Re: Damage caused by DVD cases

Jeffrey Clark (
Fri, 1 Mar 2002 09:01:59 -0800 (PST)

Kate & all,

I'm going to add my two cents here because this issue gets me incensed
these days.

1. Yes, the case hub releases are causing the problem. This may, from time
to time, be further aggravated by casual removal/replacement of discs by
users--snapping the disc off and on the Amaray/Alpha/Accura hubs with the
flanges. We've even adopted a friction pressure case from a library
supplier, which is still tight on the hub and has resulted in the cracks
developing sometimes. --If this particular disc problem were not with the
hub designs most common, we should have had similar problems with CDs. But
the jewel case hub design, prevalent on the "snapper" cases for DVDs too,
is superior.

2. The persistence of these awful hub designs, I'm convinced, is one of
mere marketing. It was necessary to the industry to distinguish DVDs from
CDs in a way that made them seem extra-special, and packaging is the most
obvious means toward that. Even if it makes no logical "form follows
function" sense. So we're stuck with half a dozen different hub designs
that I've seen, none of them adequate for their purpose--if that purpose
includes keeping the disc in usable condition and not building into it
deterioration-driven obsolescence. Except on the Warner-style snapper
case--which again is essentially no real change from the CD jewel box.
History *ought* to repeat itself here.

3. Having tried a library-style album case as an alternative (Library
Store, #89-0094)--and still having the hub-crack problem with
high-circulation titles--I'm about to try a couple of the case types used
by rental stores. These tend to have hub holders without any flanges: you
just drop the DVD back onto the hub, and the case will stay shut without
using the security device that's normally meant to attach to it for rental
purposes. These also accomodate sleeve and interior literature. You might
check out the Specialty Store catalog for choices (e.g., #7463, #7020).
They're relatively inexpensive to experiment with.

4. A final note of warning: When cracks around the hub develop, watch out
for another phenomenon: you may come to notice a discoloration, like a
corona around the inner ring on the disc playing surface. This may be a
form of oxidation, resulting from the cracks opening up space between the
two disc sides and letting air in. It'll stop the disc playback dead when
that happens--and that's automatic replacement.


--On Friday, March 01, 2002 3:51 AM -0800 "Delin, Peter" <>

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> Dear Lorraine,
> try to get DVD cases without that push button typical for these AMARAY
> BOXES and change the AMARAY BOXES. We had the same problem (please see
> annexed mail) and now use DVD cases with buttons similar to those in CD
> cases ("Jewel Box").
> With kind regards
> Peter Delin/Videolektorat
> Lorraine schrieb:
>> Dear All,
>> Would any of you mind sharing your thoughts on how to prevent damage
>> caused by DVD cases? We have a growing collection on DVDs and they can
>> be checked out. Recently we found that many of these DVDs (specially
>> the popular ones) are broken/damaged in the ring area in the middle. We
>> suspect that it is caused by the forcible pulling of the DVD out from
>> its case. Buying replacement copy is not the ultimate solution. We
>> are now considering replacing these DVDs into the VCD cases which seems
>> safer for the discs. Perhaps clients are more familiar to VCD cases
>> than DVD cases. What do you think?
>> Any idea will be highly appreciated.
>> Lorraine Lok
>> AV Librarian
>> University of Hong Kong Libraries
>> Pokfulam Road
>> Hong Kong
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> Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 15:20:41 +0200
> From: "Delin, Peter" <>
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> Dear Kate,
> since the start with DVD we have exactly the same problem. I think it is
> really a design flaw with these new boxes that are called in Europe
> AMARAY CASE according to the firm that probably invented it. They have
> this special PUSH BUTTON in the middle that is different from normal CD
> JEWEL CASES. They promote it as an easy release mechanism but some
> people probably don't realize the real function of this button and try
> to take out the disc from the margin which results in a cracking around
> the hub. Some of our DVD videos are destroyed in this way.
> With kind regards
> Peter Delin/Videolektorat
> Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin
> Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek
> email:
> Kate Vaux schrieb:
>> 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 :
>> Telephone : +61 3 8344 8650 or +61 3 8344 8316
>> Facsimile : +61 3 9347 0974
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Jeff Clark
Media Resources (MSC 1701)
James Madison University
540-568-6770 (voice)
540-568-3405 (fax)