DVD recordable and
DVD rewritable refer to part of optical disc
DVD optical disc formats that can be recorded
DVD recorder, (written, "burned"), either write once or
rewritable (write multiple times) format written by laser, as compared
to DVD-ROM, which is mass-produced by pressing, primarily for the
distribution of home video.
DVD recordable is a general term that
refers to both write-once and rewritable formats, whereas DVD
rewritable refers only to rewritable formats.
DVD recordables use dyes. Depending on the intensity of
the laser, the reflective property of the dye on a particular spot
will determine whether it is a peak or a valley representation from
pressed DVD. Dyes give the data side of a disc a distinct color. Dyes
are also the reason playback is not guaranteed. Their reflective
properties are not as good as with stamped DVDs that commonly have
aluminum as the reflective layer.
1 Comparing recordable CDs and DVDs
2 R and RW formats
5 Comparison of "dash" and "plus" formats
11 Disc structure
11.1 R format
11.2 RW format
12 Dual layer
13 See also
16 External links
Comparing recordable CDs and DVDs
The larger storage capacity of a
DVD-R compared to a
CD-R is achieved
through smaller pit size and smaller track pitch of the groove spiral
which guides the laser beam. Consequently, more pits can be written on
the same physical sized disc. In order to write smaller pits onto the
recording dye layer, a red laser beam with a wavelength of 640 nm
(for general use recordable DVD, versus a wavelength of 780 nm
for CD-R) is used in conjunction with a higher numerical aperture
lens. Because of this shorter wavelength, DVDs use different dyes from
CDs to properly absorb this wavelength.
R and RW formats
DVD-RW discs on a spindle
The "R" format DVDs can be written once and read arbitrarily many
times. Thus, "R" format discs are suited to applications such as
non-volatile data storage, audio, or video. This can cause confusion
DVD+RW Alliance logo is a stylized 'RW'. Thus, a DVD+R
disc may have the RW logo, but it is not rewritable.
According to Pioneer,
DVD-RW discs may be written to about 1,000 times
before needing replacement. RW discs are commonly used to store
data in a volatile format, such as when creating backups or
collections of files. They are also used for home
DVD video recorders.
One benefit to using a rewritable disc is, if there are writing errors
when recording data, the disc is not ruined and can still store data
by erasing the faulty data.
DVD writer capable of burning either dash or plus discs
DVD-R format was developed by Pioneer in 1997. It is supported
by most normal
DVD players and is approved by the
DVD Forum. It has
broader playback compatibility than the “+” especially with much
older players. The dash format uses a “land
pre-pit” method  to provide ‘sector’ address information.
DVD “minus” R is not correct, according to
recommendations; it is, in fact, a dash (i.e.
DVD “dash” R). DVD-R
DVD+R technologies are not directly compatible, which created a
format war in the
DVD technology industry. To reconcile the two
competing formats, manufacturers created hybrid drives that could read
both — most hybrid drives that handle both formats are labeled
Super Multi (which includes
DVD-RAM support) and are very
Sony with their
DVD+RW Alliance. The "plus"
format uses a more reliable bi-phase modulation technique to
provide 'sector' address information. It was introduced after the "-"
DVD+R format was developed by a coalition of corporations—now
known as the
DVD+RW Alliance—in mid-2002 (though most of the initial
advocacy was from Sony). The
DVD Forum initially did not approve of
DVD+R format and claimed that the
DVD+R format was not an official
DVD format until January 25, 2008.
On 25 January 2008,
DVD6C officially accepted
adding them to its list of licensable
DVD+RW supports a method of writing called "lossless linking", which
makes it suitable for random access and improves compatibility with
DVD players. The rewritable
DVD+RW standard was formalized earlier
than the non-rewritable
DVD+R (the opposite was true with the DVD-
formats). Although credit for developing the standard is often
attributed to Philips, it was "finalized" in 1997 by the DVD+RW
Alliance. It was then abandoned until 2001, when it was heavily
revised (in particular, the capacity increased from 2.8 GB to
Comparison of "dash" and "plus" formats
As of 2006, the market for recordable
DVD technology shows little sign
of settling down in favour of either the plus or dash formats, which
is mostly the result of the increasing numbers of dual-format devices
that can record to both formats. It has become very difficult to find
new computer drives that can only record to one of the formats. By
DVD Video recorders still favour one format over the other,
often providing restrictions on what the unfavoured format will do.
However, because the
DVD-R format has been in use since 1997, it has
had a five-year lead on DVD+R. As such, older or cheaper
(up to 2004 vintage) are more likely to favour the
exclusively.[better source needed]
DVD+R discs must be formatted before being recorded by a compatible
DVD video recorder.
DVD-R do not have to be formatted before being
recorded by a compatible
DVD video recorder, because the two variants
of the discs are written in different formats (see
DVD+VR and DVD-VR
There are a number of significant technical differences between the
'dash' and the 'plus' format, although most users would not notice the
difference. One example is that the
DVD+R style address in pregroove
(ADIP) system of tracking and speed control is less susceptible to
interference and error, which makes the ADIP system more accurate at
higher speeds than the land pre pit (LPP) system used by DVD-R. In
addition, DVD+R(W) has a more robust error-management system than
DVD-R(W), allowing for more accurate burning to media, independent of
the quality of the media. The practical upshot is that a
is able to locate data on the disc to byte accuracy whereas
incapable of such precision.
Additional session linking methods are more accurate with DVD+R(W)
versus DVD-R(W), resulting in fewer damaged or unusable discs due to
buffer under-run and multi-session discs with fewer PI/PO errors.
