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What Is DVD?

DVD stands for Digital Video Disc. DVD is the new generation of optical disc storage technology. DVD is essentially a bigger, faster CD that can hold cinema-like video, better-than-CD audio, still photos and computer data.

The DVD has replaced laser-disc, is well on the way to replacing video tape and video game cartridges and is eventually likely to replace audio CD and CD-ROM. It aims to incorporate home entertainment, computers and business information in one format.

The DVD has widespread support from major electronics companies, computer hardware companies, major movie and music studios. With this unprecedented support, the DVD has become the most successful consumer electronics product of all time in less three years from its introduction.

Features of DVD Video

  • Over 2 hours of high-quality digital video (double-sided, dual-layer disc can hold about 8 hours of high-quality video, or 30 hours of VHS quality video).
  • Support for widescreen movies on standard or widescreen TVs - 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios.
  • Up to 8 tracks of digital audio (for multiple languages, commentaries, etc) each with as many as 8 channels.
  • Up to 32 subtitle/karaoke tracks.
  • Automatic, seamless branching of video for multiple story lines or ratings on one disc.
  • Up to 9 camera angles (different viewpoints can be selected during playback).
  • On-screen menus and simple interactive features (for games, quizzes, etc).
  • Multi-lingual identifying text for title name, album name, song name, cast, crew, etc.
  • Instant rewind and fast forward - no "be kind, rewind" stickers as previously seen on rental video tapes.
  • Instant search to title, chapter, music track and time-code.
  • Durable - no wear from playing, only from physical damage.
  • Not susceptible to magnetic fields and resistant to heat.
  • Compact size - easy to handle, store, and ship; players also can be portable
  • Replication is cheaper than tapes or laserdiscs. See CD Duplication
  • Noncomedogenic.

Note: Most discs do not contain all features (multiple audio/subtitle tracks, seamless branching, parental control, etc.), as each feature must be specially authored. Some discs may not allow searching or skipping.

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