+R DVD and -R DVD - what's the dif?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by scamperwillow, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. scamperwillow macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I just bought some blank DVD's at Costco. They had two kinds: +R and -R. I had never heard this distinction before and can't find anything about it? He said most people use +R so I got that , but don't want to open them until I know it's the right one.

    they are TDK 4x DVD +R

    I have a 17" iMac with superdrive

    Anyone know what this is all about?

    Thanks,
    Marty
     
  2. krimson macrumors 65816

    krimson

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    #2
    iirc, the iMac's have 4x DVD-R's, the +R's wont work in your machine.

    check www.dvdrhelp.com for a listing of media and reader reports (Media section) and compatibility listings.

    IMO, +R's aren't well supported yet and only new DVD players will read them. -R's have been around alot longer and are more widely supported. Even though I have a DVR-106, i can't read most of the +R DVD's my friend uses.

    My advice, dont open it, and exchange them for the -R's.

    -edit: incidentaly, i have a TDK 4X +R sitting right next to me right now, and I can't read it at all. :D
     
  3. masterjedi73 macrumors 6502

    masterjedi73

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    #3
    What will the superdrive on a G5 dp 1.8 read? I've used DVD + RWs on it and they've worked. Will the + R format work on these?
     
  4. g808 macrumors regular

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    #4
    I don't have any experience with a G5 although I wish I did. ;)

    However, by the looks of it the G5 should not be able to write to +R discs.

    http://www.apple.com/powermac/specs.html
    "writes DVD-R discs at up to 4x speed, reads DVDs at up to 8x speed"
     
  5. Engagebot macrumors regular

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    #5
    superdrives can read + or - , and only write to -. Apple uses Pioneer DVD-R drives as their 'Superdrives'. It used to be the Pioneer A103 as the 2x, now its a bit faster.

    From my experience, the apple DVD player app cant play movies from a + disc, even though it recognizes the data on the disc.
     
  6. Engagebot macrumors regular

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    #6
    the - format is basically supported by everybody. it was a whole group of manufacturers including sony and some tohers that came up with the format and agreed on it.

    basically, when DVD-R was put out, Phillips decided they needed to cash in, so they created the +R, a format *ALMOST* exactly like -R, but not compatible. so its basically phillips vs. the world in a rematch of the vhs vs beta conflict.

    since only the encoding scheme on the discs is different, and not the actual hardware of the drive, drive manufacturers have kind of avoided the war by supporting both formats with the same drive. thats why you can by DVD+/-R drives now, yet the two formats are still incompatible with each other

    most set top tv dvd players can play either format now days, but phillips dvd players will only accept +R discs, just because phillips is stupid. Any older dvd player will most likely read a -R before it will a +R if it has a problem with any type of burned discs because the -R was out first and the format was agreed upon by a bunch of different companies.
     
  7. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

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    #7
    The guy definitely told you wrong, +R isn't nearly as accepted as -R. Your iMac should be able to read but probably can't write. Go to system profiler and check it out. My PowerBook says -RW only
     
  8. Engagebot macrumors regular

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    #8
    you mean -R/RW only :0)

    (i know it probably says that in the system profiler, but I dont want to confuse anybody.)
     
  9. scamperwillow thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    -R +R

    So it sounds like the -R is the way to go. will it be read by other computers OK - like PC's??

    I should have known the guy was wrong when there was a biiiigggg stack of the -R and a small stack of the +R's.

    thanks for the help everyone.
    Marty
     
  10. scamperwillow thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    system profiler

    and about the system profiler...I tried looking there before I wrote, but couldn't find where it said what kind of DVD's to use.

    In the Devices and volumes part under the bus, it says: CD-RW/DVD-R

    Does that mean it will not read or burn a -RW?
     
  11. Engagebot macrumors regular

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    #11
    yeah, PCs will have no trouble reading them.

    you're superdrive may not say that it'll burn -RW, but chances are it will (because i wasnt aware Pioneer made drives up to 4x that didnt support -RW).

    I never use -RW because i author DVDs as my job, and set top DVD players cant read RW at all. Not to mention most of my dvd burning is done on the pc platform.

    I have one of the old 1x pioneer drives that were used as the original superdrives, and i have 7 NEC 4x +/-RW drives in a duplicator tower with an ACARD duplicator brain that i put together for work .
     
