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DVD Record Modes - Recording Times For DVDs

How Much Time You Can Record on a DVD

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A very common question I receive from owners of DVD recorders and persons considering a DVD recorder purchase is: "How much time can I record on a DVD?" This answer to this question for each DVD recorder is explained in both the published specifications (which are available online) and the user manual for that DVD recorder.

However, for those that are still in the purchasing consideration stage, here is an overview of the recording times available on a standard 4.7 GB blank DVD and how these recording times are labeled. These times are for single layer, single sided discs. For double-layer, or double sided discs, multiply each time by two:

XP - 1 Hour

SP - 2 Hours

LP - 4 Hours

EP - 6 Hours

SLP - 8 Hours

SEP - 10 Hours

In addition, some DVD recorders also feature HSP (1.5 hours), LSP (2.5 hours), and ESP (3 hours).

Also, keep in mind, just as with VCR recordings, the less recording time you use to fill the disc the better the quality and compatibility with playback on other DVD players.

XP, HSP, SP are the most compatible and provide what is considered standard DVD quality (depending on the quality of the source material)

LSP and LP would be the next best choice - which should still be compatible with playback on most DVD players at fair quality - you may experience some minor stalls or skips.

The remaining record modes should be avoided, if possible, as the video compression needed to place this much time on a disc will cause many more digital artifacts and will affect play compatibility on other DVD players - Also, the video quality would be very poor - about the same or worse than the VHS EP/SLP modes.

For more details on DVD recording times, check out my FAQ, also titled: Home Much Time Can I Record on a DVD?.

In addition, for more complete information on DVD recorders and DVD recording, check out my DVD Recorder FAQs.

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