The DVD (common abbreviation for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc) is a digital optical disc data storage format. It was invented and developed in 1995 and released in November 1, 1996 in Japan. Allowing up to 17.08 GB of storage, the medium can store any kind of digital data and was widely used for software and other computer files as well as video programs watched using DVD players. DVDs offer significantly higher storage capacity than compact discs while having the same dimensions. However, as with CDs, the information and data storage will begin to degrade over time with most standard DVDs lasting up to 30 years depending the type of environment they are stored and whether they are full with data.
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|Media type||Optical disc|
|Encoding||DVD-ROM and DVD-R(W) use one encoding, DVD-RAM and DVD+R(W) uses another|
|Capacity||4.7 GB (single-sided, single-layer – common)|
8.5 GB (single-sided, double-layer)
9.4 GB (double-sided, single-layer)
17.08 GB (double-sided, double-layer)
Up to four layers are possible in a standard form DVD.
|Read mechanism||300–650 nm laser, 10.5 Mbit/s (1×)|
|Write mechanism||650 nm laser with a focused beam using more power than for reading, 10.5 Mbit/s (1×)|
|Standard||DVD Forum's DVD Books and DVD+RW Alliance specifications|
|Dimensions||Diameter: 12 cm (4.7 in)|
Thickness: 1.2 mm (0.047 in)
|Weight||16 grams (0.56 oz)|
|Usage||Home video, Computer data storage|
|Released||November 1, 1996 (Japan)|
January 1997 (CIS and other Asia)
March 24, 1997 (United States)
March 1998 (Europe)
February 1999 (Australia/New Zealand)
Prerecorded DVDs are mass-produced using molding machines that physically stamp data onto the DVD. Such discs are a form of DVD-ROM because data can only be read and not written or erased. Blank recordable DVD discs (DVD-R and DVD+R) can be recorded once using a DVD recorder and then function as a DVD-ROM. Rewritable DVDs (DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM) can be recorded and erased many times.
DVDs are used in DVD-Video consumer digital video format and in DVD-Audio consumer digital audio format, as well as for authoring DVD discs written in a special AVCHD format to hold high definition material (often in conjunction with AVCHD format camcorders). DVDs containing other types of information may be referred to as DVD data discs.