DVD disk is a quite fragile medium and even despite special protection layer on each disk it is still very easy to damage.

Unlike VHS tapes, even dropping the disk or putting it in its box in the wrong way sometime might be enough to scratch it and get reading errors as a result. Taking in account that some collectors- or limited-edition DVDs can cost a fortune, it does make sense to make a backup copy and prevent the loss of the favorite disks. All that it takes is a PC, DVD-Recorder drive and special software.

There are many ways to backup DVDs and the choice between them depend entirely on users preferences. If you have a good home cinema and prefer to have best available quality, backup copies are best to be made on DVD disks. It is rather easy to do if the original disk is single-layered (DVD-5), but in case of double-layered (DVD-9) disks it becomes much more difficult; and unfortunately, most movies are recorded on such disks.

It might seem that double-layered recordable disks (DVD+R DL & DVD-R DL) are the best solution for this problem. However, this solution is not available to everyone as double layered disks require special DVD-Recorder drive that can handle them, and these drives are not too common yet.

Fortunately, special software (such as free DVD Decrypter and DVD Shrink combo or commercial CloneDVD utility) allows copying double-layered DVD on two single layered disks. And if shuffling disks in DVD player is not an option, it is possible to squeeze double-layered disk on one single-layered DVD. Of course, this would involve some reduction of image quality and stripping of bonus materials, but such reduction will hardly be noticeable on most TVs. And most bonus materials are useless anyway.

You don’t want to cram DVD backups on your shelves? In this case it is possible to save all DVD backups on your hard drive by using exactly same programs. The only requirement here is the size of the hard drive; obviously, it should be big enough to store all data. In this case, should anything happen with original DVD, it will always be possible to restore it from hard drive.

But what if you don’t have any home cinema and you prefer to watch movies on PC? In this case you won’t actually have to record anything, as it is possible to watch movies from DVD backups on your hard drive at any time (this will require DVD player software, such as PowerDVD or WinDVD). If your hard drive is not too big, it would make sense to repackage movies from MPEG-2 (which is a standard for DVD video) to some format with more advanced compression such as MPEG-4 (AVI, DivX, Xvid, Mpeg-4). All that it takes is special ripper software, such as BitRipper, AutoGordianKnot, SmartRipper and others. As a result of such conversion the movie can be shrunk to fit standard CD, which is 5 times less than the original. And by using smart compression techniques it is possible to keep video quality pretty close to the original one.

However, after recording DivXMpeg-4 movie on CD or DVD in most cases it will be possible to watch it on PC only, as MPEG-4 capable DVD players are not too common. Of course, there are certain programs that can convert Mpeg-4 back to DVD, but such double conversion is highly unlikely to improve quality. Apart from that, most users usually strip multi-channel sound during DVD -> Mpeg-4 conversion and keep only stereo. As a result, watching DivXMpeg-4 encoded movie on the home cinema doesn’t make much sense and won’t be particularly satisfying too, especially if the movie is rich in sound effects. Mpeg-4, however, will suit old classical movies best, since they usually have mono or stereo sound initially; and classics remain classics regardless of quality.

Summary

It should be quite easy for you now to choose most appropriate backup method. If you prefer maximum quality available, full DVD backup on one double-layered or two single layered disks is your choice. If you still prefer quality and have a home cinema, but can sacrifice a little of image – backing up DVD on one single-layered disk will suit you well.

And if you prefer to keep and watch movies on your PC, same backup programs that you use DVD backup will allow you to create a copy of DVD on your hard drive. In case if your hard drive is not big enough to store full DVDs and you don’t have anything that resembles home movie theatre, the most sensible thing would be to convert DVD to Mpeg-4 format.

Artem Chlegov is a editor and writer for DVDSoftwareGuide.com [http://www.dvdsoftwareguide.com] – a DVD so

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/126254

Tags :

New storage formats: DVD-HD and Blue-Ray

On the first glance, DVDs have just finished becoming common and are the best option available. But developers do not agree, trying to invent new needs for poor users. This time HDTV (High Definition Television)is considered to be the new technology that no video lover can live without. Compared with common TV, HDVT has several times bigger screen resolution and is technically able to display much more fine details. Of course, all this is available on special HDTV-ready TV sets only. Another problem is concerned with storage of HDTV video, as even the DVD-18 standard with its largest capacity among DVD swill not be able to store several hours of HDTV quality video.

Fortunately, developers of DVD have mastered so-called “blue” laser, which wavelength is only 405nm. By using this laser it becomes possible to achieve much higher data density compared with DVD disks that use “red” laser with wavelength of 650nm. This new technology would allow to store up to 200 GB of data on a multi-layered disk.

Unfortunately, the new formats war has sparked even before the end of the development of actual devices, with the same old players on the field: Sony and Philips with Blue Ray standard and Toshiba, NEC and Sanyo with HD-DVD format.

HD-DVD

HD-DVD (High Definition DVD), as clearly visible from its name, is official heir to the DVD format, approved by DVD Forum. This format is 100% compatible with both CD and DVD, not only from home user perspective but also on manufacturing level. Manufacturing HD-DVD will not require huge investments in new equipment, and this was the reason why such big companies as Intel and Microsoft decided to support it. Microsoft, for example, promised full support of HD-DVD in its new Windows Vista that should be released next year.

One single layer of HD-DVD disk has the same thickness as DVD layer (0.6mm) and can contain up to15 GB of data. This means that HD-DVD won’t have any troubles supporting dual-layered and double-sided disks, besides; Toshiba announced the development of triple-layer HD-DVD, where one side of the disk would contain 45GB. The theoretical capacity limit for HD-DVD is, therefore, 90GB.

Along with MPEG-2, compression technologies such as MPEG-4 and Video Codec 1 (VC1, format based on Windows Media 9) will be used. HD-DVD Video disk swill have more advanced capabilities for interactivity than DVD-Videodisks. For example, it would be possible to play several different video clips in picture-in-picture mode, and it also would be possible to connect more than one remote control to the HD-DVD player in order to play videogames together. Internet access will also be included in all HD-DVD devices, so it would be possible to follow web-links straight from disk menu or to download new soundtrack or subtitles from the net. And these are only few of new features.

