Blank Media @ Amazon
Buyer's Guide to Blank Media including CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW and Blu-ray.
1. Blank DVD Media
This includes DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD+D DL, DVD-R DL and Blu-ray.
DVD media is available in a range of qualities, with some blank discs being of a greater quality than others. This is a subject that can be dealt with in great depth, but for the purposes of this article I will stick to a brief and easy to follow guide.
- A complete range of blank media including writeable cds and dvds, together with cases, labels, duplicators and more.
The discs that are most likely to burn successfully and be error free are those made by companies including Taiyo Yuden (the gold standard), Hitachi Maxell, Sony and TDK. Ritek are also pretty good, especially those with the G05 dye. However, a successfully burnt disc is also dependent upon other factors, such as the quality of the dvd writer. If I ever replace the DVD writer that comes with the computer, I opt to buy Plextor. These drives are slightly more expensive but in my experience they burn discs accurately and are long lasting drives. Pioneer also have a good reputation.
You should also be aware that the brand on the box of the media you are buying is not necessarily the brand of the company that manufactured the media. The only way to tell which company manufactured the media is to check the media id. However the media id is not written on the packaging, although if you buy online the company from whom you are buying may be able to tell you the media id. The only other way of finding out the brand definitively is to buy a disc, put it in your dvd writer and use a software utility to identify the code. DVD Identifier will do this for you and it is free to download.
A further concern is fake discs, which sometimes show up in Europe. If you buy your discs from a reputable company this is unlikely to be a problem.
Finally, there is the issue of compatibility with your DVD player. There is no one disc that will play in 100% of players, especially older DVD players which often will not play any DVD writeable discs at all. However, I have found the cheap DVD players bought from ASDA (brand "Pacific") will play just about anything. Expensive Sony DVD players can be somewhjat more picky. This is purely anecdotal evidence so don't feel that you have to ditch Sony and dash off to ASDA. Whichever player you have, find a disc that plays well in it (and any other players that you are likely to play the discs in) before buying a large batch of discs to later discover that they are incompatible.
Blu-ray is the next generation DVD media that can hold 25 GB of data on a single layer or 50 GB data on a dual layer disc. Blu-ray discs are currently being manufactured by Panasonic, TDK, Sony and Verbatim and others. Blu-ray DVD writers are also available from Amazon and SVP. These were pricey but are now currently coming down in price as the technology matures. Indeed, some new computer systems come with Blu-ray DVD writers pre installed. The blank blu-ray media are still hard to find and still somewhat expensive, in the region of £5 - £10. However, for archival and back up purposes it would be worth paying the price.
Rival formats such as HD-DVD are also supported by many of the latest DVD writers. However, since Toshiba decided to stop making the HD-DVD format in February 2008 it is reasonably clear that blu-ray will be the format for the future.
2. Blank CD Media
This includes CD-R and CD-RW (rewriteable). The technology surrounding these discs has been around for a few years now, so these discs are compatible with the vast majority of devices and are cheap to buy - often just pennies if bought in a large multipack. They are therefore very popular and despite the emergence of new technologies will continue to be popular for the foreseeable future. It should be noted that CD-RW discs have different optical characteristics and therefore can only be read on devices that are Multiread or Multiplay, so for the ultimate compatibility stick with CD-R discs.