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blutach 31 Jan 2005 08:46 PM

FAQ: What's all this about bitsetting/booktype?
FAQ: What's all this about bitsetting/book type DVD-ROM?

Put simply, this is a way to make DVD players think they are playing an actual DVD pressed from a master instead of one you burned.

First, a bit of background. When DVDs were developed, their specification was to read "DVD-ROM", not DVD+R or DVD-R. Many players happily play either or both of these "writable formats", and if they do, good luck to you - you can click now.

But many others are stubborn and adhere rigidly to the specification. When you insert a DVD into a player, it looks at the top nibble (bits 4 to 7) of byte 0 of the lead-in for the "book type field". These four bits of data tell the player what sort of media you have - if it is 0, it is DVD-ROM.

DVD+Rs are the most compatible media with DVD-ROM - they have the same reflectivity and can be read by the player - but a few players query these 4 bits and say "no dice".

How to fix this? This is where bitsetting comes in. The idea, as you will have guessed, is to set the bits back to 0, thereby setting the book type to DVD-ROM.

First, you need to figure out whether your drive supports this feature. Some burners can not change the book type. It just isn't built into them. To find out whether your burner can change the book type, see here. Enter your DVD writer in the "writer" box and look at the features. Under the "Connection, Buffer, Bit" it will say BitSetting if your burner supports this feature.

How to change the book type to DVD-ROM

There are other software packages (including standalone utilities dedicated to your brand of drive) to do this. One of them is Nero's CD-DVD Speed (freeware, and also packaged with Nero suite - access it from the Nero Toolkit on your start menu). The bitsetting feature is accessed from the Extra menu.

Note: There is no way to change the 4 bits on a DVD+R disc once it has already been written. You can only set the drive to the desired book type for new or unfinalised DVD+R discs.

IMPORTANT: You can not set the book type for DVD-R. This is guaranteed to make a coaster. OK?. So, it is applicable to DVD+R only and especially to DVD+R dual layer discs.

Further reading

A very good, easy to understand, technical article on this subject can be found here.

As usual, please direct any questions to the forums, not this FAQ. This thread has been set up for questions.


jmet 25 Feb 2005 06:18 PM

This thread has been closed/locked, as it is for information purposes only. If you have a question regarding this thread.

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