DVD Media +/- Superdrive

Discussion in 'Product Recommendations/Reviews' started by SpaceMagic, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    Can anyone tell me what's the difference between DVD+R and DVD-R. Which one does the G5's SuperDrive burn? And which ones can be read (for data) in the G5?

    Then, :p, can anyone recommend a brand which are generally reliable, and cheap :)

    Thank you
  2. briankonar macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2004
    + is incompatible with pretty much anything that isn't specifically + Read capable. - is compatible with practically anything you throw it at (assuming you burned it correctly) and the device doesn't lock dvd-/+ out (i.e. PS 2, sans mod chips).

    - has the widest compatibility base, i believe Power Mac G5's (all apple computers for that matter) use DVD-R/RW drives, although I believe some have Sony's that are capable of all formats just limited by firmware.

    get DVD-R/RW discs, i've never had an issue with any brand and i've used Apple (oem), Verbatim, and Imation discs as well as seen people using every brand on the market (everyone prefers their own specific vendor, take your pick).
  3. sleepypants macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2004
    +/- media

    I disagree with saying that a drive has to be specifically "+ read compatible" -- the + standard was designed from the ground-up to be compatible with the DVD (not -, but the movie kind) standard. The - standard was designed initially for data. - came first, so more DVD players can read the discs. But in recent DVD movie players, you're looking at around 90% compatibility for - discs, and 80% for +. For computer based DVD drives, definitely a bit higher.

    If you have the Apple superdrive, it'll be a -R drive, so you need -R media. I'd also recommend Apple and Verbatim -- have never had any problems with these guys.

    On the read-compatibility side...my iBook's Matsushi-ta combo drive will happily read -R, +R, -RW, and +RW. Again, these formats are designed to be read happily in most DVD drives. Still, I live in a happy bubble with my iBook and a +/- dual-DVD burner, so I've never had any compatibility problems...
  4. theabombjazz macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2004
    San Diego
    dont use the COMP USA DVD's

    comp usa dvd's are jut spit out by the superdrive

    you put it in,,,and it whir's and spins then just spits it back out
  5. raytube macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2003
    The G5 superdrive is actually dual format, so you can burn both DVD+R and DVD-R discs in it. I actually discovered this by accident after being sold DVD+R that were packaged as DVD-R incorrectly! But after checking it out I found that the drive is indeed dual-format. The main issue with the difference between plus and minus is that some older CDplayers or CD drives may not read them properly or at all.


  6. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire

    I have a Playstation 2 and have used my iMac burned DVD-R disc's in it and they have played with no issues on the PS2. I have no mod chips either in my PS2. Factory spec.
  7. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Arg I'm gonna rant ;) Be sure to check. My entire family owns 9 DVD players total that range from 3 years old to my recent Panasonic thats about 7 months old. NONE play +, all play -. Noone realized when purchasing our players that each of the major brands were standing by one format over the other--up until recently. They need to decide on a standard that is for sure because the two formats have been nothing but bad for the end user.

    Example, my brother purchased a new Dell. It came with a 8x DVD+R burner. Noone in my family (including him, unless he plays it on his computer) can watch the slideshow he made of his kids.... but everyone can play the DVD-Rs I burn with my Apple and Gateway.
  8. SpaceMagic thread starter macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    Thanks guys! I'll just stick with DVD- disks... as they are sure to work.
  9. MrCommunistGen macrumors regular


    Mar 14, 2004
    "Wherever you go, there you are..."

