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A DVD-RW is a rewritable optical disc with equal storage capacity to a DVD-R, typically 4.7 GB. The format was developed by Pioneer in November 1999 and has been approved by the DVD Forum. Unlike DVD-RAM, it is playable in about 75% of conventional DVD players.
The primary advantage of DVD-RW over DVD-R is the ability to erase and rewrite to a DVD-RW disc. According to Pioneer, DVD-RW discs may be written to about 1,000 times before needing replacement, making them comparable with the CD-RW standard. DVD-RW discs are commonly used for volatile data, such as backups or collections of files. They are also increasingly used for home DVD video recorders. One benefit to using a rewritable disc is if there are writing errors when recording data, the disc is not ruined and can still store data by erasing the faulty data.
Unlike DVD-R, the DVD-RW standard has always dictated a capacity of 4.7 GB.
One competing rewritable format is DVD+RW. Hybrid drives that can handle both, often labeled 'DVD±RW', are very popular since there is not yet a single standard for recordable DVDs.
The recording layer in DVD-RW and DVD+RW is not an organic dye, but a special phase change metal alloy, often GeSbTe. The alloy can be switched back and forth between a crystalline phase and an amorphous phase, changing the reflectivity, depending on the power of the laser beam. Data can thus be written, erased and re-written.

Wikipedia information about DVD-RW
. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License . It uses material from the Wikipedia article 'DVD-RW'







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