CD, DVD, Game Disc Issues for Video Stores & Game Stores

This page is to help you and your team members better understand the issues facing all video rental stores across Australia, as CD ROM technology takes hold and more customers leap into the DVD and Game arena.

The CD ROM format covers all products such as DVD, PS1, PS2, Dreamcast, CD-R, CD-RW, PC software, Microsoft X-Box, Nintendo Game Cube (3 ½ Inch) and application Software. Any CD that holds Audio and/or Video information is basically made up the same way.

Also see our FAQ page as it lists the most commonly asked questions within the Video Rental Industry as fielded by all the Major Video Rental Stores here and in the United States of America. The answers may help you in better understanding your valued customer's issues and the frustrations they find in renting a CD ROM based product from your store in the format of a DVD or Game. These issues are not only Australia bound but also have worldwide implications and commonality.

For more information, please see the How CD-ROM’s Work page.

The DVD looks to be in good condition without any scratches, but still skips?

If you read the page on How CD-ROM’s Work, you’ll know that the information on a disk is actually stored directly beneath the graphics layer. This graphics layer has a reflective backing, which is what rebounds the laser for reading. Therefore, if a disk has any scratches in the graphics layer, the laser will not rebound downwards as it is meant to do. Instead, the laser will go right through the disk causing it to skip.

Funny that we all place our CD’s & DVD’s picture side down when we should in fact be protecting this side at all costs! The shiny side can be repaired no matter what, so get in the habit of placing your disks shiny side down, and not picture side down.

Possible Solutions

Unfortunately, once a disk’s graphics layer is damaged, there is absolutely nothing you can do to repair it. The disk will skip forever, regardless of what you do to repair the shiny side.

The good news is that The Disk Doctor has CD Shields which will protect the valuable graphics side of your DVD’s & Game disks. The shields are quite thick, meaning they not only protect the graphics layer, but also prevent the disks from cracking. The CD Shields can be Custom Printed with your company details on them and with a simple wipe, you can remove those details from the CD Shield when you sell the disk!

The DVD stops/freezes/goes back to the start or pixelates between Chapters 17-24?

This is a very common problem within the industry and it is because of the GOLD coloured DVD's on the market today. GOLD coloured DVD's are usually dual layered CD ROMs. If remember in the old days (24 months ago!) you had DVD's that needed turning over to continue the movie. Well, in order to combat this problem the manufacturer's came up with this new method - 2 layers.

As movies are getting bigger and special effects greater, the GOLD coloured DVD was introduced with another layer of information on it. This means the movie and all the extra information are stored on one side of the disk, giving the distributors a side to have high impact graphics for advertising. This advancement meant we no longer had to turn DVD’s over!

What is happening and will continue to happen depending on the DVD player is this. As the DVD switches to the second layer, certain DVD Players have trouble recognising this NEW layer, causing the abovementioned faults to occur. This is a MACHINE ISSUE and can be not be fixed by you or the customer as machines from different manufacturers or year date will act in different ways.

Possible Solutions

When the problem occurs you can try to fast forward past the problem and then continue to play the movie. Or move to the next chapter and fast rewind back to your original spot. These solutions however do not help in the customers' viewpoint, as they may perceive the DVD to be faulty or cause them frustration as the problem may arise in a high impact area of the movie.

Whatever the solution, the newer the DVD player the less likelihood the issue will arise. Manufacturers know of the problem and have addressed the issue in there updated DVD machines. My DVD is a Toshiba and is 18 months old and this issue causes my DVD player to pixilate for a few seconds then moves on with the movie but my friend has a foreign machine with a name you cannot pronounce and his machine goes back to the start when switching layers!

You will find the older DVD players, whether cheap or expensive, experience more problems with new DVD's. This is because of the changes in the amount of information placed on a DVD and the structure of how the DVD player reads this information. A situation that causes headaches for the industry now and into the future!

A scratch or line appears 5mm from the outside edge around a PS2 Game or DVD?

