I have been searching for the ideal blank DVDs to back up my movies. I was happy with my Maxell blank DVDs, but they didn't have a printable surface. I wanted a DVD that would not only allow an error free DVD backup, but also one that I could print on the surface, for professional looking backups. After testing many frisbees, I received a 50 pack of Verbatim Ink Jet Printable 8X DVDs from Amazon.com last week, and spent the last few days testing them. My results follow:
ONE - SPEED: These blank DVDs can be burned at speeds up to 8 X. In real world terms, that means that a movie can be read about 10 minutes and burned in another ten minutes or less on your 16X DVD burner. They are also compatible with slower speed burners with firmware updates. I recommend going online to update your firmware and make sure it is compatible before purchasing if you have a DVD Burner slower than 4X.
TWO - STORAGE CAPACITY: Although these discs are not Dual Layer, they still hold the standard 4.7 Gigs. Again, in real world terms, that equals one standard movie (possibly with compression) or one hell of a lot of data! Keep in mind that an Mp3 compressed at 128 khz is about 3 songs per 10 megabytes. That's over 1400 songs. With no compression, (i.e. WAV files) a DVD is still capable of holding almost 7 CDs worth of music. I'm not good enough at math to tell you how many of your Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, or Access databases will fit on a DVD, but its a lot. DVDs offer a great portable data format. Unlike removable drives, you can also reproduce data for masses.
If you want to distribute a large amount of data to your employees or your customers, a DVD is a cheap and easy way of doing it. You could put a whole catalog of products on a DVD for distribution. If you are a band, you could put out a DVD of your own music or even your own music videos! Because the surface is printable, you can make a very professional looking DVD for distribution of your work, or very neat clean looking backups.
THREE - PRINTABLE = PROFESSIONAL: What I like BEST about these DVDs by Verbatim is that the top of each DVD has a blank white face that is printable all the way to the center hub! That is the small 20 mm circle in the center, rather than the larger 42 mm circle that most printable discs have. In other words, you can print out DVDs that look just like professionaly done DVDs! You do need an appropriate printer (I have an Epson R200) to print right on the DVD. Why should you do this? First, Sharpies DO NOT convey an image of professionalism or style in any way shape or form. Two, traditional stick on DVD labels have been known to screw up the playback of DVDs, especially in DVD video players. Because DVDs are spun back at a much higher rate than CDs, something about the labels interferes with the spinning process and causes pixelation, skips and freezes. This is the Blank Printable DVD that I have been looking for! All the other Printable DVDs I have tested were only printable to the outer hub, not the inner hub, and had error problems. The photo quality and the print quality was outstanding on these. Be sure to allow a full 24 hours for the discs to dry after printing the surface though.
FOUR PRICE = VALUE: I ordered these Verbatim DVDs from Amazon.com. I ordered a package of 50 for $28.00. I had to pay for shipping and handling, so it actually cost $35.00, but next time I order, I can order over $50.00s worth and qualify for free shipping and handling. That is Fifty six cents a DVD!.
FIVE - COMPATIBLILITY: These are DVD-Rs. Most any computer with a DVD drive will play them, but you should make sure your computer or DVD drive is compatible with the 8x speed. Many of todays DVD players will also play movies that you have backed up onto DVD Rs. I had no problems playing these DVDs on any of my Pioneer DVD players.
ERROR RATE This is the best best best part of Verbatim DVDs! Unlike all the other printable DVDs I tested, the Verbatim burns were ERROR FREE! Yes, a perfect burn every time! Data was no problem at all, the real test was backing up DVD video, the test many blank DVDs fail. I did a burn of Huey Lewis Live at Rockaport! No pixels, no freezes, no skips, just Huey Lewis delivering solid classic rock tunes! I burned a back up of Wes Anderson's quirky Royal Tennenbaums. Again, a perfect burn even with 33% compression. The colors looked great, it was just like watching the Criterion Collection original. I burned a copy of comedy Just Visiting with Jean Reno and Christina Applegate. Again, a perfect burn, so I can throw away three other copies that were ruined by adding a stick on label, or burned on an inferior blank DVD. Finally, I burned a backup copy of Ed Wood's Plan Nine from Outer Space. Here is the only place that the Verbatim failed. It faithfully reproduced the poor acting, the lack of continuity, the bad props, and the complete lack of direction of the original Ed Wood film. I had rather hoped that the Verbatim would transform it into a smooth polished production fit for Wood's favorite director, Orson Welles. The Verbatim blank DVDs copy the original verbatim.
Other stuff: This is a spindle pack, if you want cases, you have to go out and buy them separately. The PRINTABLE Verbatim DVD packages are also slightly harder to find than their non-printable bretheren. I had to order them online, I was unable to find them at any stores local to me including Circuit City, Best Buy, OfficeMax, Staples and even CompUSA (although CompUSA carries the Verbatim printable CD-Rs, also reviewed by me).
Review equipment: I use a Memorex 16X DVD Burner to record with these, and an Epson R200 photo printer to print on the DVDs. I use a program called DVD-X to burn backup copies of DVDs. I use NERO to duplicate data and MP3s.
Other Blank Media (DVD /-Rs, CD /-Rs)
Here you can read about my quest for the perfect blank media to burn back up DVDs, CDs and data.
Verbatim 52 X printable CD-Rs (50 spindle pack)
Recommend this product?
Memorex Printable 8X DVD Rs (20 spindle pack)
Memorex Printable 16X DVD-Rs (50 spindle pack)
Maxell 8X DVD-Rs (25 spindle pack)
TDK 8X printable DVD-Rs (25 spindle pack)
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