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CD/DVD & Data Format Terminology

By priel ·
Recently, I've started editing home video as a hobby. I must admit that I'm a beginner in the CD/DVD field so my experience is almost equal to zero, therefore, I'm totally confused with all the terminology used all over. I can't differ ROM from the RAM, the ?R from +R, the DVD from CD or VCD or SVCD etc'.
Is there anyone (kind enough) to explain me in common language, "what is what"?
Which terms are used to define the DEVICES (drives), which to define the MEDIA (discs) and which to define the different FORMATs (like: DV; DVD; DVD-VR; VCD ;SVCD, etc'). I understand that there are different types of DVDs too (-R/RW; +R/RW)
I'll appreciate your answer (maybe using some kind of a table) so that things will start making sense for me.

Many Thanks and Appreciations from an almost desperate person,

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by Oz_Media In reply to CD/DVD & Data Format Term ...

I know your situation well as I was forced to learn modern digital production myself last year.

In a nutshell, there are MANY DVD copy sources on the Internet found from a simple search or by browsing newsgroups and forums on DVD's, Video Editing etc.

The difference between DVD+ and - is compatibility. DVD- (the first DVD format) is compatible on about 65% of standard DVD players. DVD+ is closer to 85% compatibility with DVD players. Some of the DVD- formats are NOT included in DVD+ so it is best to use a +/- burner and disks for the best overall compatibility.

ROM=Read Only Memory: Computer memory on which data has been prerecorded. Once data has been written it cannot be removed and can only be read.
ie: Non rewritable CD ROM. The data is stored on disk and read but can't be changed.

RAM=Random Access memory: In common usage, the term RAM is synonymous with main memory or primary storage. Memory used to store programs and data being used while the computer is on.

A great acronym definition site is ACRO.IT found here:

Hope you find it all a little easier after defining the stupid acronyms that surround our computer world. It really isn't THAT bad though. Bottom line, if you want DVD's that play on standard DVD players and hold massive amounts of uncomperessed digital video, buy a +/- DVDRW .

If you want to convert your video files into smaller files that are compressed for playback on a computer with computer codecs (lossy format), go for AVI or DivX formats and record with your standard CDRW.

Have fun,

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by TheChas In reply to CD/DVD & Data Format Term ...

A good place to start when looking for detailed information on optical storage devices is:

CD-ROM = Compact Disk Read Only Memory
CD-R disks can also be referred to as WORM technology.
Write Once, Read Many

CD-RW = Compact Disk Re-Writable.
Think of this as a large floppy disk.
You can read and write to the disk many times.

DVD-RAM Digital Versatile Disk Random Access Memory

With DVD media, there are 2 different formats.
-R and +R
For older DVD burners, the format of the media MUST match the supported format of the drive.

Newer DVD burners are multi-format and support both the + and - media.

CD-ROM = A read only device for Compact Disk media.

CD-RW = A device capable of reading and writing both CD-R and CD-RW media.

DVD-ROM = A read only device for Digital Versatile Disk media.
Usually, DVD-ROM drives can also read CD-R and CD-RW media.
You need a hardware or software decoder to play DVD movies.

DVD -R/-RW = A burner capable of reading and writing DVD- format media.
Most can also burn CD-R and CD-RW media.

DVD +R/+RW = A burner capable of reading and writing DVD+ format media.
Most can also burn CD-R and CD-RW media.

DVD -R/-RW +R/+RW = A burner capable of reading and writing DVD- and + format media.
Most can also burn CD-R and CD-RW media.


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