A rewritable DVD
format that is a direct competitor to the DVD-RW
formats. Each blank media
supports up to 4.7 gigabytes
of data. Obviously, this is enough space to store digital-quality video
- 120 minutes, to be exact.
The DVD+RW specification was developed by the DVD+RW Alliance
, a group of companies supporting the format. The alliance is "headed" by Philips
, with members that include Hewlett-Packard
, and Yamaha
. On the other hand, the "more standard" DVD-RW format specifications were created by the DVD Forum
, which does include members from the DVD+RW Alliance.
(The rest of the article ignores the DVD-RAM format, as the only major supporter is Panasonic
; on the other hand, it is approved by the DVD Forum.)
Storing/Playback of Video
The DVD+RW format boasts the best compatibility with consumer electronics
products compared to DVD-RW and DVD-RAM. In addition, Philips sells digital video recorders that support the DVD+RW format. However, the compatibility statement is flawed:
Not everyone cares (or bothers) to use a rewritable disc for DVD-Video purposes
Other reports state that both +RW and -RW have the same amount of compatibility by hardware
Storing Data from the Computer
Again, both +RW and -RW are given about the same amount of support in terms of DVD recorders on computers. With a gradual shift from CD-RW media to DVD-/+RW media, the compatibility issue becomes important. Recently, major name-brand computer manufacturers are beginning to equip their models with DVD recorders - and at this point, they appear to be selecting the DVD-RW format. Primary examples include Apple and their SuperDrive, as well as models shipped by Hewlett-Packard/Compaq.
A company of note is Sony - they have been shipping combo drives that support both DVD-R(W) and DVD+R(W) formats. Kudos to them.
Future of the DVD-RW Format
There is no clear sign of which format will end up to be the most popular; in fact, they may end up coexisting. This is similar to what we have seen with the CD-RW format and the packet-writing/UDF debacle - there will be compatibility issues. However, as with the CD rewritable format, there should not be major issues between the two competing formats, since the primary use for them will most likely be for data backups and storage. One technology of note is the DVD+MRW format, which is the Mt. Rainier tech adapted to the DVD+RW format. DVD-R/+R for video, in terms of compatibility, is a whole different story.
(Side Note: DVD media being more delicate due to the amount of data it needs to store in a small area is a myth.)
Internet DVD FAQ (http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html)
DVD+RW Alliance (http://www.dvdrw.com/)