...since DVD rot is essentially the same thing as CD rot! It's a failure of the glue that holds the layers of the disc together, so the only difference between CDs and DVDs in this regard is that DVDs have more layers. It's amazing how one little article in a mainstream newspaper can get people so worried about a problem they've been living with for over a decade (which is not to say that the problem doesn't exist, it's just that eveyone who owns a CD is already living with it: why the sudden shock and dismay?). Here's the statement The Digital Bits made about the article today:
We've been getting a lot of e-mails from people who are suddenly worried about "DVD rot" affecting their movie collections. It seems a recent article in The Sydney Morning Herald addressed the issue, claiming that it affects between 1 and 10% of all DVD discs. First to explain... "DVD rot", or any kind of optical disc rot, is something that can occur when the bond between the different layers of a disc fail, a process called delamination. This tends to happen most frequently with rental discs, that are put through extreme wear and are often poorly handled.
Of course, this story has a lot of you freaked out and checking your movie libraries. Can DVD rot occur? Yes, in limited cases. But I can tell you that we've never experienced this here at The Digital Bits, and we've looked at literally thousands of discs. More often than not, we believe that what's happening is that people buy a new DVD player, and go back to watch older discs in their collection on it. Each DVD player reacts a little differently, and sometimes a disc that had no problems in the past can cause a pause, or freeze on a different player. Also, these things can be caused by scratches on the disc's surface - scratches which can be repaired by kits available on the market. To test this, you need to make sure the error is repeatable, and that it happens the same on more than one model of player. Again, this isn't to say that DVD rot isn't possible or that some people aren't experiencing it. It's just to say that you shouldn't start worrying too much. If you are concerned, pick a sampling of the oldest titles in your collection and watch them. But generally, we believe the problem isn't large enough that people need to worry.
“Reality is just a convenient measure of complexity”
—Alvy Ray Smith
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