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Author Topic: How long do DVDs actually last?  (Read 2658 times)
Anime & RPGl and
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« on: March 22, 2006, 01:39:49 PM »

I was wondering how long dvds last. I've heard people say they start breaking down as early as 4 years and as late as 20-30 years after you buy them. Others have said they are nearly infinite. Remember the days of video tape? I have vhs tapes that are nearly 20 years old and still look fine. So as I'm looking at my anime dvd collection I'm wondering is it worth it to keep collecting them on dvd? Will they hold up and last? Any thoughts? Thanks.
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Hidoshi
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2006, 03:09:10 PM »

DVDs don't wear out unless you allow them to be damaged. Theoretically, their lifespan is infinite because they don't have the same problem as VHS. VHS would wear out as the tape was wound again and again. DVDs have no such problem and, unless something is wrong with the player, receive no damage from the laser. Of course, you can't have practical infinity, but chances are when we're old, our DVDs will still be good.
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Dade
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2006, 03:30:36 PM »

I hear people say that the media should potentially outlive the medium....

DVD outlives the player? Probably. I mean, in 10 years how easy will it be to find a VHS player? In 20 how easy will it be to get a regular DVD player? Your investment should be okay.
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2006, 03:32:21 PM »

Yeah, like Hidoshi said, pressed discs should last for a while. Info is pretty iffy since DVDs haven't been around for a very long time. DVD-Rs, +Rs, RWs, and the rest supposedly last much less, so personally I tend to stay away from cheap generic blank media.
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Angelo
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2006, 04:39:34 PM »

DVD life depends on the material used in the data layer and the method of writing the data.  DVD-ROMs (DVD movies and the like) have their data pressed at the replicator's factory, which allows them to use a more durable material for the data layer.  They have a pretty long shelf life if not abused.

Writeable DVD media generally has a short life (these are usually made of silver), but if the data layer is made of gold they last longer.  The main cause of a DVD[-R/+R/+RW/-RW]'s demise is excessive heat or moisture, so keeping them in a cool, dry place makes them last longer.
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