What Is the Difference Between Plus and Minus DVDs?

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The primary difference between DVD+R and DVD-R is the type of recorder used to write the discs. DVD-R is an older format that dates back to 1997, while DVD+R is a newer recording technology created in 2002. The two types of discs hold the same amount of information, but DVD+R discs are less susceptible to write errors. Most modern DVD players read both types of discs.

DVD+R allows faster and more accurate disc recording than the existing DVD-R standard. The two formats are incompatible with each other, and neither has market dominance. To handle both formats, most DVD readers employ a hybrid technology that reads both types of discs. Because DVD-R is an older standard, some computers, DVD players and game consoles from 2004 and earlier only read DVD-R discs. People with older equipment must be sure to use DVD-R discs in place of DVD-RW discs.

Both types of discs come in rewritable and dual-layer formats. Rewritable DVDs can be erased and rewritten many times, making them reusable. Dual-layer DVDs hold twice as much information as a standard DVD by using two recordable layers instead of one. This is different from double-sided DVDs, which can be flipped to record a second disc on the other side of the DVD.