Recordable DVD (sometimes called writable DVD) is a DVD technology that allows a PC user to write data one or more times to a DVD with the PC's DVD drive. Among the various formats available are: DVD-RAM (DVD-Random Access Memory), a rewritable format that can be rewritten over 100,000 times; DVD-R (DVD-Recordable), a record-once format; DVD-RW (DVD-Rewritable) and DVD+RW (DVD-Rewritable), two similar, but incompatible formats that can be rewritten numerous times; and DVD Multi, a rewritable format that will enable the other formats to play in its drives.
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Panasonic, Philips, and Pioneer have recently released three versions of recordable DVD. All three of the systems use a red laser, which has a 650-nanometer (nm) wavelength. Write once, read many (WORM) versions are written with organic dye-based media, and rewritable versions are written with phase change technology. Single-sided writable DVD disks, like the non-recordable version, can store 4.7 gigabytes (GB) of data.
Recordable DVD formats abound and conflicts remain a problematic issue. Two industry coalitions are backing different and largely incompatible versions: the Recordable DVD Council follows the recommendations of the DVD Forum (whose members include Hitachi, Pioneer, and Panasonic) to back DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, and DVD-R formats; and the DVD+RW Alliance, whose members include Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Sony support the DVD+RW format. A newer standard, Blu-ray, has been developed as a possible replacement for recordable DVD.