Sony Storage Support

Storage Support USA

General Definitions

What is a DVD?

DVD stands for digital video disc or digital versatile disc. A DVD is a disk superficially like a CD containing an exponentially larger amount of data, either computer, audio or visual then CD allows. DVD is a next-generation multimedia format that holds video, audio and computer data. DVD discs are designed to play in either set-top boxes connected to your television, or in DVD-ROM drives built into personal computers. DVD is the evolution of the CD. In fact, DVD discs look just like CDs. However, the capacity of DVD discs is much higher than that of CD. Some DVD discs can hold up to 17 GB of data, that will allow hours of extremely high-quality video and audio on a single disc. There are different physical formats in DVD (such as DVD-ROM or DVD-R) and the application formats (such as DVD-Video or DVD-Audio).

What are the different DVD formats?

DVD-5 Stores 4.7 Gb Data on 1 side in 1 layer
DVD-9 Stores 8.5 Gb Data on 1 side in 2 layer
DVD-10 Stores 9.4 Gb Data on 2 side in 1 layer
DVD-18 Stores 17.0 Gb Data on 2 side in 2 layer

What is DVD-ROM?
DVD-ROM is the general computer version of the DVD format and works in much the same way as the current CD-ROM format, however it holds over 5x-10x as much data. DVD-ROM's are used in the same way as current CD-ROM's, all you need is a suitably equipped PC. In other words, DVD-ROM is the base format that holds data. DVD-ROM includes recordable variations DVD-R/RW, DVD-RAM, and DVD+R/RW. In all there are six (6) recordable versions of DVD-ROM: DVD-R for General, DVD-R for Authoring, DVD-RAM, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and DVD+R. All DVD recorders can read DVD-ROM discs, but each uses a different type of disc for recording.

What is DVD-Video?
DVD-Video defines how video programs such as movies are stored on disc and played in a DVD-Video player or a DVD computer. DVD-Video is the video (motion picture) element of the DVD format. The application formats include DVD-Video, DVD-Video Recording, DVD-Audio, DVD-Audio Recording, DVD Stream Recording, and SACD. There are also special application formats for game consoles such as Sony PlayStation 2. This format can be played with a standalone DVD-Video player (What you will know as a DVD player) or a suitably equipped PC.
Again, DVD-Video refers strictly to the type of disc that will play in a set-top player. The DVD-Video specification is very rigid about what type of data is used on the disc (typically video and audio), what format the data is in, how the navigation is set up, how the data is laid on the disc, and how the disc is formatted. This rigidity is designed to ensure that discs will be compatible with all players. For a computer to be capable of playing DVD-video discs, it must have the following:
1) A DVD-ROM drive. This drive is much like today's CD-ROM drives: you can insert an audio CD into a computer with a CD-ROM drive and it will recognize it with the appropriate software. DVD-ROM drives work the same way. Also, the computer's OS needs software to be able to recognize the UDF volume format that is on the disc.
2) A method of decoding the video, audio and navigation on the disc. Many computer-based DVD solutions feature dedicated hardware to decode the video (usually MPEG2) and audio (usually Dolby AC3 or Dolby Surround). Some solutions rely on software decoders for the video and audio leaving only the computer's CPU to do all the work (in addition to whatever else the CPU has to do at the time). Either method is acceptable to get a DVD-video disc to play. However, performance may vary on software-only solutions.

What is DVD-Audio?
DVD-Audio is a format for storing audio only compositions on a DVD, it offers the option of multi channel audio (surround sound etc.) and video information for features such as song titles and alike. It offers greater copy protection for the audio then today's CD-Audio format.

What is DVD+RW?
DVD+RW (as is DVD-RAM and DVD-RW) is a rewritable DVD format and is compatible with most existing DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players. This means that a DVD+RW disc recorded in a DVD+RW video recorder can be played in most all DVD-Video players or DVD-ROM equipped PCs. DVD+RW disc recorded with data on a PC DVD+RW drive can be read by most DVD-ROM drives. DVD+RW drives will read DVD-ROMs and CDs, but are not compatible with DVD-RAM.
What is DVD-R?
DVD-R (record once, 4.7 GB). DVD-R uses technology similar to CD-R and is compatible with almost all DVD drives.

