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Updated 08/11/2012Home » Video Glossary » BitSetting, BookType

BitSetting, BookType

For a DVD player or drive to identify what kind of disc is loaded, it queries the so called "Book Type Field" found in the lead-in section of each DVD disc. These few bits, commonly referred to as "compatibility bitsettings" tell the drive which low-level format specification does the media conform to, such as DVD-ROM, DVD+R or DVD+RW.
Most DVD players will read a DVD+RW or DVD+R disc without any problems, however a small minority of them report a disc error when a disc is loaded that is not marked as a "DVD-ROM" disc in the compatibility bits. Ususally, these players are physically able to read the disc (since DVD+RW reflectivity is identical to that of a dual layered DVD-Video disc, which all players must be capable of reading), but their compatibility problems are due to different interpretations of these bits in the various firmware versions. In most cases, the problem can be solved by updating the firmware.