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  Making successful DVD backups to DVD+/-R 
  Jan 27, 2005, 09:30am EST 

Scratched DVDs

By: Sander Sassen

Granted, the title of this article might raise a few eyebrows left and right, certainly if youíre employed in the movie industry. But Iím often faced with the problem of lending a DVD to a friend or family and getting it back with a scratch, causing it to skip during playback, or not even play at all anymore. Naturally the excuse they usually have is that they got it with a scratch or that it also didnít work in their DVD player. The end result though is that Iím sitting here with a disc that I need to replace, and thus I have to spend another $30 to do so. After having gone through this scenario a few times I decided it was time for a solution. This meant either stop lending DVDs to friends and family or come up with a backup solution that allows me to back my DVDs up to cheap recordable media. Obviously stop lending DVDs to friends and family isnít a socially acceptable thing to do, as accidents do happen, even when you scratch a DVD yourself.

NEC ND2510A and Imation DVD-Rs

All that is needed is a DVD recorder, software and blank DVD media.

So the obvious solution is to make a backup of a movie, use that, and if it scratches donít worry about it, as the blank media is a lot cheaper than replacing the original DVD. Hence you keep the original DVD stored away in a safe location and use the backup for viewing or to lend to friends and family. Unfortunately it isnít that simple, copying a DVD to CD wonít fit, because the CDR media lacks sufficient storage space so youíll have to re-encode the DVD to SVCD which means you see a significant reduction in image quality. Copying a DVD to DVD+/-R however is perfectly feasible, although 4.7GB of storage capacity is not sufficient to make a 1:1 copy with many DVDs. Obviously DVD+R DL, dual layer, media is available as well, and with 8.5GB of storage capacity any DVD will fit. Unfortunately DVD+R DL media isnít cheap, costing upwards of twenty times the price of DVD+/-R media, so how do we tackle this problem?

1. Scratched DVDs
2. Shrink to fit?
3. Copy and paste?
4. Tips and tricks

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