What is the Difference Between a DVD-R and a DVD+R? Video
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Video:What is the Difference Between a DVD-R and a DVD+R?

with Zoya Popova

DVD+R and DVD-R have different addressing systems and methods of linking data. Learn more about whether you should be using DVD-R or DVD+R.See Transcript

Transcript:What is the Difference Between a DVD-R and a DVD+R?

Hi, I'm Zoya Popova for About.com, and today we're going to talk about the difference between DVD-R and DVD+R.

DVD-R and DVD+R Address Information Differently

DVD-R and DVD+R are two competing recordable DVD formats. DVD-R was introduced in 1997, and DVD+R arrived in 2002. The two formats are incompatible with each other. You can not burn DVD "dash" discs using DVD+ drives, and vice versa, although dual format burners are available. The developers DVD+R have positioned it as a format superior to DVD-R. The major difference is the addressing system, which refers to the way the laser finds the proper position for data to be written.

In DVD-R, address information is communicated through microscopic pits located just outside of the groove that carries the data. Now, the problem with this approach is that the laser has to write data onto the groove and read the address information located outside the groove, at the same time. Proponents of DVD+R claim this address system creates disturbances in the writing process and results in more errors.

So in DVD+R, address information is encoded in the shape of the groove itself. It is argued that this system minimizes errors, and makes address information easier to read, especially at higher writing speeds.

DVD+R Has Lossless Linking

Another difference between the formats pertains to they way they link data whenever a recording is suspended. This is important because the suspension of the writing process is a problem that is encountered quite often. Whenever you copy data from your hard drive onto a disc, it first goes to a buffer, and sometimes, when there are too many applications running on your computer at the same time, the buffer may run out of data to send to the burner, causing it to stop recording.

When it is resumed again, the linking of the data from before and after the interruption, can potentially corrupt data, and create problems when trying to play the disc back. DVD+R, with its capability to position the laser with higher precision, allows to link segments of data without any loss, known as lossless linking. This makes data interruptions unnoticeable, so in theory, DVD+R should be playable on all regular DVD players.

In reality, however, that's not quite the case. You are just as likely to run into playback problems with a DVD+R as with DVD-R, if not more. In order to avoid writing errors and playback problems, you shouldn't worry as much about which is the superior format, but instead concentrate on other factor, such as disc quality and compatibility issues. Specifically, you should make sure that your burning and reading equipment is compatible with the format and particular brand of disc you plan to use.


And this is it for our two recordable DVD formats. Thank you for watching, and for more information, please visit us at About.com.

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