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This seemed like an easy question but for the life of me I can't find any info on this...


I have been put in charge of putting our family's home movies (8mm, 16mm, and VHS) into DVD's so that the whole family can enjoy them in the future.


I have them all on the computer, edited, and are ready to burn...but now I sit here wondering whether to use + or - disks...


The majority of the family will be watching these on stand alone DVD players (not PC) but some will watch on a PC. So I need to pick the format that will be most compatible with the stand alone players.


Any input on which one (format) and brand (I was thinking Ritek since that is what I use for my archiving and I have never had a coaster yet).


Thanks guys...and if there was a thread that went over this, post it so I can kick myself for not finding it.
 

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DVD-R byfar is most compatible with STB DVD players (old and new). DVD+R will only be compatible with newer players and a few older players. Size, quality, reliability, cost, durability, and speed wise both are equal.
 

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If your recorder can do bit-setting then the DVD+R can be flagged as a DVD-ROM so it should work on all players, including old ones.
 

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I use both because they will play on all the standalone DVD players I own, along with those of my friends & family. The only thing that might not work is the media itself, as some of them are pure crap. If you are transferring all this onto DVD, make sure you have backup copies and/or keep copies onto some other type of media (hd or whatever). I keep backups in 2 different locations at home, and also an extra copy at my office. Then again, I also keep all the original footage on miniDV tapes for peace of mind, and also for future use when a better format comes along than DVD.
 

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I use dvd+r, but use my drive to bitset the disk to dvd-rom. that way it is compatible in any player.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huey
DVD-R byfar is most compatible with STB DVD players (old and new). DVD+R will only be compatible with newer players and a few older players. Size, quality, reliability, cost, durability, and speed wise both are equal.
That's really not true. DVD-R and DVD+R have similar compatibility numbers. DVD+R media tends to be higher quality.
 

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I don't know any exact figures, but I have had MUCH more success with DVD-R and set top compatibility. Balazer could have more experience and be right, but I know what I have experienced. Between DVD players that I had and those of family and friends, my sampling is about 25-30 different STB players. I have used both formats and burned alot of DVDs.


This is just my experience. I haven't read anything that argued one way or the other for compatibility(just people on forums like this).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelZ
If your recorder can do bit-setting then the DVD+R can be flagged as a DVD-ROM so it should work on all players, including old ones.


it makes them really close. but you sometimes run into old drives that simply cannot read them period. To be overall save for video you want -R simply because it was planned for from the jump.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryokurin
it makes them really close. but you sometimes run into old drives that simply cannot read them period. To be overall save for video you want -R simply because it was planned for from the jump.
My first gen Panasonic DVD player would play zero recorded DVD's, be it + or -. The players out now, at least the vast majority, support both formats + much more, so saying that -R is needed now is a waste of breath. Either would be fine now. It all boils down to what machines these are intended for, as others with those first gen players most likely won't be able to play either format.


Standalone DVD recorders are another matter entirely, as most of them are not multi-format capable.


If one wants to truly be "safe," one should keep a copy on another format aside from DVD +/- R. I keep all my original footage on MiniDV simply because DVD +/- R is not a lossless format. Compression will take place, no matter how it's done.
 

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If you have the utility "DVD Identifier", and put a store bought movie in the pc, and check it's booktype, you'll find that it's a DVD- Rom. If your dvd player will play store bought dvds, it will play a DVD+R disc that's booktyped to DVD-Rom. I have proved that to several people.

Good luck!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by emoxley
If you have the utility "DVD Identifier", and put a store bought movie in the pc, and check it's booktype, you'll find that it's a DVD- Rom. If your dvd player will play store bought dvds, it will play a DVD+R disc that's booktyped to DVD-Rom. I have proved that to several people.

Good luck!
Except the first gen players had a hard time playing even pressed DVD's, not to mention double layer. So no, not every player out there will play -R & +R. I gave my old one to my parents, but ended up having to buy them a new one last Christmas so that they could watch all the home video they converted to DVD (tried both + & -).
 

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I thought +/- R was mostly dependent on the burner type, as the burner itself has a preference for media type. With my drive (NEC 3520A), I tend to stick with Taiyo Yuden +R rebadges and Verbatim +R on recommendation by other owners of this drive. For mission critical items, I'd research the drive and find a deal on TY media (be it +/- R), and make sure you do an error scan after each disk (or, alternatively, copy the copy afterwards and make sure you have no problems). You should be able to determine preferred media here:
http://club.cdfreaks.com/forumdisplay.php?f=61
 

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Confounding the -/+ compatibility issue is the dye type used on the blank, which I believe is the single biggest culprit in set top compatibility issues, next to burn speed and bit setting.


In my experience, there is zero difference between + and - R, *assuming the same dye is used* on both media, and not counting bit setting for +R's.


People will trash +R, when the problem was probably the brand they chose, which used a different dye than typical highly compatible -/+ R's, like current Ritek G04 or G05 media.


I don't know the dye type on Ritek G04 or G05 off the top of my head, but it is easy to recognize- it is a darker purple color.


Further confusing this issue is the fact that media brands often change their sources, which can mean dye changes/ OEM changes. This is why the free utility DVD Identifier is so important- it will tell you who manufactured the media, regardless of who's brand name is on the package.


For example, I have several hundred Ritek G04 +R's I bought on clearance at Office Max recently. Upon opening the package, I immediately knew the blanks used a different dye due to the color of the write surface. The tops had the Ritek silkscreen, but DVD Identifier reported that the media was RICHOHJPN (Ricoh Japan) OEM media.


A quick google search showed that the RICOHJPN's had a good reputation for quality. However, I have found that many set tops don't recognize these, either due to bit setting or dye reflectance properties.


SInce I have plenty of cheapie set tops that play anything, I decided to keep the RICOHJPN Ritek 4x +R's.


THe bottom line is, there are a lot of variables for -/+R media:


OEM manufacturer (check with DVD Identifier, use google). Basically ignore the silkscreen and packaging brand.


Dye type- also reported by DVD Identifier.


Burn Speed- I never burn faster than 4x, even with genuine Ritek G05 8x media. Too many set tops won't play discs burned at 8x, regardless of any other variable. Some super-anal types won't burn any higher than 1x or 2x, but I've found my "compatibility limit" to be 4x with Ritek 4x/8x media- the "compatibility-limited write speed barrier" could be higher for other burners and/or media types.


Bit setting for + R's


Authoring problems (affects -/+ R's). Use a good authoring package like TmpgDVD Author to author a DVD from raw .mpg/.avi files.


General burning problems (buffer underruns, defective media, firmware revision level in your burner drive, revision level of Nero, etc)
 

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A corollary of the OEM/branding issue is that you can snag good quality OEM media that is generic/house branded for low prices.


Earlier this year, a coworker jumped on an Office Depot deal on house branded DVD-R's. He got 100 DVD-R's for $20!


While these blanks were packaged and silk screened as "Office Depot" brand DVD-R, a quick check with DVD Identifier showed that they were actually Ritek G04's! And 20 cents a disk for Ritek G04's is the lowest prices I have ever seen through today.


Moral of the story- take a notebook with a DVD drive in the car with you when you go to a store. Buy the media and check it out in your car with DVD Identifier. If the media is from a known bad source (do your research on cdfreaks.com, cdr-info.com, google, etc), return it.
 
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