DVD recorder file formats question

My computer drives can read all dvd’s I’ve tried except the ones produced by my dvd recorder, an LG DR175 should it matter. I have not tried dvd’s from other recorders.

Under Windows 98 SE each record is reported as a *.cda. Under XP SP1 the dvd itself is reported as not having a valid Windows format or some other kind of error (“incorrect function”). I get the same results no matter if I format the disks as “dvd video” or “dvd vr” with the recorder.

Do dvd recorders use non standard file formats? One per brand, per model, per what? Are they standard but not readable by PC’s? Or are they readable with special hardware or software? Can they be converted to “standard things” (such as say avi files or standard dvd’s)? Is it legal (provided that you are not going to distribute it etc)?

The recorder can read any dvd produced by the computer, even the data ones. At least you can browse its folders and view the admitted jpg’s etc that should be in each one. Why not the other way round?

It looks like that for some reason your PC DVD drive is not actually detecting the disc as a DVD, especially if you are getting the contents reported as .CDA files, at least in Windows 98. CDA files are Audio CD track information files and as far as I’m aware of, these are not used with the DVD format.

The DVD recordings should appear much like with a DVD-Video. For example, there should be a VIDEO_TS folder containing VIDEO_TS and VTS_0x_x files like you would find on a regular video DVD, as shown below with a DVD recorded in my LiteOn LVW-1105HC+:

Unlike most movie discs, the DVD+VR format generally combines the recordings in a series of VTS_01_x files of up to 1GB, where as a movie disc typically has one file per title. As DVD+VR and DVD-Video written discs do not contain copy protection or CSS encryption, you should be to copy the files over to your PC for editing.

Just to rule out your PC DVD drive or another potential issue, I would recommend trying a recorded DVD in someone else’s PC with a DVD-ROM or Writer.

Well, you seemed very sure so I have made thorough tests.

I have three drives in my PC: a dvd reader NEC DV-5800C and two recorders LG GSA-4163B and LiteON LDW-811S (the dvd recording part of this one lasted very little, but it is a good CD burner that can overwrite well over 99 minutes, unlike the LG).

I used five disks:

  • Princo -rw 2x formatted as dvd video.
  • Princo -rw 2x formatted as dvd vr.
  • Verbatim -rw 6x formatted as dvd video.
  • Verbatim -rw 6x formatted as dvd vr.
  • Traxdata +rw 4x.

Under Windows XP, the NEC reader reported all dvd-rw disks as non Windows format, and both recorders produced “incorrect function” errors. None of them were readable at all.

Under Windows 98, the NEC reader reported all dvd-rw disks as CDFS file system, 2147450880 bytes (1.99 GB) used, 0 bytes free and as many *.cda as records were made. Those “alleged audio tracks” weren’t readable.

Under Windows 98, the same for the LG and LiteON recorders and dvd-rw disks formatted as dvd video, except that no *.cda “files” appeared. If you open the drive folder, it just appears empty.

Under Windows 98, with LG and LiteON recorders, dvd-rw disks formatted as dvd vr appear to have a .Sys-Reserved-RW-Bitmap.GROW file and a DVD-RTAV folder with two files VR_MANGR.IFO and VR_MOVIE.VRO. The file system is UDFFS20, reported used space (199 MB, 158 MB,… for 4-6 minutes) seems right but free space (2.84 GB, 58.3 MB,…) seems random. PowerDVD cannot read them as movies (I believe that Windows Media Player v9 that I have in this OS cannot play dvd’s, unlike WMP10 under WinXP).

The dvd+rw was read flawlessly with any of my PC drives under both OS’s, either as movie with PowerDVD or Windows Media Player or as “data disk” (it has two folders under the root: VIDEO_RM and VIDEO_TS).

Conclusion: it seems as simple as using dvd+rw if I plan to use the record in my PC.

One last question from a newbie in set-top dvd recorders: is this the general rule or is it just a design feature of my dvd recorder (LG DR175)? Does it stand for +R versus -R? I used to believe that plus versus minus referred to just physical differences (wobble frequencies, phase changes versus peaks and so on: http://www.cdfreaks.com/article/113 ).

Did you Finalize the discs before trying to play them
in your computer?