If you are interested in purchasing a DVD or Blu-ray drive to burn some data to an external drive that can be stored in a safe or for any other reason, the sheer number of formats and versions can make this task quite difficult. confusing.
For example, there are five different formats for DVDs, and even more for Blu-ray discs! In this article, I’ll try to break down the different types of formats without worrying about the many technical details you’ll find when you read about the differences on other sites.
I personally just want to know the basic differences, what works best and what is best for the record as a consumer.
DVD + R, DVD-R, DVD + RW, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM
DVD + R, DVD-R, DVD + RW, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM
To get started, you should know the actual order of creating these different DVD formats. DVD-RAM was developed in 1996, followed by DVD-R in 1997, then DVD-RW, then DVD + RW, and then DVD + R in 2002. So hopefully this clears up a bit of confusion regarding timing
So which format is best? Well, if you want to burn DVD compatible with a lot of DVD players, it is best to stick with the previously released DVD-R format. DVD-RAMs are mostly very old and hard to even find unless you go to eBay.
DVD + R has some advantages over DVD-R in terms of error checking, better tracking and speed control, resulting in more reliable media, and additional session bonding methods, which results in fewer damaged discs. Most of the differences are technical, but allow for faster write speeds and more error-free rewrites.
Of course, adding W to + or – (+ RW, -RW) just means the disc is rewritable. Again, the + format is more reliable because it was released later, but more discs are compatible with the minus format. However, enough time has passed that unless someone is using a really old DVD drive, they can play any plus (+) format DVDs.
Single layer DVDs can support up to 4.7 GB of data, while dual layer (DL) discs can support up to 8.5 GB of data. The latter format simply adds DL to the end: DVD + RW DL or DVD-RW DL.
BD-R, BD-RE, BDXL, Mini-BD
BD-R, BD-RE, BDXL, Mini-BD
When it comes to Blu-ray disc formats, this is really confusing, so I won’t even mention things that aren’t important. Basically, there are only a couple of formats that you need to worry about as a consumer and they are BD-R (Blu-ray Disc Recordable), BD-RE (Blu-ray Disc Recordable), BDXL (Multilayer Recordable) and Mini- BD.
BD-R format can only be recorded once, while BD-RE can be erased and re-recorded multiple times. The maximum speed currently available for Blu-ray discs is around 16x, which is much lower than the 20x and 52x speeds of DVD and CD respectively.
Mini-DB discs are mainly BD-R and BD-RE Blu-ray discs designed for camcorders and other small digital recording devices. Over the past few years, a new format has been defined called BD-XL, which allows you to create triple and quadruple layers on a single disc.
This increases the capacity of the BD-R XL to 100 GB and 128 GB respectively. It’s great! Currently, BD-RE XL discs can support up to 100 GB of data.
The new BDXLs are not compatible with current Blu-ray drives, although some manufacturers may issue a firmware update, the drive must be new enough to support the update.
Basically, if you plan on using the BDXL format, it should be archiving as you will probably be the only one reading the data back using your very expensive BDXL Blu-ray drive.
Again, this is a very basic overview of the various DVD and Blu-ray formats, but hopefully it gives you enough to understand what it all means without being overwhelmed by a lot of useless details.
If you have any other questions about what type of disc you should burn, please leave a comment here and I will try to help. Enjoy!