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DVD types

I just received the DVD/VHS recorder that was recommended in this past question, http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_22053471.html

It is working great, and since it came with a DVD-RAM disc, I have started using it for transferring some old video.

However, I am still a bit confused on the types of DVD's and other media that it will work with.
I believe, from my light reading of the 80 page manual, and my limited understanding, that the optimal solution is to use a DVD-RAM disc all the time.  In what instances would I use DVD-R, DVD+R, or DVD-RW?  Presumably there is a cost difference between these, alongside whatever pros and cons there are for using each.

The second part of this question has to do with the finalization of the recording.  It is my understanding that I can record half of the free space, eject the disc and watch some other dvd, return the disc and continue recording where it left off, as long as I do not finalize it.  Does that sound accurate?  Additionally, I cannot use the DVD on other devices until it is finalized.  So, as I have divided my first tape into about 20 chapters, I will begin copying another tape tomorrow.  If that finishes out the remaining free space and I finalize it, does that mean that no further editing, not even title names or chapter seperations, can occur?  Again, presumably this is with a DVD-RAM disc only, but I am still confused.

As I would like more expert advice on this matter, and it involves potentially lengthy discussion (I am a bit slow in grasping these things), and there are multiple, but related questions, I will offer the maximum 500 points for your expert input.  

Thank you,
Shawn
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shawngilbert
Asked:
shawngilbert
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5 Solutions
 
jalalmegadethCommented:
hi

For the first part, you can check those links :

http://www.build-your-own-computer-tips.com/dvd-drive-differences.html
http://www.sharpened.net/helpcenter/answer.php?129

DVD-RW = RW stands for ReWritable, it means you can erase it and write information on it again

For the second part, you must know that once you finalize the CD or the DVD it's just like locking it once for good, this means that no information can be changed on this support, not even title editing

And yes, when the CD/DVD is not finalized yet, you can still add information on it, but once you "lock" it it's over
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theProfessaCommented:
Go to this site:
http://www.videohelp.com/

It'll tell you all the media that is compatible with your DVD player, not only that but what BRANDS (Memorex, Ri-Data, Fuji, Sony, Maxell, etc) that are most compatible and won't give you coasters.
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burrcmCommented:
Broadly 'n briefly, you do not finalize a DVDRAM or DVD-RW disk. They are re-usable. DVD-R and DVD+R are single use - record once, the end, and must be finalized to be used on another machine. Not all types are necessarily compatible with your machine, the manual will clarify.

Chris B
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shawngilbertAuthor Commented:
Thank you jalalmegadeth, that was very informative.
So even with the RAM and RW types, once the disc is locked, it cannot be edited again, unless formatted, correct?

theProfessa, I have only begun to look at the site.  Admittedly, it appears a bit confusing at first.  I will try and take the time later today to find my way around it.  Naturally, since this is Panasonic equipment, the same manufacturer's disc is recommended, but I would imagine there are other brands that would work as well.

Again, with the RAM and RW types, if I do not finalize them, can they not be read in my computer's DVD player?
And if I do not finalize them, it is okay to remove it from the player and pick up where I left off with the recording process later?

Thank you all for you time and knowledge.
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theProfessaCommented:
I agree that the site is a little overwhelming at first but once you get the hang of it, it is very comprehesive and should be very informative.

Hope it helps! :)
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shawngilbertAuthor Commented:
Now I have completed my DVD-RAM and I cannot seem to view it on my computer's DVD drive.
Did I just wait several hours of my time, or is it because I missed a step, like finalizing it?
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jalalmegadethCommented:
yep, probably it's because you didn'T finalize it. once you finalize it u'll be able to view it on your computer's DVD :))
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shawngilbertAuthor Commented:
Actually, the chart in the manual indicates that DVD-RAM discs can only be viewed on DVD-RAM compatible DVD players.  Also, they, along with DVD-RW, do not need to be finalized.  I suppose my drive isn't compatible with DVD-RAM, but how can I be certain?
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burrcmCommented:
I said that didn't I? Your DVD unit must be RAM compatible - many aren't. What is the make and model? Find the details in device manager under DVD-CDROM Drives.

Chris B
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shawngilbertAuthor Commented:
My sincerest apologies Chris, you did mention that.
I will try to perform the process again on a newly acquired DVD-R.
I only hope that I can perform the same title and chapter editing before I finalize it.
What is the main difference in -RW and -RAM?
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jalalmegadethCommented:
-RW = minus RW means that it is a rewritable DVD , and it can write in into only 1 layer (the "+" means that it can write in in multiple layers)

If you use a DVD-R or DVD+R, you have much more chances that your DVD can be read/viewble on most of DVD players.

DVD-RAM discs contain an integrated error control system, and to read more about this, check this link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD-Ram


;)
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burrcmCommented:
Do all your editing on the RAM disk (or the HDD if you have space - quicker), then copy the finished product to a single use -R or +R. Note that -R will play in virtually all commercial DVD players, but +R has trouble more often - still mostly OK, but if you will be sharing your productions, -R is the better choice.

Chris B
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shawngilbertAuthor Commented:
I am recording on the -R, but afterwards do not seem to be able to make chapters.  I can edit Title names and change thumbnails, but no Create Chapter option is available.  Is this a feature limited to -RAM only?

What does the layers have to do with recording?  Is that the same as single side or double side?  I thought I read on one site that Panasonic preferred -R, so that is why I chose that type.
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burrcmCommented:
I suspect you are correct, as the DVDRAM is treated virtually the same as a HDD. The -R will not permit editing in the same manner, as it is write once. It will allow multiple different sessions to be recorded, but once finalized, cannot be altered further. Even prior to finalization, any alteration to existing recorded data is not possible. The only way a change can be made is a file is replaced and a new TOC (Table of Contents) is written. This can simulate editing, but each time a new TOC is written to delete a file, the available space reduces by the size of the original file.

Chris B
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shawngilbertAuthor Commented:
The only way I can think of doing that is with another, new, DVD player that would be able to play the DVD-RAM.
I do not believe my old DVD player would read DVD-RAM, for me to record onto this device using a DVD-R.
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burrcmCommented:
Can you give me the make & model. It is possible to upgrade the firmware on some to allow DVDRAM.

Chris B
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shawngilbertAuthor Commented:
Sure, it is a Fisher DVD SL35
I also have an Xbox that plays DVDs, I do not know if there is a mode number for that?
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burrcmCommented:
OK. I am off the mark here. I was discussing editing on a PC, where you were not. Of course, your DVD unit already works with DVDRAM, I was investigating the possibility that the unit in your PC could not. This is where I do my editing, and it works well. Mostly home video using a camera with a compact flash hard drive - transfer the files to the PC, edit and burn.

Chris B
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shawngilbertAuthor Commented:
Yes, I only have a DVD player on my PC.
When I do upgrade, I suppose I should verify that it is -RAM compatible.
I will reread through this and probably close it in the next day or two.
Thank you for your time.
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