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Choosing Between DVD+R and DVD-R?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the which-way-would-you-go dept.

Data Storage 108

Pieroxy asks: "Most people like to make the analogy between DVD+/-R and the old VHS/Betamax/V2000 battle. This analogy is not applicable here, because whether you choose DVD+ or DVD-, you burn DVDs that are readable in most existing DVD players. Even if you buy today, the burner based on the technology that will die tomorrow, all your DVD*R will be readable in most DVD players. That said, what other argument than technical superiority can drive your choice? We know the DVD-R compatibility on existing players is better than DVD+R, we know that DVD+R as well as DVD-R have dual layers plans. What else can help me choose between either format? Are prices that different? Reliability? Speed?"

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108 comments

Both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231871)

Don't worry, just get a drive (like the Plextor) that does both.

Re:Both (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231900)

But if you do that, you get DVD+R+DVD-R which is 2DVD. This leaves you with two ordinary DVDs, instead of the recordable environment you wanted to begin with.

Re:Both (3, Funny)

nick_danger (150058) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231957)

...and 2DVD is equal to 2VD^2, who's first deriviative is VD, which no one really wants.

[so shoot me if my math sucks, it's been 20 years since I had Calc... I did it for the punch line]

Re:Both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7232051)

Y'know, your post would have been rather funny if not for your square-bracketed disclaimer, and your sig.

I mean, you totally fucked up the delivery, dude. Witty one-liners should only be on one line, or the effect is lost.

Re:Both (1)

eoyount (689574) | more than 10 years ago | (#7232995)

Nope. the first derivative of 2VD^2 is 4VD with respect to D or 2D^2 with respect to V.

I'm a bigger geek than you.

Just use ... (1)

SpatchMonkey (300000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231879)

... DAT tapes or lots of CDs. Wait a while until one standard becomes most prevelant.

DVD as a consumer writable storage medium isn't viable as yet in terms of interoperability and long term retainment.

Re:Just use ... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7235068)

Can I stuff a DAT in my set-top DVD player to watch my movies?

Read the story please, it doesn't only talk about backing up data (for which DVD is really not a convenient answer, but that is another story.)

Just get a DVD+/-R/RW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231931)

I'm getting this one [pricegrabber.com].

Not too shabby for $112.00 + s/h.

Re:Just get a DVD+/-R/RW (2, Informative)

Krandor3 (621755) | more than 10 years ago | (#7235657)

Be careful on this... if the person buying it is technically savvy, fine. If they are not then do not get a combo. The reason is this - there are very big differences in what and how you burn stuff on DVD+R and DVD-R and when you can add extra sessions and when you have to finalize the DVD before you can read it in a standard player, etc. Somebody that is not technically savvy could easily get confused as to why the DVD they burned yesterday let them to X and this one today does not. I have a combo drive, but if I was reccomending one to my parents it would be a single format drive. Only get a combo for people who can and will take the time to learn the differences in the two formats so they know which is best to use for which project.

Blue laser (2, Funny)

Mod Me God (686647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7231935)

Sony are developing it for retail use, it will be ready in 2 years, mark my words!

Re:Blue laser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7232201)

Great. I are excited.

Re:Blue laser (1)

Chang (2714) | more than 10 years ago | (#7233125)

Sony has blue ray devices on sale in Japan now.

Re:Blue laser (1)

Mod Me God (686647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7233295)

Sorry, got confused in my excitement! Although blue laser discs are available at retail it is expensive. I meant red laser will be cheap and in wide availability in 2 years.

hrmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7231959)

either way...you could burn with iTunes...

::hint hint::

Where's the article????

Current Drives can use both (1)

DogEared (712092) | more than 10 years ago | (#7232025)

As someone with a DVD player in the "other" category, I cannot use DVD+ media for video. However 8x write speed on DVD+R is pretty impressive! ( I currently have a 1x burner that burns 'A' discs ) In my case, I was going to buy a Pioneer A06 but will wait for the Plextor to appear. Bottom line: Buy a burner that can use either type, and use different discs depeding on application (i.e. DVD+ for data or for players that can use it, DVD- for video / max compatibility)

Re:Current Drives can use both (1)

MadChicken (36468) | more than 10 years ago | (#7235640)

From what I understand, you *can*. Check out this [dvdplusrw.org] page. Have you tried setting the book type [dvdplusrw.org]? You can flag a DVD+RW to look like a DVD-ROM. This is something you *can't* do with a DVD-RW.

Worth a try.

Re:Current Drives can use both (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7235748)

What do you mean? I have a DVD-R burner and I can burn DVD-ROM... What exactly can't you do with DVD- that you can with DVD+ ?

Re:Current Drives can use both (1)

MadChicken (36468) | more than 10 years ago | (#7235941)

Nope, you can burn DVD-R. DVD-ROM are the pressed discs, and they have a special bit marking them as such. DVD-R(W)s come with this bit locked at 0.

Re:Current Drives can use both (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7236943)

So? They work fine in every player out there. What's the point of making a DVD-ROM instead of a DVD-R? If there was one, I'm sure they would release DVD-Rs with this bit set...

Re:Current Drives can use both (1)

MadChicken (36468) | more than 10 years ago | (#7238251)

Good for you, not as good for the CD+RW guy at the top of the thread.

