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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 6552 reports on 3825 titles representing 1% of total collections
Top 100 LDs
(realtime)
  1. Eraser [14202]  (7375)
  2. Air Force One: Special Edition [71886]  (4968)
  3. Starship Troopers [71716]  (3159)
  4. Cable Guy, The [82426]  (2772)
  5. Jumanji [11746]  (2688)
  6. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls [23500]  (2496)
  7. Contact: Special Edition [15041]  (2448)
  8. Copycat [14168]  (2400)
  9. Net, The [11616]  (2204)
  10. Men in Black [82656]  (2201)
  11. Under Siege 2: Dark Territory [13665]  (1971)
  12. Heavy Metal [74656]  (1708)
  13. Shawshank Redemption, The [74596]  (1675)
  14. Lost Highway [ID3946PG]  (1620)
  15. Fugitive, The [21000]  (1512)
  16. Professional, The [74746]  (1334)
  17. Striptease [84976]  (1242)
  18. Beauty and the Beast: Work in Progress [1591 CS]  (1104)
  19. Game, The [ID4260PG]  (874)
  20. Dante's Peak [43311]  (860)
  21. Fifth Element, The [82406]  (860)
  22. Demolition Man [12985]  (800)
  23. Fargo [800638693-1]  (722)
  24. Fan, The [82476]  (720)
  25. Volcano [0603985]  (700)
  26. Willow [79356]  (592)
  27. Gattaca [82646]  (561)
  28. Batman Returns [15000]  (544)
  29. First Knight [71176]  (462)
  30. Boot, Das (The Boat) [99916]  (435)
  31. The Beatles: Let It Be [4508-80]  (416)
  32. Fair Game [14072]  (406)
  33. Dolores Claiborne [59906]  (377)
  34. Star Wars Trilogy: Definitive Collection [0693-84]  (336)
  35. Barb Wire [800639927-1]  (336)
  36. I Come in Peace [LVD9603]  (336)
  37. Hunchback of Notre Dame, The [7955 AS]  (312)
  38. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective [23000]  (308)
  39. Johnny Mnemonic [73476]  (308)
  40. Bad Boys [10716]  (300)
  41. I Know What You Did Last Summer: Special Edition [23926]  (286)
  42. Hamlet [94996]  (276)
  43. Multiplicity [82446]  (275)
  44. Tin Cup [14318]  (264)
  45. Batman & Robin [16500]  (264)
  46. Fire Down Below [14914]  (264)
  47. Mute Witness [41176]  (260)
  48. Grumpier Old Men [14191]  (242)
  49. Abyss, The: Special Edition [1988-85]  (242)
  50. Maximum Risk [27416]  (220)
  51. Anaconda [81756]  (209)
  52. To Die For [73436]  (209)
  53. WarGames [4714-80]  (208)
  54. Aliens: Special Widescreen Collector's Edition [1504-85]  (208)
  55. Blade Runner: Special Edition [CC1120L]  (171)
  56. Blade Runner: Director's Cut [12682]  (168)
  57. Crimes of Passion: Special Edition [LVD9523]  (160)
  58. Craft, The [82416]  (160)
  59. Alien: Special Widescreen Collector's Edition [1090-85]  (156)
  60. Jerry Maguire [82536]  (152)
  61. Double Team [83236]  (152)
  62. Donnie Brasco [82516]  (144)
  63. Last Action Hero [27936]  (136)
  64. Disclosure [13575]  (135)
  65. Grosse Pointe Blank [10040 AS]  (135)
  66. Dracula: Dead and Loving It [80096]  (135)
  67. Unforgiven [12531]  (135)
  68. Now You Can See the Music [080 546-1]  (133)
  69. Hoodlum [ML106282]  (128)
  70. Video Standard, A [LD-101]  (126)
  71. Switchblade Sisters: Special Edition [RT1001L]  (126)
  72. Specialist, The [13574]  (126)
  73. Devil's Own, The [82466]  (126)
  74. Sense and Sensibility [11596]  (120)
  75. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century [13-002]  (119)
  76. Raw Deal [LVD9545]  (114)
  77. Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The [76986]  (114)
  78. Seven Years in Tibet [21816]  (112)
  79. Usual Suspects, The [800638689-1]  (112)
  80. Day After, The [13755]  (108)
  81. American President, The [80176]  (108)
  82. Muppet Treasure Island [7076 AS]  (108)
  83. Desperado: Special Edition [11656]  (104)
  84. Boyz N the Hood: Special Edition [CC1289L]  (104)
  85. Lethal Weapon 3 [12475]  (104)
  86. JFK [12306]  (102)
  87. Lawrence of Arabia [79626]  (102)
  88. City of Lost Children, The [40016]  (98)
  89. Lethal Weapon 2 [11876]  (98)
  90. Kate Bush: The Whole Story [080 504-1]  (95)
  91. Gunsmith Cats Chapter: vol.1 [CAVGS/001]  (90)
  92. Sword and the Sorcerer, The [13-010]  (90)
  93. ABBA [74-006]  (90)
  94. Safe [11846]  (90)
  95. Hook [70606]  (88)
  96. In the Line of Fire [52316]  (88)
  97. Striking Distance [53686]  (84)
  98. Man for All Seasons, A [80986]  (84)
  99. Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Special Edition [76866]  (84)
  100. Matilda [86866]  (84)
"Score" is defined as (Rot Level x Nb of Reports)
Top 10 Makers
(realtime)
  1. DADC USA  (1626)
  2. Pioneer USA  (1016)
  3. PDO UK  (684)
  4. Pioneer Japan  (618)
  5. 3M or IMATION  (292)
  6. Mitsubishi  (251)
  7. Kuraray  (200)
  8. Technidisc  (145)
  9. DADC Austria  (137)
  10. DiscoVision (MCA)  (128)
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.