  12. Mac macrumors member

    Mac

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    Jan 8, 2004
    #12
    DVD+R(W) market share & Mac Superdrive

    FYI about the DVD+R:

    Business Wire reported the following:
    "The Plus format already is becoming the de facto standard for DVD recording in personal computers," said Maureen Weber, general manager of Optical Storage Solutions unit at HP and chief spokesperson for the DVD+RW Alliance. "These new Plus-format recorders will further solidify DVD+RW's presence in the consumer electronics space at a time when DVD recording is moving into the mainstream."

    According to Santa Clara Consulting, five out of every six DVD recording devices sold have been for use in personal computers. Because of this, many industry analysts suggest that the PC market will dictate which format will become the industry standard for both DVD drives in computers and DVD recorders that attach to TVs.

    In media sales, NPD Group data shows that Plus format media has gone from two percent of the market in July 2001 to 41 percent in July 2002 to 55 percent in July 2003. Meanwhile Dash media has gone from 71 percent of the market in July 2001 to 53 percent in July 2002 and 44 percent in July 2003. RAM has gone from 27 percent in July 2001 to about one percent.

    "Over the past two years, the Plus format has steadily established its place as the format of choice in the PC space," said Gerry Smith, vice president of Peripherals for Dell. "Now that consumer electronics companies are embracing DVD+RW technology, more customers will see the inherent benefit that Plus can provide. Because of the benefits to end users, we are doing our part to help DVD+RW become the industry standard."
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Now, a Mac superdrive actually has a Sony DW-U10A installed into it (at least mine). This drive is a DVD+/-RW drive that has the following specs:

    DVD+Read: 8x
    DVD+Write: 2.4xX
    DVD+RW: 2.4x
    DVD-Read: 8x
    DVD-Write: 4x
    DVD-RW: 2x
    CD-Write: 24x
    CD-RW: 10x

    But since the software - specifically iDVD is only "opened" up for the DVD- formats, the DVD+ formats cannot be used. I have tried using Toast to burn + products without any success at all with my Superdrive.

    So the only way to use a DVD+ product in a Superdrive is as a DVD-ROM (UDF) - meaning a finished burnt product used for regular reading only (this burning) done on another product than the Superdrive.
     
  13. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

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    #13
    plus format has minor advantages as a data storage, whereas minus format has minor advantages as a video storage. tehcnical differences are however very small and both are generally equal.

    but there is HUGE difference in compatibility; minus format is hugely more compatible with hifi dvd-players, so that's a clear advantage and the number one reason why apple chose it.

    if i should guess (hope?), i'd say plus format will die. thank god nobody talks about ram-format anymore :)
     
  14. masterjedi73 macrumors 6502

    masterjedi73

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    #14

    I just burned a +RW disc on my G5 and it plays fine on my Zenith DVD. Not to mention that I have tons of +RW movies burned from my PC and they play on it too. What are you talking about?
     
  15. Engagebot macrumors regular

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    #15
    your dvd player may play them, but not all do.

    i make dvds of MBA classes to send to people that classes out of state via video and internet. i cant send out 50 discs all over the country for this weeks class and not know that almost all of them will work perfectly, no matter what type of player the students have. ever heard of university of phoenix? well i'm in charge of the digital media for Louisiana State University's distance program.

    most of the new 'muli-read' players now will take RW, but the majority of all dvd players manufactured to date do not. trust me, if theres something i know about, its dvd player compatibility
     
  16. masterjedi73 macrumors 6502

    masterjedi73

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    #16
    I was simply commenting on the fact that you said that DVD players won't play them at all. It's obviously not true. I'm aware that not all DVD players play them because I've had some that don't, but saying that none do isn't true.

    Also, people are saying that the superdrive won't write to +RW discs, but it obviously does because I've done it.
     
  17. #Johnny5 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 3, 2001
    #17
    Defining the 'SuperDrive'

    When people refer to the "Apple SuperDrive," they're not always referring to the same drive. Any DVD burner Apple puts into a Mac is considered a "SuperDrive" even though there are actually several (at least 2) different drives Apple has used. The original "SuperDrive" was a Pioneer DVD-R/W drive, and OS X didn't support -RW burning (only -R). Apple later added OS support for -RW. More recently, apple has switched drives (in the G5, and maybe iMacs, too), to what I believe is a Sony DVD+-R/W, and that supports DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW. Whether the OS supports the + formats, I am unaware, but by previous posts, it sounds like it does.