DVD-Rs play in *most* machines. The original purpose was to prevent copied movies from playing. It doesn't seem like the DVD player manufacturers are playing the same game, and many of them play burned DVDs. Remember, the test [cdrinfo.com] did NOT say 100% of players played them...

A penis in both your nostrils! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7232106)

A penis in both your nostrils!

-- The WIPO Avenger

Re:A penis in both your nostrils! (1)

crache (654516) | more than 9 years ago | (#7253647)

i think it would be better said, "in each nostril" -- ignorent fool.

Either Or Really... (2, Informative)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 10 years ago | (#7232113)

I got a dual format drive a while back for burning, and it seems that (up here in Canada at least) DVD-R discs are cheaper by the spindle. Or they were when I bought my last spindle...

Current pricing for a 25-disc spindle on Future Shop (from the same manufacturer) is $55CDN for DVD+R, and $60CDN for DVD-R. Another manufacturer has -R for $70CDN, so maybe +R is the better deal.

In any event, both should play in modern DVD players so if you can get a Dual Format burner you can just go with the cheaper discs at the time.

Re:Either Or Really... (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7234648)

How much of that price is the media tax that you have to pay in Canada?

Re:Either Or Really... (1)

Demolition (713476) | more than 10 years ago | (#7236605)

If I recall correctly, as of October, 2002, blank DVDs are subject to a $0.65 CDN levy per disc. Therefore, at the price that I quoted earlier (4x DVD-Rs @ $1.60 CDN each), the CPCC levy accounts for about 40% of the per-unit price of a blank DVD.

However, the CPCC is seeking $2.27 (!) per disc starting sometime next year. Obviously, this is just a big cash grab... not to mention a massive pile of flaming horseshit.

There are a few groups that are fighting the levy. One of the major players is the CCFDA, a coalition of retailers and manufacturers (such as Apple, Intel, Sony, Motorola, etc.) that seeks the repeal of the levy legislation.

D.

Re:Either Or Really... (1)

Demolition (713476) | more than 10 years ago | (#7236514)

In Vancouver, B.C., the price of bulk 4x DVD-Rs has been fluctuating around the $1.60 CDN range (= ~$1.20 US). I bought 50 from ATIC [www.atic.ca] recently, burned a couple dozen at 4x with my Sony DW-U14A, and haven't had any coasters (...yet).

D.

Re:Either Or Really... (1)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 10 years ago | (#7237763)

I've always found that the prices of both are identical for the same brand, but I don't usually buy spindles...

They list the same prices you gave at their website [futureshop.ca], though they look like a fairly cheap brand. Does anyone know if there is any significant difference in quality between manufacturers?

And while we're here... (2, Informative)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 10 years ago | (#7232441)

...what about including DVD-RAM in the comparisons? ;)

DVD-RW
The original "standard". Major backers are Apple, NEC, Panasonic, Pioneer, Toshiba. Some incompatibilities exist with the emerging Mount Ranier standard, but there is a *huge* user base.

DVD+RW
Followed shortly after DVD-RW. Major backers are Dell, HP, Philips, Sony, Yamaha. Supposedly less error prone than DVD-RW and also more efficient, so faster drives are a more likely prospect and most pundits I've seen tend to favour this over DVD-RW. Used by Philips in their DVD set-top recorders.

DVD-RAM
The most recent standard. Major backers are Panasonic and, um... but Panasonic does use them in their set-top recorders and the format dominates this market in Japan. Much better support for random access recording (doesn't use a spiral track IIRC) so better for timeshifting, etc. Longest (hypothetical) lifespan of 100 years vs 70, and most supported rewritings (again hypothetical) of 100,000 vs 10,000 times. Most of the gains are due to the fact that a cartridge is often required, although this is starting to be phased out.

Ultimately though, if you want to use these disks in your DVD players, all the features don't matter a damn if your disks won't play, so check compatability first! I've also heard that different brands of media can cause issues with some players too. I'm waiting for now, but I think a DVD+RW/RAM drive would be the way to go at the moment. Finally LG [lgeus.com] does a drive compatible with all the standards, I'm not aware of any other drives that can do this as yet.

Re:And while we're here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7233176)

I have the LG drive linked to above. It comes with a DVD-RAM disk, and it works out of the box with the 2.4.x ide drivers. True random access, just like a real slow, real small hard drive.

Re:And while we're here... (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 10 years ago | (#7233624)

DVD-RAM
The most recent standard.

Actually, DVD-RAM was apparently the first.

Re:And while we're here... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7234929)

So in other words, you just dicard compatibility altogether. Isn't it important?

I mean, how will I look when I'll stuff my DVD+R in my friend's DVD player and get an error screen? How good is my vacation movie if I can't show it to my parents?

Re:And while we're here... (1)

SmittyTheBold (14066) | more than 10 years ago | (#7237852)

DVD-RAM has been available for a long time, since before DVD-RW or DVD+RW. It was more or less a stopgap measure to get high-capacity optical storage out of a DVD-based medium. Other than the DVD name, though, it's really not that similar.

