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CD/DVD comparison chart

Content starts here CD/DVD COMPARISON CHART


With so many choices for CD and DVD media available, how do you know which one is right for your needs? Use this guide to help you decide.

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Getting started

Getting started
First, determine which disc formats are compatible with your PC or DVD burner. Next, decide if you want permanent storage (R format) or the ability to add more files later (RW format).


LightScribe: HP's direct disc labeling technology that allows you to create and burn custom labels onto CDs and DVDs using the same drive that burns data. Special LightScribe discs and a LightScribe-enabled drive are required.

+R and -R: Recordable discs that can be burned once. Perfect for permanent storage. +R is superior in quality to -R.

+RW and -RW: Rewritable discs that can be burned multiple times (up to 1,000 times for DVDs), allowing you to continually add more data. +RW is superior in quality to -RW.

DVD-RAM: An optical, high-speed, rewritable disc that can store video with or without using a DVD burner. It's more robust than a traditional DVD, better protects data integrity, and can be rerecorded up to 100,000 times. DVD-RAM comes in two versions: a specially coated disc or a disc cartridge.

CD media

CD media
Compact discs hold 700MB of data (equivalent to 80 minutes of audio, hundreds of high-quality digital images, and small video files). Unlike DVDs, CDs are not yet available in double-sided or dual-layer formats.

DVD Media

DVD Media
Digital video discs have a significantly higher storage capacity than CDs and offer a fuller, multi-channel sound (such as surround-sound) experience.

There are four types of DVDs:

    1. Single-sided discs that hold one layer of data

    2. Double-sided discs that hold one layer of data on each side

    3. Single-layer discs that hold two layers of data

    4. Double-sided discs that hold two layers of data on each side
To utilize dual-layer technology, you must have both a compatible disc writer and dual-layer media. The actual number of files you can archive (or burn) on a disc varies depending on the quality level of saved files.

DVD storage capacity

High-quality files take up a lot of storage space—but with today's disc options, you never have to sacrifice quality.

Disc type Data capacity DVD-quality video (hrs) VHS-quality (hrs) CD-quality audio (hrs) MP3 audio (hrs)
Single-layer, single-sided
Single-layer, double-sided
Dual-layer;  single-sided
Dual-layer, double-sided
Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware to take full advantage of Windows� 7 functionality. Not all features are available in all editions of Windows 7. See http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/ for details.