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Imagine the flexibility of backing up all your data (pictures, your favorite videos .... etc) with 4.7GB of storage per disk and if it is available for less than a $... why not the initial setup cost ?


I purchased a HP 200i DVD Writer in mid 2002 for backing up MiniDV tapes so I could re-use the tapes and also make my own movies. Just today I tried to burn the first DVD and ran into problems due to some obvious reasons. The HP 200i supports only DVD+R (ignore RW formats for now because of cost) whereas the disks that I purchased from Livewarehouse are DVD-R for General. I did not realize earlier that the DVD+R was different from DVD-R. Coming to cost, I got a 50 pack DVD-R for general for just $50 (that is a $ per disk). The best price I could find for DVD+R was about $2/disk. Are there better deals for DVD+R media ? The next thing is the software solutions. HP 200i comes with a nice MyDVD 3.0 software. The interfaces look good but I do not know how well it performs. Is this the best software for making DVD movies (that comes free with the burner) ? Do we know yet whether DVD+R or DVD-R will survive or which is better and why ? I can sell the 200i for $250, but would it be worth upgrading to a drive that supports DVD-R with a good software ? If so what brands and how much are they ? How about speed ? Please post your comments.

Thanks,

-Jai
 

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I am fairly new to this too, so bear with me. You could look at the Sony DRU-500A, which does both the + and - formats. For me, I went with a Pioneer A05 (aka Cendyne DVR-105). It does only the - format, but this model can burn at 4X (as can the Sony above).

The -R media is still much cheaper, some say +R will continue to fall. But when you start getting into the 4X world, there goes most of the cost benefits (I have seen 4X -R media for about $2, most of it is from $3 to $8 currently). If high speed is not a problem (can you wait for an hour for each burn?), budget 1x -R media is as low as $0.65.

I get a little confused about the benefits of +R, but I know there are some, mostly to do with +RW (drag and drop file copying, and some things to do with DVD-Video). But on the other hand, the HS -R format manages to incorporate some of these advantages, but not all. I ended up getting the Pioneer A05 for about $100 less than the Sony, so that's what decided it for me.

There seem to be some firmware and media compatibility issues already with the Pioneer, it's firmware only recognizes "expensive" media currently, and defaults to 1X on a lot of the cheap unbranded medis, but after a lot of pressure, it appears Pioneer will issue a firmware update (just as Sony had to recently).

I have been tempted to just go get a Sony, and keep whichever seems to work better for me, but for now I'm going to give Pioneer a shot for a few more months. I only need to "back up" my DVD's, and archive my massive ape/mp3/mpc/mp+/ogg/ etc. music collection. I am running out of space on my 2x80G and 1x120G drives!! So DVD-R can certainly do this for me. Get a few + or - RW's, to practice with first.

There are some other forums that are specifically dedicated to these things, not to namedrop, but you might look around at vcdhelp, doom9, cdrinfo, etc. They all have dedicated DVD writer forums.


FYI, there is tons of Pioneer A05/105's, and sony's, and media on ebay right now, to compare prices.


good luck
 

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Also, AVS Forum has its very own DVD Hardware section. They can answer your questions about DVD burners and/or DVD recorders.
 
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