DVD recordable

Embedded Data: A DVD-R disc (also applies to DVD+R) which is only partially written to. Data is burned onto the disc with a writing laser.

There are a number of significant technical differences between the "dash" and the "plus" format, although most users would not notice the difference. One example is that the DVD+R style address in pregroove (ADIP) system of tracking and speed control is less susceptible to interference and error, which makes the ADIP system more accurate at higher speeds than the land pre pit (LPP) system used by DVD-R. In addition, DVD+R(W) has a more robust error-management system than DVD-R(W), allowing for more accurate burning to media, independent of the quality of the media. The practical upshot is that a DVD+R writer is able to locate data on the disc to byte accuracy whereas DVD-R is incapable of such precision.

As RAM stands for Random Access Memory, it works more or less like a hard-drive and was designed for corporate back-up use. Developed in 1996, DVD-RAM is a rewritable optical disc originally encased in a cartridge. Currently available in standard 4.7 GB (and sometimes in other sizes), it is useful in applications that require quick revisions and rewriting. It can only be read in drives that are DVD-RAM compatible, which all multi-format drives are. DVD Forum backs this format. It uses physical dedicated sector markers (visible as rectangles on the read side of the disc) instead of the pre-pits or wobbles used in other types of recordable and rewritable media.

The following table describes the maximal speed of DVD-R and the relative typical write time for a full disc according to the reviews from cdrinfo.com and cdfreaks.com. Many reviews of multiple brand names on varying conditions of hardware and DVD give much lower and wider measurements than the optimal numbers below.

DVD-R discs are composed of two 0.6 mm acrylic discs, bonded with an adhesive to each other. One contains the laser guiding groove and is coated with the recording dye and a silver alloy or gold reflector. The other one (for single-sided discs) is an ungrooved 'dummy' disc to assure mechanical stability of the sandwich structure, and compatibility with the compact disc standard geometry which requires a total disc thickness of about 1.2 mm. The sandwich structure also helps protect the layer containing data from scratches with a thick "dummy" disc, a problem with CDs, which lack that structure. Double-sided discs have two grooved, recordable disc sides, and require the user to flip the disc to access the other side. Compared to a CD's 1.2 mm thickness, a DVD's laser beam only has to penetrate 0.6 mm of plastic in order to reach the dye recording layer, which allows the lens to focus the beam to a smaller spot size to write smaller pits.

In a DVD-R, the addressing (the determination of location of the laser beam on the disc) is done with additional pits and lands (called land pre-pits) in the areas between the grooves. The groove on a DVD-R disc has a constant wobble frequency of 140.6 kHz used for motor control, etc.