Touted ‘the next big thing’ in digital storage, DVD (Digital Video Disk, or Digital Versatile Disk) is almost ready for mass marketing. DVD offers 540 lines of horizontal resolution (compared to 210 for VHS and 425 for Laser Disc). Dual-layered DVDs can hold up to 8.5 gigabytes of information, or over four hours of film. DVD-ROMs for PCs can hold roughly half that.
The huge storage capacity allows home viewers variable audio channels, viewer-selected camera angles, or even a choice of different endings. The advanced players offer Dolby AC3 sound, rivaling the best theater.
DVD probably won’t be the choice for archives yet. No one is certain of the lifetime of a disc, and transfer is an expensive proposition only to have to repeat it due to degradation.
Also in this report:
-Taking Stock: go big or go home – In the digital age, footage is gold… If you’ve got the cash to keep up. As the big companies get bigger and smaller archives go niche or get out, brand new players are making for a volatile footage market
-Oddities: A roll call of the strangest requests