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Can you explain the difference between available DVD recordable discs?

There is DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW and to add to my confusion, DVD-ROM!!!

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2 Responses to “Can you explain the difference between available DVD recordable discs?”

  1. steveo1544 said:

    The basic principle is the same for write once DVDs (-/+R and ROM) A laser burns pits into a very thin metal layer sandwiched between layers of clear polycarbonate.

    The difference is in the digital format used to encode and decode the stored data. Think of it like the difference between speaking English and Japanese.

    To learn more about DVD technology, visit

  2. Ronald H said:

    DVD-R is a write-once recordable format which allows excellent compatibility with both standalone DVD players and DVD-ROM drives. There are two main types of DVD-R discs: DVD-R for General Use and DVD-R for Authoring.
    DVD-RW media uses rewriteable discs which are rated for more than 1000 rewrites in ideal situations.
    +RW, like DVD-RW, is a rewriteable 4.7 GB format, and overall it has similar functionality to DVD-RW. One potential future advantage of the +RW format is the optional Mount Rainier drag-and-drop file access support (also known as +MRW) planned for future versions of Windows. However, current drives do not support Mount Rainier on +RW. The level of compatibility of +RW discs in standalone DVD players is similar to that of DVD-RW. The rewritability of +RW is also said to be similar to that of DVD-RW.
    DVD-RAM is a format originally aimed primarily as a data solution, but it is now becoming popular as a video format used by some brands of standalone (non-PC) DVD recorders. Early PC-based DVD-RAM recorders used 2.6 GB discs (or double-sided 5.2 GB discs), but current drives also use 4.7 GB discs (or double-sided 9.4 GB discs). DVD-RAM discs are traditionally housed within cartridges which cannot be opened, so that the media is well-protected. Newer Type II and Type IV cartridges can be opened however, an important feature for those who wish to read these discs in DVD-RAM compatible DVD-ROM drives or standalone DVD players. In addition, some DVD-RAM discs are now sold without cartridges.


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