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The State of Recordable DVD's 173

Posted by michael
from the shiny-things dept.
An anonymous reader writes: "The Tech Report has a review of two DVD writers, one from each of the two competing standards (DVD-R and -RW and DVD+RW). In addition to testing the performance of each drive, they also test a bunch of DVD players and DVD-ROM drives to see how well they read the different types of media."
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The State of Recordable DVD's

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  • by edrugtrader (442064) on Monday March 11, 2002 @06:44PM (#3145483) Homepage
    i was just recently in the market for these, and they REALLY have to get a standard together.

    i'm currently looking at DVD+RW... i guess DVDR and DVD+R are also both good.

    i'm just going to wait, becuase i don't want to be stuck with a drive 6 months from now that no one makes media for anymore.

    to the standards people:
    * 5+ gigs per disk
    * plays on ANY DVD player
    * readily available cheap media
    • There is a standard, and it's set by the DVD Forum. The standard for recordable DVD is DVD-R and DVD-RW. That's it.

      Computer manufacturers came up with a format that is optimized for data storage and uses a disc similar to DVD. This format is called DVD+RW, which is disengenuous at best as discs produced by these systems cannot be called DVD.

      • by Zed Pobre (160035) on Monday March 11, 2002 @08:07PM (#3145938)

        You know, you have this obsession with the DVD Forum that I find most unhealthy, and somehow, you keep getting modded up for it.

        For DVD video, DVD+RW has pretty much exactly the same success rate as DVD-RW at being read in standard DVD players [tech-report.com], and it handles data much better to boot. (Did you actually read the review, or did you just come here to troll the DVD+RW standards folks?) If it can be played in as many DVD players as DVD-RW, have data read by most DVD-ROMs, read DVD discs, read DVD-R discs, even read DVD-RW discs, it can bloody well put "DVD" as part of its name.

        • My problem is not with the format itself, it's with everyone calling it a DVD format when it isn't. My "obsession" with the DVD Forum is the same one I have with Phillips and the IETF. If I want to find out what makes a CD a CD, I go to Phillips who controls the CD licensing. Basically, I go to who controls the "thing".

          If I wanted to find out what could be called a DVD+RW, I'd go to the DVD+RW Alliance, not the DVD Forum.

          Nothing changes the fact that DVD+RW are not DVDs. Sorry. And that's my only point.

          Frankly, I don't care that I get "mopped" up. There are a lot of people in the world who could care less about proper nomenclature and that's fine. These are generally the same people whose ancesters called manatees "mermaids".

          • Actually, my mermaids example was bad. I should have said, "people who would call a yawl a ketch". While they both float on the water they are not the same.
          • You mean, if you want to find out who calls a DVD a DVD. It's a trademark issue on the DVD logo, nothing more.

            The DVD Forum also claim that DVD-RAM cartridges are somehow DVDs, presumably because they've approved them as such & stamped their logo on them. That doesn't make them work on any of the vast majority of "DVD" players or drives out there. So do they have any more right to be described as "DVDs" than DVD+R/RW discs? Clearly, the DVD logo is not a badge of universal compatibility.

            You want to split hairs, fine - I hereby swear never to call a DVD+RW disc a DVD-RW disc, which it isn't. But, since the word "DVD" isn't trademarked, and is almost universally used to describe discs that can be played in DVD-Video players, all but the most pedantic of people will happily describe DVD-Video, DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R and DVD-RW discs as "DVDs".

            But not DVD-RAM.

        • Any idiot promoting DVD+RW is CLUELESS. The parent messages OWN link shows WHY you should avoid DVD+RW [tech-report.com] like the plague-- take a look at the bottom of the first table, look at the compatibility of DVD-R on DVD players. DVD-RW vs. DVD+RW is irrelevent, DVD-R (which is what the vast majority of people should be using) is compatible with 95.5% of the DVD home players (the kind that attach to your television) and 100% of the DVD drives (the kind used inside your PC) tested. Contrast this against DVD-RW and/or DVD+RW; only 36.4% of home DVD players could handle DVD-RW or DVD+RW discs (both had the same success rate, 36.4%). From the article:

          A few observations on these results. First, the DVD-R media does fantastically well; the only player which failed to read it was my own personal player, a Toshiba that is several years old. While such news might not make owners of older players happy, the compatibility percentage of DVD-R was by far the best of the three media types here.

          This should be all that anyone need to know to decide whether to go with DVD-R/DVD-RW or a DVD+RW drive. MaximumPC also did a few articles on DVD-R vs DVD+RW and basically slammed DVD+RW for it's lack of compatibility. (MPC's website currently doesn't have reviews of the Pioneer DVR-A03 online, nor HP's DVD+RW, which mentioned these compatibility snafu's in better detail.. maybe someone else can find online versions and post them.)

          Anyways, my overall point being, people SHOULD want maximum compatibility, and if that's your thing, DVD-R and DVD-RW are your only choice. (Afterall, you want your movies and whatnot to play in your nice Playstation 2, right? DVD-R plays in a PS2. DVD+RW (and DVD-RW) do NOT.)

    • by Anonymous Coward
      This is a huge problem. I've been thinking about getting a DVD player for the last 6 months or so, but there's a huge problem with figuring out which features do what. This DVD FAQ [dvddemystified.com] helped quite a bit. I've got to have one by the time Gigantic [giganticfilm.com] comes out, and I need to be able to play MP3 (oog would be great too) on it. What to do... what to do...
      ----------
      check out the interactive web assistants at verbots.com [verbots.com].
  • DVD standards... (Score:4, Informative)

    by ZiZ (564727) on Monday March 11, 2002 @06:44PM (#3145489) Homepage
    I made the selection to go with DVD+RW recently; it seems to be the more stable of the standards based on my research. It certainly burns DVDs that are readable in all of my non-writer computer DVD drives; I don't have any current need for DVD player technology support.

    The author of this review also spends quite a bit of time kvetching about the writing software that comes with burners. My advice? Junk it all! Get a copy of Nero [ahead.de]. It supports XP, DVD drives, rewritable CDs and DVDs, and has a packet-writing software avaliable. It's also bloody fast and astoundingly reliable. (Blatent Plug, but it's true.)

    • Re:DVD standards... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Telastyn (206146)
      Note that the second drive of the review came/comes with Nero, and the reviewer gave it god comments.
    • ...and enjoy virtually rock solid and generally full featured burning for free! Not to mention that you get the code.

      This [fokus.gmd.de] was why I made sure I kept a linux box running 24/7 (at first -- now there's many more reasons). Software like Nero (and all windows burning software, actually) wasn't as reliable or intuitive.

