I use optical discs extensively for my own photography as well as my work with the video, cine’ film and audio archive. For permanent archiving I use M-Disc DVD and M-Disc BD-R. And for a second option other than M-disc I use standard Blu-ray discs.
The standard for Blu-ray is the M-Disc. It lasts 1 year in the sun with no problems. I’ve tested M-discs from 4.7GB to 100GB and they all pass the 1 year sun test. And to give you a comparison, all standard AZO DVD’s I’ve tested are destroyed after about 3-1/2 weeks in the sun with Gold MAM-A DVD’s lasting just a few days longer than the AZO DVD discs.
Surprisingly, commercial Blu-ray discs have failures after just a couple of months in the sun. So I was surprised when I first sun tested the Verbatim Japan 25GB Blu-ray disc and it held up for a year of sun. I tested two Verbatim Japan BD-R’s over different time periods covering 1 year & 10 days and the other test was for 9-1/2 months. Both passed fine. (I’ve included a photo of the 9-1/2 month disc here, as I can’t find the 1 year+ disc.)
Operating an optical disc library I use a huge amount of discs. And my work as a filmmaker also eats up discs with backing up temporary work in progress and test versions of productions for one time viewing. Sometimes I’ve had 38 versions of a film project and after I make the corrections I usually just trash the older version. So a while back I decided to try some of the cheaper Taiwan BD-R discs to save money on some of this temporary work that ends up as trash in short order.
For this project I tested the Japanese Verbatim BD-R against PlexDisc and Optical Quantum BD-R’s. Here are the actual discs after being tested in the sun for the periods marked on the discs. Before the sun testing they all looked perfect, similar to the Verbatim disc.
Verbatim Japan BD-R
Internet Photo: Fair Use
The 2 Taiwan BD-R’s (Optical Quantum and PlexDisc) both failed from the sun test. They both are unreadable. The Verbatim Japan disc passed. Now with temporary archiving of work in progress and test version of films and videos to watch once, they work fine – I have not had any issues with burning them. But I would not use these 2 discs for serious archival work. I have other sun tests in progress to see how little sun they take to fail, but that will be ongoing into 2022. I will update this post when the tests are complete.
Note: All sun tests were done in the North East USA and not the Mohave Desert. Test results will vary depending on the local and intensity of the sun. I was first introduced to sun testing back in the 1970’s from dye transfer printer Bob Pace.
Edit: 10.10.2021 Retest of PlexDisc BD-R 9.6.2021 – 10.10.2021 – FAILED
Daniel D.Teoli Jr. Archival Collection
Daniel D.Teoli Jr. Small Gauge Film Archive
Daniel D.Teoli Jr. Advertising Archive
Daniel D.Teoli Jr. VHS Video Archive
Daniel D.Teoli Jr. Audio Archive
Daniel D.Teoli Jr. Social Documentary Photography