Internet connectivity is also demanded by the new encryption for HD-DVD and Blue Ray disks – AACS (Advanced Access Content System). Each disk is validated with online database prior to playing. If the disk appears to be counterfeit, the playing device will be locked. It is not clear, however, what to do in countries where Internet is not available in every household. There is certain possibility, though, that Blue Ray and HD-DVD will become luxury, just as SACD and DVD-Audio before them. Alternatively, it could become common only in distant future, when Internet will be available even in African deserts.

Despite stricter copy protection, manufacturers most probably will not add regional codes to HD-DVD as it provides more troubles than benefits, and although movie production companies still insist on keeping regional protection, most of DVD-Forum officials are against it.

Recordable HD-DVD are named in the same way as DVD: HD-DVD-R (recordable) and HD-DVD-RW (rewritable).

Blue Ray Disc

Blue Ray Disc (BD) standard is promoted by Blue Ray Disc Association (BDA), an organization formed for this particular purpose. By throwing away the compatibility with CD and DVD it became possible to achieve much higher capacity than HD-DVD. One layer of BD can contain23.3GB, 25GB or 27GB of data. As the layer thickness is much lower than the one of DVD and is only 0.1 mm (compared to 0.6mm for HD-DVD), it is possible to manufacture multilayered disks with high number of layers. The theoretical capacity of Blue Ray disk is 200GB. Unfortunately, manufacturing of these disks will require purchase of brand new equipment.

Initially Blue Ray disks could only be used with cartridges (same as DVD-RAM) because of poor protection from physical damage, but now this issue seems to be solved and plastic cartridges are not needed anymore. Codecs used to store video in Blue Ray standard are the same as the ones used for HD-DVD (Mpeg-2, Mpeg-4 and VC1). This is not surprising as Blue Ray and HD-DVD were designed to store existing formats of video, while in case with DVD new codecs were developed specifically to cater for new type of disks.

Blue-Ray disks have more advanced menu compared to DVD-Video. The menu offers more functionality and is generally written in Java language. Blue Ray devices require Internet connection just as HD-DVD ones do, and Blue-Ray disk menu also supports integration with Internet. As it was said before, Internet will be also required for AACS protection. Apart from AACS, Blue Ray also implements two unique protection measures – ROM-Mark and BD+Rom-Mark. ROM-Mark is a special hidden label on the disk, similar to watermark in DVD-Audio. It can not be copied and disks couldn’t be played without it. BD+ technology is designed to check whether or not Blue Ray player was hacked, and in case if it is true, it will download new firmware from Internet in order to fix in appropriate modifications.

Blue Ray disks naming is slightly different from usual. Read-only disks are called BD-ROM, recordable are called BD-R and rewritable are named BD-RE (Rewritable).

Future Perspectives

Only time will tell if one particular format will prevail or if there will be a complete mess with formats again. At the moment both alliances are trying to do something to attract customers and manufacturers. Blue Ray is leading at the moment. Due to the more advanced copy protection and higher capacity Blue Ray Association managed to attract most of film production companies. Another plus for Blue Ray lies in the fact that PlayStation 3 will use Blue Ray disks and therefore will be able to play Blue Ray Video disks too. Apple Computers is also going to include Blue Ray drives in its computer packages. Apart from all of this, Blue Ray devices appeared on the market much earlier than the competitors.

HD-DVD may attract users because of its back compatibility with previous formats. Besides, manufacturers will not have to spend much effort and money to make disks of this type. HD-DVD is also supported by some major studios, such as New Line Cinema, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios ? Warner Bros (however some of them support both formats) and IT giants such as b>Intel and Microsoft.

Summary

Unfortunately, multi format drive that could support both Blue Ray and HD-DVD will be very expensive and difficult to manufacture due to large differences in technology behind new standards. However, several companies already have announced the development of such devices. If they succeed, we can hope that new formats will be widely accepted very soon. If not, there is a certain chance that HD-DVD and Blue Ray will share the destiny of DVD-Audio and SACD and only few chosen ones will use them. Besides, it is still not clear whether or not consumers actually need high definition image. And if you take into account that many people often transform DVD into smaller AVI files and use them for viewing at PC, it becomes possible to assume that HD-DVD and Blue Ray manufacturers will have a hard time promoting their formats. Video-on-Demand also does not add popularity to them.

So, which format will prevail still remains a mystery.

Artem Chlegov is a editor and writer for DVDSoftwareGuide.com [http://www.dvdsoftwareguide.com] – a DVD software review website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/126251

Tags :

Types of DVD and history of development

It’s been a long time since DVD became common in our everyday life. However, most people don’t seem to know what it is exactly. Answers to questions like “what sort of arcane symbols are printed on disk boxes”, “how come DVD is different from CD if they look so similar”, “what kinds of DVDs are there” and many others still remain mystery for many users. And instead of making conscious choice they just buy randomly without any knowledge of what exactly they are getting.

We will examine DVD in details, along with its history and different types available on the market. DVD-Video will get most attention as it is the most common type of DVDs.

What is DVD?

Initially DVD standard was designed for video storage only. Thus its acronym was decrypted as Digital Video Disk. Later, when DVD started to become popular for storage of all types of data, another meaning for DVD acronym was introduced – Digital Versatile Disk, which is still used nowadays.

Generally, DVD is the next generation of CD. First of all, DVD differs from CD by its significantly larger capacity. While CD disk can only contain between 650 and 800 megabytes, DVD is able to hold anywhere between 1 and 17 gigabytes, depending on disk type. This storage increase is achieved by reducing laser wavelength. But DVD capacity would never reach more than 4.7 gigabytes if it wasn’t possible to make DVD disks double-layered or double-sided.