      I see no reason why the DVD version would be lacking at all (unless it doesn't support your drive)...
  • JVC DVD+RW (Score:4, Informative)

    by tenman (247215) <slashdot DOT org AT netsuai DOT com> on Monday March 11, 2002 @06:45PM (#3145493) Journal
    I love my JVC DVD+RW. And I haven't found a dvd unit yet that is not able to play the recorded ROMs. However, I have notice older players that had the layer switching problems, really take a long time to make the jump from one layer to the next, and my oldest DVD player (an APEX) doesn't even make an attempt.
  • by wildcard023 (184139) on Monday March 11, 2002 @06:47PM (#3145501) Homepage
    I've found that http://www.vcdhelp.com [vcdhelp.com] is a great site for anything dvd related. They also have a searchable matrix [vcdhelp.com] that includes heaps of useful information on players and recorders.
  • by Guru1 (521726) on Monday March 11, 2002 @06:49PM (#3145519)
    I remember reading a good 15-20 years ago in my Highlights magazine (good tech info) that the scientists were working on a holographic storage device. Instead of storing things in 2d, they store things in 3d, thus drastically increasing the storage available. They supposedly would be able to store terabites of information in a re-recordable media. Don't tell me my Highlights magazine was wrong!
    • by slugfro (533652)
      Come one now, admit it...you were really reading Trekkie Highlights (Article: "Startrek Enterprise scientists working on the Future, Today").
    • We do use 3d storage techniques. I'll just use DVD's as my example to keep it on topic.

      There are two layers on a DVD. When you look at it might seem 2d but there really is depth and thus it is 3d. The Laser on DVD reads the first layer (which is usually gold) which is semi transparent. This transperancy allows the laser to access data underneath the first layer.

      Something else you might be interested in is that in order to have DVD and CD compatiblity a holograpic laser is used.

      If you want more information on this try as a starting point. [audiolinks.nl]

      • Oops I put holographic laser is used. Not the case it is a holographic LENS. Sorry about that
      • There are two layers on a DVD.

        True. But there's two sides to a tape, too... and I highly doubt anyone would consider that 3D. A stack of 2D platters alone does not a 3D make. When people talk of "3D storage", they are refering to storage which uses the position of a bit in relation to all three axis to store a value. Indeed, a double-layered disc may exist in three dimensions, but the data being stored is still flat. You're just getting twice as much.
      • A two layer system is not a 3-d system. I won't get into any bumblign math arguements, but true 3-d storage would have N^3 density. The double layer disk has 2*N^2 density. it's still O(N^2). When we get storage of O(N^3) we'll know it. It's the same increase in peformance as moving from a tape O(N) to a disk O(N^2). An eight track although 8*N in density is still, once again, O(N). Read O(N) as of the order N.
    • Highlights has tech articles next to "The Timbertoes" and "Goofus and Gallant"??? Wow, kiddie mags have come a long way!
      • Hey, I was stuck in a Dentist's office, and read "White Dragon", a pretty complete excerpt from one of McCaffery's Pern novels in Cricket Magazine. Some of the kids magazines actually have some decent content... Boy's Life had the Tripod's triology redone in comic form, and published many of Heinlein's stories... although I haven't seen a copy in many a year. Playboy also used to have good articles and fiction way back when - Phillip Jose Farmer published some good short stories.

        Good non-news english language magazines have pretty much disappeared, as far as I've seen. Magazines have really turned into news, fluff or sex. There are some niche stuff, mostly SF or Fantasy magazines, but even those have been going downhill or disappearing of late.

        --
        Evan

      • Highlights has tech articles next to "The Timbertoes" and "Goofus and Gallant"???

        No, not really, they're not actually articles. The June 1983 issue of Highlights contained a "What's Wrong With This Picture" picture and one of the answers was that Bobby was using a holographic cube storage device with his computer and that the technology won't be available for another few years. They used to be more political in their pictures but after the faux pas of May 1941 in which they showed a German Jewish girl without her yellow star, they moved away from politics and more into science and technology.
    • Funny you should mention that - a Japanese company called Optware [optware.co.jp] just recently announced [cdrinfo.com] a product based on volume holography in a disc format. One terabyte per disc, initially write-once, with rewritable discs to follow. Look under "VRD Technologies" here [optware.co.jp].

      From the press release:

      The company will start sample shipping of the disc and the replay device in the third quarter of this year.

      I always wondered what happened to this technology. Looks like it might finally arrive :-)

      • If you engrave "Elbereth" on a DVD, does it get rid of those silly Buffer Underrun demons? That would be a good reason.
  • DVD+RW is not DVD (Score:4, Informative)

    by nedron (5294) on Monday March 11, 2002 @06:50PM (#3145525) Homepage
    Note that discs produced by DVD+RW drives are not DVDs nor can they legally be called DVD. The only writeable formats which can produce output media that can be called DVD are DVD-R and DVD-RW. DVD-RAM is also available, but is primarily just for data storage.

    A lot of confusion could be cleared if people would stop referring to DVD+RW as a recordable DVD format.

    For more info, see my FAQ [nedron.net].

    • People just want to be able to rip a DVD and burn a copy that is playable on their DVD player. It really doesn't matter what you call it. As soon as somebody comes out with one of those and the media is $5 then I'll buy one.
      • yes it WOULD (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Go buy an Acme RoadRunner DVD RW+ drive, whose media is $1.35/10 gb disc.

        What? you can't use recorded discs in your dvd player? well it's okay, we called it a "recordable dvd format" even though it can't be played back in a dvd drive.

        Since the RoadRunner performs as advertised, no refund allowed.

        THAT'S why its important.
      • Actually, I don't think that's "what people want", but hey, I also don't steal music.

        In any case, DVD-R media is already under $5/disc, so I'm not sure what your response means.
        • Copying isn't the same as stealing.

          Where do you get DVD-R media for less than $5? I'm interested in getting a drive for data archiving, but the media seems expensive. $5 would not be too bad.
          • Apple sells the media for $24.99 for a box of five. This will probably drop again this summer.
          • Where do you get DVD-R media for less than $5?

            I was just researching this myself today and this site [yahoo.com] has General Use 4.7GB DVD-Rs for only $2.29 each ($57.25 for a 25 pack).. They seem to be backordered at the moment, but a quick pricewatch [pricewatch.com] visit shows several companies selling DVD-Rs in the $2-3 range. Not bad at all..

      • They call this a 'G4 with superdrive'. Get out your checkbook.
    • Legally not DVD's ? So what ?

      The movies that i write on DVD+RW play perfect in my home player (Philips 711), and in my Wintel's DVD player (Creative).

