The Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc or DVD was developed in Japan during the 1990s by the following companies: Sony, Panasonic, Philips, and Toshiba. It was first introduced in 1996 but it gained a global foothold in the 2000s when it became the most suitable storage medium for distributing movies.
Pros: The Advantages of DVD
Note that the Digital Versatile Disc was primarily developed for home entertainment. Companies such as Sony and Philips were exploring and developing new mediums with larger storage capacities to store high-quality and large-sized multimedia files.
DVDs later emerged as a superior storage medium to the compact disc because of their larger storage capacity and better mechanisms for reading and writing data. They also became more associated with the distribution of movie titles for home entertainment.
Below are the specific advantages of this digital optical data storage medium:
• Larger Capacity than CD: One of the advantages of DVDs is that they can store between 4.7 GB to 17 GB of data depending on the particular specification. Take note that a CD can only hold up to 700 MB of data.
• Siding and Layering: The different specifications translate to how much data can be stored. A single-sided and double-layered disc can hold 8.5 GB of data while a double-sided and double-layered has about 17 GB of storage capacity.
• Rewritable Specifications: It is also available in a recordable or DVD-R and rewritable or DVD-RW specifications. These variants allow end users to purchase blank discs for their data storage, backup, and transportation requirements.
• Higher Video Quality: Another advantage of DVDs is that they can store high-definition videos at 720P to 1080P resolution. This is the reason why they replaced VCDs and became more popular for home entertainment.
• Other Versatile Applications: The larger capacity of this digital optical storage medium made them ideal for storing and distributing video game titles. Game consoles such as the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Xbox 360 use DVDs.
• Region Coding: Media distributors also preferred using Digital Versatile Discs due to the rights management feature called region coding. This feature helps control the release of specific copies in different geographic regions.
• Other Notable Advantages: Other advantages of DVDs are similar to some of the key advantages of CDs. These include convenience because of their compact and thin physical profile and random access with an interactive menu.
Cons: The Disadvantages of DVD
The dominance of DVDs in the home entertainment market and even the gaming market did not last. Other better storage mediums have emerged. Trends and novel solutions in content distribution also proved to be superior to physical storage.
Nevertheless, following the release of Blu-ray Discs in 2006, its popularity began to decline. The arrival of better and faster internet technologies and online standards have also made cloud storage and streaming services more convenient.
Below are the specific disadvantages of this digital optical data storage medium:
• Relative Storage Limitation: Digital Versatile Discs might be superior to compact discs but they are inferior to Blu-ray discs and other physical storage mediums such as external hard disk drives and solid-state drives such as USB flash drives.
• Key Compatibility Issue: Another disadvantage of DVDs is that some older players or drives may not be able to read and use certain types of DVDs due to format limitations and restrictions such as region coding.
• More Specific Limitations: The limited storage capacity of this storage medium also makes it unideal for high-definition video gaming. Its limited reading and writing mechanisms are also not suitable for faster data transmission.
• Susceptible to Damages: Digital Versatile Discs are susceptible to damages due to scratches, heat, and humidity similar to other optical digital storage mediums such as CDs and Blu-ray Discs. Damaged discs corrupt stored data.
• Near Obsolete Technology: Most personal computers no longer come equipped with CD and DVD drives. Online streaming services also dominate the home entertainment market. Using DVDs as a storage medium is nearly impractical nowadays.
• Availability of Options: There are also more convenient and practical options for distributing and accessing media and other content. The most popular now is through cloud storage and using streaming services.