Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Tech Tip
by Brad Appleby
Appleby Arts

Unlocking the DVD Code

DVDs are also known as “Digital Versatile Discs” or “Digital Video Discs”. There are many different formats - DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-ROM. How do users know which DVD format is compatible with their existing system, and why are there so many different formats for DVDs? The following sheds some light on DVD types, the differences between them and the incompatibility issues that the differing technologies have.

The crucial difference among the standard DVDs is based on which standards each manufacturer adheres to. DVD-R are generally supported by Panasonic, Toshiba, Apple Computer, Hitachi, NEC, Pioneer, Samsung and Sharp. DVD+R are generally supported by Philips, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Ricoh and Yamaha.

DVD+R and DVD-R recordable discs can record data only once and then the data becomes permanent on the disc. The disc cannot be recorded onto a second time. DVD+RW and DVD-RW re-recordable discs can be erased and recorded over numerous times without damaging the medium. DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL dual layer discs can hold twice as much information as single layer DVD discs. HD-DVD discs are capable of storing between two and four times as much data as standard DVD discs.

A current, single-sided, standard DVD can hold 4.7 GB (gigabytes) of information. That’s about the size of an average two-hour, standard-definition movie with a few extra features. The double-sided and dual layer DVD holds between 7.95 GB and 15.9 GB.

The two newest and most prominent competing technologies are Blu-Ray (50 GB discs) and AOD Advanced Optical Disc (30 GB discs). We will keep an eye on these technologies to see if they will enhance our data storage.

It seems that the future holds a whole lot more than 30 - 50 GB on a single disc. Pioneer has gone beyond these new technologies and is developing an optical disc that will replace the hard disc in most of our PCs in terms of storage capacity, holding 500 GB of data. The new technology uses ultraviolet lasers, which have an even shorter wavelength than the newest technology, enabling even more data storage.

Visit my web site at or for more information, contact Brad at (702) 294-1392.

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