on June 13, 2006
I've tried several different brands, and these are the best. I've burned over 700 DVDs and no coasters. Memorex is the worst and should be avoided like the plague. Peace.
I've used Verbatim disks a lot over the years and overall they have performed very well. In fact, just recently I tested some DVDs that I burned 5-7 years ago that had some family photos and videos on it, and many of the Memorex and Ritek DVDs were unreadable, but the copies on Verbatims were fine. So I have no personal problem with the Verbatims. Fortunately I had a second backup copy of this material on other media that was still good.
I've also used some of Verbatim's dual layer 7.4 gig disks and have had good luck with those as well. I now have Verbatim DL DVDs that are 4-6 years old that are still readable. Overall I like Verbatim and would have rated them 5 stars but rate them 4 now for the reasons I discuss below.
One advantage to Verbatim DVDs is that they pioneered a more stable metal-stabilized azo dye that is said to be even better than Taiyo-Yuden's super-cyanine dye.
However, in doing a lot of online research recently reading various discussions and blogs about what is the best media for long-term storage, there was general agreement from many of the participants in these discussions that Verbatim's once great quality had slipped in recent years. People were saying that Verbatim had licensed its technology to various offshore manufacturers who were producing the disks under their label and those disks were showing high failure rates. If you can find the ones that really are made in Japan, though, it was said those are probably still good.
In fact, I am about to purchase some Verbatim DVD+RW disks to make another copy of my personal files onto these RW type disks. That's because RW's don't use optical dyes, which can age and degrade over time; instead the data is stored by an exotic alloy--often GeSbTe (germanium-antimony-tellurium), but I have also seen InSbTe (indium-antimony-tellurium) mentioned-- which should be more stable. This is possible because the alloy has different reflectance in the crystalline vs. the amorphous, non-crystalline state. The problem is that since these are rewritable disks there is the danger that you could accidently overwrite them, which is why many people prefer the optical dye media which are write-once. For me I don't think that is a problem so I'm willing to try some of these and just see how well they do over the long term. I'll check them again in 5 and 10 years (assuming I live that long :-)) and see how they do compred to the optical media.
But after extensive research on the best optical media I settled on Taiyo Yuden. Their name came up again and again in the forums, and no one complained of any serious problems. Their reliability and consistency was especially held in high regard. Since I went to so much trouble researching this issue, I thought I would report on what I found here.
Be sure that you have real Taiyo Yuden though, as they are often faked. True T-Y media has a noticeable little ring in the dye area near the hub, which stands out and is easily seen. It's said this is more expensive to do and is harder to fake. Also make sure that on the package it really does say made in Japan. T-Y is only made in Japan. They have not diluted their quality by outsourcing to anyone else as has been said in the case of Verbatim. Also, avoid any disks from China and United Arab Emirates. Those consistently came up in the forums as among the worst. Those from India could sometimes be good and Taiwan was usually okay.
Verbatim does have a point in their favor, though, in that their dye technology can be shown to be more resistant to ultraviolet light damage. However, unless you're in the habit of leaving your DVDs on the dashboard of your car or something this isn't as big a deal as has been claimed. And since many people bought the Verbatims in the past for archival purposes they're going to be stored in a dark place anyway so it's not really a factor for most people.
The same thing goes for the previously very well thought of gold/silver (actually aluminum) DVD-R disks from Mitsui. These disks are expensive (over $2 per disk) compared to Taiyo Yuden's which you can get for about 36 cents apiece if you buy a hundred pack. The problem is that Mitsui has since broken up into two subdivisions, Mitsui Advanced Media of America and of Europe, and people were saying the quality just wasn't as good as in the old days.
Also, people were pointing out that the necessity for gold has been over-hyped in recent years. That's because it just isn't necessary to pay the extra cost anymore. Gold was preferred some years back because it doesn't oxidize if there is a defect in the polycarbonate plastic layer covering the thin metal layer, and was thought to be superior because of that. However, it turns out that had more to do with defects back then in the manufacturing process of applying the plastic layer evenly to the disks. That problem was solved years ago and now there's no real reason to go to the extra expense of the gold, although many people still think it's the best archival grade media. There's no doubt it's a good media, the problem is that they can't prove that it's worth spending 6 or 7 times as much for a disk that doesn't last any longer according to these accelerated aging tests that have been done. Nevertheless, you will often find websites advertising the gold types as the only true archival quality grade media.
