Don’t Let DVD-R and DVD+R Confuse You Again!

By Nicole Tinkham

One of the most common DVD purchasing mistakes is a result of not knowing which format (-R or +R) you actually need. You can go ahead and let out that sigh of relief because you’re not alone- that’s right, this is a very common mistake. And as always, we’re here to help. This blog will act as your beginners guide to understanding the differences between DVD-R and DVD+R so that you’ll never make a mistake again 😉

The good news

The two formats are nearly the same so you’re really not being “tricked” too badly. However, it’s still important to know the difference between the two so you understand exactly what you’re purchasing (plus it’ll make you look smarter).

The difference

The ONLY difference between DVD-R and DVD+R is the location of the laser beam on the disc. For example, DVD-R discs have grooves called prepits to determine the positioning of the laser. DVD+R discs do not have prepits but instead measure wobble frequency as the laser moves outward.

About DVD-R

This format was developed by Pioneer and the companies that support DVD-R are as follows.

• Pioneer
• Toshiba
• Hitachi
• Panasonic

About DVD+R

DVD+R was developed later (2002) by Sony and Philips. This format is supported by the following.

• Sony
• Philips
• Hewlett-Packard
• Ricoh
• Yamaha

What you need to know

Let’s put the technical facts aside and get down to business. We mentioned the companies that support each format type above but many companies now have hybrid DVD drives that will support both DVD-R and DVD+R formats. Your task for the day: find out which type of DVD drive you have. If it’s a DVD-R, make sure the disc you purchase ends in –R. If you have a DVD+R drive, make sure the disc ends in +R. Simple as that.

R vs RW

You may notice that there are also DVD-RW and DVD+RW discs. The difference between R and RW discs is simple. “R” is a write once format meaning data can be burned on the DVD one time only. “RW” discs can be erased and rewritten many times.

The differences in DVD-R and DVD+R are simple enough but (as you probably know) purchasing the wrong one is a huge hassle. How can you avoid this? Check your DVD drive to determine which format you need and be careful when making your purchase. It’s easy to glance at an item and grab the wrong format since they all look the same. Just remember you can always stop in or give us a call (941-747-2995) for more information on just about anything for the office (or art studio).

Have a question you would like answered? Just leave a comment in the box below and your question could be featured in the next blog post!

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