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Gold DVD Discs

Discussion in 'DVD±R media' started by janlafata, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. janlafata

    janlafata Regular member

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    I don't know why I never looked into this before...I always assumed that when you record something on a DVD+ or - R that the data would be safe and that the disc would last forever.

    Well I just ran into an article that claimed that you can only expect 2-5 years life span on some discs, even with decent brand x DVD's So that got me looking into getting some of these "gold" coated discs, made by Verbatim and others:

    http://www.gotmedia.com/verbatim-dvdr-8x-gold-archival-grade-96320.html

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FAJQHS

    I've heard that they can last up to 100 years, though someone did warm me though that certain DVD burners have problems with these types of discs. They are expensive! Anyone have any experience with these?
     
  2. scum101

    scum101 Guest

    only gold disks I have ever seen were cr-r a long long time ago.. and dvd-ram disks.

    Code:
     dvd-ram disks 
    bloody forums are broke again... hahahaha
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 16, 2009
  3. JoeRyan

    JoeRyan Active member

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    Gold has one advantage--it does not oxidize in the presence of oxygen or sulfur. If a disc is properly sealed so that no air gets to the mirror layer, then it make no difference whether or not the mirror layer is gold or silver alloy.

    Gold is fine for CD-Rs since Taiyo Yuden used that metal in its first CD-Rs and the specifications that silver alloys tried to meet were those set using gold as the reflective layer. For DVD+/-R, however, I never found in any testing that gold discs could even match silver alloy much less exceed it in quality. Average parity inner errors on the best silver alloy material were about 1-2; average on the best gold discs were 30-40, even in drives tuned for the gold discs.

    Life span on any disc depends on: 1) the quality of the initial recording; 2) the stability of the recording material and the manufacturing process; and 3) the care, handling, and storage of the disc. Some discs can fail immediately after recording if they are incompatible with the recording drive. Some may fail a week later; others may fail later. However, well recorded DVD+/-R discs in the most complete and thorough environmental testing ever done were estimated to be able to last 52 years on average with 95% of them lasting a bit more than 39 years. (CD-Rs in the same testing methodology had results of 128 years and 112 years, if I remember correctly. I have the results somewhere.) There are claims of 100 years for some DVDs and 300 years for some CD-Rs, but the extrapolation of data was based on short-term testing with only one environmental stress factor--heat--and a real test needs two stresses--heat and humidity.
     
  4. janlafata

    janlafata Regular member

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    So it sounds like you don't think going the gold route is worth it then?

    I just got off the phone with an online vendor who claimed that, in her opinion, a person would have more of a guarantee that a gold disc will last a lot longer. She even claimed 100 years. I don't think she was just trying to sell me a product either. She sounded very knowledgeable.

    Here's the deal with me...I have lot's and lot's of AVI files and I'm adding more all the time. I put a great deal of time and energy in not only gathering these files, then editing them, then finally, burning them on blank DVD's using good software (TMPGEnc) I also use TDK brand blank discs and record them on some very reliable LG DVD burners.

    But when I saw that article the other day about some standard DVD's lasting anywhere from 2-5 years, I thought..."Dang I gonna have to redo these projects over again a few years. That's a lot of work".

    Sure I could just stay the course and keep my AVI's on my hard drive and maybe get a bigger drive as my collection builds up or I could go the gold route where at least I might feel a little more confident that once I burned a disc onto gold, that I would never need a backup, because I don't know if I'm always going to be able to keep backups of files for the next 50 years.

    So that's what got me looking into alternative discs.
     
  5. JoeRyan

    JoeRyan Active member

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    Recording the files onto gold discs will immediately give you discs with the kinds of error rates you can expect from regular discs 15 years from now. Or you could transfer your recordings from TDK discs to other TDK discs in 15 years and be back to where you started and save a bundle of money. Gold discs should give you LESS confidence that you are starting out with a good recording because the initial error rates are HIGHER than those with regular discs. The "end of life" for a properly recorded and stored discs is the point at which the error rates have creeped up so high that error correction can no longer resolve the data. Gold discs start out closer to that threshold than regular discs--and you pay more for them.

