DVD Standards Compliance

If anyone’s noticed, the Mac Mini stands out in more ways than just its small form factor and incredibly affordable pricing. Since Mac OS X introduced SuperDrives the question that is always asked over and over by most video pundits is, “…what DVD format does the SuperDrive support?”

“The answer?…”


All macs with SuperDrives preceding the Mac Mini support the DVD-R format. The Mac Mini heralds a brand new era in mac hardware, a SuperDrive that finally supports:

  1. DVD-R;
  2. DVD-RW;
  3. DVD+R;
  4. DVD+RW

No formal press release is forthcoming from Apple whether the rest of its line-up will also ship with the newer SuperDrive but in time, mac enthusiasts everywhere are hoping that this will eventually become reality. It only makes good sense that if the youngest and smallest member of the mac hardware family sports the latest SuperDrive the rest of the family should follow suit. However, prudent cost-efficiency dictates that Apple should be exhausting its produced stock before refreshing the line-up with the spanking new SuperDrives.

“Yes, that’s another reason to hold onto the dosh you were saving up for your new mac other than the Mac Mini.”

Then again, once that happens, you might go a little further and wait for the Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, and then maybe the G5 PowerBook range? There’s no end to it really, is there? At some point, you have to bite the bullet and we don’t pretend to know when that is, so you’re the best individual to decide that.

“What’s all the fuss about and what’s with all these DVD formats?”

Not much basically other than the compatibility of the DVD production to standalone players…


  • first DVD recording released, compatible with standalone DVD players
  • DVD-R, non-rewriteable format, compatible with 93% of standalone DVD players and most DVD-ROMs
  • DVD-RW, rewriteable format compatible with about 80% of standalone DVD players and most DVD-ROMs
  • DVD-R and DVD-RW formats supported by DVDForum


  • DVD+R, non-rewriteable format, compatible with 89% of standalone DVD players and most DVD-ROMs
  • DVD+RW, rewriteable format, compatible with 79% of standalone DVD players and most DVD-ROMs
  • DVD+R and DVD+RW format supported by DVD+RW Alliance

From the figures above its clear that Apple in keeping to its core mission to adhere to open standards, initially chose the DVD-R format because there was a higher market penetration of these standalone players, besides, this makes good marketing sense. As the industry evolves and more suggestion emails are shot off in the general direction of Cupertino, we’re finally seeing the emergence of DVD+R formats on the mac. So I guess spamming Apple does help after all…

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