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:

Movie and TV Showing Devices: Part 2: By Region

DVD-Regions with key-2.svg
DVD-Regions with key-2” by Monaneko (Previous Version Maker:MrWeeble, David Levy, Zntrip, David Levy) – Image:DVD-Regions with key.png,2006-07-08 17:30(UTC).. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

When searching and collection for DVDs can be a hassle when regions are concerned.  The main reason is the economy.  The idea is that if there is a movie still in theaters in Germany, but released into theaters, and have started to sell DVDs in the United States that could be problematic.  They do not want retailers to sell DVDs to other countries that still have that “summer blockbuster” in theaters.  The result is the differences in coding.   (Ebay, About.com)

Regular DVD

Region Code Country – Region – Use
1 U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada, and Bermuda
2 Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Egypt, South Africa, Greenland
3 Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean
4 Mexico, South and Central America, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Caribbean
5 Russia, Eastern Europe, India, Africa (excluding South Africa), North Korea, Mongolia
6 China
7 Unspecfic Special Use
8 Cruise Ships, Airlines
Region 0 or ALL Uncoded
AmazonEbayWikipediaAbout.com

Blu-Ray

Region Code Country – Region – Use
A North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
B Europe, Greenland, French territories, Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand
C India, Nepal, Mainland China, Russia, Central and South Asia
AmazonABC Shop
NTSC and PAL

All rights reserved. This is another one of my “masterpieces.” Although there is a link to an article between the differences of NTSC and PAL.

VHS Formats

Region Code Country – Region – Use
NTSC United States of America Alaska, American Samoa, Antigua, Antilles (Dutch), Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, British Virgin Islands, Burma, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Diego Garcia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Grenada, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Jamaica, Japan, Johnston Islands, Korea South, Leeward Islands, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Midway Islands, Montserrat, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Okinawa, Palau, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Samoa, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Surinam, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Virgin Islands.
PAL United Kingdom, Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Ascension Island, Australia, Austria, Azores, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei, Cameroon, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, China (Peoples Republic), Christmas Island, Cook Island, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Dubai, Easter Island, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Finland, Gambia, Gaza & West Bank, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece (also SECAM), Greenland, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Holland, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macao, Macedonia, Madeira, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norfolk Island, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Sardinia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Tristian Da Cunah, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Vatican, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zanzibar, and Zimbabwe
Armageddon Books

What does this Mean?

The customer has to be careful.  For example: Space Rangers

Space Rangers was produced in 1993, and lasted six episodes.  A series that follows space rangers across the known space frontier.   I enjoyed the TV show, but I guess not a lot of other views were.  A few years ago Netflix had this show streaming, but no DVD could be rented or purchased, even on Amazon.  That is not entirely true.  Space Rangers could be purchased, but only in in region two (Europe, Japan, the Middle East, Egypt, South Africa, Greenland).

As one can see this is from Amazon. On the left side, this was the original product at region 2 then in September of 2013 the six episode series was released for region 1.

As one can see this is from Amazon. On the left side, this was the original product at region 2 then in September of 2013 the six episode series was released for region 1.

The second example: The Adventures of Mark Twain

Director Will Vinton brings together one of the first and only stop motion, claymation, full length movies.  This is a childhood memory, that the title was lost to me up til two or three years ago.  I could not remember the title, not one bit.  I even forgot that the old guy with the white hair is Mark Twain.  Until, I saw “The 6 Creepiest Videos Aimed at Children” by Michael Swaim even-though The Adventures of Mark Twain was more of a family movie versus straight for kids movie.

As the images shows above with one of the listings for “The Adventures of Mark Twain” that this was an import, and could be used for all regions.  Blue-ray DVDs can only be played on Blu-ray players.  Regular DVDs can be played on both Blu-ray and DVD players.  The important part of this title are the regions that this DVD covers, which is all three.  This had to be checked because United Kingdom is in Region B, but not Region A.

