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Frequently Asked Questions



Updated 28 March, 2002.

General Information

  1. What kind of digital information can I record on a DVD-R?
    DVD-R is a write-once media that you can use to record video, audio, images, data files, drawings, multimedia presentations or programs, etc.

  2. What does DVD-R mean?
    Some say DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disc. Others say DVD stands for Digital Video Disc.

  3. Why can you record more information on a DVD-R disc than on a CD-R disc?
    The extra capacity of a DVD-R disc comes from smaller track pitch and smaller data marks (pits).

    The track pitch on a 3.95 GB DVD-R disc is 0.8 microns, one-half the track pitch of a CD-R. The track pitch on a 4.7 GB disc is 0.74 microns.

    Hardware changes in the recorders allow the creation of data marks approximately one-half the size of those made on CD-R media (0.40 microns versus 0.834 microns). The recording laser's wavelength and focusing lens' numerical aperture were changed. Because of this, a CD-R/CD-RW drive cannot be used to write DVD-R media. Additionally, DVD-R substrates are injection molded to one-half the thickness of a CD-R. Two DVD-R substrates are bonded together creating multiple recording surfaces.

  4. What recording speed does DVD-R media support?
    Data is written to a DVD-R disc at 11.08 megabits per second (Mbps) or faster, depending on the drive specifications. At DVD 1X, 11.08 Mbps, a complete 3.95 GB single-sided disc is written in approximately 50 minutes (disc-at-once). Consult drive specifications for 'recording speed' as this capability is changing, and dependent on the drive, not on the media.

  5. Can I erase data written on DVD-R media?
    Once recorded, data cannot be erased.

  6. What is the life expectancy of your DVD-R media?
    When properly stored and handled, KODAK DVD-R media has a life expectancy of 100 years.

  7. Is the size of a DVD-R disc the same as a CD-R disc?
    Dimensionally, DVD-R discs and CD-R discs are identical.

  8. When will Kodak launch 4.7 GB DVD-R?
    Kodak has no plans to launch 4.7 GB DVD-R. Note: The 3.9 GB drives will not write 4.7 GB DVD-R discs.

  9. What does the DVD Multi logo signify?
    Developed by the DVD Forum, the DVD Multi logo guarantees hardware compatibility with DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM. A DVD Multi player reads all three formats and a DVD Multi recorder records all three formats.

  10. What is the difference between DVD-R Authoring and DVD-R General (Purpose)?
    DVD-R General drives record DVD-R media at 650 nm*, while DVD-R Authoring drives record DVD-R media at 635 nm*. Therefore, a DVD-R Authoring disc cannot be written on a drive that specifies DVD-R General media (650 nm), and vise versa.

    *wavelength of the record laser

  11. Why are there two types of DVD-R media?
    The DVD Forum made this decision. Originally, the 635nm laser wavelength was selected to achieve the eventual capacity goal of ~5.0 GB per DVD-R disc. The first step was the development of DVD-R, Version 1.0 that provided a 3.95 GB disc and 635 nm drive. In response to growing demand for higher capacity, the 4.7 GB disc was released, using the 635 nm technology, as Version 1.9.

    Meanwhile, the 650 nm lasers were being developed. Today, they offer lower cost and wider temperature operating ranges. The DVD Forum expects these features to broaden the use of DVD-R recorders in the consumer (versus professional) markets.

    Now there are Version 2.0 DVD-R media and drives on the market. Version 2.0 media is 4.7 GB, Authoring DVD-R and can only be written on Version 2.0 drives. (1.9 and 1.0 media can be written in 2.0 drives as well.)

  12. What kind of DVD-R media does Kodak sell?
    Kodak offers a 3.95 GB, Authoring-type DVD-R media. This is DVD Forum Version 1.0 DVD media. This media is compatible with DVD-R recorders that are compatible with Authoring-type DVD-R media (630 nm record wavelength). KODAK DVD-R media does not work on DVD-R recorders designed for use with DVD-R General media.

