DVD Burner and Different Formats?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Doug_L, Jan 14, 2003.

  1. Doug_L

    Doug_L Stunt Coordinator

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    My brother asked me for a little advice on the different type of DVD formats and I figure this forum is the best place to start as my knowledge is pretty weak in that area. Really looking for two answers/types of info:

    1) Can anybody point me (and him) to a good resource that describes the differences in the burnable formats (ie: DVD +R, DVD RW, etc.). Between the two of us we're fairly fluent in both home theater and computers, but any additional commentary that one would provide would be appreciated.

    2) He's planing on getting the burner to use with his computer (primarily to burn DVD's of home movies and other content) and not a standalone burner/DVD player. What concerns should he have with the compatibility of these computer burned DVD's to play in a variety of DVD players. In other words, if he edits and burns a DVD of his kid's Birthday it needs to be able to play in: A) his player (sony); b) his in-laws' player (JVC); c) his parents' player (pioneer) and so on. This may be linked to the above question about formats, but I am also looking to understand the other issues that may create problems, especially when dealing with older (2-3 years) DVD players that may be sitting in peoples' homes.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Bill_D

    Bill_D Supporting Actor

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    Maybe this link will help:
    http://www.anandtech.com/guides/viewfaq.html?i=118
    I was in the same situation because "I'm getting a Dell" and wanted a DVD writer. From my research, the -R/RW is the most widespread and accepted format among standalone players, PCs and Macs. Dell's option for a installed DVD is a +R/RW and I really liked the Philips 985 which is +R/RW. But I would really like to distribute Home videos to family and friends and they are most likely to have -R/RW units.
    So basically I chickened out and didn't get one at all. I guess I will distribute VCDs instead.
     
  3. Ernest

    Ernest Supporting Actor

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    The subject of DVD burners is confusing with the three different formats;
    DVD-R/RAM (Panasonic, Toshiba and Samsung)
    DVD+R/RW (Phillips)
    DVD-R/-RW (Pioneer)

    I opted for the standalone Panasonic DVD-R/RAM because it best suit my needs for converting VHS, SVHS, Laserdisc and recording from DirecTV to DVD-R. DVD-R is by far most compatible with DVD players. Whatever you buy I suggest you stick with DVD-R. You can't go wrong with DVD-R that sell for less than $1.00 and play on all newer players.
     
  4. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    For an in-box (in the computer) burner, the best bet out right now is the Sony DRU-500A. It'll burn to almost any format.
    Here's a link to a review at CNET.com
     
  5. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    If I burn a dvd on a -r disc, can I easily copy it to a +r disc if I have playback compatibility problems? I was thinking if I had a dvd drive and the sony +/- burner, could I burn on one type of disc, put it in my dvd-rom drive and then do a "dvd copy" to the other format?
     
  6. EdD

    EdD Agent

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    I plan to go with the Sony DRU-500A but DVD-R is generally considered the most compatible. DVD+R comes right after. Both of these formats are designed to be compatible with existing players. DVD-RW and DVD+RW are both touch and go when it comes to compatibility. Compatibility in most of these cases have more to do with tolerances than conflicts. Reflectivity of rewritable media tend to be less than that of recordable media. What this means is "supoort" means that the vendor has tested it and it will respond if you have any problems with it. Check out www.vcdhelp.com for a compatibility search. This is a database compiled from user surveys but I've found the info pretty consistant.
    DVD-RAM is worth mentioning because it has twice the max capacity of dvd-r/rw dvd+r/rw. dvd-ram can be rewritten over 100,000 times which is I think about 10 times more then the other formats. Unfortunately, dvd-ram is all but dead as a format. It had a lot of promise; especially as a computer data storage format.
    With the sony dru-500a, you can burn both a dvd-r and a dvd+r and try both with whatever player. I think this is still the only player that can write to both -/+ formats.
    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Reece

    Reece Stunt Coordinator

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    I own the Sony DRU-500A and it is well worth the $$ due to it's flexibility with the various formats. I also own a panasonic cp-72k and was pleased to find out that it also plays dvd+r/rw,contrary to what the manual states, as well as the dvd-r's that I've recorded on the sony (I haven't tested -rw yet).

    It's good to not be chained down to one format, just be careful of the type of media you purchase, and always practice your projects on rw before final burning. I've unfortunately gone through many coasters learning what methods work and what brands of media to trust and distrust. Still I've yet to find 100% reliability on any brand.

    That being said....If you don't mind parting with 3 bills for a dvd burner, I say go for it. You won't have to worry about dvd player format compatibility issues anymore.
     
  8. Peter Rohlfs

    Peter Rohlfs Stunt Coordinator

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    Reece,
    How is the software that came with the Sony? Do you use that or something else?

    Thanks,
    Peter
     
  9. Reece

    Reece Stunt Coordinator

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    Peter,
    The software that came with the sony are "My DVD" which enables you to write dv camera images on dvd & cds, "MusicMatch Juckbox" for music cds & mp3s,"Veritas" - RecordNow & DLA which enable you to direct cd& dvd copy as well as drop files onto a dvd on the fly as if it was another HD. It also comes with "PowerDVD" for viewing movie files on your PC.
    All-in-all its a nice software bundle, but I only installed powerdvd and musicmatch. I don't have much use for the others but they're nice to have if the need ever arises.
    I've been having a lot of fun burning home movies on dvd to watch on my system as well as archiving all my vhs tapes and giving them away as I go. I'm starting my new year by getting rid of those space hogs [​IMG]
    Let me know if you have any other questions.
    Reece
     

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