    Of course older CD drives (or newer ones for that matter) won't read +r... They won't read -r either... that's because they're CD drives! :D

  10. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    i think you are wrong here: the plus standard is designed for data and minus format for dvd video in mind. minus came first, yes, but it is not the reason more dvd players accept it - the reason for greater acceptance is greater compatibility that has been designed into it.

    where have you got these numbers? i could agree with your compatibility number for minus standard, but the plus disc still doesn't work very well with standard dvd players, because the standard has plenty of data optimizations in it.
  11. blue macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2004


    From the thread:

    "DVD+R is a much newer, and better technology than DVD-R, in your place I'd definetely go for DVD+RW, and here is why:

    ( Working on this post )

    The latest Dvd+RW is a new technology of around 2003, it stands for a new dual-layer technology of recordable Dvd's this means that its recording capacity has been doubled in capacity, the new capacity is now 8.5 Gigabytes, so here we are referring to a much superior technology, which is DVD+RW ( RW stands for re-cordable, and the single R is just recordable only once, and you can use it with a DVD+RW drive; thus if you can get an RW I'd say, it's much better though the price might be salty 0__0 )

    This new technology in practice doubles the data storage capacity on DVD recordable discs, from 4.7 Gigabytes ( DVD-R) to 8.5 Gigabytes ( DVD+RW) while they are still compatible with the existent Dvd video players and with Dvd-Rom drivers.
    It's a wonderful achievement.
    compatible with existing DVD Video players and DVD-ROM drives.

    However before there were developed DVD+R with no such a compatibility that I just mentioned. This compatibility came to be with Phillip's DVD+RW and not with the previous DVD+R.
    The manufacturer that suceeded in developing a DVD+RW with this compatibility has first been Phillips.

    In this year? newer DvD+RW drives are being released with this compatibility available.

    I'd recommend you to carefully ask your vendor, it is much worth doing this.

    Also this extended capability is achieved without the need of turning over the disc.

    How this newer technology works:

    The dual-layer DVD+R system uses two thin embedded organic dye films for data storage separated by a spacer layer.
    Heating with a focused laser beam irreversibly modifies the physical and chemical structure of each layer such that the modified areas have different optical properties to those of their unmodified surroundings. This causes a variation in reflectivity as the disc rotates to provide a read-out signal as with commercially pressed read-only discs. "
  12. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    DVD±R/RW drives are dual media; DVD-R is Mac; Apple, Verbatim & Ritek

    ANSWERS: Early in March, I did a study on the availability of DVD±R media in the USA, Canada, UK and Europe, including sale of 8x & 4x DVD-R & DVD+R, and their street prices.

    (A) Pioneer
    , Plextor and others were the developers & manufacturers of DVD-R format, which was the first format.

    Sony, Philips and some other manufacurers came up with a competing format, DVD+R, which lagged Apple's pioneering use in computers, but when the DVD+R was adopted by Dell Computer (which sells 100,000 per DAY!), DVD+R drives and media suddenly flooded the market.

    (B) Your G5 SuperDrive is most likely a Pioneer 4x DVR-A06 or DVR-106 drive, which you can easily check in System Profiler.
    is more compatible with Movie DVD software and hardware that play them or have been around for awhile.
    Today, virtually every major manufacturer builds a cross±platform laser drive, which you will see as DVD±R/RW

    Since October 2003, and more recently this month, Apple has lowered its "driver for DVD-R/RW" only barrier to burning DVD+R/RW media, the exact extent of universal compatibility for read/write +R/RW will probably be known within the next few days or weeks when the New G5 PowerMacs are released, and the SuperDrives in them are taken for a test "drive" and "burn". ;)

    Apple is rumored (makes sense) to be installing 8x DVD burning Superdrives[/b] manufactured by Pioneer, notably models DVR-107 or DVR-A07, which have been generally available since the beginning of 2004, with prices dropping from $229 list to $169 street (no box, no software, no nothing, just a bare drive).

    Another incentive for you to quickly move up to 8x DVD Write speed with a new Pioneer dual format drive is PIONEER's $30 Mail-in Rebate which expires March 31, 2004.
    (Although the COUPON is not posted on Pioneer's site, several "Pioneer favored" retailers have posted the coupon for download on their own site)
    Look for the words $30 Pioneer mail-in rebate coupon!! VideoGuys.com on the site; Fry's Electronics and other retailers who are listed on Pioneer's site, have the coupons at the store check-out.

