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Old 08-14-2021, 11:52 AM   #1
blurayisnice blurayisnice is offline
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Question Is disc rot something to be seriously worried about?

Many people have been mentioning disc rot lately and I wonder if it is something to be seriously worried about it.

I am mostly interested in how often you have encountered disc rot on your DVDs and/or blu-ray's. Just trying to get an idea of what is normal and what to expect when rewatching older discs.

I store most of my collection in a cool and dark area, so I suppose that should reduce the risk of disc rot somewhat?
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Old 08-14-2021, 12:41 PM   #2
slimjean slimjean is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blurayisnice View Post
Many people have been mentioning disc rot lately and I wonder if it is something to be seriously worried about it.

I am mostly interested in how often you have encountered disc rot on your DVDs and/or blu-ray's. Just trying to get an idea of what is normal and what to expect when rewatching older discs.

I store most of my collection in a cool and dark area, so I suppose that should reduce the risk of disc rot somewhat?
Nope. There are two things that hurt discs. Keep out of sunlight, and don't put in excessive moisture.

When they say put in a warm dry place, in most cases, if you keep it around where you are living and breathing you are fine.

Plastic and aluminum are resilient for different reasons. In the case of plastic you have a chain made of carbons and if protected against moisture it is the same as the element that is aluminum...it simply isn't going to break down at all. That goes the same for the epoxy resins that are used to glue the whole thing together that is literally made into the same thing that the disc is made of. Plastic and aluminum, so stable on the shelf, I worry more about a fire than anything, but my discs??? I would rather worry about my life. Now if we are talking an M-Disc...man, if you are worried about that, one has issues, because those things are practically bullet proof.

Fault in manufacturing (bronzing) is where the trouble often is. Most of the time this is easily fixed because it goes bad very quickly. Just replace the disc and problem is solved. I have yet to have a bronzed disc (knock on wood). Why? Because I do the research and I play my discs constantly in one way or another (which includes fast forwarding them on low settings). Even if I lost a title that I really liked, I got so many more to keep me happy. If it truly is that important, I will find a way to get it back. The probability of every copy not lasting a hundred years is remote at best. Very remote. Discs are actually more durable than film because them being digital, while lessor quality, they are at least consistent. If film lasted as long, why wouldn't a disc? The differences between polyester and polycarbonate are vast if we are talking about membrane stitches but for stability? They are practically the same when stored correctly. Film had to be stronger for obvious analog reasons, but an opitcal disc spinning get no abuse anywhere near what film gets. It is like asking yourself how long before a mirror wears out by shining a light on it?

Worrying about it though? Why? I can tell you that the fault rate of a bluray or DVD or CD is going to be far less than a streaming service being accurate to content and whether it will be around at all.

If manufactured and stored correctly, an optical disc will last many lifetimes. MANY LIFETIMES. When someone quoted thousands of years, that could be a low estimate. More than I or you will ever need. Sleep safe.
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Old 08-14-2021, 01:05 PM   #3
Donl1282 Donl1282 is offline
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If climate change claims are accurate, I am much more worried about my collection destroyed in a wildfire or flood than disc rot.
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Old 08-14-2021, 01:40 PM   #4
blurayisnice blurayisnice is offline
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Thanks for the extensive reply slimjean, very informative!
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Old 08-14-2021, 02:47 PM   #5
CrowKiller CrowKiller is offline
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Yeah, it's most likely bad manufacturing or bad storing if it happens. I've not personally had the problem with disc rott/cloudy discs. I did see it a decent amount though when I was working at a place that bought movies. A lot of people are careless. I've had discs came in there wet, so cold it hurt to touch them after checking a few, roaches flying out the cases when opened, spiders living inside the cases and baby spiders pouring out. Even some that had such a bad stale smoke smell I literally puked from it. Just take good care of your discs and assuming there's no manufacturing errors, they'll last at least your lifetime likely. I still have old cheap CDRs from 2001 that still work without issues. Haven't checked all my old DVDs, but every one of them I have tried has been fine.
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Old 08-14-2021, 03:00 PM   #6
albertbj albertbj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donl1282 View Post
If climate change claims are accurate, I am much more worried about my collection destroyed in a wildfire or flood than disc rot.
If climate change claims are accurate, we'll have much more to worry about than what happens to our discs. Of course, if it gets to the point where we can no longer go outside, it would be nice to have something to watch.
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Old 08-14-2021, 03:17 PM   #7
Adegan Adegan is offline
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I have encountered my fair share of disc rot. But only on DVDs, the vast majority are from Warner Bros. from the early 2000s. I store them well and have always treated them like babies. So to me it’s more of a manufacturing defect than anything.
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Old 08-14-2021, 03:21 PM   #8
smithb smithb is offline
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There is also the scenario where some DVD disks have a filmy like substance that over time creates a cloudiness that if not removed will make the disk unreadable. Whether the filmy substance is a result of out-gassing from shine cases or is a byproduct of the manufacturing facility process or both is hard to say.