This is a VERY common problem and is caused by PlayStation 2 machines. It is more prominent with PS2 machines being used standing on their side than when they are used flat. As the DVD or Game is running, the disc gets the speed wobbles and scrapes the side of the tray inside the machine, thus causing the circular mark.

The mark either comes in a continuous line or may be broken up into smaller lines with gaps between them. It is more prominent if your video store uses identification labels (barcodes) that are square as it causes the disc to spin off centre as this small amount of weight changes the centre of gravity on the disc.

Possible Solutions

Donut Labels are recommended. These are labels which sit around the centre of the disc and can be labeled with your store name and bar-coded for ease of use. This type of label distributes the weight evenly around the disc thus not affecting the centre of gravity.

Again you cannot fix the cause of the issue but you can fix the scratch with The Disk Doctor’s Disk Repair Machines in around 1 minute. This problem will cause the Game or DVD to stop working at a point in time. This PS2 machine issue is here to stay!

The Disk Doctor can provide you with Custom Printed Donut Labels. Contact us today for a quote.

Disks won’t load, or perform ‘disk read errors’?

FINGERMARKS are a CD ROM's worst nightmare. A large percentage of problems are associated with fingermarks and if your DVD's or Games were cleaned upon return or rental you will see a drop in DVD related problems.

TRY THIS: Get a brand new DVD and place your thumb print just inside the hole in the centre of the disc ensuring you get the "Dots and Dashes" covered as shown here. (pic)

If you place it in your DVD player and press play you will find 9 times out of 10 it will come up with "DISC ERROR"?

WHY? As shown in the photo, these "Dots and Dashes" tell the DVD player about the disc. If the player can’t read this information, it will not recognize the disk!

When you place your fingerprint over this area the oil from your fingermark does not allow the DVD player's laser to read the information. The DVD player will try 3 times then come up with an error message. If you remove the DVD and wipe it with a Lint Free Cloth removing all the fingermarks and place it back in the machine you will find it will play without a problem!

Possible Solutions

Now you can see why it is VERY important you clean your DVD's and Games on a regular basis. Work on a "Preventative Maintenance" program that suits you either by looking at the disc when you are returning it or wiping it before the customer hires it. Either way, when you have implemented a procedure you will notice a decline in customer complaints regarding DVD issues!

The Disk Doctor has a number of products to help with this problem. Please take a look at our DiscCloths; Sprays & Cloths; Wipes and Polishing Sprays. (links) An easy solution to a common problem!

Why do some DVD’s work on some players and not others?

Depending on your DVD Player’s brand and year, you will unfortunately have various results when renting DVD titles. We are not here to promote nor bag certain machines but it is generally good to stick to the major, well-known brands for a DVD Player.

Since the inception of DVD technology and the advancements within reading and writing to a DVD, the newer the player the fewer the problems you will have with playing NEW DVD movies. Unfortunately a DVD player would be classified "out of date" with 12 months of purchase just because of technology.

Example: Final Fantasy the movie was released on DVD - Fantastic! Older style DVD players have had many problems with watching the DVD as it is packed with allot of information that the older DVD players do not recognise because when they were made the technology used for the DVD special effects wasn't invented yet!

What we have found is that generally the cheaper the DVD player the more issues with it and this is in respect to watching new DVD's and watching DVD's with scratches on them. Everybody would agree that most DVD's with scratches can be played on most players but it is the type of scratch that sets the machines apart.

Generally a cheaper machine has a cheaper laser in it, which is the main component on a DVD player, and the strength of the laser will determine whether it can read a DVD with a scratch or not. As scratches are never the same, the deeper and/or wider the scratch; the more or less problems your DVD player may experience. Confused yet?!

Ok, to put it into a customer's point of view: you could rent a DVD with small amounts of scratches on the DVD to two different customers. One customer may have no issues with the DVD playing and the other may have issues such as freezing, jumping etc…. If you ask the customers and kept a log of the brands you would generally find that the cheaper and no name brands would have a higher rate of problems than the middle to upper thresh hold of DVD players. It all boils down to the laser!

