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Appendix A: About DVDs

Appendix A. About DVDs

Unless you have been living in a closet for the past few years, you know what a DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) looks like. You probably have rented, purchased, or at least seen a movie or presentation on a DVD within the past few months. A DVD is just another medium for saving and storing digital media used for playback or archiving. In general, a DVD is physically the same size as a CD-ROM but can hold a far greater number of files because of its increased storage capacity. The average CD-ROM has 700 MB of disc space, compared to a single-sided, single-layer DVD, which has 4.7 GB of space. Some double-sided, dual-layered DVDs can hold upwards of 19 GB on a single disc. That's a lot of media.

One way to take advantage of this large amount of storage space is to put better-quality digital audio and video files on the disc. Digital media files can become quite large, and CD-ROMs can't store high-quality, long-duration files. With DVD technology, up to two hours of high-quality full-screen video can be stored with the highest-quality stereo or even 5.1 surround sound.


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