What's up with DVD-RAM and DVD burners?

— 12:16 AM on December 6, 1999

A reader named Rick wrote in a with a question I didn't know the answer to myself until fairly recently, and I can see why there's confusion. He asks:


I sure wish that SOMEONE (hint, hint) would review the new Creative DVD-RAM drive. I am somewhat confused by it all. I read an article at tech report that made a big deal out of a DVD Recorder for $2200.00 but not a word about the DVD-RAM which is only $249.00 at computers4sure.com ?? Isn't a DVD-RAM a DVD recorder or am I total wrong here ?? I would surely appreciate some insight from you since no one has a review about this product.

Thanks again,


Of course, we'd love to review the Creative drive, if only a certain manufacturer (hint, hint) would send us an eval version. Anyhow, for what it's worth, here's my response:

I don't have a Creative drive, but I do have a DVD-RAM here in a review system, and I can tell you what the deal is: DVD-RAM is a rewritable format, but it's a cartridge-based format (2.6GB per side) that's not compatible with regular DVD players. (Yep, I was shocked too when I figured it out. Kinda odd, eh?)

A DVD-RAM drive will read CDs and DVDs, but its rewritable cartridges won't even fit into a conventional DVD drive. A true DVD recorder, capable of writing to DVD discs readable in any DVD drive, would be a much bigger deal--hence the higher price tag. Look for more DVD-RAM info in a TR review soon.


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