DVD Writers

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Want to produce your own DVD movie masterpieces? How about backing up all those unprotected files? If the answer is yes, you are probably looking for a DVD burner that will do the job. But what makes a great DVD burner?

To understand the variety of DVD hardware and standards, this DVD burner buying guide explains the technology behind DVD burners and takes a look at the different media types. We’ll take a look at tomorrow’s technology with a preview of what’s in the DVD pipeline.

BenQ drive

We’ll also walk you through the technical questions you should ask yourself before buying a DVD burner and touch on the additional equipment you may need to add a DVD burner to your system.


DVD stands for Digital Versatile (or Video) Disc – a high-capacity multimedia storage medium that has the same physical dimensions as a Compact Disc (CD). However, thanks to finer grooves, smaller markings and different laser technology, it can store up to seven times more data than a CD. Like CDs, DVDs store data in microscopic grooves (tracks) that spiral around the disc. DVD drives use laser beams to scan these grooves: tiny reflective bumps (called lands) and non-reflective holes (called pits) aligned along the grooves represent the zeros and ones of digital data.

But that’s where the similarities end. DVDs use smaller tracks (0.74 microns wide compared to 1.6 microns on CDs) and more sophisticated modulation and error correction techniques. Fortunately, most DVD drives and players today also support CD formats.

The result is that a single-layer DVD can store up to 4.7GB – up to two hours of video – on a single-layer disc. A CD can only hold 700MB of data (80 minutes of audio). DVDs also come in double-layer format, which can hold up to 9.4GB. One of the layers on a dual-layer disc is semi-transparent, allowing the laser to focus through and read the second layer.

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