DVD Video Solutions - Toronto, Ontario, Canada Frequently

General DVD Questions

What Does DVD stand for?
Digital Versatile Disc. However, it was once called Digital Video Disc.

What does a DVD look like?
The physical size is the same as a CD. They generally have a gold or purple/blue bottom.

How long will a DVD last?
Unlike video cassettes, DVD discs do not wear out from repeated use. The exceptional durability of DVD will be a welcome reality for families with small children and for people who watch their favorite movies over and over. The quality of your DVD will last a lifetime, no matter how many times you watch the same film. Only physical damage to a disc can reduce the lifetime of a DVD. Expected lifetime is about 100 years.

Do DVD's use digital recording?
Yes. DVD's have both digital Video (MPEG-2) and digital Audio (AC3/Dolby Digital or PCM).

What kind of special video features are provided by DVD?
The most common special features of Hollywood DVD are the movies' original trailers, "making of" bonus material, special music videos, alternate endings, multiple angles, and interviews with directors and actors. DVD players also make it easier to enjoy movies and music videos by allowing direct access to individual scenes (called chapters/indexes)

Do I need all these special features?
No, DVD is a versatile format. It is not limited to Hollywood movies. Many DVD's we produce do not use these features. However, they may be modified to use in other productions. Some examples of DVD are: Film/Video archiving, Weddings, Educational purposes, Interactive training, Product promotion and many other purposes.

Where can I buy a DVD Player?
DVD players are available at all electronic retailers, with prices under $100. Almost all movie studios are releasing current and classic movies on DVD. It is clear that DVD will be the media of the future.

Can I play DVD's on my computer?
Yes, if your computer has the right equipment. In addition to a DVD-ROM drive you must have extra hardware to decode MPEG-2 video and Dolby Digital or MPEG-2 audio, or your computer must be fast enough to handle software decoding. Decent software-only playback requires a 300-MHz Pentium II or a Mac G3. It's estimated that about 20% of new computers with DVD-ROM drives include decoder hardware, and that most of the remaining DVD-ROM computers will include decoder software. Hardware upgrade kits can be purchased for existing computers (usually minimum 133 MHz Pentium), starting at $150.

What should I look for in a DVD Player?
Generally, lower end DVD players will feature single analog outputs similar to those of your VCR. This should be suitable for the occasional DVD viewer. However, higher end models feature multiple outputs in both analog and digital for audio and video. This is suitable for those who are hooking a DVD player into a home theater system. Other features may include a built in surround sound decoder, multiple disc capability, MP3 playback, DTS decoding and Internet access. We recommend that you buy a player that is compatible with DVD-r media. See our list of compatible players by clicking here.

What DVD Player do you recommend?
We do not recommend a particular model or line of DVD Players. However, the latest Panasonic and Pioneer DVD players seem to be popular around here.

Are DVD's compatible with CD Players?
No, they are not. However DVD players will be able to play most CD's.

How do I setup my DVD player and VCR?
There are many ways to setup your DVD player and VCR. In the diagram below, we have shown 2 of the most common ways.

Setup 1 shows the DVD player outputs (both audio and video) connected into the VCR input. Then the output of the VCR is connected to the input of the Television. In most cases, you will need to set the VCR in the "line" input or in some cases, channel 3. The only problem with this setup is, if you play back any DVD with copy protection (which almost 99% of DVD movies have) you may experience the picture darkening from time to time. This may result in being unable to watch a DVD.
Setup 2 shows both the DVD player and VCR outputs directly connected to the Television. