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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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