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History of DVD
Written By: SCEI

The Road From CD to DVD

It is now 14 years since Sony and Philips launched the Compact Disc digital audio format and gave the world its first taste of digital entertainment. CD has enjoyed unprecedented success and universal support among music companies and hardware manufacturers. To date, over 120 million CD Players and 3 billion CD's have been sold in the United States alone.

From its origins as a music format, Compact Disc has grown to encompass computer applications (CD-ROM), imaging applications (Photo CD), and video game applications with products like the Sony PlayStation® system.

Over the years since the introduction, we have seen significant advances in the enabling technologies that support the Compact Disc. Laser optics, reflective films, and disc replication have all made major strides. Digital coding and compression algorithms have become vastly more sophisticated. Moreover, integrated circuits and drive mechanisms have made impressive advances.

All of these advances came into play when Sony began work on the next generation of optical media. The goal: vastly increased capacity, with the ability to feature an entire movie in high-quality digital video on a single side of a disc.

This was the start of DVD.

In September 1995, Sony joined nine other companies to create a single, unified standard for the emerging DVD format. The format enjoys the enthusiastic support of the world's major electronics companies. As a movie playback format, it meets the specific and detailed requests of the motion picture industry's Studio Advisory Committee. As a computer ROM format, it meets the specifications of the computer industry's Technical Working Group. No other product has enjoyed such broad international support across so many industries prior to launch.

•DVD holds seven times the data of CD: 4.7 gigabytes per single side, as compared to 680 megabytes for CD.

•DVD offers a dual-layer, single-side option, for even higher capacity 8.5 gigabytes on a single side or 17.0 gigabytes on a double-sided disc.

•Every DVD is a bonded disc, composed of two 0.6 mm substrates joined together.

Just as the original CD created a revolution in audio, DVD will raise the standard for home video picture quality. In fact, picture quality approaches "D-1," the CCIR-601 TV studio production standard.

DVD delivers far and away the best color, sharpness and clarity in home video, far surpassing the Laserdisc standard. DVD also offers high resolution, with exceptional rendering of fine picture detail. Video distortion is extremely low, which reduces unwanted color "noise."

Because the recording format is component video, as opposed to NTSC composite video, the pictures are free of the well-known drawbacks of NTSC - artifacts including dot crawl and cross color distortion. And because DVD is an optical format, the picture quality doesn't degrade over time and repeated use.

Please note that the views expressed in this review are those of the writer and not of A.P.I