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Old 10-13-2004, 03:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
DVD R + and - what's the difference?

DVD R + and - what's the difference between the two? They're both DVD R's...
klo is offline  
Old 10-13-2004, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
I'm not sure of the specifics, but I've heard that +R are better for burning movies. So, I use those, primarily.
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Old 10-13-2004, 03:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
Location: West Virginia
The companies and the fact that some want to create thier own standard

If you're looking for a burner, I would suggest buying one that can burn either media type - that way if / when one dominates the market with one type of standard, you aren't stuck with one that is no longer used.

- Artsemis
There are two keys to being the best:
1.) Never tell everything you know
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Old 10-13-2004, 03:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
Locke7's Avatar
Yah, it's just a standards thing. It really depends on what you are going to use it for. I have a burner that just does -, it works for everything I use it for. I am planning on upgrading soon though. I will buy a +/- dual layer burner next time. Prices are really coming down.
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
Alright, thanks guys. So basically theres no difference, just the company's standards right?
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Old 10-13-2004, 06:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
the big difference is that + is more robust for data - more error-checking/correction, better overall structure... but when it comes down to it - they both work fine...

i would recommend a dual-format burner, and buying whatever is cheaper but works in a standalone player if you have one... something to remember is that quality media (like Ritek) can make a big difference - my roommate's DVD player will not play cheap DVD-/+Rs...
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
Location: Houston
I got one of those dual format writers so I don't really have to worry about it. lite-ons are awesome by the way.

Technically minus uses Constant Linear Velocity (CLV) which is good for streaming high quality video. Plus on the other hand uses CAV as well which is Constant Angular Velocity. This makes plus better for storage because it has better random access times. Like the above posters said this technology is used by seperate companies and really makes it a pain for consumers.
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Old 10-14-2004, 05:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
I've got the Lite-on multi format burner as well, and it's been great.

Choose DVD-R for maximum compatibility with consumer DVD players
if you're burning movies. I distribute low-demand news/documentary
features, burned one at a time as requests come in, and haven't had
any problems with -R. Keep the bit rate down to 6000 kb/s or some
of the $59 DVD players will barf.

If you're archiving data rather than making movies, format isn't much
of an issue.
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Old 10-17-2004, 09:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
Here's what I know:

DVD-Rs are almost compatible with every DVD drive or player there is.
but you can only burn all data onto them in one go. (this may or maynot be true)
Good for distributing DVD format movies.

DVD+Rs are pretty compatible nowadays too, but may not play in some of the old players. Also with a DVD+R you can burn small chunks of data onto it in multiple occassions until they are 'filled'.
Good for Archiving computer files(or divx etc....)
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Old 10-20-2004, 09:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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xepherys's Avatar
Location: 17TLH2445607250
As above, =/- is a standards debate issue. The media varies slightly. If you're looking for a drive, get one that does both. If you don't mind spending just north of a C note, get the Plextor PX-708A DVD+/-RW drive. Trust me on this... it's a sweet drive!
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Old 11-01-2004, 09:29 AM   #11 (permalink)
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DVD-R (which is pronounced "dash R" not "minus R") uses organic dye technology, like CD-R, and is compatible with most DVD drives and players. First-generation capacity was 3.95 billion bytes, later extended to 4.7 billion bytes. Matching the 4.7G capacity of DVD-ROM was crucial for desktop DVD production. In early 2000 the format was split into an "authoring" version and a "general" version. The general version, intended for home use, writes with a cheaper 650-nm laser, the same as DVD-RAM. DVD-R(A) is intended for professional development and uses a 635-nm laser. DVD-R(A) discs are not writable in DVD-R(G) recorders, and vice-versa, but both kinds of discs are readable in most DVD players and drives. The main differences, in addition to recording wavelength, are that DVD-R(G) uses decrementing pre-pit addresses, a pre-stamped (version 1.0) or pre-recorded (version 1.1) control area, CPRM, and allows double-sided discs. A third version for "special authoring," allowing protected movie content to be recorded on DVD-R media, was considered but will probably not happen.

