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Part: II Beyond the Basics > Converting to Megabits

Converting to Megabits

Since the data rate of your final DVD is expressed in megabits per second (Mbps), it's a good idea to break down the data requirements for each element all the way to the megabit level, and to do the same with the capacity of the disc. (Note that I'm using the DVD standard for measuring capacity, where a gigabyte is equal to 1 billion bytes.)

A 4.7-GB disc can store 4,700,000,000 bytes. Since there are 8 bits in a byte, the disc can store 37,600,000,000 bits (4,700,000 x 8). This huge number can be made more manageable by converting it to megabits, which, conveniently, is the measurement you're going to end up with when you do the final DVD data rate calculation. There are a million bits in a megabit, so dividing the number we arrived at earlier by 1 million (a simple task, even for someone like me, burdened with a liberal arts education but armed with a powerful laptop) gives the result that the disc capacity for a 4.7-gigabyte DVD is 37,600 megabits.


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