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DVDs & Movies

Other Formats

Other Formats Article

Dual Layer recording allows DVD-R and DVD+R discs to store significantly more data, up to 8.5 Gigabytes per side, per disc, compared with 4.7 Gigabytes for single-layer discs. DVD-R DL was developed for the DVD Forum by Pioneer Corporation, DVD+R DL was developed for the DVD+RW Alliance by Philips and Mitsubishi Kagaku Media (MKM).

A Dual Layer disc differs from its usual DVD counterpart by employing a second physical layer within the disc itself. The drive with Dual Layer capability accesses the second layer by shining the laser through the first semi-transparent layer. The layer change mechanism in some DVD players can show a noticeable pause, as long as two seconds by some accounts. This caused more than a few viewers to worry that their dual layer discs were damaged or defective, with the end result that studios began listing a standard message explaining the dual layer pausing effect on all dual layer disc packaging.

DVD recordable discs supporting this technology are backward compatible with some existing DVD players and DVD-ROM drives. Many current DVD recorders support dual-layer technology, and the price is now comparable to that of single-layer drives, though the blank media remains more expensive. The recording speeds reached by dual-layer media are still well below those of single-layer media.


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