One side of double-layered disk can contain two layers of data. To avoid interlapping, outer layer is made semi-transparent. During reading, laser collects data from bottom layer first, and then switches to the second layer. This allows doubling the capacity, up to 9GB. It is easy to recognize double-layered disks – they have silver shade of working surface, while single-layered disk appears gold. Most video releases are printed on double-layered disks.

Apart from that, both sides of DVD can be used to store data. The possibility of making double-sided disks arise from the fact that the protective layer for DVD is only half of that for CD, that is, 0.6mm instead of 1.2mm. So, in order to keep compatibility with older format, single-sided DVD disks have additional plastic added to them to achieve 1.2mm thickness. Of course, it is not a problem to put additional layer instead of 0.6mm of plain plastic. This wasn’t possible with CDs as they are thick enough already.

DVD – the history of conflict

In 1997 several large manufacturers of electronic equipment established organization called DVD-Forum (earlier known as DVD Consortium) in order to develop single standard for new generation of disks, as CD technology was becoming less and less sufficient.

Despite many debates and lots of technologies claiming to be the best, the final decision was made and DVD (with eight types of it) standard was established. It was soon followed by DVD-Video standard.

However, when it came to standards for recordable and rewritable disks, several large companies started to push their own formats DVD+R and DVD+RW. These companies founded their own coalition called DVD+RW Alliance. The most interesting part was the fact that different branches of formats were not compatible with each other.

Apart from that, Panasonic also contributed to the mess by developing DVD-RAM standard. This standard was faster and more reliable, but it was compatible only with DVD-RAM devices.

The ones who suffered the most from this mess were common users, as they were forced to make a difficult choice of preferred technology.

For that reason many people didn’t rush for DVD and kept their data on good old CD-Rs and CD-RWs.

The war of standards was ended by Sony, which made DVD drive capable of reading both DVD-RW and DVD+RW. This device instantly became popular even in spite of its double price compared with single-standard drives. Sony soon was followed by other manufacturers and the ability to read both types of disks soon became a standard for any DVD drives. This was the beginning of the DVD era for PC users.

Unfortunately, there also were lots of disagreements during development of single standard for digital audio, DVD-Audio. Two technologies compete for the title of Audio CD heir: a partially compatible with Audio CD technology from Philips and Sony, and a standalone Toshiba‘s standard. Toshiba won, but Philips and Sony didn’t give up and released their own format without DVD-Forum support. This format was called Super Audio CD (SACD). At the moment both formats are not selling particularly well and are not known in some countries at all.

Types of DVD

Let’s move to DVD itself. DVD is the most common format nowadays. At the moment DVD comes in 8 flavors: DVD-1, DVD-2, DVD-3, DVD-4, DVD-5, DVD-9, DVD-10 and DVD-18. The difference is in the capacity, which is denoted by the number in the name (value is rounded).

The most common formats are DVD-5 and DVD-9. These are single- and double layered single sided disks, respectively. DVD-5 holds 4.7 GB of data and DVD-9 is able to contain up to 8.5 GB. These disks are used for most software and video releases.

DVD-10 is double sided single layered disk (9.4 GB) and DVD-18 is double sided double layered disk (17GB). This two types of DVD are much less common. All four formats mentioned above have same diameter of the disk – 12cm. Another type of disk to mention here is DVD-14, which is double sided disk with one side single- and the other one double-layered. This type of disk holds 12.32GB of data.

DVD-1, DVD-2, DVD-3 and DVD-4 are miniDVD. Their diameter is 8cm but otherwise they are completely compatible with standard drives. As with full-size disks there are single sided single layered disk (DVD-1, 1.36 GB), single sided double layered disk (DVD-2, 2.48 GB), double sided single layered (DVD-3, 2.72 GB) and double sided double layered disk (DVD-4, 4.95 GB). All these disks, except DVD-1, are quite uncommon.

Types of DVD data

Each DVD disk is able to hold various types of data. DVD can be used to watch movies (DVD-Video), store software (DVD-Data) and to listen to the music (DVD-Audio).

DVD-Data

DVD-DATA is used to store computer data on DVD. Basically it is the same CD-ROM, but with much bigger capacity, and it is used the same way as CD-ROM is. However DVD-DATA is more convenient as a storage medium due to its large capacity. Most modern programs doesn’t fit on single CD, for example, computer games and Linux packages often need more than 10 CDs. In case with DVD one or two disks are usually more than enough. At the moment software is usually released on both CD and DVD, as not everyone has DVD drive yet. But it is clear that CD versions soon will disappear.

DVD-Video

Currently this is the most common type of DVD data, the one that DVD was initially designed for. Compared with VHS tapes DVD-Video is a giant leap into the future. There are heaps of features there that most people have no idea about.

First of all, DVD-Video is interactive – any place on the disk is instantly accessible and it is possible to have more than one ending for the movie. And parents can limit viewing of naughty parts of movies for their children. Apart from that disks can have additional bonus materials, such as interviews, promotion trailers, slides, text info and even videogames. In addition to all this DVD-Video is capable to have multi angle view option, when camera angle can be changed during playback. However, this feature mostly used in porno movies and live concert records.

Video data on DVD-Video disks is compressed by using MPEG-2 compression. This compression algorithm allows shrinking video stream approximately ten times, without loss of picture quality. As a result, each disk is able to hold up to 4 hours of video with 720×576 resolution at 24 frames per second (PAL) or 720×480 at 30 frames per second (NTSC). The streaming speed is usually between 3 and 10 MBit per second.

Video can be recorded in different screen ratios. For example, it can have ratio of 4:3, which is a standard television ratio, or widescreen – 16:9. Widescreen image have two types: Letterbox and anamorphic. In the first case image is simply cropped at the top and at the bottom to achieve desired format. In anamorphic mode the image is initially recorded in stretched form and then shrunk to the desired size. This method is much more effective as whole frame is used for useful data, while in Letterbox large part of the frame is used to store black pixels only. As a result, anamorphic mode has better details and sharper picture.

Audio data can be stored in various formats: LPCM, Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX and DTS.