I did come up with one very interesting find on a gold/silver disk that might be worth it for very critical information. Mitsubishi-Kagaku recently teamed up and have produced a dual layer gold/silver disk similar the earlier Mitsui disks. They're also over $2 per disk but there's a very interesting difference. It turns out that DVDs are typically stamped from a glass master with runs of usually around 500,000 before they replace the master. After the fist couple of hundred thousand, the master isn't that accurate anymore and that can cause problems. Manufacturers typically mix disks from different parts of the runs together when you buy them. It's thought that this is why you can buy a cake box of 50 or 100 disks, have no problems and then run into several failed burns with apparently no reason. Very likely those disks were from the last 100,000 or 200,000 of the run.
However, these Mitsubishi-Kagaku disks are guaranteed to be from runs of less than 25,000 disks, which should be well within the tolerances of the glass master. You pay for it though, and a cake box of 25 disks is around $65. You can find them on the web by looking up "Century disk." The dye is a metal stabilized azo dye which is said to be possibly the best dye, too. I bought a small number of these disks for some very critical data as well as the Taiyo-Yuden and have been very happy with the results. No "coasters" at all.
By the way, there are several reasons to prefer the DVD+R media to the -R. Unfortunately, although Taiyo Yuden makes +R's, Century disks only come in -R format. There are several reasons for this superiority. One is that +R's have better bit error checking and correction algorithms than -R's, which could prevent lost data. The second is better wobble detection (all disks have this and it has to be corrected for during recording and playback). The third is that +R's have more than one burn profile for the laser power, whereas -Rs only have one. This makes it more likely to get a better burn since the dye is sensitive to the laser power.
Whichever way you decide to go, good luck with your archiving and optical storage!
on August 28, 2009
EDIT: This review applies to Verbatim 95098 & 97459 (Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging of 95098) specifically!
EDIT 2-16-2013: I absolutely love Amazon & Verbatim's Frustration-Free Packaging! It keeps your DVDs safe and sound much like NewEgg's packaging, but without all those pesky packing peanuts!
And, for what it is worth, the batch I received recently was manufactured in Taiwan. In fact, I believe all the spindles with the Frustration-Free Packaging are manufactured and packaged in Taiwan....
Bearing in mind that some media and some optical drives just do not get along, I would say that these discs (manufactured by Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.) are the closest in quality to the cream of the crop (Taiyo Yuden) that I have come across. The "media ID code" that you should look for in this case is MCC 004.
The thing to remember when buying blank DVD media is that brand name means little: you want a good manufacturer. For instance, I have burned some TDK media for a friend and noticed that one batch was manufactured by Ritek and another by CMC Magnetics.
I strongly suggest visiting digitalfaq dot com and check out -->/reviews/dvd-media before you buy!
Also, check out the freeware tool DVD Identifier, as well, so you know who is manufacturing your media. This will provide easy access to your disc's media ID.
Hope this helps to cut back on "coasters!"
EDIT December 21,2012 in reply to Anonymous comment below:
There are lots of good references on the web such as videohelp dot com and MyCE dot com, among others.
I used to like DVD Identifier (and still do), but it's database has not been updated for a couple years. But that doesn't bother me since all I burn are MCC 004s and it identifies those just fine.
-- I recommend using ImgBurn to write the discs and it will show you the manufacturer of your blank disc. A quick Googling of ImgBurn will get you to their site - Amazon keeps killing my links to ImgBurn dot com and other resources.
Verbatim branded MCC004s are manufactured in a few different countries and I have found subtle differences between those made in Taiwan and those in India. These are mostly cosmetic and the performance is not impacted - at least not in my experience and I've burned well over 1000 of these from both Taiwan and India and can count the coasters on one hand.
-- Bear in mind that I am talking about the Verbatim 95098 line specifically.
There are others that you should avoid. For instance, the "Life Series" is NOT manufactured to MCC standards using their proprietary AZO dye - rather, those are Moser Baer blanks that are branded Verbatim.
This is where some of the confusion comes in because Moser Baer (India) does manufacture some 95098s and others for MCC and those are OK because they are made to MCC specifications.
