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  OPTRIX CD/DVD Treatment Fluid

      Date posted: September 11, 2007

OPTRIX CD/DVD Treatment Fluid

OPTRIX For Compact Discs
Sugg. Retail: $17.95 a bottle
Distributor (Canada): Audio Basics Inc.
www.audiobasics.com

This will be a brief review of a small bottle, 2 fluid ounces or 60 milliliters in all, that coats optical discs to increase their readability by filling micro-scratches and improving reflectivity of the pitted surface. According to the white paper seen under the photo, “OPTRIX contains isopropyl alcohol, distilled water and optically optically active nonionic surfactants”, and has “antistatic properties”, is “chemically neutral and will not damage your CDs or Laser discs.”

It washes off with water or detergent and water, and the solution is patented. Instructions say to treat both optical and label sides of discs, by spraying, and then after spreading with a cloth or tissue, let dry momentarily and wipe clean. The label-side coating is said to provide the anti-static properties.

It’s all quite simple, and their claim is that, “OPTRIX makes all optical discs better than new”, explaining further that “Optimum compact disc playback is secured by controlling CD surface optical clarity, by removing spoiled laser light that contaminates the pure digital signal.” It also “removes manufacturing residues that reduce CD optical surface clarity.”

Well, I wouldn’t have written all this, with quotes, if OPTRIX were ineffective, so believe me, it does work, not only on all optical discs, but on my glasses. Not surprisingly, they also package a product called OPTRIX Clarifier for Eyeglasses; I submit that, as with most of the LAST products, it’s the same solution in each, perhaps in varying strengths of active agents.

With my glasses, OPTRIX treatments last several days and help limit the buildup of finger oils on them, as well as limiting the amount of refracted light distortion that can occur from oblique angles. Perhaps it’s this slight focusing of light that improves optical disc tracking and minimizes the player’s need for error correction.

Building on this context, I have found OPTRIX especially useful with DVDs and SACDs, where the pit size is even more microscopic, and discs are therefore much more easily rendered unplayable by fingerprints and dirt, the former of course attracting and holding the latter. And, in this modern age of nano-storage, the most sensitive optical discs of all are Blu-Ray (and probably HD-DVD to a lesser extent). I’ve definitely been using even more of this stuff since entering the Blu-Ray era.

Plain glass cleaner sprays work well with all these discs as well, but without the lasting effects and increased imperviousness to your little fingies provided by OPTRIX. I recommend both before playing any new SACD or DVD of any sort to prevent later problems in play. The makers claim that OPTRIX protection will last for as long as two years, something I’ve not had time to confirm. But it does work very well in all cases I’ve used it. And as far as my vision is concerned, well, it’s not as effective as my cataract operation was, but it does help my sight, especially in the sweaty summer on the golf course. Enough said?

Andrew Marshall

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3 Responses to “OPTRIX CD/DVD Treatment Fluid”

  1. William Norman c-unknown Says:

    Have any studies been done to show a reduction of read errors with a disc that has been treated with Optrix? If binary digital data is read incorrectly, it can be measured.

    One of the strong advantages of Compact Discs over Vinyl is the insensitivity to the presence of small defects such as dust and scratches. The laser beam is not focused at the bottom surface, and covers about .8 mm of surface area at that location, much larger than dust particles or fine scratches. The focus is much finer at the pits, about 1.7 micrometers. Any shadow from defects at the surface is blurred and does not cause a read error.

    Whenever I see a claim about some product that is supposed to make CDs sound better, there always seems to be a lack of evidence to back it up. All I ever find are anecdotes. This product may very well improve the clarity of the optics, but the CD was designed to work under imperfect conditions.

    Show me a scientific study that shows a reduction in read errors with a CD, and I will buy this product. Otherwise, this stuff is just good for cleaning your eyewear.

  2. Bruce Benedict c-us Says:

    I used this product on disks that were in bad shape. Some would hardly play at all. This stuff works. It fixed everything.IF you want to improve your audio and video use it. IF you don’t then don’t. End of story.

  3. Andrew Marshall c-ca Says:

    These two responses show the divergent views on digital technology well. In the early days of the CD, Sony reps selling to the Pro market drilled holes in CDs to show their robustness. What they did not do (though some players did) was scrape or etch scratches in the circular direction of the bitstream pits, which is always fatal to playback because the errors exceed the linear correction capability of the player.

    Moral of story? In this case the skeptic has not tried the product, and just spouts his theoretical propaganda from proponents of the CD format. In the second case, we have experiential testing, which shows that the stuff works for valid optical reasons, also my conclusion in tests. And Optrix is also great for cleaning your glasses with a coating that lasts much longer than Windex or other cleaning fluids.

    It is also worth noting that DVD and SACD discs are much more prone to be made unplayable by dirt or damage, and Optrix is even more effective here by virtue of its ability to provide both cleaning and a coating that improves the optic path between laser and disc with the even tinier pit structures. I haven’t tested it with Blu-ray yet, but these newer discs have a tougher surface protective coating than any previous consumer optical discs. But dirt can still be a problem, and optrix should be helpful, theoretically speaking.

    AM

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