DiscGear Selector 100FX Storage Case
I first purchased the DiscGear Selector 100FX from Amazon for £16.99 to relieve me of the ever-increasing horde of DVD cases taking over the last of my free space. I record a lot of movies and programmes using my DVD recorder and tend to back a lot of them up onto disc. I have got a lot of movies this way which obviously takes up a lot of space when they each have their own individual DVD cases.
My first space-saving solution was to buy a stack of slim-line DVD cases which are about half the width of regular cases. I even invested in some double slim-line cases which hold two discs instead of just one. This worked well at first giving me more than half the space back that my movie collection had invaded but over the following months the space was soon reclaimed by the works of Spielberg and his contemporaries. I'm slightly averse to stocking my house with so much plastic and then there was of course the added expense of buying the individual cases on top of the cost of buying blank discs. A pack of 25 slim-line double cases cost be about £8 on eBay.
After doing some research into DVD storage solutions online I came across and decided on the DiscGear Selector 100FX. It arrived shortly afterwards well packaged by Amazon however the product's own packaging is a little sparse and consisted of a thin cardboard sleeve and little protection to the top of the device. This is probably to show off the product in a retail store environment. That aside, it was securely fastened to the base of the cardboard surround which itself housed brief instructions and a free marker pen for writing content information on your discs (no discs supplied).
=== Design ===
The DiscGear Selector 100FX is a disc storage device for holding 100 of your CDs or DVDs eliminating the need for individual cases. It is made predominantly from black plastic with some silver plastic parts and looks very modern and stylish. It fits in well on my computer desk alongside my printer but would be equally suited next to a TV or DVD player. Most devices these days are black so the Selector fits in well in a modern entertainment environment.
The Selector measures 37cm by 15cm and is 14cm tall so won't take up too much space wherever you decide to place it. The body of the Selector is not box shaped but is instead curved to the shape of the discs inside with the addition of a full-width leg at the back for stability. I really like the styling and think it looks very sleek and professional.
When empty, the Selector is lightweight and doesn't weigh any more than a small computer keyboard. When full though, the Selector will be considerably heavier and therefore won't be the lightest thing to move around. That said, you won't need to bust a gut to shift it and I haven't found that I need to move it anywhere anyway.
It is very easy to clean and there are very few awkward places for dust to collect. Most of the dust will collect on the smooth lid and will just require a quick wipe every now and again. It isn't a dust magnet but because it's black the dust will show up when it does arrive.
=== How to Use ===
To use the DiscGear Selector you simply open the lid and place each of your discs in one of the slots provided which are numbered from 1-100. When closed, to access a disc you simply push in the small grey button at the bottom of the Selector and slide it along to the desired number. You then release the button and push in the long grey horizontal handle which bears a striking resemblance in both design and operation to the handles you find on fire exit doors. The lid then clicks open leaving you to simply open the lid fully and reveal your chosen disc. The disc is held in the inside of the lid allowing you to view the front of the disc and its contents (provided you've made use of that free marker pen). You simply pull the disc out by using your finger and holding the disc in the middle and around the edges and you're ready to watch. To replace the disc all you need to do is slot it back into the bottom of the Selector and close the lid until it clicks into place. Then push in and slide the button back to the middle neutral position which locks the lid in place.
The Selector has 100 individual grooved slots which curve around each disc. This is mirrored by the top of the device (the inside of the lid) providing a firm surround for each disc. This protects the edges of your discs and keeps any unwanted dust from getting onto them. It is fairly easy to slot each disc into place however you will need to keep the disc vertically level to slot it into the groove without issue. This is more difficult when replacing discs in the device because the slot you need is most likely surrounded by other discs and it's not always easy to see what you're doing, especially in bad light. That said, as long as you're careful and don't force it the discs will fall back into place fairly straightforwardly.
