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A Few Tips For Buying A DVD Burner

Aug 18, 2007
A DVD burner is a device that can play and create DVDs as well as CDs. These devices are more advanced then their predecessor, the CD burner, in that CD burners are not able to burn or play DVDs. For this reason, CD burners are becoming less common.

When searching for a DVD burner, whether for your computer for as a stand-alone unit, there are many factors you should take into consideration. Obviously, your budget will be a determining factor when selecting a DVD burner. Although the cost of DVD burners continues to decrease, you should still expect to pay at least $100 for a quality burner.

Deciding Between an Internal or External Device

If you will be using your DVD burner with your computer, the first decision you will need to make is whether you want the burner to be internal or external. Internal devices are less expensive than their external counterparts and are usually faster as well. On the other hand, you will need to be comfortable with opening our computer and performing some minor surgery in order to install an internal burner.

In addition to being easier to install, external DVD burners are also easier to take from place to place. Therefore, if you wish to use your DVD burner with multiple computers in your home or office, an external device may be the best option. In order to use an external DVD burner, you will need to have a USB 2.0 or FireWire port installed in your computer.

Determining the Necessary Speed

The fastest DVD burners run at speeds of 16X16. For most people, however, this high speed is not necessary. Unless you have to burn large quantities of DVDs on a regular basis, a 4X burner is likely to be plenty fast and will save you a significant amount of money. If you have the extra money to spend, however, the 16X can make the burning process go a bit faster.

Considering Compatibility

When selecting a DVD burner, you will also need to consider compatibility. DVD-R and DVD+R are both compatible with most DVD players as well as with DVD-ROM drivers. It should be noted, however, that some DVD players may work better with DVD-R because DVD+R has not been around for as long. Rewritable media is generally not as compatible, so exercise caution if going this route.

Formatting Ability

Since all rewritable optical discs need to be formatted, you can save some time with a DVD+RW drive, which is capable of formatting as it burns. In this way, you can save yourself some hassles during the DVD burning process. You can choose a DVD-RW drive, but it will require using special software in order to format the disc before you begin the burning process and this can take as long as an hour to complete depending on the quality of the software.
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