I have previously rambled a bit about what will be the winning format in the HD-DVD vs Bluray war, and at the time I quickly scratched the surface of the other DVD war. The war between DVD-R and DVD+R.

DVD-R hit the market in 1997, while DVD+R came in 2002, five years later. And today, after five more years, there is no sign of a winner. I’m pretty sure the same will happen to HD-DVD and Blueray, but that’s another story. I thought I’d explain in simple terms what the main differences between the two formats are.

– introduced in 1997
– capacity: 4.382 GB
– has had a five-year lead on DVD+R. As such, older or cheaper DVD players (up to 2004 vintage) are more likely to favour the DVD-R standard exclusively

– introduced in 2002
– capacity: 4.377 GB
– tracking and speed control more accurate at higher speeds (than for DVD-R)
– more robust error management system (than DVD-R)
– additional session linking methods are more accurate with DVD+R versus DVD-R, resulting in fewer damaged or unusable discs

Quick recap: DVD-R is older and as such is slightly more compatible, at least with older devices. It also has a slightly higher capacity than DVD+R, although probably insignificant. If you plan on making movies and you don’t know what equipment the receiver has – choose DVD-R. Else, go with DVD+R for the added robustness.

Source: Wikipedia (DVD-R) (DVD+R)

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3 Responses to “DVD-R vs DVD+R”  

  1. 1 rese

    So to sum it all up:
    DVD-R = Camry (basic, old tech, but works, accessible to much more)
    DVD R = Lexus (way too advanced, don’t know if we really need it)

  2. 2 Andreas

    You have a point there rese. I would still disagree with DVD R being too advanced. Todays software, players and burners will handle both formats, thus the consumer doesn’t really even need to know the difference. DVD-R is however more accessible to people with really old equipment, and it was the original 🙂

  3. 3 Barry

    I have found that all the DVD writers I have used write DVD-R without problems, whereas a large number of DVD writers have problems with DVD R. I had one client who wanted an external HDD because she was unable to write to DVD disks. When I found she was using the DVD R format, I recommended that she change to DVD-R. She is now a happy camper and saved the cost of the external HDD.
    Whereever possible I use DVD-R without problems.
    I have yet to find any discernable performance difference in read or write performance. Almost all currenly available DVD hardware reads both formats without problems, so use DVD-R and save yourself some frustration and cash…. 🙂


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