      So what's that confusion all about ? My 'uncle bob' will see this disk as a normal rewritable DVD.

      cheers,
      pol :)
    • by Namarrgon (105036) on Monday March 11, 2002 @08:02PM (#3145910) Homepage
      True, DVD+RW discs are not entitled to bear the DVD logo (though the drives may well be), as the logo is controlled by the DVD Forum.

      However, nothing I could find on the DVD Forum site mentioned that the word "DVD" could not be used to describe non-Forum-approved products. There's no trademarks applied to the word "DVD", AFAIK. In any case, it's merely a legal distinction, not a functional one. It certainly hasn't stopped all the various manufacturers of DVD+RW products from calling them DVDs, even though those companies are members of the DVD Forum as well.

      Given that DVD+RW discs work like DVDs, store video & data like DVDs, and are at least as compatible with DVD-Video players & DVD-ROM drives as DVD-RW discs (and far more so than DVD-RAM discs), I think people are entitled to call them DVDs. If it quacks like a duck, etc.

      However, Forum-approved DVD-R discs remain the most compatible current writable format (at least until DVD+R is available), due to the different reflectivity of both RW formats. DVD-RAM discs cannot be read by anything except a DVD-RAM drive, so I don't think it counts, regardless of whether it has a DVD logo or not.

      • Seems DVD+R will be available (from HP at least) by mid-April [hp.com]. Now at last I might buy one :-)

        Given all the other advantages that DVD+R/RW has (greater compatibility, more flexible recording, faster recording, background formatting, etc etc [dvdplusrw.org]), Panasonic are going to have to drop the prices on the DVD-RW units even more to stay in the market, IMHO.

    • Re:DVD+RW is not DVD (Score:5, Interesting)

      by xigxag (167441) on Monday March 11, 2002 @08:10PM (#3145951)
      From your "FAQ," it appears that you have some kind of bias against the DVD+RW Alliance, who it should be noted, consists of Dell, Hewlett-Packard Company, MCC/Verbatim, Philips Electronics, Ricoh Company Ltd., Sony Corporation, Thomson multimedia and Yamaha Corporation. [dvdrw.com] It's not some cobbled together group of fly-by-night companies.

      Furthermore, I believe you are factually incorrect in stating that DVD+RW can't "legally" be called DVD. The DVD+RW Alliance seem to do so with impunity on their site. What is true is that their format is not licensed by the "DVD Forum" nor can it use their logo. But, big deal. The Alliance has its own logo which is just as pretty, and it seems to me that they are a fairly reliable manufacturing bunch. And who's the DVD Forum, anyway? Just another, larger group of companies. Interestingly, it would appear that all the members of the DVD+RW Alliance are also members of the DVD Forum, although not vice-versa, of course. Anyway, these two formats will duke it out on their respective merits and the marketing savvy of their proponents, and not on whether some licensing agency nobody cares about issues a logo. (I mean, DVD-RAM, how the hell does that get to be called DVD-anything? It's not even the same recording material as a regular DVD. I'll be nice and not discuss the "RAM" portion of the name. Let's just say Panasonic's been trying to mainstream this product line for many years and I wish them the best of luck.)

      And as for confusion, how confused can people be? If slashdotters can wrap their heads around SIMM, DIMM, SODIMM, SDRAM, RDRAM, HTML, XML, XHTML, MathML, XSL, and so on, what's so hard about researching a couple of recordable DVD formats?

      Of course, it's all a moot issue. Recordable blue-laser discs will be out in a couple of years and by that time, these two formats will have caught on about as much as the Sony HiFD and Imation LS120 [itsfueralle.de] did.
      • And as for confusion, how confused can people be? If slashdotters can wrap their heads around SIMM, DIMM, SODIMM, SDRAM, RDRAM, HTML, XML, XHTML, MathML, XSL, and so on, what's so hard about researching a couple of recordable DVD formats?

        Let's see, DVD-R works, DVD+R, DVD+RW and some others that look esentially the same, DO NOT work with the set top box that 99% of people who buy one of these things wants to use. I just read the article and I'm going to try to remember that "minus works". If I can't tell by looking at the box exactly what I'm getting, I don't want it.

    • Note that discs produced by DVD+RW drives are not DVDs nor can they legally be called DVD.

      Because DVD+RW is not approved by the DVD forum? What poor logic. If it can be played in a DVD player, as a DVD disk, then its logically a DVD

      Its the same weak bowing to the whims of the DVD forum that lies to people telling them that Xine with LibCSS, VideoLAN, Ogle and MPlayer are `illegal' players because they didn't license a key from the DVD forum..

      Why are we encouraging this person by modding up his two redundant posts?
  • DVD and D-VHS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BrianGa (536442) on Monday March 11, 2002 @06:50PM (#3145527)
    D-VHS may be superior, but it's still a magnetic tape format, like VHS is, correct? One of the things that I like about DVD is that no matter how many times I play a movie, it will never wear out. I'm sure we've all expirenced haveing an audio or video tape lose quality from overplaying. CDs and DVDs don't have this problem, so why would I want one? The DVD format could just be amended, like audio CDs/computer CD hybrids (CD-XA?) were ammended to the origional audio CD format. Plus if this is indeed a tape format, then you don't get that great near instant seek of DVDs. Is there anything to prevent these tapes from degrading?
    • Re:DVD and D-VHS (Score:3, Informative)

      by edrugtrader (442064)
      you really can't compare D-VHS to VHS... the reason the VHS loses quality is because it is analog... the D-VHS is digital. it shouldn't wear out at all.

      I used to be a television production major and we would re-use our digital tapes for years with no degradation at all... these weren't D-VHS, but they were still 'tape' based digital media, and would retain broadcast quality stuff forever it seemed.
      • Re:DVD and D-VHS (Score:5, Informative)

        by Ooblek (544753) on Monday March 11, 2002 @07:14PM (#3145649)
        Digital tapes do wear, but the error correction helps mask it. If you ever actually work in production, you rarely re-use digital tapes even when they cost $100+ per unit. Any engineer will tell you its a bad idea to re-use them for storing any master. When they do wear out, you start to notice concealment rates skyrocket on the devices that let you view the graphs. If a professional production house were to send that out to a client as a master, that would be a coffin nail.
        • agreed 100%... the actual studio we did work for did not reuse the tapes, and basically used them just to get the data from the cameras to the editing machines, and then they went away.