As the DVD plays, the laser sends a beam from under the DVD and hits the foil layer (information layer), reads the information and gets reflected back to a decoder, then the decoder transfers the information to your television screen. A scratch however will divert this laser beam from reading the information. The stronger the laser the more effective it is in reading "through" a scratch. Obviously the opposite will happen for weaker lasers which will be directed away from the information thus causing different problems.

Possible Solutions

The only thing you can really do is to ensure you minimise every possible problem within reason. This means: Keep your DVD's and Games free from Fingermarks. Check you DVD’s and Games every 5 hires which can be achieved if you can set your computer system to flag you every 5 hires. Try not to use the 3 strike rule that a lot of Rental stores use.

If you can visible see scratches then you have a problem! There is no doubt this problem will get worse and we have the solution for you - The Disk Doctor’s Commercial Scratch Repair Machines!

What is the difference between light scuff marks and scratches?
Scratches actually penetrate the surface of the disc, whereas a scuff mark just grazes the disc. You can generally feel a scratch with your fingernail while some scuff marks can be polished out with Polishing Sprays (link).

Both scratches and scuffs will present problems to renters if not addressed. Check your library continuously and implement a Disk Maintenance Program with a Disk Doctor Commercial Disk Repair Machine!

What if my DVD or Game has a crack around the centre hole?

BLOODY PUSH BUTTON CASES! Again, this is another issue that relates to all Video Rental Stores around Australia. It is obvious that the push button case confused many valued customers and added frustration to Video Store owners. Not only did the customers find it difficult to "push a button" they actual told some great yarns when returning the disc after they cracked it in half or around the centre. I am sure you have all heard a good story or too.

Possible Solutions

What do you do? First thing is to get rid of those push button cases! There are great alternative ones around now. Secondly you can use a new type of CD Shield that gives you protection on the graphics side and will reduce your cracking by 85%.

CD Shields are able to be Custom Printed with any type of information on them - logos, advertising etc. When you wish to sell the DVD or Game you simply wipe all the writing off the CD Shield so the CD Shield becomes clear! Easy, effective and can save you money!

Why do some of my DVD's have shadow or dark marks visible when they are new? (Very Important)

LASER ROT! This is a MAJOR problem within the industry and one that distributors would not like to go public with. An article was written 4 months ago in a Region 4 magazine and is included when you purchase a MACH 1 machine from us.

What has happened in the past and continues to happen today, is that DVD's are being shipped around the world with a shadow mark that is visible to the eye on the bottom side of the DVD. It comes in various shapes and sizes but it has disastrous effects to the DVD.

Basically when a DVD or CD ROM is made it is primarily four parts compressed together to form the product. In the compression stage air gets between the layers and causes the shadow. After a period - it does not have a selected time frame- the air begins to expand and will start to corrupt the data on the disc and at a point in time the disc will cease working! It could be 1 week, 1 month or 1 year.

Possible Solutions

The distributors know of the problem and when you receive your New Releases you should check for this mark and return any possible Laser Rot product back to the distributor for an exchange or refund. There are several known cases. A 1 page advertisement was put in a national DVD magazine recalling ID4 (Independence Day - Special Edition) as this release had a Laser Rot issue. Other known DVD's are LA Confidential, Contact, Ben Hur, The 13th Warrior and Aliens just to name a few.

Whether they fix the problem or not you are paying big bucks for some titles so it is WELL worth checking your entire DVD collection for this problem a demand from the distributor a refund or exchange product. The more complaints the more your distributors will listen and pursue a fix to the problem.

How do I keep my DVD and Games Rental Library clean & my customers happy without spending huge amounts of money?

A difficult one to answer as the Video Industry has definitely tightened its belt over the past few years with added competition within the market place and more competitive advertising spent to get that luxury $10.00 spend from each of your customer's.

