Hi there, Nilsel!
What an interesting question!
The CD/DVD media are far more tolerant to the extremes of temperature
and humidity than the actual players which have many sensitive
The specifications for the optical media are far in excess of what you
would be able to reach in normal circumstances, they are nothing short
of bulletproof, with an average disc able to be stored at an
astounding -40.C all the way up to 70.C.
There are several websites which verify this, which I have listed
Fuji DVD-RAM for Video specifications
CDR Spec (PDF)
So this seems to be fairly standard specification for storage and you
will encounter no problems by keeping a DVD or CD frozen, note that I
didn't find any difference between DVD discs and standard CDs.
The actual operating temperature appears to vary though, according to
different sites and even within the companies themselves.
A safe operating range for the media is 5.C - 55.C, the higher
temperature is in excess of the standard limit for operating a CD or
Sites which list -5.C as the cold limit:
TDK DVDs (PDF)
Fuji DVD Data discs
So you can see that either TDK or Fuji can't seem to decide which is
the safe operating limit and it is unfortunate that these specs are
between the ~0.C level that you want to deliver the DVDs in, so the
only solution seems to be to let the discs warm up to roughly 5.C
before attempting to play them.
In practice, this will probably occur soon after taking the disc out
of it's packaging due to room temperature and the warmth of a person
The primary concern is the DVD player which has very strict
specifications and for a good reason.
The generally accepted operating limits for the players are 5.C to
~35.C, anything much higher or lower will risk damage to the
Examples of DVD player specs:
Sony Playstation 2
Sony Progressive Scan DVD Player
Pioneer DVD Player
So what will happen if you insert a cold disc at about 0.C into a hot
Well, you are right to suspect that condensation may appear.
I found a couple of manuals explaining how condensation may make
itself known and disturb the electronics.
"Form of condensation inside the player.
As sudden change of temperature and humidity, if cold parts of the
player are exposed to warm air, condensation (in other words, sweat
phenomenon, for example on the windows of room equipped with heating
system) may be formed.
When condensation is formed inside the player, normal operation may
not be performed. However, when the condensation is eliminated, the
player will recover to normal operation.
When condensation is formed and the player can not operate normally,
please place the player under room temperature until it recovers to
normal operation. Depending on different circumstances, the process
may last 1 or 2 hours."
From: www.likko.com/en/support/lkm201j-manual.doc (DOC)
"Avoid, where possible, subjecting the equipment to sharp temperature
changes, as condensation sometimes forms on the laser lens, causing
The following quote explains it perfectly:
"Never Leave your CD's in cold places as when you come to insert the
CD into the player it may have traces of condensation or damp on which
will make it difficult for the CD player's electronics to read the
media or even cause damage to the player."
I hope this explains it well for you, just remember not to warm them
up in the microwave! ;)
Related Google searches:
cd operating temperature specifications
dvd player operating temperature specifications
diode laser condensation
cd player condensation