    As for the +plus formats gaining popularity, I wonder how much that has to do with the fact that Dell ships them in their PCs. That factor alone could put the scales off-balance, and turn the "winning" format towards the +plus formats. That sucks, because the -dash format is based on the same format used in commercial video DVDs. Yes, the +plus format is better for data, but I've used -dash discs for data, and they work fine, too. So I would push for the -dash format for the same reason Apple is - it's better for video. But with Dell's and HP's (and now Compaq's) backing of +plus, I don't know if -dash is going to be able to come out the victor in this battle.
     
  18. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    London, UK
    #18
    Johnny5 is right. The only reason DVD+R has any backing is due to Dell. They are the number one seller of computers. However, +R is still not that compatible with DVD-players. Yes, new ones, but many people have players a year or two old that don't support it. For once, Apple was ahead of the game with the Superdrive (standard on high-end Macs before PCs). DVD+R is only gaining ground now that the PC world has caught on. Of course, Dell being anti-Apple and all that... ;)
     
  19. maxvamp macrumors 6502a

    maxvamp

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    #19
    In a nutshelll

    DVD+ and DVD - are two different formats.

    The plus format is better for PCs/Macs since it the format offers indexed sectors on the disc, which in turn allow an OS to write to individual sectors, much like a floppy or hard disc. In short, it has the ability to fragment files to make them fit anywhere there is space. Because of this ability, a disk does not need to be finalized for data use.
    The downside to this is that DVD movie files must not be fragmented. Furthermore, some DVD players do not like seeing the extra bit flag that represents the disk as a DVD plus format.

    Most set top players that can play a -R disc can play a +R disc. This is due to the fact that most plus burners will not flip the plus flag and use other means to figure out the disc type. Furthermore, most new players don't care.


    The minus format is better for movies, since, like CDs must have data laid out sequentially on the disc. There is no fragmenting of files here. The bad thing here is that the disk must be finalized after use, and in the case of DVD, cannot be re-opened to write more data. This format most closely resembles a true DVD, and as such, is the most compatible in set top boxes.

    R vs. RW. :

    It is all about reflectivity of the disc. R discs are burned onto a dye that offers the best reflective wavelength for the red laser in DVDs . These discs are about 80% as reflective as a single layer DVD movie. Only the oldest of players have issues with these discs, as some of the older firmware saw these discs as dual layer discs, and got lost trying to find the second layer. Newer players may have issues with these discs, but most likely, it is due to pending hardware failure.

    The RW formats are only about 40% as reflective as a stamped DVD. For the most part, these means that unless a set top box was designed to pickup on the much lower reflected light, or given the ability to bounce a stronger light off of the disc, most players will be literally blind to this format.

    Finally, the superdrive:

    Apple has used Pioneer ( A04, A04, and A05 ( I think ) ), Sony DRU-55, and a Panasonic drive ( in the notebooks ).

    While Apple only supports the DVD minus format, Panther can read and write to plus media. Roxio will allow you to write everything.

    The general specs for each model is:

    Pioneer drives:
    A03 / A04 2x -R, 1x -RW
    A05 4x -R, 2x -RW

    Sony DRU-55 drive : 4(8*)x +/- R, 2.4x +RW, 2x -RW

    * Look Here

    Panasonic : DVD -R 1x. This is Apples special brew of Firmware, but can be expanded by an unsupported hack to allow much more. see here....


    For more information of this topic, I suggest you visit the DVD forum home page, as well dvdrhelp.com.

    I hope this helps.

    Max.
     
  20. maxvamp macrumors 6502a

    maxvamp

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    #20
    One other note..

    All Pioneer and Sony drives now burn both formats. Most manufacturers are moving in that direction.

    LG offers a burner that burns plus, minus and RAM.

    This war will be over in a couple of years, as all burners will burn all formats.

    The next war will be of High Def DVD formats.

    Get ready for fun!!

    Max
     
  21. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

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    Phoenix AZ USA
    #21
    DVD -/+R/RW Pioneer $30 rebate on 8x

    Since Apple continues to be focused on VIDEO for DVD, its drivers and software are currently only oriented towards the original minus (-) format, which is better for video. This may change to include the plus (+) format at some time in the future, but only time will tell.

    Until then, most Macs only burn DVD-R format discs for media, and NOT DVD+R.
    Currently, Panther only supports DVD+R for data burning on newer Macs that already have dual platform ± built into the SuperDrive. Try to use either Toast or Apple's Disk Utility for burning DVD+ discs.
    PLEASE get back to us if you are successul burning DVD+ discs and tell us what you did, how, and on what hardware configuration. Also, how did you determine that you laser drive could burn DVD+?

