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What Speed should you Burn a DVD or CD to ensure maximum Quality and Playback compatibility

by Felix Omondi
dvd cd burning

It would be fair to say DVD and CD as media storage has lost their appeal and practicability. Especially due to the fact that internet speeds have been climbing while internet cost has been reducing. These days, it makes more sense to back up your important files in the cloud and stream it down to wherever location you are and whichever time. On-demand files access.

DVDs and CDs are almost obsolete, and that is probably why the latest computers and home entertainment units no longer come with a DVD or CD ROM. If they must have a capability to read storage media, they would rather have USB ports to read data off thumb drives among other USB-based external memory storage.

What is the right DVD or CD burning speed?

In the unlikely event that you find yourself needing to burn a DVD or CD. Especially if you live in North America and Western Europe where internet speeds are high. There are some few pro tips you might want to consider.

If your computer does have a DVD or CD ROM, it might have a write speed of up to 24x. That means it can read or write data on the disk much faster; burn a lot of data within a short period of time. Since you will be writing digital media from your hard disk into the DVD or CD, one may think it’s a simple process of transfers of zeroes and ones from the hard drive to the disk.

While that is mostly true, you must understand that while you are transferring digital media from your hard drive to the disk. The process of burning that data to the disk is still an analog one. Additionally, there are also other variables that come into play; factors such as the quality of the disk media, the burner lens, and the burner physical integrity.

Maximum Quality and Playback compatibility

Your computer, if it is a modern one, has higher read and write speeds than a DVD player lying around. Since you probably do not update your DVD player as frequently as you update your computer. That is largely due to the fact that DVD players are becoming obsolete given most people would rather stream their movie and backup their data to the clouds.

If you were to burn a DVD or CD at the highest speed, say 24x, while the DVD player you will playback the media has a lower read speed, say 16x. You will experience freeze and skips during playback since the DVD player will be finding it an uphill task to read data off the disk.

Therefore, it is recommended you observe the read speed of the device that will be reading data off the disk. Then burn the disk at the appropriate speeds. If you cannot establish the read speed of the player, as a rule of thumb, burn at the lowest burn speed.

While 24x speed might be found on the latest computers, other available options include 16x, 8x, and 6x. It is believed 8x is the average read and write speed of most devices that read or write data off DVDs and CDs. So you probably won’t go wrong with 8x speeds.

You should also know the slower the burn speed, the longer it will take you to burn the disk. The higher the burn speed, the shorter it will take you to burn the disk, but it also increases chances of playback incompatibility on older devices and increases chances of errors in the final data burned on the disk. It goes without saying, if you have a modern DVD player and a computer, then the burn speed should not be a concern. Since they will probably be all equally advanced.

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