          but we were STUDENTS... and at $100+ a unit you can believe we used them until they didn't work anymore, and with care and professional quality equipment, i never had to replace my 3 tapes.
        • I don't know about recent tapes, but with the old ones there would occasionally be a weak spot, or a place where the oxide flaked off, or the tape would be creased. So if you were really careful, first you wrote the tape, then you tested it (or you could have used a tape certifier to combine the two steps), and THEN you wrote the data that had to be a good copy. (And, just in case, you wrote copies on more than one tape at the same time.)
          .
          • Well, in a production environment, there would not be time to go through all that. You basically crack open a new tape if you are going to cut a master. By the time you've recorded video on it, layed back the audio, and done all your verification, you can have something like 10 times the tape has traveled past the heads. Now, in its life, it will travel more over the heads and in different machines. Hopefully, not much though. What happens is that the oxide starts to flake off the edges first. If you put it in a dirty machine, you get scratches and pits more towards the center of the media. Usually, we would pop a tape in (knowing our machine was calibrated and clean), look at the concealment rates, and advise the client to make a clone (or just a new master). The problem is that if we layed audio back to it and it went out with high concealment, someone might have started pointing the finger at us.
  • DVD life (Score:5, Insightful)

    by InsaneCreator (209742) on Monday March 11, 2002 @06:50PM (#3145529)
    DVD-R media costs less than DVD-RW, has an archival life of up to 100 years

    But how will you read the data from it in 100 years? We don't even know if we will be able to purchase compatible readers in 2-3 years.
    • Re:DVD life (Score:2, Interesting)

      by flewp (458359)
      I just hope I won't be so poor I'll still be using a DVD-RW/DVD-R/DVD-Etc for another 100 years. Afterall, I'm still using one of the original Soundblaster 16 cards that is about 10 years old and is now in it's 4th machine. (And has been running fine all these years)

      On a serious note though, how durable are the discs? Are they really scratch-prone or what? 100 years is nice if the disc is just going to be sitting around not doing much, but if it's put into a lot of use, it may develop scratches over time.
      • I just hope I won't be so poor I'll still be using a DVD-RW/DVD-R/DVD-Etc for another 100 years. Afterall, I'm still using one of the original Soundblaster 16 cards that is about 10 years old and is now in it's 4th machine.

        This is different, since all you need for your soundblaster to work is a compatible slot in your computer and drivers, which are also not very hard to get. Also, your soundblaster doesn't carry any important data. When it becomes obsolete you just buy a new one. On the other hand, there is still no standard for (re)writable DVD's, which means that the companies might stop producing drives that can read your discs in just a few months or years. What do you do if the industry accepts a new, non DVD compatible standard?
        Take a look at an older slashdot story: 1086 Domesday Book Outlives 1986 Electronic Rival [slashdot.org]
        It's about how some laser disc created 15 years ago cannot be read by any technology available today. What if something like that happens with DVDs?
    • Re:DVD life (Score:2, Funny)

      by linzeal (197905)
      You aren't saying that the MPAA will help create a new standard are you? Everyone knows that the encryption technology on DVDs should easily outlast advances even in quantum computing.
    • Are you trying to tell me that you don't still have your 5.25" floppy drive installed on your machine?
    • by Tom7 (102298)
      What I do is to copy my archive from my old media to new whenever a new format comes out. I plan on being able to read CD-Rs for a while, but when they start to go out of favor, I'll copy all of that stuff on to DVD*RW or whatever is in fashion. Then when a new higher-capacity storage medium comes out, I'll just copy again...
  • DVD-RAM (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nullard (541520)
    What ever happened to DVD-RAM? I bought one of those drives in '99 and I have yet to see another computer with one. I can theoretically use single-sided DVD-RAM discs in read-only mode in other drives, but is that the extent of its usefulness? I've only bought one (5.2gb) DVD-RAM disc, but I've never had reason to buy another.
    • you get "creative" (Score:5, Informative)

      by chainsaw1 (89967) on Monday March 11, 2002 @07:40PM (#3145783)
      I don't know what DVD player you have, but my DVD-RAM media won't work anywhere else

      My DVD-RAM uses a square plastic caddy like old CDROM drives. The difference is that every DVD-RAM media has it's own caddie and the caddie is supposed to be permenant... it contains the read-write tab like floppy disks have, etc.

      You can sorta get around this...

      Take a DVD RAM cartridge and *carefully* crack it open. You can take out the DVD disc and if you wrote a disc with a digital movie some DVD set tops will work with it. There are not many though (more sets will read the DVD+RW or -RW than a cracked DVD-RAM). This is probably why you don't see them... you can't exactly put the disc+cartridge in a DVD player and most people then turn away from them, and cracked discs don't ever work real well. And as the article said, mor ppl are expected to use them in set tops than for data

      I don't know if you can put a standard DVD-/+R(W) in the cartridge and use it. If you look at the DVD-RAM disc, the coding is much different in appearence from the other standard disc's

      I have a Creative DVD-RAM, which I have been pretty pissed at. Looking on the data side, of the backups I have done, I have always had files lost during the backup write. The only advantage it had was I got it pretty cheap (about $250 2 years ago)

  • DVD-RAM for life! Woooooo!

    *cough*

    Sorry.
  • So I personaly think they guy doesn't know what he is talking about.

    How come he didn't mention that the Pioneer drive can only write at 2X speed if you buy the $12 media from them! None of the $2 bank disks will work at 2X. Talk about a rip off...

    Also... copying DVDs is not that hard as he states..... now you can buy double sided DVD-R media.... and pretty much copy any disk and keep menus and extra stuff....

    Of couse you only want to make back ups of stuff you already own...

    heyday

  • Backing up DVD's (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 11, 2002 @06:58PM (#3145575)
    For the love of God, people, just go buy the damn movie.

    Why is it that everyone thinks that the only legitimate use of DVD-R in relation to DVD is for piracy?

    For god's sake, all I want to do is backup my DVD's so that my I don't have to buy it again after my kid scratches it up.

    To be practical, though, we need higher storage capacity. Most of my movies won't fit onto 4.7GB.

    <sarcasm>I just love the DMCA. Makes it illegal to do with DVD what I've done for years with VHS videos I legally own.</sarcasm>

    • by Amazing Quantum Man (458715) on Monday March 11, 2002 @07:25PM (#3145704) Homepage
      Or how about a single disk image of my Win2K C: drive? Hangs head in shame...

      Or an image of my Linux partition? Or how about combining all 7 CDs in the Mandrake 8.1 PowerPack into a single DVD or...
      • Or how about a single disk image of my Win2K C: drive? Hangs head in shame...

        You don't need to copy an encrypted DVD to do that, which was crux of the issue.
    • by Ooblek (544753) on Monday March 11, 2002 @07:29PM (#3145726)
      You also have to wonder why record stores (for example, Virgin Megastore) have big piles of blank media for CDR (and presumably DVD). If it hurts their sales so much, why do they sell them in the record store? I don't go to the record store to buy CDRs for data purposes. Maybe all this complaining is just giving them free advertising time....
    • Here's another use, whether you consider it piracy or not is up to you.

