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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
Digital Versatile Disc
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storage (DVD, formerly "Digital Video Disc") An optical
storage medium with improved capacity and bandwidth compared
with the Compact Disc. DVD, like CD, was initally marketed
for entertainment and later for computer users. [When was it
first available?]
A DVD can hold a full-length film with up to 133 minutes of
high quality video, in MPEG-2 format, and audio.
The first DVD drives for computers were read-only drives
("DVD-ROM"). These provide over seven times the storage
capacity of CD-ROM (4.7 GBytes). DVD-ROM drives read existing
CD-ROMs and music CDs and are compatible with installed
sound and video boards. Additionally, the DVD-ROM drive can
read DVD films using an advanced (MPEG-2) video board,
required to decode the high resolution video format.
The first drives, using a single-layer disc of 4.7GB, were
expected to be available during the second half of 1996 from
Toshiba, Philips, Sony, Hitachi and others. In 1997,
dual-layer discs were expected to increase the disc capacity
to 8.5 GB. Double-sided, dual-layer discs will eventually
increase the capacity to 17 GB.
Write-once DVD-R ("recordable") drives record a 3.9GB DVD-R
disc that can be read on a DVD-ROM drive. The first DVD-R
drive was expected by mid 1997.
By the end of 1997, the rewritable DVD-RAM (by false analogy
with random access memory) drive was expected to become
available. DVD-RAM drives read and write to a 2.6 GB DVD-RAM
disc, read and write-once to a 3.9GB DVD-R disc, and read a
4.7 GB or 8.5 GB DVD-ROM. Also, it was expected that a
DVD-RAM disc would be readable on both the DVD-R and DVD-ROM