Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about CD & DVD Burners and other PC topics.
There are a few different formats for DVD blank media. Some people will tend to get confused when they see these different formats in a store and not know which one is right for them. Here is the breakdown of the commonly used ones.
DVD-R uses an organic dye technology and can only be recorded to once. Once something has been burned to the disc it cannot be erased and recorded on again. So if using this format, be sure what you want before finalizing the disc.
DVD-RW discs are DVDs that can be burned and then erased and recorded over. This way if you make a mistake or change your mind down the road you can re-use that disc rather than having to use a brand new one. They can be recorded on about 1,000 times.
DVD+R and DVD+RW were designed to have improved storage and be compatible with more DVD readers. If you own a drive, check to see which formats it supports. If it supports them all, it will not make a big difference which format you use, though being able to re-record a DVD is nice.
When purchasing a CD/DVD burner, it is best to go with a combo drive that covers all of these formats, since compatibility issues between the formats and drives have caused consumers headaches since their inception. This should not be a problem since most decent DVD burners today will be designed to work with all these formats. It is still a good idea to check though, as some very inexpensive drives are so inexpensive because of format limitations. Try TigerDirect.com for affordable drives that will accommodate all of the above formats.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|