  13. Is KODAK DVD-R CMF media?
    No, KODAK DVD-R is Version 1.0 media. Cutting Master Format (CMF) DVD-R media is Version 2.0 media. CMF media was designed to record press mastering information. This format can be added to the lead-in area; in an area reserved for mastering applications as defined by the DVD Forum specifications. You can use a CMF DVD-R as the final mastering source, eliminating the need for a tape source.

  14. Is DVD-R media Orange Book compliant?
    DVD-R discs are manufactured to DVD Format, Book D of the DVD Forum's specifications. The DVD Forum creates the specifications and licenses the DVD logo. The European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have accepted the specifications.

  15. What is the DVD Forum?
    The DVD Forum is a group of hardware manufacturers and content owners who are jointly responsible for defining and promoting DVD technology. You can learn more about the DVD Forum at: http://www.dvdforum.org/forum.shtml

  16. Does Kodak offer DVD-RW media?
    No, Kodak has no plans to offer DVD-RW media.

Writing KODAK DVD-R Media

  1. What is the recording layer on a DVD-R disc?
    DVD-R technology, like CD-R technology, uses an organic dye as the recording medium that is permanently altered after exposure to the recording laser beam.

  2. Can I use my CD-R/CD-RW drive to record DVD-R media?
    You cannot record on DVD-R media using a CD-R/CD-RW recorder; you need a dedicated DVD-R recorder and authoring application. You can, however, use DVD-R/DVD-RW drives to record CD-R/CD-RW media in most cases.

  3. Do I need special software to write a DVD-R disc?
    Yes, you must have an authoring application that supports DVD-R recording. CD-R authoring packages, like Easy CD Creator, etc., cannot be used to write DVD-R media.

  4. I have a DVD-RAM drive that accepts the double-sided 5.2 GB cartridge type disks. Can I use DVD-R media in this drive?
    Kodak offers a 3.95 GB DVD-R media that is compatible with most DVD players. This media is compatible with DVD-R recorders that are compatible with Authoring-type DVD-R media.

    There are a few DVD-RAM drives that record DVD-R media today, and we expect there will be more as the DVD technology and market continues to grow. Remember, however, that DVD-RAM drives may only write to DVD-R General discs. You must carefully read the drive's specifications, operating instructions, on-board help and/or Web site technical support information to determine its specific compatibility.

  5. Will a 3.95 GB, 635 nm DVD-R drive record a 4.7 GB, Authoring-type DVD-R?
    No, a 3.95 GB DVD-R drive cannot write a 4.7 GB DVD-R. However, a 4.7 GB, 635 nm DVD-R drive can record a 3.95 GB, Authoring-type DVD-R disc.

  6. How are DVD-R discs written?
    The authoring software controls the recording process. The software lets the user select the files to be recorded and the conducts the recording. The basic process is similar to recording CD-R discs.

    There are two methods used to write DVD-R discs (check your drive specifications to determine which method(s) are allowed):

    • Disc-at-once: As in CD-R recording when all of the data is written at one time, on DVD-R media the lead-in is written first, followed by the data, followed by the lead-out. .
    • Incremental writing: Akin to packet writing used for CD-R media in which files can be recorded one at a time. (The minimum file size is 32 KB as this is the minimum error correction code block size for DVD.) A disc being written incrementally can only be played back on the DVD-R drive until a final lead-in, data and lead-out is written. Only finalized discs, those to which data cannot be added, can be played back on a player.

  7. Do I have to worry about buffer under-runs when recording DVD-R media?
    Yes, buffer under-runs are a concern given the DVD-R disc's data rate and density. DVD-R drives frequently provide buffer memory to help minimize bit stream interruptions. However, it is best to shut down all applications, to defragment the hard drive before recording, and to record from an image file. Refer to your drive manufacturer's Web site or operating instructions for their specific product recommendations.

