DVD compatibility

Can anyone answer with a detailed information to the below compatibility question ?

Can I read data DVDs on a DVD-ROM ? If yes, does it apply to older models of DVD too.

Is there any way ( software ) using which I can check the compatibility ?

What other DVDs formats and types I read using a DVD-ROM ?

Is there any difference between DVD-RW, DVD-R , DVD+R, DVD+RW ? Please explain.

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JonybrvAsked:
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Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Hi Jonybrv,

>>Can I read data DVDs on a DVD-ROM
Yep

>>If yes, does it apply to older models of DVD too.
Yep, they should, but sometimes drives have problems with some DVD-R/DVD+R's

>>Is there any way ( software ) using which I can check the compatibility ?
Not that I know of, but if you tell us what drive you have, we might look around for you if there are any known compatibility issues.

>>What other DVDs formats and types I read using a DVD-ROM ?
It should be able to read all formats, again there might be some compatibility issues.

>>Is there any difference between DVD-RW, DVD-R , DVD+R, DVD+RW ?
Yep, big differences.

>>Please explain.
Take a look here:
http://www.dvdrhelp.com/dvd

If you have more questions, let me know.

Greetings,

LucF
JonybrvAuthor Commented:
LucF, thanks for the help.

>>>>>>>>It should be able to read all formats, again there might be some compatibility issues.

This is line that confuses me again and again. In general is there anyway to test the compatibility no matter what DVD drive I have.

JonybrvAuthor Commented:
and also any detailed troubleshooting if a DVD-RW or DVD+RW writer fails to write properly ?
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Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Ok, hmm... hard to explain...

Every drive is "supposed" to read all disks (except DVD+RW/DVD-RW) but I've seen some drives having problems with the DVD+R format, but allmost no compatibility issues with DVD-R
The problem is that DVD+R is a more stable system...

If you're interested in buying a DVD writer, I suggest you to look for one that can write all disks so you will never run into any compatibility issues. DVD±R drives are only a little more expensive then their brothers that can only write either DVD+R or DVD-R.

The problem for you will be that there's no way to test compatibility issues except for trying.

LucF

Luc FrankenEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
>>and also any detailed troubleshooting if a DVD-RW or DVD+RW writer fails to write properly ?
Nope, nothing detailed, but mostly I start with:

1) Error codes? (www.google.com will help you with those)
2) Trying another disk
3) Trying to lower the write speed (indicates a lower IDE speed or a dirty lens)
4) Changing the IDE cable (I always have a spare one around)
5) Trying the writer in another computer
6) Just try another writer, if that one works, this one is faulty (sometimes a firmware update will bring it back to life)

to add to 3, cleaning the lens is never a stupid idea.

LucF

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NilknarfCommented:
"Is there any difference between DVD-RW, DVD-R , DVD+R, DVD+RW ? Please explain."

Put simply, there are currently two major writable DVD formats, +R and -R.
The -RW and +RW formats are simply the re-writable versions of these, like CD-RW is to CD-R.

DVD-R:
This version of the DVD standard is still largely geared towards burning DVD movies. DVD-R uses similar technology to CD-R.
DVD-R was the first format to be introduced and as such this format is the most compatible with standalone DVD players, but this is changing as DVD+R gains popularity.
This standard is ~96% compatible with DVD players and DVD-ROM players.

DVD+R:
This standard is supported by Sony, Yamaha, Philips, Dell, and HP. It is technically a better format due to the way it data is written. Sectors on the disk have thier own 'index' (like a hard disk), therefore the disk doesn't need to be finalised. DVD+R disks also have better error correction and can cope with small amounts of damage like scuffs and dirt better that DVD-R (although I'm not going to scratch one to find out!).
This standard is ~87% compatible with DVD players and DVD-ROM players.

Overall though there is very little difference between DVD-R and DVD+R, both of which can only be written once. They are used in exactly the same way.
And both media types have a storage capacity of 4.7GB.
Timotheus1Commented:
basically, from what I've seen, the DVD-R standard is owned be the same people who own the original DVD standard. DVD-R is the most compatible format for older hardware. -R and -RW have the data structured the same as a single layer mass produced DVD disk.

+R and +RW are a diferent beast, and the data is structured a little differently but at the core they are largely the same.

Therefore, almost all hardware in the stores now is tested to be able to read all 4 formats.

The DVD RW formats share the same relationship to DVD R as CD-RW and CD-R

The RW disks have different reflective properties, and therefore, you need a reader designed to read them for total compatibility.

just like Multi-read CD-Rom drives that can read R and RW disks, as well as oddball file structure systems like PhotoCD, VCD and the like, There is now a DVD Multi-read, but because it is owned by the DVD-R people, (who also own DVD-RAM, those three formats are all it comprises, (-R, -RW and -RAM)

I believe Iomega and LG have five format DVD burners out now.
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