Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Choosing Between DVD-R and DVD+R

I bought several blank DVD recordable discs from CD-R King in preparation for the VHS-to-DVD transfer that I plan to do over the long Holy Weekend.  I've been meaning to transfer our old VHS tapes to DVD before they become unreadable.  Luckily, dad still had an old, but functional, VHS player at Valle Verde sitting idle.  So I took it home with us and connected it to my Philips DVDR.

I just bought TDK Gold DVD-R's the other day for Php13.00 each.  This time, I saw Maxell DVD-R's for only Php8.00.  I've never bought Maxell's DVD-R's before.  In fact ,the last time I've bought Maxell recordable media was way back during the 5.25" floppy disk days!  Anyway, I wondered about the disparity and suspected if the Maxell's are of lesser quality -- as I've already wasted 2 Maxell discs due to bad recording.  Also, this got me curious again as to exactly what is the difference between a DVD-R disc and a DVD+R disc.

I did some research on the 'Net and found out the following:
  • The DVD-R format was originally developed by Pioneer and was intended for DVD home use.
  • DVD-R is the "official" format supported by the DVD player industry
  • DVD-R is designed for linear sequence data format, and not random access (which is probably fine since one normally watches video as a sequential stream)
  • The DVD+R format came later and was intended more for computer/data use, as evidenced by its developers which included the likes of Dell and HP
  • DVD+R can be formated for sequential data stream or random access (which is more important for data)
  • DVD+R has better defect management and better accuracy
In the earlier days, it was important to know if your reader/writer is using DVD-R or DVD+R as they are incompatible.  But the distinction is not really relevant anymore these days as practically all DVD players support both + and - formats.  The same is true for DVD-Writers for PC's.  Prices for both - and + also seem to be the same.  In any case, I will look into buying DVD+R in the future.

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