The DVD recordable media market: What's up with RITEK?

The responses to the article 'DVD-R market plagued by fake media and inconsistent quality' keep coming in so that the originally a singe article seems to extend into a series of articles. This time we tackle the issue of low quality RITEK media, with the assistance of an anonymous informer.

Corrections to the original article

The first article unfortunately had some inaccuracies. This is due to the limited information available, but by publishing the article we actually made sufficient noise about a delicate issue, and now bits and pieces of info are dropping in to my mailbox. Also, I have to underline here as there has been one or two misinterpretations, that this issue is not limited to DVD-R (minus) media, and applies also to DVD+R (plus). The term 'DVD-R' in the original article has been used in the meaning of 'DVD recordable' and not limited to the DVD-R standard.

Clarifications to Verbatim outsourcing

Many thanks to Robert Wilting who approached us, and pointed out few things about the original article. According to Robert Moser Baer has manufactured DVD media for Verbatim, but currently does not. Prodisc, which was not mentioned in our article, however does. Mitsubisi according to him has no production in China.

One more thing pointed out by Robert is that Anwell is rather a supplier of production technology than actual media, so they are hardly to blame for discs with fake Media Identifiers. Like in our original article, he also pointed out Infosmart as the most likely source of fake media distributed to Europe under various brands.

What's up with RITEK?

But now things are just about to get interesting. We received some information about RITEK production and distribution from a source that wishes to remain anonymous. Once again, this story is too good to be untold, so we once again take the risk of publishing it even though the information is mostly based on a single and unverified source. Therefore, just like in the original article, these are not direct aquisitions or claims -- only presumptions and speculations, based on an interview, so don't shoot the messenger.

RITEK grade classifications

RITEK supplies recordable DVD media with different quality grades: A, B and C. This is A being the best, and C being the worst. Traxdata is the premium brand of RITEK, and has maintained a good reputation for years, so it is possibly the safest choice to the A-grade RITEK. Arita is another RITEK owned brand, but according to our informer it is typically a B-grade product.

What happens to the C-grade RITEKs?

The company known as E-net is the supplier of the media brands Bulkpaq,DataWrite, DataSafe, RiDisc, a distributor of Memorex and also known RITEK brands RiData and Arita. Our source speculates that it is possible that E-net is buying large amounts of lower grade RITEK media, but delivers it under their own brands as an A-grade product.
"I haven't heard much negative comments about Traxdata, which uses RITEK's premium quality dye. Usually the negative comments about RITEKs concern discs that are unbranded, branded with an unknown brand or with a brand name distributed by E-net. I think that RITEK is hurting their own image by selling a lot of B or C grade dye media to OEM manufacturers, which tend not to mention the quality of the dye.

Back in the 1x-4x generation of DVD-R media (I haven't had my eye on low speed media recently) there was also an interesting pattern in variations of quality. It seemed like discs sold under the brand names DataWrite, Datasafe, Bulkpaq, etc. were decent quality at first, possibly to gain positive reputation, but the quality just sank later and negative comments started pouring in."

High quality E-net products

Our source puts a lot of blame on the E-net and their products. Keep in mind that this article, and the information provided by our source, only concern RITEK based products. This doesn't mean that all of their products are of low quality, and there is also high quality media shipped under the brands. The graph shows a 4x DVD-R sold as 'Reprinted A-Grade media', and based on the media code(CMC MAG.AF1) and a serial on the disc it originates from CMC Magnetics. As we can see from the scan results, the quality is very good (PI max at 23) so at least this batch has been excellent value for money. I also have bought Bulkpaq branded CD-R media, which was made by Prodisc and of very high quality as well.

An announcement from RITEK Europe

This article is good to end with a quote found at Conrexx Technology / RITEK Europe website.
Nowadays, a lot of companies claim that they are selling media from RITEK, the world’s number 1 media manufacturer, based in Taiwan. This indicates that there is a large demand for RITEK quality products. However, this can also cause much confusion both to the buyer and Conrexx Technology and its official local distributors. Conrexx Technology B.V. / RITEK Europe is and remains the official distributor for RITEK Media in Europe, Africa and the Middle-East.

Written by: Lasse Penttinen