Yeah, most DVD burners for the last year or two have been DVD+R and DVD-R capable. Makes things a lot easier. Still, the stupidity and arrogance of the industry on this and on the HD-DVD/Blu Ray DVD issue is annoying.
--Max Sat Jun 24 07:55:20 2006
that's ok, i'm just being an attention 'ho' right now...
--FoSO Sat Jun 24 08:52:56 2006
I've still never heard the punctuation part of the name pronounced. At least HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are pronounced differently. But I hate them both, just out of principle.
--Nick B Sat Jun 24 11:59:45 2006
There does seem to be an issue of different burnable DVDs having compatibility with different DVD players. And while most DVD burners in PCs will burn plus or minus, that's not necessarily the case with digital video recorders that write to DVD. Of those, I haven't yet seen one (nor have I looked) that accepted both.
--LAN3 Sat Jun 24 16:13:22 2006
Um. . .what's the difference between the two? Does it really matter to the consumer? If it records something, plays something and keeps good quality. . .isn't that's what important? Is there a difference on thos levels?
--The_Lex Sat Jun 24 17:06:11 2006
There are some subtle differences between the plus and minus camps (along with licensing and primary proponent manufacturers). But LAN3 is right, the issue is pretty much dead on the PC side with most burners being compatible with both. But standalone players (and recorders) will often work with one and not the other.

HD_DVD vs Blu-Ray has a couple possible outcomes. Beta versus VHS is only one historical comparison, with one format being the clear victor. DVD-Audio versus SACD is another, where both formats never obtained any real market penetration. (Neither did D-VHS/D-Theater which was HDTV on VHS size tape, with D-Theater being the copy-protected pre-recorded version.)

From the consumer perspective, the choice is clear - save your money until the manufacturers work out all the bugs and either a clear winner appears or combo players become available and reasonably priced. The only other thing is ensure any HDTV you buy supports HDMI+HCDP (copy protection).

--ericball Sat Jun 24 18:53:37 2006
I'm not certain, but my understanding was that the differences between +R and -R, aside from creators and whatnot, was the dye layer. Both types use a layer of dye that's sandwiched between a reflective layer and thick, transparent plastic layer. Different dyes would require different laser frequencies to burn them-- the burning laser activates the die which heats up and becomes opaque for a "1" bit and is left transparent (and hence reflective) for a "0" bit, or maybe it's vice versa, but that's how I understand it. So, a multi-compatible writing laser would have to be able to activate both kinds of dye. Reading lasers are, I understand, less powerful and the dyes are unaffected by their frequency (which by now is some long-established standard, surely).

One other thing out there to mention is DL-DVD, Double Layer. These disks are expensive and so far they only double the storage of standard DVD from 4.3GB to 8.6 (those're storage GB, not billions of bytes). 8.6 is big, but DL readers are rare, so you'd pretty much just use them for your own collection. However, they're probably readable by DVD players, since "stamped" production DVDs have been that large for years now. Again, you need a compatible burner, and as I said, they aren't cheap-- figure at least US$3, probably more, per disc, so they're up to 10x as much as blank DVDs.
--LAN3 Sat Jun 24 22:46:19 2006
The Wikipedia entry said the big difference is mostly for data burning and changing as compared to sticking them in your DVD player.

Apparently, one of them you can changed via random access (I think the DVD+).

With the other, you have to delete the whole disc then re-write everything again to change the data.

So, from the data storage and changing viewpoitn, I can see an advantage to the DVD+. For the regular consumer, however, who just wants to watch a DVD on their TV, I bet there's not much of a difference yet.

Have to say that I'm annoyed about accidently buying a Peter Gabriel Super DVD or Super CD once then not being able to play it on any player I have because it was a totally different tech. Bloody bastards!
--The_Lex Sun Jun 25 01:22:27 2006

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