What Disc to Use to Burn DVDs

by Nick Davis

A DVD, or Digital Versatile/Video Disc, is a type of medium used to save movies, data and presentations. DVDs are as popular as compact discs, and are easily burned on a personal computer or a specialized DVD Recorder. A recordable DVD stores up to 2 hours of video and audio information to tell the DVD player how to function, and to tell the user what "chapters" are on the DVD disc. There are several types and brands of recordable DVD discs out there. Selecting the right one for the application you are burning is the key.

DVD+R & DVD-R

The most compatible DVD discs are DVD+R and DVD-R. DVD+R and DVD-R discs will play in both home DVD players and personal computer DVD players. When burning a DVD+R disc in your DVD recorder or computer DVD burner, use 4x or 8x discs. These discs won't fail as much during the burn process.

DVD-R

If you know the recorded DVD will be played back on an older DVD player (manufactured at least 5 years ago), purchase some DVD-R discs and record using a slower burn speed. DVD-R was the first DVD recording disc that could be played on standalone DVD Players. Burn several copies of the movie or other application using different speeds and then test the DVD in the older player. When dealing with older players, it is mostly trial and error. If you find a brand of DVD discs that work better with the older player, stick to that brand or upgrade to a newer DVD player.

DVD Disc Brands

When purchasing DVD discs, only buy high-quality recordable discs manufactured from Verbatim, Sony, Mitsubishi and BASF. Stay away from inexpensive, no-name discs. Refer to your DVD burner user guide for a list of other recommended discs for your burner. DVD discs can store 4.7GB of information. This size information is usually printed on the front of the DVD disc.

DVD+RW & DVD-RW Discs

DVD+RW and DVD-RW are recordable DVD discs that can be written to, erased and rewritten to. The discs are about 80 percent compatible with most DVD Players and computer DVD drives. DVD+RW and DVD-RW are not recommended because most standalone drives can't read the format. The discs are excellent for saving data, though---personal computer files and documents.

About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.