Seeing light through the label of a PS3 Game/Blu-Ray

DoctorArchDoctorArch CurmudgeonRegistered User regular
So I sold a copy of Little Big Planet through eBay and the buyer (demanding a refund) is telling me that the game doesn't install properly and that the disc has some small holes.

Doubting the story, I tell him that the disc looked fine when I shipped it, aside for the small scuffs normally associated with normal wear and tear (and advertised as such on the auction page for the game).

So he takes this video (dropbox link) and I'm wondering what the hell? While I'm 99% sure I'm just going to offer him a refund on the game because, quite frankly, it's not worth the hassle arguing about it, are holes like this normal? I mean, in order to see them you obviously have to shine a bright light from behind the disc. And second, would "holes" like this even affect the game?

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  • Bendery It Like BeckhamBendery It Like Beckham Hopeless Registered User regular
    You can see through a blu-ray disk pretty easily. Label scratches would just create bright spots without causing much issue.

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray labels aren't 100% opaque to the entire visible spectrum, so the pinpoint bright spots may not mean anything.

    That said, damage to the label will impact readability of the disc.

    The way that optical media work is that there is a layer of aersolized aluminum deposited on the upper surface of the plastic disc, which is the bottom side of the label. The plastic part of the disc doesn't carry any data; it's all encoded as spots of less-reflective metal on the underside of the label. Scratches on the plastic cause problems with reading the disc because they distort or block the laser beam as it enters the media on its way to be reflected by the metal layer. That's why you can buff out a scratch and make the disc readable again. Removing some of the plastic doesn't matter.

    Removing some of the label, by way of scratching for example, to the point where there is a see-through spot on the disc is also removing data. If you can see through it, the laser can see through it, and if the laser can see through it it's not reading anything. So if those are actual pinprick holes in the label it could indeed cause read errors. Normally optical media is encoded with some degree of error-correction data so that unreadable bytes due to scratches and similar won't matter, but it's possible to just get unlucky.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    The data layer in CDs is directly under the label, on DVDs it is in the middle of the disc, on BluRays it is much closer to the surface of the disc:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc#Hard-coating_technology

    500px-Comparison_CD_DVD_HDDVD_BD.svg.png

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