Copying video to DVD

I am copying home movies on videotape to DVD using a
DVD/VCR player that copies. I am confused about what kind of DVD to use,
+R or -R. Does it make much of a difference?
Also is it okay to use generic brands such as Staples?
Thank you!

Using +R or -R depends entirely on your particular recorder. Some will only take one type, most can use either. Check your manual for this information.

Cheap, generic brands of dvds can vary wildly on quality. Sometimes you will get a good batch, sometimes you get nothing but ruined disks. And it is possible to get some that burn ok, then degrade quickly. For short-time, day to day use, the generics work fairly well most of the time. If you have any important videos that you want to save for a longer time, I would advise getting Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden or possibly Sony brand disks.

Verbatim can be found in local shops like Best Buy or online. Taiyo Yuden is only found at online shops like or if you are in the US. Sony is available in most stores.

Check your DVD player manual for the types of media it accepts. Most newer players accept both though I recently saw one that would only read +R. I agree, don’t get cheap media. I learned this late (like most newbies). Get yourself some Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden, and be sure to buy a few RW (rewritables) because otherwise you will waste a bunch of discs with burn errors. I recommend ImgBurn. Had no luck with Nero twice in the past (V.7 and V.9) and finally got rid of it, which I should have done a long time ago!

Thanks for the replies. Would HP DVD+R be considered good quality?
I have some of these.

:disagree:. Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden, (TY).

I don’t think the +R HP are all that great. If you want to know the exact type of disks you have, use DVDIdentifier to find the mid code on the disks. Then post that information here.

The HP’s probably won’t be absolute rubbish though. As general use disks, I’m sure they are fine.

My machine takes both kinds of DVD’s.
I am still confused about what is best to use.
I will order Verbatim on line but not clear on whether it should be + or -
and what about “16 X” or “8 X” ?
Thanks for all the help.

If your recorder takes both types, then it comes down to personal preference. I like +R a little better, but there isn’t much difference when you are using a good brand like Verbatim.

16x is the maximum rated speed, or 8x depending on which you buy. You can burn them at slower speeds, but don’t go extremely slow with modern media. 8x is a safe speed for both types of Verbatim. I don’t know if your stand alone recorder allows you to vary the speed…don’t know your model.