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Home > Hardware Reviews > Optical Storage

Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Optical Quantum InkJet Printable Media

2. Tests and Conclusion

Before we look at the results after wetting the discs, it wouldn't be any good to have even 100% water-proof discs if the discs themselves were not very good quality. The table below shows the media ID as reported by Nero Infotool, for each of the discs we received.

Disc Media ID
52X CD-R White/Silver Inkjet Printable No ID, but looking at the Octave Systems web site, shows the manufacturer to be CMC Magnetics
8X DVD-R White Inkjet Printable TTH01
8X DVD-R Silver Inkjet Printable TTH01
16X DVD-R White Inkjet Printable TYG03

The discs are among the best, but of course, it also depends on the burner and how well it burns the particular discs.

And now to the tests. Octave had kindly sent us enough discs to be able to do a few prints, so I decided to go all the way with the first few discs. I put them under the tap and let the water run freely, for about 15 seconds with each disc. To my surprise, there was no ink running and in fact, no visible sign of any damage at all. I let the discs stand for a while, to see if they would dry off. On a couple I gently began to dry them with a paper towel. I looked at the towel and there was no ink. So I started to wipe across the disc surface. This time there was a small amount of ink on the towel but no smudging or blurring on the disc. This was amazing.

The images below show the discs after they were drowned under the tap:

The disc after having been drenched under the tap.

Around the centre, there's an almost square patch that looks like it has faded. Even after drying completely, the spot remains and when examined closely with the naked eye, the patch is simply a little shinier, glossier than the rest of the surface, but no ink has run.

This is the other disk, which was wiped with a paper towel, as it appears after having dried out. There's no trace of ink runs or smudging.

As a final test, I put some methylated spirits on a piece of paper towel and wiped across the surface of one of the discs. Some ink came off onto the paper towel but again, there were no visible marks on the discs's surface. As I wiped some more, more came off but it didn't show up on the disc itself. I'm sure that if I wiped long enough on one spot, it would eventually fade but that isn't the point of the exercise. I was happy (and pleasantly surprised) to see that the image on the disc was as good as when I had initially printed it.

I quickly navigated to the Octave Systems web site to have a look at the price for these discs. The table below also shows the price for standard printable media:

  Standard Printable Water-Resistant Printable
CD-R US$39.00 for 100 discs US$22.50 for 45 discs
DVD-R 8X US$59.00 for 100 discs US$27.00 for 45 discs
DVD-R 16X US$69.00 for 100 discs US$29.95 for 45 discs

There's a bit of a difference in the price of CD-R media. 100 water resistant discs cost US$50 going by the above table, so the cost is about 25% more than standard printable discs. The choice is up to you, if its worth the extra cost or not. With DVD-R media on the other hand, the difference for 100 discs is only about 1$ more for 8X water-resistant media and surprisingly, the water-resistant discs are a few dollars cheaper than the standard printable per 100 for 16X.

All in all, I was quite surprised at just how well these discs stand up to liquids. I had expected some improvement over the printable discs I had been using, but not as good as it finally proved to be. So for your next batch of discs, definitely give these a go.

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