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13. Disc Longevity, Handling, Storage and Disposal

13.1 How many times can a BD-RE disc be rewritten?
13.2 How long will data on a BD disc remain readable?
13.3 What is the best way to handle and store a BD disc?


13.1 How many times can a BD-RE disc be rewritten?
There is a limit to the number of times the phase-change recording layer in a BD-RE (rewritable) disc can be reliably switched between its crystalline and amorphous states (cyclability). BD-RE test specifications require that discs, at minimum, be rewritable at least 1,000 times. However, different materials, layer designs and fabrication processes may allow a greater number of cycles. For example, some manufacturers promote discs capable of 10,000 or more rewrites. In addition, under certain circumstances, BD-RE can employ defect management to actively verify data and relocate problems to spare areas of the disc taken out of the Data Zone(s).

Phase-Change Optical Disc Cyclability Comparison

Optical Disc Format Advertised Number of Overwrite Cycles
BD-RE ≥ 10,000
BD-RE XL 1,000
ADA-RE 1,000
HD DVD-RW 1,000
DVD-RW 1,000
DVD+RW 1,000
DVD-RAM 100,000
CD-RW 1,000
Professional Disc 1,000
Professional Disc for DATA ≥ 10,000
Ultra Density Optical (UDO) ≥ 10,000
Phase-Change Dual (PD) 500,000
Matsushita/Panasonic Rewritable Optical Disk 100,000

 

13.2 How long will data on a BD disc remain readable?
Several manufacturers and marketers claim that information written to BD-R (recordable) and BD-RE (rewritable) discs will remain readable for 30 to 200 years. Life expectancy of all data storage media is, however, notoriously difficult to calculate reliably and accelerated age testing methods and assumptions employed to arrive at those estimates are sometimes controversial. BD technology, of course, is in its infancy and lifetime data collected and published is extremely limited.

 

13.3 What is the best way to handle and store a BD disc?
Always handle a BD by its outer edges, by the center hole or center-hub clamping area. Avoid flexing or dropping the disc or exposing it to direct sunlight, excessive cold, heat or humidity. Handle only when being used and do not eat, drink or smoke close by. Discs should be stored in jewel cases or video boxes rather than sleeves since cases will not contact the discs’ surfaces and provide better protection against dust, debris, scratches, light and rapid humidity changes. Once placed in their cases discs can be further protected by keeping them in a closed box, drawer or cabinet. For long-term storage situations it is prudent to follow manufacturer instructions and consult the various international standards for preserving optical media.

Optical Media Storage and Handling Standards

Standard Description
ISO 18925:2013 Imaging Materials – Optical Disc Media – Storage Practices
ISO 18934:2011 Imaging Materials – Multiple Media Archives – Storage Environment
ISO 18938:2014 Imaging Materials – Optical Discs – Care and Handling for Extended Storage
ISO/IEC 29121:2013 Information technology — Digitally Recorded Media for Information Interchange and Storage — Data Migration Method for DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, +R, and +RW Disks

BD Disc Storage Environment

Condition BD-R BD-RE BD-R XL BD-RE XL
Specification BD-R Part 1 BD-RE  Part 1 BD-R XL Part 1 BD-RE XL Part 1
Temperature  (˚C) -10 to 55 -10 to 55 -10 to 55 -10 to 55
Relative humidity  (%) 5 to 90 5 to 90 5 to 90 5 to 90
Absolute humidity (g/m3) 1 to 30 1 to 30 1 to 30 1 to 30
Atmospheric pressure (kPa) 60 to 106 60 to 106 60 to 106 60 to 106
Temperature variation (˚C/h) ≤15 ≤15 ≤15 ≤15
Relative humidity variation (%/h) ≤10 ≤10 ≤10 ≤10

