What is an Internal Dual Layer DVD Burner?

G. Wiesen

Dual layer digital versatile discs (DVDs) have been around for quite some time and have been used extensively by the film industry to create DVDs for purchase or rental with far more included on the disc than is possible with single layer discs. An internal dual layer DVD burner is a device that can be included inside a computer tower to allow the playback of DVDs and compact discs (CDs), while also allowing a person to burn data, movies, music, and any other type of files onto a dual layer DVD. This allows the user to be able to store significantly greater amounts of information than was previously available.

Woman holding a disc
Woman holding a disc

A dual layer DVD is simply a DVD that has two separate layers available for storing information. These are typically separated by a clear layer to allow the laser to more easily access both layers, and do not require the DVD to be flipped over or otherwise manipulated during playback. Using dual layering on a DVD effectively doubles the storage capacity for the disc, and allows film companies to include audio commentaries, bonus features, and other content without reducing the quality of the film on the disc. As technology has improved, an internal dual layer DVD burner for home computers is now available from a number of different manufacturers.

As an internal device, an internal dual layer DVD burner is typically installed into a computer tower or laptop casing, and connected to the motherboard within. While internal devices can be removed or even connected in a fairly external way, they typically do not have any particular aesthetic appeal and may be open to dust and other environmental damage. An internal dual layer DVD burner allows a user to burn data onto dual layer DVDs, typically labeled “DVD DL” or something similar, and utilizes both layers for far more storage.

Dual layer DVDs work by burning information onto two separate layers, and as a DVD player or computer drive plays the DVD the laser is able to adjust slightly to focus on one layer or the other. While watching a movie on a dual layer DVD, viewers may notice a very brief pause at one point in the film, as the laser switches from one layer to the other. While burning to a dual layer DVD, an internal dual layer DVD burner will typically start on the bottommost layer, burn from the inside of the disc toward the outside, then burn the upper layer going from the outside toward the inside. The software used with an internal dual layer DVD burner will typically decide where to split the information to create each layer, and home movies burned to a dual layer DVD may have a brief pause in them similar to commercial films.

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