Tagged: digital video

Blu-ray Disc Recordable Erasable (BD-RE) (2006 – )

Blu-ray Disc Recordable Erasable (BD-RE) is a high-capacity optical disc that can be erased and re-recorded multiple times, and is a type of Blu-ray Disc that can be read in all Blu-ray Disc drives. The similar BD-R discs can only be written to once.

BD-RE drives can be found in computers and personal video recorders (PVRs).

Disc capacities are 25 GB for single-layer discs, 50 GB for double-layer discs, 100 GB for triple-layer, and 128 GB for quadruple-layer.

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Blu-ray Disc Recordable (BD-R) (2006 – )

Blu-ray Disc Recordable (BD-R) is a write-once high-capacity optical disc, and a type of Blu-ray Disc that can be read in all Blu-ray Disc drives. The similar BD-RE is a rewritable version.

BD-R drives can be found in computers and personal video recorders (PVRs).

Disc capacities are 25 GB for single-layer discs, 50 GB for double-layer discs, 100 GB for triple-layer, and 128 GB for quadruple-layer.

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MiniDVD-R (1997 – )

The MiniDVD-R is a smaller (8cm) version of the DVD-R. MiniDVD-R discs can be used in the same way as 12cm DVD-R discs to hold computer data, but their most common use was in DVD-based camcorders from around 2003 to the early 2010s.

A standard MiniDVD-R could hold 30 minutes of video, with double-layer discs offering 60 minutes (with a compatible camcorder).

The use of MiniDVD-R discs in camcorders made it easier to watch the resulting video on standard tray-loading DVD players (providing the disc was ‘finalised’ in the camcorder first).

Many DVD camcorders could also use other types of DVD discs, such as MiniDVD+R, MiniDVD-RW, MiniDVD+RW and MiniDVD-RAM.

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DVCAM (1996 – )

DVCAM is a variation of the DV format introduced by Sony in 1996, and aimed at the semi-professional and lower-end professional market.

DVCAM uses the same type of tape and compression as DV and MiniDV but at a higher speed (almost 50% faster). In common with all DV formats, DVCAM uses tape that is ¼-inch (6.35 mm) wide. DVCAM uses metal evaporated (ME) tape

DVCAM tapes come in two different sizes. The smaller size uses the same form-factor as MiniDV and can hold up to 40 minutes, which the larger size (which is actually the medium size DV tape) can hold up to 184 minutes.

Technically, any DV cassette can record any variant of DV video.

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Preservation / Migration

DVD-R (1997 – )

DVD-R is a recordable optical disc format based on DVD and developed by Pioneer in 1997. It is supported by most DVD players and is approved by the DVD Forum. It is similar to, but incompatible with, the newer DVD+R standard

A double-sided DVD-R typically has a storage capacity of 4.7 GB but a dual-layer double-sided version with a capacity of 8.5 GB, DVD-R DL, was released in 2005. DVD-R is generally used for non-volatile data storage or video applications. A smaller 8cm version of DVD-R (miniDVD-R) is also available for use in camcorders.

Double-sided DVD-R discs are composed of two 0.6 mm acrylic discs bonded to each other, one containing the laser guiding groove and coated with the recording dye and a silver alloy or gold reflector. On single-sided discs, the unused side is simply a blank to make up the thickness to 1.2mm.

Many DVD drives are hybrid drives (normally labeled ‘DVD±RW’) and can read and write to both DVD-R and DVD+R. However, because the DVD-R format has been in use since 1997, it has had a five-year lead on DVD+R which wasn’t introduced until 2002. As such, older DVD players are more likely to favour the DVD-R standard exclusively.

Unlike DVD+R, DVD-R discs do not need to be formatted before being recorded by a compatible DVD video recorder.

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Preservation / Migration

UMD Video (2004 – 2011)

Universal Media Disk (UMD) was an optical disc format introduced by Sony in 2004 for use on the PlayStation Portable (PSP) handheld gaming and multimedia device, the only device that UMD was ever implemented on.

As well as video games for the PSP, discs were available containing full-length movies, television shows (including a number by the BBC in the United Kingdom) and music videos. DVD region coding was applied to movies and music videos, but not for video games.

The discs themselves had a capacity of up to 1.8 GB for the dual-layer version on a 64 mm read-only optical disc. Although the discs were housed in a protective casing, there was no shutter to prevent direct contact with the disc. While similar in appearance to the Sony MiniDisc, the two formats are incompatible and there was never a recordable version of UMD.

