AVS Forum banner
  • Take part in a short activity and share your valuable opinion on new design concepts for AVSForum! >>> Click Here
  • Our native mobile app has a new name: Fora Communities. Learn more.

DVD media archive storage?

1138 Views 22 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  RoyGBiv
Hello everyone! This is my first post on this great forum that I discovered while researching my first DVD recorder purchase.

Like many others, I plan on transferring a large collection of VHS tapes to DVD media. I have a few questions concerning the long term storage of these discs (DVD-R).

1) Can they be stored in some kind of paper or cellophane or plastic envelope?

2) Can anyone recommend an economical source for bulk purchases (1000) of suitable envelopes? I don't want to use "jewel cases" because of their size ( too large for 1000 of them), and their expense.

3) I will not be handling these discs very often, so durability of the container is not the highest priority. Durability of the discs are. Do these discs degrade over time even if not played, like a tape?

4) I have seen CD/DVD envelopes that are paper with a clear plastic window on one side. Should the business side of the disc face the plastic or paper? Since I will be labeling the envelopes and not the discs, I am only concerned with the long term preservation of the discs.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
I use the slim jewel cases. They are half the thickness of a regular jewel case and I can put 5 of them in the same space taken by just one videotape. They fit nicely in my existing video cabinets and a shelf that held 20 videos can now hold 100 DVDs. The space savings is even greater when I copy three or four 30-60 minute videos to just one DVD-R.
Welcome aboard, longplay,

If you're going to record material and get rid of the original VHS masters, then make sure you use reliable media. Over the years I 've found myself re-doing a great number of discs that went bad for one reason or another. Ironically, I've been experiencing greater reliability with tapes that are more than twenty years old!

1. Never use adhesive labels.

2. Brand names mean nothing, as many companies rely on various manufacturing plants, and quality can be all over the map. Many members of this forum are having pretty good success with discs manufactured in Japan.

3. I learned the hard way not to burn faster than 2X. It seems many high-end machines, such as Denon's 3910 will choke on DVD-R discs that are burned faster than 2X.

4. For really important material, I keep a backup on DVD-Ram (up till now, I haven't had any fail within the last four years. I prefer the Panasonic non-cartridge type. I'm also finding similar reliability with TDK DVD-RW discs (burned at 2X).

Being my library is well into the thousands, storage space is an important issue. I store the discs in cd cases that hold 250 per case. The cases can be labeled on the spine and kept on shelves like books.

5. I've been having good luck so far with Ritek and Verbatum DVD-Rs. I use the inkjet printable media with an Epson printer. With a little practice, one can create some awesome-looking labels.

Happy Recording,

Peter M
See less See more
I bought a lot of Fellowes CD cases for storage. I used Ritek/Ridata, Samsung BeAll and now Taiyo Yudens that came down in price.
I use "paper" sleeves with the plastic window. Actually, the good ones are not made of paper but rather Tyvek. The label side of the disk goes against the plastic window so you can read it and the recorded side is against the Tyvek which doesn't scratch it (real paper is actually abrasive). Tyvek sleeves cost me $20/100 so they are half the cost of the DVD-R but worth it. They save a tremendous amount of space.
I use CD Technology paper envelopes as I've found they arrive in excellent condition packed in sealed boxes (as opposed to cheaper "bulk" envelopes that are generally mangled and squashed, held together with a rubber band), have a large window (which doesn't matter to you) and are relatively inexpensive ($6 per 100). The only thing I don't like is that the flap isn't prefolded.

I've found the best price is from buy.com.

Thanks for the link to that terrific site, jemaerca. Here is another page on that site that specifically deals with DVD storage options:
I've looked at shot4tech before, but for the slim jewel cases I use they don't have free shipping. Ground shipping for 200 is close to $30.

I find www.staples.com to be the best when you factor in shipping. Shipping is always $7.95 and I get the order the next day. The one time it took longer (two days) they actually called me the day after I ordered asking if I wanted to cancel because there was going to be a delay. I wish other companies, that have taken as long as a month to ship, were that courteous. :)
WOW!!! Thanks for all the responses. Lot's of good info here. It's funny, I did a lot of searching on this topic and until this thread, it really hasn't been discussed. I guess it goes to show what a newbie I really am. But it is such a fundamentally important subject that I hope many more will chime in.

