Red-Hot Stuff: 11 DVD Burners Reviewed

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About DVD Recording, But Were Afraid To Ask

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Glossary: DVD Basics
1x, 2x, 4x DVDDVD recording or playback speed in relation to spindle speed of the DVD on video playback1x = 1.385 MB/s2x = 2.77 MB/s2.4x = 3.324 MB/s (only DVD+R/+RW)4x = 5.54 MB/s8x = 11.08 MB/s
AuthoringCompilation of video data and, if necessary, of a menu before actually burning a movie DVD.
BurningWriting to a CD or DVD.
CapturingRecording a TV program using a TV card
CSSContent stream scrambling - an encoding procedure commonly used for DVD video for the purpose of copy protection.
DVD-5One-sided, one-layer DVD with 4.38 GB gross capacity. Usually, however, this is given as 4.7 GB. This reason for this is that 1 kB is defined as 1,000 Bytes rather than 1,024 Bytes. All writeable DVDs to date are in the DVD-5 category
DVD-9One-sided but dual-layer DVD with 7.95 GB or 8.5 GB at 1,000 Bytes per kB. The bulk of all DVD movies are based on this standard, because they cannot be copied onto a DVD-5 without considerable effort.
DVD-10Two-sided, single-layer DVD with 7.95 GB or 8.5 GB capacity at 1,000 Bytes per kB. Now and then you see this type of disc, which naturally has to be turned over in the drive. DVD movies sometimes follow this standard so that Cinemascope (2.35 : 1) and widescreen (16 : 9) can but put on a DVD.
DVD-18Two-sided, dual-layer DVD with 7.95 or 8.5 GB per side. Yields 15.9 or 17 GB at 1,000 Bytes per kB. This type of DVD is very rare.
DVD videoSubcategory of DVD specifications intended for MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 content. The latter is used for quality reasons. Common MPEG-2 resolutions are 720x480 (NTSC) and 720x576 (PAL).
DVD ripOne or more files that were created from a DVD movie. DivX/MPEG-4 or SVCDs/MPEG-2 are common formats.
FirmwareThe software needed to run a hardware device, usually stored on a small memory chip. In many components this can be updated as needed.
GrabbingSelecting one or several titles off a music CD.
Mini DVDA CD that has a DVD-compliant file system. This is actually not a standard, but it allows burning of short films or a trailer in DVD quality onto a CD. Not supported by all DVD players.
RippingCopying all information from a DVD video onto a hard drive. Often this means getting past write protection. Circumventing copy protection is punishable under national copyright laws.
  • Very informative review. Tedious reading and loading it though...It would have been nice to see a chart or graph at the end of the article with all the drives together. This loading page after page after page sucks big time. too much other crap. Otherwise, I did find what I was looking for. Thanks Tom's Hardware!