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Community Q&A – Time for Datarius!

Posted 25 April 2008 18:07 CET by Livia

CD Freaks presents a series of Questions and Answers with people working in the Electronics industry. Questions are gathered by posting a thread in the forums where community members can ask people working in the Electronics industry what they always really wanted to know.

Afterwards the questions are collected, sent to the right person and the answers are posted here, at

This week we post  the answers to your questions asked from Cédric Collard, Group Marketing Manager for DaTARIUS Technologies.

 Questions & Answers - Datarius                                    

1.    Why should anyone trust a commercial optical disc test system over a real life high quality PC DVD recorder, like Plextor's? 

Consumer players and their applications such as plex-tools or nero speed are good at investigating the playability and recording behavior of optical media used in the office or home. From a consumer viewpoint, testing your disc on your player ensures that your backup disc is playable after recording. What you cannot ensure is the playability of your disc on any other player and also the longevity of the recording. For example, you can find recordings made on a PC will not then play in a car player.

For a manufacturer, the discs produced should if possible be recordable and playable on any drive type on the market. Therefore, optical media manufacturers rely on reference equipment such as that from us to ensure maximum compatibility and record/playback compatibility without being influenced by any particular brand of player/recorder. Optical disc test systems have high-end spec compliant optical/electrical components and mechanics. Therefore, they deliver complete measurement results in according with the DVD Forum/Philips specification. The industry associations have defined norms that the media and players have to fulfill. Only the drive/media fulfilling these criteria can be introduced on the market with the DVD logo. The industry associations have also defined specifications for the test equipment used to achieve this certification. A high-end consumer drive does not fulfill these requirements. Therefore equipment such as offered by us was developed to measure according to the industry standard & specification, to measure with the highest repeatability and accuracy in a 24/7 production environment and to be used as a certification tool

 2.    What media manufacturers would Datarius recommend? Could the company post some results of common media names?

As mentioned above, our main activity is to develop and produce reference test equipment for the optical media manufacturer. Of course we have access to samples from the different manufacturers but we do not carry out a market ranking study. Major computer magazines count among our customers and do such investigation using DaTARIUS equipment.

 3.    Are any DVD recorder manufacturers clients of yours? Could you name a few? Which are the areas of usage of your products for them?

Yes we do have customers among the drive/writer manufacturers.  I am not allowed to name them here.

We have developed special devices which help drive manufacturers to optimize their optical heads and pick-up.

 4.    Are you getting involved in optimizing any stages of the recordable optical media manufacturing? If so, how?

Our test equipment for recordable media delivers a set of parameters which can be grouped and related to the production stage. By analyzing the results e.g. in case of a bad disc, if there is a reflectivity problem- the sputtering process should be inspected; recording problem or playback - can be an indicator for marginal dye thickness and quality. In the case of dual layer media, we do have parameters which can report bonding issues reflectivity too low on layer 1 - this means that the bonding layer is reflecting too much light.

We issued a  ‘Signal Guide’ publication for all mainstream optical media formats where we discuss all parameters that we measure and how these relate to the disc manufacturing process and quality.

In addition, we are also involved in the industry associations’ working group. The goal of this working group is to develop all technical specifications for media and drives as well as the test specifications before a format is launched on the market. After the market launch, these working groups are still active and review the performance of the media and optimize it via investigations with the reference laboratory (DaTARIUS is A-LAB for DVD and was formerly for the now withdrawn HD DVD). This results in changes to the industry specifications and new features such as high speed recording on BD-R and DVD-R.

 We would like to thank Cédric Collard for cooperating with us and answering the questions.


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