    I'm glad the online vendor had an opinion that gold was better. I have no opinion whatsoever--my information is based on the data I have seen from real-world testing, shared with the Library of Congress, and used to convince one gold disc supplier to eliminate the exaggerated "300-year lifetime" claim from his discs. The only way I see that gold could be better is in its resistance to oxidation that can seep through the double-layer construction of a DVD. It is that construction that may cause recorded DVD discs to have life-time expectations that are half those of CD-Rs. However, I could never find any manufacturer whose gold discs could initially perform as well as any standard DVD, and neither could colleagues who also tested gold discs for qualification for the brands they supported. (CD-R discs, as I mentioned before, were a different story.) Gold simply did not work as well as silver alloy for DVDs, and even Verbatim had to dilute the gold in the "archival" alloy they used with a greater concentration of silver in order to get the discs to perform as well as standard discs. There were two reasons to put gold in the discs in the first place: 1) a marketing advantage to convince people who were willing to pay more for more confidence; and 2) to raise the price of the discs to gain some margin in a medium that rarely brings any profit.

     
  6. janlafata

    janlafata Regular member

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    Well I think that you've got me pretty convinced to stay away from gold then. So what is it then...just a marketing ploy? They give you that "you have to have this" to be happy kind of thing?

    My main concern also, besides the money was whether my DVD burner would even handle them, which LG could not even assure me of and whether they would play back ok in my home player and Samsung wasn't sure about that either.

    So the next question then is....Am I ok with the current TDK's or would I want to at least upgrade to a better quality silver disc? A friend of mine recommended the Verbatim with the Advanced Azo Recording Dye or the TAIYO YUDEN DVD-R.

    But would either of those necessarily be that much better than the TDK's. Also what's the straight about DVD-R vs + R's? I just got through reading a very lengthy and technical article where this guy totally rips apart DVD-R's:

    http://adterrasperaspera.com/blog/2006/10/30/how-to-choose-cddvd-archival-media

    Currently I use TDK + R.

    Thanks for all of your help!
     
  7. JoeRyan

    JoeRyan Active member

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    If one ignores the amazing number of grammatical errors, half the information in the article is worthwhile. The other half is incorrect. There is little significant difference in the performance of DVD+R versus -R, although the environmental testing that was done indicated that DVD+R did have an advantage in error correction and stability (partly because of the ADIP technology that was designed for DVD+RW random access--a point that the author forgot to mention.)

    The author is correct in stating that Taiyo Yuden probably manufactures the best DVD+/-R media, but he fails to mention that their CD-Rs still use cyanine dye. Phthalocyanine dye, used by almost all other CD-R manufacturers, is superior in terms of light and heat resistance. The 128-year life estimated from the environmental tests I cited were based on phthalocyanine dye. Taiyo Yuden has a European claim of 30 years for their CD-Rs and 50 years for their DVDs.

    As for TDK, a lot depends on how good the recording quality is based on the compatibility of TDK media (mostly CMC production but sometimes Ritek production) and your drive. If the results are good--parity inner errors averaging below 10 or 20 and parity outer errors averaging below 1--then the discs ought to last a long time. You ought to check every year or so to check the rate of increase in errors; and as long as it is not significant, your discs are safe. Taiyo Yuden and Verbatim (also CMC production for the latter) have a good history of quality, and there is nothing in their dye formulations that would be inferior (or superior) to the azo-cyanine dyes used by other brands. Watch the MID codes on TDK, though. If they change, that may be an indication of a cost-saving switch to cyanine dye instead of the better azo-cyanine dyes they had been using. I doubt either Taiyo Yuden or Verbatim would risk such a switch, but TDK may be more willing to give into compromises in the future. And any change would be likely be reflected in a change of stamper/MID code because the stamper geometry and the dye performance have to be tuned together.
     
