Joe_Adams

DVD RW Format Wars - Which one's winning?

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Hi

After doing lots of research on the DVD+RW and DVD-RW formats a few months ago, I decided to purchase a Sony DRU-120A DVD+RW drive. I chose DVD+RW because I would be using the drive exclusively for Data rather than Movie Making.

So far I have been delighted with the drive and have made many fast, faultless, backups onto several DVD+RW and DVD+R disks.

I am wanting to purchase Sony's latest DVD+RW drive for another PC, but I was wondering, before I invest in even more DVD+RW disks, which format is currently winning the format wars.

I must be honest, from what I have read, and my own very positive experiences storing data using the Sony drive and media, I hope its DVD+RW :)

Joe

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minus is absolutely blowing plus away in terms of market share (due in no small part to the fact that apple superdrives are minus), and there are still more minus-compatible players on the market.

the only thing plus has going for it is the fact that ms has decided to officially support it in their next os (nothing stated about minus). whether this is enough of an effect to cause people to switch to a less tested, less popular, less compatible technology remains to be seen.

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minus is absolutely blowing plus away in terms of market share (due in no small part to the fact that apple superdrives are minus), and there are still more minus-compatible players on the market.

the only thing plus has going for it is the fact that ms has decided to officially support it in their next os (nothing stated about minus).  whether this is enough of an effect to cause people to switch to a less tested, less popular, less compatible technology remains to be seen.

What honold said.

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Isn't there a Sony that does both - and + :?:

Getting one of those means whichever wins/is winning, you have it! :D

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yes, the sony dru-500a. it goes for around $330-$350 and is in very short supply.

the pioneer 105/a05 (minus, 5th version of the drive) is about $270 and is widely available.

if they were the same price, i would buy the sony, but it's not worth $50-$70 to have the 'idea' of more compatibility when my players already support minus and i'll have a new drive before i'm using windows longhorn anyway.

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Based on the people I know personally, the only buyers right now are those who do not really concern the format at the moment (they use it for data backup in their companies.). All others are still taking the wait-and-see attitude.

May be it's just me :roll: ... From what I hear from some of the 'potential' DVD-writer buyers, I think *everyone* is losing if the fight goes on and on ....

I am no fan of VHS tapes (I 'made' my own PVR ... ) but VCR still has a spot in my home all because the DVD format war is still have no end in sight .... In my own opinion, as soon as we have a common/universal DVD-rewritable format, DVD discs will be much cheaper than they are right now and it will be cheaper than VHS tapes. And that WILL be the end of VCR.

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i ended the vcr in my home a long time ago when i bought a tivo

Lucky guy ... TiVo says it has no plan to sell the machines in Canada :cry:.

Some DTH services here have bundled a TiVo-like recorder but no such thing with cable just yet .... :cry: :cry:

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i'd be willing to wager a fair sum of money that cable/satellite providers will have standard-issue pvr devices (integrated with the tuners) by the end of next year.

it'll be happening very soon. for now, canada can only enjoy its rampant satellite pirating ;)

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"and there are still more minus-compatible players on the market."

That's not true. I believe it was PC World that had an article about the compatability of the DVD-R/-RW and DVD+R/+RW that posted results of testing done by Pioneer and a third party. DVD+RW and DVD-RW had about the same compatability (around 75%) while DVD+R (around 90%) had better compatability according to both sources. Considering Pioneer only sells DVD-R/-RW drives it can't be claimed that the test were fixed to make their own products look better.

+R/+RW is the technically superior format and isn't exactly a slouch in the supported format department with backings by Sony, HP and Philips among many others.

"yes, the sony dru-500a. it goes for around $330-$350 and is in very short supply."

All the local retailers here have them, so it can't be in that short of supply. The drive also has a firmware update now that enables 4x +R writing speeds which is very nice.

"the pioneer 105/a05 (minus, 5th version of the drive) is about $270 and is widely available."

