DVD Overview & Features
DVD discs offer much higher capacity than CDs for high quality
video, audio and software.
DVD, the Digital Versatile Disc, is a high capacity CD-size
disc for video, multimedia, games and audio applications. Capacities for
the read-only disc range from 4.7GB to 17.1GB.
The high quality of video and audio has helped DVD-Video to replace
VHS for pre-recorded titles and to increase the overall video market in
most regions. Statistics show that DVD is growing faster than any
other consumer electronics format in the USA and Europe. PCs with DVD
capability are also selling, but multimedia and games applications of
DVD have been slow to start. The advent of new games consoles using DVD
is also helping to stimulate further sales.
Despite the success of the compact disc there has been a clear need
for a higher capacity format to meet additional application
- DVD-Video, which was launched in 1997 in the USA, has become the
most successful of all the DVD formats, as it has proved to be an
ideal vehicle for distributing video content from the movie industry.
It can store a full-length movie of high quality video with surround
sound audio on a disc the same size as a CD.
- DVD-ROM is beginning to replace the CD-ROM and provide a new high
capacity disc format for the computer industry. New PCs are now
provided with DVD drives instead of CD drives. The entertainment
industry has developed new games consoles (eg Sony's PS2 and
Microsoft's X-Box) which incorporate DVD-ROM drives for more
sophisticated and realistic games applications.
- DVD-Audio, which was launched in 2000, is slowly gathering momentum
to become the format for very high quality, surround sound music,
offering the music industry new revenue opportunities.
- Recordable formats such as DVD-RAM, DVD-RW and DVD-R are now
being extensively used in PCs for computer backup and short runs of
DVDs and in standalone products such as video recorders and
DVD technology offers an optical disc with a much larger capacity
than the compact disc and is available as a family of pre-recorded,
recordable and re-writable formats to meet the requirements of the
industries and applications mentioned above.
DVD-Video and DVD-ROM hardware and software have been available
since 1997. DVD-Audio was launched in 2000. DVD writers and DVD video
recorders are now available at affordable prices.
DVD started as the Digital Video Disc but now means Digital Versatile Disc
or just DVD. It is a multi-application family of optical disc formats for read-only,
recordable and re-writable applications. The
main features of the DVD formats are:
- Backwards compatibility with current CD media. All DVD
hardware will play audio CDs and CD-ROMs (although not all hardware
will play CD-Rs or CD-RWs)..
- Physical dimensions identical to compact disc but using two
0.6 mm thick substrates, bonded together.
- Single-layer/dual-layer and single/double sided options.
- Up to 4.7 GB read-only capacity per layer, 8.5 GB per side
- Designed from the outset for video, audio and multimedia,
not just audio.
- All formats use a common file system (UDF).
- Digital and analogue copy protection for DVD-Video and DVD-Audio built
- Recordable and re-writable versions are part of the family.
"DVD is growing faster than any other consumer