Video Data Services
406 Chestnut Street
Union, NJ 07083


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Damaged DVDs or Insurance on your memories

A couple of days ago I got a call from a distraught customer, She had a dvd of her wedding video that she and her husband enjoyed watching every year on their anniversary. Well, the last time they attempted to view their wedding dvd it would not play correctly. The picture was deteriorating and getting blocky, and the picture would freeze and skip…she actually had 3 copies of the disk…and each one was exhibiting the same problem..I found this very interesting…that all 3 copies would have the same issue…could it be 3 bad disks…could the original Master dvd have had a problem that was copied onto these disks…the caller assured me that all 3 dvds had played fine when they first got them…after some lengthy discussion, questions and answers..I found that the dvds in question all had paper labels on them. This could be one of the possible reasons for her problem. I have found through my experience working with dvds from the beginning of the recordable dvd around 2001 that paper labels on dvds can indeed cause the disk to become unplayable over time…I cautioned many other video producers early on to avoid placing these labels on their dvds…The response I most often got was “I’m using paper labels and they don’t cause any problems at all”….Well, that much was true..but as I explained to them at the time…I was thinking ahead 5-10 years…would the dvd still be playable then…It turns out my advice was dead on…I have seen many dvds that are several years old with paper labels become unstable and unplayable.
At Video Data Services we have never put paper labels on our dvds…we use a proprietary high speed dvd printer and top of the line Taiyo Yuden printable dvds..and print the label info directly on the printable disk surface. Now, what to do if you have important memories on dvds with paper labels…my recommendation is this…get the dvds out and play them…if they play fine all the way through…bring them in so we can make backup copies without labels…to ensure that your memories will be available for years to’s a bit of Insurance on your memories that doesn’t cost a lot. If the dvds do have playback problems, bring them in so we can assess the situation. We may be able to copy to a new dvd…or we may be able to carefully remove the labels without doing further damage to the disk..and then again..copy them to new disks…We can even duplicate your dvds to Archival Gold dvds for long term storage. If the dvds still will not play or duplicate when the labels are removed..we can do further data recovery to salvage as much of your video as possible…Whether you have family video tapes that have been transferred to dvd…home movies, 8mm, s8mm, 16mm film converted to dvd, or even photos or data files on dvds…if you have paper labels ….give us a call to see how we can help recover and preserve your memories for the future. You’ll be glad you did.

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