DvD Ram Users == Pro's and Con's

I’ve used several Liteon Models for about 2 years now and the reliability of the dvd rewriteable disks just isn’t there for me. I get glitches in one area that won’t be there on the next use and vice versa.

I’m thinking of getting a Panasonic with a cartridge dvd-ram system for the rewrite editing function–record on Panasonic, edit in computer, burn on computer.

Every review I read on dvd-ram calls it “ultra-reliable” whereas the other formats are just “long lasting.” I searched this forum and this seems to not be covered?

I’m wondering if you folks with dvd-ram experience could let us non-ram users know what your experience has been?? I’m mostly interested in the burn reliability and if transfer and editing in the computer has any unpublished issues? Thanks.

You don’t really need the cartridge system, and won’t find a PC drive to accept them anyway.
I record to RAM and transfer to PC on 5x RAM discs, re-authoring and burning on PC. I wouldn’t do it any other way, although RW is more than adequate for this, and is also faster. Considering that the recording only has to last till you get it to the PC, reliability isn’t a huge issue either. That said, I’ve yet to have a RAM disc fail, which I cannot say about RW.

I have a panny settop recorder and several RAM capable burners. The settop records RAM disks very quickly compared to when I use minus media in it but of course the disks wont play in most other players. It’s been very handy for grabbing quick dubs of things I dont want to delete off it’s hard drive yet for other projects.
The down side is ripping and playback is very slow so far and you’ll probably .
need a RAM driver to if you want to do drag and drop type stuff with a PC.
It does have error checking and correction built into the standard so burned disks verify as they are recorded so you shouldn’t get any errors on backup media but it makes it twice as slow doing all that extra stuff.
I don’t use it for PC type stuff here so I’m sure others will chime in with more usefull info.

OK- - I’m feeling more confident that dvd-ram is the way to go.

I was thinking cartridge because THAT is part of what gives such great reliability?? I have read that a bare dvd-ram disk has no greater life expectancy than other bare re-writeables==I try to be as clean as possible and I am amazed at how many fingerprints and such still show up? A cartridge would be nice to avoid that constant problem. If I could get 1000 clean burns, I would be very happy dont need 100,000 burns with a glitch every other one!!!

No pc burners accept cartridges? I admit I’ve never seen one shown that way and panasonic always shows the dvd-ram in a cartridge but I assume it can use bare ones as well???

The Panasonic SW-9574-C should support cartridges.

It was reported by triode here, in this thread

Regards, :slight_smile:


eltranquil - - muchos gracias.

Googled and found first retail was $220!!! Checked and yes your first link showed it at $139 (Much Better!!) Have to wait for that sale.

Also found another confirmation here at freaks:


Still good to have “options.”

EDIT= = = any other dvd-ram users out there with useful hints?? Anybody run into a “cheap” brand of ram that did not work on their machine?

If you are realistically not able to handle a disc carefully, then a cartridge setup might be for you. I just handle them carefully, and never leave them out of a case. If it’s not in my hand, it’s in a case or a drive. Also never leave a case sitting open.

Hi Dan. Glad to see we both handle our disks carefully.

So not a single failed dvd-ram disk–does that mean you have never had a sticking point, pixilation, or a single file that would not copy due to crc errors?

In other words, every single recording on the dvd-ram has been perfect? In all cases, what brand are you using? If perfection is your experience (and others???), I’ll go out and buy that Panasonic this weekend.


RAM discs are verified during burns, so there cannot be any lost data.

there’s not a lot of choice in RAM discs, but I use Fuji 3x (Panasonic) and Panasonic 5x (Maxell). My 5x have been formatted and re-written maybe 100 times or so. I just inspect them for dust and smudges. Any time you do get any errors, you can run a physical format which will flag the bad sectors.

As an aside, there’s a lot of reported problems with the ES20, but the newer ES15 is supposed to be good, and the ES10 has always been good.

CDan: RAM discs are verified during burns, so there cannot be any lost data.

I’ve been reading websites and threads for 2 years now trying to get more reliable burns and THAT is the first time I have read such a statement. I’m getting an upset stomach “hoping” it is true? :iagree:

In theory I can understand error free recording because of a checking system but I can also see that as true only on computer based burns where buffers and smart burn technology can apply.

Does this error checking and “error free burns” be done when recording over the air tv shows? If so, how can we let everyone know??? (or am “I” the mark in this poker game :sad: )

Thanks so much for that info ((and I will look for that panny model no!)) .////bobbo.

Any more dvd-ram users experiences out there??? Got to be some bad media!

Verification is part of the RAM specifications, and it’s why a 3x RAM disc only burns at 1.4x on a PC. Each sector is read back and verified during the burn. You can turn this verification function off with some versions of software and RAM drivers, but set-top recorders will always use it.

As a part of this verification, any sector that fails to verify is marked “bad” and the data is burned to the next sector. On a RAM disc, all sectors are mapped like on a hard drive. If you do a physical format of a RAM disc, each sector is checked and any that fail are permantly marked as “bad” and will be skipped in future burns.

