What speed should I burn at?

A common question asked by clients is, what speed should I burn at? With recent advances in DVD drives, it is now possible to burn a full DVD in less than 5 minutes at more than 16 speed. If you have many discs to produce, this can mean a halving of your disc output, but it does have its draw backs.

The main concern is compatibility. Very few, if any, Television top DVD players will play a DVD burn't at high speeds. In some cases, discs burn't at as little as 8 speed will not work on some older DVD players.

So, what speed should I burn at?

Many people burn at 4x. This will pretty much ensure that all DVD players that can read DVD-R/DVD+R will be able to play it.

Some people burn at 8x. You will get a few people with older DVD players that are unable to play it, but that quantity is rather small (about 5-10%) and diminishing every year with new inexpensive players taking there place.

If you are backing up data on your computer, which is to be read on your computer, you can up the speed, but the faster a drive burns, the more chance there is for errors to occur in the write. Drives these days are smart enough to pick up on write errors during the burning process so this generally isn't a concern but it is something to be mindful of.

Most people agree that CD audio shouldn't be burn't at more than 16x, both for compatibility issues, as well as ensuring you don't get any glitching in the audio.

Data generally can be burn't at max speed.

CD's burn 4 times slower than a DVD, so a 32x CD burn is as fast as an 8 speed DVD.

Of course one of the single biggest factors in ensuring a good burn is the quality of the media you are using. The cheaper the media, the larger the chance of the disc not playing and the higher the chance of a bad burn. Not to mention that cheaper media tends to degrade much quicker.
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