Re: DVD Damage

Jeffrey Clark (clarkjc@jmu.edu)
Tue, 19 Jun 2001 05:31:48 -0700 (PDT)

Kate,

You and Charles are exactly right: It does appear to be the by-and-large
wretched case designs from most manufacturers that cause this sort of
stress problem on the DVD's hub area. The jewel case hub for CDs is much
kinder: it only uses friction, rather than one or two actual flanges, to
hold the disc in place; it's the flanges that do the damage. DVD producers
that use the cardboard cases (such as Warner, New Line Cinema) stick to a
variant of the CD hub that's acceptable--but I've yet to see a plastic case
model that adopts the same sensible design. (There *is* one that almost
does--don't know the manufacturer, but I believe USA Films and sometimes
Universal uses this case/hub design. The problem is, it's by far the worse
hub design for actually trying to get the DVD off of it, and could lead to
snapping the disc while avoiding the hub damage risk!)

This choice not to emply the CD hub appears to be pure marketing
considerations--the need to be different to further distinguish DVDs from
CDs. There's no practical reason why the hub mechanism can't be the same
(as the cardboard case illustrates).

Here, we've used two variations on packaging to get around the problem:

1. An elaborate alternative packaging composed of: CD jewel case, page
binder tray to hold it, and a looseleaf binder to put both into. Any cover
and other literature are in page inserts. We still use this for multiple
disc sets where the discs aren't really separable parts but should be kept
together.

2. There is also appearing now some specialty library packaging that adapts
the CD hub design in a soft-molded plastic case that approximates the
standard "keepcase" of the industry. These aren't cheap, but the cheapest
(good) version I've found can be seen in the Library Store
(www.thelibrarystore.com) catalog: "Full Sleeve DVD Album" (#89-0094). The
main drawback of this case is the fact that the interior literature well
isn't full-size, so a page or pamphlet included with your standard DVD
doesn't quite fit (we trim them slightly). And of course the case won't
accomodate multiple DVDs. But the case itself takes either a naked DVD or a
jewel case with DVD (so you *could* use a "slimline" jewel case that holds
2--while risking another user access and handling problem in the
process...).

Either route costs around 3 bucks in packaging. There doesn't seem to be a
cheap solution... unless your DVD titles are expendable and replacable (or
not) over time for the hub damage that occurs even when they're reasonably
well handled. That's certainly an option, depending on the purpose your
collection serves.

Jeff

--On Monday, June 18, 2001 6:21 PM -0700 Kate Vaux <kmvaux@unimelb.edu.au>
wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I was wondering if others out there were experiencing similar problems to
> me. I have had some DVDs returned to me by borrowers who say they won't
> work. When I look at them I can see some cracking or chipping around the
> hub. The damage seems to have resulted from taking the DVD in and out of
> the case. Once the hub has a slight crack it gets worse as you return the
> DVD to the case.
>
> The cases are a little tricky to use and I'm certain that they are
> frequently handled with some force (after all, Library materials are
> treated with about the same respect as rental cars.....). I have never
> seen this problem occur with CDs or CD-ROMs and I'm certain that is
> because they are housed in different cases.
>
> Has anyone else had this damage to DVDs? Is this a real design flaw? Are
> some DVD cases better than others?
>
> Thanks,
>
> Kate
>
>
> *************************************************************************
> ***** Kate Vaux
> Media Information Librarian
>
> Room 420
> Media Collections
> Level 4, Education Resource Centre (ERC) Library
> The Information Division
> The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010
> Australia
>
> email : kmvaux@unimelb.edu.au
>
> Telephone : +61 3 8344 8650 or +61 3 8344 8316
> Facsimile : +61 3 9347 0974
>
> http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/media/
>
>

**********
Jeff Clark
Director
Media Resources (MSC 1701)
James Madison University
clarkjc@jmu.edu
540-568-6770 (voice)
540-568-3405 (fax)