LPCM (linear pulse code modulation) is uncompressed stereo or mono soundtrack. It is usually used in musical video clips and movies where sound clarity is important. Same format is used for generic Audio CD

Dolby Pro Logic is special type of soundtrack that can be split into 4 channels for surround sound. Nowadays this format is uncommon.

Dolby Digital (AC-3) is fully digital sound compression format; it can be split into up to 6 independent channels. Unlike Dolby Pro Logic, each channel is recorded on separate physical track.

Dolby Digital EX is more advanced version of Dolby Digital. Supports up to 8 independent channels.

DTS (Digital Theater System) is another digital audio compression format, introduced by Steven Spielberg as an alternative to Dolby Digital. DTS provides more quality than Dolby Digital due to lower compression. That, of course, leads to bigger size of the soundtrack itself, which occupy more disk space. It also requires special receiver to be decoded. Because of these reasons DTS disks usually does not have any bonus materials but have LPCM soundtrack. This soundtrack is included to allow users without special receiver to listen to the sound (stereo only, though). Because of all these DTS disks are much less common compared to Dolby Digital. Usually DTS disks with improved video quality (and without bonus materials) are called SuperBit. Both DTS and Dolby Digital (EX) are also used in cinemas.

Some of the largest drawbacks of DVD-Video are its various copy protection measures, which were added because of the pressure from film companies. At first these measures provided lots of nuisance for users, but eventually every DVD protection was hacked. This process was also assisted by equipment manufacturers who simply didn’t support most annoying protection measures.

One of the most annoying of such measures was “Regional Protection” . The world was divided into 8 zones, and each DVD player was supposed to have information about its zone. The same was made for DVDs, and thus DVDs from one zone could only be played on players from the same zone. User was allowed to change zone for the player few times only, and the last of selected zones was locked in the player forever.

This trick was invented in order to be able to assign different price in each region, depending on income level. Besides, movie might be released in different times in different countries. For example, in Africa the movie might just hit cinemas and in USA it might already be available on DVD. So regional protection was supposed to stop people from buying DVDs in USA and selling them in Africa.

Unfortunately, this protection didn’t bring anything but troubles. Many travelers were not able to play disk purchased overseas. Buying disks over the internet or from EBay also became a problem. Apart from that, some movies were released in certain countries only.

Many manufacturers considered these implications and started to provide means of switching off regional protection for their devices. Chinese manufacturers basically abandon this protection at all.

But uncontrolled distribution of DVDs wasn’t the only thing that movie makers were against. Illegal copying was much bigger problem for them, especially given the fact that digital information can be copied endlessly without any loss of quality. To prevent that from happening, manufacturers included special CSS (content scrambling system) technology in DVD-Video standard. CSS basically encrypt all disks content and the key for decryption is available only for DVD-Player or special viewing program. Simply copying the disk will make the copy completely useless.

But manufacturers forgot to include support for Unix system and playback was available only for Windows and MacOS. This issue was solved by Jon Johansen, who wrote DeCSS program for Unix that easily bypassed CSS protection. Developers of CSS were enraged with that and sued Jon. They wanted to stop DeCSS from spreading and put Jon in prison, however, this case sparked lots of support movements around the world. Activists even printed DeCSS code on t-shirts. Finally, Jon was declared not guilty and his program laid a foundation for many DVD copy utilities all over the world.

In general, DVD format was successful and, despite some issues with regional protection, has spread all over the world and almost replaced VHS tapes.

Summary

DVD is not a new format anymore and there are actually new formats already that aim to replace it. Someone could ask why does he or she needs to be familiar with DVD if there is something new coming? The answer to this lies in the fact that DVD provides foundation for most new technologies, for example HD-DVD or Blue Ray. And if someone became familiar with underlying principles once, it won’t be a problem to switch to something new later.

Artem Chlegov is a editor and writer for DVDSoftwareGuide.com [http://www.dvdsoftwareguide.com] – a DVD software review website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/126248

Tags :

Getting familiar with recordable DVD formats

Probably everyone nowadays had a need to transfer information between several PC’s or make a backup copy of favorite movie. Recordable DVDs (DVD-Rs) serve this purpose very well, but it could be quite hard to get familiar with all the different types of them. While in CD era there were only two formats, namely CD-R for recordable and CD-RW for rewritable disk, for DVD it is not that simple. The fight between manufacturers to enforce their own formats led to the mess of the biblical scale. Besides DVD-R and DVD-RW, in most shops it is possible to encounter DVD+R, DVD+RW and even mysterious DVD-RAM. And there is no guarantee that your DVD drive will be able to work with newly purchased disk.

In this article we will try and help users to get familiar with this mess.

DVD-ROM

(DVD Read Only Memory). Generic factory-printed DVD. All mass-production DVDs with movies, software etc are printed on DVD-ROM.

DVD-R

(DVD-Recordable – pronounced as “DVD Are” or “DVD Dash Are”). This is the first format for recordable DVDs. It was developed in 1995 by Pioneer and was approved by DVD-Forum as a main standard for recordable DVD. Basically, this formatis direct analogue of CD-R but with bigger capacity and, respectively, smaller track size. As with CD-R, record is made by altering the structure of organic polymer in reflective layer with powerful laser. DVD-R can be recorded only once, but it is compatible with most DVD players and computer DVD drives. Properly stored and unscratched DVD is believed to remain readable for hundreds of years.

Initially DVD-R was only single-layered, but recently double-layer DVD-R DL (dual layer) becomes available. They are also known as DVD-R9, however, they are still uncommon and they can be recorded only on newest models of DVD burners. Trying to record these disks in non-compatible drive can actually lead to the DVD burner damage.

There are two types of DVD-R disks: DVD-R Authoring (DVD-R (A)) and DVD-R General (DVD-R (G)).DVD-R (A) type of disks appears first and was used only for professional needs. This type of disk allows recording of anything, including hidden area and keys, which means that It can be used as a master-copy for mass-production.

Devices and disks compatible with DVD-R(A) are professional equipment and therefore very expensive and uncommon.

