DVD -RW format + format -

By dummy61 ยท 8 replies
Jan 29, 2008
  1. Hi,
    i do not know if i am on the right subject but here goes, i started to check out the disc that are out there to store things on, the disc i came accross with a large volume 4.7 gb but the ones I picked were dvd-r but it started to get confusing i asked arround but know one can help me.

    They have format - and format +
    can anyone tell me which one i should use on my pc I have a dvd-rewriter

    I bought some DVD+R no mention on the packet of format, I tried them and it looks like I have wasted my money.

    So please can someone tell me what is the correct disc I can use larger than the 700mb CD-R

    Thanks in advance
  2. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    Welcome to TechSpot

    Unless the drive tells you it is DVD-R then you can buy blank media for DVD-R.
    If you have a drive that is DVR+R and you got DVD-R blank media it won't work.
    It will only work if the DVDRW can do multi-reads/writes this is both formats.

    DVR-R and DVR+R these two only write once that's it!
    (DVDRW) lets you write and erase media.

    What model did you have for the burner?
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Pretty much any dvd burner made from about 2004 on will burn both + and - R. So I don't really see that you screwed up.

    Some older DVD players won't play -R disks, +R is considered more 'compatible', but its pretty rare that you find one that won't play the -R.
  4. NameBrandHuman

    NameBrandHuman TS Rookie Posts: 34

    Not entirely true. +r's have the ability to change what is called bitsetting to make a dvd+r more compatible with "older" dvd players by changing it to dvd-rom. Now unless you know how to do this the +r's and -r's are going to have the same compatibilty with said dvd player!
  5. rmdl51

    rmdl51 TS Maniac Posts: 244

    Well, I don't agree with the +R being more compatible, a couple of years ago the "more" compatible was the -R, not the +R, I have tried many old DVD players to read +R and they won't recognize the disc, however they do for DVD-R, but nowadays pretty much I would guess to say 90% of dvd player can read both formats.

    So, in fact and I hope we don't confuse dummy61 a little more, you can buy any media (+R or -R) if your burner support that format, as long as you want to store data and not movies, if you want the media for movies I'll suggest to go with DVD-R rather than DVD+R, however some people says newer DVD+R are more compatible with older dvd but I'm not able so check if that's true or not,
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I don't know. I thought -R was more compatable for a long time, but then somewhere convinced me otherwise. NBH's post about booktype change to DVD-ROM makes sense then about R having the higher compatibility possibility.
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Dear dummy61

    Welcome to the often confusing world of DVD formats and burners. It my not answer your question or be comforting but even those with more experience don't always agree on what should work best with what. (btw.. in addition to + or -, R or RW also note that some new DVDs may also have DL in the format. These are "dual layer" DVDs)

    I find it most helpful to use a software tool to tell you what your DVD drive supports as well as read/test the media to tell you the format of and what is on your media. Some of the burning tools have their own "Info" tools included in the burning tool. Personally, i've always liked DVDINFOpro. You can use the freeware version (which shows advertising which keeps it freeware) or buy a license for it (like $30 bucks). It will give you detail on:
    • Your CD/DVD drive including all its characteristics and the formats/features it supports
    • The disk media you insert in the drive including disk manufacturer, disk media format and whether its blank or has been burned already
    As a footnote: Be aware that it;s not uncommon for a CD/DVD burner to fail even on media it's supposed to support. If this happens:
    • Try cleaning the media recording surface (this is often the root problem)
    • Check if the drive vendor has a firmware upgrade for the drive
    • Try a different / better quality disk in the drive
  8. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 872   +12

    Most DVD burning software will automatically bitset a DVD+R to DVD ROM and at one time DVD-R was more popular than DVD+R because they burned faster, but most newer DVD players now have no problem reading a DVD+R or a bitset DVD+R or a DVD-R for that matter.

    Most newer DVD writers will burn to a DVD+R, DVD-R or a DVD-RW. Your DVD burner would have to be very old like SNGX1275 said for you to have screwed up.

    You'll need DVD burning software to make your burner work efficently. Windows will not format a DVD-RW without third party software, and I reserve the right to come back to this thread and add other thoughts as they come to me.

    I'm still not sure what the problem is.
  9. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Not that I'm the defacto source on this, but both DVD-R and DVD+R have their compatibility issues. This is the reason you all have mixed up "opinions" on which is the most compatible. :)

    In short, DVD+R is better media. It's has better data integrity, more precise (better) linking and a more compatible (better) book type method. I would say overall, for data purposes, DVD+R is slightly more compatible than DVD-R.

    The most 'common' source of incompatibility comes from logical issues - the "book type" method is a good one. How the book type is defined with DVD-R might be more compatible than DVD+R when it comes to copy-protected DVD media, but DVD+R has the advantage for everything else. Also, I've read the DVD-R standard has become more complex and now accommodates 'special data types' and other things outside of the general DVD specifications... Such things lead to compatibility issues with devices that cannot handle off-spec media.
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