Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blu Ray Media: Ritek/ Ridata Review

Blu Ray blank media guide : Best Blu Ray media brands
Best Blu Ray Media Brands Part 11: Ritek/Ridata Media/ Discs Review

Ritek/ Ridata, a Taiwanese company, is the most prominent provider of outsourced DVD media in the US, before its Taiwanese competitor CMC Magnetics. Ritek's recent reputation in the DVD market is improving (while CMC Magnetics's reputation has remained low), although it went through a major production hiccup several years ago when all of its DVD media started failing archival after short periods of time. We found Ritek/ Ridata Blu Ray media in quantity in BD-R formats only. To our surprise, Ritek factors Philips Blu Ray media, which has an 83% overall rating, but a very high variability in quality, going from a low of 67% to a high of 93%. We reviewed it here, and concluded that it was not archival quality, and that we could not recommend it independently of the brand that outsources it.

Why does Ritek factor Philips-labeled Blu Ray media, when it is the company to whom large brands go when outsourcing DVD media manufacturing? While going through hundreds of user reviews, we found that Ritek has just gone through another major production problem, where Ritek-manufactured BD-R discs sold approximately until the second quarter of 2010 experienced archival failures in large quantities, turning unreadable in a few months to a year, and resulting in data loss. Memorex was at the time factoring Ritek media, and both brands accumulated large quantities of scathing user reviews from the resulting data loss, some of these user reviews still being written as we speak. It appears that, sometime around the late second quarter of 2010, both companies switched to a Philips MID, indicating a change of manufacturer. We believe the manufacturer of this media to be CMC Magnetics under license from Philips. We expect Ritek to start producing its own media in the near future, once it has ironed out its production problems.

We found over 120 user reviews for Ritek/ Ridata Blu Ray media, averaging an uncorrected approval rating of 82%. Because there was 10% reported archival failure and data loss, we lowered the rating by 4x the archival failure rate (as it is the worst possible failure mode to encounter), according to our standard Blu Ray media process. We compounded the brand's rating to its 83% media manufacturer rating, with a 75%-25% ratio. To create our predictive quality rating for Ritek Blu Ray media, we added an equivalent of 10 user reviews with the brand's DVD media rating of 69%. Because the number of user reviews is not quite high enough to give us a margin of error of 5% with 95% certainty, we lowered the resulting rating by 4% to allow maximum downwards statistical margin of error to be exactly 5%.  Ritek/ Ridata's Blu Ray media predictive quality rating is 46%, very low, in great part due to the massive data loss resulting from media sold until mid 2010. As the old Ritek media disappears from the distribution channel, and as more user reviews accumulate, this rating should go up by 25% to 40%.

  • Ritek/ Ridata's Blu Ray media predictive quality rating is 46%, very low for the Blu Ray media industry.
  • Much of this low rating is due to catastrophic data loss from its own failing media sold until Q2, 2010.
  • Ritek's quality rating should trend up as the old stock of failing Ritek media disappears from the sales channel, and as more user reviews appear.
  • Ritek's DVD media has a low rating in DVD market. There is no reason to believe that its Blue Ray media will be significantly better.
  • Ritek is now factoring Philips-labeled media.
  • Ritek's outsourced media is not of archival quality, and we feel that there are better choices for the same cost.
  • we do not recommend Ritek Blu Ray media for any use at this time.  Beyond its low approval rating, it carries a risk of archival failure and data loss from old stock.
Next we review Sony blank Blu Ray media... So come back soon!

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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