      I record (on video tape) episodes of various cartoons that I enjoy watching. However, due to some glitch between my VCR & my receiver, the color is all washed out (for anything from VCR, not just tape). I would really really like to be able to put these cartoons (and other shows I record, which is legitimate private use) onto a medium that 1) takes up less space than tape, 2) has longer lifespan than tape, and 3) I can play on my DVD player which doesn't have the same problems with color washout.

      As far as it goes, if I can buy these cartoons on DVD, I'm usually more than happy to. The production quality etc of a professional DVD is worth a fair bit to me. But while you can expect a given movie will make it to DVD in some reasonable amount of time, TV cartoons and TV shows generally do not have the same assumption.

      Recently I've gotten together the technologies to be able to burn VCDs of these, but I still can only get about an hours worth on any given CDR, so I still end up with a lot of little discs running around. I would really dig having a reasonably priced means to put all of that data on only a handful of discs. Of course, today, that's still not possible from what I've seen (not to mention that reasonable means to burn VCDs is relatively new, and I'm sure any kind of DVD format is a ways out for the common man).

    • I copy my DVDs to my hard drive. When I started watching DVDs, the player was still in beta and it would loose sync with the movie and pause to read the disc. Once I started playing them off of my hd, things went much smoother. Now, I don't even bother going to my DVD rack, I just mount the disc image.
    • Ya know, I've got to reply. It's more than just backing up movies and data. I happened to tape my sister's wedding. Rather than produce a VHS of the final output, I put it on the computer, did my editing, and produced a video that some have said could have been done by a professional (I don't kid myself, my equipment was not even what was required to do something that well).

      I guess my point is that not only would we want to back up movies, but some of us would like to make them, and do.

    • Re:Backing up DVD's (Score:3, Informative)

      by ncc74656 (45571)
      For god's sake, all I want to do is backup my DVD's so that my I don't have to buy it again after my kid scratches it up.

      If you haven't already, try this [vcdhelp.com]. Your kid won't notice the difference, and CD-Rs are dirt cheap. You also get to cut out the spam^H^H^H^Hpromos that Di$ney likes to put at the beginning of each DVD.

      (Odds are you'd need the same techniques to rip the source DVD and reencode it to fit on a burnable DVD (assuming the original is >4.7GB...maybe stripping out extra languages and such would reduce the size enough for some movies).)

      • Your kid won't notice the difference, and CD-Rs are dirt cheap.

        Perhaps Your kid won't, but some people will. Of course depending on the original (some DVDs are just plain crap), the amount of work put into conversion, the tools used, and so on.
        Trust me, it's not all that easy. VCDs can be pretty much forgotten - too many artifacts. Transcoding MPEG2->MPEG2 for SVCDs is pretty much the only reasonable way unless You have a DVD writer. You can usually fit about 40-50 minutes per 80min CD-R disc (if You do the encoding well and can live with not-perfect quality), so movies are out unless You have an SVCD player that takes multiple discs or like changing discs in the middle of the movie..

        So, SVCD is OK for TV series where You can fit full episode on a disc, but then You'll wind up with stacks of discs. In the end, I'd say DVD->DVD transcoding is the way to go. Most discs can be recompressed with lower bitrate without noticeable loss in quality (as long as the encoding is done with decent tools and at least some skill, or good conf templates from good rippers), so fitting 2h movie on one 4.7GB disc should work (~5Mbps - if done well, should be enough to not to notice difference between original and copy).
  • The U.S. government, or the United Nations, or some international governmental system, should set up something for general media and electronic systems like the W3C is for the Web.

    Yes, sick and twisted. I suggested that mass media should be regulated by a bunch of old white guys from different countries that don't know a transistor from a cockroach up their ass.

    No, on a serious note, they (mostly likely the UN, since this stuff is worldwide) should hire the top people in mass media that don't have any specific company affiliations after they're hired, to regulate all the stuff, send it to the companys, and have the UN make sure all the countries are making sure that everything is going as scheduled.

    Which sounds like communism, government regulating business, but the business owners might think twice before saying 'no'... if everything is regulation, than people don't have to think twice before buying their products.

    Or we should just get Slashdot readers to do the same thing...
    • It's been done. MPEG stands for Moving Picture Experts Group, a standards group (like IEEE, ANSI, W3C, etc) that defines the standards for digital video signals. They developed many of the standards that went into VCD, DVD, MP3, etc. Visit their site [telecomitalialab.com] and learn about MPEG-1,2,4,7 and 21. (incidently JPEG is also a similar group).

      The signal definition is, however media agnostic. MPEG-2 is used both for DVD and sending television master signals over satellites. Media standards are controlled by the company that invents them (royalties are paid on every casette tape that is made). Development of media is starting to swing towards consortium and committee standards, but that's how DVD was made. Blue-Ray is another example.

      --
      Evan

    • Which sounds like communism, government regulating business...
      Huh?

      Communism is a system where the workers own the means of production. Soviet style communism is a version where the government owns the means of production on behalf of the workers. Regulation of business, however, has nothing to do with communism, and most capitalist economies are quite happy with the concept.

      By your definition, Teddy Roosevelt, who used government to rein in the "robber barons" and was one of the major forces behind the government breaking trusts and monopolies, is a God-damned pinko. I think many Republicans would consider that practically blasphemous...

      American (for it's usually you, I'm sorry, I hate to generalise, but frankly this is getting on my tits, and I'm not even female) Slashdot posters who presume to compare everything that isn't hard-core libertarianism or is in any way left wing (as if these are contradictory concepts!), to "communism" (and who usually continue as if to compound the error by throwing in statements that show they don't know the difference between Communism, Soviet-Style Communism, any of the various Socialisms, trade unionism, Green politics, vegetarianism, humanist liberalism, and, most bizarrely of all, KKK racism and Nazi fascism), might want to bear in mind that while your views may reinforce those of the like minded, the rest of us turn off the moment you start sprouting the keywords.

  • by Gryphon (28880) on Monday March 11, 2002 @07:15PM (#3145656)
    I have one of the new flat-panel iMacs, which to my knowledge, includes the reviewed Pioneer drive.

    I can corroborate, for CD-RW, that the write speeds are a bit pokey. It took about 25 minutes, round-trip, for me to burn a CD-RW full of MP3's.

    However, I think this is balanced by the fact that:

    a) Burning on Mac OS X is dead simple. Insert media. Choose format type. Drag files to burn to recordable media icon which appears on desktop. Burn. Soooo much more simple than any program I'd ever used on Windows.

    b) Compatability. The reviewer is correct in placing much emphasis on how compatible DVD-RW is with current players. No matter how good YOU may be at making things work, buying the right player, etc., the family is still going to think "that's stupid" when they take the movie you burned on DVD+RW, stick it in THEIR player, and see an error message.

