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Beginners Corner - Blank DVD R Media

1. Difference between DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD-RW, DVD+RW DVd-RAM.

DVD-R Media definition:

A write-once, recordable format. DVD-R drives can write DVD-R discs, which can be written only once, as opposed to a DVD-RW drive, which can write and rewrite to RW media. The authoring use drive (635nm laser) was introduced in 1998 by Pioneer, and the general use format (650nm laser) was authorized in 2000. DVD-R offers a write-once, read-many storage format akin to CD-R and is used to master DVD-Video and DVD-ROM discs.

DVD-RW Media definition:

DVD ReWritable. A rewritable DVD format that is similar to DVD+RW, but its capability to work as a random access device is not as good as +RW. It has a read-write capacity of 4.7 GB.

DVD+R Media definition:

Short for DVD+Recordable, a recordable DVD format similar to CD-R. A DVD+R can only record data once and then the data becomes permanent on the disc. The disc can not be recorded onto a second time. DVD+R and DVD+RW formats are supported by Philips, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Ricoh, Yamaha and others.

Media DVD+RW Media definition:

The DVD plus RW Alliance is a group of companies, including Philips and Sony proposing a standard of recordable and rewritable DVDs

DVD+R Dual/Double Layer Media definition:

Double Layer DVD+R media has an amazing 8.5GB of storage capacity. This incredible capacity is enough for up to 4 hours of DVD quality video, 16 hours of VHS quality video or over 120 hours of MP3 audio. Compatible with all current DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives as well as new DVD+R DL drives, the disc is ideal for virtually any business or household application.

Dual-layer DVD-R media offers genuine advantage over the current single layer 4.7GB DVD. The new dual-layer recordable DVD-R disc allows users to read, write or view almost twice the amount of data that is currently possible with the single layer and the advanced technology means that material can be read or recorded on one layer without affecting the other. No need to flip sides or change discs.

DVD-RAM Media definition:

DVD Random Access Memory. A rewritable DVD disc endorsed by Panasonic, Hitachi and Toshiba. It is a cartridge-based, and more recently, bare disc technology for data recording and playback. DVD-RAM bare discs are fragile and do not guarantee data integrity. The first DVD-RAM drives had a capacity of 2.6GB (single sided) or 5.2GB (double sided). DVD-RAM Version 2 discs have double-sided 9.4GB discs. DVD-RAM drives typically read DVD-Video, DVD-ROM and CD media. The current installed base of DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players cannot read DVD-RAM media.


2. How to find out what the firmware of your burner is? and benefits of upgrading your firmware.

Before purchasing DVD Media for your burner, find out the firmware version of your burner, use the program DVD Identifier to find out the the following information: 

    What is the current firmware on your burner? Use DVD Identifier to figure this out.


    What is firmware ?firmware is the programming instructions contained on a ROM chip within the DVD recorder which tell the recorder how to respond to commands issued by software. Some firmware is flash-upgradeable, meaning that you can upgrade the firmware by running a piece of software on the computer attached to the recorder. Other firmware is coded into non-rewriteable chip, so the entire chip must be changed in order to upgrade the firmware. Many compatibility issues with different DVD Media can be solved by upgrading your firmware to the latest version.

Here is a list of sites to download the most popular firmware updates for the most popular brands:


3. Educate you on what is the "media id" for the media you have purchased

You can get the Media Code of your Blank DVD Media by using the software DVD Identifier. The advantages of finding out the Media ID is when you find a good brand and blank dvd media for your burner, you can stick with the same dvd media knowing that the Media ID is the same. As long as the Media ID is the same , there will never be any problems burning again.


4. What are the different surface types: Matte Finish, Silver Matte, Shiny Silver, Inkjet Printable, Thermal Printable, Hub Printable, and no stack ring

Matte Finish:

Dull finish on coated surface, which lacks gloss or luster. No fingerprints.

Silver Matte:

Same as Matte Finish - Dull finish on coated surface, which lacks gloss or luster. No fingerprints.

Shiny Silver:

Surface is of a reflective, lustrous white, ductile, malleable metallic element.

Inkjet Printable:

Surface is capable of being printed on using inkjet printers that have the capability to load CD/DVD's.

Thermal Printable:

Surface is capable of being printed using high end Printing Hardware where dots are selectively heated and cooled and impressed on a heat sensitive surface

Hub Printable:

That means you can print all the way to the center hub of the disc and personalize your CD/DVD in a more stylish and unique way!

No Stack Ring:

Always in conjunction with Hub Printable - No stack ring means that the center of the CD/DVD ring is not present, which means you can print all the way to the center. The stacking ring refers to the small ridge around the inner plastic center ring on the disc. Its purpose is to keep the discs slightly separated when stacked on a spindle. If you look at a standard disc, you will see the stacking ring. When a disc is to be hub printable, there is no stacking ring so that the printable surface can be applied all the way to the center hub. Also, for discs that are to be thermal printed, there is an advantage to not having a stacking ring. The stacking ring sticks up and interferes with the thermal printer head. A thermal printer cannot print any closer than 1/4" or so from the stacking ring. When there is no stacking ring there is no restriction on the thermal printing area.


5. What does the DVD Media speeds mean? 4X, 8X, Dual Layer, etc.

This is the speed in which the DVD Media can burn up to. For example 8X media, means it can burn at speeds of 1X, 2X, 4X, to 8X. Dual Layer media are media that can store up to 8.5GB of Data (called DVD9 format), doubling the size of regular DVD5 formats discs.


6. How much can I store in the media that I buy?

Table: Comparison of Storage Media


Capacity (GB)

Transfer Rate (MB/sec)

# Needed for 20 GB



1.2 (8x unit)




1.2 (8x unit)


DVD-R (4.7GB)




DVD-R (3.95 GB)




DVD-RAM (single)




DVD-RAM (double)




DLT-IV (Digital Linear Tape)




Magnetic Disk












* Courtesy of Tim Au Yeung, Manager of Digital Intiatives, Information Resources Press, University of Calgary.


7. Mainly to Find you the right Blank DVD Media for your specific burner!

Hopefully we have helped you further your journey in purchasing the right DVD Media


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