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DVD Knowledge: What is DVD and which DVD format should I use?

1. What is DVD?

DVD stands for Digital Versatile/Video Disc. It is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than compact discs while having the same dimensions. DVDR stands for DVD Recordable and DVDRW for DVD Rewriteable.

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A recordable DVD stores up to 2 hours of very good quality DVD-Video, including several audio tracks in formats like stereo, Dolby Digital or DTS and also advanced menu systems, subtitles and still pictures that can be played by many standalone DVD Players and most computer DVD-ROMs. If you choose to lower the video quality it is possible to store several hours video on a recordable DVD using low bitrates and low resolution with video quality more like VHS, SVHS, SVCD, CVD or VCD. It is also possible to have up to 4.37* GB ordinary data or mix DVD-Video and data on a recordable DVD that can be played by most computer DVD-ROMs.

 

There are many different formats: DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM, which DVD format is best for you?

 

2. Why So Many DVD Formats?

The crucial difference among the standards is based on which standards each manufacturer adheres to. Similar to the old VHS/Beta tape wars when VCRs first hit the markets, different manufacturers support different standards. Often called a format war, both the industry and consumers are still waiting to see which format will emerge as the industry standard.

 

3. DVD Formats

• DVD+R and DVD+RW

DVD+R is a non-rewritable format and it is compatible with about 89% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.

DVD+RW is a rewritable format and is compatible with about 79% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.

DVD+R and DVD+RW support single side 4.37 computer GB* DVDs (called DVD-5) and double side 8.75 computer GB* DVDs (called DVD-10).

 

• DVD-R and DVD-RW

DVD-R was the first DVD recording format released that was compatible with standalone DVD Players. It is a non-rewriteable format and it is compatible with about 93% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs. If you are trying to convert video to DVD for playback on home DVD player, DVD-R is the most popular DVD format.

DVD-RW is a rewriteable format and it is compatible with about 80% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.

DVD-R and DVD-RW supports single side 4.37 computer GB* DVDs (called DVD-5) and double sided 8.75 computer GB* DVDs (called DVD-10).

 

• DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL (Dual Layer / Double Layer Formats)

DVD+R DL or called DVD+R9 is a Dual Layer writeable DVD+R. The dual layered discs can hold 7.95 computer GB* (called DVD-9) and dual layered double sides 15.9* computer GB (called DVD-18).

DVD-R DL or called DVD-R9 is a Dual Layer writeable DVD-R. The dual layered discs can hold 7.95 computer GB* (called DVD-9) and dual layered double sides 15.9* computer GB (called DVD-18).

 

• DVD-RAM

DVD-RAM has the best recording features but it is not compatible with most DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players. Think more of it as a removable hard disk. DVD-RAM is usually used in some DVD Recorders.

 

• DVD-ROM

DVD-ROM was the first DVD standard to hit the market and is a read-only format. The video or game content is burned onto the DVD once and the DVD will run on any DVD-ROM-equipped device. DVD-ROMs are similar to CDs.

 

4. DVD Sizes

The DVD sizes can be a bit confusing. There are basically 4 different DVD Sizes.

 

DVD-5 holds around 4.7GB. DVD+R/DVD+RW and DVD-R/DVD-RW support this format. It is also called Single Sided Single Layered. This is the most common DVD Media, often called 4.7 GB Media.

DVD-9 holds around 8.5GB. DVD+R supports this format. It is also called Single Sided Dual Layered. This media is called DVD-R9, DVD-R DL, DVD+R9, DVD+R DL or 8.5 GB Media.

DVD-10 holds around 9.4GB. DVD+R/DVD+RW and DVD-R/DVD-RW support this format. It is also called Double Sided Single Layered.

DVD-18 holds around 15.9 GB. DVD+R supports this format. It is also called Double Sided Dual Layered.

Almost every movie DVD-ROM is a DVD-9, and the countless majorities of blank DVD±Rs are DVD-5s.