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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1995, initialism (acronym) from Digital Video Disc, later changed to Digital Versatile Disc.\n\nEarlier this year, electronics giant Toshiba positioned the first DVD players available in the U.S. as a home entertainment unit (retail price $600).

["Black Enterprise" magazine, June 1997]


DVD ("digital versatile disc" or "digital video disc") is a digital optical disc storage format invented and co-developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. The medium can store any kind of digital data and is widely used for software and other computer files as well as video programs watched using DVD players. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than compact discs while having the same dimensions.

Pre-recorded DVDs are mass-produced using molding machines that physically stamp data onto the DVD. Such discs are a form of DVD- ROMs, because data can only be read and not written or erased. Blank recordable DVD discs ( DVD-R and DVD+R) can be recorded once using a DVD recorder and then function as a DVD-ROM. Rewritable DVDs ( DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM) can be recorded and erased many times.

DVDs are used in DVD-Video consumer digital video format and in DVD-Audio consumer digital audio format as well as for authoring DVD discs written in a special AVCHD format to hold high definition material (often in conjunction with AVCHD format camcorders). DVDs containing other types of information may be referred to as DVD data discs.

Usage examples of "dvd".

Finally, he moved over to the end of a row of heavy built-in bookcases, filled with mystery novels, DVDs, and small Jamaican carvings.

Each was hooked up to a digital recording system that burned DVDs twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, just in case any of the material was found to be needed somewhere down the line.

If your system has a Windows Media Player-compatible DVD decoder application installed, you can watch DVDs in Media Player as well as in the decoder's own interface.

My own lifetimeneither especially long nor especially short these dayshas seen the rise of antibiotics, AIDS, space travel, television, CDs, videotape, DVDs, Richard Nixon (twice), civil rights, womens rights, gay rights, cell phones, the computer, and the Internet.