The Maintenance of DVDs: Who tried bananas? (I didn’t)

Children, the young ones, like to be helpful.  I like to hand you the disk (throw it at you as hard as possible), or removing and forcing the disc into the player over and over.  One time my youngest placed a “shoots and ladders” person piece (cardboard) into the PS3, and when turned on the disc that currently resided there had circle of scraping.  Scratches, and love can make any DVD not useable.

All rights reserved, and use common sense.

Image 1. All rights reserved, and use common sense.

Storage (See Last Blog)

Scratches, Smudges, and Fingerprints

The DVD or a CD are sturdy, especially the ones that you do not record, and most scratches will not screw up the laser that will read the DVD.  The older the DVD player and poorly built players will have a harder time, so it’s not always the DVD, but the player as well.

There is an error-correcting coding system that is built-in to CD/DVD players that help when discs are scratched.   This little device helps with minor scratches.  When the disk is scratch data is not being hurt, but the access from the laser to the data.  Fingerprints can be far worse in this respect because the dirt or smudge blocks the laser from reading the data, and the error-correcting coding system will not be-able to help (Byers 2003).

Error-correcting coding system - Google

Image 2. Error-correcting coding system – US 4295218 A (Image 1 of 12) – Fromm Google Patent Search

When to Clean?

Cleaning a disk can cause more problems than one wants (hence the disclaimer).  When cleaning more scratches can appear, or the wrong type of liquid can cause irreversible damage, such as dissolving the polycarbonate protecting layer.  Cleaning  is necessary when the scratches, smudges, fingerprints, etc…. are visible or causing a problem such as the dreaded skip.

BlueRay_Layer

Image 3. An image that I have download and used from a foreign website.

DVD+R Layer 9

Image 4. This is an image of a DVD+R 9 from Superuser.

How?

Inside to the Outside Vs. Circular Motion

Cleaning from the inside to the outside and information is stored not from horizontal but in circles.

Image 5. Cleaning from the inside to the outside and information is stored not from the vertical but in circles.

When cleaning the DVD or CD it is critical to clean from inside to the outside.  Information is not stored on the vertical, but held in a circle pattern that wraps around.  Majority of the time there will not be extra damage even if the person cleans in a circular motion, but why take the risk.  If a scratch happens in a circular motion more data will be damage than if done to inside to the outside.

Tools

This is a compiled list of  tools of how to clean DVD/CDs.

Image 6. This is a compiled list of tools of how to clean DVD/CDs.  I am sure there are other possibilities as well, and not all of these solutions are solutions.

There is no scientific study done on the cleaning of DVDs/CDs besides Byers majority of the information are blog based.  Majority of the methods seem to get mixed results depending on the harshness in quality.  There have been a chewing gum method, and saw that on YouTube, but another blogger has tried it and has not succeeded.

Also, keep in mind such as the more abrasive methods (Brasso, bought device, video store help, toothpaste) are used to sand a layer of the DVD/CD.  This is important when a Blu-ray disc is come into question.  There is a possibility of damaging the disc further stripping the first layer, which means the blue laser might not be able to read the disc.

The not so much abrasive methods still offer a chance at extra scratching as well, but not as much.  The key idea with these items are too clear out any dirt or grime with in the larger scratches this will allow the error-correcting coding system do its work.

Which type of cloth type of device to use?  A commonly found answer was a no lint, and microfiber cloth.  This seems to be smart.  The idea of the microfiber rag or cloth allows the max on cleaning the disc, and at the same time offers the least chance of scratches.  Microfiber is used commonly when applying wax, and cleaning of a car.  Microfiber picks up the dirt, and the grime where as a fiber like cotton only pushes it aside.

Results

I have tried the car wax route, and had mixed results.  That was with the spray bottle.  The next step is to get the non-liquid wax.  The results will be saved for a future time.

Extra Information & Sources

Notes

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DVD Counting and Storage

The Might Tower of Binders!

Figure 1. My tower of binders.

The opened binder is designated for the Star Trek Universe.  The full series of Enterprise, and “Star Trek Into Darkness” are the only two that I do not own.   The other binders are  divided by children’s movies, space & alien movies (that are not Star Trek), and other hodgepodge.

