You can only use the DVD format that is supported by your hardware. DVD+R and DVD-R are different and competing standards for recording on DVDs. The difference between DVD-R and DVD+R is not so important for DVD players because virtually all modern players are compatible both formats. But the difference is important in DVD recorders; you can only record on a disc if your DVD recorder supports the disc's format.
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.
DVD-R discs are usually cheaper than the DVD+R format.
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:
- Instantly eject without having to wait for finalized formatting.
- Ability to record one DVD disc partially on PC and partially on television.
- Background formatting: while the disc is being formatted, you can simultaneously record on already-formatted portions of the same disc.
- Enhanced ability to edit filenames, movie and song titles, and playlists.
- 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: