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02:23 Nov 5, 2001
English to Finnish translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: dvd
The DVD is an all-round disk, which probably will replace CD-ROM and laser disks. Over a few years DVD
should replace VHS tapes for videos as well.

Some DVD drives can both read and write the disks. The drives are sold in many versions and with many
incompatible sub-standards.

A CD-like disk

The DVD is a flat disk of the same size as a CD. It holds a diameter of 4.7 inches (12 cm) and is .05 inches
(1.2 mm) thick. Data are stored in a small indentation in a spiral track, just like in the CD, only the tracks
are more narrow.

DVD disks are read by a laser beam of shorter wave-length than used by the CD-ROM drives. This allows
for smaller indentations and increased storage capacity.

The data layer is only half as thick as in the CD-ROM. This opens the possibility to write data in two layers.
The outer gold layer is semi transparent, to allow reading of the underlying silver layer. The laser beam is
set to two different intensities, strongest for reading the underlying silver layer. Here you see a common
type DVD ROM drive:

The DVD drives come in EIDE and SCSI editions and in 5X, etc. versions, like do the CD-ROMs.

The DVD drives are often bundled with a MPEG-2 decoder. This is required if you want to replay DVD video
disks at optimal quality. Some graphics cards like Matrox-G400 MAX come with a Cinemaster-based
software decoder. This works together with the graphics accelerator chip and gives reasonable DVD replay

The DVD drives will not replace the magnetic hard disks. The hard disks are being improved as rapidly as
DVD, and they definitely offer the fastest seek time and transmission rate (currently 20-30 MB/second). No
optic media can keep up with this nor with the speedy seeks we get from the harddisks.

But the DVD will undoubtedly gain a place as the successor to the CD-ROM. New drives will read both
CD-ROMs and DVDs.

Various DVD types


We have several versions of the DVD:


This is the most simple format made for data read-only. It is like a beefed-up CD-ROM. This medium is usable
for distribution of software and other data for PC use.

The outer layers can hold 4.7 GB, the underlying 3.8 GB. The largest version can hold a total of 17 GB.

A single layer DVD-5 disk holds 4.7 GB. A dual-layred DVD-9 disk holds 8.5 GB. The dual-sided DVDs are
named DVD-10 (9.4 GB) and DVD-18 (17 GB).

DVD Video disk

This the most important standard. it is a highly sophisticated and very complex format mixing video, sound and
data in a very special format.


The Recordable DVD are written once only like CD-R. This disk can hold 3.95 GB per side .


There a at least three different and in-compatible formats of re-writable DVD. The disk can be written and read
like a hard disk or perhaps more like a CD-RW.


Three writable technologies are present at the market:

Pioneer has a DVD-Recordable technology placing 3.95 GB per disk.

DVD-RAM is a RW-disk from Hitachi and Matsushiti. The 1. generation disks hold 3.6 GB, while the 2.
generation hold 4.7 GB. The disks are hold in a special cartridge.

The so-called DVD+RW, supported by HP, Sony, Philips, Yamaha, Ricoh and Mitsubishi holds up to 4.7 GB
per disk.

None of the three products are compatible. However, the companies behind DVD+RW control 75% of the
market, so I think this will become the new standard.

It appears that the DVD-RAM disks are extremely sensitive to greasy fingers and other contaminants.
Therefore they must be handled in special cassettes, which do not fit into ordinary DVD players.

HP DVD 3100i

HP has a DVD+RW drive. It reads and writes 3 GB disks at 1,7 MB/sec. The DVD+RW disks should be
readable to ordinary DVD drives.

3100i is an internal SCSI drive. It reads and writes DVD+RW media at a speed of 1.25X (1.7MB/s), which
compares to 11X CD-RW write speed. The drive rotates with constant angular velocity (CAV). Using
Adaptec's Direct DVD, you can drag and drop files to DVD disk from Microsoft Windows Explorer.

The DVD video disk is the most well-known DVD format. It is a 4.7 GB disk, which can hold up to135 minutes
top quality video with 8 digital soundtracks (AC3, Digital Dolby) and sub-titles in 32 languages. Plus special
features like interviews and trailers, alternate versions.

Playing of movies (with a new MPEG-2 compression)
requires a transmission rate of about 600 KB per
second. That corresponds to the 4X CD-ROM drives.