DVD-R General (G) is much more common. It was developed later specifically for the needs of common users. This type of disks does not allow making a full copy of protected DVD – no keys will be recorded and resulting disk simply will not play. On the other hand, there are lots of devices and blank DVD-R son the market for this type of disks, and they also quite inexpensive. DVD-R (G) devices can read DVD-R (A) disks but cannot record anything on them.

Unlike CD-R, DVD-R shave a special copy protection called CPRM, which stands for Content Protection for Recordable Media. Each blank DVD-R has inerasable encrypted entry (lead in) in hidden area of the disk, which contains information about type of medium and manufacturer. When backup copy of protected DVD is made, copy program will re-encode the information again, but this time using this hidden information, so twill not be possible to copy the resulting disk again as it will require hidden information from specific medium. This type of copy protection also supported by other DVD-Forum formats, namely DVD-RW and DVD-RAM.

DVD-RW

DVD-RW (DVD ReWritable) was also developed by the Pioneer and essentially is the same DVD-R with only difference that reflective layer’s state can be transformed by the laser more than once. The specifications for DVD-RW states that each DVD-RW medium should withstand up to 1000 rewriting cycles. The reflectivity of DVD-RWs is much less then of DVD-R and some DVD drives can mistake them for dual-layer DVD. For this reason DVD-RW are compatible with only approximately 70% of existing DVD players.

Early models of DVD-drives required DVD-RW to be finalized in order to read it properly; however, with the appearance of new drives this is not necessary anymore in most cases. It is also not necessary to write at least 1 GB on a disk. Files of any size, no matter how small can be recorded now.

Dual layer DVD-RW, called DVD-RW DL with capacity up to 8.54GB of data is about to appear soon. Currently it is being developed by Ricoh; unfortunately, it won’t be compatible with current DVD-drives and for this reason is unlikely to ever become popular. Besides, high capacity Blue-Ray and HD DVD are also coming soon.

DVD+RW

Despite the decision of DVDForum, DVD+RW (DVD ReWritable, pronounced as DVD plus R) format was founded and promoted by coalition of developers called DVD+RW Alliance. First version of DVD+RW, presented in 1997, was able to hold only 2.8 GB of data (compared with 4.7 for DVD-RW). These disks also weren’t compatible with normal DVD players and, basically, all of these were the reasons for DVD Forum not to accept this standard.

later developers managed to improve both flaws but even after this, DVD+RW didn’t become a standard. As a result, DVD+RW can only reviewed a potential alternative to DVD-RW. However, DVD+RW is not without some pleasant features that DVD-RW misses:

1. Lossless linking technology allows editing of the recorded disk on sector level, which means that, unlike in DVD-RW, there is no need to rewrite whole disk when only certain parts of it needs to be changed.

2. DVD+RW format has better facility for error handling. If certain sector wasn’t recorded properly, it is rewritten again, more carefully. Also during the process of disk creation DVD Burner is able to determine the address of sector that is being recorded, so if the record process is interrupted, it is possible to resume it from the same position where it stopped.

3. DVD+RW format supports EasyWrite(Mt. Rainier) technology, which in conjunction with special software such as DirectCD or InCD allows using DVD+RW medium as a normal floppy or hard drive via Explorer or other file manager. The support for EasyWrite also will be included in new Microsoft Windows Vista as a standard option.

4. In addition to everything above, maximum writing speed for DVD+RW is about twice faster than for DVD-RW.

However, DVD+RW format also has some drawbacks.For example, DVD+RW is less compatible compared to DVD-RW, and the probability of running into incompatible DVD drive is higher, no matter what the press-releases and advertisements claim. Compatibility becomes even bigger issue for old DVD drives.

DVD+RW and DVD+R have a special protection system designed for them, called VCPS (Video Content Protection System for DVD+R/+RW). It has all the features of CPRM (which is for DVD-RRW) and also supports limitations in copying of protected digital broadcasts. However, such innovations are usually welcomed only by movie and video producers and generally provide only nuisance for users.

DVD+R

Although it might seem strange, DVD+R was introduced by the same DVD+RWAlliance later than DVD+RW, namely in 2002, which is the reason why it is possible to encounter DVD drives that can work with DVD+RW but are totally incompatible with DVD+R. The introduction of DVD+R was more of a step back for the developers, as the only thing they have to do to create DVD+R is to change the substance in reflective layer of DVD+RW from rewritable to the one that support only one cycle of writing. Due to this, DVD+R is actually missing some of useful features of DVD+RW, such as improved error handling. There is also dual layer version of DVD+R, called DVD+R DL or DVD+R9 (actually, it appeared earlier thanDVD-R9). In general, DVD+R does not differ much from DVD-R.

DVD-RAM

Initially DVD-RAM (DVD-Random Access Memory) was developed for back-up storage, but later it’s capabilities in handling video became evident, so now there are many home DVD-RAM camcorders and DVD-RAM recorders which are aimed to replace VHS.

Although DVD-RAM format was developed by Panasonic in compliance with DVD Forum, it is much different from DVD-R and DVD-RW. The chemical part of the process is essentially the same as in DVD-RW, but the logical part more resembles the operation of hard disk drive. From the very beginning DVD-RAM is divided into several sectors. Data is recorded not in circular track as in normal DVD and CD but is directed in certain sector, without particular order. During reading of the disk this allows to find the desired file fast and easily by addressing appropriate sector. Besides, this layout allows reading and writing information simultaneously. Interestingly enough, DVD-RAM does not require any special software for recording; it can be accessed in the same manner as normal hard drive or floppy disk.

Although DVD-RAM can withstand more writing cycles (about 100000) than DVD-RW, it is substantially more fragile and have to be handled with much greater care. For this reason many DVD-RAMs are being sold in special cartridges, however, if disk is single-sided, it can be removed from cartridge temporarily as some DVD-RAM recorders have normal CD tray instead of cartridge loader.

Some DVD-RAM disks are actually sold without any case at all. These disks require extreme caution during use.

