DVD Media FAQ
On this page, SuperMediaStore.com intends to provide customers with detailed information about the DVD Burning Industry.
Q: Why do I have a large failure rate when I burn DVD's?
- Your burner may not support the media format.
- The media might not be compatible with your burner.
- You don't have the proper software, hardware, and firmware combination
- Your recorder might have a problem.
Q: At what speeds would my drive burn different types of media?
A: Usually the burning speed of the media is regulated by the actual DVD burner and the certified speed of the media. For instance if you have a burner that is capable of burning at 4X but you actually purchased a disc that could only run at 1X, your burning speed of the media would reach 1X.
Supermediastore.com provides customers with a better idea of the burning speed of the different disks that we carry. Charts are included on item pages to illustrate the burning speed of the specific media in the most popular burner.
Q: What is the difference between DVD-R and DVD+R? Which DVD burner should I buy?
A: DVD-R was developed by Pioneer. It is designed to be a recordable format compatible with DVD Video players and DVD ROM drives. This standard was approved by the DVD Forum and has been adopted by many DVD equipment manufacturers. Due to the fact that such standards are based on numerous patents that cost manufacturers who do not own the patents substantial royalties to produce compatible equipment or media, a separate consortium of manufacturers decided that their financial interests would be best served by developing a competing recordable format. This format is known as DVD+R. The consortium is known as the DVD+RW alliance.
It is hard to say that one format is better than the other. Neither have significant advantages over the other. Both are good but not perfect in terms of their ability to create discs that are playable in most standalone DVD players. The bottom line is that you should pick a burner that suits your requirements, and buy media designed for your burner. The good news is that there are new burners such as Pioneer 106 or Pioneer 107 that support both -R and +R.
Q: How do I know who makes the disc: Brand vs. Media ID?
A: The thing that must be realized is that most media is produced by a relatively small number of factories. These factories are located in Taiwan, Japan, China and other countries around the world. This being said, understand that the media brands mean nothing. Companies like Memorex, Fuji and Imation all outsource to media vendors. Media ID is more important, as it reveals the disc maker.
Here are Media IDs of some high quality DVD media:
- RITEKGx = RITEK
- OPTODISC = Optodisc
- RICOHJPN = Ritek or Ricoh
- PRODISCS03 = PRODISC
- MCC = Mitsubishi Chemicals
- PVC = Pioneer.
Be aware of fake discs using forged ID's: SONY = Fake Sony (Sony doesn't make DVD media with the Media ID: SONY)
Q: What is a Media ID and what is a Write Strategy?
A: The Media ID is the location of information about the disc. The Write Strategy is the maximum speed the disc was manufactured to use. Burning faster will often cause errors. Most DVD burners read the Media ID for determining write speed allowed by the burning software. You should always check the Write Strategy to ensure the Media ID is not forged for an incorrect speed. Never burn faster than the write strategy.
Q: How do I know the Media ID and Write Strategy of my discs?
A: DVD burners are required to read the Media ID and Write Strategy information. Several programs exist for checking the Media ID and Write Strategy of the disc. Most of these utilities are free. You can download DVDINFOPRO from www.dvdinfopro.com. For example, you can run a test on a Ritek disk. The test confirms that by showing that the Media ID is RITEKG04. The disk further ensures that the Media ID was not forged because the Write Strategy speed is 4X and that matches the Media ID speed.
You should always check the Write Strategy to ensure the Media ID is not forged for an incorrect speed.
Q: Why can't my DVD media reach the stated Write Strategy burning speed?
A: In order to get the fastest burning speed, you should always keep the firmware of your DVD burners up to date with the latest version. Most DVD burners read the Media ID to determine the write speed allowed by the burning software. If the Media IDs of the newly released DVD media are not listed in DVD burners' firmware, burning speeds may be downgraded. That is why you should keep your firmware up to date to solve compatibility issues. More tips about burning DVDs, can be found at Guide to Burn DVDs
Q: Where do I download the latest firmware?
A: We recommend http://forum.rpc1.org/portal.php to download the latest firmware.
Q: Why some discs are "bad"?
A: DVD media is still new, and methods for creating faster and better discs are still being perfected.
User Error. A common "error" with "bad media" is actually user error. Do not try to use your computer extensively while burning, especially at 2x and 4x speeds. Close resource-consuming programs while burning at high speeds. Please read our tips for burning DVD to avoid some common errors.
Fake Media. Fake media is often bad. If you ever purchase good media like Ritek, TDK, or Maxell, and the results are still bad, check to see if the media is authentic. You can download some free software such as DVD Decrypter or DVDInfoPro to check the media ID of those discs. SuperMediaStore.com only sells authentic brand name DVD media.
Gradual Data Loss. Keep your discs dust-free. Store them in DVD Cases or Paper Sleeves. Prevent the discs from scratches or other damages.
Q: Why is the maximum capacity only 4.38GB and not 4.7 GB as the DVD stated?
A: There is industry inconsistency. The "4.7 GB" is actually 4.7 billion bytes. But on a computer, it takes 1,048,576 bytes or 1024 Kbytes, and not merely 1000 KB, to make up a full MB.
