Longetivity of DVD's
by rositam - 2/10/11 8:07 PM
What is the current take on how long DVD's will last (that is the data or photos, etc.)? I've read anything from 2 years to 100 years!!
by: rositam February 10, 2011 8:07 PM PST
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But since many don't store the media proper, it can be less than 2 years.
There is an open discussion on this, so let's stick with the answers there.
It also depends on
It also depends on the chemical coating on the recordable side. There's about five different chemicals, each one having a different level of quality (and expense) which has a direct correlation to how long the disc will last assuming proper storage methods are used.
If you do a little googling you should be able to find a FAQ or two that tells you how to tell the difference.
And commercially pressed DVDs are generally quite a bit longer lived than any burned disc.
The question really is not one of longevity but of proper care and storage. Properly handled CDs and DVDs should outlast you and your kids.
Regular store-bought movie and data DVDs created by "pressing," when properly stored, can last a very, VERY long time, over a hundred years and longer, perhaps much longer. They do not deteriorate with mere age and careful use. DVD-Rs and DVD+Rs have a similarly long life -- the manufacturers claim 30-100 years but this is just an estimate -- obviously they haven't even been around that long and the methods they use to simulate aging are rather approximate. DVD/RWs do not have as long a life and indeed, with frequent rewriting may deteriorate almost as rapidly as video tapes, and are far more subject to damage from abuse than other CD/DVD formats.
They can, however, be damaged. They can be scratched and smudged if handled carelessly, but these conditions can generally be repaired. Storing them flat rather than upright can cause them to warp, and this damage is likely permanent. Exposing them to direct sunlight, temperature extremes, or rapid temperature fluctuations can cause irreparable damage. Scratches to the LABEL side can expose the data storage medium inside the plastic coating to corrode, and this cannot be repaired.
I have yet to have a DVD or CD fail unless it was used as a coaster or a Frisbee. Some of my music CDs are nearly thirty years old now and show no sign of any kind of deterioration.
Blu-Ray disks are even sturdier and, with proper care, should last centuries.
Ten thousand years from now, some future archaeologist might dig up our DVDs with other artifacts of our primitive civilization, and if they figure out that they weren't just some form of jewelry or decoration, and they dig up a player they can repair and a TV they can watch it on, there is a possibility that some of them might STILL work.
format changes over time
Yes, the disks will last a long time, but in a 100 years, good luck in finding a drive that can still read them.
Quality is hard to find in this market. It isn't all depending on the disc (though most of it is), the quality of the burn is just as important. If you hap-hazardly burn a disc, have the free or light version or a sketchy version of some software, the life will be much lower. Even sing great software, i have some old discs that I still access, & some new ones that are trashed. If it's important, than I make a redundant back up in case one fails.
You can start with premium or ultra premium discs. This is what I use for customers. I like Taiyo Yuden (JVC). Even their value discs are better than many of the better discs.
Top of the line is gold. I use RAM gold discs for the heavy stuff. Blu-Ray is too new to be known as reliable for home burns.
Anyone who started burning cds or dvds (when it all started) will tell you to wait for dust to settle on blu burns.
You also have to match the disc with the burner. Some have specific disc brands that they like best, or only. So be careful there. Your machine can have some part in it, if it's a bundled software. But you can come out ahead if you use all of their products disc as well. Think of dvd discs like head ache medicine. Will store brand or white brand really work, or is your head aching enough for the real stuff?
Hope this helps.
As was stated, it depends on the quality of the blank disks you use. If you go to Verbatim's web site you will see they call some of their blank DVDs "archive quality". Data stored on these disks should, in theory at least, last longer than on the cheap no-name blanks you can buy.
I shot weddings and after I do the Post processing, I put the pictures on DVD/CD to give to the bride and groom and whoever else want's to buy them.
I use Delkin Archival Gold disks that say "The 100 year disc"
I know me or anyone in the wedding won't be around in a hundred years to see if that's true, but it sounds good to everyone involved.
Now they're three hundred years . . .
For that link.
I didn't realize they were making Blu-Ray discs.
I have had a few problems with other brand BD disks and at the price of those things, that's not good.
Will order 2 or 3 of the Delkins to see if they are any better.
On a website on the history of music cd's which I linked to ten years ago, but is now unavailable (except perhaps on the Web Archive site), the author stated his belief, which I agree with, that commercially produced discs are made of highly inert materials and could last MILLENNIA if stored properly. Seal a disc in an acid-neutral cardboard sleeve and toss it into King Tut's tomb and there's a good chance it will read like new whenever it may be found, providing the stuff it's stored with (including your fingerprints) doesn't spread rot. Recordable discs are not so chemically stable and the read layer is unlikely to be readable after a couple of centuries, although storage conditions play a big role. Keeping discs clean and storing them in acid-neutral containers give them the best fight chance, and I would hope it goes without saying that burning data to disc is a better strategy than hoping your heirs will bother to figure out what's on your hard drive after you're gone...
This topic has already been covered and it wouldf be wise to check the "Storage forum" for the extended version of this. But it boils down to:
1) archival media
2) proper storage & handling
3) good retrieval type drive
4) don't buy anything on the cheap(my advise)
good luck -----Willy
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