Pioneer released 3.95G DVD-R(A) 1.0 drives in October 1997 (about 6 months late) for $17,000. New 4.7G DVD-R(A) 1.9 drives appeared in limited quantities in May 1999 (about 6 months late) for $5,400. Version 2.0 drives became available in fall 2000. Version 1.9 drives can be upgraded to 2.0 via downloaded software. (This removes the 2,500 hour recording limit.) New 2.0 [4.7G] media (with newer copy protection features), can only be written in 2.0 drives. 1.9 media (and old 1.0 [3.95G] media) can still be written in 2.0 drives. Version 1.0 (3.95G) discs are still available, and can be recorded in Pioneer DVD-R(A) drives. Although 3.95G discs hold less data, they are more compatible with existing players and drives.

Pioneer's DVR-A03 DVD-R(G) drive was released in May 2001 for under $1000. By August it was available for under $700, and by February 2002 it was under $400. The same drive (model DVR-103) was built into certain Apple Macs and Compaq PCs. Many companies now produce DVD-RW drives, all of which write CD-R/RW. As of mid 2002 DVD-RW drives were selling for under $200. Most DVD-RAM drives also write DVD-R discs, some also write DVD-RW discs. Many new drives write both DVD-R/RW and DVD+R/RW.

Pioneer released a professional DVD video recorder in 2002. It sells for about $3000 and provides component video (YPbPr) and 1394 (DV) inputs (along with s-video and composite). It has 1-hour (10 Mbps) and 2-hour (5 Mbps) recording modes, and includes a 2-channel Dolby Digital audio encoder.

Prices for blank DVD-R(A) discs are $10 to $25 (down from the original $50), although cheaper discs seem to have more compatibility problems. Prices for blank DVD-R(G) discs are $2 to $6. Blank media are made by CMC Magnetics, Fuji, Hitachi Maxell, Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Pioneer, Ricoh, Ritek, Taiyo Yuden, Sony, TDK, Verbatim, Victor, and others.

The DVD-R 1.0 format is standardized in ECMA-279. Andy Parsons at Pioneer has written a white paper that explains the differences between DVD-R(G) and DVD-R(A).

It's possible to submit DVD-R(A) and DVD-R(G) discs for replication, with limitations. First, not all replicators will accept submissions on DVD-R. Second, there can be problems with compatibility and data loss when using DVD-R, so it's best to generate a checksum that the replicator can verify. Third, DVD-R does not directly support CSS, regions, and Macrovision. Support for this is being added to DVD-R(A) with the cutting master format (CMF), which stores DDP information in the control area, but it will take a while before many authoring software programs and replicators support CMF.

DVD-RW (formerly DVD-R/W and also briefly known as DVD-ER) is a phase-change erasable format. Developed by Pioneer based on DVD-R, using similar track pitch, mark length, and rotation control, DVD-RW is playable in many DVD drives and players. (Some drives and players are confused by DVD-RW media's lower reflectivity into thinking it's a dual-layer disc. In other cases the drive or player doesn't recognize the disc format code and doesn't even try to read the disc. Simple firmware upgrades can solve both problems.) DVD-RW uses groove recording with address info on land areas for synchronization at write time (land data is ignored during reading). Capacity is 4.7 billion bytes. DVD-RW discs can be rewritten about 1,000 times.

In December 1999, Pioneer released DVD-RW home video recorders in Japan. The units cost 250,000 yen (about $2,500) and blank discs cost 3,000 yen (about $30). Since the recorder used the new DVD-VR (video recording) format, the discs wouldn't play in existing players (the discs were physically compatible, but not logically compatible). Recording time varies from 1 hour to 6 hours, depending on quality. A new version of the recorder was later released that also recorded on DVD-R(G) discs and used the DVD-Video format for better compatibility with existing players.

DVD-RW drives write DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R, and CD-RW discs. DVD-RW disc prices are around $5-$10 (down from the original $30). Blank media is being made by CMC Magnetics, Hitachi Maxell, Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Pioneer, Ricoh, Ritek, Sony, Taiyo Yuden, TDK, Verbatim, Victor, and others.

There are three kinds of DVD-RW discs. All are 4.7G capacity. Version 1.0 discs, rarely found outside of Japan, have an embossed lead-in (to prevent copying of CSS information), which causes compatibility problems. Version 1.1 discs have a pre-recorded lead-in that improves compatibility. Version 1.1 discs also come in a "B" version that carries a unique ID in the BCA for use with CPRM. B-type discs are required when copying certain kinds of protected video.

Note: The Apple SuperDrive (even with older 1.22 firmware) can write to DVD-RW discs, but not from the iDVD application. You must use a different software utility, such as Toast, to write to DVD-RW discs.

