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View Full Version : DVD-R, DVD+R

2005-11-16, 03:08
About a month ago I bought an internal EIDE DVD unit for my computer that is a Memorex dual format, double layer, and is rated as having the following speeds: DVD-R 16X write, DVD+R 16X write, DVD+RW 8X rewrite, DVD-RW 6X rewrite, DVD+R9 (DVD+R DL) 4X write, DVD-ROM 16X read, CD-R 48X write, CD-RW 24X rewrite, CD-ROM 48X read. It came with the software Nero 6 and one blank DVD+R. I got all that for only $100 at CompUSA. It's amazing how much you can get as compared to five years ago, when for the same price you might have gotten some kind of slow CD burner.

I also bought a Pinnacle 500-PCI video capture card, that will allow me to record movies from the camcorder or VHS tapes into the computer.

So I went to the store to buy the blank media for DVDs, but I had a problem deciding whether to buy DVD-R or DVD+R. And it was not easy to find the answer. The salesman said that there was no significant advantage, which left me undecided. I thought maybe the fact that my DVD unit came with one free DVD+R, was a hint that I was supposed to use those discs.

What I learned was that DVD-R is an older format supported by DVD Forum (http://www.dvdforum.com/) and DVD+R is a newer format supported by DVD+RW Alliance (http://www.dvdrw.com/). Then I discovered that DVD-R is compatible with more DVD players than DVD+R. One site here (http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/DVDMediaFormats/Home.aspx) did an analysis using different DVD blank disc brands and DVD players. They came up with DVD-R having 97% compatibility, and DVD+R having 87% compatibility. I read on another site here (http://www.videohelp.com/dvd) that DVD-Rs have 93% compatibility while DVD+Rs have 89% compatibility. And this article here (http://timefordvd.com/tutorial/RecordableDVDTutorial.shtml) lists DVD-R as having 90% compatability while DVD+R has 85% compatibility.

There is an article at cdfreaks.com which discusses the differences between the two formats:
Why DVD+R(W) is superior to DVD-R(W) (http://www.cdfreaks.com/article/113)

After reading through several sites I saw some saying that one format is good for movies while another format is good for data. But there was no consistency on that position either. Generally the consistent theme I have found is that DVD+R is technically superior in its format while DVD-R is superior in the amount of DVD players it is compatible with.

So that brings me back to the first question, which is: which one should I buy?

In the future we can look forward to the introduction of Blu-ray, HD DVD, and the Chinese EVD format to add to our choices.

2005-11-16, 11:39
Very briefly. Some dvd-writers favour one format over the other. For some its DVD+R for others its DVD-R. Most standalone dvd players made within the last 3 to 5 years can read both just fine.
A way to test is to insert a blank DVD-R into your dvd writer and try to access it with My Computer (explorer). If it says locked or inaccessible then it favors the other format. If you are able to see the contents of the blank dvd media as an empty folder than your dvd-writer supports whatever format behaves this way whether it be dvd+r or dvd-r.
Do your own tests. Try burning a dvd movie to both formats and try each in whatever standalone player you have. Does one format burn faster than the other?
In my experience DVD+R works best with my writer.
Also be aware that DVD-writers that burn both cd's and dvd's have a tendency to break over time and eventually lose their ability to read either the burned cd or dvd media only being able to recognise one or the other. This usually happens within 6months to a year after purchase.
When this happens its time to buy a new one. 6 months is common.