For brands I would recommend Ritek and Taiyo Yuden. You can usually find them for around forty cents a disc.
As far as formats go always use DVD-R they play in almost every player.
Taiyo Yuden is generally considered the best available, and priced appropriately. You need to be careful of buying counterfeits though. One of the brands noted to use a counterfeit Taiyo Yuden Media ID is a brand called "legacy". Faking the IDs lets you burn at faster speeds (as the drive thinks it's looking at Taiyo Yuden), but as the ID doesn't match the media, it may or may not give optimal results.
If you usually buy off the shelf at office supply stores, the Fuji brand blanks that are marked "Made in Japan" are made by Taiyo Yuden. You don't have to worry about the major brands using counterfeit media.
3. Ritek brand may be a little harder to find. RiData is their retail brand name. Avoid buying unbranded Ritek media unless it's from a well established retailer that handles a LARGE amount of volume, because Ritek only sells their unbranded A-grade media in those big Shipping container loads. Just know what you're buying
4. ProDisc. Probably not much more in price than those crappy Legacy discs you bought, but I find they give consistently low error rates. A really good bargain, IMO. A brand called "SmartBuy" uses these discs, and is commonly stocked by mom&pop computer stores. The major drawback with these is that their mascot looks like a stoned cockroach, which turns some people off (at least they got rid of that goofy lime green and baby blue colour scheme they used to use). Other than that, it's really good media.
5. Mitsubishi. The "Made in Japan" discs are preferable. The "Made in Taiwan" discs are made under license by CMC magnetics. I've personally not had any problems with either of these discs, but some people have reported some problems with the Taiwanese discs. This is what Verbatim uses, and Fuji's "Made in Taiwan" discs have been known to sometimes use these as well. I'm not saying they're bad. As I said, I've never had any issues with any of the Mitsubishi discs, no matter where they were made or who's brand they were sold under. Others have though, so you might want to try a small sample first to see if your drive likes the discs or not.
6. Sony. Not much I can say about Sony. I get good burns. The actual Sony brand discs are a bit higher priced. If you can find a stack of BenQ DVD-R (4x or 8x) discs, it's an even better deal as they're Sony discs and they're usually sold at a lower price (though I've only seen them in 100disc spindles). I don't know who makes BenQ's DVD+R discs, but it's not Sony and I've not tried those.
7. ProDisc is the stuff I use for my day to day burning. All of these brands give me very good, low error burns. I find the ProDisc and RiData discs are the best bargain. There are cheaper discs out there, but I'd only trust those to rest my drink on.
If you must go by brand names, Fuji, Verbatim, Sony, and BenQ (the DVD-R discs are Sony media) are also good.
Last update: 08:33 PM Sunday, June 18, 2006