Definitions - DVD's

Contrary to popular belief, DVD does not stand for Digital Video Disc. Once it did, but the DVD Forum (formally known as the DVD Consortium) felt this did not fully describe the full potential of DVD's, as they can be used for more than just video. It now stands for Digital Versatile Disc. They resemble CD's (Compact Discs) in terms of appearance, with their diameters usually being 12 cm, and sometimes as small as 8 cm. The difference between your average Audio CD and a DVD, is that a DVD can stored many different types of media, including computer data. DVD's most commonly store high quality movie, video and sound data.

An example of a DVD Disc.

The initial announcement regarding DVD's was in September 1995, the concept finalized in 1996. It's creation was the result of many experiments during the early 1990's by major film and audio companies such as Sony, Phillips, Toshiba, Pioneer and JVC.

The discs became available in November 1996 in Japan, early 1997 in the USA, 1998 in Europe, and 1999 in Australia.

In 1999, DVD players cost as much as USD $300! The reason for this was the fact that DVD's has only a small share in the video industry, VHS having the majority. In just 6 years, the price has dropped significantly, often on sale at prices as low as USD $30. With DVD sales skyrocketing, VCR and VHS sales have plummeted.

The turning point for DVD's, was on June 15th, 2003, when for the first time DVD rentals were more common than VHS rentals.

DVD's come in many formats, two of the more common formats being DVD+R and DVD+RW. R stands for Recordable, as in, it can only be written on once. RW stands for Rewritable, meaning that they can be written, and rewritten many times. To write on a disc, means to record data on to it. Often this may be a film, sometimes it can be audio or data though. Generally, a DVD can hold 4.7 GB of data. Some DVD's hold as much as 17.1 GB!

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