DVD Sizes, DVD-5, DVD-9
DVD Write and read speeds
Download DVD Samples 
DVD-Video Technical Info
DVD File/Folder structure
Video file comparison
More info

DVD stands for Digital Versatile/Video Disc, DVDR stands for DVD Recordable and DVDRW for DVD ReWriteable. If you're familiar with regular audio/music CDs or regular DVD-Video discs, then you will know what a recordable DVD looks like. A recordable DVD stores up to 2 hours of very good quality DVD-Video, including several audio tracks in formats like stereo, Dolby Digital or DTS and also advanced menu systems, subtitles and still pictures that can be played by many standalone DVD Players and most computer DVD-ROMs. If you choose to lower the video quality it is possible to store several hours video on a recordable DVD using low bitrates and low resolution with video quality more like VHS, SVHS, SVCD, CVD or VCD. It is also possible to have up to 4.37* GB ordinary data or mix DVD-Video and data on a recordable DVD that can be played by most computer DVD-ROMs.

There are three competing DVD Recording standards, DVD-R/DVD-RW and DVD+R/DVD+RW have pretty similiar features and are compatible with many standalone DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs while DVD-RAM has less DVD Player and DVD-ROM compatibility but better recording features.

DVD-R and DVD-RW
DVD-R was the first DVD recording format released that was compatible with standalone DVD Players.
DVD-R is a non-rewriteable format and it is compatible with about 93% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.
DVD-RW is a rewriteable format and it is compatible with about 80% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.
DVD-R and DVD-RW supports single side 4.37 GiB* DVDs(called DVD-5) and double sided 8.75 GiB* DVDs(called DVD-10).
These formats are supported by DVDForum.

DVD+R and DVD+RW
DVD+R is a non-rewritable format and it is compatible with about 89% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.
DVD+RW is a rewritable format and is compatible with about 79% of all DVD Players and most DVD-ROMs.
DVD+R and DVD+RW supports single side 4.37 GiB* DVDs(called DVD-5) and double side 8.75 computer GB* DVDs(called DVD-10).
These formats are supported by the DVD+RW Alliance.

DVD+R DL
DVD+R DL or called DVD+R9 is a Dual Layer writeable DVD+R. The dual layered discs can hold 7.95 GiB* (called DVD-9) and dual layered double sides 15.9* GiB (called dvd-18).

DVD-R DL
DVD-R DL or called DVD-R9 is a Dual Layer writeable DVD-R. The dual layered discs can hold 7.95 GiB* (called DVD-9) and dual layered double sides 15.9* GiB (called dvd-18).

DVD-RAM

DVD-RAM has the best recording features but it is not compatible with most DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players. Think more of it as a removable hard disk. DVD-RAM is usually used in some DVD Recorders.
This format is supported by DVDForum.


Read our DVD Writers and Recorders list and read also our DVD Players Compatibility list to see what types your standalone DVD Player supports. You find more detailed comparisons between the formats in the more info section here.



DVD Sizes

The DVD sizes can be a bit confusing. There are basicly 4 different DVD Sizes,

DVD-5, holds around 4 700 000 000 bytes and that is 4.37 GiB where 1 kbyte is 1024 bytes* . DVD+R/DVD+RW and DVD-R/DVD-RW supports this format. Also called Single Sided Single Layered. This is the most common DVD Media, often called 4.7 GB Media.

DVD-10
, holds around 9 400 000 000 bytes and that is 8.75 GiB. DVD+R/DVD+RW and DVD-R/DVD-RW supports this format. Also called Double Sided Single Layered.

DVD-9
, holds around 8 540 000 000 bytes and that is 7.95 GiB. DVD+R supports this format. Also called Single Sided Dual Layered. This media is called DVD-R9, DVD-R DL, DVD+R9, DVD+R DL or 8.5 GB Media.

DVD-18
, holds around 17 080 000 000 bytes and that is 15.9 GiB. DVD+R supports this format. Also called Double Sided Dual Layered.

* GiB = In the computer world is 1 KB data = 1024 bytes so 4 700 000 000 bytes / 1024 = 4 589 843KB / 1024 = 4482MB / 1024 = 4.37GB. See section 3.3 in the DVDDemystified FAQ here.


DVD+R/DVD+RW/DVD+R DL and DVD-R/DVD-RW exact sizes
DVD-R/DVD-RW = 4 706 074 624 bytes ( 4488 MB )
DVD+R/DVD+RW = 4 700 372 992 bytes ( 4482 MB )
DVD+R DL = 8 547 993 600 bytes ( 8152 MB )



DVD Write and read speeds

Single Layer(4.7GB) write speeds
1x (CLV) = about 58 minutes
2x (CLV) = about 29 minutes
2.4x (CLV) = about 24 minutes
4x (CLV) = about 14.5 minutes
6x (CLV/ZCLV) = about 10-12 minutes
8x (PCAV/ZCLV) = about 8-10 minutes
12x (PCAV/ZCLV) = about 6.5-7.5 minutes
16x (CAV/ZCLV) = about 6-7 minutes