Like other 'plus' media, it is possible to change the book type to
increase the compatibility of
DVD+R media (though unlike DVD+RW, it is
a one way process). This is also known as bitsetting.
As RAM stands for Random Access Memory, it works more or less like a
hard-drive and was designed for corporate back-up use. Developed in
DVD-RAM is a rewritable optical disc usually encased in a
cartridge. Currently available in standard 4.7 GB (and sometimes in
other sizes), it is useful in applications that require quick
revisions and rewriting. It can only be read in drives that are
DVD Forum backs this format.
Multi-format drives can read and write more than one format; e.g.,
DVD plus-dash recordable and rewritable) is used to refer
to drives that can write/rewrite both plus and dash formats, but not
necessarily DVD-RAM. Drives marked, "
DVD Multi Recorder" support
DVD±R(W) and DVD-RAM.
DVD recordable media are sold in two standard sizes, a regular
12 cm size for home recording and computer usage, and a small
8 cm size (sometimes known as a miniDVD) for use in compact
camcorders. The smaller Mini DVD-RW, for example, holds 1.46 GB.
Disc write time
Equivalent CD rate
DVD 1× actual spin is 3 times that of CD 1×
Disk write time in table does not include overhead, leadout, etc.
The following table describes the maximal speed of
DVD-R and the
relative typical write time for a full disc according to the reviews
from cdrinfo.com and cdfreaks.com. Many reviews of multiple brand
names on varying conditions of hardware and
DVD give much lower and
wider measurements than the optimal numbers below.
The write time may vary (± 30 s) between writer and media used. For
high speed, the write strategy changes from constant linear velocity
(CLV) to constant angular velocity (CAV), or zoned constant linear
velocity (ZCLV). The table below largely assumes CAV.
Data rate (MB/s)
Data rate (Mbit/s)
Write time for single-layer DVD-R
30 minutes (CLV)
15 minutes (CLV)
8 minutes (ZCLV)
5 min 45 sec (CAV)
5 min 30 sec (CAV)
5 minutes (CAV)
4 min 30 sec (CAV)
~4 minutes (CAV)
DVD § Capacity
Most DVD±R/RWs are advertised using the definition of 1
1,000,000,000 bytes instead of the more traditional definition of 1 GB
= 1,073,741,824 bytes = 1 Gibibyte. This can be confusing for many
users since a
DVD advertised as having 4.7 GB (4.7 billion bytes) may
show up on their device as only having 4.38 GB.
Optical disc recording technologies § Longevity
According to a study published in 2008 by the Preservation Research
and Testing Division of the U.S. Library of Congress, most recordable
CD products have a higher probability of greater longevity compared to
DVD-R discs are composed of two 0.6 mm acrylic discs, bonded with
an adhesive to each other. One contains the laser guiding groove and
is coated with the recording dye and a silver alloy or gold reflector.
The other one (for single-sided discs) is an ungrooved 'dummy' disc to
assure mechanical stability of the sandwich structure, and
compatibility with the compact disc standard geometry which requires a
total disc thickness of about 1.2 mm. The sandwich structure also
helps protect the layer containing data from scratches with a thick
"dummy" disc, a problem with CDs, which lack that structure.
Double-sided discs have two grooved, recordable disc sides, and
require the user to flip the disc to access the other side. Compared
to a CD's 1.2 mm thickness, a DVD's laser beam only has to
penetrate 0.6 mm of plastic in order to reach the dye recording
layer, which allows the lens to focus the beam to a smaller spot size
to write smaller pits.
In a DVD-R, the addressing (the determination of location of the laser
beam on the disc) is done with additional pits and lands (called land
pre-pits) in the areas between the grooves. The groove on a
has a constant wobble frequency used for motor control, etc.
JVC announced an archival
DVD recording medium manufactured
with quality control and inspection frequencies techniques greater
than is traditionally used in media manufacturing, and using specially
developed silver alloy as a reflective layer and organic dye with
in-house developed additives to secure long-term data retention.
The recording layer in
DVD+RW is not an organic dye, but a
special phase change metal alloy, often GeSbTe. The alloy can be
switched back and forth between a crystalline phase and an amorphous
phase, changing the reflectivity, depending on the power of the laser
beam. Data can thus be written, erased and re-written.
In October 2003, it was demonstrated that double layer technology
could be used with a
DVD+R disc to nearly double the capacity to 8.5
GB per disc. These dual layer (DL) versions,
appeared on the market in 2005.
A specification for dual-layer
DVD-RW discs with a capacity of 8.5 GB
(8,500,000,000 bytes) was approved by the
DVD Forum, and JVC
announced their development of the first media in the format in
2005. However, manufacturing support for these rewritable
dual-layer discs did not materialize due to costs and expected
competition from newer and higher-capacity formats like
Blu-ray and HD
DVD+RW specification was approved in March 2006 with a
capacity of 8.5 GB. Manufacturing support for rewritable
dual-layer discs exists today[when?].
DVD recorder (DVDR)
MultiLevel Recording, an obsolete technology (with non-binary
Blu-ray Disc recordable
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optical disk using +RW format -- Capacity: 4,7 Gbytes and 1,46 Gbytes
per side (recording speed up to 4X)
ISO/IEC 26925:2009, Data interchange on 120 mm and 80 mm
optical disk using +RW HS format -- Capacity: 4,7 Gbytes and 1,46
Gbytes per side (recording speed 8X)
ISO/IEC 29642:2009, Data interchange on 120 mm and 80 mm
optical disk using +RW DL format -- Capacity: 8,55 Gbytes and 2,66
Gbytes per side (recording speed 2,4X)
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