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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About DVD: The Official DVD FAQ
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About DVD: The Official DVD FAQ, by Jim Taylor (McGraw-Hill), starting at $0.01


Home » Storage
DVD Media
Author: Gabriel Torres
Type: Tutorials Last Updated: November 23, 2004
Page: 1 of 1

As the price of the home DVD recorders becomes more and more accessible, there is more and more confusion among the types of recorders and media when it comes to choosing a model. In today's tip column we will explain the differences among the main DVD media standards on the market today.
It is always worth remembering that home recorded DVD serves both for movies and for data (to backup your hard disk, for instance).

DVD-RAM

This type of media is found in four capacities: 2.6, 4.7, 5.2, and 9.4 GB. This media is re-recordable, that is, it works like a CD-RW. The DVD-RAM disk requires a DVD-RAM recorder both for recording and for reading. The DVD-RAM disk is usually fitted inside of a box (called caddy). In type 1 disks the DVD-RAM does not leave the caddy, while in type 2 disks it is possible to remove the DVD-RAM from its caddy. This media is not compatible with commercial DVD-ROM and DVD player units. Its main advantage over the DVD-RW is the number of times it may be re-recorded. It is estimated that the DVD-RAM may be re-recorded 100,000 times, while it is estimated that the DVD-RW may only be re-recorded 1,000 times.

DVD-R

This type of media is equivalent to the CD-R, the only difference is that its capacity is 4.7 GB, that is, it is a disk in which data can be recorded only once. There are two types of DVD-R media: DVD-RA (authorship) and DVD-RG (general use). DVD-RA media must be used when the DVD disk will be sent the a factory for the recording of the commercial DVDs in industrial scale, and it requires a DVD-RA recorder. For home use, the media and the recorder to be used are the ones of general use, DVD-RG. Most commercial DVD players play this media without any problems, so this is an option to be used to record your own movies in DVD. Notice, however, that some older players don't accept DVD-R media. This media can also be read in DVD-RAM and DVD+R units.

DVD-RW

It is the re-recordable version of the DVD-R. To use this type of media you will need to buy a DVD-RW recorder. The DVD-RW recorders usually record DVD-R, CD-R and CD-RW media, too. Similarly to what happens to DVD-R, DVD-RW disks can be played in newer commercial DVD players without any problems. Older commercial devices cannot recognize the media, refusing to play the disk. To play a DVD-RW disk, commercial players need the disk to be finished. After finishing the disk, you can only record new data in it by reformatting it, which makes you lose all the recorded data.

DVD+R

DVD+R is, like the DVD-R, a 4.7 GB disk that can be used to record films and watch them in commercial DVD players. Despite having the same function and capacity, a DVD+R disk may only be recorded in DVD+R recorders, while DVD-R disks can only be recorded in DVD-R recorders. We may find recorders that can record the two types of media on the market today. They are called DVD±R recorders. In practice, the difference of the DVD-R media to the DVD+R one is the performance: DVD+R disks are read more quickly than DVD-R ones. This difference is felt only if you use the DVD disk to record common files, that is, if you use it as a backup media, since they have the same performance for watching movies.

DVD+RW

It is the re-recordable version of the DVD+R and everything that was said about the DVD+R is valid for the DVD+RW. Only the newest DVD players play movies recorded in disks using this format. There are recorders on the market that can record both DVD-RW disks and DVD+RW ones. These recorders are called DVD±RW. Similarly to the DVD-RW, the disk needs to be finished to be played in commercial DVD players, and to record new data in the disk after having finished it requires reformatting it, which makes all the data in it to be erased. DVD+RW recorders are usually capable of reading DVD-RW disks (but not of recording them) and vice-versa.

 
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