First, let's divide the formats up. The first thing to note is that DVD-R
and DVD+R disks can only be recorded once. You only get one chance to record
your DVD movie to this kind of disk It's like pouring cement, once it is
done you'll need to destroy it to change it. Further, DVD-R discs come in 2
types: DVD-R(A), for "authoring," and DVD-R(G), for "general." Both DVD-R
and DVD+R discs will play in most DVD players, even older ones. So if you
put your movie on this kind of disk there is a high probability that it will
play in your living room. However, DVD-R(A) drives can not record to
DVD-R(G) disks, and vice versa.
There are also DVD formats that can be recorded more than once. DVD+RW,
DVD-RW and DVD-RAM disks can all be recorded thousands of times. If you don'
t like how your DVD movie turns out, you can record a new version right on
the same disk. These disks are more like painting a wall, if you don't like
the color you just put on a new coat.
Each of these rewritable formats are a little different. DVD-RAM, for
instance, was created for storage of computer data like backing up your
hard drive. If you want to get a DVD writer to back up computer data,
DVD-RAM is a solid option. However, if you plan to make your own DVD movies,
one of the other formats may be better suited for that activity. Most DVD
players can't play DVD-RAM disks.