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DVD media question

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
OK, a friend of mine decided to give me his older DVD burner (having gone out and bought a new one for himself). I've got a CD burner, but not a DVD burner... Anyhow, this brings up a few questions on media...

What is the essential difference between DVD-R- or RW- and DVD-R+ and RW-+... He suggested (and I gather) that the plus kind would be better, but what are we talking here?

Next, which perhaps is more of a subjective question, but what types of media (aka from what companies) have people found the disks to be better, not so good, etc? Are there any particular name brands, products, people have found it's best to stay away from, from experience? Any that would be more highly recommended?


bush dogg

OSNN Senior Addict
Political User
I think it would be a good idea to check the manufacturers site to see what media is recommended by them and been tested with the drive before buying DVD media. (Might save some money on disks that aren’t compatible with an older drive).

While your there look for a firmware update?
With that said.

I have two systems with Sony DVD/RW drives and I have always used a lot of disks with full system backups one backup set per system a week to DVD then on the odd days to another harddrive.

The media I’ve had bad luck with is “Memorex, Sony, Philips” I won’t buy any of these again.
TDK was ok but for me still to many bad disks. (4 good 2 bad 3 good 1 bad that type of thing)

The only media I’ve had almost 100% success with is “Verbatim and Imation” these are the only brands I will buy now. I use plus, minus and RW disks.
(I use around 10 disks a week just for backups alone)

Just 3 weeks ago I setup a slideshow for a wedding and had to burn 35 copies with not one bad disk (Verbatim).

As for the difference with + or – I don’t remember all the details on that but I use both and for me the + disks seem to burn alittle faster for backups. For everything else I use the – disks.

Now the minus comes in handy when I burn something to watch on the TV that DVD player will only recognize the minus disks.
R- is required for video DVD ONLY if you have a very old DVD player. Newer DVD players will use anything you throw at them.

R+ is a little faster and stores a little more data.

W just means the DVD can be erased and re-written. It costs 3 times as much but is worth it when you are experimenting with video and music DVDs. It cuts down on coasters.

I would recommend a good brand, but any pack of DVD's you open, no matter what the brand says on the label, will have a different manufacturer from spindle to spindle. One guy I know bought a spindle of 100 blanks and it had 3 different manufacturers in it when he ID'd them.

The real manufacturers are Ricoh, Ritek, Mitsubishi Chemical, TDK and a few others.

Ricoh makes the best blanks I've found but you can't buy their brand. Amusingly the last spindle of Fuji's I bought were Ricoh.

The good news is that blank quality has improved drastically in the last 2 years and I have not had a bad spindle in a while.

The bad news is that some of the original drives were very finicky about the type of blanks they would use. If the drive is over a year old ask the guy you got it from what types he used (the actual ID not the name on the spindle).

Go to www.cdfreaks.com and see what the forums recommend for your burner.

Son Goku

No lover of dogma
Oh, and one other question. He just brought it down tonight (forgot to give it to me last night when I left, though he pulled it out, and set it aside on the dinning room table). The USB cable (it's also a USB 2.0 cable, and all my other cables are 1.1 or so) isn't long enough from the empty space on my computer desk.

It's an external drive... Is it a particularly bad idea to place it on top of the computer case? I never tried placing any hardware or drives on top of the tower before. If so, I might have to try to arrange some other space for it (either on the snack bar, or something... (BTW, my comp is in the living room, right next to where the kitchen is, and there is yes, a snack bar...


Political User
As for the difference between the different formats, you can easily find those using Google. As long as it is not a terribly old burner though, format shouldn't matter since they've been making multi-format DVDs for a while. Your choice should be based on what devices are you going to use those burned DVDs on. Some DVD players, an XBOX, etc are picky about what kind of media they use. As for different kinds of media, I've always had luck with Sony and Verbatim.

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