Problems with Unbranded DVD-R

J. Beale  May 31, 2003, updated 2005

In 2003 the Meritline company sold a DVD-R they represented as:  "MAXELL True 2X DVD-R 4.7GB DVD Recordable General Purpose OEM Unbranded -- Top Surface: Silver Unbranded; Recording Surface: Purple.

On April 16 2003 and again on May 13 2003, I purchased packs of 25 "MAXELL" discs from meritline to fufill a customer order. I chose Maxell discs specifically because in the  tests by Ralph LaBarge, Maxell had the highest compatability rating among DVD-R general brands tested. Out of my lot of 50 discs from Meritline, I found 4 had playback errors in my testing and I rejected those before shipment. I also noticed on many of them, the top and bottom polycarbonate platters were glued together slightly offset, and the discs vibrated when spinning in my DVD burner, and set-top player. However I had a deadline, and had to use the discs anyway.

One month after I shipped, I heard from a customer that two of them did not play back on his computer.  After some emails, Meritline refunded my purchase price but only for the two defective discs. Two years later, I got two more discs back that had initially played but did not play any more.

In July 2003, Maxell put out a notice about counterfeit discs.

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