DVD+R and DVD-R are different and competing standards for recording on DVDs. You can only use the DVD format that is supported by your hardware. The difference between DVD-R and DVD+R is important in DVD recorders because you can only record on a disc if your DVD recorder supports the disc's format. However, the difference is not so important for DVD players because virtually all modern players are compatible both formats.

Comparison chart

DVD+R versus DVD-R comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartDVD+RDVD-R
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Pronunciation DVD Plus R DVD Dash R
Drag & Drop Yes, supported. This technology is code named Mt. Rainier and is a hardware feature. No, not supported.
Layers Dual layer discs were available sooner and are still more widely available in the DVD+R format compared with the DVD-R format. Both single and dual layer DVD-R discs are available but there is less variety in the marketplace for double layer DVD-R discs compared to DVD+R.
Compatibility Virtually all DVD players support playback for DVD+R media. Virtually all DVD players support playback for DVD-R media.
Storage capacity 4 706 074 624 bytes (4488 MB) for single layer; 8.5GB for dual layer discs. 4 706 074 624 bytes (4488 MB) for single layer; 8.5GB for dual layer discs.
Backed by DVD+RW alliance (Sony, Yamaha, Philips, Dell, Microsoft etc.) DVD Forum (Apple, Pioneer , Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Time Warner etc.)

Origin and industry support

The DVD-R standard was developed by Pioneer and was used primarily by Apple and Pioneer. In addition, this format is supported by the DVD Forum, which is an industry group that controls the use of the DVD logo. The DVD+R format was supported by Philips, Dell, Sony, HP, and Microsoft, who formed the DVD+RW Alliance to launch the competing standard around the same time as DVD-R.

Cost comparison

DVD-R discs used to be cheaper than the DVD+R format but today the pricing for both is pretty similar.

Differences in Features

The "-" in DVD-R is a dash and not a minus. So the DVD-R/RW format does not have any inherent disadvantages or fewer features than the DVD+R/RW format. In fact, choosing the format name as DVD+R was a sneaky marketing move by the DVD+R alliance.

Dual-layer discs that effectively doubled capacity to about 8.5GB were first available in the DVD+R format. Even today there is more variety and availability for double layer DVD+R discs than the DVD-R format.

Advantages of DVD+R

According to the (admittedly biased) claims of the DVD Alliance, using a DVD+R (or DVD+RW) recorder will provide the following advantages over a DVD-R recorder:

  1. Instantly eject without having to wait for finalized formatting.
  2. Ability to record one DVD disc partially on PC and partially on television.
  3. Background formatting: while the disc is being formatted, you can simultaneously record on already-formatted portions of the same disc.
  4. Enhanced ability to edit filenames, movie and song titles, and playlists.
  5. 100% compatibility with all other DVD players, while still enjoying these extra recording features.

Video Explaining the Difference

This video explains the difference between DVD+R and DVD-R:


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