentleness. To see people being so nonchalant with these things really bothers me. To me, the AP article is not only blowing things out of proportion, but it's giving people who don't take care of their things an excuse when something does go wrong.
     
  11. Chris*W

    Chris*W Stunt Coordinator

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    Unfortunately, much of my LD collection has video rot. Why? I have no clue. I store them vertically, handle them properly (I don't touch either side of the disc), and the temp. in my house is always constant. The only thing that I can think of is humidity, which is only a problem in the summer.

    I don't believe that DVD's can rot, however. If you keep the DVD in it's keep case, handle it properly, and have a constant temp. in your house there will be no problem with rot as far as I'm concerned. This guy in the article was keeping his cd's in a house that could get as cold as 40 degrees [​IMG]
     
  12. Nils Luehrmann

    Nils Luehrmann Producer

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    Precisely.
     
  13. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Derek,

    An interesting and refreshing counter-point to the CD/DVD rot paranoia running rampant lately.

    I have a couple questions for you, and the forum in general.


    You store you DVDs horizontally? I don't know why, but that seems weird to me. Why, exactly, does it matter whether they are stored horizontally or vertically? I would think, if one were apted to be better, vertically would be the way to go, but, honestly, I don't see it mattering much if they're not stacked upon one another either outside or inside of their cases?

    Just curious about this issue, and looking for a little feedback.

    Thanks.
     
  14. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I have had CDs go bad, LDs go bad, even a DVD go bad. However, issues in any case appear to have originated based on a certain manufacturing plant.

    For example, the DVD that went bad - Dances With Wolves, it was at the edge (right at layer change) and the rest of the disk played fine, at least the last time I viewed it. I got the DTS version to replace it shortly after. DWW original pressing was infamous as a disk that failed in this manner and is not typical of most DVDs.


    I have tons of 20 year old CDs in my collection with no problems, but I have had an unpleasantly high fallout among them. Still no more than about 1% though, say 10-15 out of +1000.

    Only a couple LDs have started to act up.

    I store ALL my media in a manner to prevent warpage, humidity, etc within reason (no special safe or anything in other words [​IMG] ).

    I also observe pinholes in both CDs that play and that have failed, so I don't know what to make of that.


    But it doesn't take much to realize that one thing Michael Moore was right about in Bowling for Columbine is that the media loves a fear frenzy. They shift from one to the next as quickly as they can create them and as the panic from the last one dies off.
     
  15. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    Paul,

    I tend to get sortta passionate about some issues, and it can come across in my writing. To clarify somewhat:



    Exactly - it does not matter for DVD or CD storage. The horizontal/vertical storage thing is really in holdover from the LaserDisc days, when it really did determine the health and longevity of the discs. This was due to several factors, not least was the physical size (and thus the weight). They were much more prone to sagging if left horizontally (say, by leaving a rental in their HOT car, on the passenger seat, propped halfway between the seat and the armrest, in the direct sunlight, to return on the way home from work....). Then there was the fact that they were essentially two discs glued back-to-back. So, warpage would also place strain on the adhesive such that the seal could be compromised, and we are back to the whole oxygenation of the aluminum layer thing. For CDs or DVDs, there is simply not enough mass to allow for warpage under normal temperatures. I guess I stressed my horizontal storage more as a response to the "proper storage" guidelines found in nearly every article about the issue. Also, I have heard that if discs are physically stacked in their cases, this can also create uneven pressure, which can lead not to warpage, but to uneven stress on the adhesive between data layers. That leads to the whole delamination thing. Obviously, stacking discs without the cases is not really a smart thing to do, either.

    Actually, my box sets are all stored vertically, but not because it is better. It's just that my DVD wall-racks don't have slots for the larger boxes (and, besides, the LOTR leather-bound book appearance looks really cool this way)!

    Peace... Derek
     
  16. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    Look, CD rot exists. I keep my record/CD/DVD/LD collection pristine and a bunch of my mid-to-late 80's CDs all exhibited this problem (I went through them all -- 1500 of them -- about 3 years ago). Only a couple had the "pinhole" issue.

    And LD rot isn't because someone mishandled the disc, it's because of poor manufacturing processes-- mainly at the infamous Sony DADC plant in Indiana. ALL of my rotters were from there and it's been determined that extremely poor QC at the plant (a rumor on the boards at the time was that cat urine got into a batch of glue at one point!). Discs that went bad included "The Shawshank Redemption," "Hamlet" and even Criterions like "Seven" and "Crash."

    DVD rot is more a misnomer-- it's just bad manufacturing, particularly with early double-layer discs where some sort of anomaly in the process prevents the laser from switching layers.

    But to say problems don't -- or shouldn't -- exist is more misleading than those crying panic.
     
  17. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    Mark,

    I made it a point in my first post to stress that I am not refuting the experience of others, but only commenting on my own, and inviting commentary. I realize that "rot" (in what even form it may take) exists, just not in the panic-inducing proportions that some have been claiming. Sure, there are QA problems. But, one only has to open their eyes to see all of the idiot treatment of optical media, and the vast majority of degradation is due to this. While it (rot) may exist, those who know how to use and store their discs properly (AVPhiles) are at minimal risk (note that I did not say "none"). As statistics would dictate, there are those unfortunate few AVPhiles (such as yourself) who get the lions share of problem discs, but to state that the phemonenon is an epidemic is in no way accurate and is not fair to those who don't know any better (yet).

    And as far as your LD rotters are concerned, the fact that you live in CA may have helped the process along. The LDs were bad to begin with, to be sure, but the humidity certainly did not do your discs any favors. And a great deal of the "rot" in LaserDisc was indeed due to boneheaded handling and storage (I am not suggesting you; the fact that you are here suggests that you know what you are doing).


    Peace... Derek
     
  18. WillardK

    WillardK Second Unit

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    As I read that article (it appeared in the Post the other day) I thought it's tone was more whimsical than panicky. The issues of manufacturing and care were clearly noted. I expect the so-called J6P's won't be the one's getting overly excited.
     
  19. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    It's similar to those who blame every computer problem on the computer and not the way they use it. [​IMG]
     
  20. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    Willard, just curious at to what gave you that impression....?
     

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