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dvd ram or dvd rw?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by fee123, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. fee123

    fee123
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    Hi,

    I am just looking into buying a recordable DVD. I in particular have been looking at the panasonic dmre55ebs. I notice you can only record onto DVD RAM discs. Which is better, one that records onto DVD RAM discs or DVD RE-Writeable discs? Someone said today that they thought DVD RAM discs are the beetamax of the future?? and can I confirm you can re record over both?? Sorry to sound a bit dense but I am not so good with technology! :rolleyes:
     
  2. electrosim2001

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    Hi,
    I'm a new member too. I've just bought an e85 and e55.
    I love these recorders. With Ram discs they work like minidiscs. You can record over and over and over. Unlike any of the other formats, they work similar to a hard drive on a PC. They find any available space on the disc and record to it. You can edit the recordings making, erasing scenes, and changing the order of scenes for playback a doddle. They don't have DV in/out for camcorder use, but they do have front sockets including Svideo which I use with my Panasonic camcorder for great camcorder footage copying.

    DVD recorders are different from Video recorders in that unlike Betamax and VHS which were incompatible, DVD recorders will play back any commercial DVD, region permitting.
    If you had a Betamax recorder, it wouldn't play back VHS, and VHS won out in the format wars, so Betamax died.
    You have the option to record to DVD-R ( once only ) and finalize the recording which will then play back on friends' recorders.
    RAM seems to have the backing of some of the big guns in the industry, and Panasonic recorders win top prizes in the various mags.
    In the future there will be other formats like Blue Ray which will record HD video, so I expect DVDS will eventually die out in any case.
    Prices will probably such that in the future any recordings you make and wish to keep for posterity will be transferable to the new formats, without it costing an arm and leg.
    The Panasonic recorders have great features including RGB scarts in/out for high quality picture as well as progressive scan for Plasmas and LCD sets. You can route SKY through the recorder, RGB out from SKY into recorder and RGB out to TV.
    The recorders also have an easy to use navigator function to find recordings easily.
    I doubt you'll be disappointed and now they as cheap as chips over the internet or on Ebay.
    Thomas.
     
  3. Rasczak

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    And that person clearly lacks any useful knowledge or understanding of the DVDR situation. For the one thing, worldwide, DVD-RAM is currently the best selling set-top DVDR format. For a second it is supported by some of the world's largest consumer electrics companies: Panasonic (2nd biggest), JVC (3rd biggest), Toshiba, Samsung, LG and Hitachi. And for a third reason the only thing that caused Betamax to 'fail' was that pre-recorded media favoured VHS - as DVD-RAM recorders play all DVD-Videos then what is going to make them a 'Betamax'? DVD-RAM is an officially approved DVD format and isn't going anywhere until superceeded by BluRay/HD-DVD.

    It all depends. DVD-RAM offers lots of useful features: editting, playlists and chasing playback among others. However as the DVD-Video format does not support these features it uses a file format called 'VR' (Video Recording) which does not playback in virtually all DVD players. DVD-RAM machines also record to the universally compatible DVD-R format although editting/VR features are unavailable.

    DVD-RW can offer the same features as DVD-RAM - (dependant on the machine, if you record in DVD-RW VR mode and use the correct speed disks). Once again recordings are incompatible as they use the VR file format. However DVD-RW machines also offer a 'Video mode': this doesn't allow any of the 'VR' features but will playback on most, but not all, DVD players. DVD-RW machines also record to the universally compatible DVD-R format - once again editting/VR features are unavailable.

    Effectively then whichever media you use - DVD-RAM or DVD-RW - then you need to make a choice: record onto compatible media or record in VR mode. Thus the issue isn't as significant as some like to make out.

    At present there are more DVD-RAM users on these boards at present as the DVD-RAM recorders - the likes of Panasonic and Toshiba - tend to be slightly ahead of the competition in features and performance. My advice would be if you wish to regularly play your DVDR recordings on (say) an upstairs DVD player then get a DVD-RW machine. If you just want a timeshifter then go for a DVD-RAM one. Both types of machine allow you to use the most compatible DVDR format - DVD-R - for any archiving you may want to do.
     
  4. SDHoward

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    Some machines such as the Toshiba do both..
    I have a toshiba and tend to use RAM most to temporarily free space or -R for something more permanent....
     
  5. lostinspace

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    I bought a Panny 55 after looking at the machines in my price bracket.My main reason for this choice was playback quality of my DVD collection,as I don't archive anything(If I want it,I buy it,unless it's packed in cardboard).The Panasonic seemed to me to be a better playback machine so I spent my money,and am a happy bunny.

