DVD: concepts and standards

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The ever increasing need to store very large amounts of data on a portable medium has led to the development of the Digital Versatile Disc (DVD). A DVD, although the same size as a CD, can hold 4.7 - 17 GB of data, compared to the 650 MB that a CD can hold. For this reason it is now widely regarded as the successor of the CD.

DVD+R-DL (double layer) drives and media have become available in the spring 2004. This format allows recording of 8.5 GB to a DVD+R disc. DVDR -DL media and drives should be available by the end of 2004.

[Note: Dual-layer double-sided DVDs, or DVD-17 have not been produced economically, and although they are technically possible to produce, and they are defined by the DVD specifications, they are not available.]


Table 2.1: Recordable Disc Capacities

  Single Sided Double Sided
Single Layer 4.7 GB 9.4 GB
Dual Layer 8.5 GB 17 GB

DVD has become or is becoming a standard format for:

Video: DVD-Video discs can hold a 133 minutes movie and it's sound track, with superior image resolution to VHS or SVHS standards.

Audio: DVD-Audio allows for high-resolution, uncompressed or lossless multi-channel audio. DVD-Audio capable DVD-Video players are available. This format also allows for video or still images to be displayed.

Multimedia: DVD-ROM allows files in any format to be stored. This facilitates the use of genuine video clips, high resolution graphics and full interactivity in multimedia productions by essentially removing size restrictions in the design and distribution to such applications.

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