Comprehensive Guide to DVD

Comprehensive Guide to DVD

According to abbreviationfinder, the acronym for DVD stands for “Digital Versatile Disc”, which in turn is the term that encompasses all the different types of DVD. It is the same size and appearance as a Compact Disc (CD) but offers more capacity and interaction possibilities. Due to lengthy discussions about DVD standards, its release on the market was delayed, but its use has become widespread.

DVD types

From a technical point of view, there are five different types of DVD:

  1. DVD-5 Single Sided, Single Layer (Capacity: 4.7 billion (bytes / 4.38 Gb).
  2. DVD-9 Single  sided, double-layer (capacity: 8.54 billion bytes / 7.95 Gb).
  3. DVD-10 Two-sided, One-layer (capacity: 9.4 billion bytes / 8.74 Gb).
  4. DVD-18 Two-sided, Two-layer (Capacity: 17.08 billion bytes / 15.9Gb).


(Read-Only-Memory), generally refers to all DVDs that contain computer data and whose content is unalterable. DVD-s are used for games, multimedia applications, encyclopedias, and phone books.


DVD-RAM was used as a blend of PhaseChange (PD) and MO (magneto-optical) technologies to create DVD media that could be rewritten up to 100,000 times. DVD-RAMs cannot be played on common DVD players and only some DVD drives are capable of reading them. Cannot copy from DVD Video to DVD-RAM. DVD-RAM is suitable for regular and daily backup functions. The maximum capacity of a DVD-RAM is currently 4.38 GB per side, and there are single or double sided media.


It is a DVD that can be burned only once, similar to a CD-R, with a storage capacity of 4.7 billion bytes (4.38 Gb). It can be read on most current DVD drives. Due to their high capacity, they are suitable for data backups. But you can also record videos and movies in different formats. To create a DVD Video “requires special authoring software, which prepares the video data so that the DVD player recognizes the DVD-R also as DVD Video.

There are two different types of DVD-R: for “general” use (G) and for “authoring” (A). Each type requires a different DVD burner. DVD-R (G) are intended for private use and cannot be written with one of the common copy protections (CSS) in DVD Video format. Also, therefore, copies from DVD Video to DVD-R (G) cannot be made. DVD-R (A) is designed for professional DVD Video production and does not have the limitations mentioned.


It is a DVD that can be rewritten up to 1000 times (similar to a CD-RW) with the same capacity as a DVD-R. Older DVD drives and players may have difficulty reading a DVD-RW. However, it is not a problem for modern devices. DVD-RWs have the same characteristics as DVD-Rs, they can contain video or data recordings.
Some standalone DVD recorders can record video data directly to a DVD-RW, and once completed they behave like DVD Video.

DVD + RW and DVD + R

DVD + RW is a competing format with DVD-RW, which was specially developed for use in standalone DVD recorders. In a DVD + RW 4.38 GB(equal to that in a DVD-RW) can be recorded up to two hours of video in high quality (and can be rewritten up to 1000 times).

The DVD + RW format is characterized by being easier to use since the videos can be edited directly from the DVD + RW. While recorded DVD + RWs can be played directly on a DVD player, DVD-RWs must first be completed, which is time consuming depending on the DVD recorder. Both media are not compatible with each other for writing purposes. Modern DVD players and DVD drives can read both types.

In response to DVD-R, DVD + R was developed, which is faster and has the same features as + RW, but can only be recorded once. To put an end to the format confusion, some manufacturers offer PC DVD recorders that can write all four formats (DVD-R / RW as well as DVD + R / + RW).

DVD Video

It is a special DVD optimized for video movies (Digital Video Disc). They can be played on all DVD drives equipped with special playback software and on all DVD players. It can store up to 2 hours of high quality video (compressed in MPEG-2) per side / layer, 8 different soundtracks in Dolby Digital AC-3 or MPEG-2, as well as up to 32 sets of subtitles. A powerful compression algorithm called DivX has also been created;-) that allows a movie in DVD format to be compressed 400 times, enabling distribution on CD-ROM in flawless digital quality.

Some production companies offer the DVDs in several languages ​​and with different subtitles. In addition, menus, trailers and other information about the movie in the form of video or text can be inserted into a DVD Video.

DVD Audio

It is used for sound files and features the high storage capacity of DVD along with other interactive features such as information about the artist or song. Sound is encoded with higher quality than audio CDs, specifically with read rates of 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 or 192 kHz. The maximum data rate at 9.6 Mbit / s.

DVD Audio offers stereo sound with a read rate of 192 kHz at 24 bits per channel. The sound can be reproduced as 5.1 Dolby Digital with a maximum of 96 kHz at 24 bits per channel. These characteristics, notably superior to those of audio CDs (48 kHz), mean clear sound and a leap in quality, especially in jazz and classical music recordings, since even the most precise high-pitched sounds are reproduced with absolute precision. Since DVD Audio is always compatible with DVD Video, it can also contain pictures and videos. Conventional DVD players can only play the video parts of a DVD Audio.

To enjoy optimal sound, a special DVD Audio player or up-to-date DVD Video player is required. On your computer, you can only use the special features of a DVD Audio with the help of a special sound card and a normal DVD drive. In both cases, you only take advantage of the quality of DVD Audio with a good 5.1 digital surround speaker system.

Comprehensive Guide to DVD

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