AfterDawn: Tech news

DVD-R vs. DVD+R compatibility test

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 16 Jul 2003 14:02 User comments (30)

The CDR-Info has done a good job comparing DVD-R and DVD+R formats in terms of compatibility. The "plus" format has a technical edge on the "minus", but the minus is the original and official format for DVD recordable discs.
Not surprisingly, the "minus" wins the compatibility test with a fairly large margin. CDR-Info has used various media brands, burners and popular DVD players for the comparison, and the result is that DVD-R was playable at 96,74% of times, while DVD+R resulted a 87,32% score.

Read more at CDR-Info

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30 user comments

116.7.2003 19:08

Well I have a sony dru500ax that burns BOTH the DVD -/-rw AND the +/+rw formats so it doesn't make that much difference to me! As long as dvd-ram doesn't become the frontrunner, I am going to be OK!

216.7.2003 20:09

If you have an older Philips DVD player, +R is the only format that will play...

316.7.2003 21:01

87.32% for +R ! Thats still a high percent, yet Sony cant make a decent laser!

416.7.2003 21:34

hi yes i have both format burner dvdr106d 4x pioneer! only used -R not done any +R yet! but i think +R are more money to buy! Thx...

Nothing here to see, move along folks.

516.7.2003 22:30

dual format burners are heaven!!, +r's for me xbox and -r's for me ps2.

617.7.2003 2:13

Thankfully, the "price war" has started in the local retail business for blank discs. Mail order is always one's best bet early on in the game, but when your local outlets start becoming "reasonable" in their asking prices for off-shelf media, then we can begin our backing up in ernest. Barring any huge performance differences, for many (most?), the 'best' format is the less expensive one. Since day 1, DVD-R media won that battle over DVD+R. In my local area, there is NO 'price war' over DVD+R/RW media. They are still hideously overpriced - not worth my slightest purchasing attention. In my own case, I have never noticed the slightest difference in machine compatibility, or playback quality, or general reliability of the two formats when compared to each other. But at least locally, the price difference between the two is so ludicrous that I would have been insane to stick with DVD+R. Even mail-order is the same, don't you find? The +R/RW disc manufacturers are gouging you -- charging you approx double their value, and in some cases, WAY more than that. Unless you have some specific, technical reason for needing the +R format, why punish yourself OR encourage their manufacturers to keep the prices artificially high by continuing to buy their products? Does is really cost any *more* to manufacture a +R disc? My instincts tell me "no way". A quick look-around my local Dept. Stores and computer shops, (Nova Scotia, Canada) has led me to a startling discovery. Almost overnight, WALMART, it seems, has dropped it's -R prices from $10 each to three for $10. One computer store sells a 25-unit spindle pack for $75, while just down the street, a 50-pack is going for $120 (a $30 saving for 50 discs). Things are looking up !!! :=) (Please remember, these are canadian prices I'm talking about.) By sharp marked contrast, 'Future Shop' is still charging (about) $12 for a single +RW in a jewel case. (They're living in the dark ages). A visit to their website to check online prices, reveals the same dacronian pricing and would be equally laughable if the situation were not so pathetic. Does the +R/RW format deserve to fail? Technically, no. Under current pricing schemes, oh yes!. My often-cloudy crystal ball predicts a wholesale popularity plummet of the +R/RW formats unless the manufacturers smarten up pretty damned quickly. People owning dual-format burners is not going to help them much. (Either the +R manufacturers or the burner-owners themselves. If you own a dual-format burner, which type of discs do you purchase most often?) <<Ahh, I thought so.>> Yes, I DO believe I have 'discovered' the "best" DVD format. :=) -- Klingy --

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Jul 2003 @ 2:27

717.7.2003 10:36

In the UK, the pricing difference is disappearing finally -- in the mailorder business, obviously, but no one in the UK that I know, never buys blanks from high street stores (1x DVD-R can be as cheap as 0.50 through mail-order while in high street chains 1x DVD-R blank can cost 6 a piece, that's almost US$10). 4x DVD-R and 4x DVD+R are pretty close to each other in terms of price in some cases, but more often it is that you get medium/high quality "minus" disc for the appx. same money you pay for cheap-o "plus" disc. Not that it matters too much anymore as dual-format writers are beginning to be the norm, now when Pioneer's A06 also supports plus format. Obviously the biggest twist in the whole story is DVD-RAM -- interestingly enough, its market share in stand-alone DVD recorders is ridiculously high, in some countries almost 85%.

