DVD Recorder Write Speed



I have come to understand that many people are against burning 16x media at really slow speeds, claiming that this is actually a bad idea. However, you must realize that all DVD Recorders, which record directly from cable or from a line-in source, write discs in REAL TIME, which means if you record an hour-long program, the disc burns 60 min. of video over the COURSE of one hour.

Obviously most DVD Recorders have several quality/speed modes that can be set, from XP (1 hour worth of video per DVD) to SEP (10 hours worth of video per DVD). Hypothetically speaking then, if you were to fully fill ONE disc on the XP setting (highest quality) in one sitting, that would mean recording 4.7 GB of data in ONE hour, which would be equivalent to a write speed of about 1x (b/c it takes about 15 min. to burn a full disc at 4x speed and about 30 min. to burn at 2x speed). So then if you were to actually record 10 hours worth of video in one sitting, on the SEP setting (lowest quality), you would have written an entire DVD over the course of 10 straight hours, the equivalent of a write speed of about 0.1x. What that means is that all DVD Recorders record to discs at a minimum speed of 0.1x and a maximum speed of 1x, as it is all done in real time.

In light of that fact, I submit that burning media at speeds far slower than their maximum does NOT negatively impact the data, specifically when the recorder is calibrated for exactly these slow speed. I’ve never had a problem with any of the discs I’ve burned on my DVD Recorders, and I doubt manufacturers would sell the products and encourage people to transfer their home movies and other invaluable video to DVD using them if they produced unreliable results. In addition, on each of the current TDK DVD-Rs I’m using, the label indicates 1-16x speed, not just 16x speed, implying that any speed is fine as long as it is SLOWER than the maximum rated speed of the disc. Like I said, you may be able to adjust the write speed when burning on a computer, but when it comes to DVD Recorders, for which you use the same exact media, you can’t write any higher than 1x speed, and that’s only on the highest quality setting.

Most recordable DVD media today have a maximum rated speed of 16x. You use the same media to burn discs on a DVD drive as you do to record on a DVD Recorder. DVD drives nowadays may be calibrated for higher speeds, but DVD Recorders go no higher than 1x speed. So the conclusion I would draw is that as long as the device writing the disc can operate efficiently at a low speed, then burning/writing a disc at a speed far lower than its rated speed will NOT adversely affect it in any way. The errors that come from burning at too slow a speed is SOLELY the fault of the drive … the media can handle any speed, slow or fast, as long as it doesn’t exceed its rated speed.

Because with DVD Recorders, you really don’t have a choice. Unless you’re going to tell me that all discs written in a DVD Recorder are badly produced to begin with, making the entire technology obsolete.


Most likely they are buffered and written in bursts. The Disk is not spinning for 10 hrs to record a 10 hr show.