The whole design of the device means that you never have to touch the underside of the disc and risk finger-marks and the resulting dreaded skipped playback. You only ever have to touch the middle and very edges of the disc which will help keep your collection in pristine condition. No more trying to force your discs out of those cheap plastic DVD cases and getting all worked up before you start to watch the film (but maybe that's just me).
=== Indexing your Discs ===
You're probably wondering how you know which number to slide the button to in order to find the disc you want. Don't worry; it's not trial and error. The Selector also features a handy index card hidden beneath a transparent flap on the lid. This is a sheet of card with the numbers 1-100 and spaces to write the contents of each disc in. You can lift this flap up and view the contents of your collection to find the disc number you need. The plastic flap is shaped to fit onto the lid and opens with a hinge mechanism which clicks into place when not in use.
Also included with the Selector is the option of free downloadable software which allows you to type in your disc collection and print out an index card using your computer. I haven't used this so can't comment on how well this works. I initially used the contents sheet provided on the device itself but found this to be a little small for my needs. I often have two or more movies on a single disc so need quite a lot of space to write the contents of each disc which is sadly lacking on the enclosed sheet. I found myself having to use abbreviations which despite making perfect sense at the time only served to perplex me later on. My current method of cataloguing is a spreadsheet on my computer which contains the film name and disc number for each movie I have. This is my preferred method because I can keep adding to it and organise it so the movies are in the order I choose. To find a film I then look it up on my computer and note the disc number it's on. With the card there is no scope to organise your films in alphabetical order (unless you use pencil and keep changing it) which makes it hard to initially find the movie you need. With my computerised method I organise the films alphabetically and find the movie/disc number instantly.
=== Quality/Durability ===
The DiscGear Selector feels very well made and looks like it will last me for many years. The lid and hinges are solid and don't feel like they'll come loose or break with continued use and the button/slider mechanism feels strong and hardy. It obviously won't stand a plummet to the floor especially with the added weight of your discs inside but for everyday normal and careful use it will certainly last without problem. Mine has lasted me over a year so far and is still working perfectly. The sliding mechanism still works smoothly and the lid opens and shuts like it should. Nothing has deteriorated or suffered from wear or damage.
=== Do you need to buy one? ===
Well, if like me, you have a mountain of self-recorded discs in your collection then this will be ideal. You won't have to keep forking out for additional cases for all your discs and this will save you a fair bit of room as well.
You could also use this to store your purchased DVD collection if you're short on room and aren't too bothered about keeping them in their original cases. DiscGear also manufacture a 'Literature Album' to store 100 DVD sleeves so you needn't throw away your DVD covers either. Since most DVDs still come in those full sized 15mm cases, when full, you'll save the equivalent of five feet (1 ½ metres) in space (minus the Selector's modest 37cm width). In fact the Selector will only take up the same amount of room as 25 full sized DVD cases and will fit easily onto a shelf or bookcase where you usually keep your DVDs. It will stick out a little more than a DVD but should still fit. Make sure you also leave a little leave room behind it to open the lid though and obviously you'll need space above to access your discs.
If it's CDs that plague you for space then the Selector will be equally suited for you. You will be able to get rid of all those CD cases and save yourself a lot of room in the process. It would be ideal placed next to a CD player/stereo and would look very stylish next to any modern device.
Basically this will store any type of disc as long as it's normal size (no minidiscs unfortunately). You can mix and match if you want - who says you have to keep your DVDs and CDs separate? No one will know what's underneath the lid of your Selector but you. The easy retrieval mechanism will allow you to find any disc you desire regardless of the order you place them in. Just make sure you know the number of each disc by making some form of index.
The DiscGear Selector 100FX is currently available for £19.99 on Play.com (the cheapest online at the time of writing) and although it is slightly more than I originally paid for it I would still thoroughly recommend it. I only wish I'd come across this sooner and saved myself from buying countless DVD cases.
It's a great way to save space, organise your discs and will look right at home next to your entertainment appliances. Say hello to all that free space again!
Thanks for reading :)
[also published on dooyoo under my same username]