I've seen this quite a few times, mainly on DVD TV seasons that use the clear shiny multi-disk cases and the thin shiny individual disk cases. It starts out invisible to sight, slowly becoming more cloudy but easily wiped off, to eventually sticking to or penetrating the disk surface. Some times it can be buffed off, other times it is permanent.

One issue that has been reported related to blu-rays is the development of pits in the protective surface making a disk unreadable. Evidence has shown that this primarily happens when disks are removed from their cases and kept in binders, sleeves, or stacked together. Apparently, the protective covering on blu-rays in more malleable then the surface on DVDs. Pits develop due to contact. However, there are techniques to make the pits go away, saving the disk.
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Old 08-16-2021, 09:54 PM   #9
Jay H. Jay H. is offline
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I have CD-Rs from at least 20 years ago that play just fine. Same goes for DVD-Rs that are about 15 years old. None of the pressed discs I own have ever failed me.

I get the feeling I'll go long before any of my discs do. (For the record, I live in Oklahoma. It can get very hot/humid here.)
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Old 08-16-2021, 10:12 PM   #10
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I live in Canada. The majority of time, it's somewhat cool here; today it's about +38 C so about 100 F. With the humidex, its closer to 111 F.

My collection is in the basement where even on a day like today, it would be somewhat cool, even without the AC on. I keep a dehumidifier running all theyear set at 50% relative humidity (how accurate it is, who knows) to try to keep the room comfortable and posters and art from curling. Likely helps the DVD and BD artwork too from getting musty.

I have only had issues with a few Lionsgate DVDs, purchased new, back about 15+ years ago. Burnt DVDs and all CDs stored in my viewing room have been fine. I recall hearing some early Lionsgate movies had issues, so I blame them instead of storage.

For what it's worth, which may be little coming from me, I'd recommend a dehumidifier to try to control the climate a bit in whatever room your movies are stored. Can't hurt, might help a few things.
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Old 08-22-2021, 11:56 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adegan View Post
I have encountered my fair share of disc rot. But only on DVDs, the vast majority are from Warner Bros. from the early 2000s. I store them well and have always treated them like babies. So to me itís more of a manufacturing defect than anything.
Yes, I have lost dozens of DVDs to disc rot and like yourself these have mainly been WB titles. Several of my "Smallville" discs have gone bad. Yes, the manufacture is at least partly to blame, but unlike what has been previously posted I think on average the chances of even a properly manufactured DVD or BD lasting much beyond about 25 years is most likely slim. Yes, some will last longer, but 100 years? My guess is the chances of that occurring are very slim to none.