DVD+RW is an erasable format based on CD-RW technology. It became available in late 2001. DVD+RW is supported by Philips, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Ricoh, Yamaha, and others. It is not supported by the DVD Forum (even though most of the DVD+RW companies are members), but the Forum has no power to set standards. DVD+RW drives read DVD-ROMs and CDs, and usually read DVD-Rs and DVD-RWs, but do not read or write DVD-RAM discs. DVD+RW drives also write CD-Rs and CD-RWs. DVD+RW discs, which hold 4.7 billion bytes per side, are readable in many existing DVD-Video players and DVD-ROM drives. (They run into the same reflectivity and disc format recognition problems as DVD-RW.)

DVD+RW backers claimed in 1997 that the format would be used only for computer data, not home video, but this was apparently a smokescreen intended to placate the DVD Forum and competitors. The original 1.0 format, which held 3 billion bytes (2.8 gigabytes) per side and was not compatible with any existing players and drives, was abandoned in late 1999.

The DVD+RW format uses phase-change media with a high-frequency wobbled groove that allows it to eliminate linking sectors. This, plus the option of no defect management, allows DVD+RW discs to be written in a way that is compatible with many existing DVD readers. The DVD+RW specification allows for either CLV format for sequential video access (read at CAV speeds by the drive) or CAV format for random access, but CAV recording is not supported by any current hardware. DVD+R discs can only be recorded in CLV mode. Only CLV-formatted discs can be read in standard DVD drives and players. DVD+RW media can be rewritten about 1,000 times (down from 100,000 times in the original 1.0 version).

DVD+R is a write-once variation of DVD+RW, which appeared in mid 2002. It's a dye-based medium, like DVD-R, so it has similar compatibility as DVD-R. Original DVD+RW drives did not fulfill the promise of a simple upgrade to add DVD+R writing support, so they have to be replaced with newer models. The original Philips DVD+RW video recorders, on the other hand, can be customer-upgraded to write +R discs.

Philips announced a DVD+RW home video recorder for late 2001. The Philips recorder uses the DVD-Video format, so discs play in many existing players. HP announced a $600 DVD+RW drive (made by Ricoh) and $16 DVD+RW discs for September 2001. HP's drive reads DVDs at 8x and CDs at 32x, and writes to DVD+RW at 2.4x, CD-R at 12x, and CD-RW at 10x.

In 2003 DVD+R discs cost around $2 to $6 and DVD+RW discs cost around $5 to $10. DVD+RW media is produced by CMC Magnetics, Hewlett-Packard, MCC/Verbatim, Memorex, Mitsubishi, Optodisc, Philips, Ricoh, Ritek, and Sony.

More DVD+RW information is at www.dvdrw.com and www.dvdplusrw.org. The obsolete DVD+RW 1.0 format is standardized in ECMA-274.

Which recordable DVD format should I buy?
As explained in the previous sections, there are two main formats: "dash" (DVD-R/RW) and "plus" (DVD+R/RW). There's not much difference between them. They both record data and video, and they both read back data and play back video. Both formats are available as recordable drives for computers and as home video recorders. In spite of claims that one format is more compatible with players and drives, both formats are similarly compatible. There are speed differences, but it's a game of leapfrog. One format will come out with faster write speeds, then the other one will match it or surpass it. In 2003, drives reached 8x speeds. 16x is the theoretical maximum, so both formats will soon hit the limit.

The biggest thing to worry about is that DVD-RW drives only record on -R and -RW discs, and DVD+RW drives only record on +R and +RW discs, so you have to make sure you get the right kind of blank discs. You may worry that one of the formats might "win" and the other format could disappear, leaving you with abandoned hardware. This is not very likely, since both formats are doing well. Luckily there is a simple solution to both concerns: buy a dual-format, or "combo" drive. Many companies make DVD-/+RW drives that write to both kinds of discs. Dual-format drives cost a bit more, but it's cheap insurance.

The DVD+RW format has a few advantages when used in a computer, but if data backup or access speed is important, also consider the DVD-RAM format. DVD-RAM is fast and reliable, and the discs have an optional cartridge to help protect data. Most DVD-RAM drives also write DVD-R/RW discs, and some super combo drives write all three formats.

