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Old June 6th, 2002, 06:22 PM   #1
Mikey Gannon
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DVD Formats?

I'm thinking of buying a DVD Writer / Rewriter, but I'm confused by the different formats available.

I want to produce home DVD's for distribution among friends and family for use on either home DVD players, PC's or Playstation 2's.

But I'm confused by all the formats available. What is the difference between DVD-R and DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW and DVD RAM.

What format is compatable with most home players. And will there be an eventual winner in the marketplace (A la VHS v Betamax v V2000)???

I've been looking at the Vivastar (www.vivastar.ch) RS 111 which is a DVD-R/ RAM recorder for about 280. This is the cheapest writer I have seen but I have not read any reviews on the drive itself. It comes with Five DVD-R discs. It seems good value. Has anyone got one??.

Thanks in advance

Mikey ;-)
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Old June 7th, 2002, 05:45 AM   #2
RED Code Chef
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Holland
Posts: 12,514
To shatter your glass, no-one knows yet which one will become
the market leader, but I can tell you a bit about the formats. If
you want to allow the disc to play in the most players go with
either DVD-R (widely available yet) or DVD+R (not much available).
They will both do the job, althought they might not play on
older players (this is always the case with new medium and
was also true with the first CD-R's and cd players). But those
two are your best bet. Use RAM, -RW and +RW for testing
(without loosing a precious -R or +R if you screw up). These
can be tested on your PC with a software DVD player like
WinDVD or PowerDVD.

If you want a rewritable format +RW is currently the best
to go. DVD-RAM uses cartridges that only -RAM based equipment
(sometimes!) can read. DVD+RW has a couple of advantages
over DVD-RW (faster format speed, more compatible with
standalone DVD players). But as I said earlier, -R and +R are
your bests ways to go to make sure the most people can
play/view your stuff (and not erase it again!).

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
DV Info Wrangler & RED Code Chef

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Old June 7th, 2002, 06:26 AM   #3
Obstreperous Rex
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Just to follow up on Rob's post, a good website to explore which should be of help is http://www.vcdhelp.com/

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Old June 7th, 2002, 07:07 AM   #4
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There is an article in the most recent issue of DV Magazine that reviews the different types of DVDs and even different brands within the same type. The bottom line was that DVD-R is most compatible but the compatiblity varys based on the brand of DVD-R media used.
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Old June 7th, 2002, 02:17 PM   #5
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As Rob pointed out no one knows which format will become market leader (unlike miniDV).

However there is a good magazine called Computer Video, available from WH Smith at about 3.75 and in the June issue there is a special supplement about DVD's and the whole subject.

All the best,

Ed Smith
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