What is a DVD-RAM?
DVD-RAM (erase and record many times 2.58 GB). DVD-RAM uses technology that is incompatible with today's DVD drives (because of reflectivity and format differences). Because of the fragility of record media, DVD-RAM discs come in a protective cartridge (much like MO discs). Disks enclosed in the cartridge cannot physically fit into a DVD-ROM drive.

What is MPG/MPEG?
MPEG means "Moving Pictures Experts Groups. MPEG represents digital video and audio signals for consumer distribution. MPG/MPEG is a standard for compressed video that are used in VCDs.

What is MPEG2?
MPEG2 is a standard for compressed video that are used in SVCDs and DVDs. What is CD-TEXT?
CD TEXT is the latest extension of the standard Audio CD that contains additional information besides the audio tracks. This information can be the title of the CD, the name of the artist, info on the tracks (songtitle, artist), etc. The CD TEXT information can be displayed by the newer generation Audio CD players and Audio CD multichangers.

What is a `Region` code?
A 'Region Code' is a way of ensuring that material intended for a region of the globe cannot be viewed on a player from a non-compatible region.

What are the specific Region codes?
Region 0: All areas of the world. (Dependent on video standard)
Region 1: Canada and U.S.
Region 2: Japan (NTSC), Europe, South Africa, Middle East.
Region 3: Southeast Asia, East Asia, Hong Kong.
Region 4: Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, Caribbean.
Region 5: Former Soviet Union, Indian Subcontinent, Africa, North Korea, Mongolia.
Region 6: China.
Region 7: Unused (Reserved).
Region 8: Special international venues (airplanes, cruise ships, etc.).

What is Regional Coding enhancement (RCE)?
It is a digital enhancement added to some Warner Bros, New Line, Columbia DVDs to stop region 1 (R1) DVDs from playing on Region-free DVD players.

What is the recording time of a DVD+RW disc?
Every DVD+RW disc is the same in terms of storage space: 4.7 GB. There will be no DVD+RW discs with a different amount of space. The amount of recording time is decided upon by the user by selecting a recording quality on his recorder (usually about 2 hours of MPEG2).

What is a dual-layered DVD?
A DVD can hold digital information on both sides of the disc and in two sandwiched layers on each side. A dual-layered disc, for example, can offer a movie in both widescreen and full-screen (or pan-and-scan) formats, and your DVD player can switch from one layer to another with a barely perceptible interruption in playback.
What's the difference between Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1, and DTS?
Dolby Surround (also Dolby Pro Logic) is the surround-sound format most commonly found on video cassettes and laser discs (and many DVDs). It refers to a non-discrete sound format in which four channels (left, right, center, and surround) are combined into two channels and decoded back (by Pro Logic receivers) into the original four surround channels of your home-theater speaker system.
Dolby Digital 5.1 is a discrete-channel surround-sound format consisting of five distinctly separate channels (left front, left rear, right front, right rear, and center), plus a subwoofer channel (the .1 in 5.1) to provide deeper, fuller bass. And while not all DVD movies offer a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, an increasing number of them do, and you will definitely notice and appreciate the difference. (Side note: Dolby Digital AC-3, a sound process introduced in the laser disc format, translates original two-channel stereo sources into simulated 5.1-channel output. It is less frequently used on DVD.)
DTS (Digital Theater Systems) is an impressive digital surround-sound system first introduced in theaters in 1993. DVDs encoded with a DTS soundtrack require a DVD player and stereo receiver equipped with DTS-processing capability. Preferred by avid videophiles, DTS demands more data space on a DVD (often sacrificing bonus features), but many believe the audio quality to be superior to that of Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround sound.
What is the maximum recording speed of a DVD+RW?
The maximum recording speed of DVD+RW is 2.4x nominal DVD speed, resulting in about 22 Mbit/sec, or 3.2 MByte/sec. This is comparable to a CD-recorder writing at about 20x speed.
What is the maximum recording speed?
The maximum recording speed of DVD+RW is 2.4x nominal DVD speed, resulting in about 22 Mbit/sec, or 3.2 MByte/sec. This is comparable to a CD-recorder writing at about 20x speed.
What recording software does a DVD+RW drive use?
Over 20 well-known software companies have announced support for DVD+RW devices in their CD/DVD recording software.