The DVD-Dual and
DVD-Multi formats are a label adopted by the DVD Forum (proponents
of the DVD-R/RW/RAM formats) to signify a drive which can read from and write to
all three of these media types. This is an attractive combination with the
removable storage flexibility of DVD-RAM combined with the more traditional DVD
authoring capabilities of DVD-R/RW disks.
But what if DVD+RW wins out?
Given the current lack of agreement between the proponents of the various
writeable DVD formats, it should come as no surprise that several manufacturers
have decided to forgo waiting for a conclusion and instead created their own
The DVD-Dual format is
an unofficial term being used for drives that support writing to and reading from
DVD+RW and DVD-R/RW. By amalgamating all the popular formats into one drive, these
companies (Sony and Gigabyte to name a couple) are hedging their
bets on the future, and making things a little easier for consumers
in the process.
potential downsides to this are the price issue, as added complexity will always
equal added cost, and the ever-present risk that future standardization will
alter whichever format wins out, making it incompatible even with the DVD-Dual
readers of today.
To sum up, if you need to
purchase a DVD writer this year, a DVD-Dual drive is the safest choice. With no
clear winner emerging from this standards war, it's best to be able to switch
sides when you need to. As an added plus, media will be easy to find.
This ends the first segment of
PCstats' two-part look at Optical Drives & Recording Formats. In the second half of PCstats look at recordable optical media we will help you learn how to burn your own CDROMs, audio CDs, and create ISOs for backups of your files to name just a few things.
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