I am not aware of any DVD-RAM drives that don't require the disc storage cartridge, and all of the (admittedly old) cartridges I have seen were sealed. DVD-RAM was basically an advanced "PD-ROM" drive that happened to be able to read CDs and DVDs as well.

It's a dead format, and a dead-end technology. Nobody wants it any more than they want Bernoulli drives.

Re:And while we're here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7238596)

As someone who's just bought a DVD-RAM drive I'd kinda have to disagree about they "Nobody wants it any more" bit...

We've just got one for doing nightly off-site backups for the stuff that we're actively working on - neatly fits in to the 4.7Gb so capacity's no problem, and proper random read and writes (like a HDD, not DVD+/-RW or CD-RW) means that we don't have to worry about formatting them everyday.

Throw in the fact the fact that the disc in a cartridge so you don't have to worry about scratching it when you chuck it your bag at the end of the day and you've got a great (small-ish) backup medium.

Most of the drives on the market at the moment will work with bare discs - I actually had more trouble finding one which would. And if you're worried about compatability, check out the LG GSA-4040B which does all five format, DVD+/-RW and DVD-RAM.

Re:And while we're here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7266792)

It seems you should have stopped at the 'I am not aware' part of your second paragraph. Both my current DVD-RAM drives (one bought in 2001, and the other a few months ago) support DVD-RAM with and without the cartridge. This format works like a large floppy or zip disk. While it is hard for some reason to find software that will support writing to a DVD-RAM in a UDF/ISO format, when I did so using GEAR I was able to read the disks just fine on my laptops DVD drive. On the flip side of this, windows does not look for FAT or NTFS on an inserted DVD, or the need for a UDF writing program would be eliminated in many cases (though still preferable most likely).It is very common in video recorders as it is the only format that allows the device to read and write at the same time, so you can record one show while watching another just like on a Replay. This also allows you do do a verify after write, speeding up a known good backup for example.

It is not a dead format, as the use in video alone will keep it alive for years. It should get more attention for data use as it is the best format for this use. Somne new drives are just released by LG and Iomega that support +,-, and the RAM format. It is odd how many think it is dead, I had some friends that heard this, but when I showed my drives in action, they went and bought one for themselves. Hopefully this rumor does not eventually become a self fulling prophecy on the data side (as I said, on the video side , the read/write at the same time gives it too much of a lead to die soon).

So next time, before you write 'I am not aware', at least first try to become a bit more aware rather then spouting off damaging incorrect information.

vs (2, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7232579)

DVD+ apparently supports VBR (Variable Bit Rate) encoding when recording as video (obviously, computer media files with VBR in them will save just fine when using this as a data medium). DVD- apparently does not. This may be outdated information.

DVD+ is now faster. Plextor has their (I think 708A) drive out, which supports 8X recording on DVD+R _ON 4X MEDIA_. Nobody else is doing this, certainly not on -R.

DVD+ seems to be getting faster, faster than DVD- is.

The media price seems to be at parity, though I've not done extensive checking, just take a peek every now and then at a Best Buy or CompUSA.

If I was going to buy a drive now, I'd go for the Plextor 708A, and stick with the + media (it's compatible with both + & - media, both reading & writing).

DVD-RAM isn't dead, it just smells that way. :) Okay, admit it, it's dead. Don't touch it. (and put that stick down, Billy!)

You may want to hold off until the whole burning dual-layer thing comes to fruition - I'm not sure how soon that'll happen, though I think someone just recently demonstrated it (Philips?).

I'd definitely go for the Plextor drive right now, though - it's even cheaper than the very nice Sony dual format drive, in addition to the 8X burning thing, which the Sony doesn't do.

Re:vs (1)

daksis (163887) | more than 10 years ago | (#7234340)

Some Comments on DVD media
  • Don't get cheap DVDs. Especially rewriteables. DVDs are more sensitive to flaws in the media than CD-R/RWs are. If you buy a spindle of 25 DVDs but 75% of them are coasters after 1 write or 5 re-writes then you really haven't saved any money.
  • Unless you start getting into details that only an engineer would care about (e.g. how many nm are between pits, where the sparing areas are on the disk.) , there is little physical difference between +RW and -RW.
  • +RW's can be quick formatted without having to overwrite the entire disk. Some drive manufacturers have recently added quick format for -RWs, but AFAIK this is not officially supported by the -RW spec. A lot of manufacturers implement this by allowing a write session to be started while a full track format takes place in the "background".
  • -RW's don't need to be formatted before first use, +RWs do.
  • Phillips created the +RW spec with real time recording in mind. [dvdplusrw.org]
As many people have already mentioned, Dual format burners are pretty cheap these days, so the +RW/-RW debate will probably continue to be a moot point. I for one am thankful that there exist two competing formats; that competition should help to keep the price point for DVD media pretty low.

Re:vs (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7234996)

Well, speed is a double sided feature. Have you noticed that your CD-RW last less when burned at 16X of higher? And same remark for CD-R?

OTOH, burning a DVD at 8X require you to have a damn fast PC, that's a lot of bandwidth!

Re:vs (1)

kormoc (122955) | more than 10 years ago | (#7239090)

8x is only 74.5 megs a sec, it's not that much compaired to what video editors deal with.