    I record anything I want to watch on disc from my digibox(RGB connected),but anything my heathen wife records is on VHS,as she says she can't tell the difference.This will be part of my strategy for getting a plasma!

    The only annoying things about the Panasonic are the time it takes to switch on as it self checks every time it's turned on(about 10 seconds),and it doesn't remember where I got up to when returning to a half watched disc,but other recorders may be the same.
     
  6. fee123

    fee123
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    Thanks so much for your help - I think I will go for the Panasonic - I am now confident I am getting the right thing for me
    :thumbsup: :clap:
     
  7. Ian58

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    I`ve had an E55 for about 3 months and I love it. The DVD-RAM discs are so easy to work with. If I want to archive any of the stuff I have an LG GSA 4082B on my computer and it reads DVD-RAM discs. I use TMPGEnc to author it and record it to DVD-R.
     
  8. phelings

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    Why buy a Panasonic?RAM is totally incompatible and performs nothing that -RW(VR) cannot.Go for a Pioneer,or if you really want RAM,get the Toshiba which does RAM and -RW.
    Getting a Panny means no rewritables will play in other players
     
  9. Rasczak

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    Perhaps because they are some of the best DVD recorders currently available? Believe it or not recording quality and user interface can mean more to some people than what type of shiny disk it records onto!

    Phelings - you know that is dumb advice. For one thing DVD-RAM offers:
    - Native Windows XP support (no instant write required)
    - No finalisation
    - Option of caddies
    - Currently the only format that allows mixed file types (JPEG, MPEG4, MPEG2 etc) on a single disk

    Secondly DVD-RW VR mode is incompatible with virtually all DVD players - just like DVD-RAM. In it's favour DVD-RW is DVD-ROM compatible - but this is only a margin thing as most DVD-ROMs support DVD-RAM these days.

    ..and thus go without progressive scan, go without DVD-Audio, go without PC/SD Card slots, go without 3hrs high resolution recording etc etc. As you should be well aware now Phelings you should buy a DVD recorder based on the features it offers and not the DVD format it uses. If re-writeable compatibility is important then you should ensure you get DVD-RW support - if it's not then buying a Pioneer for the sake of it means you not going to be getting the best possible recording quality/features.

    Bottomline is that for compatibility with other DVD players almost everyone uses DVD-R these days. They are cheap enough and highly compatible. DVD-RW with it's requirement to finalise/unfinalise and format in the correct 'mode' has not proved that popular.
     
  10. SDHoward

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    As Rasczak says, concentrate on the features you want and don't worry too much about the formats, most are here to stay, at least until they are all superseded by blue ray or whatever.

    The Betamax, VHS issue was also a bit different as one of the things that killed of Betamax was not being able to rent films in that format (I remember cos we had a Sony betamax), which isn’t going to happen no matter what you get.

    And as you can get packs of 25 reasonable quality DVD-R for about a fiver....
     
  11. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    Raczak likes his DVD-RAM format but doesn’t quite explain it like it is.

    This correct, however you still require software to do anything useful with the VRO file, with most authoring software including their own UDF readers that bypasses the Windows offering anyway and would provide full support for DVD-RW or DVD-RAM in VR mode. Of course you fail to point out the chances of your PC reading a DVD-RAM disc is slim, whereas DVD-RW, a very good chance.

    Ditto with DVD-RW in VR mode. You have to finalise DVD Video mode discs of course but at least that gives the option of playback in the vast majority of DVD playback devices, one thing DVD-RAM can not give you, even if you can put it in a caddie :)

    You do not mention that this requires HiMat support on the player and recorder (another new format and patchy support). Of course if you record a HiMat disc on DVD-RAM, your chances of finding any other player that will play both a DVD-RAM and know about HiMat are even less! :) Oh and there is nothing stopping you from adding such files using any folder naming system you like on to a DVD-RW disc in your PC if you so wanted. You could even forget about video altogether and burn a data DVD-RW in your computer with anything on, and the chances of this being readable in any other DVD reader, extremely good. Do the same on DVD-RAM, the chances of being able to read it, extremely poor, and you might even have to mess around breaking the disc out of the caddie to find out it doesn’t work!

    Of course this statement applies to DVD-RAM as well doesn’t it?

