DVD stands for Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc. It is an optical disc storage media for digital data. It can be used to store movies, music or data, such as computer files. It was first announced as an industry standard in 1995.
DVDs are generally used for multimedia as opposed to CDs where it usually holds music files and data. DVDs are able to hold four times more than the CD. A DVD-ROM reader can also read CD-ROMs. CDs are one sided, while DVDs can be double sided. DVDs and CDs are the same physical size, but the cases for DVDs are usually larger—as tall and wide as the older VHS tape cases, but thinner on the "flat" dimension.
DVDs can be used for multimedia purposes such as storage of movies and interactive elements.
With the introduction of DVDs in the late 1990s, manufacturers who had been using VHS tapes started phasing them out. DVDs took up less space, stores more media and weighs less creating more convenience for storage.
DVDs come in a variety of formats. Some are "read only" or ROM (read only memory, so DVD-ROM). Some are design to be "written" only once and after that they cannot be changed (DVD-R, DVD+R). And still others can be used repeatedly or "rewritten" (DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM, RAM=random access memory).
In 2006, Blu-Ray and HD DVD came on to the market made to succeed DVD. The HD stood for "high definition" or "high density". However, HD DVD lost to Blu-Ray in terms of storage allowing Blu-Ray to store more and have better picture quality.
Many people store DVDs on shelves, similar to bookshelves, but shallower than standard bookshelves tend to be. (DVD shelve sizing also works well for paperback books, which tend to be smaller than hardback.)
- DVD FAQ from DVD Demystified, the official Internet DVD FAQ for the rec.video.dvd Usenet newsgroups
- DVD on the dmoz Open Directory project
- Wikipedia's article on DVD