    IMHO, YMMV, etc, etc.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    So what about the BlueRay system...who really wants to buy recordable DVD when besides two different standards, a new one is around the corner. Recordable DVDs seem obsolete before they even become mainstream. Beware.
    • "who really wants to buy recordable DVD when besides two different standards, a new one is around the corner"

      The point is that there is usually (at least with optical media) a longish period when any new storage medium comes out when you can get stuff on that medium but recorders and blank disks are a way off. This is then followed by a period where the recorders are available but the price puts off all except early-adopters.

      So no, recordable DVDs are not obsolete.

      graspee

  • by tempest303 (259600) <jensknutson@ y a h o o .com> on Monday March 11, 2002 @07:22PM (#3145690) Homepage
    From the article:

    Ignoring for a moment the moral and legal implications of stealing content, this is all a huge PITA, and would in all seriousness probably take several hours for a typical movie. Is it really worth it? A practical example: I just picked up "Jay And Silent Bob Strikes Back" (sure, it's no "Clerks" or "Dogma" but I'm a fan of Smith's work). It has two DVDs crammed full of stuff. While I haven't checked, they pretty much have to be dual layer, because otherwise, why not just issue one dual-layer disc?

    So there's four recordable DVDs worth of content, and a ton of time spent recreating menus and splitting content out over four discs, not to mention the cost of the four recordable discs themselves. When you're done, you have to switch between four discs instead of two, and you navigate them using crappy homemade menu screens instead of the cool ones on the original discs. Know how much this movie cost me? $17.99.

    For the love of God, people, just go buy the damn movie.


    Couldn't have said it better myself. If only Hollywood would rely on producing GOOD flicks, adding a little extra "value" (read: nice side features) to the DVD release, and releasing them for a FAIR price, which will make me *want* to buy the damn thing instead of increasing the incentive to just get a DivX copy without paying for it. The latter might be Wrong(TM) in my opinion, but I'm damned tempted sometimes. $30 for the Trainspotting DVD (my local Media Play) and it's just a dump of the VHS onto DVD with chapter selection slapped onto it. What a joke.
  • TV Series on DVD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tsu-na-mi (88576) on Monday March 11, 2002 @07:24PM (#3145703) Homepage
    Finally, we can have our favorite shows on DVD. If MTV Home Video doesn't want to release Daria on DVD, I can simply capture it off my DSS with a PC capture card, edit out the commercials, convert it to MPEG2 and author my own discs. It's work, but it's nothing _too_ hard. And technically, it's fair use.

    Of course, I'd rather plunk down $120 to have MTV do all that work for me. Earth to movie companies: if you release it (at good quality and affordable prices), we WILL buy it. Stop trying to deny me the ABILITY to pirate video, and try denying me the MOTIVATION.

    I own about 400 DVDs at this point, and buy 20 or more per month. TV series top my wish lists: Sopranos, Hogan's Heroes, Batman Animated, Batman Beyond, Twin Peaks, Simpsons, Futurama, The Young Ones, Daria, Farscape, and lots of others. I'd buy every one if you put them out.
    • Oh, PS: I own a Pioneer DVR-A03. I primarily use it for data storage, tho said data is Divx fansubtitled anime for viewing on my Home Theater PC. I own about 400 "real" DVDs and buy another 20 or so per month. But the drive is nice to store things you can't buy.
    • Then go and buy: http://chicago.about.com/library/picks/aapr_dvdsop ranos.htm http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue199/screen2.html
    • TV series top my wish lists: Sopranos, Hogan's Heroes, Batman Animated, Batman Beyond,

      You can start getting B:TAS in April, according to Amazon [amazon.com]. I was hoping for a boxed set, but it's got the first five episodes in production order, so maybe they'll release more.

      Also, the uncut version of the Batman Beyond movie will be out, as well as Justice League and Sub-Zero.

    • TV series top my wish lists:

      I'm sure you're aware the first season [amazon.com] of the Simpsons is now available on DVD, with the second season due in May.

      What's more, I recently bought the first seasons of Futurama [amazon.co.uk] and Family Guy [amazon.co.uk], in London - Region 2 only.

      Why were they released in Region 2 first, when they're far more known & popular in Region 1? Who knows. Still looking for The Young Ones though.

      • Why were they released in Region 2 first, when they're far more known & popular in Region 1?

        They aren't released where they're popular precisely because they are popular. The networks can still make a lot of cash selling syndication deals. The first season of the Simpsons, by this point, is so old and well-played that only the die hard fans will watch it anymore, hence the DVD release.

        A really stupid model for those who actually LIKE the show, but it keeps the bucks rolling in....

    • If MTV Home Video doesn't want to release Daria on DVD, I can simply capture it off my DSS with a PC capture card, edit out the commercials, convert it to MPEG2 and author my own discs. It's work, but it's nothing _too_ hard. And technically, it's fair use.

      If you want to see Daria on DVD, first off: BUY "Is It Fall Yet?" on DVD. It's cheap and it actually is region-free despite the "Region 1" logo on the back cover.

      Then, come visit this site:
      http://www.the-wildone.com/dvdaria/ [the-wildone.com]
      and join the petition drive for Daria on DVD.

      MTV is supposedly "surprised" by demand for "Is It Fall Yet?" on DVD, in spite of the fact they didn't do much work on it and the encode sucks bigtime. (lotsa artifacts!) Maybe if demand continues to "surprise" them, they'll consider what we're asking for.

  • 10 pack dvd RW for $28 on pricewatch only 4 times the price of CDR per gig and close to the price of CD-RW
  • by neonstz (79215)

    The funny thing about DVD-recorders is all the different speeds they support. Like, "Hey, check out my new DVD-+RWRAM! A whopping 2x/1x/8x/4x/4x/2x/2x/24x/16x/10x/4x. Ain't that fast or what?"

