CD, DVD, Blu-ray... What is best to use?

14 May 2013
Comments: 0
14 May 2013, Comments: 0

According to Wikipedia: Although there are many websites that allow the upload of photographs and videos, digital preservation for the long-term is still an issue. There is a lack of confidence that such websites are capable of storing data for long periods of time (ex. 50 years) without data degradation or loss.

Optical media is a great solution for distributing content. It is tangible, and lifespan of the media can be 100 years or more. Read on!

How long can I expect my recorded CDs/DVDs to last?

CD/DVD experiential life expectancy is 2 to 5 years even though published life expectancies are often cited as 10 years, 25 years, or longer.
The National Archives and Records Administration “Frequently Asked Questions about Optical Media” tells us that the color of a CD/DVD indicates its quality. It is best to look for a gold or silver CD/DVD – look at the color from the underside of the disk, not the top. In addition, to assure the highest quality of a CD-R, look for those manufactured using phthalocyanine dye with gold or silver reflective layers. Do not use Azo- or (plain) cyanine-dyed media. For DVD-Rs, purchase double-sided/single-layer with a gold reflective underside.According to the Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA), the unrecorded shelf life of a CD-R/DVD-R disc is conservatively estimated to be between 5 and 10 years. In addition, they point that manufacturers claim life spans ranging from 30 to 100 years for DVD, DVD-R and DVD+R discs and up to 30 years for DVD-RW, DVD+RW and DVD-RAM.


The recordable media used in red laser disc technology like DVD’s and CD’s is an organic dye that is sensitive to light. Blu-ray disks, available since 2006, however, use a combination of silicon and copper which is bonded during the burning process, this alloy is much more resilient than the organic dye. Manufacturers claim a life span from 100 up to 150 years for Blu-ray (non-re-recordable) disks.✝ Concrete lifespan numbers for discs are difficult to establish due to fluctuating environmental and physical factors that are open to individual interpretation.

To assure we’re using the highest quality CD/DVD/BluRay media and to avoid as much deterioration as possible, Meadia Productions is a local scanning service (no fear of loss of valuable family photos in the mail) that uses Gold Archival Grade CD-R media – or Blu-ray Media – to preserve your family photos and important records as well as critical corporate data. The gold reflective layer is naturally resistant to corrosion. The gold layer overlaps the silver layer and prevents oxygen from coming through the lacquer layer or edge of the disc and corroding the silver. Silver oxidation can be a primary factor which limits the lifetime of CD media. Our authoring services are able to balance the quality of a video with its file size, delivering a good looking image in a small package.

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