Technically speaking, a DVD-R is a DVD, it just has certain features that a regular DVD doesn't have. The "R" in DVD-R stands for "recordable". This feature gives DVD-R discs more versatility than regular DVDs. Read on to learn more about the differences between DVD and DVD-R.
A DVD is a disc that contains video and audio information. When a DVD is placed in a DVD player or drive, a laser reads the information on the disc and the information is transferred to a connected output device such as a television. A DVD-R is used to record information. It can record video and audio for future playback or it can act as storage media for computer files. If a DVD-R is used to record video and audio, it can be played like a regular DVD in most players and drives.
As technology has advanced, the storage space of DVDs has increased. The most advanced DVDs can store about 15.9 GB of information through the use of double-sided capacity. Additionally, each side is double-layered. In contrast, DVD-R discs can only store 4.7 GB of information.
DVD technology offers clearer audio and video as well as greater storage capacity when compared with previous technologies like VHS. DVD-R discs offer the additional benefits of storage. You can use DVD-R discs to record home movies and other video such as downloaded video from the Internet. Conversely, you can also use DVD-R discs to back up important files.
You can burn many kinds of information to DVD-R discs, however you cannot overwrite the information once it has been stored. Also, while DVD-Rs can be played on virtually any device that plays DVDs, there are some players that only play regular DVDs. It's a good idea to keep both DVDs and DVD-Rs in protective cases so that they don't get scratched. The information stored on DVDs doesn't degrade like the information stored on tape or film, but a scratch can cause skipping or make the disc unreadable.
Regular DVDs are commonly encoded with region information. This information is also present on most DVD players. The result of this practice is that DVDs that are sold in a certain geographical region can only be played on players that are sold in the same region. DVD-R discs do not contain region information, so generally they can be played on any DVD player.