Disappointing sales of movies on UMD meant that by 2006, retailers and studios began to withdraw support for movies on UMD, and no more movies were released on UMD after 2011. New games continued to be distributed on UMD until 2014, when the PlayStation Portable was discontinued.

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Professional Disc (2003 – )

Professional Disc (PFD) is an optical disc video recording format introduced in 2003 by Sony. It was designed for the XDCAM digital video system, and uses blue laser (like Blu-ray).

Professional discs come in four different capacities, depending on the number of layers, ranging from 23 GB for a single-layer disc, to 128 GB for quad-layer discs. The different discs come in different colours to distinguish them (black, red, yellow or white for single, dual, triple and quad layer respectively).

Sony’s Professional Disc for DATA was a variant of Professional Disc that was intended for data storage. The discs are not compatible with Professional Discs intended for XDCAM video use, and the format was declared ‘end of life’ by Sony in 2007.

Since 2009, Sony has introduced the ability to store data on Professional Discs for the XDCAM system, in a dedicated ‘User Data’ folder.

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Blu-ray Disc (2006 – )

Blu-ray Disc is an optical disk format for high-definition video. The standard was developed by the Blu-ray Disc Association (a consortium of companies, including Sony) and was released in 2006.

The discs themselves are the same size as DVD (120mm), but are capable of storing 25 GB per layer, with dual-layer discs being the industry standard for movies on Blu-ray Disc. Mini Blu-ray Discs (80mm) are also available, similar to MiniDVD.

Information is stored at a much higher density than DVD due to the use of blue lasers.

From its introduction until 2008, Blu-ray competed with HD-DVD, which was launched a few months prior to Blu-ray. By as early as January 2007, Blu-ray was outselling HD-DVD, helped by Sony including Blu-ray Disc support in the PlayStation 3.

As well as motion pictures, Blu-ray is used for distributing games for consoles such the Sony PlayStation 3 and 4, and the Xbox One, and recordable (BD-R) and rewritable versions (BD-RE) are also available for data or video storage. In 2013, High Fidelity Pure Audio was launched, using audio-only Blu-ray Discs.

Blu-ray Disc titles usually ship in packages similar to but slightly smaller than a standard DVD case, with the format prominently displayed across the top of the case. Some Blu-ray Discs come packaged with a DVD version of the film, as well as digital copies that can be played on computers.

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D2 (1988 – 2000s)

D2 was a digital video cassette format for professional broadcast use, and was introduced by Ampex, in collaboration with Sony in 1988 as a lower-cost alternative to D1. Unlike D1 which is a component format, D2 stores composite video but like D1 stores uncompressed digital video. Panasonic’s competing D3 was also stored composite video.

It was a cost-effective solution for broadcasters with investments in composite analogue video infrastructure, as D2 machines accepted standard analogue video and audio inputs and outputs.

D2 uses ¾-inch tape in one of three different size cassettes (with maximum playing times of 32, 94, and 208 minutes). The cassettes are very similar to D1, but are not interchangeable and D2 uses metal particle tape.

The D2 format had a relatively brief heyday, as the computer-based video server became available soon after its release. By 2003, only a few broadcasters continued to use D2.

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Preservation / Migration

DVD-Video (1998 – )

DVD-Video is a digital optical disc storage format for video playback, developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba and Panasonic. It was initially available in Japan in 1995, and reached Europe in 1998. The first movie to be released on the new DVD-Video format was Twister, which also happened to be the last film released on HD-DVD.

In 1993, two new optical disc video formats were being developed, Multimedia Compact Disc (MMCD), backed by Philips and Sony, and the Super Density (SD) disc, supported by a number of other manufacturers. Eventually, a joint standard was agreed.

Movie distributors adopted the DVD-Video format to replace the ubiquitous VHS as it produced superior picture and sound quality, could provide interactivity, and the storage capacity allowed for extras or bonus features such as audio commentaries, deleted scenes and trailers. Players were also cheaper to manufacture than complex video tape machines.

Each DVD-Video disc contains one or more region codes, denoting the area(s) of the world in which distribution and playback are intended. The commercial DVD player specification dictates that a player must only play discs that contain its region code but in practice, many DVD players allow playback of any disc, or can be modified to do so.

Currently, DVD-Video is the dominant form of home video distribution worldwide, although in Japan it was surpassed by Blu-ray Disc in 2006. It is now, however, facing competition from video on demand services.

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