How serious is DVD "ROT"?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jonathan W, Jan 19, 2002.

  1. Jonathan W

    Jonathan W Agent

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    Hi folks!
    Every time I forget about this nagging issue, I will see yet another alarming post here at the forum as a reminder. It used to be simply the older discs like CONTACT that had trouble, but now O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU and Anchor Bay titles like THE WICKER MAN and FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN are displaying - for some - symptoms of playing great the first time, but later on, malfunctioning.
    I understand from the debate on this forum that "ROT" is misleading, and that the cause for this problem is still debated. Also, many enthusiasts here - like myself - have not had any problems of this nature - yet (After hearing of the defective coating on FRANKENSTEIN CREATED WOMAN, I have inspected the disk several times). Since I collect DVDs and enjoy the idea of their permanence - thus relying on their archival stability - it naturally alarms me that my large collection is housing in its umpteen thousand hours of viewing little glitches that will render disks unreadable.
    My questions to this great Forum are:
    [​IMG] What is the official word from the studios and manufacturers on this issue? Are they still suggesting that our DVDs will outlast us?
    [​IMG] Do collectors out there still consider DVDs largely to be an excellent and reliable archival format for our favorite media?
    [​IMG] Is the daunting example of Laser Rot in LDs something to consider here - insofar as the fact that LDs were once considered a longlasting means of collecting movies?
    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    I don't know about DVD rot....but I've had discs that play fine the day I get them,, then a few months to a year later I try again and they wont play. But, when I go back even later, they play fine.
     
  3. Jason Hughes

    Jason Hughes Supporting Actor

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    Jason Hughes
  4. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    While I have no opinion on dvd rot - I have never experienced it - I wouldn't go around comparing it to laser rot, which is a whole other ball game. The coatings on laser discs were much more pourous to moisture than any dvd or cd ever was. Although there are potentially many causes of laser rot, I firmly believe that this was the main one, after years of reading reports of extensive laser rot from collectors in high humidity areas.

    There have been occasional flaws in dvd manufacture, but all in all, I see nothing to worry about. If there were, this forum would be loaded, top to bottom, with threads about disc failures, and it just isn't.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I stopped counting a long time ago, but I have well over a thousand DVDs and have yet to encounter so-called "DVD rot". I've seen defective DVDs; I've had DVDs that get damaged from improper handling; and I've had players go bad, the first symptom being that they stop recognizing certain discs. I think the reported incidence of "DVD rot" is greatly exaggerated.

    Laser rot was something else. It had specific and identifiable symptoms; it developed over time; and it followed a predictable course that could be charted with a fair degree of certainty. I've seen it happen to LDs I own, and I've never seen anything comparable with DVD.

    M.
     
  6. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    I have my original CONTACT DVD from when it first came out and it still plays fine. I surely hope that it does not begin to malfunction like everyone is talking about.
     
  7. Craig

    Craig Second Unit

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    When VHS and BETA first hit the consumer market back in the mid-late 70s there was a lot of speculation about how long the tapes would last. There were a couple of articles that predicted that the coating would separate from the tape regardless of use and that 10 years would be the maximum shelf life of a video tape.

    I recently dug up my original tape (60 min. SP) that came with my RCA Selectavision VHS deck in '78. It played fine, had a jumble of TV shows from the late 80's on it, nothing interesting unfortunately. By the way the first 120 minute VHS tape I purchased cost $25, although prices dropped rapidly, and they were soon down in the $10-$12 range, which seemed like a bargain.

    There were also predictions of CD rot when they arrived on the market. So far I haven't had problem with my any of my nearly 20 year old CDs either.

    Just goes to show speculation about 'rot' comes up everytime a new format appears, and it usually turns out to be nothing.
     
  8. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    In the other currently active thread (why exactly was another one on this topic needed?), I put in a link to Anchor Bay's replacement program for discs that develop problems. So that's one studio that has faced up to it. Warner never will, because they don't give a rat's ass about DVD.
     
  9. CamiloCamacho

    CamiloCamacho Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, i think it was a rumour, but now two of my discs are facing the same problem. I bet that in a year we will hear a lot about this problem. Now that DVD's are mainstream, studios will hear.

    (if J6P complains about not filling it tv, imagine what he will do when he realizes that he can only see half of the movie?)
     
  10. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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    All my DVDs melted. I only wish that they would only just rot. [​IMG]
     
  11. Horatio Jones

    Horatio Jones Stunt Coordinator

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    of my 300 or so DVDs the only one that has ever malfunctioned is Cool Hand Luke, anyone else ever have problems with this one?
     
  12. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  13. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    WB only launched the format.

    The only DVD that Ive had "rot" was the older version of Hellraiser2:Hellbound. After a year the audio on the disc seemed to have died. The disc played but no sound.
     
  14. Kevin McCorry

    Kevin McCorry Stunt Coordinator

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    Would it be fair to assume that if a disc is going

    to die, it'll do so within a year to 18 months?

    Would it also be fair to say that if a disc hasn't

    rotted after 2-3 years it should be okay?
     
  15. TSOLfan

    TSOLfan Auditioning

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    I've only had a problem with the so called DVD "ROT" with one title. It was Pee Wee's Big Adventure. It happens after the layer change and the movie pixellates horribly on my Pioneer DV-525. On a friend's PS2, after the layer switch, the movie dies and the PS2 pops up an error saying the disc is unreadable. On a Phillps player that a friend has, after the layer switch, the player will lock up or keep jumping back and forth until it locks up.
    For some screen shots of what I'm talking about, here are some I uploaded to my old Purdue web account (which seems to be linked from one of the links in the DVD Talk forum, amusingly enough).
    http://icdweb.cc.purdue.edu/~spriglej/pwba/
    I tried contacting Warner Brothers multiple times, with no response. I even sent them a link to my screen shots.
    With over 200 DVD's, I don't have the time to go through each movie and check them, heck, I don't even have time to watch all the movies I buy.
     
  16. Sean Patrick

    Sean Patrick Supporting Actor

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    i think a lot of people immediately claim "disc rot" when really it's a player/incompatability/dvd player firmware issue. Back in 1998 when I first started buying dvd's, i had many issues with discs and certain players, especially with layer changes (panasonic problems with Fargo and Contact, toshiba problems with American History X and Dawn of the Dead, etc). with my current player (el-cheapo Pioneer 434) i have yet to encounter a disc error).

    of course, Anchor Bay has had many misprintings (problems with Hellraiser 2, Opera, Beyond) but these are pressing/authoring problems that will show up from day 1 with the dvd, not years down the road.

    i think CONTACT is the cloest any dvd has come to MAYBE having disc "rot" problems from its first pressing (i.e., problems that start YEARS after first purchasing it)

    my 2 cents
     
  17. RobR

    RobR Second Unit

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    That "DVD rot" might actually be a very simple thing: a dirty disc. You should try cleaning it first to see if it clears up the problem.
     

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