[conspire] question about DVD writer

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Wed Dec 20 09:38:08 PST 2006

Quoting Darlene Wallach (freepalestin at dslextreme.com):

> I have a Sony CD rw that is scsi and a CD r that is ide. I'm
> contemplating/considering buying a dvd reader/writer. When I
> was at Central Computers I looked at the DVD roms. I saw combo
> CD/DVD readers/writers and just DVD readers/writers. Is there
> an advantage to a DVD only over a CD/DVD combo?

Not that I know of.  By the way, oh joy:  There are two distinct
semi-compatible standards for DVD-ROM:  DVD+R[W] and DVD-R[W].  (There's a
very different class of drive called "DVD-RAM" that you'll probably
never see, and which I'll not even attempt to address.)

Just to make sure I'm clear -- again, ignoring DVD-RAM, that's four 
physical formats:  DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+W, and DVD+RW.  The "W" media variants
are rewriteable in drives that support erase and rewrite; the
"R-with-no-W" variants are, by contrast, write-once and then read-only.
A DVD-R drive will write once (only) to DVD-R or DVD-RW discs.  A DVD-RW
drive will write once (only) to DVD-R disc and rewritably (erasably) to
DVD-RW discs.  And so on.  Media without erase/rewrite ability are
cheaper, just as with CD-R[W].

Fortunately, on the software side, I _think_ (slightly more than a
guess, somewhat less than certainty) that the main Linux DVD-writing
tools now handle all of this mess transparently -- though the "minus"
variants were better supported for a long while, and caution would
suggest seeking that sort of drive instead of "plus" ones.  See: "DVD"
on http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Hardware/

> My Sony CD has worked well. Is Sony a good brand for DVD?


> Has anyone heard anything about LiteOn?

I personally wouldn't go there.   I like:  Plextor, NEC, Sony, Toshiba.
Views Differ<tm>.  (Note:  Preceding prejudices are carried forward
without modification from CDR days, and arguably mark me as a fossil.)

> What about IDE vs SCSI for DVD rom?

I think you'll have a difficult time finding a SCSI DVD burner, so it's
a non-issue.

> Is there an advantage to internal DVD rw over external?

Cheaper, less clutter.  Otherwise, no.  Disadvantages include heat
buildup, power draw, and infeasability of moving the drive temporarily
to a different machine.

DVD burners in external enclosures, reached via Firewire or USB are tres
cool, and remain my own strong preference.

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