Recording formats

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Captain Invisib, Dec 1, 2004.

  1. Captain Invisib

    Captain Invisib

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    Why does there seem to be an almost complete domination by the -R/-RW format and hardly any +R/+RW? I have no axe to grind over this, but my recently acquired DVD writer in the PC supports either format. If I'm buying a DVD recorder, is it best to avoid the + format for some reason. What are the compatibility issues?

  2. Rasczak

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    Apr 3, 2002
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    In a nutshell because the DVD 'minus' machines are better. Let me justify that:

    On the PC DVD+RW is a popular format. It has a number of technical advances over the 'basic' DVD-RW which mean it is a better format for data: it is reliable, has native Windows support, is cheap and compatible with many DVD-ROMs. Whilst DVD-RW can have all these it is dependant on the drive and software used. Also, due to the fact it is an 'unofficial' format it has been able to release faster disks (4x, 8x etc) quicker than the DVD Forum can approved new speeds of DVD-RW.

    HOWEVER on set-top DVD recorders the issue is entirely different. DVD+RW has nailed itself to a recording system called +VR. This system is effectively the DVD-Video structure - which by itself is fine - but this doesn't support any of the features expected from digital recorders: timeslip, non-linear playback, editting etc etc This means, features wise, DVD+RW recorders are very poor value compared to the competition. The limitations become even more obvious when you look at HDD/DVDR combos such as the Philips 720. Even models such as the Sony HDD/DVDRs have had to make compromises to their HDD recording to accomodate +VR.

    The DVD Forum, on the other hand, opted for Video Recording (VR or -VR) Mode. This is a file structure designed for digital recording and has been adopted by most DVD recorders and allows a full suite of recording functions. For compatibility with other DVD players 'Video' mode is also available which, unlike +VR, is 100% DVD-Video compatible. Accordingly within the set-top market 'minus' machines are just simply better at everything than 'plus' ones.

    Also hindering DVD+RW takeup in the set-top market is a lack of support from 'main-stream' producers. Only Philips support it wholeheartedly. Whilst Sony also do you have to use DVD-RW to get the most out of a Sony DVDR. And that's it: all the other producers support DVD-R and DVD-RAM/DVD-RW. Panasonic, JVC, Pioneer, Toshiba, Samsung, Hitachi, LG, Sharp. With such big names behind it the majority of R&D goes into 'minus' machines which is, for the most part, why they are better.

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