More like $300 if you plan on buying it from a company anyone has heard of. Newegg has it for $325 and they usually have very good prices.

In the long run it doesn't really matter which format you buy especially if you don't use the rewrite function. This isn't VHS vs Betamax because both formats are designed to work in all standard DVD players. So even if the drive you buy does not end up being the standard it's not like your discs are worthless coasters, they will all still work. If the drive you buy isn't the new standard you go buy the other format and move on. Even if you buy the format that wins you're still going to have a to buy a new one at some point in the future anyway so it isn't like you have any advantage over the person that picked the wrong format. How many people are still using 2x CDRW drives?

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That's not true.  I believe it was PC World that had an article about the compatability of the DVD-R/-RW and DVD+R/+RW that posted results of testing done by Pioneer and a third party.

i haven't seen that or any other article that claims + has better compatibility than - in players that are already in homes. http://www.vcdhelp.com/dvdplayers.php is a smaller sampling, but a valid, veritable metric. 811 dvd-r compatible, 417 dvd+r compatible.

All the local retailers here have them, so it can't be in that short of supply.

local retailers have them for local retailer prices, so it's reasonable that they still have them sitting on their shelves, and yes, they can be in short supply. i ordered one last week, and had to call seven vendors before finding one in stock. everybody openly stated there is a shortage on the product.

More like $300 if you plan on buying it from a company anyone has heard of.  Newegg has it for $325 and they usually have very good prices.

yeah, unrated companies like avlogic or isquared? $270 is including shipping. i've bought from both of them (many times from avlogic).

In the long run it doesn't really matter which format you buy especially if you don't use the rewrite function.

i agree

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+R/+RW is the technically superior format and isn't exactly a slouch in the supported format department with backings by Sony, HP and Philips among many others.

while it may be somewhat more advanced it's still a lot less popular and less compatible with older settops. Also, in case you did not not know the +r/w drives sold by Sony & HP are made by Ricoh.

All the local retailers here have them, so it can't be in that short of supply. The drive also has a firmware update now that enables 4x +R writing speeds which is very nice.

The drive has been in extreemely short supply since the beginning of November. The very few that do make it to the channel are sold through retail for ~$350.00. The non-inflated cost of the drive is about the same as the cost of the pioneer dvr-a05 (~$286.00)

You're also forgetting that you can easily buy high quality generic DVD-R 1x media for as low as $.65-.69ea, 2x DVD-R media for as low as $.85-.89ea and 4x DVD-R media for ~ $1.80 while corresponding DVD+R media will cost you 2-3x as much.

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So even if the drive you buy does not end up being the standard it's not like your discs are worthless coasters
True. Furthermore, playback compatibility will probably not be an issue with future DVD players.

However, addressing some of your other points:

If the drive you buy isn't the new standard you go buy the other format and move on.
But that's one of the contentions; not everyone wants to shell out repeatedly for the same essential functionality. Not everyone views computer components in a disposable razor context. I suspect that if this wasn't the case then a lot more people would have jumped on board, especially considering the significant drop in drive prices. However, the average Joe is still maintaining a wait and see position. This is particularly unfortunate considering the large effect that this consumer segment's participation has on market mechanics (namely: even lower prices derived from economies of scale production in face of increased product demand; and flushing out the format winners and losers).
Even if you buy the format that wins you're still going to have a to buy a new one at some point in the future anyway
Once again, not everyone is going to want to do this. Early adopters will; likely only because their inital drive will get smoked by faster future models. But the average joe will not because it won't meet their utility threshold. Upgrades, for this second group, will more likely only come when Blu-Ray drives or the next future technologies come along and are firmly established.
How many people are still using 2x CDRW drives?
Probably not many, but that neglects the question of how many people actually bought the costly 2x drives? Once again, early adopters/enthusiasts yes, average Joe not likely. Lets put the question into a more appropriate context: how many people are still using 8x or 12x drives? I would suspect there are quite a few.
Even if you buy the format that wins....it isn't like you have any advantage over the person that picked the wrong format.
Disagree. This is only true if you can readily find the media format that your drive works with and burn new dics. However, if this is not the case, and the media format supply dries up (likely), you're left with nothing but a specialized drive that specializes in absolutely nothing useful....might as well throw that bic razor away, or just use it to play all those wonderfully obsolete format discs you have.
for now, canada can only enjoy its rampant satellite pirating