Which color of recordable DVD is best?
Different colors of recordable CDs and DVDs come from the combination of the reflective metal layer (gold or silver) and the dye used in the recording layer (cyanine [blue], phthalocyanine [clear], azo [dark blue], formazan [green], etc.). Judging DVD quality by color is like judging bell pepper quality by color (is yellow better than red or green?). You may find that some color discs seem to work better in some players, but you'll also find that there is little correlation between color and readability across multiple brands of disc. Other factors such as manufacturing quality and chemical formulation have much more of an effect on how well a disc records and plays back.

Color does indicate longevity, since some dyes (such as phthalocyanine and azo) are more stable and last longer.
There are now at least 5 candidates for high-definition DVD.
*HD-DVD-9 (aka HD-9).
*Advanced Optical Disc (AOD).
*Blu-ray (BD).
*Advanced Optical Storage Research Alliance (AOSRA), Blue-HD-DVD-1.

Capacities of DVD:

For reference, a CD-ROM holds about 650 megabytes, which is 0.64 gigabytes or 0.68 billion bytes. In the list below, SS/DS means single-sided/double-sided, SL/DL/ML means single-layer/dual-layer/mixed-layer (mixed means single layer on one side, dual layer on the other side), gig means gigabytes (2^30), BB means billions of bytes (10^9).

DVD-5 (12 cm, SS/SL) 4.37 gig (4.70 BB) of data, over 2 hours of video
DVD-9 (12 cm, SS/DL) 7.95 gig (8.54 BB), about 4 hours
DVD-10 (12 cm, DS/SL) 8.74 gig (9.40 BB), about 4.5 hours
DVD-14 (12 cm, DS/ML) 12.32 gig (13.24 BB), about 6.5 hours
DVD-18 (12 cm, DS/DL) 15.90 gig (17.08 BB), over 8 hours
DVD-1 (8 cm, SS/SL) 1.36 gig (1.46 BB), about half an hour
DVD-2 (8 cm, SS/DL) 2.47 gig (2.66 BB), about 1.3 hours
DVD-3 (8 cm, DS/SL) 2.72 gig (2.92 BB), about 1.4 hours
DVD-4 (8 cm, DS/DL) 4.95 gig (5.32 BB), about 2.5 hours
DVD-R 1.0 (12 cm, SS/SL) 3.68 gig (3.95 BB)
DVD-R 2.0 (12 cm, SS/SL) 4.37 gig (4.70 BB)
DVD-R 2.0 (12 cm, DS/SL) 8.75 gig (9.40 BB)
DVD-RW 2.0 (12 cm, SS/SL) 4.37 gig (4.70 BB)
DVD-RW 2.0 (12 cm, DS/SL) 8.75 gig (9.40 BB)
DVD+R 2.0 (12 cm, SS/SL) 4.37 gig (4.70 BB)
DVD+R 2.0 (12 cm, DS/SL) 8.75 gig (9.40 BB)
DVD+RW 2.0 (12 cm, SS/SL) 4.37 gig (4.70 BB)
DVD+RW 2.0 (12 cm, DS/SL) 8.75 gig (9.40 BB)
DVD-RAM 1.0 (12 cm, SS/SL) 2.40 gig (2.58 BB)
DVD-RAM 1.0 (12 cm, DS/SL) 4.80 gig (5.16 BB)
DVD-RAM 2.0 (12 cm, SS/SL) 4.37 gig (4.70 BB)*
DVD-RAM 2.0 (12 cm, DS/SL) 8.75 gig (9.40 BB)*
DVD-RAM 2.0 (8 cm, SS/SL) 1.36 gig (1.46 BB)*
DVD-RAM 2.0 (8 cm, DS/SL) 2.47 gig (2.65 BB)*
CD-ROM (12 cm, SS/SL, 74 minutes) 0.635 gig (0.682 BB)
CD-ROM (12 cm, SS/SL, 80 minutes) 0.687 gig (0.737 BB)
CD-ROM (8 cm, SS/SL) 0.180 gig (0.194 BB)
DDCD-ROM (12 cm, SS/SL) 1.270 gig (1.364 BB)
DDCD-ROM (8 cm, SS/SL) 0.360 gig (0.387 BB)

* Formatted DVD-RAM discs have slightly less than stated capacity. For example, the contents of a completely full DVD-R will not quite fit on a DVD-RAM.

Tip: It takes about two gigabytes to store one hour of average video.
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