Error: could not connect to the Myce Forum API French research: Avoid Blu-ray LTH discs for data archival | Myce.com
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French research: Avoid Blu-ray LTH discs for data archival

Posted at 11 October 2012 14:34 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Optical discs are known for degrading. The chemicals used in optical discs are unstable and therefor the discs become less readable over the years. A French study in which several Blu-ray recordable discs were tested reveals that it makes a lot of difference on which discs you store your valuable data. The archives of France, who conducted the research, tested discs from Sony, Verbatim, Maxell (made by Ritek), JVC and Panasonic.

The discs were burned with Nero and filled for 99%. The researchers used burners from Lite-On, Plextor, Buffalo, LG, Pioneer and Sony, burned them at several speeds and the burned discs were analyzed with a Blu-ray Analyzer from Expert Magnetics which uses a Pioneer drive to read the discs.

An interesting detail is that the researchers make a difference between LTH (low to high) and HTL (high to low)  Blu-ray discs. The first are manufactured in a cheaper way and are therefor less expensive. While cheaper, manufacturers claim that the discs are of the same quality as normal HTL discs.

In this test they tested LTH Blu-ray discs from Verbatim and JVC and it seems the claims from the manufacturers are not valid. The tests revealed that the overall quality of Blu-ray LTH discs is worse than normal Blu-ray (HTL) discs.  It seems that if you want to store your data for a long time, these should be avoided. The researchers recommend to use normal HTL Blu-ray discs and rated those of Sony and Panasonic as most reliable.

More details, a link to the report and an ongoing discussion with comments from our experts can be found in this forum thread. Thanks go to user robione for reporting it!

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There are 5 comments

tmc8080
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 12 Oct 12 00:22
    Well, the problem is two fold.. (reason #1) there are virrtually no HTL blue ray discs being sold due to the ultra high cost.. (reason #2).. without volume sales, HTL will never take off-- for further detail see reason #1.

    If I had my choice to buy HTL discs at current prices or a cheap hard drive as backup-- I'd buy the extra hard drive.. HTL needs to become LOW priced!!!!

    Most of us enthusiasts would probably pay the "VERBATIM AZO" % premium that are attached to those discs for HTL blue rays, but the literally sky high pricing keeps them out of the hands of people who WOULD use them for archival... and that's a damned shame!
    deanwitty
    Moderator
    Posted on: 12 Oct 12 06:34
      Hey Domi, thank you for bringing this to the front

      Judging by our members' posts, there are quite a lot of people buying HTL BD-R. In the US, HTL BD-R are by far the cheapest available. The situation is a bit different in other countries, where LTH can be among the cheapest.

      Some of us will undoubtedly continue to use optical media as a second or third tier for archival storage. And we are most certainly anxious for any news on their longevity.

      @tmc8080: I don't think that you're keeping up with BD-R prices. Currently you can get those long lasting Panasonic BD-R for $.07/GB, making the price per GB lower than HDD and an attractive option. Far lower than the $.33/GB cost of archival grade DVD-R. In fact you're getting 1TB of high quality BD-R for $70.00. Looks darn good to me. And the advantage of reduced shelf space required by BD-R vs DVD-R just sweetens the deal.
      Zod
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 12 Oct 12 17:22
        I use verbatim's. When I was looking around the last time i bought some (6 months ago?) the LTH's were about $25 for a 20pack and the HTL's were about $33 for a 25 pack. I paid the little bit extra and went for the HTL's.

        I hadn't really read anything good about LTH discs. I did use one pack of them when I first got my bluray burner, then switched because the price difference wasn't that much.

        I still use optical for backup purposes though. Mostly because I've generally chosen quality discs. Which means stuff I've burned from the 90s still seems readable. I still trust optical media more then hard drives. If a hard drive dies you loose so much stuff. If a few discs become unreadable you lose some stuff.
        tmc8080
        MyCE Resident
        Posted on: 15 Oct 12 23:53
          Quote:
          Originally Posted by deanwitty
          Hey Domi, thank you for bringing this to the front

          Judging by our members' posts, there are quite a lot of people buying HTL BD-R. In the US, HTL BD-R are by far the cheapest available. The situation is a bit different in other countries, where LTH can be among the cheapest.

          Some of us will undoubtedly continue to use optical media as a second or third tier for archival storage. And we are most certainly anxious for any news on their longevity.

          @tmc8080: I don't think that you're keeping up with BD-R prices. Currently you can get those long lasting Panasonic BD-R for $.07/GB, making the price per GB lower than HDD and an attractive option. Far lower than the $.33/GB cost of archival grade DVD-R. In fact you're getting 1TB of high quality BD-R for $70.00. Looks darn good to me. And the advantage of reduced shelf space required by BD-R vs DVD-R just sweetens the deal.
          The prices for HDD's have obviously fluctuated.. the PRE FLOOD street price for a 1tb hard drive was as LOW as $50... now you can only find 500gb hard drives around this price range.. people forgot this price range.. while blu rays were about $1 per disc or 4 cents per gb.. and I believe at the time, HTL discs were about double.. or $2 per disc / 8 cents per gb.. (new prices range to 4c - 5c/gb to 5-10c for HTL). so hard drives WERE a better deal.. which stunted blu ray use for archival backup. Eventually the lines will cross again and HDD capcity will be cheaper than discs. There are very few makers of HTL discs.. Verbatim doesn't clearly push HTL discs.

          I think I'd trust a decent hard drive for 5 years of use over 40 blu ray LTH discs. The inorganic dyes ued in HTL haven't been in use long eneough to determine their actual longevity. Maybe another 2-4 years could tell more if consumers buy more HTL, which they haven't yet.
          deanwitty
          Moderator
          Posted on: 28 Oct 12 18:46
            Quote:
            Originally Posted by tmc8080
            The prices for HDD's have obviously fluctuated.. the PRE FLOOD street price for a 1tb hard drive was as LOW as $50... now you can only find 500gb hard drives around this price range.. people forgot this price range.. while blu rays were about $1 per disc or 4 cents per gb.. and I believe at the time, HTL discs were about double.. or $2 per disc / 8 cents per gb.. (new prices range to 4c - 5c/gb to 5-10c for HTL). so hard drives WERE a better deal.. which stunted blu ray use for archival backup. Eventually the lines will cross again and HDD capcity will be cheaper than discs. There are very few makers of HTL discs.. Verbatim doesn't clearly push HTL discs.

            I think I'd trust a decent hard drive for 5 years of use over 40 blu ray LTH discs. The inorganic dyes ued in HTL haven't been in use long eneough to determine their actual longevity. Maybe another 2-4 years could tell more if consumers buy more HTL, which they haven't yet.
            I am still stumped by your perception that HTL BD-R are in the minority? This must be influenced by your location? The numbers of HTL being produced by manufacturers has far outnumbered the LTH being produced by TY and Verbatim. All the earliest 2006-2008 BD-R were HTL, LTH did not come around till 2008. A quick look at online E-tailers such as Supermediastore shows best-sellers as overwhelmingly HTL.

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