When you’ve made the popcorn, put the kids to bed and finally gotten ready to snuggle up with your loved one to watch your favourite DVD or Blu-ray movie, the last thing you want happening is a scratched disc that won’t work properly or a player that keeps freezing. While curating and keeping your movie library healthy isn’t always easy, it is important because let’s face it, that library is part of who you are. It shows a history of your life through your choices in film, from the ’80s classics that are just a bit cringe-worthy, to the latest dramas that had you on the edge of your seat time and again. Read on for some tips on how to care for your DVDs and Blu-rays so they’ll bring you many more hours of entertainment — and much less frustration!
One of the biggest culprits with regard to electronic equipment issues is the collection of dust or fingerprint smears that build up over time. Dirt and fingerprints can negatively impact the quality of the disc playback and lead to annoying skipping and freezing. To avoid manhandling your discs too much and loading them with grime, ensure you handle them only by the edges or hold in the centre to prevent unwanted smudges collecting on the surface.
Another tip is to purchase a good quality, commercial disc-player cleaner at the first sign of picture or sound degradation. Available at most electronics stores (your favourite ecommerce site that sells DVDs online is likely to stock them), the cleaners simply pop into your machine for a short time to cleanse the equipment. They help to get rid of the dirt and dust that can accumulate over time in the machine and are usually priced at under $20, making them an affordable repair solution.
When choosing a method to clean your DVD or Blu-ray player and your collection of discs, it’s important to steer clear of any abrasive options that contain harsh chemicals. The usual sprays you use to clean the bathroom or mirrored surfaces, for instance, are not the right choice for your technology. Strong chemicals (such as ammonia) can permanently damage discs by attacking the plastic coating on them. Instead, choose a soft, lint-free cloth or a commercial disc cleaner that is purpose-built for the job, and rub the disc in a circular motion to wipe out any scratches. While some people might think that tissues are a handy alternative, they actually contain small fibres that can scratch your discs, so they are not the appropriate choice.
Keeping your discs safely protected in their respective covers is another way to protect your movie library and stay organised at the same time. When they’re not in use, secure each disc in its specially designed cover to prevent unwanted food or drink being spilt on top, or you or your family accidentally dropping and scratching them. Don’t forget to also dust your cases occasionally to prevent a build up of dirt and dust; and to prevent warping, ensure you store the discs away from any areas with high humidity and out of direct sunlight. When discs are not stored properly the possibility of damage increases dramatically, so apart from helping you to find the right movie when you need it, you’ll also increase the longevity of your library at the same time. When you’re ready to watch one of your shows, make sure that you bend the case rather than the disc to remove it from its cover.
When it comes to Blu-ray machines, you should also remember that they are sensitive to the vibrations caused from programmes being played loudly, and their function can be affected as a result. A Blu-ray player that’s situated too close to a sub-woofer, for instance, or right near the speakers of your television, is likely to react unfavourably to the vibrations caused by a loud volume. Keep the position of your player in mind when setting up your entertainment system and you’ll limit this potential risk. Similarly, DVD and Blu-ray players and their discs are also susceptible to static interference, which is easily generated in carpeted rooms. Manage this downside by walking carefully across carpeted rooms and remember not to drag your feet — this way you’re less likely to create electro static when placing a disc into your machine.
Avoid any pesky tech problems by taking care of your carefully edited movie library. Follow these simple tips to look after your movie collection and you’ll never have a dull Friday movie night again!
About the Author: Stacey Blake is a guest blogger and lifestyle writer with a passion for film. She loves to keep up to date with the latest news and events in areas as diverse as the cinema, travel, health and wellbeing.