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Are Blu-Ray Discs Impossible to Scratch?

Updated on May 25, 2012

During a recent visit to the local pawn shop in search of cheap DVD's and Blu-Rays to buy, one of the clerks stated it is impossible to scratch a Blu-Ray disc.This seemed to be an unlikely claim as I felt fairly certain that with a little time, a few power tools and a good dose of determination I could disprove the salesman's statement. But after looking into the subject I found that  it might be harder than I believed, though certainly not "impossible".

Eventually, scratch resistant technology will likely be used on all disc based media including video game discs and even standard DVD's.
Eventually, scratch resistant technology will likely be used on all disc based media including video game discs and even standard DVD's.
Disc manufacturers are continuously working to improve discs resistance to damage as well increase storage capacity and content quality.
Disc manufacturers are continuously working to improve discs resistance to damage as well increase storage capacity and content quality.
For now, we can enjoy Blu-Ray as the highest quality, most durable in-home entertainment product ever on the market while waiting to see what wonders will unfold tomorrow!
For now, we can enjoy Blu-Ray as the highest quality, most durable in-home entertainment product ever on the market while waiting to see what wonders will unfold tomorrow!

It turns out that when Blu-Rays were developed, they were found to be more susceptible to scratches and other blemishes than standard CD's and DVD's. This was due to the information being stored on the disc was located closer to the disc surface than on other formats. An early solution to this problem was to enclose the disc in a thin cartridge. But this not only added to the expense of the disc but also would make the Blu-Ray players incompatible with standard DVD's -- something that was crucial to the marketing of Blu-Rays if they were to hope to find a place in the market with the still relatively young DVD format.

The solution came along when the TDK Corporation developed a clear polymer coating called Durabis. The word durabis is Latin for "you will last" and this polymer made it possible to coat discs in a thin, clear shell of armor. Since this coating was both extremely durable and completely see-through, it solved the problem of disc damage and removed the need for a cartridge to protect the disc.

The resulting product, while not truly impossible to damage, was a very strong disc that could withstand practically anything a Blu-Ray might encounter in its normal usage. A disc coated with Durabis could even be attacked with a screwdriver or sandpaper and still remain playable. While the process could be used for any type discs, Blu-Ray's specifications require the coating though some companies use their own methods and formulas to seal their Blu-Rays. At this time, the process is used almost exclusively on Blu-Ray with only Verbatim and TDK Corporation testing a high end recordable DVD that uses it as well.

So while it is not true that Blu-Rays are scratch-proof, they are indeed extremely scratch-resistant, making an enjoyable product more easily enjoyed without the worry that a drop on the floor or scuffle along the table top might render it useless. But even with this added protection, it is still recommended that Blu-Rays are handled with care to further avoid the risk of damage. It is great to know that with just a little attention to care you should have a great Blu-Ray to enjoy forever!

What do you think about Blu-Ray's scratch resistance?

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      Mr Nazmul Haque 

      7 years ago

      I was wondering if someone can tell me, how to tell if a blue-ray disc is scratched. Does the scratch show up on the underside of the disc or do you need to see it under a microscope to find out for sure.

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      Matthew 

      7 years ago

      Certainly nothing in the way of normal use and/or accidents can scratch them, so if you do find one of yours is scratched, it really is down to your own neglect. I dropped one that landed face down on a gravel path and it never scratched. However, even the slightest, smallest, barely visible scratch will result in disc read errors, so that was why the durable coating was required. On a DVD, 90% of the thickness was label and coating and just 10% was data. On a Blu-ray, only 8% of the thickness is coating and label, and a whopping 92% is data. So that measly 8% has to be super tough. Thankfully, it is just that. But impossible to damage? No. Only diamond could have managed that.

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