DVD Writer; Should You Buy One Yet?
DVD writers are the quickest growing division in the storage industry today. Because the
optical CD is quickly becoming outdated by size limits DVD writers are positioned to
become the next common storage method. They also give you the ability to generate your own digital quality movies. Every parent in the country wants one to share there childs new milestones on a permanent high quality device. So does this all mean its the right time for you to run out and buy one?
Two advantages to the DVD writers you can buy today are storage and digital video. The standards out there will store 4.7 gigabytes or more on a single disk. That is eight times the capacity of the standard CD media on the market.
If you are using a DVD writer to create backups of your data from your hard drive you
will have much fewer discs in storage compared to those produced from a CD writer.
Most of the DVD writers on the market allow encoding of digital video from your computer to another source of DVD media that can be played back on most DVD players. This means you can take old VHS tapes and convert them to DVDs, which is a more permanent storage option and sent to friends and relatives much easier.
Which DVD writer do you buy? Right now there are four kinds in the DVD writers on the market; DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, and DVD+RW. They each have advantages and disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage to all of them is that not one format is guaranteed to work on all DVD players.
DVD writer price may also be a disadvantage. Recordable CDs can be found for one
dollar or less. The average price at the time of this writing for a writeable DVD is $7 per
disk. Per megabyte the price is similar to the CD, but mistakes in writing to the disk cost a lot more. As more and more people buy DVD writers this price will become more in line with the writable CD.
So now what?
Remember the 80's when there was Beta and VHS? My brother in law opted to get the
Beta. Boy was he disappointed when VHS won out and he could no longer buy or rent
tapes for his machine! Well the same kind of battle is going on right now with the DVD
writer formats. So us as consumers are left waiting to see which format will win. What does this mean to you? If you get a drive now the format of the drive may not end up being the one finally selected by the industry. Then your data will not be compatible with the newer drives. Which could lead to more expensive media because most manufacturers only produce for the largest segment of the market. (Ex. Microsoft vs. Apple) Once the single standard format of DVD writers is chosen the price will drop because the license fees that the manufacturers have to pay will go down which will provide more competition for the consumer. Right now there is no clear indication of when this standard format will be selected.
You say you want a DVD writer today?
If you just can't wait there is hope! Sony just started selling their DRU-500A DVD
recordable drive. It supports all the 'current' DVD and CD recording standards that are on the market today. If you buy this drive it will support whichever drive is selected for the industry standard. But, if you wait and buy a DVD writer later you will eventually have a selection of standard drive formats, better performing drives and the price will probably be much lower than the drives on the market today.