DVD-R vs. DVD+R at DVinfo.net

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Old May 20th, 2010, 12:04 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Dayton, OH
Posts: 237

Just wondering... As I read it, DVD-R are most compatible, only because they were the original format, so someone with a 10 year old DVD could only read a DVD-R. OTOH, DVD+R are much more robust and are a better solution. For the past several years, I have exclusively used DVD+R, and have never had a customer complain about not being able to play their music.

So... Why when I browse SuperMediaStore website does it seem like they always push and promote the DVD-R? Am I missing something? Should I switch, or continue with DVD+R
Vince Pachiano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 20th, 2010, 12:46 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Willmar, MN
Posts: 1,400
I've duplicated thousands upon thousands of DVD-Rs (Taiyo Yuden Premium or Disc Makers Ultra) on my duplicator and never had a single problem.

I'm thinking it really doesn't make a difference as long as you buy decent media.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 12:35 AM   #3
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Brisbane, Australia
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There's been an astounding level of ignorance over the years when it comes to the -R and +R versions of the writable DVD format. Way too many wives tales that persisted amongst sales folk. If memory serves me well, the -R format was quite rushed and had technical difficulties with scaling up to writing at the faster drive speeds as drive technology evolved. It was kinda funny to watch at the time.

The +R format is technically superior and more flexible in its options such as a much shorter lead-out in home DVD recorders when finalising a disc with a small amount of content. Also better in in-disc editing and modifications prior to finalisation ... though I'm quite a bit hazy on that as it's been a very very long time. (More than happy to be corrected, as always.)

Anyway, the executive summary here is that the subformat for DVDs only affects the drive timings etc for the physical writing of the data to the DVD. It makes no difference to the data being read back.

If you do have a problem, it's more likely to be that the 10 year old drive hasn't had the media profile for that specific disc added to its firmware and hence can't recognise the media properly.

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Old May 27th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #4
Inner Circle
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Location: Atlanta/USA
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"It makes no difference to the data being read back"

Actually, that's exactly where the really important difference is when the disc is played back on a set top DVD player.

In short, there are now three standards: the initial DVD-ROM (pressed/replicated discs), DVD-R, and DVD+R. And while for a DVD-R to be played back properly on a set top box, the box has to have proper firmware (really not an issues lately, but a huge problem 5+ years ago), DVD+Rs can be burned so they are played back like a DVD-ROM. Keyword: "can be burned"... It does not happen automatically in every DVD burner, only in burners with 'bit setting' enabled (with proper device driver and proper burning software).

Sony developed the DVD+R standard in respons to the frustration created by DVD-Rs not being played back on all players. Technically, the first bits of data read by the player when a new disc is inserted, contain the information about the disc standard. And while the player lacking proper software might throw hands up and refuse to play a DVD-R, a DVD+R can be burned to fool the player into 'thinking' it is playing a DVD-ROM!

In conclusion, from a playback standpoint, while a DVD+R burned with bit setting enabled will be played by any player that can play your regular Hollywood DVDs, a DVD-R might or might not be played back properly on older players and some really cheap newer players as well.
Ervin Farkas, CDVS
Certified Legal Videographer
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Old May 27th, 2010, 12:50 PM   #5
Inner Circle
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
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Ahh, "bit setting". Admittedly, there's so much technical stuff that you can possibly forget over time and that was one of them.

If anything, all this becomes yet another cautionary tale when it comes to long term archiving on DVD media.

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