Which format is currently leading the format wars?

Discussion in 'Cable TV & Virgin Media TV' started by Captain chaos, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. Captain chaos

    Captain chaos
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    I work in a retail outlet where we sell DVD recorders and need some info on DVD recorders.

    Which format is the best and which is currently looking like the one to go for?
     
  2. Rasczak

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    That's impossible to say! For one thing there is no format war as such in that all formats are here to stay for the considerable future as all companies will continue to push their respective formats. There will never be a resolution to war!

    In the PC market the clear winner now is dual format drives. Upon their initial release they grabbed 20% of the market instantly and this has been creeping up and up - most OEM producers now won't even consider single format drives for inclusion in new PCs. Even Dell and Apple (both supporters of one format) now offer dual format drives easily.

    In the worldwide set-top market DVD-RAM is dominant in Japan and the US (with over 50% of the market). The European market has the added complication of the + format. We are yet to see sales statistics for European 2003 set-top sales so can only go by 2002 figures where + had around 60% of the market. However that was prior to the introduction of the popular HDD/DVDR combos (of which there are none currently available for +) and the introduction of sub-£500 recording on the minus format and the arrival of half a dozen new minus machines. DVD-RW has also only recently entered the market with Toshiba, JVC, Pioneer and Sony and so the impact of this is yet to be determined. By the same token their are now also half a dozen Chinese imported + recorders - again the impact of these is unknown.

    From a stock point of view most stores seem to offer a cross section now - but this entirely depends what your market is. If highend users are you target consider only the minus formats, if your aiming at the mid-range market look at all formats and at the budget end I would suggest you would predominantly want + machines with maybe the Panasonic E50 as well.
     
  3. Captain chaos

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    What is the point and the differences between - R and +R?
     
  4. bobones

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    These are record once only formats. Both are compatible with existing dvd-players and dominate the PC based recording market. In the set-top world they are generally only used for archiving and even then, the options for editing are limited unless you have a hard drive based recorder.

    In the non-HD standalone set-top market, the re-writeable formats, DVD-RAM, DVD+RW and DVD-RW are the ones to be concerned with.

    DVD-RAM is technically superior for the application of home video recording but remains incompatible with most players. Media is especially robost (and even more incompatible!) when used in caddies, but remains comparitively expensive and difficult to locate. Panasonic are the main supporters of RAM

    DVD+RW can be read by most players but lacks editing and timeslip features. The media is comparitively inexpensive, as are the recorders themselves, which are generally manufactured by less well known brands (other than Philips, the main plus format player).

    DVD-RW has two recording formats: one which gives the RAM like editing and playback (VR mode), and another which gives DVD+RW like compatibilty (video mode). The media is inexpensive and easily to find but not as robust as RAM. Pioneer is the main -RW player but there are recorders from other top brands too, e.g. Sony, JVC, Toshiba.

    One other factor to consider, not related to media format, is whether the recorder can record an RGB input signal for the best quality. Panasonic machines can in general, but many others only do s-video at best.
     
  5. primitive

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    Unlike DVD-RW, DVD+RW does have basic editing which is compatible with other players, although nothing like as good as RAM or HDD. It is good enough for topping and tailing and roughly removing adverts. The edited disc will play on other players with the edits intact.
     

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