However, despite being extremely fragile, DVD-RAM has most reliable error checking. If error is discovered during burning process, data is simply recorder in different sector; while in any other DVD format disk will become completely unreadable.

Speaking of compatibility, any DVD-RAM recorder will have no troubles reading DVD-R and DVD-RW formats. However, only few drives will be able to read DVD-RAM format. Unfortunately, DVD-RAM is much less common compared to other formats of recordable DVD’s and therefore the price for both drives and disks is still relatively high.

DVD+VR, DVD-VR

DVDs can be recorded in two modes – Video Format and Video Recording Format (DVD-VR). First one is compliant with DVD-Video standard and is compatible with any equipment (this format is used for factory DVD-Video disks and for video data on DVD-R). DVD-RV mode can be altered after recording and does not require copy to hard drive in order to edit disk contents. It is possible to add, cut and delete video data for the disks written in DVD-VR mode, it is also possible to add more chapters or change menu. This can be done for both DVD-RW and DVD-RAM (for DVD-RAM it is actually the only available mode).

For DVD+RW there exists slightly better version of DVD-VR called DVD+VR. Some of the positive differences from DVD-VR are the possibility of creation of full-fledged menus up to 30megabytes in size, while DVD-VR can only generate standard play-lists. It is also possible to delete data from DVD+VR anytime, while in DVD-VR it has to be done only prior to recording of new data. And the most important thing – DVD-VR disks can only be played on DVD Burner or home DVD Recorder, while DVD+VR can be viewed on any device capable of reading DVD+RW.

Not long ago the selection of preferred format was an important question, as after selecting, for example, DVD-R compatible device the user have to live with the fact that the device won’t be able to read or write DVD+R. It was also dangerous to use DVD-RW or DVD+RW as a floppy to transfer data, because, unlike CD-RW, there was a chance that there will be incompatible drive in other computer.

Luckily enough, these problems are now gone.

Summary

After the appearance of first multi-format device on the market, any modern DVD drive now supports almost all of available formats, and the selection of desired type of DVD can be made several times a day, depending on particular task. The only sad thing that the mess with DVD formats was sorted too late, as completely new formats of disks are already emerging.

Artem Chlegov is a editor and writer for DVDSoftwareGuide.com [http://www.dvdsoftwareguide.com] – a DVD software review website.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Artem_Chlegov/22802

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/126250

Tags :

My, how our dictionary has changed. Podcast, Skype, Wikipedia, Googlebot and WiMax were all regularly used terms during 2005. VoIP, WiFi, Blog, iPod, and SEO are in every day vocabularies. By the way, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization just in case you’re uninformed like the vast majority of the populace, and I believe Podcast was Webster’s Word of The Year for 2005.

That was then, and now it’s today. What was important and functional yesterday may not be the case tomorrow. There has been exponential change in relation to the calendar, in the field of communications technology advancement. What I mean by that is that the changes that have taken place over the past year or two have been far greater than the changes over the past decade, which in turn have been far greater than the changes over the past 20 years.

The common thread among the terms above is that they either relate to wireless or internet technologies, or both. The technology advances, and public acceptance of those new technologies in the year 2005, have been astounding. It would follow logic that the same will continue to happen in 2006.

So let’s examine the recent past a little more closely to see how our behavior has been affected. John Campbell, a Telecom Consultant with Schooley Mitchell in Halifax wrote an article for The Nova Scotia Business Journal that described the experience of a Marketing VP. She was booking a trip through her travel agent and made a specific request for ‘hot spots’. As little as three years ago that probably would have meant the best beaches, bars, and restaurants. However, she was requesting the hotels where she could access the Internet through her laptop using wireless technology.

Whether it’s toll booth passes, debit transactions at the gas station, or courier package delivery, the wireless world is upon us.

Consistent with evolutionary theory, teenagers have sprouted a new appendage. It’s a wireless device referred to as a cell phone. Except that cell phone isn’t for conversations in emergencies. It’s for text messages, playing MP3s, and downloading videos – and of course, you simply can’t be without one if you’re under 25.

In other developments, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has gained wide acceptance evidenced by the wide myriad of vendors that have entered that marketplace to carve out a piece of the market share pie. The variant flavors and options available in the world of VoIP seem to be increasing everyday, to the point where it’s very difficult for the average business person to determine whether they should or shouldn’t, and if they do, which option do they choose.

Campbell mentions Advanced Call Routing, Unified Messaging, and long distance toll bypass as some advantages of VoIP. The Follow-Me feature makes it transparent to the caller in terms of whether the call is connecting to a conference room in Orlando, a hotel room in Vancouver, or a cottage on the Great Lakes.

Increased Internet functionality, including Intranet, Extranet, Enterprisenet, and more, are all variations of Internet business applications that have become widespread in the recent past to serve the needs of global economies. More and more ‘hosted applications’ are being developed, which means that you can work on the same General Ledger or Contact Management Database in Salt Lake City and Singapore at the same time. In fact, in a book titled ‘The World is Flat – A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century’, Thomas L. Friedman talks about the widespread changes to world economies based on technological advancements.

Friedman’s message centers around the fact that web-enabled and wireless technologies are ‘flattening’ the world so that basic business services such as call centers, back room accounting, and HR department management can be provided from India or China, just as easily as Pittsburgh. Restaurant reservations, income tax returns, and flower deliveries will actually be completed through Shanghai or Bangladesh, as opposed to Boston or Toronto.

His message is not one of dire straits, although it does carry a warning that we need to be prepared, and educated to adapt to the inevitable changes that a ‘flat’ world will bring. Instead, the message is one of changing opportunities, and better efficiencies, if the reality is accepted, and the reaction is proper.

So, where are we going? Well, those teenagers will be watching TV on their cell phones next year on a regular basis. Actually, my prediction is that the term cell phone will disappear over the next few years because of the vast number of functions that will be available through a wireless device that will be portable. Telephone calls will be just a minor part of the mix.

