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 ).