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After you transfer video tape to DVD, your new discs should last up to 100 years – or so the experts say. But it's a foregone conclusion that the more carefully you handle your discs after your conversions to DVD, the longer they will last. DVD discs are tough, but not indestructible (see our DVD Video Transfer page). Follow these Do's and Don'ts and your discs should last!

Do's – after your VCR or camcorder DVD transfer

– Just like video tapes, store discs in a cool and dry location. Avoid humidity and direct sunlight.

– If a disc has been in extremely high or low temperatures, let it acclimate to room temperature for about 15 minutes before placing it in a drive.

– Only handle a disc by its outer edges or plastic inner core. Never touch the bottom (unprinted side).

– Keep dirt, dust, and hair away from the discs. These items can stick to a disc and cause the laser in a player or drive to skip or stutter.

– If a disc does attract a thumb print or a small scratch, do try to clean it properly. Gently spritz the bottom of the disc with Windex or special disc cleaning fluid. Then, using a soft cloth (not a paper towel!) wipe the disc in straight lines from the inside ring to the outside edge. Wipe until the liquid is gone. Do not wipe in a circular fashion. If this does not fix the problem, send the disc to a DVD cleaning company such as Azuradisc.

– Store DVDs in their cases when not in use. This helps minimize dust and debris. Store cases in an upright position, like a book on a shelf.

– If you need to make multiple copies of a DVD, choose a professional duplication company such as Timeless DVD. Using your own computer's drives to burn a large number of discs is very time consuming and can ruin your equipment. Timeless DVD uses high-volume DVD duplicators and Primera disc printers for copying DVDs, which is the best process. See our DVD Duplication page for more information.

Don't do this after you convert tape to DVD!

Camcorder DVD transfer

– Don't expose discs to sunlight or extreme temperatures.

– Never touch the bottom of the disc! That's where the data is located, and even a small thumb print or scratch can be deadly.

– Don't keep DVDs lying flat for a long period of time. Store them upright in their DVD packaging.

– You'll have to convert tape to DVD again if your disc becomes warped. So when extracting a DVD from its case, try not to bend the disc. Unfortunately, some cases are strong so bending the disc may be the only way to get it out! Be careful.

– NEVER apply sticky labels to a DVD. DVDs spin at a faster and hotter rate than CDs, which often makes a label come slightly unstuck. In addition, if a label is applied off-center, this creates imbalance issues. Both conditions engender serious playback problems. DVDs are far more sensitive to the idiosyncrasies of a sticky label than CDs. Just don't use them. If you need to print on a DVD, use an inkjet printer that prints directly on discs. At Timeless DVD, we use Primera disc printers when we finish a video tape to DVD conversion.

– Don't use a ballpoint pen to write on a DVD. Sharpies or special CD/DVD markers are best.

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