I'm not disputing your average Verbatim is better than your average just-about-anything-else. I'm just stating, as Digitalfaq itself states, that there is outsourcing going on and not all Verbatims are made equally. The media ID doesn't tell the whole story, such as who actually made the disc. Not to mention, the definition of "first class" he's using encompasses a fairly wide swath and even the MAP6 iffy Verbatims probably are more consistent than anything in the 2nd tier.
(I'd go so far as to break his first tier into 2 or 3 sub-tiers of media codes; in my experience made in Taiwan SONY16D1 media is much worse than Verbatim DVD+R MCC04, for example. But I get MUCH higher errors on the MAP6-coded Verbatim MCC03 discs than the SONY16D1s. But I'm really picky and like keeping my discs WELL below DVD spec in terms of errors to give plenty of headroom for any future degradation)
It's all made with Verbatim's dyes and equipment but there ARE good and bad batches out there, as there are with anything (and even the reviews of Videohelp have some people calling it crap!), and the common thought is CMC-made Verbatims tend to be better than Prodisc-made Verbatims, even with all the same media ID.
The reviews on videohelp are a bit subjective, check out "Ori from Israel"'s review of November 25, 2006-- the PIE scan he attaches to his review saying "best result [he] ever had!" (http://www.videohelp.com/mediaimages...media18653.jpg
) is actually so far off the charts of the DVD spec it isn't funny-- there should be no areas of the disc with a consistent level above 280 PIE errors, and yet his jumps above 280 for the last 1GB of the disc. That disc may play but isn't guaranteed to play under the DVD standard. Granted, it appears he's using an NEC for scanning and I don't know how good of a job they do, but that's actually a pretty bad quality Verbatim and isn't at all indicative of results you SHOULD get from Verbatim media. (mine usually scan with a TOTAL PIE error count of around 50,000 or less; his disc has over 1,000,000 PIE errors!)
And keep in mind that media codes can be faked-- but hub codes very, very rarely are. I am not saying you'd likely find fake Verbatim at your local Best Buy or Buy.com/etc
, but just because a disc reports a specific media code doesn't guarantee that's really what the disc is-- the inner hub codes seem to be rarely faked. (At least from what I have read)
Check the forums at cdfreaks.com if you want a VERY ultra-anal discussion on media quality.
I'm just saying not every spindle of Verbatim is equal, and I have seen plenty of MAP6 media, which in my experience can be pretty dodgy, in 2005 wrappers.