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purchasing a dvd burner

Discussion in 'Multimedia' started by mama-mac, Aug 13, 2005.

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  1. mama-mac

    mama-mac Thread Starter

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    I'm looking at buying a dvd burner and have been trying to do a little research about them. I'm confused over the differences, specifically +-R, +R, -R, etc. I actually want a Rewrite burner.

    If the disk drive says +-R does that mean you can use both +R and -R dvds? What exactly does that mean? My hubby is a photography and the CD's are too small to store his pics - would a dual layer be better?

    Also, I've noticed ads for and HP lightscribe which burns a label on the opposite side. Does this actually work? Is it worth the extra $$?

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Moby

    Moby

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    There are a number of different format DVD's as manufacturers couldn't agree on a standardised version (as per vhs/betamax in the video world). DVD+R, DVD-R and the re-writable versions of these (DVDRW+/-) are the names given to them. Then you have 'dual layer' DVD's - DVD films you buy are nearly always in this format where the capacity of a disc is close to being doubled. The blank versions of these discs could be of use to you with their extra capacity (4.3GB on a DVD+or- single layer disc as opposed to about 8.5GB on a dual layer disc)
    Luckily you don't need to worry about this as most DVD burners can burn to all these formats, you would definately want to choose one that can anyway.
    Away from the computer you may need to think about your DVD player if you wanted to play any DVD's on that, and whether it supports a single format or both - but again, having a burner that can burn to both formats sorts this - just give the DVD player the DVD format it supports.
    A DVD burner and re-writable burner are one and the same thing.
    Lightscribe would be a personal choice - it certainly gives a professional finish printed directly to the disc as opposed to on a label which is then stuck to the disc.
    My personal experience was that I thought nice labels would be good and set out to create these with a labelling kit (no lightscribe then). After a while though, I personally thought it was a waste of time - I'd spend more time creating and printing the label than making the disc. My understanding is that lightscribing a disc doesn't happen in seconds 10-20 minutes is my recollection of reading about it.
    So a trusty CD pen does for me.
    If Lightscribe is not needed then the NEC or LG drives are excellent internal drives, burning to all the formats you need and excellent value.
     
  3. mama-mac

    mama-mac Thread Starter

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    So if I purchased a DVDRW+/-, does it matter what type of dvd's to buy? I noticed in the flyers that the spindle labels said dvd-r and dvd+r. Are there a separate disk for the dual layer fto get 8.5G ?

    I was thinking of the lightscribe as a nice idea for my hubby to make dvd's for his photography clients, as opposed to using the pen. But don't know how well the technology works (bugs??, wrecking dvd's?) and if anyone has good experience with it.
     
  4. stantley

    stantley

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    I was thinking of getting a Lightscribe burner, until I compared the prices of CD-R's. Lightscribe CD-R $1.25 , regular CD-R - I've gotten them for 10 cents.

    I'm sure it's about the same for DVD media. Dual-layer media is also very expensive.

    So before you buy I would consider the price of the media, especially if you do a lot of burning.
     
  5. Moby

    Moby

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    The only time really you need to worry about what discs to buy (if ever) is when the disc is going to be played away from a computer - DVD players and such. But even then more and more now support both formats. I would think that the majority do. It's just a question to remember if a disc doesn't play in someones DVD player.
    For discs that will be entirely used on computers, then it doesn't matter as too few drives to worry about support only one format.
    Here's a site with more info on it. It really is becoming less and less of an issue to worry about.
    http://www.videohelp.com/dvd

    There is another factor in buying discs though. Your DVD burner will be rated at a speed - 8x, 16x etc. Discs are also speed rated in the same way. You can only burn to a disc at the discs rated speed or lower. So for instance, you don't have to buy 16x discs for a 16x burner, it can write to all lower rated discs at the rated speed (2x, 4x, 8x etc etc) You cannot burn at 16x speed say, to an 8x rated disc.
     
  6. emoxley

    emoxley

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    If your husband is gonna be burning discs for clients, who will be trying to use them on all kinds of players, I'd make sure you get a burner that supports "Booktyping" or "Bitsetting". This is taking a +R disc and burning it as a DVD-Rom. It makes it more compatable with dvd players. If you put a store bought movie in the computer, and have the utility "DVD Identifier" installed, it shows the movie is a DVD-Rom. That's why the movies play in all the players.

    LiteOn and Sony are a couple of brands that support Booktyping. There are others too, but I'm not sure which ones. I think this would be a very important feature for your husband to consider.
    Good luck with whatever you decide................ :)
     
  7. mama-mac

    mama-mac Thread Starter

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    I would think you can still use regular dvd's in a lightscribe burner, so hubby would only use them when really needed - ie for clients. As for the dual layer, would it be cheaper to use 2 or 3 regular dvd's or 1 dual layer? Something to consider as my hubby takes a LOT of pictures ;) - and burning them on regular cd's, he has to split up all his files. (he could compress them I think, but that's a little beyond him :eek: )
     
  8. stantley

    stantley

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    You can get roughly twice as much data on a dual layer (actual 4.7 GB to 8.5 GB), so if you can find a dual layer DVD that is cheaper than 2 regular DVDs, go with that.

    To get a more accurate comparison you've have to figure out the price per GB.
     
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