Originally Posted by ed1
CityBear, I'm not sure you are accurate in your discussion of DVD-R and DVD+R in the last paragraph of your last post.
I understand from posts here and from initially reviewing some of the pages wajo refers to that DVD-R is the older format, DVD+R is the newer format, and DVD+R may be better for long-term archiving in that the disks themselves may hold up better over time.
ed1, the -R vs +R media debate is not as relevant today as it was several years ago. So the opinions you are speaking of, while accurate in one sense, don't really mean anything in day-to-day use with current hardware. The supposed "advantages" of +R (newer format, minor editing features, superior engineering) are more theoretical than real. Here's the actual story: the first generation of consumer DVD recorders in 2003 were very very expensive. A small but significant part of this expense was the paying of royalties to patent holders of DVD-R to sell hardware using DVD-R format. This didn't sit well with some of the large electronics OEMs that specialize in subcontracting more-or-less the same recorder for multiple well-known brand names. At the time, they badly wanted to sell a budget DVD recorder for the mass market but found the DVD-R license royalty to be an impediment. To get around this, they created the new sub-format +R for themselves, which saved them the expense of paying -R royalties.
There were other reasons: early DVD recorders did not have hard drives, and DVD-R has no ability to edit recordings. By developing the +R format after -R had launched, the +R backers could see this flaw and designed +R to allow editing (albeit limited editing: you can "hide" parts of the recording you want to delete, but they remain on the disc using up space). By its very nature, +R was a threat to the -R standard and the -R backers did not like this. So for the first few years of DVD recorders, machines were divided between compatibility with +R only or -R only. When this proved to be a terrible idea that stalled sales for everyone, the two camps made peace, and by 2005 just about all hardware worked with both +R and -R (with some exceptions like Panasonic, which never really was happy with +R and still isn't). A few years later, prices of HDD equipped recorders dropped to the level of previous DVD-only recorders, and the minimal editing advantage of +R over -R was rendered moot (the HDD in recorders like the Magnavox is WAY easier and more flexible for editing, you don't burn the disc until everything is laid out exactly how you want it).
Basically, when you get down to the nitty gritty, +R was a scam hardware mfrs cooked up to get around paying license fees to make DVD-R recorders. In the lab +R does give the appearance of being "technically superior" but in the real world thats a crock and there's no reason to use it unless you have an old recorder that needs it, or you have a DVD-only recorder and need whatever tiny amount of editing +R offers. If you have a PC or a DVD/HDD recorder, -R remains the the standard and most gear works slightly better with it. As all blank media has become cheapened over the years to meet lower price points, the balance has shifted slightly in favor of -R (because it sells in higher volume). Current +R media is showing the results of cost-cutting worse than -R at the moment. The Magnavox itself is a product of one of the original +R backers, so you would think it would work better with +R, but it doesn't: fewer owners report failures with -R.
All the above relates to write-once permanent versions of the formats, -R and +R, what most people use for their personal long-term video archives. The situation reverses with the eraseable reusable "convenience" versions of these formats: DVD+RW is generally much preferable to DVD-RW unless you have a very old player that can't read +RW. Because it is rewritable, +RW can fully exploit the editing advantages that are hemmed in by the write-once +R format. If you own a DVD recorder without HDD, using DVD+RW will approximate the features of an HDD much better than DVD-RW. But here again, there are exceptions: Panasonics are still really unhappy when you load them with +RW. And if you own a DVD recorder with HDD, you don't need RW at all unless you make a habit of ripping your TV recordings to you PC and want to recycle the same "transfer" disc over and over.
My present DVD player is older than the DVD+R format and will not play it. If I get rid of my present player, which I am considering, it would be partly to gain the ability to play DVD+R.
Sorry, I was a bit confused by this in your previous posts. It seemed as if you were saying your old DVD player had worn out in some weird way that left it able to play only +R discs and not -R anymore. Now that you've clarified that its simply old, and doesn't play +R but does play -R, your answer is much simpler: just forget about +R. You don't need to use it at all. The Magnavox is perfectly happy to burn -R discs that will be compatible with your older player. Again, despite all the "white papers" and "lab tests" extolling +R there is no real-world consumer advantage whatever in terms of burn quality or archival quality over -R (there's no price advantage, either: they cost the same). You can use -R with no fear you're "missing out" on some supposed +R technical superiority. The only reason you might ever need + instead of - would be for discs you reuse to rip files to a PC, or lend to people who will return them to you to record something else for them. When you need a reusable disc, +RW is usually better than -RW. Otherwise, -R all the way.
Originally Posted by dare2be
My anecdotal evidence says that in my exclusive use of Verbatim AZO 8x +R media, I can't remember the last time I had any issues.
This brings out another hotly debated topic: 8x media vs 16x. If at all possible, 8x is preferable and dare2be is correct that no reports have been posted from anyone having difficulty with 8x +R in the Magnavox. Unfortunately, not everyone has the patience to deal with the online ordering required to buy 8x media. Those who much prefer buying blank discs in retail stores will only find 16x media available to them. Most 16x media is not designed for recorders: it works, but you can experience occasional (or frequent) problems. The best 16x media for recorder use is Verbatim AZO: of these, the current 16x +R AZO has been more inconsistent than the 16x -R AZO when used in Magnavox recorders. If using 16x media, stick to -R. If using 8x, +R or -R should be equally good.