    If you buy the qualifying boxed 8x DVD drive, look for a white sticker with the Serial Number stuck on the bottom of the Box, you will need that and the UPC bar code, and the Rebate Coupon, and ORIGINAL Purchase Receipt dated on or before March 31, 2004. The Pioneer box looks like this:


    On Tuesday March 23rd, 2004 (or, shortly thereafter), Apple is expected to announce the availability of NEW 8x blank Apple DVD media (probably DVD-R only) at a 5-pack price of between $14.99 to $19.99 (USD $3 to $4 each). 8x DVD-R blank media are already available in North America at:
    Older 2x Apple DVD media have virtually disappeared from shelves, including the online Apple, and had been going for $7.99; newer 4x Apple DVD media continues to be generally available at $9.99 per 5-pack, or $2 each.

    There is no word yet when "dual-layer" DVD-R[DL] media will be available or which consumer drives are capable of burning the one sided disks for a total of 8.5GB instead of only 4.7GB. Two-sided, single-layer discs are available for a total of 9.4 GB on one disc. However, since October 2003, Pioneer has been demonstrating Dual-Layer burning technology using its own 4x DVD burning DVR-A06 (DVR-106) with only a "firmware change".
    (C) G5 rev.A's, which should all have 4x DVD writing DVR-106 or DVR-A06 SuperDrives installed, should be able to read DVD+R/RW, and MAY be able to WRITE to these blank media as of the 10.3.3, which recently supplied my 8X Pioneer DVR-A07 drive with its very own, brand new Apple DRIVER - something we did not have ("unsupported") at time of purchase in mid-February. Firmware is still 1.03; PCs need 1.10.

    (D) Recommend BRAND and, how about prices?
    [​IMG]Although generally expensive, Verbatim is pretty much accepted as the best you can buy. It looks like good 8X DVD-R media will be available at $3.99 each, or $19.99 for a 5-pack. Buy enough volume, $3.39 ea.
    Many of the larger sites actually list BRAND compatibility with Mac or PC drives. For Apple PowerMacs: Ritek, ACCU, Memorex, Apple and PioData (which appears to be Pioneers own brand but made by Taiyo-Yuden Company of Japan, just nobody says so).

    UNITED KINGDOM sources of DVD/CD-R/RW blank media
    (see downloadable lists attached below for USA, CANADA, UK and BELGIUM)
    BIG Pockets UK
    BlankDisk Shop
    CDr Media UK
    CDr Direct UK
    Blank Media Market
    SpotOn UK
    3000 rpm

    Attached Files:

  13. drebee macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2004
    new york

    I bought 10 ten pack compusa dvd-r and I have no problems burning anything on my laptop with it. The dvds are 1x though but they do the job, I bought them for $7.99 for the pack of 10 this was a good deal so i stocked up. I say get the COMP USA DVD-R :)

    They work everywhere!!
  14. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    DVD-R/RW vs. DVD+R/RW • the difference between them

    What's the difference between "minus" and "plus" DVD standards?

    After my very looooong post 12 above, I wanted to give you a better answer to your question about the 2 formats of -/+, and I found this SHORT one, which I have updated. Many other "histories" are available and far more detailed but much longer.

  15. photohead macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Pasadena, CA
    Hey MacRand,

    just wanted to say thanks for all the info. It looks like you spent a lot of time thinking and researching the answer, and if no one says it, I will....Thanks! I know for myself I was wondering about this issue and was thinking about getting an 8x burner and I found your post very helpful. So my question is...I'm in the market for an 8x dvd burner and I want to use it mostly for data backup...you sound like you know what you're talking about so i'll just post my problem...and if you other guys can help I'd really appreciate it. I have a total of three computers and am waiting to get the new g5 when it comes out, and I've been having a really mess of a time to back up all my computers data. here are the three computers...maybe it matters may be it doesn't...G4 cube 450 with 120Gb hd *yes i'm one of the suckers that bought one...but I still like it* Dual 1ghz MDD powermac G4, and 17inch Powerbook 1ghz G4....I got them all hooked up on an asante gigabit ethernet swich with ape for internet and router.

    what i've don't so far to back up was...use CCC to back up each computer to my two laCie D2 180, and 160 GB hd's and using retorspect 5.1 and 6.0 as back up for each ...but its crap...its slow and I haven't been able to burn in the last 2 year with out errors....minded I haven't ever had to use the back ups...thank God but the only reason I liked the software in the first place was I could span my backup over multiple cds and now dvd's.