The Dolby AC-3 is a sound system with five full range speakers to surround you with sound, plus a
supplementary low frequency special effect channel. To get the full use of the movie sound tracks, you need
a AC-3 compatible stereo set up.

The DVD video disk is protected against illegal copying.

MPEG-2 decoding

The video format on DVD disks is in MPEG-2 coding. That is a compression technology, which requires lots of
processor power. When you buy or rent a DVD video disk, the digital video stream of the movie has been
heavily compressed. Hence, the data stream from the disk has to be decoded when you watch the film. This has
to be done in real-time during the replay (real time decoding).

Soft or hard decoding?

MPEG-2 decoding can be done in two ways:

Software based decoding
Hardware based decoding

The software-based decoding is done by the PCs CPU using special software. This is not always very good
since it drains the PC. Also the CPU seldom is powerful enogh to perform a perfect decoding. Some graphics
chips include DVD decoding features, but have to work together with a software decoder as well.

. The software based decoding does not require any new hardware, but it requires a very powerful CPU
and/or graphics adapter. If there is not sufficient processor power, you will see a loss of some individual
images. The movie gets "choppy."

The hardware-based decoding is to prefer. Here the PC is equipped with a special chip (on an adapter)
which only has to decode the MPEG data stream. The most well-known products are based on the called
Real Magic Hollywood+ chipset.

The advantage of the hardware based decoding is that the result does not depend on the CPU in your PC.
The disadvantage is that you need to install an extra card in the PC to enable seeing DVD films. It often
comes with the DVD drive as here:

However, MPEG cards are not always powerful enough either, according to the reviews and to what I so far
have seen. All in all, I might wait for further DVD and MPEG developments. In a couple of years the MPEG
decoding will surely become a standard task (included in graphics chip sets), which all PC's can perform
without problems.

The players

You can view DVD video several ways:

In a PC with a DVD drive as described above.
Using a specific DVD-player.
Using a Sony PlayStation2 device.

If you use your PC to replay videos, you should have a hardware-based MPEG-2 decoder in the PC. But the
best replay comes from a DVD-Video home player:

These units only play DVD video disk and do not interface with the PC.


In 1999 we suddenly saw a series of new products, namely integrated CD, MP3 and DVD players from Taiwan.
The devices are designed to fit into the HIFI stereo set:

I have one of those new players myself, and it works fine. It plays so to say any type of optic disc, be it
music CD, CD-R with (12 hours of) MP3, DVD or small laserdiscs.

The device is based on a standard PC DVD drive, so it can be pretty noisy. The Video DVD replay is
comparable to the one from a PC with DVD drive and MPEG-2 adapter.

The regional codes

DVD movies are made in several "codes." Region one is USA and Canada, while Europe and Asia is region two:

When you play movies, your hardware (MPEG decoder) must match the DVD region. The movies are made
in separate formats, each with their own coding. The DVD drives has to be set to one of the codes, and this
setting can be changed perhaps five times.

Most players can be altered so the become code-free. The operation is quite simple, but it is a violation
against the one year guarantee.

Many European users dislike the coding system: The companies sell the same movie at higher prices for
region 2 than for region 1. This region thing is a typical example of industrial stupidity. From the consumers
view, there is absolutely no need for this division of markets. It only makes things more difficult and

Incidentially Sony PlayStation2 machine are cabable of playing both region 1 and 2! This was not intended.
It only goes for some region 1 DVDs, though.

A typical reaction from PC nerds and hacker types have been to crack the DVD encryption. In 1999 a 14
years old Norwegian boy was succesfull in this. The industry tried to prosecute him ...

To understand their worry, we have to look ahead. Today it is hard to imagine many copys from DVD video
disks made on DWD-recorders. But maybe in 5 to 10 years we will have digital copies of all the Hitchcock
movies circulating in Napster-like networks as the situation is with music and MP3s today.


Futuristic technology. The well known optical drive types function using a laser beam. Norsam Technology has
developed another technology where the controlling beam is made of charged gallium ion particles. This gives a
very high density, since the beam is very narrow. The new drive technology is called HD-ROM.

