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Why DVD-R/-Rw/+R/+RW Compatible

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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   George>K



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Posted September 20 2003 - 06:54 AM

I've got a question about the latest set-top DVD players. Many are now advertising that not only do they play DVD-Video, but they are compatibel with DVD-R/-RW and/or +R/+RW. What does this really mean? What format would the disk be in to take advantage of that. It was my understanding that if I burn a DVD on my PC (I now have a DVD burner), it would be in DVD-Video format (depending on the software, of course) and then play back on any commercially availabel DVD-Video set-top box. So, what does this "extra" compatibilty mean? Is it possible about not "closing" the disk, and still be able to play it? Or possible not using the specific MPEG-2 format that DVD-Video requires, but a different, possibly more efficient format? For me, I want to be able to take my digital photos or video footage from my DV camera and create slideshows or films, burn them to DVD, and share them with friends and family on their plain old DVD players. I don't want to have to worry if they have a player with the right capabilities. So, what gives?? Thanks.

#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Kyle McKnight

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Posted September 20 2003 - 09:56 AM

-r/-rw and +r/+rw are the different types of DVDs that consumers can burn. They're not compatible with all players.
Kyle McKnight

#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

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Posted September 21 2003 - 12:32 PM

The various recordable DVD formats are physically different from prerecorded (pressed) DVDs you buy in the store. They are similar, but the tolerances and other details vary, just like recordable CD (R or RW) is different from prerecorded CD. If a player is not intentionally designed to read a recordable disc, it might work, but it might not. When a player advertises that capability, then it definitely should. DVD-Video is (in this context more of) a logical spec -- names and structures of directories and files, and specific MPEG formats. The "bits" would all be the same regardless; with recordable DVD, the issue is whether the player can actually read the disc reliably. //Ken

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   George>K



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Posted September 21 2003 - 02:33 PM

Ken, Makes sense. If I understand you correctly, the need to state the compatibility is purely a confirmation of what will work instead of what may or may not work? That fits. That said, an older DVD player, that has no specific compatibility advertised, may still work with all possible formats? I would guess that older ones not specifically designed to work with RW wouldn't read it? And would it also be true that with a std DVD-Video player, the only thing playable is a DVD authored to DVD-Video specs? (Insetad of, say burning MPEG-2 in a slightly different format and trying to play it)? Thanks.

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Steven K

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Posted September 21 2003 - 02:37 PM

Ken is right - sort of.

Just because a player claims that it is compatable with a specific format(s), it doesn't mean that it will be compatable with ALL discs of that format.

The three biggest "non-disc type" factors for compatability are:
1. Media typemanufacturer
2. Authoring application
3. Burning application

Number one is huge- there are about 20 different manufacturors of discs, but over 100 distributors for those discs. Your Princo DVD-Rs might not work on your set top player, while your Ritek discs might work just fine. This is not so much the case for CDs anymore, as most CDs now are cyanine or pthatocyanine.

Number two is almost as big, but not quite. To simply put it, you usually will not get the exact same output from the same 2 authoring applications, even with the same options selected. Programs like IFOEdit do not produce 100% compliant IFO files - for maximum compatability, you need to invest several hundred (or thousand) dollars into a seperate DVD authoring application.

Number three is not quite as much a determining factor, but still worth mentioning. Nero tends to work very well for about 75% of the people. RecordNow Max works slightly better, but tends to be a little more cumbersome to use. The best option, in my opinion, is to create ISO images and then burn with DVD Decrypter.

Check out www.dvdrhelp.com for more information - it's the best site on the net for DVD burning, authoring, etc... and, avoid cheap media, such as Princo, LeadData, CMC, and Optodisc. Stay with Ritek, and if you can afford them, Taiyo Yuden.

Hope this helps.

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   GrahamJW


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Posted September 22 2003 - 05:31 AM

Also checkout this website:


They explain DVD formats, pros and cons of each, and how to record DVD in the format of your choice. If you purchase a DVD burner for a PC, I recommend getting a multi-format DVD burner; it is compatible with both formats.

Hope this helps...John
No trees were hurt in the creation of this message, however many electrons were horribly inconvenienced.

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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Posted September 22 2003 - 06:06 AM

[quote] I would guess that older ones not specifically designed to work with RW wouldn't read it? [quote]My older DVD player didn't support CD-RW's but it kind of played them. For example, I believe the grooves in RW media aren't burned very deep. The way they are able to re-write is the grooves can be reheated and melted back into a solid state, thus, the grooves aren't burned fairly deep.

A lot of the lasers in the older players can't read these types of 'non-deep' grooves and most will just skip over them because they don't recognize them as grooves.

My old DVD player would see the grooves, but it would skip like and old record player (i.e. the laser would loose focus on the grooves and skip all around.)

A note about +R/+RW: The DVD community hasn't recognized them as an official DVD product so you won't see a DVD logo on the discs, you'll just see their RW logo.

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