Storage

Temperature and humidity, well something like ” Discs kept in a cooler, less-humid environment and not subjected to extreme environmental changes should last longer (Byers 2003). ”  What does this mean?  The image below is a short response, a more in-depth chart can be found by clicking the Byers link.

Apparently there were studies done on DVDs, such as the temperature and humidity, but also ….

Apparently, the U.S. Post Service conducted studies on radiation affecting DVDS (anti-terrorism).

Figure 3. Apparently, the U.S. Post Service conducted studies on radiation affecting DVDS          (anti-terrorism).  The end result in a nuclear war you will not survive, but your copy of the ten seasons of “Friends” will survive.  The mutated cockroaches will develop opposable thumbs and start watching the episode that Joey acted all stupid.

One other key factor about environment and temperature that Byers hinted on but said that there needs to be enough evidence that most likely DVDs being stored in room temperature that you are playing the DVD in will effect the quality in the direction of the good.   He mentioned freezing DVDs and CDs, but warned against.

Take Notice!

By the Numbers! (The reason is simple.  The collections are mixed together, and so this is easier in the end of the day.)

How Many?

  • The count includes:
    • My Collection
    • The family Collection
    • My Wife’s
    • Children’s as well

The reason is simple.  The collections are mixed together.

Each Movie counts as one.

For Example: Many years ago I wanted to own “Revenge of the Nerds,” but a problem was a foot.  The consumer had to buy one of those double movie DVDS.  On “side A” the movie that you want to purchase, and on “side B” the movie you do not want to purchase.  I had to own ” Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise.”  This is not a problem usually since I have a chaos in my genre taste.   Instead of being one movie, I count this as two even-though the physical copy only comes with one DVD.

Split DVD Personality

Figure 3. This might not always be true.

Each Season counts as one.

For Example:  One of the first TV Series that I have successfully own in full is “Star Trek: Deep Space 9.”  DS9 has seven season, so each season purchased counts as one.

One Does not Equal One.One Does Not Equal One

Keep in mind you can have a DVD wallet that stores 256 CDs/DVDs.  You might own 256 DVDs.  This will not mean that you will be able to hold every single DVD in that wallet.  There are 48 DVDs in the entire DVD collection of DS9.  The television series are not the lone corrupter of the numbers.

DS9 Image from Amazon

Figure 5. DS9 from Amazon: Take notice of the number of discs.

Movies can just be as guilty.

For Example: “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”

Peter Jackson, the director, came out with the “extended” and not so extend version by selling them in one collection.  This would equal four DVDs along with the two other squeals having four DVDs each.  By the end three movies became 12 physical DVDs.

Keep in mind that either DVDs of movies or TV shows might have an extra disc or two.  Not just because of the “extended,” “unrated rated,” and/or “director’s cuts” but also because of the special features.

For Example: Robotech

There are many different choices when purchasing the Robotech Series.  When I decided to place Robotech on the list of “I wanted TV/Movies” I had to visit the official Robotech website to figure out which set was the best.  In 2011 Robotech: The Complete Original Series was sold.  There are 18 discs, and four of them are special features.

Blu-Ray, DVD, and Digital Copy (But Physical)

Some DVD sets will contain a Blu-Ray, regular DVD, and Digital Copy that you can download/upload into your computer.  Also, the extended versions, and special feature discs could be part of this.

Emotional Attachment to In-Animated Objects:

I transferred from the cases to the binders  a year and half ago.  This was emotional.  The space was getting tight, and since I am not a big fan of digital I had to give way.
I still have the cases in storage (blue plastic bins from target).  I am not completely emotionally detached from the cases.

Storage Devices:

As I stated “Big Blue Plastic Bins” from Target for the cases.  At one point I had each DVD displayed alphabetically, and that took a lot of space.  Now, there are a couple “big blue plastic bins” extra, but are out of the way in the garage.

I decided to purchase  the Memorex Travel Case Active CD & DVD Wallet 256-ct this can only purchased at Target.  In the past I tried buying other brands, and they have fallen apart.

Notes:

The Might Tower of Binders!

Searching, Collecting, & Maintaining DVDs!

I like to collect stuff. I have a card collection (all sorts), lapel pin collection, and a DVD collection.

