Understand Different Types of DVD Discs
With a wide range of DVD standards and disc formats, one might get a bit confused unless having a basic understanding of those standards.
Although there’s a lot more of advanced details related to the DVD formats to talk about, this article means to provide some basic information about the common DVD formats.
– DVD is a general term for the family of optical disc formats. DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc and was invented back in 1995.
Although DVD is preferred to a Digital “Video” Disc (and it’s true for most cases), a DVD disc itself is an optical disc that can be used for data storage as well.
DVD-R and DVD+R
– DVD-R and DVD+R are two “recordable” versions of DVD. Although most DVD players and burners these days are compatible with both types, the two formats are quite different, and they are not directly compatible with each other.
– DVD-R and DVD+R discs come as two different types: single-sided and double-sided.
– Single-sided discs are with the capacity of about 4.7 GB (or 4.37 “computer GB”), and double-sided discs are 9.40 GB (or 8.75 computer GB), for both DVD-R and DVD+R.
– In bytes, however, the capacity of a DVD-R single-sided disc is actually 4,707,319,808 bytes, while the DVD+R is 4,700,372,992, and the data sectors are also different.
DVD-RW and DVD+RW
– DVD-RW and DVD+RW are two “rewritable” versions of DVD. Although there are more compatible players for those rewritable formats, a higher chance of incompatibility has been found for those discs than the DVD-R and DVD+R.
– Similar to DVD-R and DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW also come in two different types: single-sided and double-sided.
– The capacities of DVD-RW or DVD+RW are identical to those for DVD-R and DVD+R (Single-sided: 4.7 GB, or 4.37 computer GB. Double-sided: 9.40 GB, or 8.75 computer GB).
– DVD-RW and DVD+RW are very similar to DVD-R and DVD+RW, except that they can be “reused” by erasing the contents and burn the new data on them.
DVD-R DL and DVD+R DL
– “DL” stands for Dual Layer or Double Layer. DVD-R DL and DVD+R DL are similar to DVD-R and DVD+R, except that they have a second layer of sectors.
– DVD-R DL and DVD+R DL are sometimes referred to “DVD-R9” or “DVD+R9” because of their capacity type (DVD-9).
– DVD-RW DL and DVD+RW DL also come in two different types: single-sided and double-sided.
– The capacities of a DVD-RW DL single-sided disc is about 8.54 GB (7.95 computer GB), and double-sided disc is about 17.08 GB (15.90 computer GB), same for DVD+RW DL.
MiniDVD, MiniDVD-R, and MiniDVD+R
– The format of a MiniDVD is basically the same as a standard DVD, except that a MiniDVD is smaller (8 cm instead of 12 cm in diameter).
– Due to the fact that MiniDVD is smaller, its capacity is also smaller comparing to the 12 cm DVD discs.
– Same to the standard DVD-R/DVD+R, MiniDVD discs also come in two different types: single-sided and double-sided.
– The capacities of a MiniDVD single-sided disc is about 1.46 GB (1.36 computer GB), and double-sided disc is about 2.92 GB (2.72 computer GB).
MiniDVD-R DL, and MiniDVD+R DL
– MiniDVD Dual Layer (DL) is similar to MiniDVD, except that it has two layers of sectors..
– MiniDVD DL also comes in two different types: single-sided and double-sided.
– The capacities of a MiniDVD DL single-sided disc is about 2.66 GB (2.47 computer GB), and double-sided disc is about 5.32 GB (4.95 computer GB).
– DVD-RAM is similar to DVD-RW and DVD+RW, which means it is a rewritable version of the standard DVD.
– The capacity of a DVD-RAM is very much the same as for the standard DVD based on its diameter, number of sides and layers…
– Due to the better mechanisms of DVD-RAM, it provides a better data retention and damage protection. On the other hand, DVD-RAM is not well compatible with many standalone DVD players.
– The followings are nomenclatures for DVD sizes and their capcities:
DVD-1: 1.46 GB (1.36 computer GB)
DVD-2: 2.66 GB (2.47 computer GB)
DVD-3: 2.92 GB (2.72 computer GB)
DVD-4: 5.32 GB (4.95 computer GB)
DVD-5: 4.70 GB (4.37 computer GB)
DVD-9: 8.54 GB (7.95 computer GB)
DVD-10: 9.40 GB (8.75 computer GB)
DVD-18: 17.08 GB (15.90 computer GB)
Writable DVD Types:
|Disc Type||Recordable||Rewritable||Diameter (cm)||Capacity (GB)||Capacity (Computer GB)||Capacity Nomenclature|
|DVD-R/DVD+R DL Double-sided||Yes||No||12||17.08||15.90||DVD-18|
|DVD-RW/DVD+RW DL Double-sided||Yes||Yes||12||17.08||15.90||DVD-18|
|MiniDVD-R/MiniDVD+R DL Double-sided||Yes||No||8||5.32||4.95||DVD-4|
|MiniDVD-RW/MiniDVD+RW DL Double-sided||Yes||Yes||8||5.32||4.95||DVD-4|