Re:vs (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7241885)

1xDVD is 1385 KB/s so technically, 8x is more like 11080 KB/s (10.8MB/s). If you look at the latest hard drives (ATA 100), you'll see a max throughput of around 30MB/s. That does mean that burning at 8X will basically drain your system out of its resources... It would be like burning a CD at 72X (not 72X MAX). Don't try to start photoshop!

Re:vs (1)

kormoc (122955) | more than 10 years ago | (#7242220)

I burned a dvd at 8x and prodvd spat out that number. It's possable that it would be wrong, but that's what it is saying it did. And if your machine is only burning a dvd and maybe web surfing a little or aim or something, 30 megs a sec would be fine.

Re:vs (1)

delus10n0 (524126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7241414)

I'd be curious to know where you got the conclusion that 16X+ discs somehow last shorter periods of time than non-16X+ discs. Got an article or tech source to back that up?

Re:vs (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7242055)

My own experience. I live in california where it gets really hot in the summer. If I leave a CD in my car (Let's say all the time) which is in the sun all day long, my 16xCD is just gone in about a year. 1X burned CDs lasts usually around 2-3 years.

Note that "the faster the worse" is not true, because CDs burned at 4X with my old Yamaha 4x2x6 are the worst ones. But still 16X CDs are gone faster than 1X CDs with my new burner. The numbers might not be accurate because I didn't do a "test" really, I just happenned to notice it.

The effect on CD-RW is even worse. And the sun doesn't play in there, because they live inside my house.

Philips DVD dual layer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7237599)

Yes, philips has demonstrated dual layer writing, and we should have firmware for consumer quality dual layer writing by christmas. If you pester our OEMs nicely they will admit that the firmware can be flashed into our 8x drives as an upgrade.
(The 4x drive cannot, due to lack of laser power)

The hardware also supports -R burning, but due to political and licensing bullcrap you won't be seeing that for a while, though all japanese companies are pestering for it, so you might get it after all.

And finally, 8x on 4x media? We're currently working up to 12x on it. But not reliably - and you have to be careful what media you buy. The problem, of course, is that there's almost no 8x media out there yet.

Also, DVD-R dual layer writing has been announced by (I think panasonic?) as well. But don't trust them, they're scum ;)

Posting AC for, um, obvious reasons.

Re:vs (1)

log0 (714969) | more than 10 years ago | (#7238099)

DVD+ apparently supports VBR (Variable Bit Rate) encoding when recording as video (obviously, computer media files with VBR in them will save just fine when using this as a data medium). DVD- apparently does not. This may be outdated information.

That seams strange. Are you referring to the set top DVD recorders (that encode and burn at the same time)? I've only ever burnt DVD-R[W] and only ever encoded in VBR. I've used two different authoring apps and neither of them gave any compliance warnings. I've tried the resulting discs in two standard DVD players with no problems.

Re:vs (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7240005)

>>DVD+ apparently supports VBR (Variable Bit Rate) encoding when recording as
>>video (obviously, computer media files with VBR in them will save just fine
>>when using this as a data medium). DVD- apparently does not. This may be
>>outdated information.

>That seams strange. Are you referring to the set top DVD recorders (that
>encode and burn at the same time)?

Yes, that's what I'm talking about. As I said, it doesn't have any bearing on computer DVD drives, and may be outdated information for set top recorders, too. That was the current poop as of 1.5 years or so ago, when I last checked on all this nonsense. Even aside from that issue, if it is still one, DVD+ looks like the winner, but you should definitely get a dual standard drive, no matter what, until DVD- is officially dead (assuming it does really lose).

How, how cool - I just got a railroad in the McDonald's Monopoly game, and the prize is a DVD player if I get the others. How timely is that?! :)

Cheap just to get a dual drive. (2, Informative)

delus10n0 (524126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7232964)

A combo DVD+/-R(W) drive will only set you back like $120 nowadays, and the price is getting lower all the time. Might as well just go with the combo drive, and you'll bet set to deal with either format.

Re:Cheap just to get a dual drive. (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7234960)

The question is, what is the point in being able to burn both formats ?

Re:Cheap just to get a dual drive. (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 10 years ago | (#7238813)

The ability to buy whichever media is cheaper at any given point in time...

Re:Cheap just to get a dual drive. (1)

delus10n0 (524126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7240679)

1) We don't know which format will "prevail".
2) Sometimes one format doesn't work in a DVD/etc. player, but the other will.
3) Sometimes one of the formats has cheaper media.
4) Why NOT be able to burn both?

Etc., etc... did you really need to ask this?

Re:Cheap just to get a dual drive. (1)

Greg W. (15623) | more than 10 years ago | (#7241148)

5) If it turns out that your (OS, software, drive, firmware, media brand) n-tuple works with DVD-RW media but not with DVD+RW media, you're going to be glad you bought a combo drive instead of a DVD+RW-only drive. It's a hell of a lot easier to get a combo drive, get one of every piece of DVD writing software that you can find for your OS, and then try all possible combinations than it is to try to decide which web site's or mailing lists's detail-lacking anecdotes are most likely to be useful or true.