    Many of us have older Macs with 1x or 2x speed DVD SuperDrives
    When 4x came out about a year ago, Apple started buying and installing them in all their new Macs.
    8x
    has now been released by Pioneer (Pioneer DVR-A07), Plextor, Sony and others as the new speed standard. Most of these drives avoid the +/- confusion by being dual format writers/players. Although no 8x media is immediately available, that should change very shortly. Meanwhile, an 8x will burn 4x media, or 2x for that matter. I would expect Apple to start making 8x drives the standard in future releases of Macs with SuperDrives.
    (The expected upper speed limit is 16x, although some speculate that 24x is possible for DVD write; but, instead of speed increases, digital video disc technology may shift to another DVD type disc and format entirely - and yes, there are a bunch out there quietly in development...stay tuned. :cool:

    For anyone with a slower internal 1x or 2x DVD SuperDrive, or with only a ComboDrive in their tower or desktop, moving up to 8x speed may be just what the doctor ordered. Installation do-it-yourself help, including illustration images, can be found at:
    http://forums.xlr8yourmac.com/drivedb/search.drivedb.lasso
    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G3-ZONE/hival52x/install.html

    Currently, all brands of internal 8x burners run between $200 and $229 in stores and online. Oddly, external FireWire 8x SuperDrives are not much more, LaCie 2d is about $249 and includes the current full version of Roxio Toast 6, if it says so on the box! Available everywhere online and in some retail Apple Stores.

    Pioneer has a $30 rebate promotion on its 8x SuperDrive, which brings down their $229 price to $199 (or less if you can find a lower price than $229) which lasts until March 31st.
    http://www.videoguys.com/pioneer.html
    Pioneer DVR-A07 Multiformat 8x DVD Burner - World's first "8x8" dual format writer (8x DVD-R & DVD+R - 4x DVD-RW & DVD+RW)
    $30 Pioneer mail-in rebate coupon expires 03/31/2004

    I tried to find the Rebate Coupon on Pioneer's site but failed, so only Videoguys seem to be up to date on this, which is where you'll have to go to download the PDF of the Coupon. They also have a $30 rebate on older 4x superdrive ending 2/28/04. If $200+ for an 8x SuperDrive turns you off, the 4x SuperDrives are only about $119 to $149 or less now, and are dropping in price hourly!; so there's less and less reason everyday not to replace that Combo drive or 1x SD with a faster DVD/CD SuperDrive. ¡Viva! la iDVD y iMovie. :p

    EDIT NOTE: kingjr3 below provides a link to an excellent article on DVD Wars, which is worth reading although it is nearly a year old -- Apr2003. Today, dual format burners are common, removing much of the need to choose between formats. The plus/minus discs you buy are essentially determined by the limitation of your computer/software to use one or the other formats. Macs are mostly minus (-) only, so avoid plus (+) unless you are sure you can burn them with Toast or something. Thanks kingjr3 for sharing this excellent article.
     

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  22. maxvamp macrumors 6502a

    maxvamp

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    #23
    MacRAND...Correction..

    As of Panther, the Mac OS does support both formats. Most new macs with Superdrives also come with dual format drives.

    See this link. .


    BTW: If you need to erase a RW disk, you can do so in the disc utility.

    Max,
     
  23. maxvamp macrumors 6502a

    maxvamp

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    #24
    Maxvamp....CORRECTION

    Sorry MacRAND, I just re-read your post.

    You are right about Pather. I am not sure if DVD Studio Pro burns to the plus format or not. I am still on the A05, and always burn to a Video_TS folder to inspect my work before I go to a disc anyhow.

    Thank you for the info and the update....

    Max.
     
  24. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

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    Phoenix AZ USA
    #25
    Maxvamp....CORRECTION

    Max, thanks for the heads up.
    I cheated :) editing after I read your post :p

    Since my G4 Dual 1GHz has a 2x, and my LaCie d2 is 4x, I have enough trouble separating the speeds (especially in anticipation of 8x blanks) to even play with plus (+) media, unless the universality of minus (-) changes or plus (+) media become much cheaper or somehow better.
    Unless Apple fully supports ± in the iApps and DVD Studio Pro, I could care less.

    I'm happy with contemplating buying and installing a Pioneer A07 (±8x) either in place of my 2x, or as a 2nd DVD SuperDrive if I can find a bracket & box to replace the empty Zip configuration that Apple installed as original equipment in my dual door QuickSilver tower. (any solutions anyone?) Maybe a MDD bracket and laser drive box (if any) would work?
    :confused:
     

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