Once again the first thing to learn about media (and D/L media in this case) is the fact that MOST LABELS DO NOT MANUFACTURE THEIR OWN DISCS!!!!!!!!!!! They outsource to one or more manufacturers. This can create serious problems as it is very easy for someone to say pick up Memorex D/L DVD+R and say that it worked great for them and someone else can pick up a different spindle of the same label and not have it work. There are a number of other factors which I will get into later but the fact is that one spindle of Memorex could easily be made by CMC Magnetics and one could easily be made by Ritek. Two different manufacturers with different quality standards for manufacturing media. So you could easily be buying two totally different brands even though they both carry the Memorex label. This is why a number of the media compatibility threads on this forum are so frustrating as they only list the external label and NOT who really makes them which is a much better indication of quality. The easiest way to idenitify the media manufacturer is to use a program such as http://www.dvdinfopro.com and select the media ID icon after popping in the disc that you desire to get the manufacturer information from. Before we go any further it should be noted that I will only cover D/L DVD+R here. D/L DVD-R as a whole is a format that is worthless and overpriced, NOT TO MENTION IT WON'T WORK ON ANY OF THE 360 DRIVES!!!!!!!!! Another thing that should be noted is that this guide not only applies to the XBOX 360 DVD-ROM drives but to ALL OTHER APPLICATIONS AS WELL!!!!!!!!!! Okay now let's start with the various media manufacturers:
THE ONLY D/L DVD+R MANUFACTUER I CAN RECOMMEND WITH CONFIDENCE:
Mitsubishi Kagaku Media -The current valid media ID codes from these gentlemen are MKM001 (official 2.4x rated media that will burn at up to 8x on most late model burners) and MKM003 media (official 8x rated media that will burn up to 10x on some burners). This is what you will find on Verbatim D/L discs at this point. Makes sense since Verbatim is owned by MKM. MKM has by far the most experience making D/L media and definitely stands out from it's competitors in this regaurd both in compatibility and durability. Part of this has to do with the fact that most burner manufacturers have used MKM (Verbatim) media to bench test their burners and help develop specs so it has the widest range of support from all burners. There are other labels besides Verbatim that carry MKM BUT THESE CAN BE REALLY DICEY!!!!!! Part of the problem is verifying authenticity. The easiest way to tell weather or not a given label is genuine MKM is to check the box/spindle and see which country produced them. ALL AUTHENTIC MKM IS PRODUCED IN SINGAPORE!!!!!!!! So if you see any other country on there then they are either some other manufacturer or FAKED. It is possible for Verbatim to outsource to other manufacturers in the future so keep an eye on the country of origin each time you purchase them. That being said as it sits right now Verbatim will offer you the least amount of hassle of any D/L media out there as they are currently all produced by MKM. For those of you who are convinced that these discs are too expensive just remember that they are still FAR CHEAPER than purchasing another original disc and sales on them often put them down into the range where there is very little difference in price between them and their cheaper quality counterparts. For those of you who would like some proof of what kind of results you can generally expect from MKM (Verbatim) have a look at the following collection of error rate scans from various users at cdfreaks:
THE FOLLOWING MEDIA ARE HIT AND MISS, SO USE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!!!!!! THE RESULTS OF THESE CAN VARRY QUITE A BIT DEPENDING ON BURNER/FIRMWARE AND THE DEVICE WITH WHICH YOU ARE PLAYING THEM ON. ALSO REMEMBER THAT THE HITACHI DRIVES IN THE 360 HAVE A TENDENCY TO BE MORE FUSSY THAN THE TOSHIBA-SAMSUNG DRIVES!!!!!!!!!!
RITEK-Outside of MKM they have been producing D/L DVD+R the longest. Unfortunately the quality standards and lack of firmware support from a number of burners makes them a real gamble. RitekD01 is the code found on their 2.4x official rated D/L DVD+R and unlike the Verbatim 2.4x they don't overspeed very well. The D/L Ritek D01 media ID code CAN BE found on the following labels: Ritek, Ridata, Memorex, Traxdata, Tuffdisc, Ridisc, Fujifilm. Ritek also has some official 8x rated media
Here is a scan thread at cdfreaks for those who are interested:
RICOH-Manfactured by Ritek under standards and specifications by Ricoh, these media are becoming as widespread among the D/L media industry as the Ritek discs. Ricoh also has the same quality varriables as Ritek but they also have an additional thorn in their side. Ricoh JPN-D00-01, which is their media ID code for their official 2.4x rated D/L DVD+R, is the most widely faked D/L media ID code on the market. What this means is that cheap chinese and hong kong manufacturers such as INFOSMART are making their media and then stealing Ricoh's basic media ID code and putting it on their discs so that when you run such programs as DVD info Pro, you will see the Ricoh JPN-D00-01 code coming up under media manufacturer. Once again the surest way to avoid the fakes is to check the country of origin. ALL RICOH MEDIA IS PRODUCED UNDER CONTRACT WITH RITEK IN TAIWAN!!!!!!!! So if the discs are made in any other country and still claim the Ricoh media ID code then you know they are fakes. Ricoh CAN BE found on the following labels: Imation, Memorex, ANY CHINESE OR HONG KONG MANUFACTURER TRYING TO STEAL THEIR ID CODE. Here are a couple of tests of the media at cdfreaks:
CMC MAGNETICS-Another D/L manufacturer that is on the rise is CMC Magnetics. As with the other two though, it's compatibility/quality depends on a number of variables. CMC MAG D01 is the official 2.4x media ID code and CMC MAG D04 is their official 8x media ID code. CMC MAG CAN BE found on the following labels: Phillips, HP, Bulqpaq, Datasafe, Ridisc. Here are the quality scans:
The remaining D/L manufacturers are the likes of Infosmart in Hong Kong/China who manufacture the lowest quality garbage and then have to try to steal media ID codes from other manuacturers to sell their media. Simple rule is ANY media that is made in China/Hong Kong should be avoided at all costs.
FOR USERS IN UK/EUROPE YOU FOLKS HAVE AN ADDITIONAL HEADACHE!!!!!!!! You have the lovely E-Net labels to content with. E-Net is a budget media distributor who grabs whatever media they can find and slap their own labels on it. The problem is not that the media is always crap, it's simply inconsistant. That and they will often grab B-Grade stocks from manufacturers, do overprints, ect. So in addition to the fact that you never know what manufacturer to expect from spindle to spindle you also have to worry about overprints, grade quality, ect. Seen it happen so many times where E-net will sucker people in by releasing some decent quality stuff to start a new media label/line and then when they hook a bunch of people they swap out to another manufacturer, lower grade, ect. This applies to both SINGLE LAYER AND DOUBLE LAYER DVD+R!!!!!!!!!!!! The lovely E-net labels to watch out for are the following: Datawrite, Datasafe, Ridisc, Rivision, Bulqpaq, Tuffdisc and White Label.
I have tried to be as comprehensive as possible here and if you happen to find one of the above store labels with a different ID code than I have listed or a new media manufacturer, please feel free to add it to the list. Unfortunately brand name labels have no loyalty so this will be a work in progress.
Edited by jesterrace777, 09 January 2007 - 12:38 AM.