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

817.7.2003 12:33

Yeah, USA has extremely high amount of DVD RAM users. By the time its been decided whether DVD-R or +R will be the format of the future, a ehole new HD DVD system will out, be it Blu Ray or another. I have also been reading about a system that will allow over 1000GB of data on one disc. forget the name, but i'll look into it. Chris

917.7.2003 13:03

They took DVD brands into account with their tests. All the drives they tried could play at least one branded DVD-R and all but one drive (PIONEER DVD-500M) could play at least one branded DVD+R. There were some brands more picky than others, but the Verbatim branded DVD+R worked in the majority of the drives when written by a HP DVD-writer 300i. If anyone has an NEC-1100A, this can be flashed with HP DVD-writer 300i firmware. The only difference I could see between the NEC & HP firmware other than the identity of the drive is that HP allows you to write compatibility bits, i.e. mark a DVD+R(W) as a DVD-ROM book standard. Handy tweak for DVD+R's to improve their read performance in DVD-ROM drives. ;)

1017.7.2003 15:18

hmmm.... i still like my hp dvd200i dvd+r/+RW burner... for all of the dvd players i used, they played fine and for my xbox. but again, its a matter of preference. The best place for prices on blank dvds is my local best buy. they sell a 50 pack of dvd+r (memorex) for a mere $100 and a 25 pack for $50. I used to buy my dvds on ebay, but they always try to get you on the shipping charges. just my .02.. peace seamonkey420

1117.7.2003 16:24

Here in South Korea the cheap media for international usage may be produced, but it certainly isn't sold cheaply in the domestic market. I now pay about US$1.10 per 1x DVD-R disc. +R is virtually un-represented, probably because LG and Samsung both produce only DVD-R drives (correct me if I am wrong). A-Klingon: When I was home last year (Nova Scotia), I was shocked at the poor availablility of DVD itself (prerecorded), let alone recordable. I hope this is changing.

1218.7.2003 3:32

take a look at what drb posted... I find this price hard to believe [100 princo dvd-rw for $84, includes free shipping] Here is the link: i checked this site out it has some really good prices on both formats +r/w, -r/w. just passing on a good thing. one very happy dad ben

1318.7.2003 5:46

I buy dvd+r at SAM's club in a 30 pack of Verbatim with 4X recording speed for $46., Thats less than $1.54 per disc. Not the best price but pretty good. I have DRU-500AX and the 4X recording speed saves a lot of recording time when compared to 2.5X.

"Please Read!!! Post your questions only in This Thread or they will go unanswered:

Help with development of BD RB: Donations at:

1418.7.2003 5:46

I buy dvd+r at SAM's club in a 30 pack of Verbatim with 4X recording speed for $46., Thats less than $1.54 per disc. Not the best price but pretty good. I have DRU-500AX and the 4X recording speed saves a lot of recording time when compared to 2.5X.

"Please Read!!! Post your questions only in This Thread or they will go unanswered:

Help with development of BD RB: Donations at:

1518.7.2003 21:53

Yuriv !!!! It's terrific to learn of what the situation is like in other parts of the world. (Ain't message forums great?) !!! I find it SO strange to learn, (but of course, I believe you), that you have to pay more for a locally manufactured dvd-r in South Korea, than the same manufacturer charges for that same disc overseas! (What a crummy situation). I would have thought that, surely-to-god, the S. Korean manufacturers would give their own citizens a better deal. But I have noticed, nonetheless, that your quoted price of (about) $1.10 US <roughly $1.50 Canadian>, is still a much better deal that what we get here in Nova Scotia. Even buying a spindle-pack of 50 "no-name" generics, costs $120, which, after tax, is still about $2.76 (in canuk dollars). And that's the absolute cheapest I've found. (Come payday, I will be checking them out). And oh my god! - Commercial DVDs are practically clogging up the shelves at Walmart, Future Shop (major electronics chain), departmart stores in general, and all kinds of music shops. We're almost smothered in them! (And why not?) Hollywood is making a KILLING selling the little over-priced monsters to us. Such a 'Cash-Cow'! Lucrative. Pot of Gold. Hollywood is on an unprecedented gravy-train with these things. Nice chatting with a fellow Nova Scotian halfway across the world! :=) -- Klingy -- (Mike).

1619.7.2003 19:03

The reason why you pay more for the locally manufactured discs is that big western/Japanese companies own the companies producing the discs. Therefore, going through the chain of selling, you either end up paying for a disc that was made in your country, shipped off, brought back in to a vendor and sold. Or you pay the extra so that the bigger corporations can still guarantee making the discs there. Is a sad world. Did you know that S.Korean made cars cost more to be bought in S.korea than they do in Germany.

