Audio & Video Software forum

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What is the difference between DVD-R vs. DVD+R?

by freakwithahat / May 12, 2006 2:08 PM PDT

Hi, I just bought a DVR and was wondering what the differences are between DVD-R and DVD+R discs. Thanks.

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They are different recording formats. Current players will
by Kiddpeat / May 13, 2006 12:22 AM PDT

play either format. Some recorders will record on either. Check your manual to see what the DVR can use for recording.

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Use what they reccomend. But you can research more at...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 13, 2006 12:45 AM PDT
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(NT) (NT) Thanks.
by freakwithahat / May 13, 2006 4:16 AM PDT
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Compatibility mostly.
by SpamFighter / May 18, 2006 10:47 PM PDT

When I bought my first DVD burner, I made sure it was dual format because I wasn't sure what I would be needing in the future. As it turned out, every DVD player we had would play either format except one. My son's portable will only play DVD-R (and pre-recorded of course). For that reason, I always try to buy DVD-R for recording, but occasionally get a pack of +R for data backups if it's a really good sale & they're out of the -R. Early on, I did a lot of research only to be more confused. Most articles said that the DVD+R was supposed to be more compatible with more different devices, but experience has told me the opposite was true. I read that you could have more "features" on a DVD recorded on +R media, but I have yet to figure out anything that could be put on +R that could not be put on -R. Somewhere else I read thqt the -R start recording from the center and file out toward the outside edge, while the +R start recording at the outside edge filling toward the center. Now I do not believe this either because, using both, when you look on the recorded side and hold it with the light hitting it a certain way, you can see how much of it is used (unless you burn to the brim and it all looks the same). Anyway, both types appear to have the unused area around the outside edge. All I can figure, it's like the battle between VHS & Beta vcr tapes. The Beta were supposed to be higher quality, but went extinct - now there's only VHS and the younger generation never heard of the Beta tapes. At least the DVD recorder manufacturers were smart enough to start making dual format burners, so both formats can survive. But if it came down to a similar battle of the formats, next time there's a really good sale on blank DVDs, wait a few days into the sale, then go to the store & see wich one they ran out of! Sometimes they specify only the +R on sale because people are buying the -R and not the +R. I always make sure that any burner I buy will support both, and now, I make sure all players I buy will also support both. The last portable play I bought my daughter will play wma on DVD, mp3 on DVD, photo cd's -even if it's just a backup disk of digital photos (no slide show program included), the player will automatically start up it's on slide show of the pictures on the disk. BTW, my first vcr was a Beta!

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by tomtom1717 / May 16, 2008 12:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Compatibility mostly.

Thank you for your time n putting up an understandable ans.

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Difference between DVD-R vs. DVD+R
by frogalert / May 19, 2006 1:50 AM PDT

Until present, I don't know what is the difference between DVD-R vs. DVD+R. I cann't see all the replays to the subject. But I give many thanks, who can explain me what is the difference.

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as the guy at the store explained it
by Azriel1 / May 19, 2006 3:12 AM PDT

it has to do with how the data is burned on. With - it is burned on by taking away (like scratching a groove into a record, with + it is added. So the naming actually makes sense - a rarity in the comp biz. This also explains why the finished disks look alike - it's just different ways of getting to the same place.

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Want a "ton" of answers? GO HERE !!!
by dj1187 / May 19, 2006 4:42 AM PDT

I have found the website to be a WEALTH of information regarding CDs and DVDs. Here is a link to the specific question you asked:

Happy reading! It's like drinking from a firehose...


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by danielzink / May 21, 2006 8:16 AM PDT

Well, it is quite simple. DVD-R discs can only be used once and when you take it out of the drive you cant do anything eles to the disc. But DVD+R are better because yo can keep adding more to them but you may not erase what is already on the disc.

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(NT) (NT) Wrong on both counts.
by Kiddpeat / May 21, 2006 2:41 PM PDT
In reply to: DVD-R and DVD+R
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dvd+ or-_
by djujecmaoseoionnn / March 3, 2007 3:54 PM PST

No he is not wrong. The response may be incomplete but what is there is correct. +r can have menus edited, files added later, not so with -r

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Where did you get that info?
by SpamFighter / May 21, 2006 9:55 PM PDT
In reply to: DVD-R and DVD+R

Both +R & -R are considered to be "one-use" as you cannot erase them as with + & - RW. You can continue to add stuff to both -R & +R until it's capacity is filled so long as you don't "close" or "finalize" the disk, but often another player will not read the disk until it is "closed" or "finalized"

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Well, your sort of right
by danielzink / May 22, 2006 6:55 AM PDT

It depends of what type of drive it is. It is a DVR you are using which you will need to finalize the disc so that it is playable on many DVD player. There are many significant differences between the dash and the plus but it is said that DVD+R are better engineered. In the DVD+R there is a system called the ADIP system whch controls the tracking and speed control being less susceptible to interference and error than the LPP system used by DVD-R.

