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What Is a DVD?

DVDs look a lot like CDs, but there is a world of difference between the two media. Both are 120mm in diameter, but whereas CDs store a maximum of about 650MB of data, DVDs currently top out at around 4.75GB of data—about seven and a half times larger.

DVD originally stood for Digital Video Disc because the intended use for DVDs was as a new storage medium for full-length movies. But as the new storage medium began seeing usage as a repository for software and other mega-storage items, the name was officially switched to Digital Versatile Disc. Almost no one calls them by their official name, so just refer to them as DVDs.


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