1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

DVD Discs: +R Versus -R

The Subtle Differences


CD and DVD discs

CD and DVD discs are virtually identical on the outside, but DVDs can store so much more...

A special article by guest author, Joanna Gurnitsky
What is the difference between DVD-R and DVD+R?

To answer this question in very simple terms: almost none.

For all intents, there are no physical, and very little functional, differences between the DVD-R/-RW discs and the DVD+R/+RW discs. The DVD-R ("dash” R) and -RW media are officially approved by the group called DVD Forum, and the DVD+R ("plus” R) and +RW are not. The DVD+R/+RW media are supported by the DVD+RW Alliance.

The main difference lie in the DVDs' built-in defects management, the way they can be formatted and their price.

Did you know?
The private format known as DVD-Slim is not approved by the DVD Forum. The format is not in compliance with any approved DVD formats.

Confusing World of DVD Media

Definition: DVD - started as Digital Video Disc, now means Digital Versatile Disc

DVD media can hold up to 13 times the information of a standard CD, on one side! A DVD looks just like a CD. It is 120mm in diameter, and 1.2mm (comprised of two polycarbonate substrates, 0.6mm each) in thickness. It can be single or double sided. Furthermore, each side may contain a second layer to increase the disc's storage capacity.

Common DVD storage capacities are:
4.7GB (single sided/single layer)
9.4GB (double sided/1 layer)
8.5GB (single sided/dual layer)
17.1GB (double sided/dual layer)

Did you know?
A dual layer DVD can provide up to 4 hours of the highest quality audio and video on a single side of the disc.

Perhaps you would like to produce and burn your own videos, and be able to play them in most set-top DVD players. Therefore, before head out you buy a DVD recorder, ask yourself two questions:
1) What level of compatibility are you looking for?
2) What will be the best format of recordable DVD media to make that happen? The first question is usually easy to answer - you want a media format that can be read by another computer or will play in a majority of set-top DVD players.

The answer to the second question can be rather confusing.
There are two main types of recordable DVDs but their similar naming and near identical features cause a fair deal of confusion.

Continued on next page

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.