It looks like the best solution to my storage needs will be either the Tyvek envelopes or the large binder such as those from Fellowes. VIDEONUT - can you provide me with a link to the case you use, because I could not find a case that holds 250 DVDs.

Also, VIDEONUT has scared me a bit about some discs going bad. What would be the reason a disc would go bad aside from scratching? Ideally, I would like to transfer my VHS and SVHS tapes to DVD-R and then be able to dispose of the original videotapes before they disintegrate on their own. It would be cost prohibitive for me to use DVD-RAM. How long can a properly stored and unplayed DVD-R disc be expected to last??

I didn't plan on using adhesive labels, but I would be interested to know why they are a no-no. Is it OK to label the discs with any kind of magic marker or are there special markers that must be used??

This is a great forum. Once again - thanks for all the replies, and keep them coming!
See less See more
Read the DVD-R FAQ

It says not to put labels or write on the recordable part (even the other side) of discs.

Unless I'm missing something, I haven't seen where to get sleeves in any of the linked sites. I was thinking something like what you get a DVD from netflix in. That would be a _little_ bit of protection, plus you could label on the sleeve and not on the DVD.. (of course that would presume putting back in the sleeve after using, but I can deal with that)
What are the effects of long term storage of DVDs in a player such as the Sony DVP-CX985V???It apparently can hold up to 400 DVDs.

Any comments of the playback quality of the Sony??

Ray Jacobs
Thanks for the link to the DVD FAQ. I now understand why you should not use adhesive labels.

The FAQ also said not to write on either side of the disc, but unless I missed it - the FAQ did not say how you should label the disc. I thought there was some sort of a preferred ink marker. After all, some discs can be labeled with a printer (which amazes me). Of course, you could just label the sleeves and keep track of what goes where.

How do you folks label your discs??
I use plain (white) inkjet CDStomper labels, and then write with a Sharpie on them. The way I see it, most of these discs will probably outlive my equipment, the widespread use of the format, and more possibly, myself.

By the time a new format comes out and is the new defacto standard. I will have transferred over all my DVD's and CDs, just as I did with my floppy collection onto CD-Rs.
I use the inserts. If I buy discs in a spindle then I photocopy a couple Panasonic DVD-R inserts (I like the format) and make as many copies as I need. I do have to cut them out, but would still have to cut them if I printed inserts using a computer program.

I see no reason to write on the disc itself or use labels since they are for my use only and I'm not looking for professional results. However, if the disc has a small write area, like the Verbatim movie reel discs do, then I will put a # on the disc.
I use Maxell and Ritek disks and I write on them with a plain old Sharpie Permanent Marker. Works just fine and causes no damage to the disk.
Yesterday, I was poking around at the local Staples and Officemax, and saw some good solutions.

At Staples they were selling packs of Sharpies in a 4 color assortment for $6.99. They were double ended (fine and medium point - I believe), and they are supposed to be safe to write on the non-shiny sides of DVDs. I would just use these to put a code number on the disc, anyway.

At Officemax they had 2 nice storage solutions, both by Fellowes. For $34.99, there was a large looseleaf like binder with 4 discs/page for a total capacity of 224 discs. It seemed to be of good quality materials and construction, and closed up with a zipper. The other storage solution that I liked was an all plastic sleeve with a center partition so that each sleeve holds 2 discs. The largest size was a 50 pack which holds 100 discs. That was only $9.99. That is much better than the paper or tyvek envelopes that I have seen. I am not sure if I like the binders or the individual sleeves best. I will have to shop online to see if I can get a better price in a larger quantity.
See less See more
Originally posted by jemaerca
Some nice reading:
I went to this site to read their recommendations for blank media. Interestingly, they give the TDK extremely high marks. I have used Maxell, Sony, TDK, and Fuji discs made both in Japan and Hong Kong, and the only coasters I have ever had were TDKs.

1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Not open for further replies.