Q: Guide to blank DVD types
A: There is wide variety of DVD recordable media currently available throughout the industry. Often all these different type of media are enough to confuse even a computer expert.
There are actually 6 major categories of DVDs.
- General DVD-R and DVD-RW media
- DVD+R and DVD+RW formatted media
- Blu-Ray media
- Mini DVD media
- Inkjet or Thermal Printable DVD-R
- Dual Layer DVD-R
Q: Why does the price vary from media to media?
A: Price differences for discs usually varies by manufacturer. Different manufacturers use different materials to manufacture their discs. All discs offers by Supermediastore.com are pre-tested before we offer them to our customers.
Q: How can I determine whether the DVD-R will be compatible with my burner?
A: The best solution to this problem is to first determine what your drive is capable of burning. If you are looking for a General-Purpose DVD-R' all the DVD-R's that are listed on the DVD-R section page are compatible with most burners on the market.
Here are some burners that support DVD-R.
Pioneer DVR-103, DVR-A03 | DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R, CD-RW
Pioneer DVR-104, DVR-A04 | DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R, CD-RW
Pioneer DVR-105, DVR-A05 | DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R, CD-RW
Pioneer PVR-9000 | DVD-R, DVD-RW, CD-R, CD-RW
Panasonic LF-D311 | DVD-R, DVD-RAM, CD-R, CD-RW
Panasonic LF-D321 | DVD-R, DVD-RAM, CD-R, CD-RW
Panasonic LF-D521 | DVD-R, DVD-RAM, CD-R, CD-RW
Panasonic SW-9571-CYY | DVD-R, DVD-RAM, CD-R, CD-RW
Q: How can I determine at what speed my media is burning?
A: In most cases, the burning speed can be determined from the following chart:
1X Full disc burning = Approximately 45 minutes
2X Full disc burning = Approximately 30 minutes
4X Full disc burning = Approximately 15 minutes
Q: What does Gold, Silver, Blue DVD-R mean?
A: Gold, Silver, and Blue DVD-R is just an industry standard that refers to the color of the non-recording surface of the DVD media (i.e. Optodisc Gold, Optodisc Silver and Optodisc Blue). It is an additional layer that is printed on the DVD-R disc by the manufacture. It is there so consumers can write on the disc using a magic marker or pencil.
Q: Can I use my DVD burner to back up movies?
A: Yes, but only for personal usage. In many case movies that you purchase are scrambled in different codes to prevent illegal copies. Currently this process is a bit difficult but it is possible. Supermediastore.com will not be able to provide customer with support for making DVD movie backups. It is illegal for a company to help customers make illegal movie backups.
Q: What is DVD+R / +RW media?
A: There are many rumors going around that +R formatted discs are of a better quality. The "+" does not stand for better quality. It is just a name that companies that initially design the +R formatted disc use to differentiate themselves from the -R formatted industry. The +R formatted media usually runs at a higher price compared to -R media. The price decrease recently has dramatically increased the volume of sales of +R media.
Q: What is the burning speed of DVD+R /+RW media?
A: One of the advantages of using the +R format would be the burning speed. +R Media has the standard burning speed of 2.4X even with the oldest +R drive ever developed. Usually the burning speed is a factor that is determine by the compatibility of the burner and the media. In this case, most +R formatted media will burn at 2.4x to begin with. A new generation of discs, such as the Ritek DVD+R or Verbatim DVD+R, is now available.
Q: What is printable DVD-R?
Printable DVD-R discs are discs that have a special coating applied on the non-recording surface that allows consumers to print onto them directly. Usually this process is done by using a special CD/DVD printer. There are two types of discs that are currently available, the White Inkjet Printable DVD-R Ritek White inkjet printable DVD-R, and the Silver Thermal Printable DVD-R Taiyo Yuden Silver Thermal DVD-R
Q: Thermal Printing or Inkjet printing?
A: A thermal CD printer uses pressure and heat to apply text and graphics to the CD-R printable surface. The resulting print is waterproof and scratchproof and does not require any additional coating. The major limitation of a thermal print is it's inability to adequately produce photographic images. A thermal print should only be used for simple text and graphics. An inkjet CD printer works very much like a regular paper inkjet printer. The ink is sprayed from nozzles onto the inkjet printable CD-R surface. After printing, the CDs are coated with a lacquer or laminate to ensure the CDs are highly water and scratch proof. The print quality is superb.
In fact, the vibrancy and detail of an inkjet print can only be matched by an offset print (not even a screen print comes close!). Photographic images, text, logos and other graphics are all rendered superbly. The main drawbacks of an inkjet print is the inability to produce Pantone colours, some degree of difficulty to precisely colour match and time. It can take up to 4 minutes to print one full coverage CD! We use an inkjet print as standard for all our short run CD and DVD runs. The quality print out and the low price make it the best and most cost effective option for your projects with quantities below 500 units. We would always recommend an inkjet print instead of a thermal print for all short run work.