    Still, all new Sony and Pioneer players support VR mode on DVD-RW, and ironically any recorder/player that supports DVD-RAM will quite likely be more than happy to play back a DVD-RW in VR mode, so putting compatibility ahead of DVD-RAM, even though compatibility for both are not good, you have still a better chance with DVD-RW. Of course DVD-RW is physically compatible with DVD-ROM, so record using the DVD Video format and the majority of DVD Players, even those made before DVD-RW came to market, will be in the main quite happy to play it back. You might argue that Panasonic support DVD-R and these are compatible and so cheap to be disposable now, but DVD-R is just a read-only version of DVD-RW (with royalties going to Pioneer, but Panasonic had to include DVD-R for their recorders to make any sort of compatible disc), so why join the throw-away society when you can mess about using a re-useable DVD-RW, unless you have to of course :lesson:

    Incorrect, most DVD-ROMs do not support DVD-RAM, even taking into account just new ones for sale now, whereas virtually all will support DVD-RW in either VR mode or DVD Video mode.

    DVD-RW is simply more flexible, it can do everything that DVD-RAM can do, plus also provides compatibility with considerably more hardware (yes in VR mode where DVD-RW behaves like DVD-RAM it is more compatible than DVD-RAM), supports the DVD Video format for playback in just about every DVD Player, and the meida is more than often cheaper!

    You can argue about DVD-RAMs greater rewrite life span, but when you consider that either a DVD-RW or DVD-RAM will last long enough until you throw them out for something else it isn't relevant, unless you plan to live for 200 or more years and never use anything else other than the single DVD-RAM disc, you are not going to see any benefit over longer life spans of media, or recoup the extra cost :oops:

    The argument over what hardware provides better facilities or user interfaces is a different argument.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  12. Rasczak

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    Rubbish Philip - I do like the DVD-RAM format but that doesn't mean I don't tell it exactly how it is. What I will say is that my answers on this forum always are best around recommending the best available - to the extent of recommending the appropriate machine be it DVD-RAM or DVD-RW or even something else (Sky+, DVD+ etc etc) - yours are invariably centred around your love of DVD-RW. Whereas I can admit that DVD-RW machines are some of the best available you are yet to acknowledge the same for DVD-RAM despite the fact that, at present, the models on offer frequently are better value even by the most objective comparisons.

    ...and then I assume you cannot read as I stated this quite clearly in my previous post. Your also incorrect as over 50% of OEM drives can read DVD-RAM given that Hitachi-LG, Samsung and Toshiba provide that figure of the supply for new machines. The fact Pioneer's new DVD-ROMs now support DVD-RAM and soon LiteOn's is going to increase those figures further.

    Some do - many don't. Why don't YOU tell it as it is Philip?

    How many DVD-RW VR machines have you actually used Philip? Implementation varies between machines: what stands true for Pioneer isn't a universal rule. There are several DVD-RW units that DO require finalisation prior to disk use: Samsung is a good example.

    So you just use DVD-R instead - a format that gives significantly more chance of playback than DVD-RW Video mode. Like CD-RW, compatible re-writeable DVDR have proven of limited interest to the consumer. Write-once disks are the way forward.

    ..but it's till the only format you can do it on a set-top. Repeat - the only format. I'm sorry if you don't like that Philip - and by all means point out the cavaets as, indeed, I will - but it is still the only format that can do it. Sorry Philips!

    Of course as a large number of disks will only last 10% of their lifespan I would rather have a disk that lasts 10% of 100,000 than 10% of 1000. Needless to say your start banging on about the DBI chipset now - yes as always Pioneer have shawed up their format to try and compete with DVD+RW on the PC - and yes it does increase lifespan. However it only applies on applicable Pioneer units as nobody else has licenced it. Secondly it does nothing for the archive on different types of media principle: in composition DVD-RW is similar to DVD-R. Thus archiving on DVD-RW and DVD-R gives very little benefit over just archiving on two DVD-R - the same cannot be said for archiving on a DVD-RAM and DVD-R as DVD-RAM with it's five layer composition means your somewhat safer with your archivings (as the composition of between the types of disk is so different).

    Philip - by all means dream of DVD-RW - and rest assured the machines that use it are fantastic. But don't get to sucked into loving a single format. And try to be a little more objective in your posts: the days of 'format camps' are long gone': wake up and join the "features not format" brigade. As virtually all users of these boards will confirm I regularly give advice to buy DVD-RW machines: but I will NEVER be swayed by bias for a particular type of shiny disk as that would be very, very sad :thumbsdow :thumbsdow :thumbsdow :lesson: Come on Philip - for once in your life come down and admit the world does not start or end with Pioneer's DVD-RW!
     
