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Guide to DVD's

Source: Wikipedia

DVD is an optical disc storage media format that is used for playback of movies with high video and sound quality and for storing data. DVDs are similar in appearance to compact discs.
 

History

During the early 1990s there were two high density optical storage standards in development; one was the Multimedia Compact Disc (MMCD), backed by Philips and Sony, and the other was the Super Disc (SD), supported by Toshiba, Time-Warner, Matsushita Electric, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, Pioneer, Thomson and JVC. IBM led an effort to unite the various companies behind a single standard, anticipating a repeat of the costly format war between VHS and Betamax in the 1980s. The result was the DVD format, announced in September of 1995. The official DVD specification was released in Version 1.0 in September, 1996. It is maintained by the DVD Forum, formerly the DVD Consortium, consisting of the ten founding companies and over 220 additional members. The first DVD players and discs were available in November of 1996 in Japan and in March of 1997 in the United States.

By the northern spring of 1999, the price of a DVD player had dropped below the $300 mark. At that point Wal-Mart began to offer DVD players for sale in its stores. When Wal-Mart began selling DVDs in stores, DVDs only represented a small part of their video inventory; VHS tapes of movies made up the remainder. As of 2004, the situation is now reversed. Most retail stores mainly offer DVDs for sale, and VHS copies of movies make up a minority of the sales. The price of a DVD player has dropped to below the level of a typical VCR; a low-end player can be purchased for as little as $40 in a number of retail stores.

In 2000, Sony released its PlayStation 2 console in Japan. In addition to playing video games developed for the system, it was also able to play DVD movies. In Japan, this proved to be a huge selling point due to the fact that the PS2 was much cheaper than many of the DVD players available there. As a result, many electronic stores that normally didn't carry video game consoles carried PS2s. Following on with this tradition Sony have decided to implement one of DVD's possible successors, Blu Ray, into their next PlayStation console currently known as the PlayStation 3

"DVD" was originally an initialism for "digital video disc"; some members of the DVD Forum believe that it should stand for "digital versatile disc", to indicate its potential for non-video applications. Toshiba, which maintains the official DVD Forum site, adheres to the interpretation of "digital versatile disc." The DVD Forum never reached a consensus on the matter, however, and so today the official name of the format is simply "DVD"; the letters do not "officially" stand for anything.[1] (http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html)

 

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