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In 2006/7 I had some problems with DVD stock, and these became worse in 2007/8. DVDs I made simply stopped working. It was very frustrating!  After consulting Paul, a good friend of my son Neil’s, and who runs his own computer business, I took the following action

1: Purchased a Freecom USB DVD writer (On its own this resulted in some improvement). I think more recent DVD writers, either standalone or  built into PCs have been improved.

2: Switched to high quality DVD stock. I am using Verbatim disks made with Advanced AZO dye coating.   It seems that most DVD players will now accept -R or +R and I have not had problems on this account. Printable blank DVD stock is available with azo dye if you wish to use that method of adding DVD labels. See Paul's advice below

3: Burn the DVD as slowly as the settings will allow. Touch wood! All the problems seem to have gone away!

As an entirely separate issue, I now buy blank dvd stock which is printable, as my new Epson printer will work direct onto the label.

Pauls advice (in 2007) on purchasing DVD’s included the following

Taiyo Yuden are often considered to be the best but these & others have been targets of counterfeiters. There is a media identifier code on DVDRs to be read by the drive but even these are faked in manufacture. So here are a few pointers obtained from the net on ensuring you get genuine Taiyo Yuden....

Verbatim DataLifePlus, and Verbatim Pastel products are pretty much a 100% safe choice. The pastel series is (currently) manufactured by the Taiyo Yuden. The manufacturer of DataLifePlus AdvancedAzo varies, but can be identified by looking at where the product is made : Japan should refer to Taiyo Yuden, India should refer to Moser Baer, Singapore to, Mitsubishi Kagaku and China to Mitsubishi or CMC Magnetics. Even though the manufacturer varies, they all have the AdvancedAzo dye and should be manufactured by Mitsubishi/Verbatim standards. Some people report though that CMC & Moser Baer produced Verbatim disks are of a lower standard. Other safe brands include Panasonic (often made by TY) and Plextor (always made by Taiyo Yuden). Other Taiyo Yuden OEM discs such as silver top and inkjet / thermal printable should be packed in the Tapered Spindle Tubs which TY are known for ( Wider at the bottom than top), be wary of discs that come packed in cell packs these are sure to be fake, SO BEWARE !! Note also that some brands do work in some drives better than others & even if some stuff might be made by the same manufacturer with the same media code the quality control might not be so good for some branded products. This site might help if you see some disks available & want to check what others thought of them. http://www.videohelp.com/dvdmedia/

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