Friday, February 25, 2011

Blu Ray Media: Best BD-R Discs Review

Blu Ray blank media guide : Best Blu Ray media
Best Blu Ray Media Part 2: Best BD-R Discs Review

Run of the mill Blu Ray BD-R discs represent the bulk of Blu Ray blank media purchases. While, for archival quality,  they are 75% more expensive (or more) than budget LTH discs, they enjoy broad -although not perfect- compatibility across players and burners. There is a big difference in price between non-archival quality and archival quality Blu Ray media, so differentiating between the two is critical. As we already selected our picks of the most reliable brands of Blu Ray media, by restricting our choices to them, we can produce a short list of trustworthy products ordered by price.

Table 2: Blu Ray BD-R media from recommended brands easily obtainable on the net

In previous articles, we discussed at length archival quality and reliability for the primary brands of generally available Blu Ray media. The results are summarized here. We eliminated many brands from the mix for poor quality, and summarized what remains in Table 2. What are the conclusions of our statistical analysis for run-of-the-mill, non-LTH BD-R Blu Ray media?

The most cost effective BD-R media in Table 2 is Optical Quantum's OQBDR04LT-25 BD-R, 4x write speed disc in 25 spindle packs, for $1.00 per disc, for any non-archival quality use. As we discussed in our review of Optical Quantum, the brand outsources media with a Philips MID (itself manufactured by Moser Baer of India), which have shown to have very high variability in quality. While, so far, Optical Quantum's Blu ray products have had excellent reviews and ratings, we are concerned that this could be at the mercy of a bad batch of new media, which, we believe, could happen any time given the variability of its outsourced media. For an extra $0.20, the same disc is available in white hub inkjet printable. Given the price of the non-printable base model, if you have an LTH compatible burner, and use Blu Ray for data archival, it is probably worth it to look at archival quality LTH Media,, available from Verbatim for $1.25 per disc.

When you need archival quality in standard BD-R media, the most cost effective choice is TDK 49024 BD-R 4x speed disc in 50 spindle packs, for $2.18 per disc. This is the main battle horse we use at for Blu Ray archival. The same disc can be obtained in white hub inkjet printable for a hefty $3.79 per disc (TDK 49025). The next best choice for archival quality BD-R is the basically the same disc, but in 6x speed, for $2.36: TDK 61694 BD-R, 6x write speed in 50 spindle packs. If you want to switch brands, the first non-TDK choice is Sony BD-R 4x speed, white hub inkjet printable, for $4.00 per disc. As we mentioned earlier, if your needs are for data archival, and if your burner is compatible with LTH, another cost effective option might be Verbatim LTH media, for $1.25 per disc.

  • Most cost effective non-archival quality BD-R media:  Optical Quantum OQBDR04LT-25 BD-R, 4x write speed disc in 25 spindle packs, for $1.00 per disc. While quality is excellent right now, we are concerned that future batches of this outsourced media could have a significantly lower quality rating.
  • Most cost effective archival quality BD-R media: TDK 49024 BD-R 4x speed disc in 50 spindle packs, for $2.18 per disc at this time. 
  • Most cost effective fast archival quality BD-R media: TDK 61694 BD-R 6x speed disc in 50 spindle packs, for $2.36 per disc at this time. 

Next we recommend Blu Ray dual layer high capacity (50GB) discs, or BD-R DL media... So come back soon!

The prices mentioned in this review are the best across the top ten Blu Ray media stores that we selected, which we will review shortly. It is in general possible to find a touch cheaper - but you will need to evaluate your supplier. One option, which is sometimes cost effective for high quality media, is to purchase Japanese imports directly in Japan - there are several specialized retailers for this purpose. This option comes with additional risks and longer shipping times.

To understand Blu Ray lingo, check our lexicon of Blu Ray vocabulary. Our Blu Ray brand predictive quality rating process is explained here. Our statistical analysis practices are described here, which is also where we discuss's predictive quality rating.

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1 comment:

bPad said...

WOW, very insightful information about the quality of discs. I now know what to look for when going into Best Buy/ or buying off the web and what the pricing should be at. Thanks for putting all this together, great graph.


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