Know More About DVD

DVD, as a popular optical disc storage media format, is one of the most widely-used medium of data and video storage. This article will introduce you the valuable information about the DVD (What’s DVD, DVD Region Codes, DVD Capacities and Type, DVD FAQs).

What is DVD?
DVD also known as “Digital Versatile Disc” or “Digital Video Disc” which is a popular optical disc storage media format. Its main uses are video and data storage. Most DVDs are of the same dimensions as compact discs (CDs) but store more than six times as much data.

Variations of the term DVD often describe the way data is stored on the discs: DVD-ROM has data which can only be read and not written, DVD-R and DVD+R can only record data once and then function as a DVD-ROM. DVD-RW, DVD+RW and DVD-RAM can both record and erase data multiple times. The wavelength used by standard DVD lasers is 650 nm[1], and thus has a red color.

DVD-Video and DVD-Audio discs respectively refer to properly formatted and structured video and audio content. Other types of DVDs, including those with video content, may be referred to as DVD-Data discs. As next generation High definition optical formats also use a disc identical in some aspects yet more advanced than a DVD, such as Blu-ray Disc, the original DVD is occasionally given the retronym SD DVD (for standard definition).

DVD contains two directories: VIDEO_TS(VIDEO_PS) and AUDIO_TS(AUDIO_PS). AUDIO_TS is used for DVD Audio and contains the audio files, whereas VIDEO_TS is used to store all data for the movie. There might be more directories which contain DVD-ROM features for your PC. And you can see there’s 3 types of files on a DVD: .VOB, .IFO and .BUP.

DVD Region Codes and Countries
Region code - Area
0 – Informal term meaning “worldwide”. Region 0 is not an official setting; discs that bear the region 0 symbol either have no flag set or have region 1–6 flags set.
1 – Canada, United States; U.S. territories; Bermuda
2 – Western and Central Europe; Western Asia; Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland; British overseas territories, French overseas territories
3 – Southeast Asia; South Korea; Non-mainland China (Taiwan); Hong Kong
4 – Australia; Oceania; Central and South America; Caribbean; Mexico
5 – Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Africa, Central and South Asia, Mongolia, North Korea.
6 – Mainland China
7 – Reserved for future use (found in use on protected screener copies of MPAA-related DVDs and “media copies” of pre-releases in Asia)
8 – International venues such as aircraft, cruise ships, etc.[1]
ALL – Region ALL discs have all 8 flags set, allowing the disc to be played in any locale on any player.

DVD Type and Storage Capacity

The DVD discs can store from 4.7 gigabytes (GB) to 17.0 gigabytes (GB) with the following configurations and capacities:
· 4.7 GB (Single Sided, Single Layer), referred to as DVD-5
· 8.5 GB (Single Sided, Dual Layer), referred to as DVD-9
· 9.4 GB (Double Sided, Single Layer), referred to as DVD-10
· 17.0 GB (Double Sided, Dual Layer), referred to as DVD-18

DVD-ROM: Read Only
DVD-R/DVD+R: Written Once
DVD-RAM/DVD-RW/DVD+RW: Re-written multiple times.

Capacity differences of writable DVD formats:

Burning DVD
You can use a Mac DVD Maker to create your own DVDs on Mac (Mountain Lion included). With this DVD burner for Mac Lion, you can burn iPhoto export, iMovie export, QuickTime, FCP, iMovie HD export, MOV, FLV, F4V, MP4, MPEG, DV, AVI, 3GP to DVD disc (dvd-5 or dvd-9) and you can do additional editing work like DVD disk Background, Menu Title (DVD Name), Button Style and Frame (Video decoration Frame).

What are the differences between DVD-R / RW, DVD+R / RW and DVD-RAM?
There are 3 main streams:
DVD-R / RW: leads by Pioneer and Sharp
DVD+R / RW: leads by Sony, Philips and HP
DVD-RAM: leads by Panasonic, Toshiba and Hitachi
DVD-RAM uses Zone Constant Linear Velocity (also known as Z-CLV) for reading. It divides the disc into several districts and arranges in a spiral way. Each district contains several sectors. Each sector has its own physical address. Therefore, it uses the same “Data Random Storage” as HDD, which also provides burning repetition.
Its burning principle is similar to CD-R / RW, which uses Constant Linear Velocity (also known as CLV). A DVD-R can only be burned once. But DVD-RW uses “Phase Change” burning technology; therefore, it can be re-burned.
DVD+R / RW are the same as DVD-RAM, but it also provides Constant Angular Velocity (also known as CAV) for burning, where the device must maintain at a constant speed during burning processes. If it fails to do so, the burning processes must be stopped or else the disc may not be read by ROM devices, such as DVD Player or DVD-ROM. Such circumstances are called “Linking Loss”. To prevent such circumstances, DVD+R / RW has developed a “Lossless Linking” technique to provide Various Burning Rate ( VBR ).

What is a DVD Multi Burner?
DVD Multi Burner is manufactured based upon the DVD-RAM and DVD-R / RW specifications. It amends the “For PC purposes” design to “For both computer and consumer devices”.

What is a DVD Dual Burner?
A DVD Dual Burner means that the DVD Burner is compatible with DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R and DVD+RW format media. Generally, DVD Dual Burners provides users with comfort regarding incompatibility concerns. Consumers may purchase either DVD+ or DVD- media for their recording sessions.

What are the differences between “For General” and “For Authoring” for DVD-R discs?
“For General” disc is for general purposes, it can either record “Data” or “Films”, whereas the “For Authoring” disc is especially for burning “Films”. For example, a special burner is required for burning “For Authoring” discs when producing the film’s master copy.

What is the difference between “For Data” and “For Video” for DVD+R / RW discs?
“For Data” disc are used for burning “Data”. “For Video” disc is used for burning “Films”. Basically there are no specific differences between the two, but it is recommended that you use “For Data” discs for burning “Data”, and “For Video” for burning “Films”.

What are the disc capacity for DVD video discs?
DVD-5: a single-sided and single-layer disc which holds 4.7 GB of data.
DVD-9: a single-sided and double-layers disc with capacity of 8.5 GB.
DVD-7: a double-sided and single-layer disc with capacity of 9.4 GB.
DVD-18: a double-sided and double-layers disc holds 17 GB.

Is there any Regional Code Restrictions for DVD Burners?
Each DVD ReWritable drive have five (5) opportunities for resetting the regional code. After these changes have been utilized, the DVD ReWritable drive will need to be send back to its manufacturer for re-configuration.

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