Beginner’s Guide to Buying DVD Media

In this section our focus is to teach you the following: The Difference Between DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM and Other Formats The Firmware of Your Burner and Benefits of Upgrading Your Firmware The “MEDIA ID” for the Blank Media You Have Purchased The Different Surface Types: What Do DVD Media Speeds (i.e. 4X, 8X, Dual Layer, etc.) Mean? How Much Can Be Stored in the Media That You Buy?   1. Difference Between DVD-R,DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM and Other Formats What format does your burner require? DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, or DVD-RAM? DVD-R Media: A write-once, recordable format. DVD-R drives can write DVD-R discs, which can be written to only once, as opposed to a DVD-RW drive, which can write and rewrite to RW media multiple times. The Authoring Use Drive (635nm Laser) was introduced in 1998 by Pioneer, and the General Use Format (650nm Laser) was authorized in 2000. DVD-R offers a write-once, read-many storage format akin to CD-R and is used to master DVD-Video and DVD-ROM discs. DVD-RW Media: DVD ReWritable. A rewritable DVD format that is similar to DVD+RW, but its capability to work as a random access device is not as good as that of the +RW. DVD-RW has a read-write capacity of 4.7 GB. DVD+R Media: Short for DVD+Recordable, a recordable DVD format similar to a CD-R. A DVD+R can only record data once and then the data becomes permanent on the disc. The disc can not be recorded onto a second time. DVD+R and DVD+RW formats are supported by Philips, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Ricoh, Yamaha and others. DVD+RW Media: The DVD Plus RW Alliance is a group of companies that includes Philips and Sony. They propose standards for recordable and rewritable DVDs. DVD+R Dual Layer / Double Layer Media: Double Layer DVD+R media has an amazing 8.5GB of storage capacity. This incredible capacity is enough for up to 4 hours of DVD quality video, 16 hours of VHS quality video or over 120 hours of MP3 audio. Compatible with all current DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives as well as new DVD+R DL drives, the disc is ideal for virtually any business or household application. Dual-layer DVD-R media offers genuine advantage over the current single layer 4.7GB DVD. The new dual-layer recordable DVD-R disc allows users to read, write or view almost twice the amount of data that is currently possible with the single layer. The advanced technology means that material can be read or recorded on one layer without affecting the other. There’s no need to flip sides or change discs. DVD-RAM Media: DVD Random Access Memory is a rewritable DVD disc endorsed by Panasonic, Hitachi and Toshiba. It is a cartridge-based, and more recently, bare disc technology for data recording and playback. DVD-RAM bare discs are fragile and do not guarantee data integrity. The first DVD-RAM drives had a capacity of 2.6GB (single-sided) or 5.2GB (double-sided). DVD-RAM Version 2 discs have double-sided 9.4GB discs. DVD-RAM drives typically read DVD-Video, DVD-ROM and CD media. The current installed base of DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players cannot read DVD-RAM media. 2. The Firmware of Your Burner and Benefits of Upgrading Your Firmware Before purchasing DVD Media for your burner, find out the firmware version of your burner. Use the program DVD Identifier to find out the the following information: What is the current firmware on your burner? Use DVD Identifier to figure this out. What is firmware? Firmware is the programming instructions contained on a ROM chip within the DVD recorder. This tells the recorder how to respond...

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Tips on Labeling Your CD DVD Discs

DVD/CD Labeling Options We all have discs we haven’t yet labeled. Some of us have just a few; some of us have stacks or mounds or boxes or baskets of them. These collections grow every time we toss a new disc there, after we burn it but before we get around to labeling it. So how do you label a disc anyway? There are some good answers, some bad answers and some gorgeous answers, many of them right here.   Write Here If only you thought of this before! Yes, you can write directly on the disc. And yes, you can ruin the disc and maybe the drive when you do that – here’s how to make it work. Use a Sharpie. Other markers may also work fine, but some may not. Sanford (the makers of Sharpie) tells us that some marker inks can eat into the plastic and may make a disc troublesome, even useless. Sharpie markets a range of markers they offer specifically for use with CD/DVD media, so we’re naming them. Don’t use a ballpoint pen. Don’t use a pencil. Don’t use a crayon. Writing with a ballpoint or pencil can create enough pressure to damage the layer the laser has to scan, making it unreadable. Writing with a crayon can let wax transfer to the drive’s head or mechanism, leaving your disc just fine but your drive useless. The next time you shop for blanks discs (it’s too late for the discs already in that basket), you might want to choose among the Verbatim products with a white area on the label side that makes any printing you do easier to read. For some of us, alas, who can’t read our own writing, writing isn’t much help. As your grade school teacher may have advised (ours did), when you can’t write neatly, print.   Print a Label Overall these days, we find that people who have the gear to burn CDs also tend to have color ink jet printers. (OK, that’s obvious, but please don’t yawn). And certainly there are many products out there that let you print something on your inkjet printer and stick it onto a disc. And of course, of all those products, we like our Verbatim’s own Verbatim Touch-Less Labeling system best. Should you? With our system, you don’t touch the sticky part of the label, you can’t get centering wrong and the label goes down without a wrinkle. That last part is the best part. A wrinkled or off-center label on a disc spinning at high speeds could make it wobble causing playback trouble. But you decide.   Let the Drive Label the Disc HP (in cooperation with Mitsubishi Chemical, Verbatim’s parent company) debuted a neat product early in 2004 (headed for stores by the end of 2004) with a bright way of getting a label to appear from inside the drive that burns the disc. The HP Lightscribe drive cleverly changes the way the burner drives the laser to let it create a silkscreen-quality image on the “flip” (label) side of special, compatible discs. Since Verbatim helped develop the process, you can count on us to offer Lightscribe media for use with those drives.   Print Directly on the Disc Several printer brands – notably Primera, Epson and Casio – offer specialized printers that print right on a disc and don’t use paper. After you are done reading check out the great range of Verbatim printable CD and DVD media for each of these solutions. Primera is best known for its production duplicators (burner plus printer), but they also...

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