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U.S DVD sales will top $8.1 billion in 2002, an increase of over 50%, according to Adams Media Research. DVD sales this year surpassed video, even though only 30% of households have DVD players (compared to 90% for VCRs). In August 2002 the New York Times dubbed DVD “the most successful home entertainment device in history…a true pop-culture phenomenon.”
DVD Demystified has served as DVD’s bible since the format first shipped in 1997. Demystifying not only basic technology issues but detailing production and authoring processes, making sense out of the plethora of battling video, audio, and data formats, and clearly explaining how DVD standards and specs dovetail or clash with related digital media standards, this book has not only become DVD’s standard reference, but also required reading for DVD enthusiasts who wanting to peer behind the scenes and figure out how to get the most from their technology.
Since then, Jim Taylor has become DVD’s most visible guru, now President of the DVD Association, author of the internet DVD FAQ, and profiled by E!Online and DVD Report.
This third edition will be almost completely rewritten to cover the major technology, format, and standard changes of the past three years, and will once again include a DVD designed to show the extreme limits of performance of this dynamic technology.
Note to Adobe Customers: The Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader version is printable, but there is a known problem printing to printers that do not use the PostScript page description language. This problem occurs with some HP LaserJet, Epson Stylus inkjet, and Epson impact printers. Consult your printer’s documentation to find out if it is PostScript compatible. This does not affect your ability to read the book on screen.
DVD is a bridge. According to the DVD Entertainment Group, DVD is "the medium of the new millennium." Although undoubtedly there will be more important media in the next thousand years, this is an accurate description for the first decade or so, since DVD is the ideal convergent medium for a converging world. We are witnessing watershed transitions from analog TV to digital TV (DTV), from interlaced video to progressive video, from standard TV to widescreen TV, and from passive entertainment to interactive entertainment. In every case DVD works on both sides, bridging from the "old way" to the "new way."
DVD is excellence. In a world where the prevailing trend is to squeeze in more channels and longer playing time at the sacrifice of quality, DVD is the standout contrarian. As broadcasters convert to DTV, they are more likely to use the extra space provided by digital compression to hold more channels of low quality rather than a few channels of highquality. Digital satellite providers already have taken this approach. Anyone hawking streaming video across the Internet has thrown aesthetics out the window. In contrast, most DVDs are created by people who care passionately about the video experience-people who spend months cleaning up video frame by frame, restoring and remixing audio, reassembling director's cut versions, recording commentaries, researching outtakes and extras, and providing a richness and depth of content seldom seen in other media. DVD is not the ultimate in video quality, but it is the standard bearer for consumer entertainment.
DVD is just DVD. In the early days of DVD's development, the letters stood for digital video disc. Later, like a stepsister trying to squish her ugly foot into a glass slipper, a few companies tried to retrofit the acronym to "digital versatile disc" in a harebrained attempt to express the versatility of DVD. But just as everyone knows what a VCR and a VHS tape are without worrying what the letters stand for,' DVD stands on it own.
But what is DVD? Put simply, DVD is the next generation of CD technology. Improvements in optical technology have made the tightly packed microscopic pits that store data on an optical disc even more microscopic and even more tightly packed. A DVD is the same size as the familiar CD12 centimeters wide (about 4.7 inches)-but it stores up to 25 times more and is more than nine times faster. And yet, DVD is much more than CD on steroids. Its increased storage capacity and speed allow it to accommodate high-quality digital video in MPEG-2 format. The result is a small, shiny disc that holds better-than-TV video and better-than-CD audio. A basic DVD can contain a movie over two hours long. A double-sided, dual-layer DVD can hold about eight hours of near-cinema-quality video or more than 30 hours of VHS-quality video. If only still pictures are used, DVD becomes an audio book that can play continuously for weeks.
DVD has many tricks to woo both the weary couch potato and the multimedia junkie alike, such as a widescreen picture, multichannel surround sound, multilingual audio tracks, selectable subtitles, multiple camera angles, karaoke features, seamless branching for multiple storylines, navigation menus, instant fast forward/rewind, and more.
Just as audio CD has its computer counterpart in CD-ROM, DVD has DVD-ROM, which goes far beyond CD-ROM. DVD-ROM holds from 4.4 to 16 gigabytes of data-25 times as much as a 650-megabyte CD-ROM-and sends it to the computer faster than a comparable CD-ROM drive.
DVD is inexpensive. The first few generations of DVD-ROM drives were more expensive than CD-ROM drives, but as the technology has improved and production quantities have increased, the price gap between them has continued to narrow. Once the price gap is insignificant, manufacturers will stop making CD-ROM drives. During the first few years, DVD-Video players were as expensive as high-end VCRs, but mass production of DVD-ROM drives and plummeting costs of audio/video decoder chips are driving the price of consumer DVD players down to the same level as VCRs and CD players. DVD discs are produced with much of the same equipment used for CDs, and because they are stamped instead of recorded, they can be produced cheaper and faster than tapes.
DVD is at the crest of a wave bringing significant change to the world of video entertainment and multimedia. It is the first high-quality interactive medium to be affordable to the mass market. Until now, the high-impact visuals of movies, television, and videotape have been linear and unchanging, whereas the dynamic and responsive environment of computer multimedia has suffered from unimpressively tiny video windows with fuzzy, jerky motion. Many artists with the vision to do extraordinary things with an interactive environment have shunned CD-ROM and computers because their creative standards would be compromised. As a result, they have been constricted to the straight and narrow of traditional linear video presentation designed to appeal to the lowest common interests .3 This does not mean that DVD closes the door on beginning-to-end storytelling, only that it opens new doors for different approaches. DVD is a fresh digital canvas onto which artists can expand their abilities and sketch their nonlinear visions in time and space to be recreated on television screens and computer screens alike as a different experience for each participatory viewer...
|1||The world before DVD|
|6||Overview of the formats|
|7||Red laser physical disc formats|
|8||Blue laser physical disc formats|
|12||What's wrong with DVD|
|13||New interaction paradigms|
|14||DVD in home, business, and education|
|15||DVD on computers|
|17||DVD and beyond|