When in search of DVDs, I look for the rare, the vintage, the common, the interesting, the blockbuster, the “diamond in the rough”, and/or childhood/new memories.

Each person’s motive is different.  This is just my personal account of how I research to add to my living collection.

Step One: Know the product.

What is the format?

An avid searcher for DVDS I came across out dated formats such as VHS, Beta, Laser Disk, and HD, of course I have also come across DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital.

What is the Region?

There are six regions (Go to  Amazon for a full list) for a regular DVD, and three regions for blu-ray  The standard DVD for the United States and Canada  is region one (U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada, and Bermuda), and for blu-ray the region is A/1 (North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia).

I once bought a region 6 of  a season of Deep Space 9 through Amazon.

Some movies or TV shows can be released in one region and not another.  A short live show from the 90s that I saw on Netflix, Space Rangers, is released for VHS, and Region 4 (only in Australia).

Amazon and other sites that sell used (or new) DVDs will primarily sell region 1, but one will find other regions, so be careful.

Step Two: Know, Store and Maintain the Existing Collection

CD & DVD Wallets

I have DVDs.  I have a lot of DVDs.  Within the last year and a half, I started to store DVDs in binders.  Yes, a binder full of DVDs (Memorex Travel Case Active CD & DVD Wallet 256-ct).  I like this one the best.  I bought one with a fancy design for my audio CDs, and that fell apart.

tower_of_binders

The problem is that I can only find these at Target, and they are around 32 dollars.  I have eight to ten of them.

Do not make the mistake that I did when transferring each DVD from the case to the binders.  One  movie might not mean one DVD.  A TV series does not equal one DVD, more like for to seven discs.    I easily own over three hundred to four hundred titles.

The majority of one binder will cover my Star Trek Collection alone.  I have also kept space open, just in case I get the titles I do not have.

I find when going through my existing collection that I start thinking if there are holes to fill, and then I list them.

Maintenance

I found that some of the disks were thrown across the room by small children, and did not work as they should.   I finally took the plunge and did some research online.

Can You Fix a Scratched DVD with a Banana?
Fix a Scratched DVD

These were the two best articles that I found.   Over vacation, I took a couple of my DVDs that did not work, bought some car wax, and they worked.

Step Three: Listing and Finding Part One

How to do what?  Make a list?  Just write down what you want.  Is that simple?  I don’t know, maybe?  Or maybe not?   This is up to your ambition.

I have too many family members.  I don’t mind shopping for people.  That is fun, and I do not care about the cost.

Because of the family (by birth and in-laws) a listed needed to be created any way  This list has also other items, but mainly DVDs.

I have no idea what I want, so first I go through my binders and look at the franchises I own (Star Trek, Babylon 5, Wizard of Oz, Highlander…) and started to do some searches online to see if there were other versions or different stories.

There are many websites that will help in this process.  Part of this is to remember what they are and their functions.  Amazon is my go to, but they are not always the cheapest, nor do they have everything.

Netflix & Amazon Prime & The Internet Movie Database

Netflix and the Prime well they let me watch movies, and then I go “hey; I like this movie. I think I want this movie.”

Then I go online to IMDB to do a little, simple research on the movie, and maybe a Google search.

Amazon, Half.Com,  & Albris

Of course, there are other sites as well, but these are the ones that I like for a mix of new and used.

Step Four: Listing and Finding Part Two

Going to Netflix, Amazon, Albris, Half.com, etc….. Even to Google for a movie, and to see if it is anywhere.  That is one thing, and a basic search is of course a necessity.

Let us break the walk.

I had an epiphany one day.

I look at my one dollar DVDs, and I wondered why they are not around any more and why were they a dollar.  I was in college when they first came out, and have obtained some of the Cartoon Craze, Warriors of the Wasteland and The Wonderful Galaxy of Oz.

The company is Digiview, and the movies they sold were all Public Domain movies.  Digiview did go out of business, and that is a shame.

However, I use this technique to look for other publishers of DVDS, and producers.

Magnet Releasing | WB Shop | Funimation |Discotek Media |Sony Pictures| CBS Store | Disney Store: Movies |

There are so many other sites that sell their product, or list their product to give you ideas.