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Introducing DVD Video

One of the most significant advances in PC-based multimedia is the Digital Video Display, or DVD. Based on 5.25-inch discs that look identical to CD-ROMs, DVD-ROM can store up to 4.7GB on a single side. Down the road, enhanced DVD-ROM discs will be able to nearly double the amount of data on each side. The standard also allows for two-sided discs, meaning that DVD-ROM discs will eventually hold as much as 17GB of data—perfect for broadcast-quality, high-resolution video.

In fact, DVD uses the same MPEG-2 video format seen in Direct Satellite Services (DSS) such as DirecTV, USSB, and PrimeStar. The problem is that MPEG-2 video is very complex, requiring hardware-based decompression to provide smooth playback of the broadcast-quality video. Although fast MMX-enhanced PCs can play MPEG-2 video, hardware is needed to make it acceptable for viewing.


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