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What is the cDVD Format? Learn More about this mini DVD on a CD-R

cDVD - watch DVD video on a CD-R

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:17 am

The cDVD format is a CD-R/RW that works very much like a DVD. It’s also called a mini DVD.

Ordinarily, you would need a DVD disc to burn DVD-quality video. But the cDVD format allows DVD-quality video to be fitted into a CD.


The video structure in a cDVD is laid out like a DVD disc.

In other words, it contains the following:

  1. VIDEO_TS directory
  2. IFO/BUP files
  3. VOB files

When is a cDVD Used?

A cDVD is used to store short DVD-quality video. If you have a video that’s from 10 to 15 minutes long, you can burn a mini DVD or cDVD using a standard 120mm CD-R/RW disc.

Most DVD burner software programs support the burning of cDVD.

Among them are Nero and Toast.

cDVD Drawback

While the idea of burning DVD-quality video on a CD is attractive, it has a drawback.

Not all commercial DVD players support cDVD playback. You would have to check the DVD player manual to know whether it’s cDVD-compatible.

So, you’ve to play your cDVD on a computer via a CD or DVD drive.

The cDVD format is popular in China. So, a DVD player from China may play a cDVD.

cDVD Burning

In the cDVD burning stage CD burner is to be selected instead of the DVD burner.

As mentioned, playing back a cDVD or mini DVD may pose a problem.

To overcome this problem, some disc-burning programs have the ‘Include DVD player option’.

With this option, the video will play automatically when the cDVD is inserted into a computer CD or DVD drive. So, you don’t need a DVD player software program installed on your computer to watch cDVD content.

This option will not work with standalone DVD players unless they natively support cDVD format playback.

When Should You Create a cDVD?

To prevent playback issues you should create DVD-quality video on DVD discs.

However, if you have a huge collection of blank CD-Rs and short video clips (up to 15 minutes long), then you can take advantage of the cDVD format.

In this way, you can save your blank DVDs for longer video clips.

Further Reading

What is the eDVD Disc Format? How is it Different from a Standard DVD?

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