Dual/Double Layer(8.5GB) write speeds
1x CLV = about 105 minutes
2.4x CLV = about 44 minutes
4x CLV = about 27 minutes

Single Layer (4.7GB) read speeds
1x read speed is 1.321MB/s = ~56 minutes
6x CAV (avg. ~4x) read speed is max 7.93MB/s = ~14 minutes
8x CAV (avg. ~6x) read speed is max 10.57MB/s = ~10 minutes
12x CAV (avg. ~8x) read speed is max 15.85MB/s = ~7 minutes
16x CAV (avg. ~12x) read speed is max 21.13MB/s = ~5 minutes

* write speed time and read speed time is not the same because writing requires some extra steps and also does the faster writing above 6x usually use lower write speeds for some parts of the dvd. 4x DVD speed = 36x CD speed. See section 4.2 in the DVDDemystified FAQ here.




Other non-standard special DVD formats:

DVD-VCD
is basicly a VCD authored on a DVD. DVD supports the VCD resolution but the audio has to be resampled to 48 khz. If the audio is resampled to 48 khz it is standard DVD-Video. Read more here how to make a such.

DVD-SVCD
is basicly a SVCD authored on a DVD. DVD do not supports the SVCD resolution but it may anyway work and the audio has to be resampled to 48 khz like the DVD-VCD. Read more here how to make a such and download a DVD Sample including a DVD-SVCD here.

DVD-MP3
is MP3s burned on a DVD but very few MP3 capable standalone DVD Players supports it because most Players verify DVD as DVD-Video only. Check our DVD Players list for compatibility.

DVD-ISO
is MPEG ,MPG, VOB files burned on a DVD without any DVD Authoring(making the vob,ifo files) but very few standalone DVD Players supports it because most Players verify DVD as DVD-Video only. Check our DVD Players list for compatibility.

What is miniDVD / cDVD then?
Read here on the miniDVD/cDVD page.



DVD Samples, DVD-SVCD Samples

DVD Trailers, Dolby Digital, DTS, THX Trailers and some other DVD VOB Trailers

To play the DVD Trailers on your computer use WinDVD and just open the VOB file.

If you would like to burn the VOB Trailers on a DVD you can use Tmpgenc DVD Author, add the vob files and burn.
 

DVD-SVCD Samples,
NTSC and PAL DVD-SVCD samples.





Technical Info for DVD-Video

PAL

Video:

Up to 9.8 Mbit/s* (9800 Kbit/s*) MPEG2 video
Up to 1.856 Mbit/s (1856 Kbit/s) MPEG1 video
720 x 576 pixels MPEG2 (Called Full-D1)
704 x 576 pixels MPEG2
352 x 576 pixels MPEG2 (Called Half-D1, same as the CVD Standard)
352 x 288 pixels MPEG2
352 x 288 pixels MPEG1 (Same as the VCD Standard)
25 fps*
16:9 Anamorphic (only supported by 720x576)

Audio:
48000 Hz
32 - 1536 Kbit/s
Up to 8 audio tracks containing Dolby Digital, DTS, PCM(uncompressed audio), MPEG-1 Layer2. One audio track must have MPEG-1, DD or PCM Audio.

Extras:
Motion menus, still pictures, up to 32 selectable subtitles, seamless branching for multiple storylines, 9 camera angles. And also additional DVD-ROM / data files that only can be read by computer DVD drives.

Total:
Total bitrate including video, audio and subs can be max 10.08 Mbit/s (10080 Kbit/s)


* Mbit/s = million bits per second
* Kbit/s = thousand bits per second
* fps = frames per second

For more technical DVD-Video details read the DVDDemystified DVD FAQ section 3.4

NTSC (NTSC Film)

Video:
Up to 9.8 Mbit/s* (9800 Kbit/s*) MPEG2 video
Up to 1.856 Mbit/s (1856 Kbit/s) MPEG1 video
720 x 480 pixels MPEG2 (Called Full-D1)
704 x 480 pixels MPEG2
352 x 480 pixels MPEG2 (Called Half-D1, same as the CVD Standard)
352 x 240 pixels MPEG2
352 x 240 pixels MPEG1 (Same as the VCD Standard)
29,97 fps*
23,976 fps with 3:2 pulldown = 29,97 playback fps (NTSC Film, this is only supported by MPEG2 video)
16:9 Anamorphic (only supported by 720x480)


Audio:
48000 Hz
32 - 1536 Kbit/s
Up to 8 audio tracks containing DD (Dolby Digital/AC3), DTS, PCM(uncompressed audio), MPEG-1 Layer2. One audio track must have DD or PCM Audio.

Extras:
Motion menus, still pictures, up to 32 selectable subtitles, seamless branching for multiple storylines, 9 camera angles. And also additional DVD-ROM / data files that only can be read by computer DVD drives.

