What is optical disc| Optical Discs Types

Types of optical discs

Today you are going to read about Optical discs types like DVD, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-ROM, Blu-ray discs.

An optical disc is a storage media that is written and read by a laser. It consists of a flat, round, portable disc made of metal and plastic.

The size of the optical discs are 4.75 inches in diameter and less than one-twentieth of an inch thick. Some smaller computers, game consoles, and mobile devices, however, often use mini discs that have a diameter of 3 inches or less.

You can store software, data, digital photos, movies, and music on optical discs. Some optical disc formats are read-only, which means users are not able to write (save) on the media.

Others are read/write, which allows us to save on the disc exactly as they save on a hard disk drive. The computer designates an optical disc drive by following the alphabetical order after that of all the hard discs.

For example, if the computer has one internal hard disk (drive C) and an external hard disk (drive D), then the first optical disc drive is (drive E). then the second optical disc drive would be (drive F).

Optical Discs Types

There are many different formats and types of optical discs. From the variety of optical disc formats, you can specify whether a user can read from the disc, write to the disc, and/or erase the disc. Some optical discs types are given below.


CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read-Only Memory) is a Compact Disc that contains data accessible with the help of the computer. Compact Disc format was only designed for music and playback music but later made to store all kinds of data.

CD-ROMS are popularly used to share computer software, including games and multimedia applications, though any data can be stored (up to the capacity limit of a disc). A standard 120 mm CD-ROM can store 650 or 700 MB of data.

Compact disc

CD-R (CD-Recordable)

A CD-R (Compact Disc-Recordable) is a multi-session compact disc onto which you can record your own items such as text, graphics, and audio. With a CD-R, you can write on one part of the disc at one time and another part later.

After recording the CD-R, you can read from it as multiple times as you want. You can write on each part only for one time, and you cannot erase the disc’s contents. Most CD-ROM drives can read a CD-R.

You write on the CD-R using a CD recorder or a CD-R drive and special software. A CD-R drive can able to read and write both the audio CDs and standard CD-ROMs.

These drives read at speeds of up to 24% and write at speeds of up to 8X. Manufacturers always list the write speed first, like the example, as 8/24. CD-R drives are slightly more expensive than standard CD-ROM drives.

CD-RW (CD-ReWritable)

A CD-RW (Compact Disc-Re-Writable) is an erasable disc that allows you to write multiple times. Initially, called an erasable CD (CD E), a CD-RW overcomes the major disadvantage of CD-R discs, of writing on them only once with CD-RW, the disc acts like a floppy or hard disk, allowing you to write and rewrite data, instructions, and information onto it multiple times. To write on a CD-RW disc, you have CD-RW software and a CD-RW drive.

These drives have a write speed up to 12x, rewrite speed up to 4X, and a read speed up to 32X. Manufacturers typically state the speeds in this order, for example, as 12/4/32. CD-RW discs can be read only by multiread CD-ROM drives.

A multiread CD-ROM drive is a drive that can read audio CDs, data CDs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs. Most recent CD-ROM drives are multiread.

DVD (Digital Versatile Disc)

A family of optical discs that have similar overall dimensions to a CD, but have significantly higher capacities. DVDs are double-sided, where CDs are single-sided. Dual-layer versions are also planned. Mostly used DVDs are able to store 4.7 GB to 17 GB, depending on the storage techniques used.

A DVD-ROM (Digital Versatile Disc-Read-Only Memory or Digital Video Disc Read-Only Memory) is known as a high-capacity optical disc on which users can easily read but not able to write or erase. DVD-ROMs store movies, music, music videos, huge databases, and software.

Optical disks types

You need a DVD ROM drive or DVD player to read a DVD-ROM. Most of the DVD-ROM drives also can read audio CDs, CD-ROMs, CD-Rs, and CD-RWs. DVD-ROM drives can read DVDs at speeds of 16X and CDs at speeds of 52X.

Blu-ray Disc

Blu-ray has a higher capacity and best quality than other standard DVDs, especially for high definition audio and video. Blu-ray is the most expensive optical discs type available on the market.

A Blu-ray Disc ROM (BD-ROM) has a storage ability of 100 GB, with an exceeding limit of 200 GB in the future. Blu-ray Disc (BD) drives and players are easily compatible with DVD and CD formats. Some game consoles always Include a Blu-ray drive.

Original BD drives had read speeds of 4.5 MBps, designated as 1X. Current read/write speeds of BD Discs are from 9 MBps (2X) to 36 Mbps (8X) in the future.


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