DVD Hunting Ep. #4

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DVD Hunting Ep. #4 – Let’s go DVD / Blu-Ray shopping!

DVD ( “digital versatile disc” or “digital video disc”) is a digital optical disc storage format invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. The medium can store any kind of digital data and is widely used for software and other computer files as well as video programs watched using DVD players. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than compact discs while having the same dimensions.

DVDs are used in DVD-Video consumer digital video format and in DVD-Audio consumer digital audio format as well as for authoring DVD discs written in a special AVCHD format to hold high definition material (often in conjunction with AVCHD format camcorders). DVDs containing other types of information may be referred to as DVD data discs.

Blu-ray or Blu-ray Disc (BD, BRD) is a digital optical disc data storage format. It was designed to supersede the DVD format, in that it is capable of storing high-definition video resolution (1080p). The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Conventional (pre-BD-XL) Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs (50 GB) being the industry standard for feature-length video discs. Triple-layer discs (100 GB) and quadruple-layers (128 GB) are available for BD-XL re-writer drives. The name “Blu-ray” refers to the blue laser (specifically, a violet laser) used to read the disc, which allows information to be stored at a greater density than is possible with the longer-wavelength red laser used for DVDs. The main application of Blu-ray is as a medium for video material such as feature films and physical distribution of video games for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Besides the hardware specifications, Blu-ray is associated with a set of multimedia formats.

High-definition video may be stored on Blu-ray discs with up to 1080p resolution (1920×1080 pixels), at up to 60 (59.94) fields or 60 frames per second. DVD discs had been limited to a maximum resolution of 480i (NTSC, 720×480 pixels) or 576i (PAL, 720×576 pixels). The format was developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association, a group representing makers of consumer electronics, computer hardware, and motion pictures. Sony unveiled the first Blu-ray disc prototypes in October 2000, and the first prototype player was released in April 2003 in Japan. Afterwards, it continued to be developed until its official release in June 2006. During the high definition optical disc format war, Blu-ray Disc competed with the HD DVD format. Toshiba, the main company that supported HD DVD, conceded in February 2008, releasing its own Blu-ray Disc player in late 2009. According to Media Research, high-definition software sales in the US were slower in the first two years than DVD software sales. Blu-ray faces competition from video on demand.

The Video Home System (VHS) is a standard for consumer-level use of analog recording on videotape cassettes. It was developed by Victor Company of Japan (JVC) in the 1970s.

From the 1950s magnetic tape video recording became a major contributor to the television industry, via the first commercialized video tape recorders (VTRs). At that time, the devices were used only in expensive professional environments such as television studios and medical imaging (fluoroscopy). In the 1970s videotape entered home use, creating the home video industry and changing the economics of the television and movie businesses. The television industry viewed VCRs as having the power to disrupt their business, while television users viewed the VCR as the means to take control of their hobby.

In the 1980s and 1990s, at the peak of VHS’s popularity, there were videotape format wars in the home video industry. Two of the formats, VHS and Betamax, received the most media exposure. VHS eventually won the war, succeeding as the dominant home video format throughout the tape media period.

Optical disc formats later began to offer better quality than analog consumer video tape such as standard and super-VHS. The earliest of these formats, LaserDisc, was not widely adopted. However, after the introduction of the DVD format in 1997, VHS’s market share began to decline. By 2008 DVD had achieved mass acceptance and replaced VHS as the preferred method of distribution.

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