Like, take off eh! We're, like, not all priates, eh. :wink:

Cheers, CK

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DVD- media is much cheaper than DVD+ media. Of course there are some DVD players that will only play DVD+ discs and not DVD- (and vice versa). A multi format burner such as the 500A means you are safe no matter what. The newest firmware (1.0f) enables me to burn at 2x DVD-R on $0.69 cent 1x rated discs from Hypermicro.

BTW there is currently a $50 dollar mail in rebate for the 500A when bought from certain retailers.

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"+R/+RW is the technically superior format and isn't exactly a slouch in the supported format department with backings by Sony, HP and Philips among many others."

Sigh. I'm not sure you understand the situation with DVDs. And when you

toss around names like that, as if the tail wagged the dog, your circular

argument fails. Let me see if I can straighten this out for a second.

Long, long ago, in a land, far, far away,

there were FORMAT WARS.

And this ain't a play thing, this is the very soul of modern society.

Modern media includes all mega corporations and multinational

businesses engaged in trillions of dollars in product. The stakes

could not be higher for the entire world.

This war was not started recently. It's been going on for decades.

VHS/Betamax. CD Standards. DVD standards. It's all about the

patents and the royalties. Because without those, these companies

wouldn't make very much money back on their investment into

developing these media.

First off, props to Sony for doing so much over the years. But

in the DVD arena, I am not for Sony and the +R/+RW.

The whole story is a bit longish, but interesting, and you should read

it for yourself in DVD Demystified, by Jim Taylor, author of

the DVD FAQ.

First A Little Video History

Videotape recording for the home started in 1965 when Phillips and

Sony introduced a B&W reel to reel system for about three grand.

The alliance between those companies persists to this day and is

central to the DVD wars.

Sony came out with a video cassette tape system in 1972 and

released Betmax in 1975. In 1976, JVC released the VHS format,

which was lower quality but won out because it was the chosen

format for pr0n. It was also 1/3 the price for a VHS tape deck.

Phillips and Pioneer released videodiscs in 1978. Those were the

big record sized discs. Now everybody tried to get into this

arena but we don't hear much about their failed attempts. MCA

came out with DiscoVision in 1979, and in 1981 RCA came out

with SelectaVision, which failed for technical reasons. JVC and

Matsushita (Panasonic) came out with VHD shortly after, and

it was not a big hit, being sold in Japan and in England. JVC

introduced S-VHS in 1987.

Onto CD History

Sony and Phillips released CD-DA in 1982, which is an audio cd.

The technical specifications book had red covers, so this was

called the Red Book standard.

In 1985 we saw the CD-ROM format appear, and it was a kick

to get ahold of one of HPs early recorders and try to make it

run on Windows 3.11. Later some crazy standards like CD+G

and CD-Video and CD-i were released, but we can forget about

those.

Because CD-ROMs were designed by different manufactureres,

who had their hands in Operating Systems at this time, like M$,

there were several filesystem formats. In 1986, industry reps

gathered at the High Sierra Hotel and Casino near Lake Tahoe,

and delveloped the High Sierra Format. Because it had to support

MS-DOS, it was restricted to 8.3 and didn't work well for Apples

and Unix boxes. This is called ISO 9660. To it, people have

added extensions to make it work with longer filenames.

Unix created RockRidge extensions.

Microsoft created Joliet extensions.

In 1989 there was the Yellow Book standard, CD-ROM XA,

which mixes sector types and can interleave data and audio.

In 1990 there was the Orange Book standard for Magneto

Optical ( MO ) drives.