    I've tried looking for other solutions like impression 2.0 which is pretty cool ...but on the test version...I don't know if it was my burner on my dual MDD or the media...TKD (DVD-R 2X) the backup failed....thats the only program that I've found to span multiple DVDs.

    So I was thinking if I had an 8x burner if would alow me to do my backups faster.>? what do you think...? this was my plan>

    on the MDD dual I have four hard drives...I partitioned them so that I would have an Archive partition set to 4.3 GB (thats about as big as you can burn on a DVD-r with room for the headers) for each of my employees. they would have to upload their *important* data to thier archive over the network or through external firewire...and then I or someone else could burn the archive.??? seems tedious to me??? what are your thoughts?

    thanks for enduring my long post..? I'll stop now...I feel like I've giving my life history of computers.?

  16. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    Sounds like you need more advise than what comes off a forum. You know, hands-on type. But, I have some thoughts.

    1. If you want to centralize your storage, maybe you need a large, terabyte RAID Xserve or something. But, the kind of RAID you need is not the 2 make One large, fast hard drive kind, but the twin backup of data kind, so if one fails the other survives. Otherwise, if one of 2 drives in the RAID fail, you are lost.

    Problem, fire in the facility cooks everything including your on-site backup.
    So, the classic solution is to rotate drives with a set held in a safe off-site location.

    God bless Iomega and the old 100MB removable drives, which I used to backup and rotate in a triangle of life. About the time those cartridges began to snuff out, whoa, they had been replaced by 1 Gig Jaz, also on a rotation of 3.

    Enter the world of 80GB drives for $80. $1.00 per GB. Smokin'

    1. When you get your new G5 2.4GHz PowerMac, it should come with an 8x burning SuperDrive. Try using it to jury rig your system like you like it.

    2. Think hard about whether centralizing all your backup from through out your Network is right for you, and each employee. Sure, it provides central control, but all your throughput is coming to one place. Is that what you want. If it is, you are ready for a central memory bank, a central RAID.

    3. Design your RAID (I assume that since you did not say access speed is a problem, just backup speed is) that two disks can back up the same data, so failure of one is survived by its twin

    4. Portability off-site is why you think in terms of cheap discs - DVD.
    But, DVD is always going to be too slow, whether you use write-once blanks at 8x or RW at 2x, and that is slow.

    5. Why not write to a 3rd HD that is removable and goes off-site (at home) for rotation nightly with a 4th HD. FireWire800 is the speed you really need so you are not cooling your heels waiting for it to finish. Just DUMP Data on the removable HD and run. If 7200rpm is not fast enough, what is it going to take? 10,000 rpm 15,000 rpm.

    Think outside of the box. Set your goals, then brainstorm with your employees about all kinds of crazy ways to accomplish it.

    A. Immediate on-site backup with dual redundancy
    B. One set of backup HD off-site
    C. Another set of fresh backup HD to rotate off-site.

    Sounds simple to me. And if the Fire hits the Wall, or the S...t hits the Fan, it will be well worth it to be able to backup either on-site, or off-site.

    Otherwise, you really need to hire a network, server, backup, Mac Person to help hands-on.
  17. photohead macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Pasadena, CA
    MacRand, Thanks again for the wealth of knowlege....I think in the future the xserve raid is deffinatly the way to go....But for the meantime our budget only allows for the g5. So that being said here are a couple more questions. As far as the fastness and slowness of the DVD drives...what I meant is currently I have a 1x and 2x dvd superdrive....slow as heck if you ask me...it takes about a hour and a half to get through burning and verification with one x...and only slightly faster with 2x....so if the g5 comes with an 8x great ...but lets assume it doesn't....would it be better to get an external 8x like a lacie*(what are your thoughts on thier dual) or like you stated and external pioneer. ?? I figure that external is better *(but also costs more) so that I can use it on all the other computers with out having to put it throught the ethernet...the cube is only 10/100 and gigabit??? I'm wondering what speed the dvd burner can sustain when my files are coming through ethernet??

    second, if you don't think that paying extra for the external is worth it ...I can just put it on the MDD...it is a full 5 1/2 not zip so it will fit....then I could just back up to the external firewires...and burn it from there?
    Does anyone know what kind of back up software is recomended...better then retrospect..?? or are they the only one to span multiple dvd's.

