DVD Discs: Recordable DVD Discs & Rewritable DVD Discs

dvd discs

Compared to CD, DVD discs are virtually identical on the outside, but DVD discs store so much more. Due to its large capacity, reliable storage and long life usage, DVD is now one of the most important storage medium in the world.

General DVD discs refer to DVD-ROM, which are mass-produced using molding machines which physically stamp data onto the DVD. These DVD discs neither can be written nor erased, only can be read. Blank recordable DVD discs (DVD-R and DVD+R) can be recorded once only using a DVD maker and then function the same as a DVD-ROM. For Rewritable DVD discs (DVD-RW, DVD+RW, or DVD-RAM), you can write, read and erase the content for several times.

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DVD Discs Capacity

A basic type of DVD disc (12 cm diameter, single-sided), whatever it's a DVD-R/RW disc, or DVD+R/RW disc, has approximation of capacity. However, the DVD disc capacity varies slightly because different writing parameters are used.

rewritable dvd disc capacity

Note: SS = single-sided, DS = double-sided, SL = single-layer, DL = dual-layer

Recordable DVD Discs: What is the difference between DVD-R and DVD+R?

Recordable DVD discs, also known as writable DVD discs, are only available when they are blank. Once recorded, they can only be used as DVD-ROM: read data only. There are only two types of recordable DVD discs: DVD-R, and DVD+R. There appears to be only little differences between the DVD-R discs and the DVD+R discs (dash vs plus) .

1.DVD Forum vs DVD+RW Alliance

The DVD-R format is approved by the group called DVD Forum, while DVD+R format is not. DVD+R format is supported by DVD+RW Alliance which is developed by Philips and Mitsubishi Kagaku Media (MKM). Since DVD Forum is widely supported by manufacturers, DVD-R will encounter less compatible problems.

2.The Price

Generally speaking, DVD-R is cheaper than DVD+R. However, it's not always true. It also depends on the disc quality. As far as you may know, DVD discs from different brands will have different quality, as well as different price.

Actually, you can ignore the above differences between DVD-R and DVD+R. Most DVD writers can nowadays write the DVD+R and DVD-R discs. At the same time, most DVD players can read both kinds of discs, except older models can have trouble with DVD+R discs.

Rewritable DVD Discs: What is the difference between DVD-RW and DVD+RW?

Rewritable DVD discs allow you to record and erase lots of times (up to 1000). Similar to DVD-R disc and DVD+R disc, DVD-RW is approved by DVD Forum, while DVD+RW not. The table below shows the differences between them.






DVD+RW Alliance (DELL, HP, Phillips…)


compatible with most set-top DVD players

Less compatible

Random Access

lacks random-access capability

formatted as sequential data streams or random-access

Defect Management

lacks native defects management

good defect management

Rewrite times

up to 1,000 rewrites

up to 1,000 rewrites


relatively inexpensive

more expensive


media type: A for pro, G for general use.

lossless linking technology: accurate start and stop

In a word, DVD+RW uses more advanced technique, but DVD-RW is more suitable for general use. With regarding to the compatibility, it's not a question in nowadays.

Why Rewritable? This is a very technical question. Simply speaking, all rewritable DVD disc have a microscopic wobbled groove embedded in them. The groove gives the recorder the timing information it needs to record the data accurately. Un-rewritable DVD discs do not have this wobbled groove as they do not need it.

DVD Disc Tips:

1.DVD discs come in 12 cm (120 mm) and 8 cm (80 mm) diameter sizes. 12 cm DVD discs are commonly used, which has the same physical dimension as most commercial video, audio, computer software and game console DVDs. 8cm DVD Discs are typically used in portable consumer electronic devices such as digital camcorders.

2.A DVD looks just like a CD, but a DVD disc can hold up to 13 times the data of a standard CD - on one side. A dual layer DVD can provide up to 4 hours of the highest quality audio and video on a single side of the disc.

3.The private format DVD-Slim is not approved by the DVD Forum, therefore, not in compliance with any approved DVD formats.

4.The CSS copyright protected content cannot be written to any of these discs.

In Short

DVD discs have many types. Besides the above described, DVD-Ram is another DVD discs, which has been rather unpopular due to the general lack of compatibility with set-top DVD players, which therefore is not introduced in this article.

However, nowadays, most DVD burner and player recognize these DVD disc types. Usually, you don't need to know about DVD knowledge. But you will find it very useful when you encounter a problem. Aimersoft DVD Copy is a DVD copy and backup tool, which supports DVD-R disc, DVD+R disc, DVD-RW disc and DVD+RW disc. With it, copying, splitting and compressing DVD9 and DVD5 is like a pie.

If you want to convert your DVD movies to some videos for playback on devices or editing on some software, Wondershare Video Converter (Video Converter Ultimate for Mac) is the best choice for you, which is able to convert DVD to nearly any audio and video formats, as well as devices. What's more, it can also let you burn videos to DVDs quickly and easily.

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Dec 20,2013 18:29 pm / Posted by Alejandro Gallet to DVD

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jim chiaradonna
hi ,,, on wondershare dvd converter, i''ve just prepared a dvd, it''s all ready to burn, i just need to know what high quality, and dvd 5 or 9 means ,,,, i tried burning what i did to a dl-r disc, it will let me on standard quality, but it won''t when i set it to high quality ,,, the video is well in the green, why won''t it let me use high quality ??? thanks
Hi, Thestrongs, in my opinion, you can just use DVD-RW, this is highly compatible with various DVD players. Best regards,
which dvd should I use to do regular backups to my laptop (personal)
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Hi, please help... I have a pack of DVD-R's but I can't get it to work with Wondershare Video Converter Ultimate. I select the "D:" and it says "Please make sure you have inserted a DVD disk into your DVD-ROM D:" I inserted the disk into my computer though. Also I am (trying to) convert a FLV to the DVD format with this. Thanks in advance.
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