DVD Demystified Third Edition / Edition 3

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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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780071423960
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/21/2005
  • Series: Demystified Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 700
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Taylor is Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Advanced Technology Group at Sonic Solutions, the leading developer of DVD and CD creation software. In addition to writing the first two editions of DVD Demystified, Jim is the author of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About DVD, a book version of his acclaimed Internet DVD FAQ. Called a "minor tech legend" by E! Online, Jim is recognized worldwide as an expert on DVD and associated technology. Jim has actively participated in DVD Forum working groups since 1998 and serves as Chairman of the DVD Association. Jim was named one of the 21 most influential DVD executives by DVD Report, received the 2000 DVD Pro Discus Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Industry, was an inaugural inductee into the Digital Media Hall of Fame, and was named one of the pioneers of DVD by One to One magazine. Jim has worked with interactive media for over 25 years, developing educational software, laserdiscs, CD-ROMs, Web sites, and DVDs, and has taught workshops and courses on multimedia, computer-based education, computer applications, and DVD. Formerly VP of Information Technology at Videodiscovery, an educational multimedia publishing company, Jim then championed the format as Microsoft’s DVD Evangelist before joining Daikin U.S. as Chief Technology Officer. Jim Taylor lives on an island near Seattle, Washington.

Mark R. Johnson is the Vice President of Technology at Technicolor Creative Services (TCS), a Thomson company, and is a member of Technicolor’s HD Optical Launch Team. Mark actively participates in both the DVD Forum and Blu-ray Disc Association as a contributing member. As an award-winning DVD author, Mark helped set Technicolor's standards and practices with blockbuster titles such as Disney’s "Snow White" and "Beauty and the Beast." Prior to that, he was the "go to" guy at Daikin U.S. where he was the Product Manager for the Scenarist DVD authoring system. Formerly the Chief Technology Officer of DVant Digital, Mark was then known for his breakthroughs in advanced applications of the DVD specification. Mark lives in Pasadena, CA.

Charles G. Crawford (aka Chuck) has been involved with DVD technology since 1998 when he wrote the Operations and Reference Manuals for Panasonic's award winning DVD Authoring System. He thought the technology was so cutting edge that he convinced his partner to incorporate DVD title development into their line of products and services. Chuck comes from the world of broadcasting and production. He has been awarded three national EMMY awards for technical and directorial expertise and numerous other broadcast and DVD industry awards for his production skills. He is the Co-Founder of Television Production Services, Inc. (TPS), and Heritage Series, LLC, both production companies specializing in traditional and interactive video production and title development. Chuck lives in Washington, DC.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Introduction

DVD is the future.' No matter who you are or what you do, DVD technology will be in your future, supplying entertainment, information, and enlightenment in the form of video, audio, and computer data. DVD embodies the grand unification theory of entertainment and business media: If it fulfills the hopes of its creators, DVD will replace audio compact discs (CDs), videotapes, laserdiscs, CD-ROMs, video game cartridges, and even certain printed publications. By its third birthday, DVD had already become the most successful consumer electronics entertainment product of all time, with over 6 million players sold in the United States, over 10 million players worldwide, and over 30 million DVD-ROM computers.

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...

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Table of Contents

1 The world before DVD
2 DVD arrives
3 Technology primer
4 Features
5 Content protection
6 Overview of the formats
7 Red laser physical disc formats
8 Blue laser physical disc formats
9 Application details
10 Players
11 Myths
12 What's wrong with DVD
13 New interaction paradigms
14 DVD in home, business, and education
15 DVD on computers
16 Production essentials
17 DVD and beyond
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