How long is the life of the DVD?

Features, Shorts, Live-Action and Direct-To-Video
AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 162
Joined: October 26th, 2004

How long is the life of the DVD?

Post by Uli » January 7th, 2007, 6:35 am

Hi guys! Need help here and will be very grateful if someone is able to dispel the mist.

It's about this - there's a dvd-set among my movie-collection that I happen to be addicted to. I've wacthed it so many times (and keep watching it sometimes twice a week) that I've lost count. But a couple of days ago my dvd-player started to trigger some short pauses during the playback and I got panicked. I guess that the cause could be the hardware but please tell me, for "just in case" -- How long is the life of the DVD? Generally...

Thanks in advance :)

AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 5811
Joined: October 23rd, 2004
Location: SaskaTOON, Canada

Post by Randall » January 7th, 2007, 9:30 am

In most cases, a DVD should outlive you, as far as I know. There is not really any "wear and tear" on a disc like there is a VHS tape. It just spins, and is read by a laser. It is possible, though, that there could be delamination taking place between layers. However, I would first check to be sure that the disc is simply free of dust or smudges.

User avatar
AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 19964
Joined: October 22nd, 2004
Location: London, UK

Post by Ben » January 7th, 2007, 9:37 am

As with LaserDiscs, there have been cases of "DVD Rot", where between the layers, the glue can corrode and the disc essentially becomes unplayable.

Out of hundreds, if not almost a couple of thousand, of discs, I've only had this once or twice. I know my "Kentucky Fried Movie" jammed after playing fine for years and just can't be read in any player now.

On average, and as with LD, the format <I>should</I> outlive us, but in practice it's anything but. A good, well-pressed DVD should live for 20 years + if taken care of and kept in its case. It could be as low as 5 years if the disc is not handled correctly.

That said, playing the same disc over and over shouldn't affect the life of the disc at all, since as Rand says, it's not being "played" as such, just being read. However, there is some link some have discussed between the heat generated by the player affecting the glue used in the layers, so a disc that continually gets played could just be getting hot and cold more often.

But you'd have to be playing that disc literally all the time...!?

Hope that helps a bit, but the safe option is to back-up your discs to a copy, or as I do, buy a couple of those titles that you know you're going to kick yourself over if it becomes unplayable.

:)

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 8325
Joined: October 25th, 2004
Location: Binghamton, NY

Post by ShyViolet » January 7th, 2007, 4:31 pm

Didn't Disney/Eisner try to institute a Disney DVD a few years ago that self-destructed after 24 hours? :roll: (seriously)
Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

I think so, Brain, but if we didn’t have ears, wouldn’t we sort of look like weasels?

User avatar
AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 19964
Joined: October 22nd, 2004
Location: London, UK

Post by Ben » January 7th, 2007, 4:49 pm

It wasn't Disney-specific, though they did promote the format. Essentially the disc went "bad" after 24 hours from when it was played. It was basically a "rental" type deal, where you'd only pay $3.99 for it and then have to hook up to a phone line to "unlock" it again.

In a word: dumb. :)

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 6149
Joined: September 1st, 2006

Post by Daniel » January 7th, 2007, 4:50 pm

Yes.

I remember reading about it in the paper. Seemed silly, thank goodness it was created :P

User avatar
AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 19964
Joined: October 22nd, 2004
Location: London, UK

Post by Ben » January 7th, 2007, 4:53 pm

You mean "wasn't".


Which it was.



It just never took off.

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 6149
Joined: September 1st, 2006

Post by Daniel » January 7th, 2007, 4:57 pm

Oops, yeah I meant "wasn't".

It did? Funny, I never knew. Thank goodeness again!

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 8325
Joined: October 25th, 2004
Location: Binghamton, NY

Post by ShyViolet » January 7th, 2007, 8:19 pm

"This disc will self-destruct in 60 seconds..."

Image
Pinky, are you pondering what I’m pondering?

I think so, Brain, but if we didn’t have ears, wouldn’t we sort of look like weasels?

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 3845
Joined: May 31st, 2005
Location: Maryland

Post by Meg » January 7th, 2007, 9:43 pm

:lol:

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 162
Joined: October 26th, 2004

Post by Uli » January 8th, 2007, 7:06 am

Thanks a lot, guys! I hope you're right saying that the DVD should outlive its owner, all the more that I always keep my discs inside their cases and undust them each time with a soft piece of cloth.

I guess it's probably the player that needs to be checked/repaired/replaced. And yet, it's a good idea to get another copy of that title considering how much I love the flick :)

And about those self-destructing discs, I remember myself reading about them some time ago (I think they were also called "paper discs") but that's not my case - the DVD I am talking about is a regular release 2-disc collector's edition... :wink:

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 162
Joined: October 26th, 2004

Post by Uli » January 8th, 2007, 8:52 am

There's something I forgot to ask --

Could a disc be damaged (partially or completely) by a player if the player happens to be out of order?

:(

User avatar
AV Founder
AV Founder
Posts: 19964
Joined: October 22nd, 2004
Location: London, UK

Post by Ben » January 8th, 2007, 9:16 am

It <I>is</I> possible for the laser to go haywire and burn the disc.

I've not come across it in DVD-land, but I had an old LD player I had to throw out because the laser went bad and burnt a line in my Aladdin disc. For 5/10 seconds in Prince Ali now, I get a drop-out mark the size of Texas across the lower third of the screen.

I'm assuming that DVD lasers could do the wrong thing too (or if the disc isn't coated properly, the laser could get through rather than just be reading it) but as I say it's not a widespread problem, if at all.

Not to say it <I>couldn't</I> happen, but I very much doubt that's what's happened to yours. Sounds like a player fault possibly, but DVDs are <I>not</I> safe storage formats at the end of the day.

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 162
Joined: October 26th, 2004

Post by Uli » January 8th, 2007, 4:51 pm

I checked the disc for visible damages but did not spotted any. Hope everything's OK with its content...

Anyway, that was all I needed to know for the moment. Thanks for shedding that ray of relief, Ben. And also to Rand for the info.

Sorry about the Aladdin LD though :(

AV Forum Member
AV Forum Member
Posts: 1347
Joined: January 23rd, 2006
Location: The Middle of Nowhere

Post by eddievalient » January 9th, 2007, 8:01 pm

The info puts my mind at ease as well. It took forever to get the classic Disney shows on dvd (Ducktales, Rescue Rangers, etc.) and I wasn't sure how long the discs would last (ya know, just in case they're never released again on any future format).
The Official Lugofilm Ltd Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/bartsimpson83

Post Reply