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DVD Plus or Minus

Michele from Ankeny, Iowa writes “I just watched a video by Worldstart instructing the use of Windows DVD Maker. What type of DVD should be used to burn the movie on to? Should it be -R or +R? I’ve heard that -R was recommended by a sales person but I have a stack of blank +R’s at home. Thank you.”

Hi, Michele.  Thanks for the great question!

This is a question that has confused and fuddled customers probably since recordable DVD’s came out.  When I worked in electronics sales, this was a question that I was presented with a lot.  The short answer is that, with most modern DVD players it makes absolutely no difference.  Here’s the long answer:

DVD – R came first, in 1997.  The primary funding for this was through the Pioneer corporation.  Because it is an older format, it works better in many older DVD players (although older DVD players labeled SUPER-MULTI can play both equally well).  DVD + R came about in 2002, with primary advocacy by Sony.  DVD + R is considered the superior format by most of the industry for the same reason that a Tesla is considered a superior car over a Model T:  because it came later, and so was able to take advantage of more advanced technology. 

One quick side-note, though… one format that I do NOT recommend for anything that you’d like to keep is DVD-RW (re-writable).  The reasons are that DVD-RW will not play in most table-top DVD players, and, in my experience, tend to erase themselves over time.

I hope that this helps!

Randal Schaffer