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DVD-R(DVD-Recordable) A write-once (read only) DVD disc for both movies and data endorsed by the DVD Forum. DVD-Rs are often called "DVD Dash Rs" or "DVD Minus Rs" to distinguish them from the competing "Plus R" format (see DVD+R).
DVD-Rs are the DVD counterpart to CD-Rs and use the same dye-layer recording technology to "burn" the disc. Pioneer was the first to introduce DVD-R drives, which recorded 3.95GB. By 2000, the capacity was increased to the industry standard 4.7GB. A dual-layer drive (DVD-R DL) increases capacity to 8.5GB.
In practice, the term "DVD" refers to all DVD formats. The phrase "burn the DVD" really means "burn the DVD-R or DVD+R."
DVD-R for Authoring, DVD-R for General
In 2000, DVD-R was split into two types to deal with copy protection. The original DVD-R, which uses a 650 nm recording wavelength, was dubbed "DVD-R for Authoring." A different format with copy protection that records at 635 nm is called "DVD-R for General." Although DVD-R(a) and DVD-R(g) can read each other's format, they cannot write each other's format.
A Small Fortune in the Beginning
DVD-R machines (DVD burners) cost as much as USD $17,000 in their first incarnations back in 1997, but dropped to under $500 by 2002 and less than $100 two years later. See DVD, DVD storage capacities, DVD+R, CD-R and optical disc.