Bottom line: If you want a good blank disc, buy the Verbatim 95098 and make sure ImgBurn shows the the media code to be MCC 004 and you should be fine.
on December 12, 2004
Verbatim 16x DVD+R (media code MCC004, by Mitsubishi) is currently one of the best 16x DVD+R media in the market, in my opinion. I have 100 of these (4x25 pack) and consistenly burn excellent in my Plextor 712a (at 12x) and two BenQ 1620A (at 16x). By excellent means every burn will give a very low PIE/PIF (Parity Inner Errors/Failure) and zero POF (Parity Outer Failure). I'm sorry if its too technical but this is how I measure burn quality. When the burn quality is excellent, you will most likely never get any playback problem. Visit cdfreaks dot com in "media" or "dvd recording" forum for more information. I also own many different media from Taiyo Yuden TY T01/T02/G02, Ricoh R01/R02, Sony08D1, MCC003/004 etc and can confirm that MCC004 is one of the best quality. For your information, these companies (TY, Ricoh, Sony, Mitsubishi, Maxell) make a very good "dye" for DVD and CD disks under different brand (Fuji, TDK, Memorex, Verbatim, Sony etc), along with other poor dye makers. With a dvd identifier (free) you can check the media code of the disk, hence you will know who makes the disk.
on November 10, 2010
I've used to have good success over the years with Verbatim quality and they used to be worth the extra few dollars. Sadly this is no longer the case, you may need to look elsewhere, I am disappointed.
This purchase from November 2010 shows the discs are now made in India, so even though they have the same product code as the ones that used to be made in Singapore or Taiwan, they are not up to the same standard.
They have a very heavy chemical "stink" to them. The few discs I have leftover from the previous Verbatim purchase have no such smell.
During burning, there are several "pauses", even at only 8x - again, only on the ones from India and not Singapore/Taiwan, with the same burner.
"Disc Quality" scan by Nero CD-DVD Speed shows many more errors on the India made discs vs Singapore/Taiwan discs.
So perhaps Verbatim sold off the rights to use their name for another manufacturer or perhaps the India factory is not up to par, but I am upset that I wasted money and trust on this purchase.
on February 17, 2005
...and this is the best media I have come across at the 16x speed. I have tried it on three brands of burners with only 1 failure out of 50 tries (and that one was likely as much my system's fault than the disk's fault). The three DVD Burners brands that I have used are Lite-on, Rosewill, and MicroAdvantage. They ARE buggy on certain Pioneer Burners, so you may want to avoid them if you are using a Pioneer.
With regard to high failure rates, before giving up, be sure to update the latest firmware on your burner, turn off any programs running during the burning stage, and make sure your power supply is sufficient (which can cause errors at higher speeds or the outside of the disk). If that doesn't work, you may want to try different software; when I did, my cheap DVD's went from jumping around to solid as a rock. If you still have high failure rates, it could be defective and subject to warranty. Otherwise, you may just have to stay away.
But, in my opinion, these are the most reliably produced disks out there, with Ridata coming in a close second.
on January 22, 2011
As other reviewers have mentioned, this is not the Verbatim product you may have bought in the past. These disks were unable to be read by any PC I tried them in including a new HP DVD/RW drive and one of the best DVD/RW drives ever made, the Plextor PX-716A. The key to finding Verbatim blank DVDs that will work is in where they are made. These Made In India disks are useless. Found some Verbatim #97175 disks at a store, which were Made In Taiwan, and they work great. Unless you can identify where the disks were made, you're taking a big risk. Luckily, Amazon had UPS pick up my order for a full refund without any hassle. Thumbs up to Amazon, thumbs down to made in India Verbatim media. And kudos to other reviewers who alerted me to the difference in product based on where they were manufactured.
on February 23, 2012
I've always liked Verbatim, never had any problems with the media. However, quality seems to be on a steady decline. More and more cake boxes I find discs with imperfections/bubbles, nicks and scratches, fingerprints, rings around the edges, etc on the data side of the disc. I've had quite a few bad discs in this batch which is surprising. Thankfully it was only $16.84 for 50 discs, which isn't bad.
Overall, I'm disappointed that I've had so many bad discs so far, and I've only burned about 10, had to throw away 8 to 10 so far. The 10 that I have burned have been fine however.
on March 13, 2012
After much toil and frustration with other brands of writeable dvd's, with no results to show for my efforts, I stumbled upon some info about using a higher quality dvd from Verbatim. Ordered some, successfully burned what I wanted to the disc and it plays on my dvd player. Very happy with this purchase. With Amazon Prime got them fast - next day actually. I live in the NW so delivery from Seattle turned out to be next day.
on November 6, 2011
When you ask the tech community for a good cd/dvd brand you always hear Verbatim. I've had my problems with them in the past which caused me to switch to another brand, but after awhile I knew why Verbatim was better in the end. Verbatim cd/dvds are not known to be fake and work on old and new burners equally well. As I said before I switched to another brand after having more successful burns with them, but in the end those dvds had compatibility problems with burners causing bad burns, errors in the middle of burns, discs not being read at all, overall a lot of coasters. With Verbatim the only problem you'll get is bad burns.