Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.


see digital versatile discdigital versatile disc
or digital video disc
(DVD), a small plastic disc used for the storage of digital data. The successor media to the compact disc (CD), a DVD can have more than 100 times the storage capacity of a CD.
..... Click the link for more information.


An optical disk that has formats for audio, video, and computer storage applications, and that uses the same basic structure as the compact disk (CD) to store data, but achieves a greater storage capability by using a track pitch less than half that of the CD, pits and lands as little as half as long as the shortest on a CD, and two substrates, bonded together. Derived from digital versatile disk; digital video disk.



The standard-definition (SD) optical disc format. Introduced in the U.S. in 1997 and developed by the computer and movie industries, the disc has the same 120mm/4.75" diameter as a CD but holds 4.7GB rather than 700MB. Whereas CDs use only one side, DVDs can be recorded on both sides as well as in dual layers. DVDs have 480 lines of resolution in the U.S. (NTSC) and 576 lines elsewhere (PAL). For high-definition (HD) optical discs with 1,080 lines of resolution, see Blu-ray.

DVD first stood for "digital videodisc;" then "digital versatile disc" and finally just "D-V-D." In practice, DVD refers to all the following DVD formats. Modern DVD drives read and write all CD and DVD formats, except for DVD-RAM, which requires its own drive. See CSS, DVD region codes and optical disc.

DVD-Video - SD Movies
DVD-Video is the movie format, which uses MPEG-2 compression to provide approximately two hours of video per side at 480i resolution. Blu-ray players also play DVD movies. See DVD-Video, DTV and Blu-ray.

DVD-ROM - Read-Only Data
DVD-ROMs hold data permanently, and like CD-ROMs, they must be pressed at the factory. See DVD-ROM.

DVD-R/DVD+R - Burnable
DVD-R and DVD+R are competing write-once formats for burning movies or data. They function like high-capacity CD-R discs. See DVD-R and DVD+R.

DVD-RW/DVD+RW - Rewritable
DVD-RW and DVD+RW are competing formats that can be rewritten 1,000 times. Aimed at the consumer, 1,000 rewrites are considered adequate. See DVD-RW and DVD+RW.

DVD-RAM - Rewritable
A DVD-RAM functions like a removable hard disk with a similar file structure. Although DVD-RAMs can be rewritten 100,000 times before they are no longer usable, they were not a popular medium. See DVD-RAM.

DVD-Audio - High-Quality Music
DVD-Audio was designed to supersede the music CD, but like its SACD counterpart, never caught on. However, downloable music is available at the same sampling rates as DVD-Audio. See DVD-Audio and high-resolution audio.

Plus and Minus: +R, +RW, -R, -RW
The formats endorsed by the DVD Forum have a hyphen in their names and are verbalized as "DVD Minus" or "DVD Dash." The competing formats from the DVD+RW Alliance use a plus sign. Starting in 2002, drives supporting both formats were introduced. See DVD Forum and DVD+RW Alliance.

For drive specifications (2x, 4x, 8x, etc.), see DVD drives. For DVD storage specifications, see DVD storage capacities.

Sides and Layers
DVDs come in any combination of single or double sided with single or double layers. This shows the laser beam contacting the recorded surface in all of the possibilities.

At minimum, the capacity of a DVD is seven times that of a CD-ROM because its tracks, pits and lands are more than twice as dense. It also uses more efficient recording algorithms. Add a second layer or record on both sides of the DVD, and capacity is doubled. (Image courtesy of C-Cube Microsystems.)

References in periodicals archive ?
DVD is now being considered for the millions of set-top and Web-TV boxes we will see in stores and homes later this year.
The company's flagship products, the TMPGEnc video encoder series and the TSUNAMI MPEG DVD AUTHOR and DVD AUTHOR PRO, anchor a strong line of retail and OEM digital video editing and encoding products for home and professional users.
TDK's full 8cm DVD media lineup includes 8cm ScratchProof Double Sided DVD-R, 8cm ScratchProof DVD-R and 8cm ScratchProof DVD-RW, all of which feature DURABIS technology.
HD DVD's basic feature of sharing the same disc structure as DVD made a large contribution to this success, and offers more and compelling evidence of our design policy's validity," said Hisashi Yamada, Chief Fellow of Toshiba's Digital Media Network Company.
Several companies announced plans to release HD DVD hardware and content by the end of 2005.
Videos that have simple editing fixes do not have to be re-rendered because InterVideo's revolutionary UniPass(R) technology integrates DVD creation and editing together.
The DVD Forum has been working on the fine details of the HD DVD specifications for almost two years, including physical, file format and application specifications for recordable and ROM discs.
The escalation of small businesses jumping on the DVD backup bandwagon in record numbers is a result of it being both affordable and a familiar consumer technology.