[[ ObDetail-LackingAnecdote: my Sony drive can write DVD-RW and CD-R just fine but can't write a DVD+RW, even after moving it from the HP-UX box to a Win95 box, upgrading the firmware, putting it back in the HP-UX box, and downloading cdrecord-ProDVD 2.01a11 which allegedly supports DVD+RW media. Of course, I only had one DVD+RW medium, supplied by the person who requested the data, so it could have been an isolated incident. And the data set was actually small enough to burn onto a CD-R, so I just burned a CD-R. ]]

Re:Cheap just to get a dual drive. (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7241162)

Dude, you either need to buy a brain, or just learn how to read the story!!!

1) We don't know which format will "prevail".
The point of the story is to point out that we don't care which format will prevail. Say I'm buying DVD- and in a few years DVD+ prevail. What have I lost? In a few years I'll buy another burner anyways, so my old DVD- burner is dead anyways. All the DVDs I burned will still play.

Why should I care which format will prevail?

2) Sometimes one format doesn't work in a DVD/etc. player, but the other will.
Well, a lot more players play DVD- than DVD+. I really doubt that a lot of players play DVD+ but not DVD-, but might be possible, granted.

3) Sometimes one of the formats has cheaper media.
This point is valid, but you're really saving peanuts here, you have to admit! Unless you burn TONS of DVDs of course...

4) Why NOT be able to burn both?
If you answer to why? by why not? you're younger and more immature that I thought. Sometimes, there is just no point being able to burn both.

Re:Cheap just to get a dual drive. (1)

delus10n0 (524126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7241388)

Ok, you ask a question on Slashdot, and get an answer ("Just get a combo drive and you're set.") yet you don't like it. What exactly is the problem? Combo drives are pretty much the norm nowadays, and cost cheaper than their "single format" counter-parts. What is wrong with buying a combo drive so you can use either format?

Why should I care which format will prevail?

Then _why_ are you asking this question to the Slashdot crowd? If you have a combo drive, it won't matter what format prevails because you'll already have the tools necessary to deal in that format.

If you answer to why? by why not? you're younger and more immature that I thought. Sometimes, there is just no point being able to burn both.

Let's stoop to name calling then, asshat! "Sometimes there is just no point being able to burn both." ? Uhm, yeah. You're complaining about additional functionality for the same price?

Re:Cheap just to get a dual drive. (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7241991)

Dude, there is drawbacks in being able to burn both formats! Let's say I buy this combo burner and buy the cheapest DVD*R out there every time I need some. Then I end up burning both DVD+R and DVD-R, which limit me to buy all my DVD players with the constraint that they MUST support both formats. So I probably don't want to do that. Then your argument that you can select the cheapest media at any time is flawed! That adds a new constraint on all further DVD players I will ever buy!

Burning both is not the answer I was looking for. Which format is the best (technically) is the answer I was looking for.

Re:Cheap just to get a dual drive. (1)

delus10n0 (524126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7242228)

Ok, so using your logic, why get any DVD burner at all? Just wait for the next "standard" that is in a single format, and go with that.

And DVD+/-R(W)'s aren't just for video, ya know. I use my DVD burner to backup my MP3's and my divxs, as well as my documents and graphics work (Photoshop loves making 500 megabyte+ PSD's when things get crazy.) -- This is when the "cheapest media" arguement works. I buy the cheaper format at the time, and use it to make backups like I just described. Sure it might not be saving that much money, but it's nice to have that flexibility.

Some DVD standalone players will play DVD+R just fine, while others will only play DVD-R. And further still, some won't play recorded DVD's at all. What's the problem with having a combo drive that can support both formats? You still haven't answered that question.

Re:Cheap just to get a dual drive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7249241)

don't bother answering that guy. he's an idiot.

if you put all three drives in front of him, dvd-r, dvd+r and the combo unit, all by the same manufacturer, and the price is the same...

you know which one that dumbass is gonna pick. the same one we all are going to pick.

that guy is such a fucktard. pointless questions, pointless debate.

shut the fuck up. (not the parent, but the parent's parent)

Re:Cheap just to get a dual drive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7249199)

>>there is just no point being able to burn both.

all right bill gates, we've had enough of your crap.

quit posting inane questions, and then harrassing pple who rightfully so, point out that you are an idiot.

Both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7232978)

Practically all drives now support both, so get one of those!

Dual-format getting so cheap +/- is irrelevant (1)

rkhalloran (136467) | more than 10 years ago | (#7233282)

I was waiting to jump in, not wanting to get the DVD equivalent of a Betamax, but found a Memorex dual-format burner for about $130 after rebate at one of the local Big Box Stores. My officemate gave me $25 for the 16x DVD-ROM it replaced, so my net is just over $100. By the holidays, that will probably be street price for these things, at which point I expect the single-format burners will just go away, making this whole argument as moot as SCO's case.

Re:Dual-format getting so cheap +/- is irrelevant (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7235780)

Did you read the story ?????? There is no comparison between Betamax and DVD, that's the whole point of this story!!!! Re-read it if you want! You will not get into the situation of the poor Betamax owner even if you choose the doomed format!

I am dreaming. Could you be more offtopic?

I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

millisa (151093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7233380)

Though I don't know why so many of the 'both' posts are getting modded down, I don't see why this isn't a good answer.

The price on a +/-R type burner isn't that much higher than the just -R or just +R.