I feel this is an individual based question as never two situations are the same, however there is not doubt the DVD or CD ROM based products are here to stay – with all their problems! Is this the end of the problems or just the start? What we do know is that CD ROM technology is allot more acceptable to your customers indiscretions than VHS tapes ever were and with this comes changes to the habits in the way we treat, look and handle DVD issues and customer complaints within our store environment.

A scratched DVD is worse than putting the wrong VHS tape in the wrong cover and sending it home with your valued customer. The major difference is that the customer can watch the tape but not the DVD even though the tape was the incorrect choice.

Possible Solutions

Not sure if you need to purchase a Scratch Repair Machine? Why not stand behind your store counter and hear what the customers are complaining about. Spend some time and look through your library and visually see if you have a scratch problem. Talk to your Team Members and ask their opinion and find a solution together.

Unfortunately 9 times out of 10 you will have issues and need to consider a Scratch Repair Machine. When you consider that you are adding a minimum of 150 DVD and Game titles per month, your library is growing fast!

Whether you buy a Scratch Repair Machine now or next year, you still have to clean your entire DVD library to an acceptable standard and continue to maintain your library from then on. At least it is easy once you have a Scratch Repair Machine! As easy as 1 minute for 2 discs at a cost of around $0.06.

Again rather than have discs in the drawer, have them on the shelf and move away from the 3 strike rule that allot of stores use. Do your competitors up the road have Scratch Repair Machines? Are their customers happy & therefore loyal?

You can’t put a price on customer loyalty. A Disk Repair Machine is not a huge outlay to ensure your valued customers are happy ones! If we can help in finding a solution for your business please do not hesitate to give us a call.

I have seen a small 3.5 inch CD ROM (half the size of a normal DVD) - What is it?

It has arrived! Actually, it’s been around for quite some time! The ‘new’ 31/2 inch size game CD ROM which will be released from Nintendo for its new game machine - Game Cube. As you can see from the photo the size will freak out our customers and gamers as Nintendo is forging ahead with the new CD ROM.

If you look in all you CD ROM drives in your computers and your DVD Players, you will find a slot that will fit this new sized CD ROM.

It has been around for a long time it is just that with different laser and CD ROM technology we can now fit MORE information on a smaller disc.

Is this where we are going with DVD? What we know is that this product is hear stay and reports from the USA state that the uptake of Nintendo's Game Cube verses Microsoft's X Box has been 2 to 1. It is cheaper and supposedly has better graphics.

Where is the Video industry going and how will we be affected?

BLUE LASER TECHNOLOGY! We have all seen cable come and go and now all of the cable companies are struggling to keep their heads above water which is great news for the Video Industry. As our telephone cabling system is unable to transfer large amounts of data back and forth and the uptake of Broadband has been slow, the future looks rosy for Video right now.

Technological advancements within the DVD and CD ROM arena are more astonishing every month. Making the likelihood of movies been streamed into our living rooms via cable a distant possibility at best.

Recently, through new advancements in laser reading we will have "57 GIG" DVD's which are 10 times bigger than that of the capacity today. We are getting greater amounts of data to a disc than through a copper cable at this stage. We have been to many a conference on Movie Streaming and have been told of the amounts of millions of dollars it will cost for someone to "attempt" a pay per view style structure. America tried it and is failing so how are we different.

There is no doubt that DVD/Video has a life for the next 4 to 5 years. After this date it becomes unclear. Technology is changing everyday.

If 5 years away scares you then maybe Video is not the thing for you. However, whilst it is here and the awareness increases, Video Stores (if run correctly) should prosper for quite some time!

For more information, please see the How CD-ROM’s Work page.

DISCLAIMER: Issues raised and viewpoints given are those of The Disk Doctor, and may not necessarily be accurate. Information is gathered from Australia and abroad and is formed from Internet Articles, Magazine Articles, Video Rental Stores and Personal Experience.





This webpage comes from Disk Doctor
http://www.diskdoctor.com.au/