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Whats the state of DVD RW? (1 Viewer)


Jan 25, 2000
Real Name
I'm sorry if this is in the wrong forum but it looked like the best one....

I'm getting into miniDV and digital camcorders... I have all of this footage (some edit and not) but SVCD just doesn't cut it!!!

I know HP has a DVD200i that does DVD+RW but DVD+RW is not a standard...

how close are they to a standard? i'm trying to maximize capatiblity on several DVD players. RCA, Samsung, XWave, Toshiba.

something fixing to come out on the near horizon?

i know this can be a touchy subject but i am strictly talking about transfering my home videos to DVD.


Senior HTF Member
Mar 6, 2001
You're looking in the right direction. DVD+RW has recently been retooled to include a variation called DVD+R. It is beleived that DVD+R has about an 85% compatibility with everything.

And you've probably heard that Microsoft has decided upon using DVD+RW/+R for its next version of Windows. They've licensed the technology from Sonic Solutions (ticker symbol SNIC if you're interested, currently trading around $6 with $9 target).

Chances are Microsoft's choice has made DVD+RW/+R the winner, but Apple of course came out with the slightly older format DVD-R/-RW first, and who knows if they will give it up or not.

Wayne Bundrick

Senior HTF Member
May 17, 1999
Check vcdhelp.com for DVD player compatibility reports.

I think DVD-R/-RW has the backing of more manufacturers than DVD+R/+RW. Apple's DVD-R/-RW drive is actually a Pioneer A03 and it is highly regarded.

I think Microsoft should keep their nose out of hardware matters. Operating systems should be hardware agnostic when it comes to storage and other peripheral devices, and Microsoft has no business endorsing one standard over another. Something's fishy about that. Does HP make the optical drives for the X-box, I wonder?

Ted Todorov

Senior HTF Member
Aug 17, 2000
DVD +RW is thoroughly incompatible with most set top DVD players as well as DVD -ROM drives. Current DVD +RW drives are NOT capable of writing the allegedly more compatible DVD +R format.
Of the stuff out there now, DVD-R is by far the most compatible, it plays on the vast majority of set top players.
As mentioned above, the Pioneer DVD -R drive is available in Apple iMacs and G4 mini towers under the trade name Superdrive. It is also available in some Windows machines (Compaq, IIRC).


Senior HTF Member
Mar 6, 2001
Current DVD +RW drives are NOT capable of writing the allegedly more compatible DVD +R format.
Yes, that's true. Be aware that the first generation of DVD+RW drives do not have the DVD+R ability.

"Philips will ship its combination DVD+RW/+R PC drive, the DVDRW228, in Europe and the U.S. in April, according to Philips spokeswoman Jeannet Harpe. Pricing in Europe will be €699, and the price in the U.S. will be similar." I haven't seen this in stores yet.

DVD+RW will benefit from the sheer volume of PCs Dell and HP ship. Also, Compaq is expected to drop DVD-R/RW drives in favor of DVD+RW sometime after HP completes its acquisition.

I know the format war is a hassle for everyone who was an early adopter. And DVD-R allegedly has the same 85% compatibility that DVD+R has, so it is a valid choice for people who want their systems now.

Ronald Epstein

Senior HTF Member
Jul 3, 1997
Real Name
Ronald Epstein
You know, it's unfortunate that there are
always media wars like this throughout the
history of electronics.

The people that always lose are THE CONSUMER.

I'll just briefly mention this as a review
is forthcoming....

I have reviewed the Philips DVDR985 recorder.
It uses the +R and +RW formats. Have put media
I recorded on it into other players. Here is
what I found....

The DVD+RW (which I used) is compatible with most
of my players except for my early first-generation
Sony. This is not surprising.

For comparison, I had a friend bring his DVD-R discs
he recorded on his computer. His -R DVD played
in 1 additional player that my +RW would not. The
player was a portable Toshiba.

When I post my review later this week I'll list
the modsels I tested the +RW and -R discs on and
tell you what played and what did not. For the
most part, however, it *seems* like the compatability
issue between both is about even. Not all discs
play in all players. The newer your DVD player the
better chance BOTH formats will play.

Danny R

Supporting Actor
May 23, 2000
And you've probably heard that Microsoft has decided upon using DVD+RW/+R for its next version of Windows.

This just means that the +R/RW format will have a wider base. Microsoft also supports the -R/RW format and isn't forcing users to pick one or the other.

The advantages of the +R/RW format are in speed of formating the disks. The disadvantages are that +R media is currently hard to obtain and got a late start in this race.

Its impossible to currently compare compatability between the two formats because of this absense. While -R disks are widely compatable, its somewhat confusing to compare that format with +RW directly, because one is rewritable and the other is not. If you compare -RW disks to +RW you find that both are much less compatable with standalone players than the -R format.

Thus the big question is how compatable will the +R disks be. If they equal -R, then I would bet that the + format will eventually win.

Although why someone doesn't make a drive that supports BOTH is beyond me...

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