DVD Disc Storage Environment

Condition DVD-ROM DVD-R SL/DL DVD+R SL/DL DVD-RAM DVD-RW SL/DL DVD+RW SL/DL
Specification ECMA-267 ECMA-359/382 ECMA-349/364 ECMA-330 ECMA-338/384 ECMA-371/374
Temperature (˚C) -20 to 50 -20 to 50 -10 to 55 -10 to 50 -20 to 50 -10 to 55
Relative humidity (%) 5 to 90 5 to 90 3 to 90 3 to 85 5 to 90 3 to 90
Absolute humidity (g/m3) 1 to 30 1 to 30 1 to 30 1 to 30 1 to 30 1 to 30
Atmospheric pressure (kPa) 75 to 106 75 to 106 60 to 106 75 to 106 75 to 105/106 60 to 106
Temperature variation (˚C/h) ≤15 ≤15 ≤15 ≤10 ≤15 ≤15
Relative humidity variation (%/h) ≤10 ≤10 ≤10 ≤10 ≤10 ≤10

DVD Disc Storage Environment (ISO/IEC 29121)

Condition General Storage Controlled Storage
Temperature (˚C) 5 to 30 10 to 25
Relative humidity (%) 15 to 80 30 to 50
Absolute humidity (g/m3) 1 to 24 3 to 12
Atmospheric pressure (kPa) 75 to 106 75 to 106
Temperature gradient (˚C/h) ≤10 ≤10
Relative humidity gradient (%/h) ≤10 ≤10

CD Disc Storage Environment

Condition CD-ROM CD-R CD-RW
Specification ECMA-130 ECMA-394 ECMA-395
Temperature (˚C) -20 to 50 NA NA
Relative humidity (%) 5 to 90 NA NA
Atmospheric pressure (kPa) 75 to 105 NA NA
Wet bulb temperature (˚C) ≤29 NA NA

BD Disc Operating Environment

Condition BD-R BD-RE BD-R XL BD-RE XL
Specification BD-R Part 1 BD-RE Part 1 BD-R XL Part 1 BD-RE XL Part 1
Temperature (˚C) 5 to 55 5 to 55 5 to 55 5 to 55
Relative humidity (%) 3 to 90 3 to 90 3 to 90 3 to 90
Absolute humidity (g/m3) 0.5 to 30 0.5 to 30 0.5 to 30 0.5 to 30
Atmospheric pressure (kPa) 60 to 106 60 to 106 60 to 106 60 to 106

DVD Disc Operating Environment

Condition DVD-ROM DVD-R SL/DL DVD+R SL/DL DVD-RAM DVD-RW SL/DL DVD+RW SL/DL
Specification ECMA-267 ECMA-359/382 ECMA-349/364 ECMA-330 ECMA-338/384 ECMA-371/374
Temperature (˚C) -25 to 70 -25 to 70 (read)
-5 to 55 (write)
5 to 55 5 to 60 -25 to 70 (read)
-5 to 55 (write)
5 to 55
Relative humidity (%) 3 to 95 3 to 95 (read)
3 to 95 (write)
3 to 85 3 to 85 3 to 95 (read)
3 to 95 (write)
3 to 85
Absolute humidity (g/m3) 0.5 to 60 0.5 to 60 (read)
0.5 to 30 (write)
1 to 30 1 to 30 0.5 to 60 (read)
0.5 to 30 (write)
1 to 30
Atmospheric pressure (kPa) NA NA 60 to 106 NA NA 60 to 106
Temperature gradient (˚C/h) NA ≤15 (read) ≤10 ≤10 ≤15 (read) ≤10
Relative humidity gradient (%/h) NA ≤10 (read) ≤10 ≤10 ≤10 (read) ≤10
Sudden change of temperature (˚C) ≤50 NA NA NA NA NA
Sudden change of relative humidity (%) ≤30 NA NA NA NA NA

CD Disc Operating Environment

Condition CD-ROM CD-R CD-RW
Specification ECMA-130 ECMA-394 ECMA-395
Temperature (˚C) -25 to 70 -5 to 55 (write) -5 to 55 (write)
Relative humidity (%) 10 to 95 5 to 95 (write) 5 to 95 (write)
Absolute humidity (g/m3) 0.5 to 60 0.5 to 30 (write) 0.5 to 30 (write)
Sudden change of temperature (˚C) ≤50 NA NA
Sudden change of relative humidity (%) ≤30 NA NA


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