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DVD Terms and Glossary

Artifact - A video defect that occurs due to the digital conversion and/or compression process. Artifacts can be caused by video compression, transfers, data errors, and analog signal noise.

Aspect Ratio – The ratio of width to height of a video image.

Authoring - The process of designing and creating the content of a DVD.

Bit rate - A bit rate is the amount of information (or bits) that is transferred per second (bits per second or bps).

Book A - DVD Physical format

Book B - DVD Video format

Book C - DVD Audio format

Book D – DVD-R format

Book E – DVD-RAM format

Burn - To record or copy information onto a rewritable disc such as a CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R or DVD+RW.

CD - Compact Disk. A media that uses a single track, like phongraph records. This layout of data makes random access of data take longer, this is commonly referred to as a long seek time. CD's have a capacity of 700MB (depending upon the disc).

CD Recordable (CD-R) - A recordable technology that allows you to be write to an inexpensive blank CD once.  CD capacity of CD-R media is measured in minutes (this technology was adapted from the same as audio recordings) as well as data capacity. There are two main CD capacities: 74 min (650MB), and 80 min (700MB).

CD-ROM - A Compact Disc-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) is designed to store data in the form of text, graphics and audio. CD-ROMs use the Yellow Book standard as published by Philips.  They cannot be recorded onto.

CD Re-Writable (CD-RW) - A CD-RW disc can be rewritten over a thousand times and read on MultiRead CD-ROM drives or CD-RW compatible Audio CD players. CD-RWs support UDF (Universal Disc Format), which allows for read-write interoperability between all the major operating systems as well as compatibility between rewritable and write-once media.

Constant Bit Rate (CBR) - Constant Bit Rate is an encoding method that maintains the same bit rate across the entire audio or video file.

Codec (COmpression/DECompression) - Any technology that is used for compressing and decompressing data such as audio (MP3) or video (MPEG).

Decode - The process of decompressing audio or video.

Dolby Digital - An audio coding system used in the DVD Video format to create mono, stereo, and surround sounds.

DVD - DVD, introduced in 1996, was originally known as Digital Video Disc but soon became known as Digital Versatile Disc. It is the next generation of optical disc storage technology. which shares the same overall dimensions of a CD, but have significantly higher capacities - holding from 4 to 28 times as much data.  Single sided DVDs can store 4.7GB for single layer and 8.5GB for dual-layer disks. Double sided DVDs can store 9.4GB for single layer and 17GB for dual-layer disks.

DVD-5 - Single-sided/single-layer DVD with 4.7 GB storage capability.

DVD-9 - Single-sided/dual-layer DVD with 8.5 GB storage capability.

DVD-10 - Double-sided/single-layer DVD with 9.4 GB storage capability.

DVD-18 - Double-sided/dual-layer DVD with 17 GB storage capability.

DVD-Audio - Launched in mid-2000, this audio-only storage format similar to CD-Audio, however offers higher quality sound from 16, 20 and 24-bit samples at a variety of sampling rates from 44.1 to 192KHz, compared to 16 bits and 44.1KHz for CDs. DVD-Audio can also contain music videos and graphics.

DVD Burner - A piece of hardware (i.e. a physical device) that creates a DVD disc using a laser that “burns” the information onto the disc.

DVD Burner Software – Software that communicates with the DVD burner.  It provides instructions and information to the hardware device that tells the drive what to burn and how to burn.

DVD Converter – A program that is able to switch or convert between different video formats (ie. DVD to VCD, DVD to CD, DVD to AVI, etc).

DVD Forum - An international association of hardware and media manufacturers that developed the DVD definition. Members include Hitachi Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Pioneer Electric Corporation, Sony Corporation, Thomson Multimedia, Time Warner, Inc., Toshiba Corporation, and Victor Company of Japan Ltd. This group wants to promote broad acceptance of the DVD-RAM and DVD+RW formats.

DVD Random Access Memory (DVD-RAM) - A rewritable DVD disc endorsed by Panasonic, Hitachi and Toshiba. DVD-RAM discs with 4.7GB of storage were released in 1999, and double-sided 9.4GB discs in 2000. DVD-RAM drives typically read DVD-Video, DVD-ROM and CD media. The current installed base of DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players cannot read DVD-RAM media. 

DVD Recordable (DVD-R ) - Introduced by Pioneer in 1998, DVD-R offers a write-once, read-many storage format similar to CD-R and is used to master DVD-Video and DVD-ROM discs.

DVD Ripper – Software that is able to digitally extract data from a DVD disc and saves the data to the computer’s hard drive which can then be burnt onto DVD or CD.

DVD-ROM Read Only Memory (DVD-ROM) - Introduced in 1997, this read-only DVD disc is used for storing data as well as audio and video. DVD-ROMs run in DVD-ROM or DVD-RAM drives, but not DVD video players.  However, most DVD-ROM drives will play DVD-Video movies.

DVD Re-Writable (DVD-RW) - Introduced by Pioneer, this rewritable DVD format is similar to DVD+RW. It has a read-write capacity of 4.7 GB.

DVD+Re-Writable (DVD+RW) - This format was developed in cooperation by Hewlett-Packard, Mitsubishi Chemical, Philips, Ricoh, Sony and Yamaha.  It's a rewritable format that provides full, non-cartridge, compatibility with existing DVD-Video players and DVD-ROM drives.

DVD-Video - Popular MPEG2 video format  that is designed to be used to store movies on a DVD and can be played on most DVD players.

Encode - The process of compressing audio or video.

ISO - International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a non-governmental global organization established in 1947 that works to develop standards across goods and services.

ISO 9660 - A widely used data interchange format adopted in 1987. CDs created in this format can be read by Unix, Macintosh and Windows computers. ISO 9660 is inadequate for the higher capacity recordable and erasable DVDs.

MPEG - The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is a working group under the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that sets the standards for encoding audio and video in digital format.

MPEG2 - MPEG2 is a second set of flexible compression standards created by the MPEG group. This set of standards takes advantage of the fact that over 95% of digital video is redundant, however some portions are much less redundant. MPEG2 handles this by using higher bit rates (i.e. higher quality) for more complex pictures and lower bit rates for simple pictures.

Seek Time - This refers to the amount of time it takes to find the correct position on storage media so that data can start to be read.

Video Object File (VOB) - A data file used in the DVD Video format to deliver video, audio, and graphics.



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