At a recent presentation I attended that was hosted by the Gartner Group, the predictions included the ability to take temperature and heart rate with the wireless device that will soon be on the shelves, and therefore attached to your belt. Diabetics will be able to monitor blood sugar. You will be able to read bar codes, and check out right in the store, including the monetary transaction. Your earpiece will talk to you to tell you to turn left so you don’t get lost as you drive through the city. I don’t think the device will make your lunch or tie your shoes just yet, but perhaps I need to open my mind.

At a recent Conference for Schooley Mitchell Telecom Consultants, Mikko Salminen of Nokia in Finland made a presentation describing the migration of businesses to wireless devices as opposed to the desk phones everyone has been using since telephone invention. The statistics from around the world are astounding, but that’s the subject of another article. Suffice it to say that businesses will benefit from the ability of their people to communicate with customers, vendors, and coworkers without having proximity to their desk.

Yes, it’s a brave new world. In order to prosper, we must heed the message that no man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience. In other words, embracing new technologies, and accepting ‘flatness’ will lead to opportunity. Opportunity, like oxygen must continually be exchanged. Once oxygen is taken into your lungs it turns to carbon dioxide. So as oxygen is the fuel of the body but has a limited life, opportunity is the fuel of success and future achievement. However, opportunity must be used before it turns to the metaphorical carbon dioxide.

So the message is to accept that these changes are upon us. The world will continue to develop more and more Internet applications to make the rudimentary parts of life easier to manage. Wireless applications will continue to develop and will astound us in terms of what can be achieved. And the world will be ‘flatter’. If that’s a problem it’s also an opportunity.

Maybe it’s an even bigger opportunity than an economic one for those wise enough to take advantage of the fluid and changing environment. One of Friedman’s tenets is that as the world supply chains become more intermingled and interdependent based on these technology advances, then the likelihood to war with each other will become less. If companies are dependent on companies in other countries to provide accounting functions, HR management, and day-to-day services, then it will be an encourager to work it out, instead of shoot it out. Now that’s a nice thought.

Dennis Schooley is the Founder of Schooley Mitchell Telecom Consultants, a Professional Services Franchise Company. He writes for publication, as well as for [http://www.schooleymitchell.blogging.com] and [http://www.franchises.blogging.com], in the subject areas of Franchising, and Technology for the Layman. http://www.schooleymitchell.com, 888-311-6477, dschooley@schooleymitchell.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/126403

Tags :

If you are reading this article, you are probably wondernig, why and how do you build a computer. Building your own computer is more simple than you think and has many benefits.

Why Build A Computer?

Building a computer has many benefits over buying a premade. First of all, it is generally cheaper if you build your own than buying one. If you shop your components, your DIY(Do it yourself) computer will be cheaper than its premade equivalent. If you build your own computer, it will be faster than one that is premade, because most computer manufacturers use cheap components and try to cut corners to cut down costs. Additionally, your self built computer has more room to upgrade if you so decide to in the future. Prebuilt computers usually only have enough expansion slots for the components that are going to be in the computer. Because of this, your prebuilt computer will become obsolete sooner. Also, building a computer is a satisfying experience and you will learn more about how your computer works.

How do I go About Building a Computer?

Building a computer is probably much simpler than you think. Especially now, things have been simplified and standardized. First, you pick out components and make sure they are all compatible. Once you get the parts, you put them together! This guide was made to show you how to do everything and contains pictures and good information to make building a computer a fun and rewarding experience. For more information about building a computer, be sure to check out the next article in this guide!

Chris Silop, owner and admin of

SysChat.Com Computer Forum
Go there for more articles and forums on computer hardware!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/119321

Tags :

I’ve just taken an order, nothing unusual about that; except I am on a high speed train in France travelling in excess of 100 miles per hour, and the customer,Carol, was ringing from a mobile in Greece. Then using my Vodafone mobile connect, I enter the order onto our web site on my laptop, it is then instantly picked up by our office in Chipping Sodbury, England and dispatched within an hour, while I am still on the train in France and Carol enjoys the sun in Greece.

The wonders of modern technology still stun me sometimes, although I really should be used to it as all my business activities are reliant on modern technology, and me well over 50. Who says old dogs cannot learn new tricks.

The history is: I have designed, manufactured and sold underwear for over thirty years, it is and always been the love of my life. Six years ago I moved to south west France, to escape the rat race. My love of lingerie never left me, and when it was suggested that a web site and mail order brochure aimed at the more mature computer wary sector of the population, it was not difficult with my experience to put together a range.

We set up a British Limited company, registered in England and with distribution, all controlled by me via computer links in rural South West France. I can send and receive enormous files via broadband, which allows me to design the layout of our brochures, produced twice yearly, and send them directly to our printers instantly.

The Mobile Connect is a card inserted into my laptop, allowing instant connection to the internet, enabling me to always be in contact, wherever I am. It still fascinates me travelling down the motorway, not driving of course, working on the live internet, How does that work?

Of course we could not survive without the magnificent broadband, the Mobile Connect card as I mentioned before, and our final ace is Skype, which not only allows me to keep in constant touch with my office in England, completely free, but gives me massive reductions on my calls all over the World.

How far we have come since a mobile looked and felt like a breeze block, and the World was a big place.

Louise May founder of http://www.underthetop.com

Member of [http://www.WomenWorking4Women.co.uk]

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Louise_May/46456

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/118996

Tags :

It is very tempting to use fancy looking fonts when designing a web page. After all, the fancier the font the more attractive it will be to visitors and the more likely they will be to stay at your page once they’ve gotten there. Actually, the reverse is often true.

Most people go to a web page because they are interested in the information that is there, either an article they want to read about something or maybe it’s a product or service site that requires them to navigate through a number of pages to find the product or service that they are looking for. The last thing they want to do is have to battle with the font on the page because it is difficult to read.

There are several things that make fonts easy or hard to read and each one is equally as important.

Fonts are made up of many properties but the most important of these are type, size and color.

