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A DVD is a digital versatile disc or digital video disc. An electronic device used to store optical images, the DVD looks like a CD (compact disc) but can hold fifteen times more information which it can transfer about twenty times as fast as a CD-ROM (compact disc—read only memory). There are two kinds of DVDs: DVD video and DVD-ROM. The DVD video, which is used for home movie entertainment through a DVD player, can contain four hours of movies on one side. The DVD-ROM, which holds computer data, is used for a variety of functions such as playing interactive games and storing video and photographic files. The DVD is superior to the CD-ROM because it produces better images and has greater data storage capacity.

The DVD format was released in September 1995 after extensive research by several companies. No single company "owns" the DVD; a consortium (group) of corporations controls the licensing of the technology.

Further Information: "DVD." MSN Encarta. [Online] Available http://www.encarta.msn.com/find/Concise.asp?z=1, October 23, 2000; Taylor, Jim. DVD Demystified: The Guidebook for DVD-Video and DVD-Rom. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997; Yoder, Andrew. Complete Guide to DVD. Indianapolis, Ind.: Prompt Publications, 1999.

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