I have already lost a BD-R after about five years, and a BD where the aluminum appears to be oxidized in the way a lot of my laserdiscs went bad. I have had a couple of BDs develop the so-called "bronzing" effect after about five years, a French copy of "Muriel's Wedding" and a German copy of "The Lover" ...which was probably due to poor manufacturing.
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Old 08-22-2021, 12:54 PM   #12
Steedeel Steedeel is offline
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Nope, not in my opinion. 21 years of collecting, had half a dozen discs with rot. All of them DVD, thatís out of close to 900 DVDs.
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Old 08-28-2022, 08:17 PM   #13
chriscreep23 chriscreep23 is offline
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A guy posted on a facebook group that his 4K disc U.K. edition of Star Trek Beyond has bronzing which means disc rot! I am shocked!!! This was pressed in 2016!!! He also said that his blu-ray disc of the same edition had the same problem!
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Old 08-28-2022, 09:17 PM   #14
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I just found my first bad disc in my collection yesterday. It's an older disc and I fell pretty lucky so far that is the first one I have had trouble with.
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Old 08-28-2022, 10:55 PM   #15
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So far, so good.
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Old 08-28-2022, 11:26 PM   #16
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I cycle chronologically through my entire collection every two-and-a-half to three years -- which is very do-able, since I have a much smaller disc library than many on here -- and I've never found a "bad disc", knock on wood. I even have several of the notorious titles, like the original releases of Sunshine and The Prestige, and some of the questionable Criterion releases -- which I have verified as having been pressed as part of the "bad" batches. No bronzing, no glitches. Guess I've gotten lucky. But my continuous cycling through literally every disc I own gives me peace of mind, 'cuz I know that every single one still plays -- well, as of three years ago, max. Fingers crossed this luck continues into the future. Viva la physical media!
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Old 08-28-2022, 11:36 PM   #17
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The only disc I owned which became rotten or at least 'unreadable' was the BD of Sleepy Hollow (Paramount). I purchased it in 2007. It worked in 2014, but a couple of years ago it failed. I did reach out to the studio customer service about it and they replaced it for free (although the rep I dealt with was a bit of an ass)
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Old 11-26-2022, 08:12 AM   #18
meremortal meremortal is online now
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Actually went through several bins that I had been storing in a non-climated controlled environment for over a year and so temps could get into the high 90s or so in the summer and maybe into the 20s during the coolest winter months. These are all dvds and I noticed about 25-30 out of 500 or so that had what appeared to be some kind of condensation or otherwise curiosity that would not buff out with a cloth and so I've set those aside to try to get around watching. Sometimes a "cloudy" looking apperance to the disc is just an annoyance and sometimes it can be problematic as well. One was even cracked and I'm not sure if it was due to cold temps or perhaps I accidentally stepped on it at some point. These were not in direct sunlight and they were in those rubber storage bins with a top from places like Home Depot. It does get really humid and that's not ideal, either.

Last edited by meremortal; 11-26-2022 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 11-29-2022, 05:35 PM   #19
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Cloudy is manufactured caused disc rot not climate.
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Old 12-08-2022, 05:21 AM   #20
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While it's always a good idea to store your discs properly if your discs actually develop disc rot it has nothing to do with temperature or dryness.

The main casualty of disc rot and where the name came from were laserdiscs. This was caused by unstable glues used to seal the 2 sides of the disc together going bad.

All of my laserdiscs were stored properly but that didn't stop over 85 of them from going bad. Some showed rot as soon as you took them out of the jacket and tried to play them, others took months starting out as light speckles and eventually becoming pure static. My last laserdisc player was entirely purchased with money refunded to me from Pioneer.

With DVD's the causes were different I believe, but there have been probably close to 2 dozen of mine that simply went bad and weren't recognized by my players. Many of them were Anchor Bay and Shriek Show titles but there were also some Criterions.

I remember selling an unopened wooden box special edition of the Wicker Man DVD set on ebay and then refunding the purchaser when the DVD wouldn't play.

Quality control has improved with bluray's but I've still gotten a few that went bad.

With UHD it seems to be scratches. It took 3 copies of Blow Out to get a good one. The first had a hairline crack and wouldn't even load in the player, the second froze because of a light scratch.

All one can do is check out the discs when you get them and hope for the best.
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