    Mainly what is so frustrating and time consuming is spliting my info to fit 4.3 GB....Please help anyone...thanks for all the time concerning this matter.

  18. photohead macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Pasadena, CA
    Ohh, and MacRand,

    I will take your advice about the off site external HD;s...I'll get another firewire drive....probably and FW800 like you suggested ...for offsite back up. ThankS!

  19. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    If you go internal 8x Pioneer, look at what just happened.

    PIONEER has again reduced the price of their 8x DVR-AO7
    Pioneer has also extended their $30 mail-in rebate program.


    So, for a limited time you can combine the new low price of $179.95 with the Pioneer $30 mail-in rebate to reach a final price of $149.95!
    That’s right, you can now get the Pioneer DVR-A07 for under $150!!

    PRICES are coming down folks.
  20. MacRAND macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2003
    Phoenix AZ USA
    8x SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) is confirmed - NO longer just a rumor!

    8x SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) optical drive

    Although no details in depth, the eMac release now confirma that Apple is shipping new Macs with a faster 8x DVD burning laser drive.

    Does not confirm laser drive maker as Pioneer
    Does not confirm + write/read capability
    Does not even confirm DVD-RW ReWrite capability

    However, the drive is likely the PIONEER DVR-AO7 which is
    DVD/CD±R/RW (totally capable of + and - , and DVD-RW)

    So, new PowerMacs when released should have no less a laser drive than this.

    Checked for Apple 8x DVD-R media...found NONE on Apple's site.
  21. cinnamon girl macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2004
    MacRand, question on PioneerA07 reading DVD RAM Discs...

    I noticed in your profile and your posts on the website that you have the Pioneer A07 internal superdrive (what I call the multi drive) in the identical Mac G4 that I have. I've installed that drive, but can't get it to read the RAM discs recorded from my Panasonic DVR recorder that's recording video off the TV. I've asked this question on other forums and not one person seems to have an answer...doesn't 10.3 panther support this drive totally including reading DVD RAM discs ? The Pioneer box states it is supposed to have that ability and as I have also installed this drive on a windows machine running XP and it reads DVD RAM discs fine...can you be of any help..? Have you tried to read a DVD RAM disc in your G4 yet?

    I really appreciate your time in reading this and thank you for any reply.

    cinny girl
  22. Miner Willy macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2004
    Bradford, UK
    Emac and superdrive

    I got my new eMac 1.25ghz with Superdrive yesterday. It has a pioneer dvr-107 in it. I only tend to use Toast to burn data and movies and it will burn and erase DVD+R and DVD+RW as well as all -R/RW discs.

    By the way my eMac rocks!! I can't wait for my 1gig of RAM to arrive from Crucial.. :)
  23. markxc macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2004
    Question Regarding Pioneer DVD Burners

    I've got a question regarding the above mentioned Pioneer DVR-A07 burner. I've noticed that most reseller's aren't providing platform compatibility specs. Is that because of their deal with Apple? I've contacted Pioneer and told them I was interested in this particular drive but wasn't sure about it's compatibility-- to summarize they said Apple has exclusive rights... so I'm assuming this drive will work, but will need some tweaking. Am I wrong about this? Any insights or links to this undefined platform spec would be well appreciated.
  24. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    dvd+r doesn't provide DL, any dvd standard can be DL. dvd+ is the most pointless invention ever, and i hope it goes the way of dvd-ram. DL dvd- is the next big thing, before blue lasers become affordable, and then eventually hologram discs.
  25. krimson macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2003
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia

    www.xlr8yourmac.com drive compat listings

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