The Different DVD Formats Explained




There are quite a few different DVD formats out there, and I'm sure a lot of you get confused about them. A DVD can either be DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+RW, or DVD-RW.

A typical DVD can store up to 4.7 Gigabytes (GB) of data, whether it be videos, pictures, or other types of files. When you compare this to a normal CD that can only hold 700 Megabytes (MB), a DVD is huge!

So are all DVDs the same thing? Nope, unfortunately it's not that simple. This article will hopefully clear up the confusion for you by having all the different dvd formats explained as simply as possible!


What Does 'R' and 'RW' Mean?

The first thing you might have noticed is that some DVD formats end with an 'R' or an 'RW'. The 'R' simply means that the DVD is a recordable one, and the 'W' means it is rewriteable. So a DVD-R is a recordable DVD, and a DVD-RW is a recordable AND rewriteable DVD.

With DVD-R and DVD+R disks, you can only read to them once, and then you're stuck with that for the rest of its life. On the other hand, DVD-RW and DVD+RW disks can be written to many times over.

So if you only need to burn some data to a disk once, then go for a DVD-R or DVD+R since you won't be needing to rewrite it. An example of this is burning some songs to a CD that you want to put in your car to listen to, or saving a copy of a game you have on your computer.

But if you need to rewrite and change whatever is on the DVD, then you must buy either a DVD-RW or DVD+RW disk. These rewriteable disks are a little bit more expensive than plain 'R' disks, so it's up to you whether you need the rewrite functionality.


Difference Between Plus And Minus

This is the part where most people get really confused with different dvd formats. What is the difference between DVD-R/DVD-RW disks and DVD+R/DVD+RW disks? What is the best dvd recording format? To tell you the truth, there is not much difference at all.

But if you must know, years and years ago when DVDs were first being made there was no industry standard for them. Different companies were making different forms of DVDs hoping that their particular DVD type would become the main form.

DVD-R and DVD-RW disks were made by Pioneer and data is only written to one layer of the DVDs surface. DVD+R and DVD+RW disks are supported by a few companies such as Sony, Dell, HP, Microsoft and Philips. As opposed to the '-' disks, the '+' disks has data stored on multiple layers of the disk.

But like I said, it doesn't really matter which one you use. For the average computer user you can be safe to say they are pretty much the same thing. So don't worry about it, just buy whatever is cheaper I guess.




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