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Double-Layer DVD+R Media: How Does It Work and Frequently Asked Questions

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This document pertains to HP and Compaq PCs with DVD+RW/+R DL drives.

Introduction to double-layer DVD+R media

Double-layer DVD+R media steps beyond single layer recordable DVD technology to include the following features:
  • Increased data capacity from 4.7 to 8.5 GB on a single side of the recordable DVD+R disc.
  • Increased capacity translates into two hours of high quality video or five hours of VHS quality video.
  • Compatible with most DVD-ROM and DVD-video players.

How does the media work

The double-layer DVD+R media is made up of two recordable layers. The laser of the DVD Writer focuses through the semi-transparent material of the first layer to record to the second layer.
1 - Laser beam
2 - Label
3 - Polycarbonate
4 - Metal reflector
5 - Dye recording layer (L1)
6 - Spacer
7 - Semi-transparent metal reflector
8 - Dye recording layer (L0)
9 - Polycarbonate

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question: Will HP provide updates for any other HP DVD Writers to enable double-layer media recording?
Answer: No. Only HP DVD Writers specifically designed for recording to double-layer media can write to double-layer discs. For more information about compatibility refer to the section More information about disc compatibility .
Question: Will double-layer media be compatible with my DVD player?
Answer: Yes, in most cases. HP's testing shows compatibility to be at approximately 90%. Some older DVD player cannot read some double-layer discs.
Question: Can I read double-layer discs with my older DVD Writers?
Answer: Maybe. Certain DVD Writers may need an upgrade to read from recorded double-layer discs. For more information about compatibility refer to the section More information about disc compatibility .
Question: Now that the recordable space on the DVD media is close to the same size as commercial DVD movie discs, will I be able to copy these movie discs?
Answer: HP does not support the copying of commercial, copywritten material.
Question: Can I add additional data to a double-layer disc?
Answer: The recording software that came with your PC can use multisession recording, allowing data to be incrementally added to a double-layer disc.
Question: Why is the capacity of a double-layer disc not equal to the capacity of two single-layer discs?
Answer: Although the laser focuses on one layer at a time to read or write data, light reflection from one layer always causes a small amount of interference with the other. Because of this, capacity of each layer is reduced by approximately 10%.

More information about disc compatibility

If you experience problems when creating discs it may be that you are using low-quality discs. Using low quality media can impact the ability to write to the disc and the ability for it to be read in other players. This rest of this section explains in detail why this occurs and why you should use brand name discs that are known to work well in different brands of drives.
CD and DVD drives and the discs they write on are different and vary between brands. Disc differences include dye type, dye thickness, and substrate groove geometry. Drive differences include the laser beam shape, orientation, and power profile. In order to meet specifications and achieve the best recording quality, the drive must be able to adjust itself to the different types of discs.
Currently, there is no universal strategy for detecting recordable discs. Disc manufacturers stamp the media's properties onto the disc as well as the manufacturer's own unique identification values. Unfortunately, using this method is voluntary and relies on the integrity of the disc manufacturer.
One of the main benefits of using HP products is that HP ensures that all of its media complies to current industry methods for stamping identification values. Using HP or quality name brand discs ensures that your drive can properly detect and adjust for the disc it is writing to.
NOTE:HP supports the lawful use of technology and does not endorse or encourage the use of our products for purposes other than those permitted by copyright law.
NOTE:Double-layer discs can store more data than single-layer discs. However, double-layer discs burned with this drive may not be compatible with many existing single-layer DVD drives and players. HP recommends the use of single-layer DVD+R discs for maximum compatibility with other DVD drives and players.