OK, wajo and SuperEye, I'll bite...
You seem to think because no one is getting into it with you about "reference" and "documentation" that we don't "get" what you're trying to say, investigate, or prove. That isn't the case, for me at least: I understand perfectly what you're getting at. I have worked in postproductiion, I know from "standards and specs." What you are refusing to grasp on your end is why some of the rest of us take our position on blank media as it relates to our DVD recorders.
Speaking only for myself, I don't give a rats ass
about the supposed "documentation" and "mfr specs" you guys are so desperately looking for (or citing). I have no agenda or motivation to "convince" anybody of anything. By constantly insisting I "back up" what I say with mfr documentation, you're completely missing the point of why I say it: my posts are based on my actual experience nearly eight years using a wide variety of DVD recorders. I've been involved with professional duplication projects, I repair recorders and stereo gear for other people, I've burned thousands of personal and business discs on recorders, Apple Macs, and countless PC configurations. So I don't pull this stuff out of my ass, and I'm not the only one to see these patterns with blank media incompatibility. If someone asks for my opinion in a PM or a thread touches on the subject I will post my experience because that is what any forum is for- members to exchange their experiences to get a consensus of what is or isn't average behavior with various hardware, software and media. We aren't here to agree with each other 100%, we're here to get an idea of what everyone else is reporting.
Mfr recorder, burner or media specs mean absolutely nothing if they are in fact BS, inaccurate or their products do not behave as they state in real-world practical applications. In seven years working with a half-dozen brands of DVD and DVD/HDD recorder in my home and in business, I have seen an ever-increasing trend of 16x retail media killing the damn recorders prematurely or the machines repeatedly failing to finish burning or not recognizing the discs at all, while these problems almost never occur with 8x media. I am far from the only one reporting this phenomenon. And it isn't limited to recorders, it happens with PC burners as well (although to a much lesser degree given how often PC burners are replaced). Laptops and slot loaders are picky right from the factory and within weeks (not months, weeks) you learn they will really only work reliably with a couple specific media brands/types. Something as simple as white inkjet vs silver top of the same media formulation can be enough to make or break burn reliability. Yet, if you go by the specs, there should be absolutely no difference in functionality. Tell that to the uncooperative hardware, and see how far it gets you.
The media compatibility mess strikes hardest at DVD recorders, more often with DVD/HDD because they see much more use than the average DVD/VHS combo and they have the "high speed copy" mode to make things even more interesting. The huge array of retail 16x media made by CMC, Ritek, Moser-Baer and Daxxon OEMs went from occasional incompatibility to near-total incompatibility between 2006 and 2010. Verbatim (MCC) and Sony (Daxxon) held out the longest, but Sony finally caught up and Verbatim got really wacky and unpredictable with their 16x AZO after contracting with CMC to make it, then introduced a misleading "Life" series thats pure commodity CMC with no Verbatim input at all.
After I experienced a ridiculous number of failures across many pieces of hardware in late 2006 thru 2007, I began looking for clues here and at other boards around the world. (The most amusing threads were the ones where media mfr reps would jump in and try to help: they would start out really curious and wanting to find a solution, then inevitably stop participation with a tacit admission backwards compatibility corners had been cut in later 16x mfrg and there was nothing they could do other than regurgitate the mfr party line that "all our media meets standard specs." I really felt bad for one of the Verbatim guys in UK, he tried so hard and seemed so embarrassed to discover it "wasn't a bug, it was a feature.") The one constant that came up over and over was that switching to non-retail Verbatim 8x or TY 8x made the problems go away. I followed that advice, it worked for me nearly 100%, so that is what I report in my own posts.
Unfortunately, now even the 8x backwater has been contaminated: TY and JVC hopped into bed together, and the once-perfect TYG02 media started turning up with ever-increasing defects. Verbatim began restricting 8x SKUs and distribution, and have had some 8x QC issues of their own. Over the last year, incredibly, Verbatim and TY traded specialties: TY -R is now a crapshoot while their +R has recaptured the previous -R reputation, while Verbatim +R is trending down as they're now making really good 8x (and even 16x) -R after years of spotty -R QC. (Between 2006-2008 the flood of threads I skimmed where users traded horror and success stories of various Verbatim +-R lot numbers could fill a library).