  13. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Nothing like blowing your own trumpet is there. ;)

    This forum is designed for free speech around DVD recorders and the formats they use, I was merely giving another perspective to what you offered. If you check out previous posts I have been less than positive about Pioneers latest range of DVD Recorders, as you well know. However I would never be as arrogant to suggest that my answers on this or any forum are always the best around, I am here to learn like everyone else.

    I am surprised that you of all people are using worthless statistics to back up what was a misleading statement of yours. As you very well know (and owners of DVD-RAM also know), the chances of finding a DVD Reader that supports DVD-RAM is remote, and this has and always will be DVD-RAMs failing, compatibility.

    Yes it may, what ever that figure is calculated from, but all existing DVD-ROMs from LiteOn and Pioneer already support DVD-RW. The whole install base of existing DVD-ROMs that do not read DVD-RAM are not going to be replaced tomorrow, the next day, or 12 months time to DVD-ROMs that now read DVD-RAM, so compatibility remains poor, much much poorer than DVD-RW that is physically compatible with DVD-ROM.

    UDF (aka VR mode) discs do not require finalising unless you require a legacy ISO file system added to the disc, unlikely. Only when the recorder doesn’t support VR mode on DVD-RW will you need to finalise, as all DVD Video mode discs need to have the session closed and the application layer created before playback elsewhere. Of course this also forces you to make the most compatible disc you can, so probably saves some people some hassle.

    As I actually said in my post. The trouble is DVD-R is final, once finalised that is it, even if you have only used up a fraction of the disc. Of course write-once discs sell considerably more, the same as CD-R outstrips CD-RW, but this is simply because RW discs are re-useable, so you don’t more than a few, it doesn’t actually mean nobody is using them.

    Exactly, poor compatibility for recording and playback. HiMat is nothing more than a royalty earner for Panasonic. You can already buy DVD Players supporting playback of Jpegs, MP3s and MPEG4, it doesn’t need HiMat to enable this.

    Yep, because it is a Panasonic patent and royalties go to them, no other manufacturer sees the benefit in it or wants yet another recording format to insult the customer by charging them more for it. It doesn’t and hasn’t stopped other DVD players supporting the playback of other media types, so why do we need it, and what good is it if it is so poorly supported?

    Says who? Oh you of course, you say, so that must be correct, although not held up in my experience :)

    Wrong, we do have “format camps”, as buyers have to make a choice between DVD-RAM/DVD-R, DVD-RW/DVD-R, +RW/+R, and dual format set-top recorders. Unfortunately no matter how hard you try, you can not dissolve the pros and cons of each format, and is the very reason you posted originally singing DVD-RAMs praises.

    I have said it before that DVD-RAM is a very good format, there is a lot going for it, which you talked up extensively, I simply redressed the balance, isn’t that what these forums are all about?

    DVD-RW can do everything a DVD-RAM can do, and more importantly it can do more, and that is provide a re-writeable compatible format. Panasonic doesn’t support it as it wants you to buy DVD-RAM discs, Pioneer doesn't support DVD-RAM because it wants you to buy DVD-RW discs, its format. However, Pioneer have the advantage, as DVD-RW can work like DVD-RAM, and it can work like DVD-R and so provides the best of both worlds. Not only that, shed loads of DVD-R discs (Pioneers technology) are sold to Panasonic owners who want compatibility as it is there only choice, and some even as you suggest, treat them as disposable so get through even more, even better for Pioneer's royalties, if not for the environment or owners pockets. Pioneer probably benefits more for Panasonics refusal to support DVD-RW due to the sale of more DVD-R discs, how ironic.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  14. HMHB

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    Just to add another voice (although not as knowledgeable as these chaps) - I use DVD-RAM and love it, it does everything I want it to.
     
  15. OARDVD

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    Certainly it can provide either, but not at the same time. It's important to state that a -RW can be formatted in VR mode to work like DVD-RAM, or formatted in video mode to work like a re-writeable version of DVD-R. But you cannot have the editing features of VR AND the compatibility of DVD-R on the same disc simultaneously.

    Hmm, if both Pioneer & Panasonic got their acts together and supported ALL the DVD Forum formats (-R/-RW/RAM) then they would both benefit far more in my opinion.
     
  16. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    Good to hear as that is what is important.

    I use DVD-RW most, mainly because it offers the option of watching discs at work and elsewhere that DVD-RAM doesn't allow me to do, that is an issue for me, I want compatibility without having to resort to disposable DVD-R discs, it would cost me a fortune to waste a disc each day just so I can catch up with TV and have some entertainment during my lunch hour. Still both DVD-RAM and DVD-RW use the same VR recording format, and are not as different as people (marketing) try and make out in the features they offer, just that DVD-RWs compatibility is much better than DVD-RAMs.