Orange book Part II is CD-R.

In 1991 is was Sony with the Mini-Disc.

Kodak and Phillips developed the Photo CD in 1992.

Orange book Part III is CD-RW, came in 1997.

Now for DVDs

In 1993, there were sputtering attempts at high quality video by

a few small players. Sony and Philips chimed in and said they

were working on something. Toshiba said it was too.

Hollywood got together and demanded a standard. Columbia (Sony), Disney,

MCA/Universal (Matsushita/Panasonic), Paramount, Viacom and

Warner Brothers were all calling for things liks 135 minutes of space

and other standards.

You see, standards are good.

Well, when there's all those big players, that means splitting

the pie many many ways, not just between Sony and Philips.

So they tried to make their own DVD format.

In late 1994, Sony and Philips came out with their own 3.7 GB

Multimedia CD, MMCD, single sided disc.

A month later, all the other big companies listed above came

out with their own standard, the Super Disc, SD, a double sided

5GB per side disc. Seven super big companies and the SD format.

So Philips and Sony gathered over 10 companies to their

side. But computer companies balked and said, HEY, get

your act together. Apple, Compaq, HP, IBM, and M$ now

now demanded a standard that said these DVD drives

must be able to read CDs and CDRs and CDRWs.

"Sony refused to budge and a month later said there would

be 'no adjustment in it DVD standards' Norio Ohga said,

'. . . a split on the standard is unavoidable because we are

in a world of democracy.' He rejeced the possiblilty of a

third standard and defended his decision ont he grounds of

'liberalism and democracy.'" p.49.

IBM told Sony they were going to side with the SD camp

and Sony caved, and over the next three years all these

groups hammered out the standards and evolved the

main committee into the DVD Consortium: Philips, Sony,

the SD camp (listed above), and Time Warner.

4000 patents.

Matsushita: 25% of the patents

Pioneer: 20 % of the patents

Sony: 20%

Philips, Hitatchi, Toshiba: 10%

Thomson: 5%

Mitsubishi, Time Warner, JVC: negligible

Well at this point, we begin the whole DVD-RAM and

DVD-R and DiVx stories, and guess what, I'm tired.

So you'll have to buy the book. But the bottom

line is that DVD-R and DVD-RW are the approved

official standards from the DVD-Forum, as is DVD-RAM.

DVD+R and DVD+RW are renegade formats being

run out by Sony and Philips and HP so that they

can hold all the royalties between three companies.

Their egregious format was considered and holds

no advantage, so it was not chosen by the Forum.

Go with the standard DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM.

okey naw,

matthew

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What does all of that have to do with anything?

"DVD+R and DVD+RW are renegade formats being

run out by Sony and Philips and HP so that they

can hold all the royalties between three companies."

So what? That doesn't negate the fact that it is a better format than -R/-RW, just like BetaMax was vastly superior to VHS. There was a reason that basically all the broadcasting industry was still using BetaMax years after the consumer market dumped it. Renegade formats and royalty motivations be damned it was the technically superior format.

"Their egregious format was considered and holds

no advantage, so it was not chosen by the Forum."

You gave 0 evidence to lend credence to this statement. Some of the advantages of + vs -:

-Built-in defect management

-Background formatting

-Lossless linking / replace sectors

-Addressing during recording

-Mt. Rainier support

-DVD+VR support (allows you to change part of a video w/out rewriting the whole disc)

-supports both CAV and CLV writing

There are a number of advantages for + vs - in the video recorder field as well which I won't cover here.

Despite your jaded viewpoint of the companies involved, +R/+RW is the technically superior format because it was designed to be. -R was announced first and gave the +R camp time to fix what was wrong with -R.

