Double Layer DVD Overview
Imagine being able to record 4 hours instead of 2
hours of the highest quality DVD video on a disc. Or to store 8.5
gigabytes, equaling about 12 fully recorded CD-Rs, instead of 4.7
gigabytes, on a single sided DVD.
All this is possible, here and now, with the advent of DVD+R Double
Layer recording technology. Based on the proven double layer
technology that has been used in DVD-Video for many years, DVD+R DL
almost doubles the recording capacity when compared to traditional DVD
recording media. And because the disc is single sided, there’s no need
to flip it over halfway through playback or recording.
But the best thing is, you can play a DVD+R DL disc in your current
DVD-Video player, DVD games console, or DVD-ROM equipped PC. Double
layer playback has been part of the DVD format since the beginning, so
most existing DVD playback equipment has no problem playing the new
high capacity DVD+R DL discs!
The only thing you need to store these huge quantities of data or
long video recording times is a DVD+R DL capable DVD rewriter and the
new sophisticated DVD+R DL media. Currently, more than a dozen
manufacturers already offer DVD+R DL capable drives. And these drives
are backward compatible, they let you record DVD+RW and single layer
Do I need new equipment to play a recorded DVD+R
No. Completely in line with the philosophy of the DVD+RW
Alliance, the new DVD+R DL discs can be played on existing equipment.
This is because double layer playability has been part of the
DVD-Video/DVD-ROM standard since the beginning. DVD+R DL compatibility
is about equal to that of current single layer DVD+R.
products support DVD+R DL?
To record on a DVD+R DL disc, you need a
DVD+R DL capable writer. See
Sony DRU700 Double Layer
Do I need different media to
record a DVD+R DL disc?
Yes. To take advantage of the double layer
recording capabilities of the new DVD+R DL writers, you need the
highly advanced DVD+R DL media. This media consists of two recordable
layers, instead of just one (as with traditional recordable DVD
discs). Note that you can still record single layer DVD+R discs and
DVD+RW discs on those new DVD+R DL drives. The release of DVD+R DL
media has been announced by all major blank media manufacturers,
including Philips, Verbatim, Optodisc, Ricoh, CMC Mr. Data, Maxell,
Infodisc and Ritek.
Do I need new software to write a
DVD+R DL disc?
To write a DVD+R DL disc, your CD/DVD recording
software needs to support DVD+R DL. Almost all software vendors have
announced support for DVD+R DL in their upcoming versions, and most of
them offer upgrades for their existing products to include DVD+R DL
writing support. Among the companies that have already announced DVD+R
DL support are Ahead Nero, Sonic, Ulead, InterVideo, Roxio and Gear.
What is the capacity of a DVD+R DL disc?
A DVD+R DL disc hold 8.5 gigabytes of data. This is fully equal to the
amount of data on a pre-recorded double layer DVD-Video disc,
sometimes referred to as DVD9. A single layer DVD holds 4.7 gigabytes.
As the track distance on both layers of any double layer DVD is about
10% wider, the total capacity of both layers equals 8.5 GB.
(left) and DRX-700UL (right) Double Layer Dual Format Drives
much video does a DVD+R DL disc hold?
As with DVD+RW and single
layer DVD+R, the amount of video one discs holds depends on the
quality setting that was chosen during recording. When recorded in the
highest possible DVD-Video quality, a DVD+R DL disc holds about 4
hours of video. When video is recorded at VHS quality level, recording
time increases to up to 16 hours per disc.
Do I need to flip
the DVD+R DL disc over to get access to its full capacity?
Contrary to other recordable DVD proposals, where you need to manually
turn the disc over halfway through recording or playback, a DVD+R DL
disc nearly doubles the capacity on a single recording side. The
entire disc’s contents can be accessed without the need to take the
disc out to turn it over. Furhtermore, a single sided disc allows for
easy identification on the label side.
Will single layer DVD+R
continue to be available?
Yes. Because single layer DVD+R media
holds up to 4.7 gigabyes of data (equaling about 6 CD-Rs), this
technology still provides very high storage capacities suitable for a
wide range of applications. Furthermore, the new DVD+R DL writers will
still be able to record to single layer DVD+R as well as DVD+RW media.