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Blank DVD Selection Advice needed - many questions

by zippykp / June 30, 2008 4:38 AM PDT

I am this close to saving important files to DVD. I'm NOW trying to get a handle on the best quality blank DVDs and have run into more issues, some of them fairly old threads whose advice I don't know is applicable today.

I'm merely downloading personal files (text and photos)from my PC - Windows XP (not burning commercial TV shows, movies, etc. at this point )

My burning device is the the Lite-On EZ Dub.

WRITE Speed
DVD+R 20x
DVD+RW 8x
DVD-R 20x
DVD-RW 6x

I don't think I want to mess with the RW option at all. The most important file saves are photos and short videos made with a still camera option and won't need to be edited. As my memory chip fills, or photos are edited or emailed to my PC, I'm just going to burn an additional DVD (and copies).

As for text files though, could I add documents to a DVD as long as I don't "close it" (as I do to my CD-Rs now)??

I've read advice to burn more slowly than possible. Some say half the advertised speed, and one tech said 8x regardless. I assume that refers to the speed of the DVD. What is today's advice?

Any shared DVD files will be read on family/friends' own PCs (I'd assume). Is + OR - an issue in compatiblity for blank DVDs in this case, or does computer "read" technology now include + and - options?

I read (on a 2006 thread) much about compatibility to players for the +R and -R also . The -R seemed most universal. IN the event I ever actually want to burn something to be shown on a "player", is + and - still an issue today?

By the way, can burned DVDs be readable on both computers AND players?

Now to brands: concensus is NO store brands, some exclude even Maxell or Memorex. I've never heard of some highly recommended brands (older thread) and can't find TDK period or (highly recommended)Verbatim not made in Taiwan or India. I haven't seen anything made in Japan. What on earth should I buy for my needs (text and photo files and a few video clips), or what should I avoid? Will recommended options more likely be on-line vs office and electronic stores (who don't seem to have a large inventory)?

Thanks so much again for your time. Zippy

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RE:
by damasta55r / June 30, 2008 6:03 AM PDT

If you're backing up files, you may add w/e type of file you want to the dvd as long as it's a data disc. You can only create dvds that work on players using software that will encode the video to be playable on dvd players (dvd players can now play divx, avi, and mp4 which do not need to be converted). As far as brand goes, I used memorex and had problems with the discs, they literally separated into two, as the discs are made by pressing two disks together. Not too sure about TDK, i just bought a 50pack DVD-R spindle from circuit city for $12 a week ago. Most players today can play both dvd+_R; I only bought DVD-R because my newest dvd player is 10 years old. As far as burn speeds go, I had no problems burning the fastest my drive will go, I believe that burning slowly would reduce the chance of errors on the disk.

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DVDS on sale
by damasta55r / June 30, 2008 6:09 AM PDT
In reply to: RE:

Office Depot Brand DVD+_R 50pack- $8
Office Depot Brand DVD+_RW 50pack- $15
Circuit City Phillips DVD+_R 50pack- $9

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DVD Recommendations.
by Grimbles / June 30, 2008 9:02 AM PDT

Hi Zippy - "As for text files though, could I add documents to a DVD as long as I don't "close it" (as I do to my CD-Rs now)??"....YES, THE PROCEDURE IS MUCH THE SAME FOR BOTH CD AND DVD.

"I've read advice to burn more slowly than possible. Some say half the advertised speed, and one tech said 8x regardless. I assume that refers to the speed of the DVD. What is today's advice?"......8X IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE 'SAFE' BURNING SPEED, I.E. MORE ACCURATE BURN....BE SURE TO ENABLE THE 'VERIFY' OPTION IN YOUR BURNING SOFTWARE.

"Any shared DVD files will be read on family/friends' own PCs (I'd assume). Is + OR - an issue in compatiblity for blank DVDs in this case, or does computer "read" technology now include + and - options?".......BOTH + AND - ARE GENERALLY SUPPORTED TODAY BUT I WOULD RECOMMEND USING - (MINUS) AS THIS HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE MORE UNIVERSALLY ACCEPTED FORMAT.

"By the way, can burned DVDs be readable on both computers AND players?".....SOME PLAYERS WILL READ DATA DVD's BUT NOT MOST, SO THE GENERAL ANSWER IS NO.

As for the brands; I might not be much help there...I am in Australia and you, I assume the U.S.A. so brands will be different....most highly thought of brands here are: TDK and LG, although I have used Imation and found them to be very good.....rule of thumb..stick with reputable, known brand names - stay away from generic.

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Thanks and a few questions
by zippykp / June 30, 2008 1:36 PM PDT
In reply to: DVD Recommendations.

I see the word intuitive used a lot with products, but computing isn?t intuitive to me and I?d like to thank everybody for helping me trying to make sense of even simple procedures.

To Damasta55r , thanks for the help. I?m going to check Circuit City for the Phillips. You?ve given me a few more questions too.

Quote: ?If you're backing up files, you may add w/e type of file you want to the dvd as long as it's a data disc.?

??What is a w/e type of file

??Do I buy a DVD labeled ?data disk? or do I set up a blank DVD with software to make it a ?data disk?

Quote: ?As far as brand goes, I used memorex and had problems with the discs, they literally separated into two,??

I hope you didn?t lose important stuff. That kind of disaster is exactly what I?m trying to avoid. A tech for one of the burners I was considering gave me this general advice for DVD selection I?ll pass along for once.

?Unfortunately, we do not recommend Memorex, Maxell, any generic brands or store named brands e.g. Officemax or Staples at 16x1-16x. Please use TDK, Imation Verbatim, Ridata, Ritek, Sony, or Phillips at 8x and below.?

I?ve been to innumerable stores (not Circuit City yet) and haven?t seen TDK, Ridata, Ritek or Phillips for sale or any as slow as 8x. (I hope 8x means it?s my option to burn at that speed.)

I don?t know how critical this is, but I?ve also read suggestions to stay away from products from Taiwan and India but can?t find DVD?s made in other places.

And Grimbles from Australia, you?ve been a big help re closing a disk, and reading data on a player. That answer made me rethink why I?d want to do that anyway. I?ll just stick to PC replay. Who needs to see a word doc. on a big screen? I can?t believe I?m sitting in an old US cornfield getting help from OZ and everyone else willing to take the time to keep me from failures of all kinds. Zippy

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RE: Discs
by damasta55r / June 30, 2008 2:13 PM PDT

Your cd maker software should give you options of creating different types of disks. Data disc are usually used for backup, though some software have a separate back-up option which creates an index file for you. w/e is whatever, sorry, i use words like afaik, iirc, etc... pretty much acronyms for kids like me today. You can buy discs that are rated at 16x, it means the manufacturer has certified/tested that it will burn at the speed, but will also burn at lower speeds iirc.

Roger

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Thanks!
by zippykp / June 30, 2008 10:58 PM PDT
In reply to: RE: Discs

Hi Damasta55r,
About the w/e: OMG (I know that one), I thought the "w" had to stand for word doc but couldn't figure the "e" part. I should have googled it before making a fool of myself. Thankfully you've grown up with technology and expedient lingo where both are second nature to you. It's difficult for me to get a grip, but my need to learn even the basics has overcome reluctance to ask (when self-help miserably fails) and the members of this site have saved my bacon many times, so thanks again for the speed info. (The number on the label indicates the max!). I appreciate your time to read my woes and post answers.

"BTW", it's only because I've read so much at cnet about hard drive disasters that I am trying to back-up files at this point. (My movie making days are yet to come.) I will check software for index option. Thanks again, Zippy

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