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Will you only buy things that are approved and promoted by DVD Forum and nothing else in the next 50 years? :D

Ritek 4.0x DVD-R media: $1.8 - $2.x

Ritek 2.4x DVD+R media: $1.6 - $1.8

Ritek 2.0x DVD-R media: $0.8x

Princo 1.0x DVD-R media: $0.6

Ritek 2.4x DVD+RW media: $2.x

? 2.0x DVD-RW media: have you ever seen?

Princo 1.0x DVD-RW media: $0.9 - $1.x

Pioneer 4.0x DVD-R media: $4.x - $8

Verbatim 2.4x DVD+R media: $2.x - $3.x

Verbatim 2.0x DVD-R media: $3.x (I haven't seen them at $2.x)

Pioneer 2.0x DVD-R media: $3.x - $4.x

You can safely say that there are cheap DVD-R media that are generally of the lowest quality. But are Taiyo Yuden 2.0x DVD-R media really a lot more than 20% cheaper than 2.4x DVD+R media? How can you fairly compare the prices for different speeds, different formats, and different manufacturers?

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See here for more information

4x DVD+R drives are generally cheaper than 4x DVD-R drives. I don't see how 4x Taiyo Yuden DVD+R media are going to be significantly more expensive than 4x Taiyo Yuden DVD-R media. As I have said many times before in many forums, there have been more large-scale media manufacturers in Taiwan that produce DVD-R media: Ritek, CMC Magnetics, Prodisc, Princo, etc. BeAll (former Samsung media branch) in South Korea also began DVD-R media production in 2001 and there was no DVD+R then. BeAll began DVD+R media production a few months ago. Unlike the situation with DVD-R media, one Taiwan manufacturer Ritek produce nearly 80% of DVD+R media wordwide. That is why you cannot see $1.0 Princo 2.4x DVD+R media. (If you think there's no difference between Taiyo Yuden and Princo, use whatever yourself but I'll always recommend TY if there is no great price difference.)

So what is the point in saying DVD-R media are cheaper than DVD+R media? Or, can any of you buy 1,000 Pioneer 4x DVD-R media for 500 USD?

LG Electronics, the largest CD-R writer drive manufacturer in the world, is also going to produce DVD writers that can write to Plus format media. Until now, LG has produced DVD writers that can only write to DVD-RAM, DVD-R, and DVD-RW.

The bottomline is:

If you want faster recording speeds and more flexibility, buy drives that can write to DVD+R and DVD+RW like Sony DRU-500A and NEC ND-1100A and they can also write to older technology media like DVD-RW and CD-RW. There are also 4x DVD+R/2.4x DVD+RW drives that are known to write to DVD-R/-RW available for around 200 USD in Japan.

If you want the cheapest drive and cheapest media but do not care about such issues and are willing to browse web forum boards and find out what media are $0.1 cheaper and can be written at 2.0x speed with firmware 1.x update, choose Pioneer DVR-A03/103/A04/104 or their OEM drives and Princo 1.0x DVD-R and 1.0x DVD-RW media.

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What does all of that have to do with anything?

"DVD+R and DVD+RW are renegade formats being 

run out by Sony and Philips and HP so that they 

can hold all the royalties between three companies."

So what?  That doesn't negate the fact that it is a better format than -R/-RW, just like BetaMax was vastly superior to VHS.  There was a reason that basically all the broadcasting industry was still using BetaMax years after the consumer market dumped it.  Renegade formats and royalty motivations be damned it was the technically superior format.

"Their egregious format was considered and holds 

no advantage, so it was not chosen by the Forum."

You gave 0 evidence to lend credence to this statement.  Some of the advantages of + vs -:

-Built-in defect management

-Background formatting

-Lossless linking / replace sectors

-Addressing during recording

-Mt. Rainier support

-DVD+VR support (allows you to change part of a video w/out rewriting the whole disc)

-supports both CAV and CLV writing

There are a number of advantages for + vs - in the video recorder field as well which I won't cover here.

Despite your jaded viewpoint of the companies involved, +R/+RW is the technically superior format because it was designed to be.  -R was announced first and gave the +R camp time to fix what was wrong with -R.