  8. Can I add content to a DVD-R media once it's been written?
    As far as we know, if there is disc capacity available, you can add content to previously written DVD-R discs. This process is be akin to creating a multisession CD-R. The problem is, DVD readers do not recognize multisession discs, so you can only read your multisession DVD on a recorder.

  9. Can I make a copy of a movie on DVD?
    Most movies available on DVD are copy-protected; this prevents infringement of copy protection laws. Additionally, most pre-pressed DVDs (DVD-ROMs) are 4.7 GB while KODAK DVD media has 3.95 GB capacity.

  10. Does Kodak offer a service to copy images onto DVD-R for use on a DVD-R player, or do I have to purchase a DVD-R writer?
    Today, Kodak does not offer a service as you describe. However, we are investigating ways for consumers to have easy access to their digital images via their DVD players.

  11. Can I copy my VHS movies to DVD-R?
    If they are not copyrighted material, for example, if they are your home movies, then you can copy them to DVD-R. However, you would need the following components: a computer, a DVD-quality video digitizer board, video editing software, DVD authoring software and a DVD-R recorder. Some manufacturers, like Compaq and Apple, have designed and sell systems that include everything you need to go from videotape to disc.

    Some companies, like YesVideo provide this service. See, http://www.yesvideo.com/app/or use your browser to search for additional web sites.

  12. Where can I go for more information on DVD-R drives?
    Pioneer and other manufacturers sell DVD-R recorders. See http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/Pioneer/CDA/Industrial/IndustrialWhatsNew/0,1438,30~3010~,00.html or http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/Pioneer/CDA/HomeProducts/HomeAlbum/0,1420,50~5010~5010300,00.html or use your browser to search for additional web sites.

  13. What does the "UDF Bridge" mean?
    DVD-R authoring applications support a new file system called "UDF Bridge." This hybrid file format can be accessed by UDF systems, as well as ISO-9669 systems.

KODAK DVD-R Drive Compatibility

KODAK DVD-R Drive Compatibility

Drive Record KODAK DVD-R Media Play KODAK DVD-R Media
DVD-R, 635 nm Version 1.0 Yes Yes
DVD-R, 635 nm Version 1.9 Yes Yes
DVD-R, 635 nm Version 2.0 Yes Yes
DVD-R, 650 nm No Yes
CD-R No No
DVD-RAM Check drive specifications for DVD-R write capability and record laser wavelength. Yes

Playback Issues

  1. How do I know if my playback device is DVD-R Authoring or DVD-R General compatible?
    Although each type of blank media can only be written by the corresponding drive, once written, there are no reader compatibility issues caused by the type of DVD-R disc used. Typically, reader compatibility issues are caused by file formats. Disc capacity can also cause reader compatibility issues.

  2. What playback devices are recorded DVD-R discs compatible with?
    Most existing DVD-ROM drives and DVD Video players reliably read DVD-R media. Generally, any reported inconsistencies have been a result of the players requiring updated firmware to perform satisfactorily.

  3. After I record a DVD-R disc, where can I play it?
    You can play it on a DVD video player. You can also play it on a computer equipped with a DVD-ROM drive, a DVD-compliant MPEG decoder card (or decoder software) and application software that emulates a video player's control functions.

Copyright Issues

  1. Can I make a copy of any DVD disc?
    You cannot record video with CSS (Content Scrambling System) encryption protecting the content. Most movies available on DVD and video tape are copy protected.

  2. What am I allowed to copy onto disc?
    You can record copyrighted music and other material for personal use (for example, broadcasts, CDs, cassettes, records, musical performances, etc.). If you intend to sell, transfer, distribute, or lease a disc recorded from any of these sources, or if you use it as part of your business, you must get permission from the copyright owner.

    Copyright laws vary from country to country and are frequently addressed by proposed/pending/new legislation; it is your responsibility to ensure that you are not infringing on copyright-related laws in your area.

Kodak is a trademark of Eastman Kodak Company.

Frequently Asked Questions provide information of limited or specific application. Responsibility for judging the applicability of the information for a specific use rests with the end user.