DVD-R Versus DVD+R

Here is a quick compare between DVD-R and DVD+R formats.


DVD-R is a DVD recordable format that was introduced by Pioneer in 1997. It is supported by a group of manufacturers known as the DVD Forum. A DVD-R disc can only be recorded one time.


DVD+R is a competing DVD recordable format that came out in 2002 with the backing of a corporate coalition called the DVD+RW Alliance. The DVD Forum did not formally approve of the DVD+R format until 2008.Like a DVD-R disc, a DVD+R disc can only be recorded one time.

The differences between these two competing technologies are mostly transparent to the end user although there are advantages to DVD+R(W) under the covers. These include: instant eject without waiting for finalized formatting, simultaneous formatting and recording, easy replacement of specific sectors, drag-and-drop recording, greater accuracy at higher speeds, and more robust error management.

Related DVD Formats

DVD-RW and DVD+RW discs have the same storage capacity as DVD-R and DVD+R discs but can be written to multiple times (Up to 1000 times according to Pioneer).

Storage Capacities

A DVD-R typically has a storage capacity of 4.7 GB. Pioneer has also developed an 8.5 GB dual layer version, DVD-R DL, which appeared on the market in 2005. Similarly, DVD+R was designed with a storage capacity of 4.7 GB but the capacity has since been upped to 8.5 GB. Devices built since mid-2004 support the higher storage capacity.

Other Considerations

Older DVD drives (up to 2004 or so) generally only support DVD-R(W) while newer drives typically support both formats. If you want to record a DVD that is likely to play on most any DVD drive, go with DVD-R(W).

DVD-R discs have traditionally been cheaper than DVD+R discs but the price disparity is going away as both formats are now commonly available.