Lao Tseu said: "When laser rots, snow falls"
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Laser Rot

Well, Laser Rot is a problem important enough to deserve a dedicated page.

Metal Layer Oxydation (also called laser rot) is the plague of LDs. Impossible to forecast, useless to fight, it can happen anytime during the lifetime of a disc. Hopefully not all LD titles manufactured are suffering from this disease and some Factories are more famous than others on this issue (SONY DADC being #1).

Current Status 5044 reports on 3037 titles representing 1.06% of total collections
Top 100 LDs
(realtime)
  1. Eraser [14202]  (5650)
  2. Air Force One: Special Edition [71886]  (3010)
  3. Contact: Special Edition [15041]  (2046)
  4. Under Siege 2: Dark Territory [13665]  (1872)
  5. Starship Troopers [71716]  (1708)
  6. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls [23500]  (1674)
  7. Net, The [11616]  (1650)
  8. Lost Highway [ID3946PG]  (1534)
  9. Cable Guy, The [82426]  (1440)
  10. Jumanji [11746]  (1196)
  11. Men in Black [82656]  (1176)
  12. Copycat [14168]  (1071)
  13. Fugitive, The [21000]  (1012)
  14. Heavy Metal [74656]  (968)
  15. Dante's Peak [43311]  (966)
  16. Fan, The [82476]  (954)
  17. Beauty and the Beast: Work in Progress [1591 CS]  (880)
  18. Professional, The [74746]  (864)
  19. Game, The [ID4260PG]  (792)
  20. Fifth Element, The [82406]  (756)
  21. Shawshank Redemption, The [74596]  (752)
  22. Striptease [84976]  (645)
  23. Fargo [800638693-1]  (544)
  24. First Knight [71176]  (540)
  25. Batman Returns [15000]  (528)
  26. Demolition Man [12985]  (480)
  27. Boot, Das (The Boat) [99916]  (364)
  28. Fair Game [14072]  (364)
  29. The Beatles: Let It Be [4508-80]  (360)
  30. Dolores Claiborne [59906]  (336)
  31. Multiplicity [82446]  (308)
  32. Volcano [0603985]  (299)
  33. Gattaca [82646]  (242)
  34. Johnny Mnemonic [73476]  (240)
  35. Star Wars Trilogy: Definitive Collection [0693-84]  (231)
  36. Barb Wire [800639927-1]  (230)
  37. Hamlet [94996]  (210)
  38. Grumpier Old Men [14191]  (210)
  39. Bad Boys [10716]  (210)
  40. Fire Down Below [14914]  (200)
  41. I Come in Peace [LVD9603]  (198)
  42. Hunchback of Notre Dame, The [7955 AS]  (190)
  43. Tin Cup [14318]  (189)
  44. Batman & Robin [16500]  (180)
  45. Dracula: Dead and Loving It [80096]  (171)
  46. Maximum Risk [27416]  (171)
  47. Crimes of Passion: Special Edition [LVD9523]  (168)
  48. WarGames [4714-80]  (161)
  49. Willow [79356]  (144)
  50. Anaconda [81756]  (144)
  51. Grosse Pointe Blank [10040 AS]  (144)
  52. Mute Witness [41176]  (140)
  53. Usual Suspects, The [800638689-1]  (136)
  54. Donnie Brasco [82516]  (136)
  55. Last Action Hero [27936]  (136)
  56. Disclosure [13575]  (135)
  57. Devil's Own, The [82466]  (133)
  58. Day After, The [13755]  (133)
  59. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective [23000]  (133)
  60. Sense and Sensibility [11596]  (120)
  61. Blade Runner: Director's Cut [12682]  (114)
  62. Aliens: Special Widescreen Collector's Edition [1504-85]  (99)
  63. Double Team [83236]  (96)
  64. City of Lost Children, The [40016]  (91)
  65. Gunsmith Cats Chapter: vol.1 [CAVGS/001]  (90)
  66. Hook [70606]  (88)
  67. Raw Deal [LVD9545]  (85)
  68. Blade Runner: Special Edition [CC1120L]  (84)
  69. Alien 3 [5593-85]  (84)
  70. Craft, The [82416]  (84)
  71. Seven Years in Tibet [21816]  (78)
  72. Indian in the Cupboard, The [11646]  (78)
  73. Abyss, The: Special Edition [1988-85]  (77)
  74. Robocop [ID5168]  (75)
  75. Hoodlum [ML106282]  (75)
  76. In the Line of Fire [52316]  (72)
  77. Lawrence of Arabia [79626]  (70)
  78. Sword and the Sorcerer, The [13-010]  (70)
  79. I Know What You Did Last Summer: Special Edition [23926]  (66)
  80. Unforgiven [12531]  (66)
  81. Boyz N the Hood: Special Edition [CC1289L]  (66)
  82. Replacement Killers, The [21626]  (66)
  83. JFK [12306]  (65)
  84. Man for All Seasons, A [80986]  (65)
  85. Welcome to the Dollhouse [82566]  (65)
  86. Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Special Edition [76866]  (65)
  87. Titanic [LV334812-WS]  (64)
  88. Desperado: Special Edition [11656]  (60)
  89. Jerry Maguire [82536]  (60)
  90. Specialist, The [13574]  (60)
  91. Kate Bush: The Whole Story [080 504-1]  (60)
  92. Alien: Special Widescreen Collector's Edition [1090-85]  (56)
  93. Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes [11375 LV]  (56)
  94. Excalibur [22030]  (56)
  95. Laserdisc: What it is, How it works [USP-001]  (55)
  96. Legends of the Fall [78726]  (55)
  97. Class of 1999 [PCLV-10002]  (55)
  98. Twilight Zone: The Movie [11314 LV]  (55)
  99. Crash: Special Edition [CC1500L]  (52)
  100. Japan: Oil on Canvas [MP116-15VN]  (52)
"Score" is defined as (Rot Level x Nb of Reports)
Top 10 Makers
(realtime)
  1. DADC USA  (1332)
  2. Pioneer USA  (823)
  3. Pioneer Japan  (483)
  4. PDO UK  (409)
  5. 3M or IMATION  (225)
  6. Mitsubishi  (193)
  7. Kuraray  (145)
  8. Technidisc  (116)
  9. Sonopress  (111)
  10. DiscoVision (MCA)  (105)
Ranking is defined as Nb of Reports/Factory

Note that humidity/water do not provoke laser rot. I sadly had a water disaster in my basement and some of my LDs spent 8 hours half immersed in freezing water. Except for the damaged covers and inserts, the disc are still playing nicely.

The main consequence of rot are those "multicolor video speckles/lines" appearing randomly on your screen and becoming more visible at the start or at the beginning of a side.

A stronger consequence can also affect the Digital Audio Tracks that will play with "clicks" and sometimes become completely mute for a few 10th of second because the data is so distored that it has no more meaning for your A/V Amp. This happened to me on Princess Bride CRITERION.

The final effect of a deadly rot will be a completely unwatchable LD. The player simply won't find it's start/timing/chapter sequence and give up playing after several tentatives.

Note that 8" LD Single do not use glue to keep the two sides together and should not be affected by laser rot. None reported so far.

Also, rot is disc/side dependant and could affect Side A while Side B remains untouched. People with access to several copies of the same set might sometimes be able to "reconstruct" a rot-free full set by checking each disc individually and selecting only the good ones.