  • by BRock97 (17460) on Monday March 11, 2002 @08:30PM (#3146037) Homepage
    I studied lots of material for over six months before coming to my conclusion to go with the industry standard. The speed of the DVD+R(W) was tempting, but there were quite a few motivating points that made me swing the other way. In no particular order:
    • All those wonderful PowerMac/iMac machines that are being pumped out have the Pioneer drive in them. Even if the DVD+ format wins out, there will still be quite a few people making disks down the road. With Apple behind them, though, I thought it a safe bet it would have a pretty large margin share. (Before you go "Apple only has single-digit % market share", I am aware, but alot of people I know think "If it is on a Mac for AV, it must be pretty good).
    • Compatibility was a huge issue for me. I have quite a few family members with DVD players that I don't know about. With DVD-R, I am almost always guaranteed that the disc will work on their player. That way, I can send a disc out without worrying about it not working.
    • To be honest, I have been tracking the DVD+ standards group, and their inability to come to an agreement on the +R standard until very recently had me kind of upset. To top that off, companies promising DVD+R upgrades (HP included) have quietly removed this notice from their websites and their products. One of the forums I visited even had an anonymous report that a tech said they will not upgrade the units. Don't have time to wait for you guys to pull your thumbs out of your butts, guys....
    • Finally, my biggest motivation: price. Best Buy had one on the shelf for $300 with an additional 10% off at the register. Couldn't pass that up.
    Sure, there are drawbacks. As the article mentioned, write times are slow. If I am burning a DVD-RW to test on my x-box, I might as well go and get dinner with friends. The unit is also a little slow on the read, but nothing a second DVD-ROM drive didn't fix. The other thing that might deter some folks is that the software is way under-developed. I wish Adobe would just build DVD creation support into Premiere so I would have a nice all in one solution for my digital camcorder, but I can dream.

    In all, I am glad at my purchase. As I mentioned above, compatiblity has be fantastic, and I have something that I can play digitally for quite some time.
    • Even if the DVD+ format wins out, there will still be quite a few people making disks down the road.

      It's not that big a deal, actually. I've heard a lot of "Beta vs. VHS" talk, but since both formats are quite readable by each other's drives, all you have to worry about is availability (& perhaps price) of the media for writing.

      Compatibility was a huge issue for me.

      For drives bought today, sure. DVD-R is more compatible than DVD-RW or DVD+RW, since the rewritable formats have a different reflectivity which confuses older players into thinking the disc is dual layer.

      However, since DVD+R/RW models were announced today [hp.com] by HP, available mid-April, and since DVD+R should be just as compatible as DVD-R (or perhaps more so, due to its lossless linking feature), that should no longer be an issue.

      ...companies promising DVD+R upgrades (HP included) have quietly removed this notice from their websites and their products.

      Yeah, they did do this, and this did get a number of people upset [dvdplusrw.org]. However, the word is that "HP will within the next week or so announce either a buy back or trade-up policy for existing 100i owners (they haven't decided which one at this point) to the next generation device (200i I assume) which is promised to have +R compatibility". So we'll see. From past experience, I personally held off purchasing until DVD+R writing was confirmed.

      Best Buy had one on the shelf for $300 with an additional 10% off at the register.

      Well, that's a good incentive, sure :-) I'm willing to pay a little extra for the faster burning speed, background formatting & more flexible rewriting of DVD+RWs, but not everyone needs that.

    • For data archiving standards are VERY important. I would say the MOST important thing. What good is a 10-year-old archive if there are no more readers available?

      For example, the USENET archives resurrected by Google [salon.com] had two big problems:

      Jones would spend the next two weeks rescuing the data off them. Not only was the tape technology rapidly becoming obsolete -- just try to find a working tape-reader today -- but the tapes themselves do not have anything like a 10-year shelf life.
      These were 9-track magnetic tapes, inarguably the most widely used tape format in those days. If this standard can fall into such disuse after a measly 10 years, what chance does DVD-<flavor-of-the-month> have?

      Also be very careful to choose a compatible software layout. If you're using SuperWhammyDyne Backup(tm) 1.0 because it's fast and came with your DVD-<flavor-of-the-month> drive prepare to be disappointed when you need to read those disks even just a few years from now. Will SuperWhammyDyne Backup(tm) 1.0 run for the OS that you have later?

      Fortunately, this wasn't a concern with the UNIX systems. "dump" and "tar" are both open standards (no need to reverse engineer the data bits off tape) and often open source as well (just port and recompile for the current UNIX world).

      I suspect that reasonably "safe" software formats are:

      • tar
      • cpio
      • ISO9660 (CD-ROM) w/Rock Ridge and Joliet extensions (just don't rely on the extensions)
      • UDF [maybe] (DVD-ROM, CD-RW)
      I suspect that reasonably "safe" hardware formats are:
      • CD-R
      • DVD-R
      Barring these, any open source software format is probably OK, so long as source is archived along with the data using one of the above formats.
  • by BrookHarty (9119)
    However, it's more complicated than that. Recordable DVD technologies are a single-sided, single-layer format that holds 4.7GB. I own a lot of DVD movies, and just about every movie in my collection uses one or more single-sided, dual-layer discs that hold 9.4GB each. There are exceptions; I have a few double-sided, single-layer discs that have a widescreen version on one side and a pan and scan on the other, but those are few and far between. I'm sure you can see the problem at this point. In the vast majority of cases, it's the 10-lbs.-of-crap/5-lb.-sack problem: it just won't fit.

    I can hear your next question: But can't we just break the movie up onto multiple discs? Again, in theory, I'm sure it's possible. But at that point you're talking about completely redoing all the menus on the DVD, so each disc only has menu selections for the stuff on that disc. Can you say "time-consuming?"


    The DeCSS rippers ive seen rips region and macrovision! Strip the extra tracks, downmix the AC3 (God no, but for size if you must) and you can fit it on one 4.7 DVD. I personally cant wait for this use, so I can stop using my vhs/cdr solution. I would rather dump in divx or mpeg2 onto a dvd disc. Lucky I can get about 2-3 tv shows on CD.

    Am I the only one who records Futurama in divx or pmeg on CD? How about you tivo users, dumping to tape/cd? (BTW, this is fair use, so dont start bashing me..)

    Soon as the cost comes down per DVDR blank, Im getting one. 35 Cents for a blank keeps me using CDR.
  • by Zed Pobre (160035) on Monday March 11, 2002 @09:24PM (#3146231)

    I own both a DVD-RAM and a DVD+RW (a Philips DVDRW208, the exact model as the second drive in the review), and use them primarily for data storage. This rant starts with some DVD-RAM history and moves on to the DVD+RW, so if you're only interested in the latter, skip down a ways.

    I got the DVD-RAM some years back, with the intent of using it as a shared data medium between a Windows machine and a Linux machine (running kernel 2.2.5 or so, IIRC). At that time, I had been using a PD (Phase Dual, the DVD-RAM precursor), and since the DVD-RAM dirve I was interested in (a SCSI Panasonic LF-D101) also had support for PD cartridges, it was a natural step up. It worked pretty much exactly as advertised, except that at one point, I reformatted one of the discs (with FAT32) in such a way that for some reason Linux was never able to mount it again, though Windows had no problem with it. Reformatting it from one OS or the other resulted in the opposing OS being unable to read it, so I eventually formatted it ext2fs and used it to make direct backups that didn't require tar to keep permissions and such. It was slow, and it was a little clunky, but it got the job done pretty well.

