How to be Sure your Best Loved DVD Will Go the Distance

By: Christine Peppler

The life expectancy of a DVD is said to be around 30-50 years which is why they are popular for storing data, music, and movies. However, a damaged DVD can expire long before that time resulting in the loss of its contents. A few steps to ensure the well being of a DVD are the best way to protect important contents.

Proper storage:

A DVD should be maintained in a hard plastic storage case in a vertical position to avoid breakage and scratches that can potentially result in data errors. Cases can also keep a DVD free from dirt and dust. Keeping the disc clean helps to keep the player clean as well.

Proper handling:

The surface of the DVD should not be touched. When removing it from the player, the edges of the disc should not be pried up. Instead it should be grasped with the thumb and another finger; one through the hole in the center and the other on the outer edge of the disc. What many people do not realize is that the sensitive side of the disc is the bottom side; the side without the label.

Proper cleaning:

A damp, non-abrasive cloth should be used to wipe a DVD clean. Wiping from the center out is the best technique; a circular motion around the disc should never be used. For more serious smudges commercial cleaners are available for cleaning and even those for scratch repair and polishing.

Avoid heat:

Avoid laying the DVD on a hot surface or in the direct sunlight.

Handle gently:

Be especially careful when loading the DVD into a player; assuring that it is firmly in place before attempting to close the tray as damage commonly occurs when loading the DVD to play. Twisting, bending, and allowing discs to rub against each other can damage the outer layers. Another important thing to remember in order to protect the surface is that placing a label on the disc is generally not recommended.

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