The type of font refers to how the font characters themselves are displayed. The most common fonts are Times New Roman and Ariel because they are the most easy to read. The reason they are the most easy to read is because they are plain and simple. There is nothing fancy about them as opposed to a font like, say, Potter, which is an excellent representation of the fonts used in the Harry Potter movie series. They may look real cool but they are not easy to read. Maybe for a word or two, no problem. But a whole page of Harry Potter fonts could become a reading nightmare for a visitor to your site.

Now, suppose your site WAS about Harry Potter. In that case it would be okay to maybe have some words using that font, such as maybe headings and the first word of each paragraph. But the majority of your text you would still need to be in easy to read font. This way you capture the flavor of the Harry Potter world and still give your readers an easy to read experience.

Size is another issue about fonts. Not everybody has 20-20 vision. You don’t want the fonts on your page to be too small. If they are, some people are going to have a difficult time reading the material on the page. A good size for a paragraph font is about 12 to 14 point. Headings can be a little bigger, maybe between 16 and 20 point. By keeping the size of your font within normal parameters you give your visitors the best chance of an easy read of your page.

Finally, we have color. The last thing you want to do is put a light colored font on a light colored background, like pink on yellow. That is a sure way to make your visitors go blind. You want your font color and the background color of the page to be in contrast to each other, like black on white or even white on black. You won’t want the two colors to be too close to each other. The greater the contrast the easier it will be for your visitors to view your site.

By keeping these few simple things in mind you assure your visitors of the most pleasant experience possible when visiting your pages.

——————————————————-

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to HTML [http://html.free-resource-guide.com]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/119685

Tags :

In 2005 we witnessed many soldiers coming back from the War in Iraq with missing limbs, which were literally blown off by roadside bombs, mortars and improvised explosive devices. Some soldiers lost limbs from incoming RPGs or rocket propelled grenades. As unfortunate as this was for many a father coming home unable to hold their kids in their arms, it was a chance for the medical profession to test out and prove decades of research and perfecting of prosthetic devices to allow people who have been in horrific accidents full use of their bodies again. The amount of research and hard work going into these devices is truly remarkable and it brings back visions of the “Six Million Dollar Man” as Steve Austin was not only repaired but was “better, faster and stronger!”

The military is also looking into exo-skeleton systems which can be used by a human who has all their limbs working properly, which will assist them in moving faster, carrying more and not getting tired at all along the way. Able to hike through rough terrain 50 miles or march 100 miles in one days time carrying 50 plus pounds of gear. In 2006 we will see those dreams become much closer to reality. We will also see research done to allow the exo-skelton system to regulate itself, monitor the body functions of the soldier and even sense and incoming mortar round and accelerate out of the way. All this is on the horizon and you can bet researchers are working hard to make it happen. So be thinking on this in 2006.

“Lance Winslow” – Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/. Lance is an online writer in retirement.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Lance_Winslow/5306

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/119673

Tags :

WiMax (802.16) is is a newer standard of wireless networking designed to provide the last mile of high speed internet access to the end user. Some people would call Wimax WiFi on steroids but this would be to broad of an assessment. Wifi was and still will be used in LAN environments for the foreseeable future. WiMax was designed to provide (MAN) Metropolitan Area Access, to homes and businesses.

WiMax base stations will have the ability to provide approximately 60 businesses with T1 access and hundreds of homes with DSL/Cable speed access…in theory. Engineers are stating that WiMax has the capability of reaching 30 Miles but real world testing has shown 4-8 mile working radius.

WiMax (MAN) deployments are similar to a WiFi network. First the ISP would have their T3 or higher access. The ISP would then use line of sight antennas (Bridges) to connect to towers that would distribute the non line of sight signal to (MAN) residential/business clients.

WiMax line of sight antennas operate at a higher Frequency up to 60mhz. Distribution antennas do not have to be in the line of sight with their clients. Non – line of sight towers operate on a range similar to WiFi . WiMax can operate right next to cell phone towers with no interference.

WiMax networks are similar to Wifi in deployment. The Wimax Base station/Tower will beam a signal to a WiMax Receiver. Similar to a WiFi access point sending a signal to a laptop. As far as I can tell laptops will be shipping with Wimax receivers in 2006.

QOS (Quality of Service) is an major issue with WiMax because of the number of people accessing a tower at once. Some would think that a tower could be easily overloaded with a lot of people accessing it at once. Built into the WiMax standard is an algorithm that when the tower/base station is nearing capacity then it automatically will transfer the user to another WiMax tower or cell. Unlike a Wifi clients who have to kind of fight to stay associated with a given access point; WiMax will only have to perform this hand shake at the MAC level the first time they access the network.

WiMax is designed for building a network infrastructure when the environment or distance is not favorable to a wired network. Also, WiMax is a cheaper and quicker alternative than having to lay wire. Third world countries will greatly benefit from deploying WiMax networks. WiMax can handle virtually all the same protocols Wifi can including VOIP. African countries are now going to start deploying WiMax networks instead of cell phone networks. Disaster zones can also utilize WiMax giving them the ability to distribute crisis information quickly and cheaply.

Militaries are already using wireless technology to connect remote sites. Logistics will be simplified with the ease of tracking with RF technologies. WiMax can also handle Webcams and streaming video which would give commanders eyes on target capability. Just imagine if planes were able to drop preconfigured self deploying WiMax antennas in strategic areas giving troops real time battlefield intel. Armed with wireless cameras, drones and a GPS one soldier would truly be an Army of One.

As WiMax is deployed in more areas theory and real life capabilities of WiMax will come to light. The differences between WiMax and Wifi are simple. Think of a WiMax network as an ISP with out wires, with the signal providing your internet access to your business/ home. Wifi will be used within in your LAN for the near future.

Sign up for the most popular wireless networking news letter on the internet. Receive the inside scoop on wireless technology for the home and work place at http://www.wirelessninja.com.

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Eric_Meyer/14668

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/118819

Tags :

Copyright © 2015 Pixel Theme Studio. All rights reserved.