DVD-R(W) vs DVD+R(W)


Active Member
Can someone simply explain the difference between these? Specifically, I am interested in buying a new DVD player (Yamaha 520) but it seems that it is DVD-R and DVD-RW compatible but not DVD+R. This may be an issue as ultimately I may want to make my own DVDs on PC from Mini DV. At the moment I just make VCDs as I don't have a DVD writer yet. Do the formats relate to the difference between burning on PC vs using DVD writers that attach to home cinema gear?


Active Member
There are currently three competing DVD recording formats which are DVD+R(W), DVD-R(W) and DVD-RAM. The same formats are used by DVD recorders as by DVD burner drives for your PC allthough DVD-RAM drives are by far the most common for the PC because they're much faster.

I don't know what the technical differences are but see here for an explanation (probably biased in favour of +RW):

Other than that, -RW and RAM are both supported by the DVD Forum whereas +RW is not - it was created by the 'DVD+RW Alliance' of which Yamaha is a member so I'd be very surprised if a Yamaha player couldn't read +RW discs. In fact, the compatability list on the dvdplusrw.org site says the 520 is +RW compatible.

Anyway, of the current DVD recorders available (in Europe) they break down like this in terms of format:

Philips: +R(W)
Panasonic: -RAM and -R
Pioneer: -R(W)

The only Pioneer model is ancient and costs a fortune (£1200) so the real war in the high street is really between the Philips DVDR range which use +R(W) (some of which are as cheap as £4-500) and the Panny DMR-E30 which uses DVD-RAM. On a purely subjective basis I'd say that Philips (and hence +RW) is currently winning the battle hands down. I have a Philips DVDR 890 though (which I'm extremely happy with) so I would say that :D



dood, what you need to know is that DVD-R/RW is clear out in front when it comes to PC DVD writers. DVD-RAM is most definately not the most popular when it comes to PC's. I was an early adopter of DVD-R with Pioneers A03 drive for my PC for creating dvd's from my own videos.

As Michael said DVD+R/RW is not approved by the DVD-Forum and all players produced now have to be DVD-R/RW compatible to be able to display the DVD-Video logo on them. So at the moment DVD-R is miles in front there are way more PC DVD writers out there than set top boxes.

Personally I wouldn't touch DVD+R/RW if you want to create DVD's from your PC.



Active Member
I wouldn't get too worried about the DVD-Forum thing. In many ways it means nothing. DVD players don't have to support either format to display the DVD-Video logo on them. And in any case existing player support for DVD+RW is at least as good as for DVD-RW (if not better). Let's not forget that DVD-RAM belongs to the forum and only a handful of Panasonic players will read that.

DVD+RW has many backers, including all the members of the DVD+RW Alliance: Philips, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Yamaha, Ricoh and Mitsubishi/Verbatim, Thomson/RCA and Dell. They created the +RW format because they saw serious deficiencies in both -RW and -RAM. They also create +RW to be compatible with existing players from the ground up.

In terms of home DVD recorder sales I would say that +RW models (mainly Philips) are far outselling the rest and any format backed by Philips and Sony (like the original CD format) has serious clout.

Membership of the DVD-Forum really means nothing if +RW becomes the standard for home DVD recorders.

And going back to the question, there are plenty of +RW PC drives around and creating your own DVDs on +RW or -RW is probably equally easy allthough I would say that +RW has some technical advantages (see here).



I have a Pioneer DVR-A03 burner and for me the crucial thing is the cost of the blank media

DVD-R is way, way cheaper than DVD+R

The cheapest DVD+R I have seen is about £3, whereas DVD-R is 50p.

If I was buying a home machine it would have to have DVD-R

But things are changing
Sony are about to release a drive that does
4x DVD-R
2.4x DVD+RW
2.4x DVD+R

more info on my site>

Interest in this drive is way more than the Philips or Pioneer (Even their new 4x A05 drive)

I just can't wait until sony release there combo home machine with built in HDD (Whoops did I say that out loud)
Did I just post a picture of it, OMG am so n0rty with all this info hehehehheeh

Still Pioneer have a nice machine hopefully coming out soon with a built in 80GB HDD too>


<Taps nose> "You didn't see me right!"


Active Member
The price of blank media is the one issue where I conceed that +RW is at a disadvantage. However, even in the last couple of months the prices of +RW and +R blanks has fallen considerably and the popularity of the Philips DVDR machines will only continue that trend.


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