DVD-R vs. DVD+R: Formatting and Data Reading Differences

The Difference Between DVD-R and DVD+R

The difference between DVD-R and DVD+R mainly lies in their formatting and how they read data on the disc. DVD-R uses land pre pits while DVD+R uses wobble frequency to determine the location of a file on the disc.

Both formats are compatible with most DVD players, but DVD-R is older and has a slightly better error correction system. However, DVD+R is more advanced in several other areas.


Generally, DVD-R media is cheaper than DVD+R. This is especially true if you buy a bulk order of generic discs online, or if you shop at the lowest-priced store. DVD-R burned discs also work with a wide range of players, including the cheapest 30-dollar Maganavox units at Walmart.

Developed in 1997, DVD-R is the oldest and most common format for recording a data onto a DVD. It has a storage capacity of up to 4.7GB, which is enough to record a feature-length film in standard definition. It is compatible with most standard DVD players and can be recorded multiple times.

The DVD+R is a newer and more advanced write once DVD format, which was introduced in 2002. Its advantages include accurate error handling system and faster writing speed. Besides, DVD+R is compatible with most DVD drives/players and it can be recorded and erased many times.


Despite their difference in technical standards, DVD-R and DVD+R are compatible with most players. However, DVD+R discs are slightly more expensive than their -R counterparts. This is mainly because of the additional features they offer, such as bitsetting. Nevertheless, both formats are affordable and readily available. Both formats have improved over time in terms of burning quality and speed, and now they are both able to perform at the same level on high-quality media. DVD+R also has a more robust error-management system than DVD-R.

Another significant difference between the two is the way in which data is written on the disks. DVD+R uses a technology that writes data in concentric rings, allowing for faster writing speeds and higher storage capacities. In addition, DVD+R can use a specialized error-correction system that improves the chances of recovering data from mildly damaged or scratched discs. DVD-R, on the other hand, does not support this feature.

Error-free playback

Despite the fact that the two formats look very similar, DVD+R performs better than DVD-R in several ways. For example, the system used by DVD+R for tracking and speed control is less prone to interference and error. It also features a more potent error-management mechanism than DVD-R.

The only practical difference between DVD-R and DVD+R is that some older players will not play +R burned discs. In addition, a single-layer DVD-R can hold more data than a dual-layer DVD+R.

The difference between DVD-R and DVD+R mostly relates to how the two DVD formats determine the location of laser beam on a disc. In DVD-R, this is decided by tiny marks along the grooves while DVD+R measures wobble frequency of the laser. Another technical difference between the two formats is that DVD+R supports bitsetting, which allows it to function more like a hard drive or floppy disk. This feature is important when editing your DVDs because it makes it easier to save multiple versions of your project.


The DVD+R format (pronounced DVD plus R) is a recordable DVD format that supports playback in most DVD players. It offers a storage capacity of up to 4.7GB for a single-layer disc or 8.5GB for a dual-layer disk. Its advantage over the standard DVD-R format is that it has greater compatibility with existing DVD devices and systems. This is a result of its use of an ADIP system which efficiently controls how the laser guides the data on the DVD.

However, while the two formats look identical on the outside, their internal structures differ. DVD-R uses tiny marks in the disk grooves called land prepits to determine where to guide the laser beam. DVD+R, on the other hand, uses a wobble frequency to process data. As such, it is less prone to error and interference. It also provides better performance. For example, it offers a more flexible file editing and support for drag-and-drop features. This makes it a great choice for users who need to archive large amounts of data.

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