Whether you want to transfer your pics to DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) or you want to backup a DVD to another DVD, I know you need some clarification about the whole process.
Their are quite a few DVD formats to choose from but which one is right for you in this rather confusing world of dvd formats? Shall I store my photo's on a DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD-R or DVD+R DL? What about just copying a DVD to DVD?
To get down to basics you will first of all need a DVD drive that will be able to write your data (music, film, pictures, etc) to a disc. Most modern computers have at least a DVD-ROM drive which stands for Read Only Memory meaning it will only read (play) your DVD but it cannot write the data to a disc.
In order to write your data to disc you will have to have a DVD writer which will write (burn) your data directly onto the disc. A laser burns your info to disc which is why the terms DVD burning or burn to disc are frequently used. Disc Formats
A normal single layered DVD disc (DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD-RW) will hold upto 4.37GB of information on a single side of a DVD. There are also Dual layer discs (DVD+R DL) which have twice the capacity of a normal DVD (8.5GB). These discs have two layers on a single side which are read by a special laser which switches it frequencies depending on which layer it is reading on the same side of a disc. Although you will need an upto date dvd-writer in order to burn dual layered discs.
We won't concern ourselves with dual layers in this article. Its enough to know they exist and we have to have a more advanced dvd-writer for that.
So the label on the box says DVD-R. What does that mean? Well, the R bit on any DVD stands for recordable which means you can write your data directly onto the disc using your basic everyday DVD writer.
DVD-R was the first format that was developed by Pioneer and is used by most computer users today. These discs will work with most DVD players on the market at the time of writing.
DVD-RW is pretty much the same as above but the 'W' bit means the disc is re-writeable. You can over-write existing data over and over again. You can usually write the disc as much as upto a 1000 times! I would suggest practise writing to DVD-RW to stop wasting DVD's and then write to a DVD-R when you want a more permanent copy.
Then we have DVD+R DVD+RW. These discs will do the same job as DVD-R and DVD-RW but tend to cost just a little more to buy. There is actually little difference between +R and -R. They are slightly more expensive but in most respects have the same longevity and reliability as DVD-R.
Need for speed
Different DVD writers have different write speeds as well. DVD+R will burn faster than there counterparts DVD-R. The old write speed was 4x but now DVD writers can burn at 16x speeds. So if your dvd writer burns at 8x just make sure you buy discs that burn at 8x or whatever speed your drive is. Easy!
Creating That First Disc
You will find information regarding your DVD writer on the box or in the instructions like:
Recording Formats DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW
Recording Speeds 8x, 4x, 2.4x,
Connections USB, Firewire
Now you know that you can burn a DVD+R at 8x speed on your burner. Thats all you need to know in order to burn that first disc. What are you waiting for? Go and impress someone with your new found burning skills!