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If the industry hype is to be believed, by the end of the century DVD will be the biggest word in consumer electronics. It is the successor to the CD — the same size, but potentially double-sided and multi-layered, so its data capacity is much larger. It can hold a complete feature film in broadcast- quality digital video on one disc. It will come in five flavours: DVD-Audio (for audio recordings), DVD-Video (for films), DVD-ROM (for data and games, like the CD-ROM), plus DVD-RAM and DVD-R (two recordable formats). Expect the first products real soon now. Its makers used to say that DVD stood for Digital Video Disc, but then they changed it to Digital Versatile Disc as being a more general term not seeming to limit its applications to video, and then more recently still removed the expansion altogether, so that the official name of the device is now just DVD, though one of the older expansions is still commonly quoted in articles.

Page created 12 Jul. 1996
Last updated 7 Mar. 1998

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World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved.
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Last modified: 7 March 1998.