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Have you ever heard of multi-session?
by Kiddpeat / May 22, 2006 5:04 PM PDT

Both -R and +R can recorded recorded as multi-session disks. That means you can close them out, and then return later and burn another session.

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Multi-sessions end when you close the disks
by dons / March 8, 2007 10:24 PM PST

You can record multi-sessions on both formats UNTIL you close the disks. Once closed you can not add anything else to the disks.

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dvd- or dvd+
by frmtrkr / March 9, 2007 10:11 PM PST

all disks ,-r,or +r will only record once.-rw and +rw will record as many times as you want untill you close the disk
disks with + will do error checking when recording.disks with - will not do error checking. most windows applications advise the use of +disks

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List your References!
by donaldrennie / March 11, 2007 4:30 PM PDT

Don't forget to list your reference:

"tracking and speed control being less susceptible to interference and error than the LPP system used by DVD-R"

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Thanks to all.
by freakwithahat / May 21, 2006 2:12 PM PDT

This is more info. than I needed! Lucky for me though, my DVD-Recorder supports both. Happy

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Except when...
by DKspokane / March 16, 2007 1:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks to all.

recording DVDs for use on DVD-Players. There are some older or cheaper ones out there that do NOT handle the -R format well or at all. That was MY understanding when I bought my very first burner. I make DVDs of the granddaughters and sometimes give them to my son and daughter-in-law and her folks. The -R sometimes wouldn't play on their DVD players. The +R almost always did.

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Yet Another Answer
by donaldrennie / March 16, 2007 3:29 PM PDT

I 'axed' a floor sales girl in the camera department at Best Buy what the difference was, and she said that one records from the center out, and the other records from the out to the center. I've read all of these posts. One said that's not true. There are so many different answers. Who's right?

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DVD-R vs DVD+R difference
by mtucker6815 / December 17, 2008 11:51 PM PST


If possible, buy a DVD burner that can burn to BOTH DVD-R and DVD R recordable media. If your DVD writer only supports one type of DVD media, you will need to know that before you buy DVD recordable media.

If you already own a DVD burner and a DVD player (like most of us), find out what your DVD player can play, then use that type of DVD recordable media. Most newer DVD burners support both formats so focus on what your DVD player can handle.

So what's the difference you ask? DVD-R and DVD R are two competing technologies that use different formats.

DVD-R/RW was developed by Pioneer. Based on CD-RW technology, it uses a similar pitch of the helix, mark length of the 'burn' for data, and rotation control.The DVD-R format has been standardized in ECMA-279 by the Forum, but this is a private standard, not an 'industry' ISO standard like the CD-R/RW Red Book or Orange Book standard.

DVD R/RW is also based on CD-RW technology. DVD R/RW is supported by Sony, Philips, HP, Dell, Ricoh,Yamaha, and others, and has recently been endorsed by Microsoft. DVD R/RW is not supported by the DVD Forum, but the Forum has no power to set industry standards, so it becomes a market-driven issue.

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converter from divx, avi to dvd freeware
by ejz1935 / November 21, 2009 6:04 AM PST

Anybody out there know of freeware to convert divx or avi to dvd ..

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Re: avi to dvd
by Kees Bakker / November 21, 2009 6:13 AM PST
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dvd conversion
by ejz1935 / November 30, 2009 7:19 PM PST

Windows xp using Cucusoft software to convert avi to dvd but it will
play on some Dvd players but not all , what am I doing wrong?

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You did nothing wrong.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 5, 2009 11:01 PM PST
In reply to: dvd conversion

Not all players accept recorded media. But try ONE MORE TITLE. Ready?


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difference between DVD-R vs. DVD+R
by Halloweena / December 31, 2015 1:01 PM PST

This did NOT answer the SPECIFIC question of what is the DIFFERENCE between DVD-R vs. DVD +R !!! I always have to tell my husband "That's not what I asked !" When will people answer the question as it was put to them?

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Next time, when digging up a 9 year old question.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 31, 2015 1:17 PM PST

Try to answer it. The question has some thousand answers today just a google away. Maybe folk need help using search engines?

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A 5 second google found this.
by Dafydd Forum moderator / December 31, 2015 1:20 PM PST
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by zzzboredzzz / March 28, 2016 8:07 AM PDT

See my other post :O)

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Proper no nonsense answer - End of...........
by zzzboredzzz / March 28, 2016 8:04 AM PDT


The two discs are very much alike, the difference is how the laser tracks on the disc, -r discs have little marks along the track to guide the laser, -r were first sold in 1997.

Then in 2002 Sony had a major input into bringing out +r discs which use a completely different way of tracking.

The vast majority of drives these days are dual standard so no worries.

Both discs write data from the center outwards.
Both can be written to multiple times if the sessions are not closed.

Features on both discs are totally identical.

The ONLY difference is how the laser is guided.

Any difference that you notice is solely down to the hardware you are using not the discs.

End of........................

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