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Home > DVD Copying Articles > DVD Movie Formats

DVD Media Formats Explained

DVD ( Digital video disk ) or ( Digital Versatile Disc )
A DVD is a type of compact disc that holds far more information than CDs. A DVD can hold a minimum of 4.7 GB, enough for a full-length movie, and up to to 17GB. One of the best features of DVD drives is that they are backward  compatible with CD-ROMs. This means that DVD players can play CDs as well as DVDs. 

DVD+R is a recordable DVD format that can only record data once, and then the data becomes permanent on the disc. The disc can not be recorded onto a second time. The data on a DVD+RW disc can be erased and recorded over numerous times without damaging the medium.

We recommend using DVD+R/+RW for the use of burning DVD movies and watching on your home DVD player. We have found the DVD+R/RW format to provide the best quality and to be the most compatible with most DVD players. DVD+R and DVD+RW formats are supported by Philips, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Ricoh, Yamaha and others.

DVD-R discs can only record data once and then the data becomes permanent on the disc. The disc can not be recorded onto a second time. There also are two additional standards for DVD-R disks: DVD-RG for general use, and DVD-RA for authoring, which is used for mastering DVD video or data and is not typically available to the general public.

DVD-RW is a re-recordable format similar to DVD+RW. The data on a DVD-RW disc can be erased and recorded over numerous times without damaging the medium. As stated above, we recommend the +R/RW formats for the use of burning or copying a DVD movie, DVD-R/RW formats is very good for most other uses such as the backup of data, images, files, etc... And the DVD-R/RW formats are compatible with most DVD-ROM's today. These formats are supported by Panasonic, Toshiba, Apple Computer, Hitachi, NEC, Pioneer, Samsung and Sharp. These formats are also supported by the DVD Forum.

Digital Video Disc Random Access Memory-discs can be written to 100,000 times. These discs are often encased in plastic for resilience. These discs are popular for DVD video recorders and other applications requiring multiple rewrites, edits or backups. DVD-RAM discs can be recorded and erased repeatedly but are only compatible with devices manufactured by the companies that support the DVD-RAM format. DVD-RAM discs are typically housed in cartridges.

Digital Video Disc Read Only Memory a DVD player that does not record data, but only plays movies. DVD-ROM was the first DVD standard to hit the market and is a read-only format. The video or game content is burned onto the DVD once and the DVD will run on any DVD-ROM-equipped device.


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