Data Protection > Backup > Understanding different DVD formats

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Understanding different DVD formats

There are multiple DVD formats: DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-ROM. Each offers different features.

DVD-R and DVD+R are recordable, but can only be written to once. They are then only readable and can’t be erased for the rest of their digital lives. DVDs with RW are rewritable. These DVDs are great for sharing files with another individual or transferring files between computers.

DVD-RW and DVD+RW discs can be written to and erased many times. They’re both readable and writeable. They work great for routine system backups, etc., but are slightly more expensive.

DVD-R and DVD-RW discs can only be written to in one layer on the disc surface. The standard is primarily used by Apple and Pioneer and are cheaper than the “plus” format. The DVD+R and DVD+RW format is supported by Philips, Dell, Sony, HP and Microsoft. They can be written to in multiple layers, giving them slightly better and more disc storage than the “minus” format. They’re slightly more expensive than “minus” discs.

DVD-ROM drives can only read DVDs, while the other DVD drives can read and write data to DVDs.

DVDs, on average, can store up to 4.7 GB of data, while a CD can only store about 700 MB of data, or about 15 per cent of a DVD’s capacity. While CDs are slightly cheaper, DVDs offer greater benefits.

The easiest way to determine which is more beneficial is to watch the industry trends. A few years ago, all pre-built computers were shipping with DVD-ROM drives. Today, most have a burnable DVD drive, which stores much more data.

Look at DVD burners that support all of the major formats mentioned above. While it may be slightly more expensive, it will allow you to use any type of DVD disc and protect you from industry shifts from one format to another.

Last updated on August 25, 2014 by FCC AgExpert