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Which DVD Writer

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by JonLeach, Apr 29, 2003.

  1. JonLeach

    JonLeach
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    Hi everyone,

    I am in need of replacing my HP CD writer and was thinking of getting a DVD writer, but i have no idea which one, and what the "formats" are.

    i still need to write to CD's as well. if i need to i could purchase a Cheap CD rewriter.

    Also what remote control do people recommend with there PC's


    Jon
     
  2. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
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    I have used a Sony DRU 120A for the last year or so, with excellent results. (DVD+RW/R and CD-RW/R)
    I am about to build a new HTPC and will be getting the latest Sony model, which reads and writes to all formats of DVD and CD
    The far superior format is DVD+RW and DVD+R but the discs are more expensive than DVD-R.
    The reason for going for the dual format is to use the +RW discs for testing and development, and when ready to make copies use the -R format via direct disc to disc copy, as they can be purchased for as little as 69p each. Some set-top DVD players can handle one format better than others.

    For more info see these excellent forums: http://www.dvdplusrw.org/cgi/forum/ikonboard.cgi
     
  3. JonLeach

    JonLeach
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    Thanks, i'll have to look into it a bit more i think.

    Didn't realise that there were so many different formats.

    Jon
     
  4. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
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    Just to clear up the formats for you

    Pioneer and others make writers that use the - (minus) format. Also used in the Panasonic DVD recorders (DVD-RAM for re-writable, and DVD-R for write once):

    1) DVD-RAM This is Read/Write but cannot be used in set-top players. Excellent for data archiving.
    2) DVD-R Write once (similar to CDR) holds 4.7GB
    3) DVD-RW Read/Write (similar to CD-RW) holds 4.7GB

    Phillips,Sony and others use the + format. Also used in the Phillips DVD recorders DVD+RW for re-writable, and DVD+R for write once.

    1) DVD+R Write once (similar to CDR) holds 4.7GB
    2) DVD+RW Read/Write (similar to CD-RW) holds 4.7GB

    Both formats can be read in most set top DVD players and DVD-ROM drives, but you need to check compatability lists.
    The way the + format can be written to in a format-as -you-write method on PC drives makes it faster than the - format. You can also use UDF filing system and use a DVD+RW as a removable data disc with Nero InCD, to store data or multimedia files. I anticipate using this for storing the MPEG files recorded using the Nebula DigiTV card.
     
  5. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Can I ask you to qualify why DVD + is better than the DVD - formats (ignoring DVD-RAM is fine)?

    Does this statement including stand alone recorders or just in PCs?

    Vikki
     
  6. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
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    I am not sure of the science involved, but to give an example, if I use Nero InCD to format a CD-RW as a UDF disc (So you can drag'n'drop files, overwrite and delete just like a HDD) it takes a few minutes to "Format" the CD and it is only 700MB in size.
    If I do the same with a 4.7GB DVD+RW it takes just a few seconds, then it is ready to go.
    The same applies to stand-alone DVD+ recorders, just stick the disc in and record (Both +R and +RW). The DVD- recorders cannot use DVD-RW so have to use DVD-RAM for re-writing, and -R for write once, so you cannot record your favourite soap and put it in the set-top DVD player in the kitchen to watch it, unless you use a write-once disc.
    There is some form of built-in error checking with DVD+R/RW discs as well.
    The arguments have been raging for a long time and the link I posted above is well worth checking out.

    I have just ordered the Sony from http://www.cd-rmedia.co.uk/cgi-bin2/cdrmedia/details.pl?id=sony

    Reads/writes all formats at 4X
     
  7. sounddog

    sounddog
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    The point of stand alone DVD recorders using DVD-RAM not DVD-R is (IMO) a red herring ... it's only using DVD-RAM because thats the choice of format that Panasonic chose to use ... there is nothing to stop a DVD-RW recorder being produced - in fact Pioneer already have them ... yes not as cheep as Panasonic's and Phillips' recorders but they are avaliable.

    Alternatively you can get a Panasonic DVD player which will play DVD-RAM.

    My understanding is though that one advantage of DVD-RAM / DVD-RW over DVD+RW is it's random access nature. You can delete a recording from a DVD-RAM or -RW and it's space gets reused ... whereas with a +RW you can't reuse the space ... only the free space at the end ... or at most you can only use the exact amount of space freed where as -RAM -RW will use the freed space, then continue at the end fragmenting the file as required.

    I have heard that there is normal CRC checking built into both - and + formats ... and additional error checking is used in the + format to make allowances for the worse quality in + format disks.

    Finally ... that forum you pointed us to ... am I correct in my observation that it is promoting the + formats ... so comments there about the superiority of the + format should be taken with a pinch of salt as they are a biased forum (just as I'm biased towards B&W Speakers and Rotel amps!).

    I hope you don't find my questions needlessly confrontational ... I'm in the position of trying to learn and find out about the relative merits of the two formats before I decide which to buy.

    Vikki
     
  8. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
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    The stand-alone format success is dependant on consumer convenience. If a -RW version is produced and competes price-wise with the +RW it will probably do well.
    I have just de-commissiond my Phillips DVDR 1000 stand-alone as I am fed up with disc errors and other problems, and would not buy another DVD recorder of any format. This is one of the reasons I am building a HTPC. I have a Nebula DigiTV card, which records direct to HDD in MPEG format, and I have ordered a Vidac VMagic hardware MPEG capture card to allow recording of Sky and any other s-video input to MPEG in real time as well. Any recording I want to keep or watch elsewhere can be quickly transferred to DVD or VCD.

    There is a DVD- format forum as well, with members using both forums, with some huge arguments in the past. With the multi-format burners such as the Sony DW10, the format question becomes irrelevant anyway, as you can use +R, +RW,-R,-RW,CDR and CDRW.

    The 4X write is also good, as at present my 2.4X writes 4.7 GB in about 20 mins. The 4X should write 4.7GB in about 10-15 mins, that's a whopping 400MB/min, making the fastest CD writers tame in comparison.
     

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