Beam, width
Capacity per disk
800 nano meter
0.65 GB
350 nano meter
4.7 GB
50 nano meter
165 GB


By Emmanuel Maceus

What is DVD?... DVD stands for one of two things, Digital Versatile Disk, or Digital Video Disk. It is a
hybrid of CD, meaning that it incorporates the same technology as Compact Disc, but includes
technological breakthroughs which allow it greater data capacity.

What is DVD-RAM?... DVD-RAM is similar in technology to Sony's Minidisc, it uses what is known as
Magneto-Optical technology. This technology uses a laser to heat the inner surface of the disc to
magnetically charge one way or another. This allows the data to be written, once, twice, virtually millions
of times.

DVD and CD-ROMS The compact optical disk, or CD, has transformed the entertainment and personal
computing industries. This spinning silver disk has made it possible to store enormous amounts of music
or data on inexpensive, reliably mass-produced media. And it's on its way to becoming obsolete. In the
same way that CDs slowly supplanted vinyl LPs, a new technology, DVD, will steadily replace CD-ROM.
DVD--which stood at first for digital video disk, then digital versatile disk, and now for no term at all--has
been under development for a long time. But we're finally on the verge of the paradigm shift.The three
most exciting things about DVD are its capacity, interoperability, and backward compatibility. The first
DVD disks hold 4.7GB of data, roughly the equivalent of seven CD-ROM platters. This capacity will be
an immediate boon for applications such as mapping programs and phone number databases, which now
span several CDs. Already, Microsoft's best-selling Encarta spans two CD-ROMs. DVD will also change
the content that developers can deliver. Until now, applications, edutainment titles, and games couldn't
offer large amounts of video because it required copious storage space. But a DVD disk can hold over 2
hours of full-motion video (with excellent quality), additional data tracks, and surround-sound audio.
Moreover, the data format and laser technology used for DVD-ROM (DVD-read-only memory) software
and PC drives will be the same as for the DVD players and titles sold in the home electronics arena. As a
result, movies on DVD disks will play on both your television and your PC. Finally, manufacturers are
making DVD-ROM drives backward-compatible with CD-ROMs. This approach will let you use a DVD
drive without losing your investment in CD-ROMs--like having an audio CD deck that played your LPs,
What's the difference between DVD-RAM, DVD-ROM and DVD+RW? DVD-ROM, as its name implies,
is a Read-Only media. You can access the contents on it, be it movies or games, but you can't write to it.
DVD-RAM and DVD+RW (DVD ReWritable) are both rewritable mediums. However, DVD+RW is a
new rewritable DVD format and has not been standardized yet. DVD-RAM on the other hand, is the
official rewritable DVD standard and has been finalized and published by the DVD Forum which consists
of 10 major corporations including industry heavyweights like Matsushita, Toshiba, Hitachi and Time

Pricing & Availability List price is $99.95 US dollars. Dealer pricing available on request. OEM licensing
available. english, Japanese, and Euro-editions of Version 2.0 are available now.

Below we have listed the basic DVD specifications.

Physical Specifications:

Disc Diameter:
120mm (5 inches)
Disc Thickness:
1.2mm (0.6mm thick disc x 2)
Memory Capacity:

Single-sided Discs:

DVD-5 (single layer)
4.7 Gbytes
DVD-9 (double layer)
8.5 Gbytes
Double-sided Discs:

DVD-10 (single layer)
9.4 Gbytes
DVD-18 (double layer)
17.0 Gbytes
Track Pitch:
0.74 micrometer
Wave Length of Laser Diode:
650/635 nanometer
Numerical Aperture (N/A):
Error Correction:
Reed Solomon Product Code (RS-PC)
Signal Modulation:
8 - 16

Audio/Video Specifications:

Data Transfer Rate:
Variable speed date transfer at an average rate of
4.69 megabits/ second for image and sound
Image Compression:
MPEG-2 digital image compression
Dolby AC-3 (5.1 ch), LPCM for NTSC and MPEG
Audio, LPCM for PAL/SECAM (A maximum of 8
audio channels and 32 subtitle channels can be
Running Time (movies):
133 min./side
(At an average data rate of 4.69 megabits/ second
for image and sound, including 3 audio channels and
4 sub-title channels)

Computer Applications:

File Management Structure:
Micro UDF and/or ISO-9660
Ville Saarinen

Summary of answers provided



39 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5

DVD = Digital Versatile Disc

Local time: 13:27
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
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