Larry from Sallisaw, OK asks:
Can you explain the difference between DVDs and DVD RAM?
DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disc. It’s a type of data storage technology. There are two categories of recording formats in DVDs.
The first category is called Digital Versatile Disc Read Only Memory (DVD ROM). In this type of DVD, you can retrieve the content multiple times on any device that reads DVD ROMs. For example, when you purchase a movie, it is burned using the DVD ROM format. You can watch the movie, but you cannot record over it.
What if you wanted to record your favorite TV program, similar to how VHS cassettes were used in the 1980s? Or, what if you wanted to take a backup of your computer data?
The second category of DVDs allows you to record and re-record. DVD-RAM belongs to this family. Before I go any further, here’s a word of caution. This category is a little complex and, therefore, a little tricky. So, brace yourself!
DVD formats that allow you to record and re-record are DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, and DVD-RW. Since your question is targeted towards DVD-RAM, I’ll describe it first and then describe the others.
DVD-RAM: Allows you to record, erase, and re-record numerous times. However, you need to have a device that supports the DVD-RAM format.
DVD+RW and DVD-RW: Allows you to record, erase, and re-record repeatedly. Most commercial DVD players can read data recorded in this format.
DVD+R and DVD-R: Allows you to record only once. After which, the data is permanent on the disc and you cannot record over it. Most commercial DVD players can read data recorded in this format.
You’ll notice that the DVD-RAM, DVD+RW, and DVD-RW all do the same thing. So, why are there so many standards? Well, the answer lies in the supporting organizations. DVD-RAM, DVD-R, and DVD-RW are supported by companies, such as Apple Computers, Toshiba, and Samsung. While the DVD+RW and DVD+R formats are supported by organizations, such as Philips, Sony, and Dell.
Tip: When you purchase a DVD player, check the DVD recording formats it supports; the more the better.