It has everything to do with the subject. DVD+ is not in any way superior. It has the exact same capacity, and less compbatability. Don't believe a single study mentioned earlier. DVD-R has been around for years, DVD+R barely a year. Of course DVD-R, which is the standard, is more compatible.

It is very unlikely DVD+ will become the standard. Like VHS, DVD- is more widely available, more compatible, and cheaper. And, does not have the high royalties DVD+ has. Unlike VHS, DVD+ offers nothing over DVD-, they are equal in all regards save compatibility, where DVD- excels, and price, where dvd- saves. Also, seems everyone is forgetting what sony and phillips actually touted as the advantage over dvd-, it wasn't that dvd+r is more compatible with dvd players than DVD-R, which it is not(DVD-R is) it was DVD+R/W they claimed as more compatible than DVD-R/W. So far, there is no support for this. Not that it really matter, most people use DVD-R for movies.

Everybody I know that has a DVD burner, has the - veriety, purchased primarily for movies. with one exception, and that is near the most pc illiterate person one could ever meet.

Lets not forget to mention that one cannot buy a sony PC with a DVD+ drive in it, they only offer dvd- drives. Last time I checked anyway.

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"It has the exact same capacity, and less compbatability. Don't believe a single study mentioned earlier."

I'll believe the 2 studies in PCWorld before I believe the none that you referenced to back up your claims.

"It is very unlikely DVD+ will become the standard."

In essence it already has with announced native Mt. Rainier support in the next Windows release, something DVD-R won't have.

"DVD+ offers nothing over DVD-,"

Your reading skills need some work, I listed some above.

"Lets not forget to mention that one cannot buy a sony PC with a DVD+ drive in it, they only offer dvd- drives. Last time I checked anyway."

Sony had DVD-R drives in their systems for DVD+ was released. Ever since then, they have been sitting on the fence though they still don't sell any DVD-R drives except the combo drive they have, nor did they sell the media until recently which is rather peculiar. It should also be noted, that the biggest names in CDRW drives that produce DVD writeables are making DVD+ drives exclusively (HP, Sony, and TDK).

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it'll be happening very soon.  for now, canada can only enjoy its rampant satellite pirating ;)
Not like they have much of a choice. DirecTV, at least, is very adamant about not servicing Canada, perhaps for legal reasons. It is also very difficult to activate an account even with false credentials and an American billing address, because many features (and the use of >1 reciever) require a phone line, which will be flagged if calling from a Canadian number.

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The three largest and most influential PC and electronics companies in Europe: Siemens, Philips, and Thomson. They support DVD+RW and not DVD-RW/-RAM.

The two most important PC hardware companies in the US and the whole world: HP (including Compaq) and Dell.

The largest and most important software company is of course Microsoft and Microsoft is the strongest supporter of Mt. Rainier and DVD+RW.

And Ricoh, Yamaha, Mitsumi, Sony, LiteOn, LG, Ritek, Taiyo Yuden, Mitsubishi (Verbatim), Hitachi (Maxell), NEC, and hundreds of others.

1. DVD+RW is not revolutionary compared to DVD-RW. It is a standard to be better than DVD-RW but the base technologies are about the same. Technologically, DVD+RW is ahead of DVD-RW.

2. The more recent reviews and consumer reports favor DVD+RW more and more because DVD+R drives and media have existed on the market for only 3/4 year. There are simply more DVD-R users than DVD+R users in VCDHelp and that is why there are more DVD-Video players that are reported to be compatible with DVD-R media.

3. Sony has always been into both DVD-R/-RW and DVD+R/+RW. It doesn't matter whether Sony is pro-Plus or pro-Dash but it does matter that Sony does support DVD+RW. When does a large company support an additional standard when it has already products based on similar one?

It must be clear to everyone who has read all the above posts that there's no chance DVD+RW will just go away but why are some people still saying DVD+RW is not a standard and only ignorant PC users invest in it?

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