A DVD recorder (or a DVD writer) is a consumer electronics device that records analog or digital audio/visual (A/V) signals in a digital format onto a digital video disc (DVD). more...
DVD recorders are distinct from digital video recorders (DVRs) in that they record onto a removable disc (the DVD) instead of a hard disk. Like a video cassette recorder (VCR), the DVD recorder has standard A/V inputs and playback functions. Like a DVD player, the DVD recorder can also be used to play many audio and video CDs.
DVD recorders first appeared on the consumer market in 1999 in Japan, and then in 2000 in the rest of the world. Early units were priced between between 2,500 and 4,000 USD. As of mid-2004, substantial increases in the quantities available and in the number of retail outlets selling DVD recorders have resulted in price reductions of approximately 90% compared to prices in 2000.
DVDs come in three major formats: the "minus" (also referred to as "dash") format (DVD-R and DVD-RW), the "plus" format (DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD+R DL), and the DVD-RAM format. Nearly all DVD recorders use either the minus or plus format, but at least one available model (in 2004) uses both minus and plus formats. The minus format is promoted by a group of manufacturers known as the DVD Forum. The plus format is promoted by a group of manufacturers known as the DVD+RW Alliance. Some manufacturers belong to both associations.
As of 2004, both formats seem equally popular with consumers. While the plus vs. minus "battle" may evoke memories of the Betamax vs. VHS video format war of the 1980s, consumers are faced with a less stark choice here in that both plus and minus formats are compatible with the vast majority of DVD players now available.
DVD recorder vs. VCR
Many writers have anticipated the DVD recorder to be the natural successor to the VCR because of the advantages of DVD recording. These include
- noticeably superior video and audio quality
- no rewinding required
- quicker access to particular portions of the recording
- DVDs require significantly less storage space than videotape
- onscreen labeling not available on VCRs
- DVDs are significantly less subject to wear and damage than videotape
- no problem with copy fade
- possibility of deleting portions of recording (e.g. for incremental video watching)
- play list allow of watching recordings in arbitrary order, and far more ...
The main disadvantage of DVD recorders compared to VCRs is cost (as of 2005). While VCR's come essentially for pocket change nowadays, the emerging standard of home DVD Recorder set-top boxes is yet to become as plausible an option. However, the downward pressure on the prices of recorders and recordable discs due to increased supply and market competition is likely to soon eliminate this disadvantage. Another notable disadvantage is that DVD recorders require some extra time both to initially format the disc for recording and to finalize the disc once recording has been stopped. This disadvantage does not apply to DVD-RAM disks, which behave more like a hard disk and require no finalization.
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