Which dvd format do i buy

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Currently there are many writeable and rewriteable formats on the market and this can be confusing to the average consumer.
These formats include  : DVD-R, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW, DVD-R /RW (mini) 8cm ,
mini DVD-R DL 8cm, DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD+RW, DVD+R /RW (mini) 8cm,
DVD-RAM (various: cartridge & non-cartridge), mini DVD-RAM 8cm.

The media you buy must suit your recorder's capabilities or it simply won't work.

Almost all of the latest internal DVD writers now support the main four of these formats DVD-R/RW, DVD+R/RW, DVD-R/+R DualLayer, and some of the latest support DVD-RAM recording also.

DVD-R and DVD-RW DVD-R and DVD-RW are both sanctioned formats of the DVD Forum, a consortium of companies involved in the development of DVD standards. Both formats generally use 4.7 GB discs. DVD-R is a write-once recordable format which allows excellent compatibility with both standalone DVD players and DVD-ROM drives. DVD-RW media uses rewriteable discs which are rated for more than 1000 rewrites in ideal situations.

The majority of standalone DVD players will play video recorded on DVD-RW discs, but the compatibility is not as high as with DVD-R. Current DVD-RW recorders also record to DVD-R. However, the reverse is not always true. Some of the older DVD-R recorders are not capable of writing to DVD-RW discs (although some may be able to read DVD-RW discs burned with other drives).

So what hardware should I buy then? This is a very difficult question. The choice largely depends on one's usage environment and preferences. DVD-RAM discs cannot be used in most standalone DVD players and DVD-ROM drives, and this has historically made this format less attractive for the average home user. However, the integrated OS-level drag-and-drop read/write data support of DVD-RAM makes it very attractive for some users, especially now that most current DVD-RAM burners also support DVD-R burning for video applications. DVD-RAM capable PC drives will also be ideal for those whom already own DVD-RAM based camcorders or standalone DVD-RAM recorders. DVD-R/DVD-RW drives currently have the highest market penetration, both with PCs and Macs. As previously mentioned, DVD-R enjoys high compatibility with standalone DVD players. In addition, the low cost of DVD-RW is attractive to many for backup purposes (with the use of third party software and/or drivers). Furthermore, most standalone DVD players will read DVD-RW as well, although the compatibility rate is significantly lower than with DVD-R. +R and +RW are beginning to gain market share, and these discs appear to have similar compatibility on standalone DVD players as compared to DVD-R are DVD-RW, respectively. Current functionality with these drives is similar to DVD-R and DVD-RW drives, both for data and for video applications.

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