DVD The Ultimate Consumer Digital Media

Digital Video Disc or as it is sometimes referred to Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) has for the last several years been Hollywood's primary video delivery method and with good cause. This inexpensive, compact media delivers excellent video and audio quality. This same media has also become the preferred medium for many multi-media professionals and audiophiles. Technological advancement and availability have pushed this media into the consumer market for a number of reasons and its use and popularity will only increase over time. I will attempt to highlight some of the advantages this medium offers. This article is only intended to be an introduction to this incredibly diverse digital media and not to be considered a technical thesis.

The video quality of DVD is superb; offering greater resolution, more vivid color and higher contrast than VHS tape. DVD Video also allows for a number of features simply not available on VHS tape such as on-screen menus, chapters, and sub-chapters that allow for easy navigation. Multi-speed fast forward and rewind, multi-language support, multiple camera angles and a number of other enhancements too numerous to mention here.

DVD audio quality is excellent surpassing that of Compact Disc (CD) with a sample rate of 24 bits and a frequency response of 192 KHz which is several times that of the CD specification. Not to mention that the DVD specification supports multi-channel Surround Sound. It a nutshell DVD audio delivers a more high fidelity audio experience. Although CD is still more widely used for audio, as technology progresses the DVD will likely become the dominant media.

Conservative estimates as to the longevity of DVD are upwards of 35 years or more with proper handling. This is due to the fact that the only thing that touches the DVD's surface during playback is a tiny laser beam. Whereas VHS playback requires the use of a mechanical head that actually comes in contact with the tape and degrades the surface. Now with the Advent of D-Skin disc protectors? which is a plastic cover that can be placed on the DVD and left on during playback the durability factor has just increased significantly.

For archiving DVD is the ultimate digital media not only because of its compact dimensions and ample storage space; 4.7 GB single sided & 9.4 GB double-sided or 8.5 GB dual-layer respectively. But because of the many different kinds of data that can be stored on it. Photos, movies, audio, text, graphics and other media types can all co-exist on a single disc. This kind of versatility is just not possible with any other readily available media.

As for the future of DVD; advances in technology will see the advent of greater storage capacity, higher video and audio quality, and an ever expanding feature set.

Copyright 2005

Jay Corrao is the founder and president of Memory Archivers, a video production company based in Apple Valley Minnesota. His company specializes in wedding and event videograpy, video biographies, and consumer digital archiving.

[email protected]

In The News:

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