Scratches on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by AlanBrom, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. AlanBrom

    AlanBrom Second Unit

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    I have noticed a few DVDs in my collection with some light surface scratches on them, but it doesn't effect their playing performance in any way. Is this a thing to ever worry about?
     
  2. I buy allot of used movies, so most of my collection is scratched to some degree.

    I've only returned a handful of disc due to playback problems, so you can assume the format is scratch and scuff resistant to a great degree.

    But...one does wonder if your (my) next player will be so tolerant.
     
  3. Kimo Bonnelycke

    Kimo Bonnelycke Stunt Coordinator

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    While a minor surface scratch is probably ok, it drives me nuts when I get new discs that have scratches on them. I guess I am too anal about this. I have noticed lately though, that the quality of DVD cases has gone down. I purchased 10 disks the other day (from a mix of studios) (I am replacing my collection that was stolen a couple of months ago), and 5 of the DVD cases were damaged. Because of this, the DVD's were loose, and all had scratches on them. Now I have watch them to make sure they aren't messed up. Funny thing is, I am the guy who lightly shakes each DVD case to make sure the disc is not loose inside.

    Kimo B.
     
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  5. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    It all depends on the studio, I think.

    For instance, with anime, out of about 160 discs I have only had 1 disc that was defective (this was because of a mass production error though). Some of these big-name titles are just FLYING off the production line so quantity might come over quality.
     
  6. TommyT

    TommyT Stunt Coordinator

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    I've been getting films from Netflix for several mos now & it's rare that I get a disc that doesn't have hundreds of little scratches on the surface, but, they're never deep & don't seem to affect the playback in any way. Before I watch any disc but I clean it off because they're almost always loaded with fingerprints or other goop.

    I did rent Donnie Darko last year from BB (before I got into Nflix) & the disc had a huge gouge that made about 5 mins of the film unwatchable. I also bought a copy of AI recently that I had to return for the same reason.

    The shaking factor is something I do myself. Seems to happen mostly with WB snap cases.
     
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  8. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    Who thinks this is a good idea (I sure do)? .......

    Why can't the DVD companies put the disc on its hub upside down? This method of packing, of course, wouldn't help with a two-sided disc. But it'd be nice for single-sided platters (which most are).

    If the label side were always kept DOWN, then on the occasions when it pops off its hub, it wouldn't (most likely) damage the data side.

    I like the idea. I would think it'd save them a bunch of money on returns too.

    Of course, I suppose we'd then have to deal with slightly damaged silkscreened "label" sides of discs on occasion. (Although I'm not sure how easily the label side would scuff up. Don't want to find out really. [​IMG])

    But I'm sure we're all in agreement: It'd be a lot less agonizing to have the label side scuffed a bit, instead of having the data side scratched and unplayable.

    Somebody start a "Data Side Up On Hub" petition post-haste! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. DannyS

    DannyS Second Unit

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    From what I can recall, that would be certain doom for a DVD. Cd's are designed that the plastic coating on the play side is more protective than the printed side. I'm sure DVDs are made the same way.
     
  10. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  11. Sean Campbell

    Sean Campbell Second Unit

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    I recently received a copy of the Babylon 5 season 3 boxset. When it arrived, two of the discs were loose inside and badly marked. I was going to return it, but when I tried them out the discs in question seemed to play perfectly.
    I bought one of those SkipDoctor things about a year back. I've tried it on music CDs before ( with positive results ) but I'm still quite reluctant to try it on a DVD. I'm holding it in reserve for a worst case scenario... ie. damaged DVD of a deleted title.
     
  12. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    Speaking personally, Skip Dr. works really well on DVDs, because the scratches that result from the Skip Dr. don't interfere with how the read head reads the pits.
     
  13. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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  14. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got a new copy of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST. The discs weren't loose but Disc One had a cluster of scratches on it. I checked a few scenes and it seems fine, but it drives me nuts too!

    Johnny B.
     
  15. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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  16. Michael Hall

    Michael Hall Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the worst thing I've ever seen regarding scratched discs was when I rented "The Animatrix" about a month and a half ago from the local video store (not a large chain, but a chain nonetheless). When I got the disc out of the case, I turned it over to inspect it (as I always do when renting a DVD) and found a huge chunk of some kind of food stuck to the disc surface, in addition to about a million small scratches. I got a cloth and wiped everything up, but with about five minutes to go in the disc, it started pixellating like crazy. When I returned it, I told the manager about what happened, and he looked as shocked as I was.

    As for the season box sets ("Angel" in this case), I would suggest contacting Fox first (although I have no idea how to do so) and see if they can offer a replacement. My big fear with box sets like that is that I will devote hours and hours of watching it and, like you, come to the end and find a defect which would entail buying another set and sitting through the first five discs all over again just to make sure none of them are damaged. Although I enjoyed the "Alien Quadrilogy" set immensely, the closer I got to the end of the 9 discs, the more the thought entered into my mind of "please don't let these discs mess up."
     
  17. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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    I receive hundreds of DVDs by mail or courier. In my experience, most discs that have come loose in the package aren't scratched at all. The plastic on the data side of the discs is usually made of a harder material than the plastic used for the hub of a DVD case, especially Amarays. So the "scratches" on the disc are actually just plastic residue from the hub of the case. I've found that some Windex sprayed on the playing side and wiped with a soft cloth takes those "scratches" right off.

    Also, for all the complaining people do about Warner's snapper cases, that design historically produces the least amount of floating discs in my experience. This point has really been driven home lately as I've converted thousands of discs in my collection to a caseless filing system. I've had just a relative handful of broken snappers (and thus loose discs) vs. dozens of broken hubs with other designs.
     
  18. RodneyT

    RodneyT Stunt Coordinator

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    My experience:

    I purchased the multi-disc release of Cleopatra when it came out. Put disc one in player. Got about an hour into film, then the film went all pixellated and wouldn't play. returned set to store the next week, and was given a replacement copy.

    This was a year ago.

    back in November, i was watching the Matrix (original) on DVD and at about the lobby shootout things went haywire again. I inspected the disc, cleaned it, and tried again. Same result. So i rang a mate of mine in the industry and i purchased myself a new DVD player that afternoon (about five minutes after they closed, too) and tried it. Matrix shootout looked perfect. i didnt have to buy another copy, thankfully.

    Assuming the error correction technology improves from model to model on DVD players, how is it possible to determine if its the disc at fault, or the player? Is there an easy way, or is it pot luck?
     
  19. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    If the discs were upside down and came loose they could still get scratched on the promotional papers inside, or more likely, the clips that hold the booklets in. If a disc gets loose in the case there's no good scenario as to how its oriented, it would be best to minimize the amount of discs that come loose.

    Of course, of the many discs that have come loose that I purchase I've never had one that didn't play perfectlly.
     
  20. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

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    I don't always watch DVDs within the "return window", but I always open them and check for scratches. Minor scratches hardly ever cause problems.
     

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