    A short while ago, I upgraded the kernel on that particular Linux machine to 2.4.18, and got a bit of a surprise -- it was no longer possible to reformat the discs, although they did mount rw and I was able to manipulate the data. Well, I had been looking at DVD+RW for some time, had eventually decided on the Philips model as the best of the bunch, and when I saw it for sale online, I ordered it.

    Okay, the people interested in DVD+RW stuff can start reading again

    The DVD+RW dropped into the new (dual boot Windows 98/Linux 2.4.19-pre2) system quite nicely, although I do recall from reading other people's experiences that it much preferred being the slave drive on an IDE chain. This suited me fine, as I already had an IDE DVD-ROM (AOpen 1640 Pro-A, with 3rd-party RPC-1 firmware) in the system. Installing the drivers on the Windows side was a multiple pass process, as the packet writer initially refused to work with the DVD+RW media supplied with the drive (more on this below). Also a test burn I was making with Nero crashed the machine about halfway through, so I'm not overy enchanted with the quality of the Windows drivers. Nothing new there. On the Linux side, I passed hdc=ide-scsi and hdd=ide-scsi to the kernel to make both drives accessable from the SCSI subsystems, and started compiling the software at the DVD+RW for Linux [chalmers.se] page. I also tested a CD-RW burn with XCDRoast, which worked just fine, although the speed got locked at 4x, and I'm not entirely sure why (the drive itself should support 10x CD-RW burning).

    Writing to the DVD+RW media under Linux has to pretty much be done exclusively with growisofs [chalmers.se]. There's a kernel patch available that is supposed to enable packet writing for the device, but I was unable to get it to work. The result is data that can be written to the disc and read pretty much on any DVD-ROM that can handle standard ISO9660 data and read the DVD+RW media at all (fortunately, most of them can). Unfortunately, writing this way reduces much of the functionality of the DVD+RW to that of a very fast DVD-RW -- you have to erase all the data to erase one file, though fortunately growisofs can trivially add data. Ideally, someone will write a working packet writing driver for Linux, fix the UDF driver (more on this below) and get those patches included in the 2.5 series. Until then, however, I'll just have to make do. Fortunately, the drive is so damn fast , that I don't mind writing things in large chunks.

    Bolstered by my success writing under Linux, I went back to Windows to check on the readability. Windows was able to read the disc just fine, though due to the limitations of the Joliet CD extension, filenames were restricted to 64 characters if I wanted them to show up correctly in Windows (RockRidge fortunately has no such restriction, but Windows doesn't support it). To my delight, the InCD Packet Writing driver suddenly started working as well (I suspect it simply needed something to have been written to the disc once). I activated it, reformatted the DVD+RW disc as UDF, and tried dragging and dropping a few files onto it. Worked like a charm, and no speed drop as far as I could tell. So I booted back to Linux to see how well Linux could deal with it.

    Well, the disc mounted. Files were retrievable. Unfortunately, the uid and gid of all the files was set to 4294967295. Remounting it with -o gid=1000,uid=1000 got relatively sane values, though it would have been nice to have the driver automatically set the ownership to either root or nobody by default. Unfortunately, the disc was still detected as write-protected by the kernel, so it was impossible to test writing to the disc. Still, I'm not entirely disappointed. I can write to it in chunks from Linux and have it read by either Linux or Windows, and drag-and-drop to it from Windows and have it read in either Windows or Linux, and that's good enough for my purposes.

  • by Namarrgon (105036) on Monday March 11, 2002 @09:24PM (#3146232) Homepage
    Best of both worlds... here's the (German) link [www.sony.de], or use the fish:

    One of our highlights on the CeBIT 2002: We present you the prototypes of the first dualcompatible Sony of DVD recorder. The Clou: The device is compatibly with the again-recordable formats DVD+RW and DVD-RW. thus offers this high-quality conceived DVD Player of the Sony QS series a future-reliable solution. Further information receives you at our status on the CeBIT 2002!
  • The article addresses the difficulty of duplicating consumer DVDs, and mentions as a deterrent the fact that you'd have to redo the menus.

    The menus on all but maybe one of the 20 or so DVDs that I own are HORRIBLE, EVIL MESSES, and I sincerely wish that the people who designed and implemented them would DIE SOON. Have any of you ever tried to find a specific feature on "The Abyss" DVD, such as the documentary, or production notes? How about the industry standard use of a menu with two items, with no way of knowing which color means "this item selected"? How about having to wait for 12 seconds while you are forced to watch some kewl grafix before you can PLAY THE FREAKING MOVIE?

    So, for me, it's worth the couple of hours it would take to blow away the existing menu structure on a commercial DVD, and to make one that says

    1) Play the movie.
    2) Play the useless "featurette".
    3) Play the long documentary.
    4) Show those stupid production stills.

  • Most of the current DVD movies are on double-layered single-sided DVD media (9.4 GB). Today, I can only find single-layered 4.7 GB DVD-R media. I cannot use that media to directly copy my DVD movies for back-up purposes.

    Why are double-layered single-sided DVD-R media difficult, if not impossible, to locate? Even if I can buy double-layered DVD-R media (9.4 GB), will I be able to burn stuff onto that media using a regular DVD-R burner on market today? Any info is appreciated.
  • I was able to get the Pioneer DVR-A03 last year at work. I use it to archive data that can easily be read on other machines that only have a DVD reader. It works the same as any other CDR\CDRW drive, infact most the work I do on it is burning CD's. But I have been dealing with 1Gig+ files and needed more capacity. I did not like the fact that DVD+RW has major compatibilty issues (as stated in the article) and with DVD-R discs around $5.00 or less, it just seemed like the natural upgrade path from CDR. Pioneer is releasing a newer version (DVR-104) at around $400.00 but they are still a bit out of reach for me for home use.
  • Media Specification (Score:3, Informative)

    by FonkiE (28352) on Monday March 11, 2002 @10:59PM (#3146534)
    I don't want to start a flame war (it was already started ;-), but if you want compatibility go for: DVD-R. why? simply lookup the media specs:

    refelctivity:
    DVD-R: 45-85%
    DVD-RW: 18-35%
    DVD+RW: 18-35%

    so basically the disc gets written to in the same format when you want to write DVDs playing in standalone players. (else they could not read it ;-)

    so the refelctivity is the most important value here.

    NOTE: cheap DVD-R media is at the lower end of the range and even lower, but quality media is at least %50 and up.

    All DVD+RW recoreders have of course better specs (12x cd-r write, ...), but if you want compatibility go for DVD-R.

    NOTE: DVD+R would probably has the same quality as DVD-R but NONE of the current (cheap) writers support that.

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