Try scratching this DVD | CNET News.com: "Researchers at electronics giant TDK have developed a tough new coating that promises to make scratched DVDs a thing of the past and that will help usher in an emerging data storage format with 10 times the capacity of the current DVD standard.
In a test conducted by CNET News.com, a DVD treated with TDK's coating survived a determined attack with a screwdriver and a Sharpie permanent marker with no effect on playability--a remarkable feat considering how easily standard DVDs can be damaged, for example, by children.
One big market for TDK could be DVD rental services. Scratches are so frequent on DVDs that they last about 12 to 13 rentals on average, said Bill Fischer, vice president of corporate development at San Francisco-based DVD Station, a start-up that sets up DVD rental kiosks for retailers such as those in Sony's Metreon center.
While Netflix executives and many parents might consider scratch-proof DVDs a godsend, TDK for now is positioning its technology for the arrival of Blu-ray.
"There's an outcry for extra protection in the DVD market where scratches on rented DVDs is a fairly common occurrence," Youmans said. "But the bigger opportunity may be Blu-ray Discs...We're poised for that market." "
Sigh -- I've had growing problems with Netflix recently -- dirty or cracked DVDs...