That makes “sense” to me and I take it then that you may get a bad burn on occassion when doing real time tv recording but then the disk should be good to go again after that? I’ve tried to do the same thing “manually” with my dvd rewriteables and while difficult it is better than getting a bad burn all the time at a certain spot? Course, what happens is that spot gets “healed” and is good while some other spot goes bad. Its all very “frustrating.”

I am getting the sense though that ram is much more reliable for real time recording in the stand alone panasonic units. When I “have to” get another unit, no reason not to get a ram unit and play with it.

Thanks for all your new and good info.////bobbo.

The nature of DVD-RAM is that it has physical sectoring (you can actually see them on the disc) and that makes random writing possible, plus faster random access (and probably why it can afford instant verification). This results in some features not found on RW discs on my ES20:

  • playback while recording. I can playback a program while it’s still being recorded. It’s a big plus to me as some TV programs I watch start before I finish dinner and I don’t want to wait til the show is over before starting to watch.
  • 1.3x playback with audio.
  • commercial skip.
  • picture-in-picture. Watch any recordings (including the one currently being recorded) while a smaller picture in the corner showing what is currently being recorded or ready to be recorded.
  • record stereo AND SAP (second audio programming) at the same time. With other disc types you have to choose either one.
  • quick startup. Power on and record in just 1 second.
  • mark chapters and on-disc editing.
  • don’t need to erase the last program to increase disc space. Erase any program and you get more space.

There may be more features I missed here. Anyways, I use my DVD recorder mostly for one-time watch TV programs and I find the extra features from DVD-RAM disc invaluable. For other recordings I want to keep, I import them from the DVD-RAM disc onto my PC with Nero Vision and burn to DVD +R. I can even gather recordings or convert PC video clips and burn onto DVD-RAM disc using Nero Vision and the ES20 treats them just like any other recordings done by the unit (can edit, mark chapters, erase) and co-resist well with further recordings made by the unit. Most PC DVD burners read/write DVD-RAM discs except Benq.

Thanks Chris===I just lost two more dvd+rw==they worked for 10-11 burns and now they won’t load on my Liteon. One erased in the computer and worked one more time, now it is a coaster too! VERY UNRELIABLE!!

Yep, my next “mochine” will be a dvd-ram. I was thinking blue-ray but its future is pretty cloudy what with (hopefully) halodisks coming on strong???

BTW–for you dvd-ram user guys==>how many “bad sectors” on the media are showing up? How does that happen? Do you get any kind of notice or do you just see the reported capacity of the disk decline over time? Any total failures to write or erase?? ((Any good dvd-ram users guides out there? I have googled and haven’t found “any” practical users reports on how this actually works. Given you have to buy specific computer burner to support this, and those units are more expensive, this info should be available??))

Pic-in-pic huh? Thats cool!!!///bobbo

Most common cause of bad sectors would be dust and smudges.

How do you check bad sectors? I don’t think I’ve ever encountered any bad sectors on a DVD-RAM disc. I’m not sure what you’re looking for in a “dvd-ram user guide”. They work just like a DVD+RW. I think most PC DVD burners (like $30-40 ones) support DVD-RAM. The only one that I know doesn’t support is Benq.

Some additions since I have a Panasonic HDD recorder too:

  • High-speed dubbing from HDD to Ram is possible with stereo AND SAP is allowed while with DVD-R/RW it is only 1X(2hr movie needs 2 hours to copy to DVD-R/RW). With RAM I only need about 15mins with 5x Media. (There is a record mode for fast dubbing to DVD-R but with this mode advanced VBR and SAP is turned off)
  • Watch other program on HDD while dubbing to RAM which is not possible with DVD-R/RW
  • Record other programs to HDD while dubbing TV-shows to RAM. With DVD-R/RW you can not record to HDD while dubbing.
  • Dubbing to RAM and then RIP to PC and then edit and burn to DVD-R on PC takes less time than dubbing to DVD-R on standalone. (I use a normal Toshiba DVD-ROM drive and TMPGENC to rip and burn to DVD-R)

[QUOTE=CDan]You don’t really need the cartridge system, and won’t find a PC drive to accept them anyway.

Bollocks!!! why do you think they were invented in the first place?
Panasonic usually bring out two versions of each PC recorder a
proper version and a cheaper version that does not take the cartridge.

I prefer 9.4gb Double sided cartridges which I use just like large floppies.
100% reliable and much quicker to change due to not having to put them in and out of jewel cases.

Sean B

Sean B: This type of response is not conducive to a proper discussion. Please try and make your point without being rude :cop:.

Lots of good responses. The reason I’m asking so many questions is because dvd-ram is more expensive and it has to be justified by being “better than” dvd rewriteables? I’m getting more than fed up with lack of disk compatibility with my Liteon’s. Once again, I’m getting a cycling experience where a rewriteable (RW) will record perfectly on one day then record with 4-5 glitches, then go back and record perfectly again. I’ve got a stack of 50 RW’s that used to record and don’t now==all representing a show or two that I didn’t get or that are on hard drive waiting for a 15minute gap to be recorded again.

If dvd-ram is actually “reliable”==it would be worth the money to get such a recorder with a pc based recorder as well for the editing. Sooooo- - - nothing ventured, nothing gained, I guess? (Still $8.00 each for blank media is pretty rich if they fail like the RW’s do!!!)) /// bobbo.