You may have heard of DVD-5, DVD-9, or even DVD-10. But what is DVD-18?
DVD-18 is a double-sided, dual-layer optical disc.
Its storage capacity is 17.1 GB (17 080 000 000 bytes ). This is equivalent to the storage capacity of two DVD-9 discs. In other words, 2 back-to-back DVD-9.
Since it’s double-sided it holds up to 8.5GB of data on each side. Effectively, it can store 15.9GB of computer data, allowing you to record over 8 hours of video and audio.
That is 4 hours on each side. You would have to turn over the disc to play the other side.
DVD-18 is available in the DVD+R format.
Each side has two stamped layers.
The coating on the outer layers, also known as Layer 0, is semitransparent gold.
The inner layers (Layer 1) have an aluminum coating.
DVD-18 was used for the DVD release of TV series like Miami Vice and Quantum Leap.
The Terminator-2 DVD set also used DVD-18.
It was also used for large projects where you needed to cram as much data as possible into a single disc.
Despite its large storage capacity DVD-18 isn’t without its drawbacks.
Firstly, it is expensive. Two separate DVD-9 were cheaper and easier to manufacture. The cost of producing a DVD-18 was equivalent to the cost of 3 DVD-9.
Customers, too, showed a preference for two DVD-9 discs instead of a single DVD-18. There was also the issue of having to flip the disc. There were plans to manufacture DVD players which automatically flipped a double-sided disc. However, nothing came of it.
Not many disc manufacturers were prepared to jump on the DVD-18 bandwagon.
Also, there isn’t any space for disc labels, like DVD-10.
All in all, DVD-18 was rarely used. Back in 2001, there were to be 1673 DVD releases, according to the DVD Release Report. However, only two were expected in the DVD-18 format.
DVD-18 is largely obsolete in this day of Blu-ray. Blu-ray offers larger storage capacities and support for HD video.