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Home > Essays > Optical Storage

Friday, December 20, 2002
Test Media

1. Introduction

Test Media - Page 1

- Introduction

Recently we have upgraded our test methodology with the adoption of industry standard test discs. The importance of standardized test discs is high since it enables manufacturers to isolate and improve possible problems/bugs that may arise during our tests. In the following pages we describe the physical characteristics of the discs.

- What is test media?

Various kinds of Test media are used in developing audiovisual goods, car audio goods, and computers you often see in your daily life. They play a very important role in securing playback compatibility between those products. For instance, you don't worry whether music CDs sold in the ships will play on your CD player. You know it will. That's because hardware manufacturers of CD player have maintained the compatibility for various conditions of discs. Test media is always necessary to achieve that. Without test media, you perhaps, might have to worry about the playability of music CD you want to buy at shops.

"Test media" might be described, in other words, like a "measuring rod of playability". In reading a CD, for instance, there is provision in the reader for disc damage. Even if there are small scratches on your CD, the CD player can often play the CD without any noise or interruption since it has some error correction circuitry. Using standard Test CD with various sized scratches, hardware manufacturers can know the capability margin of their CD player and its ability to correct for scratches and defects in the media.

"Test media" is the generic name for discs and tapes user as standards for strict quality specifications, which are required in the processes of designing, manufacturing, and quality control of DVD (CD)-ROM drives, DVD (CD) players, MD players, and Cassette tape recorders.

- Where "Test Media" products are used?

They are used in diversified places and purposes not only in designing, but also in the production process such as the process of manufacturing, assembling, and inspection. All products pass through tests before shipment will be shipped to the marketplace. Every DVD player you used and every CD-ROM drive you have used to play movies or games was tested to standard using Test Media products.

Test media products are used in the development and manufacturing of:

  • Semiconductors used in drives
  • Optical pick-up units
  • Mechanical units
  • Printed circuit boards (PCB)
  • Enclosures
  • Finished product testing and finally even in repair service facilities

- Are there various kinds of "Test Media"?

Besides standard times are mainly used for reference purposes, various Test Media have been developed on which defects are intentionally created in order to simulate flaws and damage. Testing of CD, DVD and other involves this type of media. As Almedio says "...we have developed more than 3000 kinds of test tapes and more than 1500 kinds of custom test discs..."

- Which manufacturers sell "Test Media"?

was established in 1981. The company is engaged in 1) the planning, development, manufacture and sale of commercial-use test media such as test discs, test tapes and test CD-ROMs used to measure and adjust the performances of electrical, mechanical characteristics of cassette players, video players, CD players and CD-ROM drives; 2) manufacture of music CDs consigned by music software production companies and CD-ROMs and 3) consigned systems development and development and sale of CAD (computer-aided drafting) systems.

Almedio is probably the biggest manufacturer that offers Test Media. They offer CD, CD-R, DVD, MD and casette test media for various uses. For more information check

Sales Division Test Media Dep.
Phone: 042-397-1331Fax: 042-397-1919

- Pioneer: Pioneer DVD Verification Laboratory offers DVD-R/RW verification Tests discs for DVD-R/RW enabled drives. Fore more information check their website or contact them directly...

DVD Verification Laboratory
4-2610 Hanazono,
Saitama 359-8522,
Fax: +81-42-990-2831

- TEAC Japan offers also a series of test media for CD, DVD, MD, casette formats.

For more information:
Calibration Media Group
Phone: (81) 0422 52 5074
Fax: (81) 0422 55 2582

- JVC Japan offers a series of test media for CD, DVD, MD, casette formats

For more information:
1030 Motoyoshida-cho, Mito-city, Ibaraki, 310-8528 JAPAN
Telephone: +81-(0)29-247-3111
Fax: +81-(0)29-247-1570

- Panasonic Japan offers test media for DVD formats

- Philips offers a variety of test media for CD format.

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