Not everyone has these troubles: a substantial portion of the population using the same hardware never complains. From my own experience and consensus here on AVS, I am perfectly willing to concede that Funai, for example, did an exceptional job designing a multi-compatible burner for its Magnavox DVD/HDD recorders. It appears to be bulletproof, durable, able to burn anything you throw at it (the only failure reports I've seen have been from new owners, where it would make sense as the typical small percentage of initially defective units). It is not possible to determine for certain whether this is due to careful calibration of the laser for more modern media, or because Funai is using a much stronger than usual laser diode (perhaps both). Wonderful as the Magnavox is, media experience with it cannot be extrapolated as a reference for other people using other gear- the Magnavox is a unique piece of hardware.
The success of SuperEye with hundreds of assorted 16x retail discs in his Sony RDR-HX780 is proof that even with known-sensitive products, some people are blessed with easy-going units despite many others having to work around compatibility issues. The Sony 780 is essentially the same as a Pioneer DVR640 (and later 550 and 560 series), they rolled off the same assembly line. A few others here have reported similar success as SuperEye using the Pioneer 640 version long-term with random 16x media. All Pioneers from 2006-2008 and Sonys from the same period use the same Sony burner. Most of us have had major issues with this burner croaking after roughly 300 16x discs: it no longer burns 16x to completion in HSD mode, but will continue to work normally if loaded with 8x media.
My initial experience of Pioneers was with earlier models, where if the burner tanked I just replaced it with another similar Pioneer PC burner. I had a little cottage industry of doing this for other owners as well. Eventully I picked up a 640, and when it died after a few hundred discs found I couldn't repair it, because the new Sony burner was not entirely generic and had mounting slots where it attached directly to the motherboard. I brought it to a friend at a Pioneer service center, who took one look at it and told me it had been blown by use of newer 16x media. He was the one who tipped me off that newer versions of 16x discs had dropped any pretense of backward compatibility in order to make them more suited to ultra high speed PC burners, which were then topping out around 22x. Optimizing for higher speed means "optimized for blast furnace laser power levels," something neither Pioneer nor Sony (or any other brand) had considered in the design of their "slow" HSD recorder burners. Hence the trouble a lot of people run into.
If I post my
experience, it doesn't mean I'm denying someone elses' that may be quite different. If you never, ever have a problem swapping between Memorex, TDK, Staples and Maxell 16x bargain media in your recorder, I think thats wonderful for you: you never have to worry about running low on a specific media. Please extend the courtesy in the reverse direction: I'm not hallucinating my media problems- they exist, and they're very inconvenient. If I post general advice to the effect 8x is preferable in recorders, thats because I have never had (and never heard of) 8x bothering a post-2003 dvd recorder, while I have had (and seen reported) countless experiences of 16x failing or wearing down a recorder. Perversely, the more deluxe the recorder the more picky it is about media: tell a Toshiba XS or Sony HX900 owner they should try Memorex, you better duck before they punch you.
Sorry, wajo and SuperEye and whoever else wants "documentation" from those of us who base our posts on day-to-day experience. We don't have it, we never will. If you are currently enjoying the ability to use any media you want to in any device you own, more "power" to you. The rest of us anxiously await the day 8x media is no longer available. You'd better be anxious, too: some of us may break down your doors to grab your wunderkind burn-anything recorders.
I'm especially baffled by wajo's relentless quest for technical mfr documentation of a media problem he doesn't have himself: he only uses the Magnavox, only posts about the Magnavox, and would probably take his own life before agreeing to use anything else. The Magnavox will burn anything you throw at it, for years on end, so I don't see why wajo is even interested in this debate. The Magnavox itself will very likely be discontinued by spring, after that the only people who use it will be existing owners and those purchasing them secondhand. None of these people should experience media problems either. I'm willing to accept media is a moot point for you, please accept that it is not for a large swath of the rest of us on this forum. My Samsung and Lenovo laptops, the two dozen Mac Minis I administer at my office, and my rack of Pioneer DVD/HDD recorders thank you. (My Magnavox H2160 and MDR513 say "hi, and many thanks for the 727 firmware update.")