Any DVD-RAM users out there?

A few questions:
What are you using DVD-RAM for and how has it been going for you?
I’m considering a DVD-RAM drive for direct saves in HD-like fashion to DVD-RAM media like Panasonic’s LM-HC47LU 3x discs:

Recording/editing streams of video and audio is sounding good to me too. Just want to know your experiences and which (preferably current) hardware you are using and/or recommend. My main concern is HD data backup and disc RELIABILITY, above all else. I couldn’t care less if nobody else could read my discs, so I’m not concerned with compatibility with the millions of DVD drives out there (I don’t care for movies, on the whole), just a decent HD-like (albeit slower) backup medium.

Thanks for any thoughts :slight_smile:

I use them for backup they aren’t quick (although have a look at the new LG drive) but they are reliable, MUCH more reliable than the +/- formats.


I have just one 3x DVD-RAM media, the bundled Maxell 4.7GB single-sided disk in a LG GSA-4082 box. It’s too slow for my taste. I have some 4x DVD+RW media. Though they say 3x and 4x respectively, the speed difference is actually more like 1.5x vs. 4x. However, DVD-RAM is Windows-transparent, if you know what I mean, while DVD+RW is not despite the long-waited Mt. Rainier DVD+RW, or DVD+MRW specification. I downloaded some files from a friend in Seoul to the Maxell 3x DVD-RAM disk in this PC. It was a very smooth process and there was no need to “back up” the hard disk drive. If only one could purchase enough amount of storage space on DVD-RAM media affordably, it’s a great PC technology. LG Electronics and Hitachi do nothing even in South Korea and Japan to promote DVD-RAM significantly.

Though it’s called “DVD-RAM”, DVD-RAM is quite different from DVD-RW and DVD+RW. I think DVD-RAM is closer to HDD and MO than it is to CD-R(W). DVD-R(W) and DVD+R(W) were developed mostly for DVD-Video backup and home video on DVD for playback in standalone DVD-Video players. DVD-RAM is more for large-sized file backup and secondary storage (secondary to HDD) for frequent read and write access, including overwriting and replacing. But it’s a technology invented long before portable memory-based and HDD-based products became ubiquitous. 2.2GB HDD using CF interface is much smaller than 8cm DVD-RAM with bigger storage space. For more common applications, 2.5-inch notebook HDDs can be used with USB/1394 portable enclosure. Cheaper, lighter, faster, larger, and easier. I’m not saying DVD-RAM is completely obsolte or it’s useless, but it’s the applications that decide the technologies rather than the other way. Hitachi DVD camcorders using DVD-RAM and DVD-R look great to me but they use only 8cm media, very expensive and very rare.

thanks for your thoughts guys. That’s primarily what I want it for. No-nonsense easy backups (and more reliable rewrites) in Windows.

Fairy, what media and drive are you using? I have noticed Ritek have some DVD-RAM media in my neck of the woods around 40% cheaper than the Panasonic 3x media. I wonder if you’ve tried it?

I have the LG gsa4082b and have used DataSafe 9.4 GB (turned out to be x2) from SVP, Panasonic LMAD240E (also x2), and LMAF120LE3 (triple pack of x3) from Panasonic. The LG doesn’t have any problem with any of these, but my Toshiba DVD-ROM drive doesn’t like the DataSafe (not sure if it is because I formatted it).

From my experience the main thing is to make sure you know what speed the media is :slight_smile:

I just bought a Panasonic LF-M621E on impulse :slight_smile: I kinda based the purchase on Panasonic’s long history with DVD-RAM drives. I hope to get a lot of use out of it.

Decided the cartridge was better for my needs after all, seeing that I wanted absolute data integrity for my backups, with less chance of mishandling mishaps. Blanks are not as cheap as the cartridge-less DVD-RAM discs, but I am glad I went ahead with it. Will report on my experiences once I get it… :slight_smile:

OK, just received the Panasonic LF-M621 (aka SW-9572) drive.

I’m loving it!
The DVD-RAM format is HIGHLY underrated.
I have no words…

thanks for explaining what dvd-ram are…

as i looked a bit and i didn’t find information about it…

In a nutshell:
the ability to drag and drop files directly to the disc natively like a hard disc or big floppy drive/ flash drive. No third-party apps or long delays for “opening” or “closing” a disc for burning. No need for a separate app in Windows

more reliable media. Rated around 100,000 rewrite cycles compared to around 1,000 rewrite cycles on DVD+RW/DVD-RW. More advanced materials in DVD-RAM discs apparently provide the far longer rewrite life, which is quite different to how DVD-RW/DVD+RW are manufactured.

Type II discs are 4.7GB discs in cartridges (with removable discs).
Type 4 discs are double-sided 9.4GB discs in cartridges, with 4.7GB per side. Again, Type 4 DVD-RAM cartridges can have their discs taken out to use in DVD-RAM drives that don’t accept cartridges.

Older DVD-RAM discs with less capacity per side still around but not popular.
8cm (smaller) discs available too. Used primarily in DVD camcorders from Hitachi and Panasonic.

Most drives nowadays seem to dispense with the cartridges. I wanted cartridge support and got it with this Panasonic drive. The media (whether bought with cartridges or without simply in CD/DVD jewel cases) is more expensive than regular DVD blanks.

Maximum 3x rewrite speeds. 5x write drives and media coming soon. Once it hits 5x write, it will be the fastest rewritable format around. (Not to be confused with write-once media speeds).

advanced defect management built into every drive which, by all accounts, is superior to every other DVD solution on the market now. This has been pretty much written all over the net from various sources. DVD-RAM seems to have a strong following for critical data backup tasks.

sadly not many DVD drives have DVD-RAM reading (or writing) support. Most visible for providing support are probably the LG range of DVD burners right now. However, they don’t use a cartridge, just the bare DVD-RAM discs. I prefer the cartridge.

The format was approved by the DVD Forum a few months ago. (not that this means much to anyone)