  8. janlafata

    janlafata Regular member

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    One more question...I forgot to ask you this...So what quality of DVD do the motion picture companies use when they sell pre-recorded DVD's and what kind of lifespan can people expect out of them?
     
  9. creaky

    creaky Moderator Staff Member

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    They use pressed DVD's...
     
  10. janlafata

    janlafata Regular member

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    How long are they expected to last?
     
  11. JoeRyan

    JoeRyan Active member

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    Pressed DVDs use aluminum as the mirror layer, just as CDs do. It is just as prone to oxidation as silver alloy is, and the fact that so few have problems is an indication of how good the sealing is. (The so-called "laser rot" was not rot at all but either contaminants in the aluminum target or chamber during sputtering or on the substrate, or poor sealing of the mirror layer.)

    There are two weaknesses of DVDs: the bond between the two layers that can be breached through the centering hole and the tendency to become less than nearly perfectly flat (tilt problems). Proper storage, particularly away from humidity that can weaken the bonding seal, can bring these things to a lifetime determined by the polycarbonate used as the carrier. One can expect more than 100 years of freedom from oxidation of the plastic in most cases--far longer than the expected availability of a working DVD player.
     
  12. janlafata

    janlafata Regular member

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    On other words my concerns as to if it will even record in my DVD burner and playback on my home DVD machine are valid?
     
  13. meyto

    meyto Member

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    Hey, guys , thanks for your information.
     
  14. JoeRyan

    JoeRyan Active member

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    "100-year archival" discs using gold are no better than standard discs, and none of them are likely to reach 100 years. Regular Taiyo Yuden discs conform to the strictest quality standards in the business and are generally the most compatible (with the exception of some 16X versions only because they were late to market). The use of gold is a marketing ploy that makes little technical sense. The claim of 100 years contradicts the most thorough archiving environmental study ever done--and most likely ever to be done since it took almost a year using thermal ovens required for the high, stable temperatures and multiple stable levels of humidity. According to four Japanese disc manufacturers I know, such ovens are not available in Japan.

    Does "less compatibility" mean recording compatibility or playback compatibility? If it is the latter, then a perfect archival disc with no errors whatsover that won't play on all DVD players is hard to distinguish from a disc riddled with so many errors that only a player with excellent error correction can play it. What's the point? Spending extra money on gold discs, especially with gold at its present cost, is a waste.
     
  15. janlafata

    janlafata Regular member

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    After all of my research, I decided not to pursue the golds. Just heard from too many experts about too many problem with them..I am however, on the advice of a good tech friend, going to just plan on re-burning everything after a few years and at that point, I'm going to switch from the TDK's to Verbatim Azo Dye's
     
  16. lordsmurf

    lordsmurf Regular member

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    Gold is also a less-reflective material. As media ages, and readers/lasers age, the gold material will be the first disc to go unreadable. The disc may be fine, but it really won't matter.

    It's just a sucker ploy, to be honest. To most people gold is better than silver, even if that's a silly notion. Look at all the inferior gold-plated wires that sell, when a well-made copper wire would be so much better.

    Gold is good for jewelery, and that's about it.

    Verbatim's gold media still use silver reflective. It's likely that Verbatim simply makes "gold" media to compete with the gold-demanding market -- even if it is ridiculous.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  17. JoeRyan

    JoeRyan Active member

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    The reflectivity of infrared light from a gold surface is 2% less than that from a silver alloy surface, either in a vacuum or through a polycarbonate cover of equal thickness. However, thinner deposits of gold applied to reduce costs, can reflect 10% less than silver alloy; but the problem with signal modulation in such cases is more severe than any difference in reflectivity. In point of reference, the inner layer of a double layer disc is 45-60% less reflective than a gold mirror layer. That disc, not a gold disc, will be the "first to go unreadable" as the medium ages.

    The reflectivity of either mirror surface will not change over time unless sulfur-bearing air somehow were to leak into the seal between the polycarbonate and the deposited metal. In those instances, the silver alloy will tarnish. The gold will not.
     

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