This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
The only discs that a DVD player is guaranteed to read are DVD discs.
Support for CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW may be included, but is by no means
CD-R was designed to be read by an infrared 780nm laser. DVD uses a
visible red 635nm or 650nm laser, which aren't reflected sufficiently
by the organic dye polymers used in CD-R media. As a result, many DVD
players can't read CD-R media. Some DVD players come with two lasers so
that they can read CD-R. For a technical discussion, see
CD-RW discs have a different formulation, and may work even on players that
can't handle CD-R media. If CD-R media doesn't work, try copying the
disc to CD-RW instead (assuming your recorder supports CD-RW).
Some DVD-ROM drives may be unable to read multisession discs. In general,
though, DVD-ROM drives (as opposed to DVD players) are able to read
If the box doesn't say that something is supported, assume that the
feature isn't. Look for the MultiRead or MultiPlay logos, which indicate
that the DVD player or DVD-ROM drive can read CD-R and CD-RW.
See also "Is XXX compatible with DVD" in the DVD FAQ: