Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cheap skate

As I explained the other day, I’ve spent many frustrating hours trying to make a decent copy of my DVD of the christening. What I mean by that is one that does not jitter part way through.

One or two copies have come close with just a minor jitter or two – not enough to spoil watching entirely but still annoying. Others have simply come to a dead halt on one of the images – totally un-viewable.

Ten wasted discs later, I decided to do some research on the Internet to see if I could find a possible cause. Various forums suggested that it was unlikely to be the DVD burner, the most likely suspect would be cheap budget media. That was a relief – I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of having to replace the DVD burner in my computer.

At this point I should confess to having bought budget DVDs from Asda in England which is what I was using for this project. Obviously Asda don’t make DVDs, I have no idea what brand they might actually be. There are apparently ways to find out but that wouldn’t really help solve my problem.

One website in particular was very helpful. Although the information was well out of date, it pointed me in the right direction. Apparently what I needed were ‘premium’ quality blank discs for a jitter free video. At the time the article was written, the suggestion was that any disc manufactured in Japan would suffice and Sony came out as one of the manufacturers whose DVD blanks could normally be relied on.

Armed with that knowledge, I went to Carrefour yesterday to seek out some Sony blank DVDs which surprisingly were similar in price to others. Not only that but were manufactured in India the same as the others. For all I know, they could have all come from the same factory.

Naturally, I was hesitant – had Sony compromised quality standards to remain competitive? Would these discs produce exactly the same jitter as the Asda ones?

Now burning just one disc is not a definitive test but at least the first hurdle has been passed. I now have a copy of my little masterpiece (that is a joke by the way) which plays without jitter.

So no more budget DVDs or CDs for me. The money I saved was far outweighed by the time wasted producing ‘coasters’. With blank media, as with a lot of things, you get what you pay for.

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