DVD+R with VideoGard

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Ironclad protection vs. scratches on portable media

Price: $14.99 for a 10-pack

Web: www.verbatim.com

Phone: 800-421-4188

DVD+R with VideoGard

Have you ever lost an important movie on DVD because of a simple scratch? Chances are if you use a lot of DVDs, you have quite a few disks in the graveyard.

DVDs are robust and can last for 100 years or more if treated properly. But this hardiness gives the impression that DVDs are invincible. People leave them on their desks and then pile stuff on top of them, or they slip them into a shifting 'to do' stack. A desktop can be hostile to DVDs; paper clips or spilled salt, for example, can create a very abrasive surface. Even normal handling of disks can lead to scratches.

I even had one DVD with no apparent scratches that stopped working. After cleaning it with a special scratch-repairing system, it worked. It all depends on where the scratch lands, I suppose.

The market for scratch fixers for CDs and DVDs is huge. Products tested in the GCN Lab in the past have run the gamut from a miracle cream that fixed whatever it touched to a grinding electric appliance that ate more DVDs than it ever fixed.

But why bother with these scratch fixers in the first place if you don't have to? I could write reams about the proper procedures for handling disks, but who is going to actually follow them? So I'll tell you a way to make disks more resistant to scratches instead.

Verbatim Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., has released a new series of DVD+R media that is perfect for storing important government movies, whether they are training videos, the nose camera footage from a smart bomb or the latest 'Friday the 13th' movie.

Verbatim has added a layer to the recording side of the DVD called VideoGard. Looking at a DVD with VideoGard, you might think it's no different than one without it. And there's no apparent difference between the read-and-write speeds of the disks.

Durability is really where these disks part ways from competitors. We burned movies onto three DVDs with VideoGard and three normal DVDs. Then we laid them on a desk and piled stuff on them. We moved the stuff back and forth to try to scratch the drives.

After 15 minutes of this, two of the three normal DVDs had errors or would not play. None of the three with VideoGard had any problems.

And the best part is that the new DVD+Rs cost about the same as a normal recordable DVD. A DVD RW/+RW version that can be recorded multiple times is also in the works from Verbatim.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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