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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bill Adlhoch, Jun 21, 2002.
from both a technical and end-user stand point? any opinions as to which is better?
Bill, Excellent question! I'm about to buy a new computer and don't know what kind of burner to get for it to play my discs on a DVD player (about to finally buy one of those too) plus be future-proof. I want to put family photos onto a DVD I burn so I can show them on a DVD player. I've read in mags that DVD+R is going to be the winning format, but I'll probably hedge my bet and get a combo DVD-R/DVD+R burner on my computer to be somewhat future-proof. (Then I have to figure out how to get jpg photos from the computer to the DVD player - another hassle I'm not looking forward to.)
First off, check my sig. Second, this may be the wrong forum. OK. I don't think one can say that any technology is better than the other at this point, if we consider all points. You should take what the mags say and what the various format-specific websites with a spoonful of salt, because it's quite clear that some are quite biased (websites) or else don't have the complete info (magazines). Also, don't expect to get a DVD-R/+R drive anytime soon, if ever. The companies that make "-" drives are in direct competition with the companies that make "+" drives. Furthermore -R and +R do the same thing more or less so there isn't that much point in creating such a drive. And of course, I'm not getting into the DVD-RAM/DVD-RW/DVD+RW discussion here either. As for .jpgs on DVD. It's not a big deal. I've made several such DVDs. Not too complicated on a PC, and a super easy on a Mac.
anyone else help me on the techical differences and how one is slightly better than the other?
Eugene, Dell seems to be offering a +R/-R combo drive as an option on some of their systems when you click on the custom systems link at their site. Thanks for the tip on jpg files. Does any DVD player then display the jpg images or do you need some feature on it like "Kodak compatibility"?
The only combo drive on the Dell Canadian site I see is a combo DVD+RW/CD-RW drive. There is no such thing as a combo DVD+RW/DVD-RW writeable drive, nor is there a combo DVD+R/DVD-R writeable drive. If the US site is selling a DVD+R/DVD-R combo drive then it is a misprint.
Also, AFAIK, Dell's combo drive does NOT do DVD+R at all anyway. (At least until 2 weeks ago, they bundled 1st generation DVD+RW drives, which do not support DVD+R.) It just does DVD+RW (and CD-RW/CD-R). If that is still true and you want a + format drive, then it would make much more sense NOT to get the combo drive, and buy a 2nd generation DVD+RW/DVD+R/CD-RW/CD-R drive separately and install it yourself. (The DVD-RW/DVD-R/CD-RW/CD-R drives are a bit cheaper though.)
The closest thing to one company supporting both technologies is Sony. Strangely enough, they sell Vaio computers only with DVD-RW/-R drives (Pioneer I think), despite the fact that they make OEM DVD+RW/+R drives only. ie. They support both, but not in the same drive.
Well, the way I've done it is to convert the images to MPEG-2 (DVD) video (with 2 accompanying music tracks) so essentially all a DVD player is doing is playing a video made up of still images. In other words, my discs are standard DVD-Video discs and no such Kodak compatibility or whatever is needed and all players with DVD-R compatibility should play the discs. At this point I have not bothered trying to make true collections of stills like you find on some DVDs, so I can't tell you much about the authoring process for that. (That's my next project. )
Eugene, Right you are regarding Dell options - I misread their custom drive descriptions. I guess I'll have to put two DVD burners in my computer to get the the ultimate in future-proof flexibility: A DVD+RW drive and a DVD-RW drive. Unfortunately that DVD+RW drive right now is going to set me back ~$500 US! By the way, I thought "RW" means read and write(burn)? So...... won't a DVD+R drive just read - but a DVD+RW drive both read and write(burn)? Therefore isn't a "DVD+RW" drive capable of both reading and writing(burning) - so therefore more flexible than just a DVD+R drive? If my understanding above is correct, for photo archiving I'll obviously need an "RW" drive.
The terminology is confusing. "R" discs are "recordable" but just once. "RW" discs are "rewritable". ----- Older DVD-R drives burn only DVD-R. However, basically all DVD-RW drives burn both DVD-RW and DVD-R. AFAIK, no drives that burn only DVD-RW exist. DVD-RAM and DVD-R combo burners also exist. ----- All 2nd generation DVD+RW burn both DVD+RW and DVD+R. However, 1st generation DVD+RW drives burn only DVD+RW, and not DVD+R. No drives exist that burn only DVD+R. ----- Online, DVD-RW/-R drives now go for $250-350. Online, DVD+RW/+R drives now go for $300-400. ----- I don't really see the point of getting both a DVD+RW/+R drive and a DVD-RW/-R drive. If you record either DVD+R or DVD-R, the video discs will both play on most DVD players, and the data discs will be readable in most DVD-ROM drives. I can see justifying this say if you're a wedding videographer and will have lots of customers. Getting both drives would ensure compatibility with the most possible hardware. However, if you only are going to be using it with a single DVD player for yourself, all you have to do is buy one that is compatible with the DVD burner you want to purchase. For instance, I have a DVD-RAM/-R burner (which doesn't do DVD-RW). My main DVD player is a Panasonic RP91, which is compatible with both technologies. (Incidentally though, apparently the RP91 will also read DVD+RW, DVD+R, and DVD-RW, although I have not tried these on this DVD player.)
Eugene, Thanks much ........ it's getting clearer now! BTW, I've held off on picking up an RP91 for my Elite RPTV and am waiting on the RP82 instead. I sure hope the lost DVD viewing time was worth it just to get that Faroudja deinterlacing!
Here's another couple of things that keeps me firmly on the fence:
While the DVD forum endorses DVD-RW and DVD-RAM, they don't endorse DVD+RW. On the other hand, Microsoft endorses DVD-RAM and DVD+RW, not DVD-RW.
So go with DVD-RAM, right? Not exactly. DVD-RAM is the least compatible of the three rewritable formats when playing on older DVD players. From what I have followed, they don't work on any player unless the player is DVD-RAM specified. Meanwhile the other two formats can randomly work on older players which may or may not say they are compatible with those respective formats.
Actually, to be picky, for clarification: The DVD Forum includes DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD-R. Microsoft supports DVD-RAM at the OS level today. Microsoft will support DVD+RW at the OS level (with Longhorn) in the future, when Mt. Rainier for DVD+RW is available. However, no Mt. Rainier-capable DVD+RW drive exists yet. OTOH, the DVD-RAM format is inherently incompatible with DVD players and DVD-ROM drives. Thus unless DVD-RAM compatibility is specified, DVD-RAM will be incompatible. However, newer machines are adding this functionality without cost penalties it seems, including the current mid-end Panasonics and some DVD-ROM drives like the Toshiba M1612 (which allow DVD-RAM read but no DVD-RAM write obviously, since it's not a burner). Also, the DVD Forum's new DVD Multi 1.0 standard specifies DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD-R compatibility. Now what does all this mean? Pretty much nothing if all you want to do is burn DVD video discs that work in most DVD players. You can just buy a DVD+RW/+R drive, a DVD-RW/-R drive, or a DVD-RAM/-R drive and you're good to go, for burning +R or -R. I would not rely upon DVD+RW or DVD-RW alone for this purpose though, if you plan on sharing the discs with friends, etc., since the compatibility of these formats is currently too low to be acceptable.
Phil, "RW" means ReWritable.