I picked the first sony 500 series that did it when they first came out not because of worries over the vhs/beta type war, but because of the cost of media and availability. Yes, some players are going to like some types more than other. Sure, one of them might be the 'winner' in the long run. But for me, I needed lots of data dumps that I didn't want to use tape for. Which means lots of media. I wanted to be sure I could go with the more economical media of the time and it was an intelligent choice. I've had difficulty getting spindles of +R media at times and have no choice but to go with -R media (unless I'm willing to pay 2 bucks a disk in smaller package sizes).

You don't buy a car nowadays without checking out the mile/gallon, no reason the same shouldn't apply to the ongoing cost of our media consuming devices . . .

I guess it all comes down to what you really want to use it *for* to help decide which one is better for you . . . Or course, my argument will slowly become invalid as the media manufacturers and retail outlets catch up with the demand of a still newish consumer product line . . .

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7233468)

You're not looking very carefully. A name brand DVD-R can be gotten around $200, a name brand +/- drive can be gotten around $300. 50% higher doesn't qualify as "not that much higher".

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

rkhalloran (136467) | more than 10 years ago | (#7233584)

The Memorex dual-format 4x burner I bought was rated well by a couple of the consumer PC mags, right behind the TDK dual-format, normally sold at Best Buy for $200, and I got it last weekend on sale for $160 up front, with a $30 rebate. I expect the prices to drop even faster than CD-RW drives have the last couple of years (it's probably WHY they've come down, come to think).

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

elmegil (12001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7233965)

Ah eat mah words. Munch munch munch.

Two months ago I couldn't find those deals at pricewatch or anywhere else. Amazing how fast they're coming down.

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 10 years ago | (#7233891)

You're not looking very carefully.
A name brand +/- drive can be had for
about $119.

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 10 years ago | (#7235412)

...Got a link?

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 10 years ago | (#7243209)

Isn't that a bit embarassing? Just go to pricewatch.com and find one yourself.
Here's [fticomputer.com] one I might buy myself.

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 10 years ago | (#7246550)

(shrug) I'm not thinking of myself, (can't afford it) but it should prove helpful to anyone else that's reading this article and looking to buy one. :b

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 10 years ago | (#7238900)

Well, try going to Bestbuy.com [bestbuy.com] Then you can select from memorex, plextor,pioneer or lite-on at the $200 range.. and those are the name brands for CD/DVD RW drives..

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

kormoc (122955) | more than 10 years ago | (#7239223)

sony?

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 10 years ago | (#7239462)

Sony Doesn't exactly have a reputation for making good/bad/indifferent PC CD/DVD drives... the others do...

And I'm not paying a surcharge for the Sony name... and nothing else.. I've used Lite-on, pioneer, et al... Never Sony... Just MHO...

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

kormoc (122955) | more than 10 years ago | (#7239499)

I got my Sony for $160 last month, it does both formats and my sony cdrw 4x burner works great still. They do make great equipment and it lasts. My pioneer dvd drive died after a year but the sony chugs on. I also find sony drives are just as cheap if not cheaper then most 'name brand' ones.

I guess it's a case of YMMV :)

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

kormoc (122955) | more than 10 years ago | (#7239141)

I got a sony +/- burner last month for $160 from newegg, and it was at that price for like 2 months before then cause I had to save up for it :)

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7235828)

Though I don't know why so many of the 'both' posts are getting modded down

Because they are Offtopic?

I explain: Me, the author of the story, is trying to make the point that you have nothing to loose in commiting to one format. As opposed as the VCR battle where the loosers (Betamax/V2000 owners) basically could throw away all their tapes when their VCR died.

Here, whether you buy DVD- or DVD+, your DVDs will live and will be readable in most players. Even if your DVD format has died in between.

The real question here is: What is the risk if I commit to DVD-? I have a better compatibility, so why trying to compromise with an hybrid solution?

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

millisa (151093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7237657)

How is going with a burner that can do either a compromise? If they were more expensive by a huge margin, maybe, but they aren't. You don't lose anything by going with a drive that can do both format. The statement that there is 'nothing to "loose" going with one format' is silly. You lose the ability to create in the other format. Why commit to one format when there isn't any reason to?

You, the author of the post, asked this: "What else can help me choose between either format? Are prices that different? Reliability? Speed?" " To which the answer was "dont choose. There isn't a price difference by not choosing". The thing that will help you choose is *what* you are wanting to use the disks for. If you are just using them your own personal dvd player, then go with whichever your player supports. If you want to make movies to send to your extended family, and you don't know for sure one type or the other is going to work in their player the prudent thing is to get a burner that will do both so you can send mom that +R sincer her drive doesn't play the -R's, Uncle Bob the -RW because his first gen sony won't do the +R or -R and everyone else that has players that have solidified the most economical media that gets the job done. If you aren't doing anything with video and are just using it for backups, then go with whichever is the fastest and has the best reviews.

You asked which one was better and we answer 'neither', the one that does both is better and you claim its off topic . . . Fine, i don't understand English. I accept that.

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7241068)

Well, even if I buy a burner that does both, I still have to choose the media I want to burn. You're just not answering anything, you're just pushing the decision one step ahead.