Total:
Total bitrate including video, audio and subs can be max 10.08 Mbit/s (10080 Kbit/s)


* Mbit/s = million bits per second
* Kbit/s = thousand bits per second
* fps = frames per second

For more technical DVD-Video details read the DVDDemystified DVD FAQ section 3.4





DVD File/Folder Structure

Explanation:

. BUP = Backup files of the IFO files.

. IFO = The IFO files includes information such as chapters, subtitle tracks and audio tracks.

. VOB = The VOB files contains the actual video,audio,subtitles and menus.

Folder Files Explanation
AUDIO_TS (undefined)
VIDEO_TS VIDEO_TS.BUP  
  VIDEO_TS.IFO
The first video play item, IFO, usally a copyright notice or a menu
  VIDEO_TS.VOB The first video play item, VOB
  VTS_01_0.BUP  
  VTS_01_0.IFO Title Set 01, IFO, usually the main movie
  VTS_01_0.VOB Title Set 01, VOB 0, the menu for this title
  VTS_01_1.VOB Title Set 01, VOB 1, the video for this title
  VTS_01_2.VOB Title Set 01, VOB 2, if larger than 1 GB it will be splitted into several vobs
  VTS_01_3.VOB Title Set 01, VOB 3
  VTS_01_4.VOB Title Set 01, VOB 4, up to 10(0-9) VOB files if necassary
  VTS_02_0.BUP  
  VTS_02_0.IFO Title Set 02, IFO, usually movie extras
  VTS_02_0.VOB Title Set 02, VOB 0, the menu for this title
  VTS_02_1.VOB Title Set 02, VOB 1, the video for this title
  VTS_xx_x.BUP  
  VTS_xx_x.IFO And so on
  VTS_xx_x.VOB  
  VTS_xx_x.VOB  
  VTS_99_9.VOB Up to 99(1-99) titles with max 10(0-9) VOB files each
Advanced DVD-Video file specification here




Video File Comparison

Format
VCD
SVCD
DVD
Blu-ray
MKV HD
MP4 HD
H264 HD
WMV HD
AVI
DivX
XviD
WMV
MOV
QuickTime
FLV
MP4
AVI
DV
Resolution
NTSC/PAL
352x240
352x288
480x480
480x576
720x480²
720x576²
1920x1080
1280x720
1920x1080²
1280x720²
640x480² 640x480² 640x480² 720x480
720x576
Video
Compression
MPEG1
MPEG2
MPEG2, MPEG1
H264
VC1
MPEG2
H264
VC1
DivX, Xvid, MPEG4 ASP, WMV
H264
H264, FLV, VP6, VP7, VP8
DV
Video bitrate
1150Kbit/s
~2000Kbit/s
~7000Kbit/s
~30Mbit/s
~10Mbit/s
~1000Kbit/s
~1000Kbit/s
~700Kbit/s
25Mbit/s
Audio
Compression
MP1
MP1
MP1, MP2, AC3, DTS, PCM DTS-HD, EAC3, TrueHD, AC3, DTS, PCM AAC, AC3, DTS, WMA MP3, WMA, OGG, AAC, AC3 MP3, AAC MP3, AAC DV
Audio bitrate
224Kbit/s
~224Kbit/s
~448Kbit/s
~448Kbit/s
~448Kbit/s
~128Kbit/s
~128Kbit/s
~64Kbit/s
~1500Kbit/s
Size/min
10
MB/min
10-20
MB/min
30-70
MB/min
50-150MB/min 50MB/min 4-10
MB/min
4-10
MB/min
4-10
MB/min
216MB/min
Min/74min CD
74min
35-60min
10-20min 4min-10min 10min 60-180min 60-180min 60-180min 3min
Hours/DVD
N/A
N/A
1-2hrs
30min-1hrs 1hrs 7-18hrs 7-18hrs 7-18hrs 20min
Hours/
DualLayerDVD
N/A
N/A
2-4hrs
60min-2hrs 2hrs 13-30hrs 13-30hrs 13-30hrs 37min
Hours/
Blu-ray 25GB
N/A
N/A
8-16hrs
2-4hours 6hours 40-100hrs 40-100hrs 40-100hrs 110min
DVD Player Compatibility
Great Good Excellent None None Good None None None
Computer CPU Usage
Low Low Low Very high Very high Low Low Low Low
Quality
Bad Good* Great* Superb* Excellent* Great* Great* Great* Good
Kbit/s = thousand bits per second
Mbit/s = million bits per second
² approximately resolution, it can be higher or lower
~ approximately bitrate, it can be higher or lower
* the video quality depends on the bitrate and the video resolution, higher bitrate and higher resolution generally means better video quality but bigger file size





More Info


General DVD Info

The DVDDemystified DVD FAQ


DVD-Video file specification


Comparisons between the difference formats, DVD-R vs DVD+R, DVD+RW vs DVD-RW vs DVD-RAM

What's the difference between the various DVD recordable formats, and what should I buy?


DVDDemystified DVD FAQ comparison


 

 



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