dvd disc longevity

I'm sure many of you are creating your own dvds or making backup copies (invaluable for the kids' Disney discs). Now that blanks are to be found for under a dollar I'm wondering how long the discs should last. I have my entire iPhoto library stored on dvd as well as home movies and I'd hate for the discs to disintegrate without my knowledge. Does anyone know what the longevity of dvds is? Is there a difference between brands? Is there a site that ranks or publishes this info? I there a way to preserve the dvds to slow down inevitable decay?
Hello Jt. I appreciate your concern, but you clearly need not worry about DVD's and CD's deteriorating rapidly (like VHS tapes). I think the materials used for DVD and CD manufacture are identical. All of the CD's I purchased during the mid 1980's are still like brand new.

All the digital information is actually burned into the aluminun disc and protected by the clear plastic covering as I understand the medium. So just how long will the clear plastic covering last without breaking down? I don't know. I think the jury is still out on this question, and most people think the discs will last at least a couple lifetimes or more with just a little care.

Most importantly, I have always read that DVD's and CD's should be kept out of direct sunlight. Common sense also tells me to store mine at normal room temperatures (I never play CD's in my car to avoid temperature extremes). This may not be important, but I always handle my DVD's and CD's by the edges only. It is probably a nonissue, but I do not want finger oils on my collection as the acids could conceivably eat through the clear plastic in a couple centuries I suppose.

There was a time when PVC was used in clear plastic coin holders which ended up breaking down and ruining the surfaces and value of millions of dollars of rare coins. We now have inexpensive archival quality plastics to protect rare coins for centuries. I think and hope DVD and CD manufacturers use archival quality plastics. Anything less would not make good sense.

I really hope to read some more knowledgeable posts from other members on this subject.

Best wishes,