The question + or - it still not answered. That's what I mean by offtopic.

However, in this post you try to address it. My criteria would be a "case by case" decision, based on the player I want to play my DVDs in. It sounds barely acceptable to me that I might have to burn my movies to three different formats (+R, -R, -RW)... But these thechnologies are very young and immature, so I might very well end up having to do that...

Even though *most* players will do any format... (1)

millisa (151093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7242710)

There are still plenty out there that won't. My cheap-o apex seems to be able to play anything. The sony I have in the bedroom plays *most* everything (it doesn't like -rw and a few brands of -r) but a few it seems to play the data faster (its really weird, its like watching it with sound at 10% faster than normal) and my first gen ancient sony only seems to like cd rw and +r's.

It sounds like you are more focused on the video side of dvd burning, I think your best bet is going to be browse on over to http://www.dvdrhelp.com/ [dvdrhelp.com] where they have lots of good info on various players and which media types and brands work with them in both dvd and vcd type formats. If you have an idea of what type of players your friends and family have, you can get a better guage of which format might be better to go with if you do want to just stick with one. (but why! I want both mustard *and* ketchup with my hotdog even though both are good and non-cancelling condiments in their own right).

The dvdrhelp site is very good for software information used for the dvd/vcd creation process too. Definitely worth perusing.

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

delus10n0 (524126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7241469)

Are you trying to make a point, or are you really doing an "Ask Slashdot"?

Of course if someone only needs one format, then that's fine. But some people need both, for reasons I've posted numerous times elsewhere.

"trying to compromise with a hybrid solution"

What exactly are you comprimising?

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7242158)

One of the argument for a combo burner is that you can get the cheapest media at any time. It is flawed by nature. If I do that, then I'll end up having DVD-R and DVD+R burned. That will dictate one thing that I don't want: That all DVD-players I'll ever buy will have to support both formats.

So the price argument doesn't count as a "free benefit", right?

The second argument is that I can choose what media to burn on on a case-to-case basis. I don't want to ask myself the question "ok, should I burn that on a DVD- or a DVD+" every time I burn a DVD!!! I'm going to go insane.

So we get to the point that even if I buy a combo drive, I will have to make that decision on DVD- or DVD+. In that respect, the "buy a combo" sentence doesn't answer my question.

I didn't ask "Which burner should I buy" but "Which technology should I commit to". If I buy a combo, I restrict my players choice to players that play both. It is a tradeoff, not a "Go for it, you have nothing to loose"!

Re:I'm still letting the media costs decide . . . (1)

delus10n0 (524126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7242268)

Your DVD-ROM drive should read DVD-R and DVD+R just fine. And if for some crazy reason it can't, your burner/combo drive can. DVD's aren't just for video, ya know.

You don't have to flip flop formats. I'd reckon you'd find what works best for your equipment (DVD players) and go with that for future burns.

Commit to whatever technology works for you. I care not. A combo drive will offer both sides of the technology for you to try out and see what works.

simple answer... (1)

_RiZ_ (26333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7233999)

get the Sony DRU-510. It handles all standards and the firmware is upgradeable to support future standards. It is pricey, but is also the best one available currently. If you pay more than 300 for the external usb2/firewire version, you got screwed.

This is what I know (2, Informative)

doc modulo (568776) | more than 10 years ago | (#7234538)

At the end of october the new DVD+RW drives will get a feature called Mount Rainier. Drives which are fully M.R. compliant will get a brand sticker from Philips called "easy write" or something like that.

It's a technical story but it comes down to, that you can use Mount Rainier rewritable (DVD+MRW) disks as 4.3 Gigabyte harddisks. In other words, you don't need a special burning program to put stuff on the +MRWs, you just drag and drop it to your drive icon.
Copying, deleting, everything behaves like with a floppy disk.

DVD+MRW has extra disk storage reserved for error correction so it is safe to use a DVD like a HD. However, that is also the reason why you can only burn 4.3 GB on it instead of 4.7

The DVD- standard cannot be made compatible with Mount Rainier.

Also, eventually DVD-RW will become more expensive because a disc has to be made unwritable by machine at a certain small area of the disc, you can see the lines with the naked eye. This has to be done with an extra step in the manufacture of the discs and so will increase the price. The movie industy wanted that extra feature to prevent 1:1 copies of movie DVDs.

Using a seperate program to be able to use storage is a bit strange if you think about it.

Hope I made up your mind for you.

Mount Ranier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7237610)

Mount ranier is a disk defect management system, similar to lba remapping used on hard-drives. It is indeed a useful thing.

There is the potential for impending failure analysis and remapping in advance - but no drive will be doing that for a while.

The 'consumer' feature of this is the ability to packet-write more reliably - but directCd or similar give you that. It's really only of interest to people who want to write to scratched media more easily, and it doesn't help with data recovery from scratched media.

The tech will be getting really shown off at the 'microsoft plugfest' sometime next year - but won't be going into the OS until longhorn which means 2006 now? With this slippage, no one really knows when MRW is coming out. I guess it might go into a service pack. Personally, I'd not bother waiting for it. And finally, as I talked about above - it's just a firmware upgrade. And this one can go into 4x writers.

