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DVD+RW vs DVD-RW

New Dual DVD Writers!

Problem deciding what DVD Writer to get?, the DVD-R/W or the competing DVD+R/W standard? Why not get both formats in same DVD Writer, the new dual DVD Writers supports both DVD-R/W and DVD+R/W.
New multi DVD Writers! Do you want a DVD writer that supports all three DVD Recording formats, DVD-R/W, DVD+R/W and DVD-RAM then get the new multi DVD Writers.


DVD stands for Digital Versatile/Video Disc, DVDR stands for DVD Recordable and DVDRW for DVD ReWriteable. If you're familiar with regular audio/music CDs or regular DVD-Video discs, then you will know what a recordable DVDR/W looks like. A recordable DVDR/W stores up to 2 hours of very good quality DVD-Video, including several audio tracks in formats like stereo, Dolby Digital or DTS and also advanced menu systems, subtitles and still pictures that can be played by many standalone DVD Players and most computer DVD-ROMs. If you choose to lower the video quality it is possible to store several hours video on a recordable DVDR/W using low bitrates and low resolution with video quality more like VHS, SVHS, SVCD, CVD or VCD. It is also possible to have up to 4.38* GB ordinary data or mix DVD-Video and data on a recordable DVD that can be played by most computer DVD-ROMs.


There are three competing DVD Recording standards, DVD-R/W and DVD+R/W have pretty similiar features and are compatible with many standalone DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs while DVD-RAM has less DVD Player and DVD-ROM compatibility but better recording features.

1. DVD-R and DVD-RW

  • DVD-R/W was the first DVD recording format released that was compatible with standalone DVD Players.
  • DVD-R is a non-rewriteable format and it is compatible with about 92% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.
  • DVD-RW is a rewriteable format and it is compatible with about 75% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.
  • DVD-R/W supports single side 4.7 GB* DVDs(called DVD-5) and double side 9.4 GB* DVDs(called DVD-7).

2. DVD+R and DVD+RW

  • DVD+R/W has some "better" features than DVD-R/W such as lossless linking and both CAV and CLV writing.
  • DVD+R is a non-rewritable format and it is compatible with about 86% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.
  • DVD+RW is a rewritable format and is compatible with about 75% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.
  • DVD+R/W supports single side 4.7 GB* DVDs(called DVD-5) and double side 9.4 GB* DVDs(called DVD-7).

3. DVD-RAM
DVD-RAM has the best recording features but it is not compatible with most DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players. Think more of it as a removable hard disk. DVD-RAM is usually used in some DVD Recorders.

Other non-standard special DVD formats:

DVD-VCD
is basicly a VCD authored on a DVDR/W. DVD supports the VCD resolution but the audio has to be resampled to 48 khz.

DVD-SVCD
is basicly a SVCD authored on a DVDR/W. DVD do not supports the SVCD resolution but it may anyway work and the audio has to be resampled to 48 khz like the DVD-VCD.  

DVD RW FAQs
Q1 What are the differences between DVD-R / RW, DVD+R / RW and DVD-RAM?
Q2 What is a DVD Multi Burner?
Q3 What is a DVD Dual Burner?
Q4 What are the differences between "For General" and "For Authoring" for DVD-R discs?
Q5 What is the difference between "For Data" and "For Video" for DVD+R / RW discs?
Q6 What are the disc capacity for DVD video discs?
Q7 Is there any Regional Code Restrictions for DVD Burners?

Q1 What are the differences between DVD-R / RW, DVD+R / RW and DVD-RAM?
A1 There are 3 main streams:
  • DVD-R / RW: leads by Pioneer and Sharp
  • DVD+R / RW: leads by Sony, Philips and HP
  • DVD-RAM: leads by Panasonic, Toshiba and Hitachi
DVD-RAM
DVD-RAM uses Zone Constant Linear Velocity (also known as Z-CLV) for reading. It divides the disc into several districts and arranges in a spiral way. Each district contains several sectors. Each sector has its own physical address. Therefore, it uses the same "Data Random Storage" as HDD, which also provides burning repetition.
DVD-R / RW
Its burning principle is similar to CD-R / RW, which uses Constant Linear Velocity (also known as CLV). A DVD-R can only be burned once. But DVD-RW uses "Phase Change" burning technology; therefore, it can be re-burned.
DVD+R / RW
DVD+R / RW are the same as DVD-RAM, but it also provides Constant Angular Velocity (also known as CAV) for burning, where the device must maintain at a constant speed during burning processes. If it fails to do so, the burning processes must be stopped or else the disc may not be read by ROM devices, such as DVD Player or DVD-ROM. Such circumstances are called "Linking Loss". To prevent such circumstances, DVD+R / RW has developed a "Lossless Linking" technique to provide Various Burning Rate ( VBR ).

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Q2 What is a DVD Multi Burner?
A2 DVD Multi Burner is manufactured based upon the DVD-RAM and DVD-R / RW specifications. It amends the "For PC purposes" design to "For both computer and consumer devices".

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Q3 What is a DVD Dual Burner?
A3 A DVD Dual Burner means that the DVD Burner is compatible with DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW format media. Generally, DVD Dual Burners provides users with comfort regarding incompatibility concerns. Consumers may purchase either DVD+ or DVD- media for their recording sessions.

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Q4 What are the differences between "For General" and "For Authoring" for DVD-R discs?
A4 "For General" disc is for general purposes, it can either record "Data" or "Films", whereas the "For Authoring" disc is especially for burning "Films". For example, a special burner is required for burning "For Authoring" discs when producing the film's master copy.

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Q5 What is the difference between "For Data" and "For Video" for DVD+R / RW discs?
A5 "For Data" disc are used for burning "Data". "For Video" disc is used for burning "Films". Basically there are no specific differences between the two, but it is recommended that you use "For Data" discs for burning "Data", and "For Video" for burning "Films".

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Q6 What are the disc capacity for DVD video discs?
A6
  • DVD-5: a single-sided and single-layer disc which holds 4.7 GB of data.
  • DVD-9: a single-sided and double-layers disc with capacity of 8.5 GB.
  • DVD-7: a double-sided and single-layer disc with capacity of 9.4 GB.
  • DVD-18: a double-sided and double-layers disc holds 17 GB.

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Q7 Is there any Regional Code Restrictions for DVD Burners?
A7 Each DVD ReWritable drive have five (5) opportunities for resetting the regional code. After these changes have been utilized, the DVD ReWritable drive will need to be send back to its manufacturer for re-configuration.

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