DVD burners are a great tool, especially if you want to edit home videos. They are also good for burning music and movies, plus, not only can you use them to create and copy CDs and DVDs but they also act as a media player to watch and/or listen to them with. So how do you choose which type of DVD burner to get? Basically, more features and a faster speed are directly correlated to price. Instead of using a price as a measure, really what you need to look at is whether you want internal or external first. Then below you can learn more about speeds, file format compatibility, and popular models.
Types of Burners
* Be aware that DVD burners, also called DVD writers, or DVD rewriters, are not the same as DVD recorders. A DVD recorder is essentially a device to replace a VCR which gets connected to your TV to record shows or movies. Please see the DVD recorder article if you would like to know more about them.
Internal DVD Burners
External DVD Burners
Not all DVD burners can read the same formats. Your most basic models, such as a CD-RW/DVD-RW combo drive will run for at least $50. If you want a variety of supported formats you will have to pay around $200 or more for a multi-format drive.
Most DVD burners can read the majority if not all of the following file formats:
* CDs and DVDs that you have purchased. This includes DVD-Video.
* CD-R and CD+R (recordable, write once CDs) that you or someone else may have recorded or downloaded from the web.
* CD-RW (rewritable CDs that can be recorded again and again).
* DVD-R/RW and DVD+RW (write once and rewriteable DVDs).
Some but not all DVD burners can read the following formats:
* DVD-Audio is for stereo and multi-channel audio content.
* DVD-RAM, which has the potential to be recorded on up to 100,000 times (yet seldomly does that ever happen). DVD-RAM happens to record very slowly so it is best used for doing backups and archiving.
* DVD-VR/+VR is used for real time video recording.
* DVD-AR is for real time audio recording.
* DVD-SR is streaming data recording format.
Make It A Double
For maximum storage capacity, go for a dual-layer disc burner. Dual-layer DVD discs can hold up to 8.5GB of data, compared to a mere 4.7GB on single-layer DVDs. A DVD disc can store up tp 12 times more than a conventional CD.
What exactly does the X mean? Like with CD burners, this is the measurement of how fast a DVD burner can read, record, write, play, etc. 1X is the slowest (taking from an hour to an hour and a half to record a DVD), and 16X is the fastest (taking less than 6 minutes for a 4.7GB disc). Unfortunately, that is the fastest they will record, period, which poses significant problems for this market. Manufacturers are now coming up with newer technology to improve recording speeds, such as Blu-ray discs and HD DVD but only Blu-ray discs are commercial available for home media use.