Oh, and whilst it is true that -R is incapable of MRW as it stands, it is certainly capable of something similar which does exactly the same thing for the customer and which AFAIK hasn't been given a name yet.

Re:This is what I know (1)

iantri (687643) | more than 10 years ago | (#7248492)

It's a technical story but it comes down to, that you can use Mount Rainier rewritable (DVD+MRW) disks as 4.3 Gigabyte harddisks. In other words, you don't need a special burning program to put stuff on the +MRWs, you just drag and drop it to your drive icon. Copying, deleting, everything behaves like with a floppy disk.

So? This is nothing new.. there is a standard for this on CD-RW called UDF. Various programs are avaiable to do this.. DirectCD from Adaptec/Roxio (shudder), InCD from Ahead Software, etc.. (no good support on linux)

In fact, I think you can use UDF on DVD already, but don't take my word for it..

dual layer plans not an issue for buying now. (1)

pocopoco (624442) | more than 10 years ago | (#7236089)

You will have to buy a new burner to write dual layer media. So either side having dual layer *plans* doesn't matter at all to choosing now.

Since I'm posting anyway...personally I use DVD-R. It's the most compatible if you ever burn a DVD for a friend, it's cheapest, and the drives are cheaper and have been out longer with more generations (grab an old Pioneer, dirt cheap and reliable). So I couldn't care less about technical matters.

+/- Doesn't Matter Unless Compat. Is Important (2, Insightful)

dpm67 (258482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7239618)

Format (+/-) doesn't matter unless you are concerned about read compatibility. If it's just for your own use, then you can get away with anything. Right now, pricing for each type of media seems to have finally gotten to be about equal, so price really should not be a factor any longer. But watch out for older recorders being liquidated at a too good to be true price, these will typically only suport one format, they won't write both. If you are using just for DVD-ROM, data storage, then either should be fine, as both media can be read reliably in most DVD-ROM drives. If you are interested in created DVD video, then the -R media is drastically more compatible with a variety of DVD Video players. Note: we're not talking about Divx movies on CD-ROM/DVD-ROM here, we're talking about video recorded in the same format as a commercial DVD video disc you would get from Circuit City (er, ack! oh, nevermind - that's another story alltogether). I experienced this firsthand as I have both media and have tested videos on DVD on a wide variety of DVD players. I have yet to come across a player that will not read a DVD-R disc at all. The worst I have found is my 1st generation Pioneer Laserdisc/DVD Combo player, it recognizes and plays the DVD-R media just fine, but on occasion seems to get confused and stops playing when using FF. Even a cheapie $50 Apex DVD player purchased just one year ago plays all my DVD-R video's like a champ. But both the above players do not recognize DVD+R media at all. With my +R discs, the people I've given them to in order to have them test in their players, about 20% of them have problems viewing, while no problems reported at all with the video I have done on -R media.

Re:+/- Doesn't Matter Unless Compat. Is Important (1)

slashdot_commentator (444053) | more than 10 years ago | (#7249142)

Format (+/-) doesn't matter unless you are concerned about read compatibility.

Supposedly +R results in more "reliable" encodings, which will mean +R discs will be more likely not to have read errors across +R readers and perhaps less chance of cheapo media coming up with a flawed burn. Haven't used either long enough to form an opinion. If I didn't get a dual (Pioneer A06), I'd probably would have went -R, because (currently) more DVD players read the -R without problems, and the -R media is cheaper. To me, the question is how badly do you need to save the $50 difference in single/dual drives.

DVD+RW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7245593)

Quoted from dvdplusrw.org [dvdplusrw.org]:

Most DVD players will read a DVD+RW or DVD+R disc without any problems, however a small minority of them report a disc error when a disc is loaded that is not marked as a "DVD-ROM" disc in the compatibility bits. Ususally, these players are physically able to read the disc (since DVD+RW reflectivity is identical to that of a dual layered DVD-Video disc, which all players must be capable of reading), but their compatibility problems are due to different interpretations of these bits in the various firmware versions.

So, just use the book type setting changer in nero and youl be just fine.

dvd-r at 2x for $0.60/each (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7253169)



I use a Pioneer 105 DVD-R/RW drive with Princo brand 1x DVD-R white top media. Many places have the media for $60 for spools of 100 with free shipping (see Pricewatch.com.)

The Princo 1x media (and others) can be burned at 2x with a firmware modification known as 2x4all (see Google.)

I have been doing verifys after every 2x write since I've done the mod but am pleased to have no coasters from the process.

2x recording at $.60/each seems good to me.

shaft micro$haft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7253334)

DVD+RW are what I use, cos that's what my xbox reads.

My $0.02 (1)

Nailer (69468) | more than 10 years ago | (#7265825)

DVD+RW is supported by HP, Dell, Microsoft and IIRC Pioneer.
DVD-RW was supported by Sony, Apple and Compaq. Sony now does dual format drives. As of 10.3, Apple now has support for +RW in their OS (though still not in some apps), and Compaq got brought by HP and now supports +RW.

Mount Ranier (a sucessor to the packet writing technologies people use these days) is based on +RW.

And the compatibility thing may or may not be bullshit depending on who you speak to.

I think we have a winner. Get +RW or a dual format drive.
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