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DVD Size: How Much Data can Different DVDs Hold?

There are various DVD variants with different physical sizes and storage capacities. And this may lead to a lot of confusion about DVD sizes. For example, you don't know which type of DVD can hold 6.5GB of data. Even when a blank DVD is labeled 4.7GB, you may notice that it's not enough for a ready-to-burn DVD which 200MB smaller. Why? In this post, we'll have a detailed explanation of DVD size.

DVD Dimensions

Physically, a standard DVD is 120mm (4.7 in) in diameter and 1.2mm (0.047 in) thick (incl. CD and Blu-ray discs), no matter it's a single-layer or double-layer DVD. There is also Mini DVD/CD that comes in 80mm (3.149 in) diameter and 1.2mm (0.047 in) thick. Both DVD types have a 15mm inner diameter.

DVD Dimensions
Physical DVD size

DVD Capacities

The fact is, physical DVD sizes in inches are not related to how much data a DVD can hold. DVDs are available in single-sided or double-sided discs, and single-layer and double-layer recording. Each combination comes in a different DVD storage size. For example, a single-sided and single-layer DVD has a capacity of 4.7GB while a single-sided and dual-layer DVD can hold up to 8.5GB, and so on. There are DVD types like DVD-5, DVD-9, DVD-10, etc. based on their storage. See more details in the DVD capacity chart below:

DVD

Sides

Layers

Diameter(cm)

Capacity

Length

Supported DVD format

DVD-1

SS SL

1

1

8

1.36G (1.4G)

~ 0.5 hour

DVD-RAM

DVD-2

SS DL

1

2

8

2.47G (2.7G)

~ 1.3 hours

/

DVD-3

DS SL

2

2

8

2.72G (2.9G)

~ 1.4 hours

/

DVD-4

DS DL

2

4

8

4.95G (5.3G)

~ 2.5 hours

/

DVD-5

SS SL

1

1

12

4.37G (4.7G)

~ 2 hours +

DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW 

DVD-9

SS DL

1

2

12

7.95G (8.5G)

~ 5 hours

DVD-R DL and DVD+R DL

DVD-10

DS SL

2

2

12

8.75G (9.4G)

~ 4.5 hours

DVD+R/RW and DVD-R/RW

DVD-14

DS SL+DL

2

3

12

12.33G (13.24G)

~ 6.5 hours

/

DVD-18

DS DL

2

4

12

15.90G (17G)

~ 8 hours +

DVD+R

How Many GB is a Blank DVD?

As some of you may have noticed, the advertised blank DVD size is larger than it actually reads. Why? Similar to hard drives, DVD manufacturers measure the DVD size in billion bytes but label as GB. Namely:
1 Kilobyte = 1000 Bytes
1 Megabyte = 1000 Kilobytes
1 Gigabyte = 1000 Megabytes

But the computer reads actual DVD capacity using a binary system. That means:
1 Kilobyte = 1024 Bytes
1 Megabyte = 1024 Kilobytes
1 Gigabyte = 1024 Megabytes

Let's do the math. A 4.7GB DVD-5 is actually 4,7000,000,000/1024/1024/1024=4.376GB on a computer. That's why when you burn a 4.5GB video to a DVD-5, the space is not enough.

How to Convert a DVD from GBs to Video File in MBs?

Normally, DVD-5 with a storage size of 4.7GB is sufficient for most business purposes, although many films come in 8.5GB DVD-9 when they're longer than 120 minutes. What does that mean? When you want to digitize any of your DVD collections to modern devices, you need to deal with the large file size. For instance, converting a DVD to MKV using MakeMKV will only deliver ~20% size reduction if you remove any extras, for example, from 8.5GB to ~7GB. If you want to convert a DVD that holds GBs of data to fit mobiles, NAS, clouds, etc. without losing quality, try WinX DVD Ripper ( Windows version or macOS version).

• It supports any types of DVDs, DVD 5/9/10, DVD-R/+R, homemade & encrypted, old and scratched DVD.
• It will convert a DVD to 80% smaller MP4 H.264, HEVC, MOV, WMV, AVI, etc. and back up discs 1:1 to ISO image and MPEG files.
• It will reserve about 98% of the original quality, thanks to the High Quality Engine.
• It converts DVDs of any sizes with fast speed, being able to convert a 2-hour full DVD movie to MP4 within 5 minutes.

How to Burn a Large Video to DVD without Losing Quality?

By a clear understanding of DVD capacity sizes, you can start to burn videos to disc. However, not all the videos to be burned are perfect to fit the DVD storage type. Therefore, there are always posts aksing questions like how to burn 8GB ISO to 4.7GB DVD, how to burn more than 120 minutes on a DVD... Then you need to:

1. Compress or cut the video files you want to burn;
2. Burn the videos to a DVD with dedicated software like WinX DVD Copy Pro, Nero, CloneDVD, Imgburn, etc.

Disclaimer: Digiarty Software does not advocate ripping commercial DVDs for any illegal purpose. You're suggested to refer to the DVD copyright laws in your country before doing so.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Donna Peng

Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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