1720.7.2003 0:10

Yeah, come to think of it Chris, there's a lot of that stuff going around... I roll me own smokes. (puff-puff). A 200-gram tin of cigarette tobacco around these parts costs nearly a whopping $60 (canadian) because it's all about 95% tax anyway. WELL! The next province over from me (Prince Edward Island), is so close by, they even built a bridge to join our two provinces! Anyway, a tobacco company over there, used to sell us their 200-gram bags of tobacco, but because of Stooopid Local Government Laws, they are no longer allowed to. SO! Instead, they sell a lot of their tobacco to, (among others), a First Nations Indian Reserve in the American state of Massachusetts. ("So?" I can hear you wondering). Well, * I * have been purchasing these same 200-gram bags of Prince Edward Island cigarette tobacco from these fine folks in Massachusetts (mail order) for....... (guess how much?) *Twelve bucks each*. Not $60 mind you, like the local stuff, but a piddly $12, AND that includes all shipping charges! Really makes you wonder, doesn't it? The stuff is grown practically next door to us; is then shipped down to the States, and then shipped *back* to us at one-fifth the price! Awesome. :=) (Now if I could just convince the nice people over in P.E. Island to start growing those little "dvd bushes". (Ever hear of them?) Oh yes, did you know that you can 'grow' DVD's in an orchard??? Once the little sprouts spring up and the buds start to blossom, they soon develop into little 3-inch mini-cds. You have to keep watering them and pulling out the weeds, but before you know it, they've ripened into regular 5-inch, 700 MB Cds. (You will probably find a few 90 and 99 minute ones in there as well.) But the best time of all comes in the late fall, when the plants have matured into Full-Fledged 4.38 GB DVD's!!! (No sh--; would I lie to you?) I planted a few cd bushes out in the back yard last year, but late at night, the friggen neighbours would hop over the fence and rip the lil' 3" minicds off the plants before they even had a chance to mature into regular cd's fer chrissakes. And also, sometimes the local crows will peck at them, which can cause all kinds of errors and dropouts when you try to burn them later. So I know what to do next spring.... I'm going to make a straw Scarecrow that looks just like Petteri (which I think you'll agree would be enough to scare the Kabunzoes off of anyone), and dress it up in an AfterDawn T-shirt. That oughta keep the crows off! Just goes to show you...... You may have heard of "home made dvds", but I bet you ain't never heard of no home-grown dvds!!!! -- Another Public-Service Announcement brought to you by Klingy --

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 20 Jul 2003 @ 21:31

1820.7.2003 7:21

can you smoke those homegrown dvds? hehe... peace seamonkey420

1920.7.2003 8:39

seamonkey: I guess its legal only for medical purposes (and only in selected states), such as storing your medical history on DVDRs or something ;-)

Petteri Pyyny (pyyny@twitter)

2020.7.2003 15:57

seamonkey...can you smoke those homegrown dvds?... Oh sure!! They "burn" really smooth. Half the time I don't know whether to smoke 'em or use 'em to back up the latest-&-greatest Hollywood 'bang-bang' cops-and-robbers blockbuster movie extravaganza. (If you burn a really crummy movie to the disc and try to smoke it later, it always tastes like sh -- .)

2120.7.2003 16:25

Crummy Movies???? Those movies are the best lol :-) Chris

2220.7.2003 21:01

hehe.. thats what i thought.. somedays the 'schwag' will get ya through it, somedays it won't!!

2325.7.2004 10:15

Hey... anyone know if DVD movies record better on DVD+Rs or DVD-Rs? A worker at BestBuy said the DVD-Rs work better for backing up movies but I don't always trust store employees. I have an HP DVD200i dvd+r/+RW writer. I'm looking to buy a Pioneer DVRA07XLA which writes both + and - since Pioneer has a $40.00 rebate on them untill the end of August. I just wanna know what type work better so I can order some online. Thanx

2425.7.2004 10:21

The difference isn't in the media itself but in the standalone players ability to play it. Most newer players work equally well with both. I have both +R's and -R's in my collection. I've recently been using +R media because of a really good deal at and my Plextor is a little more +R oriented.

2526.7.2004 10:21

I have found the - media to be more compatible with my dvd player and normally use - media.Although i have found that certain + media is working fine with my dvd player.I always use the + re-writable media though for storing data which is far supreme to the - re-write media. John179

2628.7.2004 10:10

It's good to see that in the year-or-so since this thread started, the makers of + R/RW media have indeed smartened up. Nobody was going to continue paying the high asking-prices, unless, perhaps, they had received a +R/RW-only burner as a gift or something. (Such was the case with me). Frankly, I was glad when my +R burner finally wore out. In any event, the prices are now comparably the same for either + or - media, and anyway, most burners sold today will, finally, accept either variety. (The two formats were unnecessary - it was like "betamax vs. VHS" all over again. Dual-layer anyone?? Arf-Arf. That's another can o' worms -- of *course* they JUST HAD TO come up with both + and - for *that* format too, huh? (Myself, I'm waiting for Blu-Ray). Wonder how many versions of THAT format they are gonna come up with ???

2730.8.2004 5:29

It would be nice if someone would redo the original test this article references using bitset DVD+R. Being able to set the book type info for DVD+R to DVD-ROM has made DVD+R a lot more compatible then it was and along with the improved performance with error checking inherent in the format I no longer think that the "DVD-R is the medium of choice" argument holds any longer. I really would like to see what effect this has had but nobody seems to have done this - unless someone out there knows of an article that addresses this (I am searching but no joy yet).

2831.10.2004 0:24

what type of dvd would play in my playstation 2? Dvd-r or dvd+r?Will both either of them play?

2911.1.2005 0:14

both should play in your ps2, depending on model. I would recommend the -R since its not quite as hard on your laser. ;-)

3015.6.2007 9:47

The difference is not how hard it is on your laser; it actually depends on the Ps2 version you own. The slimlines have a tendacy to work very well with the DVD+R while the fat version like the DVD-R better because they are older. Its up to you though what you want to buy but i can tell you DVD+R have the advantage outside ps2 backups! Newer and more technologically advanced.

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