01 November, 2010

6 Tips for Storing and Keeping DVDs Durable

Keeping DVD's and CD's from scratches has proved to be an Enigma of sorts ,after loosing so many good movies (thanks to some extent to my three year old who operates my Samsung Home theatre with finesse)thought i must share on this blog tips on how to keep those vital information libraries in usable condition for posterity.

In order to maintain the durability of DVDs, you must store them in a case that is specifically designed for DVD storage, handle DVDs properly, clean DVDs regularly and with care, avoid exposure to direct light and heat, label them using appropriate materials, and regularly clean and maintain your DVD player.

The thought of being able to save and preserve memories, music, images and other important data files on something envisioned to last virtually forever is quite tempting. DVDs are known for being a practical choice for storing data because of their storage capacity. They are also popular for their archival longevity. In fact, experts have said that with proper handling and treatment, DVDs may last up to 50 years. Unfortunately, many of us may just think that using plastic sleeves for archiving or stacks of DVDs is sufficient in keeping them durable. Actually, there are several basic things that we tend to forget but are actually very important in order to maintain the durability and lifespan of our DVDs. Here are some of them.

Store in a case that is specifically designed for DVD storage

Most of us think that jewel cases or video cases for CDs will serve the same purpose of keeping our DVDs safe. Actually, there is a big difference between CD cases and cases that are meant for DVD media. Basically, DVDs are 2 discs chemically attached together, which makes it the exact opposite of a CD. DVD cases are designed in such a way that only a sufficient amount of pressure is applied on the surface of the DVD when taking it out and putting it back to its case. It is good to remember to use jewel cases that are meant specifically for DVD media and not CDs. Jewel cases are also more effective at keeping dust away and preventing damage compared to paper or plastic sleeves.

Handle DVDs properly

When handling your DVDs, remember to use the hole in the middle of the DVD when holding it instead of touching other parts of the DVD surface or even the edges. Holding DVDs by their edges might cause it to bend.

Clean DVDs regularly and with care

Dust and lint are common enemies of DVDs. Clean your DVDs regularly using lint-free material or liquid DVD cleaners. Clean the surface of the DVD by following outward strokes, and start from the inside and proceed outside the disc. Do not use rags, tissue or a random piece of cloth when cleaning.

Avoid exposure to direct light and heat

The dye layer of DVDs is susceptible to extreme heat and light, and these external elements can render the data stored on the DVD unreadable. It is more advisable to store DVDs in an attic, closet or dry space where it is not exposed to extreme light and heat.

Regularly clean and maintain your DVD player

It is important to remember that dust and other harmful particles can accumulate inside your DVD players or drivers, and these can transfer onto your DVDs when played. Regularly clean your DVD players by dusting them. It is also a good idea to use a lens cleaner disc on the drive once every 6 months.

Label using appropriate materials

When labeling your disc, use the full-size circle-shaped label, and attach it carefully and smoothly onto the DVD surface using a label applicator. If you intend to hand-write the label on the disc, make sure that you are using a water-based marker, since regular pens contain alcohol that may leak into the dye layer of the DVD and cause damage.

DVDs have provided us with an effective way of preserving and saving important data for a longer span of time. In order to get the most of this type of archiving material, we must take care of our DVDs properly.

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