Notes

  • In this post, one movie, one TV show, and one director were referenced with the help of IMDB.
  • This might be a little boring to some…..
  • One is a Wikimedia Commons image.
  • Two images were captured from Amazon, and then manipulated by myself.
  • The fourth image is one of my creations, and I reserve the rights to my intellectual property.
  • The next few posts will be a re-hash, getting more depth of DVD and movie collection, of the post “Searching, Collecting, and Maintaining DVDs!
  • The next post will cover DVD counting and storage.

Movie and TV Showing Devices: Part 1

The next few posts will be a re-hash, getting more depth of DVD and movie collection, of the post “Searching, Collecting, and Maintaining DVDs!

Format Wars -  Yes, I drew that. (I know!)

All rights reserved.

Formats

VHS Vs. Betamax

I am not going to get into the nitty-gritty details of the rivalry between VHS and Betamax. Who really cares if Beta was better than VHS?  We can complain about the outcome, but that won’t change a thing.  What I do care about is the end result, and that the VHS was the product that changed the film industry.   Evidently, VHS took the lead and did not look back with the help of the porn industry (according to the geeky  character in Tropic Thunder played by the actor who caught pink eye from his cat (some episode of TMZ)).

Laserdisc

The Laserdisk had to be the black sheep of the family.  For every step forward there was a step backward having issues with compatibility between companies, being expensive, and quality was a blah (maybe, depending).

Transparent Recording Disc- March 4th, 1969 - Google Patents

Transparent Recording
Disc – March 4th, 1969

The laserdisc has a history spanning from 1967 until 2002/2009Improvements did happen and the technology did get better, but the cost was insane, and the cheaper and more compact DVD ended up taking over the market.   There is a whole lot of technology jargon, and I will not get into that (headachetastic).  The one important “historical” outcome is the “extra feature.”   This is a kin to the USFL introducing the “red flags” and instant replay.

Red Flag

Two Points about Special Features and the Laserdisc.

  1. In college, I started to purchase DVDs by the dozen (ok, maybe not that much) and Street Fighter was one those movies that subtly made its journey to my DVD player.  One time the commentary by Steven E. de Souza, the director, had mention that other special features (mainly sketches) were developed for laserdisc.
  2. Apparently, a Lazerdisc copy of Return of the Jedi was sold on Ebay for 699 dollars.  The reason because there is 30 minutes of  extra footage that has not been seen since the creation of Laserdisc.

DVD, Blu-Ray, and HD

HD did not survive the market, but Blu-Rays did, enough said.  The DVD beat out VHS and Laserdisc, and is evolving into the Blu-Ray.  This does not matter since a customer can play a regular DVD on a Blu-Ray player.

A single DVD shows his or her's dominance.

All rights reserved.

Boooo to Digital.  Maybe, not a hearty boo such as  when fanatics take a look at the opposing team’s quarterback.  Digital has been a trend lately, and will always be around.  I am not against digital or streaming.  I have an account with Netflix, Amazon Prime (before the digital streaming trend), and Full Moon Streaming.  I have only purchased one movie in the digital format, The Nutcracker, for my son.  The concern with digital is the ownership of the product.  When a consumer purchases a physical copy that customer owns that copy.  He or she can lend out that DVD to friends and family or sell it to a third party.  With the digital format, I pay for the right to watch the movie within the particular cloud that I am using or stored in my computer.  I do not pay for the full ownership of the product.  What if Amazon goes or that music cloud website goes bankrupt?  If the item is not stored on your computer, you no longer have that product.  I will be waiting until the copyright  laws are revamped for the digital times giving the consumer some rights.

The End

Know your devices and your formats.  I say this from experience.  Not all movies are on DVDs (Here is a Laserdisc niche website), and retailers such as Amazon sell multiple formats.  The main reason why we own The Nutcracker (1986, conceived by, Maurice Sendak) is the fact that this particular version is not sold on DVD, but digital and VHS.  Of course, we do not own a VHS player anymore.  Even though there is a part of me that does want to buy each device.

Notes

  • In this segment I have referenced one television program, four movies, and four individuals in the cinema profession with the help of IMDB.
  • The patent image was obtained from Google Patent Search.
  • The Red Flag image was manipulated from public domain from Openclipart by the user .
  • Two of the images were of my design and creation and I reserve the rights to my intellectual property.
  • Part 2 will be by Region.
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.