Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blu Ray Media: Best Products Review

Blu Ray blank media guide : Best Blu Ray media
Best Blu Ray Media Part 6: Best Blu Ray Media

In order to have a good comparative look at our best Blu Ray media picks across all format categories, it would be best to summarize them all across a single figure. Standardizing prices for 25GB (i.e. the capacity of a standard Blu Ray disk, and half the capacity of a DL disks) allows for direct comparison across all formats - this is what we did below. As a caveat, remember to multiply this price by two for a DL media in order to get the price per disk, since DL disks have a capacity of 50GB.

It is immediately apparent that, unless we absolutely need the larger per-disk capacity of DL disks, it is always more cost effective to purchase regular capacity disks, and that the most cost effective archival grade Blu Ray disks are Verbatim 97090 LTH (if your burner is LTH compatible), for $1.25 per disk,  and TDK 49024, for $2.18 per disk.

Figure 1: Price per 25G for best media ordered by LTH/ BD-R/ BD-R DL/ BD-RE/ BD-RE DL

When looking at whether to go archival and non-archival grade, the best decisions are not the same in every format. If your burner is LTH compatible, and if your sue is data archival or back-up, it might always make sense to pick Verbatim LTH media for recordable Blu Ray media. If you need regular, non-LTH media, it is a lot more cost effective to pick non-archival quality BD-R media (as long as you are comfortable losing your data), as you are saving more than 50% of the cost of your media. It also makes some sense to pick non-archival grade BD-RE or BD-RE DL media (if losing your data is OK). On the other hand, there is not enough difference, in our eyes, between archival grade and non-archival grade media in the BD-R DL format to justify picking a non-archival media.

What we picked for we use Verbatim 97090 LTH for back-up, and TDK 49024 BD-R 4x for archival. We use Pioneer Blu Ray burners, which we have found to be more tolerant of media brand variations in general.

Archival Grade Conclusions
  • Most cost effective archival grade Blu Ray media: Verbatim 97090 BD-R LTH 2x, for about $1.25 per disk in 20 spindle packs - IF your burners are players are LTH compatible  
  • Most cost effective archival grade BD-R media: TDK 49024 BD-R 4x speed disk in 50 spindle packs, for roughly $2.18 per disk

  • Most cost effective archival grade BD-R DL media:  TDK 48737 BD-R DL 2x disk, for roughly  $8.95 per disk

  • Best value proposition for archival grade BD-R DL media: TDK BD-R DL white hub inkjet printable 4x speed disk, for about $9.00 per disk 

  • Most cost effective archival grade BD-RE Media:  TDK 48738 BD-RE 2x media, for roughly $4.64 per disk

  •  Best archival grade Blu Ray  BD-RE DL media: TDK 48739 BD-RE DL 2x speed, for roughly $21.09 per disk

Non-Archival Grade Conclusions
  • Most cost effective non archival quality, fast (relative to LTH) LTH media: Taiyo Yuden/ JVC BD-R LTH 4x, for about $1.72 per disk in 25 spindle packs.
  • Most cost effective non-archival quality BD-R media:  Optical Quantum OQBDR04LT-25 BD-R, 4x write speed disk in 25 spindle packs, for about $1.00 per disk. 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 non-archival grade BD-R DL media: Verbatim 97335 BD-R DL 6x disk, for about $9.00 per disk
  • Most cost effective non-archival grade BD-RE media: Optical Quantum OQBDRE02LT-10 BD-RE 2x speed media, for roughly $3.50 per disk

  • Second Most cost effective non-archival grade BD-RE media: #2 Verbatim 96921 BD-RE 2x media, for roughly $4.10 per disk
  • Best non-archival grade Blu Ray BD-RE DL media: Taiyo Yuden JVC BV-E260CW10  BD-RE DL 2x speed disks, for about $15.90 per disk 

Next we discuss criteria for the best Blu Ray media online stores... 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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