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PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Writable DVD Formats Compared

It’s clear that the competition to become the mass-market writable DVD standard is a three-horse race, but it is uncertain which will ultimately triumph. In the first edition of this book, we noted that the market had not yet determined a winner in the writable DVD format wars and that we hoped a single standard would prevail by the time the second edition was published. We said the same thing in the second edition, and now we’re forced to say the same in the third.

Perhaps by the time the fourth edition is published we’ll finally have a single standard. But we won’t hold our breath. The issue is the huge amount of money at stake. If one standard prevails, DVD writers will become as commonplace as CD writers are now, and DVD blanks will sell by the billion. The company or consortium that holds the patents on the winning standard will rake in huge amounts in licensing fees for drives and discs. That means the companies involved aren’t going to compromise, and the only hope for achieving a single standard is that the market will sort things out.

DVD-R and DVD-RW

These formats have the strong backing of Pioneer and Apple and the increasing popularity of home video editing to sustain them. DVD-R and DVD-RW discs are inexpensive (and getting cheaper every month) and readily available. Current drives write DVR-R discs at 4X, which matches DVD+R, and DVD-RW discs at 2X, versus the 4X write speed of DVD+RW. For the time being, DVD-R/RW discs are cheaper than ...

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