    It will not be long before both Panasonic (and other DVD-RAM supporters) and Pioneer (and its DVD-RW supporters) start to offer true DVD Multi support to allow full use of DVD-RAM/DVD-RW and DVD-R. Panasonic have already conceded to RW’s popularity and the importance on supporting it by now using the RW Compatible logo and officially supporting the playback of DVD-RW discs in VR mode as well as the more compatible Video mode on its DVD Players. It will not be long before full playback and recording support happens and then we can choose our hardware without worrying about compatibility as we have the option of what discs to use, and hopefully by then these recorders will not have built in obsolescence, but instead will support digital terrestrial as standard, well we can hope can’t we :)

    Regards

    Philip
     
  17. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    Very true it should be made clear, and you have done it. You can't have your cake and eat it.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  18. 888

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    My JVC does both DVD-RAM and DVD-RW and I can say I never use -RW (BTW I do have a box of 10 -RW discs in case you're wondering). If my machine broke today I would happily go out and buy the panny e55 to replace it. For those of us who want to replace the VCR with the one tape stuck in it for the past 5 years for recording tv broadcast only, DVD-RAM is superior IMO.
     
  19. PhilipL

    PhilipL
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    Hi

    Well a PVR would be the much better option in your case if you only ever playback on the one machine and never remove the disc.

    Everyone's use is different, and a removeable recordable disc is made for 'removing' and more often than not playback elsewhere.

    For me DVD-RAM just doesn't work as it will not play back in places I would like it to. DVD-RW in the VR mode plays back great where I want it to, so I use that, it also supports the same editing functions, defect management, reuse of freespace (unlike +RW) and even supports chase playback (aka time-slip), just like DVD-RAM but with a helping of extra compatibility, can't complain at that. :laugh:

    Regards

    Philip
     
  20. OARDVD

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    Not quite true......because you can with a DVD recorder with a hard drive (although the editing is usually done on the HDD). :zonked:

    Timeshift on the HDD (or DVD VR).....OR....Edit on the HDD and copy to -R/RW for compatibility. Now that's the best of both worlds!
     
  21. 888

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    But a PVR would not play back a DVD. Kill 2 birds with one stone.
     
  22. SDHoward

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    Also when it starts to get a bit full....
     
  23. phelings

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    Best of both worlds=Pioneer HDD machine,thats why I have one.
    Rasczak your advantages for RAM are pretty thin,especially finalisation which takes about 1 minute.
    Your advantages were for RAM.I am slagging off Panasonic who are alone in supplying RAM without -RW backup like JVC,Toshiba etc.
    For the guy who uses RAM and never uses -RW,well you obviously have no need to play rewritables in other players,which is really what the RAM v -RW argument is.
    The bottom line is that compatibility IS an issue-unless RAsczak has some fanciful new theory why other RAM supporting companies add -RW to their machines.
    And although -R blanks are only 30p,why should you be forced to waste them just to perform a function that every other dvd recorder can do anyway.And recommending cheap blanks to Panasonic owners is a risky business itself as we have seen from the numerous threads regarding blank disc problems on Panny machine(second only in total to the Philips DVDR problems).
     
  24. Bosco

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    Good Ritek GO5 media is only £6 for 25 so no worry about blank disk problems. The -RW v RAM debate will rage on all it wants, maybe people should just accept that what suits one may not suit another. Thankfully we live in a democracy and the opinions of one group on this topic is no more valid than the opinions of the other. If you want the best of all worlds then get a HDD/DVDR/RW/RAM player, hopefully the quality from the manchine will be up to standard and you can live with it. In my experience I have yet to see any machine capable of doing this to be perfect, they all have some failing (JVC no RGB, HITACHI - poor quality etc). The exception may be the Tosh but as I believe this will not play +RW disks you are back in the same problem as the RAM only camp if one of your buddies has a +RW recorder and you want to borrow one of his recordings, in such a case you will have to use a write once media and therefore are no better off than if you just had a RAM/-R only machine.
     
  25. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    The bottom line is that DVD-RAM is so easy to use. I don't want to mess about with RW media - it's too tedious ! Any media that you would want to use over and over again needs extra protection from continued handling, and the DVD-RAM media in caddies is an ideal solution. I have a Panasonic DMRE50 recorder, and I can play discs on my PC, because my DVD reader/writer on the PC also handles DVD-RAM.
     

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