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Tips on Your DVD Care
DVD's quickly exploded onto the market and people everywhere
were scurrying to replace their VHS tapes with DVDs. They do not
come without their problems, though. The following lists some tips
for keeping your DVDs in good working order and describes some common
problems that you may find in your DVD collection.
These tips are designed to help you keep you DVDs in top condition.
Following these tips will not guarantee your DVDs will last forever,
but will prevent them from becoming damaged unnecessarily.
1. Don't put them in direct sunlight, or
let them sit in hot rooms. Both of these will cause the Mylar film
that the data is written on to delaminate, hastening the aging process.
2. Don't scratch them. Much like CD-ROMs,
scratches (and even dust) can render a DVD-ROM unreadable. It's
even worse for DVD-RWs, which "erase" data by filling
in some of the holes in the Mylar, and overwrite existing files
by filling and reburning the patterns of holes in the Mylar layer.
3. Make sure they're in their cases when
not in use. This is the number one cause of DVD failure, especially
in houses with children, who tend to leave their DVDs out on the
floor, spill soda on them, and in general act as children do.
4. Make backups. If you've got a DVD-R,
make backups of your most important DVDs -like your children's
favorite movie - so that the original can be kept in a climate controlled
room in the dark, to make more duplicates of when the children destroy
the disk by squabbling.
5. Burn to DVD-R for archival purposes, and
long term archival purposes, rather than DVD-RW. Because the media
that's written to is thicker, DVD-Rs tend to age better than
6. Back it up to a secondary hard drive that's
kept off site.
Of course, to get the most out of your DVD-R drive, you'll
need to keep the drive mechanism cleaned up and well dusted, and
buying higher quality (archival quality) media is something to consider
- though the formats themselves haven't been round long enough
to know if the archival media gives a significant edge in long term
Common problems you may experience with your DVDs are related
both to use and manufacturing. The protective film on the underside
of the DVD can bubble up or start to peel away. This problem can
be due to manufacturing issues or from heat, stacking the DVD or
rubbing against the surface. When this occurs the DVD becomes useless
as the player can not read it. Any scratches will immediately make
the DVD useless. Another big problem comes from bending the DVD.
DVDs are made in layers and bending them can cause these layers
Most people invest much time and money into their collection
and by following these simple tips you can avoid common problems
that would make your DVD collection useless.
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