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Dual Layer DVD advantage

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by fkubick, May 27, 2009.

  1. fkubick

    fkubick Mentor

    Jul 22, 2005
    I've read the forum and can't find any answer to this: When you record from the HD-DVR to a dvd recorder, is there any improvement to quality if you use a dual layer dvd as opposed to single layer? I've been using single layer for years with no problem but I think my DVD recorder is showing its age and may need replacement. I'm thinking of getting a dual layer recorder but I'm wondering if I'm gaining anything.

    Anyone out there have any experiences in this? Any advice or recommendations? TIA.
  2. njeske

    njeske Mentor

    Apr 25, 2007
    dual layer just refers to have much space the disk can hold. a dual layer disk can hold about twice the information a standard dvd can hold.
  3. doctrsnoop

    doctrsnoop Godfather

    Nov 20, 2007
    Single layer is 4.7 GB ish
    Dual is 9.4 GB
    A commercial DVD is dual layer and about 9.4 GB

    At the recommended bit-rate, you can record 2 hrs on a dual layer and 1 on a single layer.

    So you can get better quality with a dual layer in that you can record longer at the higher quality.

    Of course dual layer DVD's are 4x - 5x the cost of single layer
  4. JerryElbow

    JerryElbow Legend

    Jun 14, 2007
    It also depends on whether or not your DVD recorder can even handle recording to a dual-layer disc. Not all can, especially older ones. If it can, you can take advantage of the extra space to record at the highest quality setting for a longer period. However, since DVD recorders still use real-time MPEG encoding, the quality is definitely NOT going to be anything like a 100% exact copy and you still will not get multi-channel Dolby Digital or DTS audio. It will NOT improve the quality over the same "highest quality" setting onto a single-layer DVD; it'll just give you that same level of quality for a longer period of time.
  5. joed32

    joed32 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2006
    Are you sure? I would think that if you set your recorder for 1 hr it would record at the highest quality for 1 hr. If you set it for 2 hr it would record at the 2 hr speed and quality for 2 hrs. There would be no way for it to know to stretch the 1 hr out to 2. If you record at 4 hrs the PQ gets to be pretty bad.
    So I can't see any PQ advantage to DL recording. Hope someone lets me know if I'm wrong.
  6. Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    With my Panasonic DVD Recorder I could choose the quality setting from a short list (Good, Better, Best, for example) or I could choose "variable" as a quality setting and specify the recording duration and then the Recorder would automatically measure the capacity of the media (single-layer or dual-layer DVD) and calculate the settings to use to fill the disk with the best quality recording.
  7. joed32

    joed32 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2006
  8. Church AV Guy

    Church AV Guy Godfather

    Jul 9, 2007
    In my experience with Verbatim DVD+R DL media, they format to 8.5GB, not 9.4. It is a little over 90% what two single layer disks would give you. It even says this on the box.

    The use of record settings like XP, SP, LP indicate recording quality. They are usually given in terms of time for a single layer disk for simplicity and comparitive purposes. XP is usually defined as one hour per disk, that is per SL disk. If you use a DL disk, you will get 1:49 (about) using XP quality.

    Your question:
    The only way you can increase the quality of your recordings is to take advantage of the increased capacity and bump up the quality setting. There is no inherent quality improvement from using DL media.
  9. sdirv

    sdirv Icon

    Dec 14, 2008
    My DVD recorder will do recordings in 2hr, 4hr, or 8hr on single layer discs. The 2hr mode gives the best quality, each increase in the length of the recording worsens the quality some.

    If I want to record something that is 2 hours and 15 minutes......I have to switch it out to 4 hr mode. The difference in quality is barely noticeable, works fine for recording older/classic films, many of which (ones I want) are in black and white :). If I want a movie to be perfect, with full surround sound, I'll just go buy it on DVD or Blu-Ray.
  10. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    Dual Layer is about 8.5GB.
    Dual Layer discs cost a little more than double the price of single layer discs. About $1.70 for DL versus $0.80 for SL in the 25 disc spindles.
  11. joed32

    joed32 Hall Of Fame

    Jul 27, 2006
    You must have a Toshiba? Mine has the same recording times. The cheap Magnavox recorders $98 from Walmart have 2, 2.5, 3, 4 and 6 hr speeds and I use 2.5 hrs a lot. I like the Toshiba but I only use it for recording of 2 hrs or less.
  12. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
    I routinely get SL for about $0.20 each. Cheapest DL I've ever seen is $0.80. So, yes, SL x 4 = DL. If you're happy paying DL prices for SL, that's cool. I don't much like making coasters at a buck or two a pop, so I stick with SL.
  13. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    On the Pannys (mine was bought over 5 years ago) you can actually squeeze about 2:23 into a 4.7 GB disc at "2-hour" quality. You have to use the automatic feature that chooses the quality level, but dialing in anything under 2:24 automatically chooses the "2-hour" quality setting, which is an undocumented feature of most Pannys. This has come in handy a number of times when copying a movie that is just over 2 hours long.
  14. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
    It's called FR (Flexible Recording) mode on newer pannys. It uses the max quality possible for any arbitrary time, so it essentially has an infinite number of recording modes, which is a huge advantage over other makes. It's the reason I've used panasonic exclusively for several years.
  15. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

    Apr 22, 2002
    Youngsville NC
    I've never bought a standalone DVD recorder - I've always captured with a Hauppauge TV tuner card and burned the DVD's on my PC. That Feature makes the Panasonics sound nice.

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