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What are the Disadvantages of a DVD ROM?

Dana Hinders
Updated May 17, 2024
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Although DVD ROMs are becoming more popular each day, this technology is not without its disadvantages. If you’re planning to buy a new computer or upgrade your current system in the near future, it’s important to understand both the positive and negative aspects of this technology.

A DVD ROM is a compact disc that can hold a minimum of 4.7 GB of movies, music, text, or images, although some discs can hold up to 17 GB of information. Even though movies from the local video store are often referred to simply as DVDs, they are actually DVD ROM discs. Access rates for these devices range from 600 Kbps to 1.3 Mbps.

Since DVD ROM stands for Digital Versatile Disk – Read Only Memory, it should come as no surprise that this format’s biggest disadvantage it that it can’t be used more than once. Once the information is recorded, it can’t be changed or altered. In fact, most commercially-produced DVD movies contain copy-protection mechanisms to prevent users from creating unauthorized copies of the disc.

If you’re storing data for an ongoing project that you’ll need to change on a regular basis, a DVD ROM is a poor choice. In this case, your best option will be to either use a removable flash drive or purchase a combination DVD+RW/+R/CD-RW drive that allows you to read DVD and CD ROMs as well as write to CD-R, CD-RW, DVD+R, and DVD+RW discs.

Since DVD ROM is a relatively new technology, you may have trouble operating some programs with your drive. For example, Real Jukebox, a music management software program, may not work with some drives.

Of course, unlike a standard stand-alone DVD player, a DVD ROM setup requires a computer. This makes it somewhat more difficult to use a DVD ROM drive as the basis of your home theater system—-although many people, including college students and people living in small apartments, frequently choose this space-saving option. However, if your primary concern is watching DVD movies, you’ll might be better off investing in a high-quality DVD player that is compatible with DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, and VCD formats to allow you to view any type of disc that you choose.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dana Hinders
By Dana Hinders
With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to her work as a freelance writer. After discovering her passion for freelance writing following the birth of her son, Dana has been a vital part of the WiseGeek team. She also showcases her versatility by creating sales copy and content for e-courses and blogs.
Discussion Comments
By anon123720 — On Nov 03, 2010

yes you can still use normal CDs and CD-Rs.

By tjhaigh — On Dec 12, 2008

HELP!!! I am in the process of buying an older laptop and it has a DVD-ROM/CD-RW(COMBO) media drive. Will i still be able to use normal CD's and computer CDs (not sure of the technical name) with it? As you can probably tell i have no idea about computers, help would be greatly appreciated. thank you.

Dana Hinders
Dana Hinders
With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to...
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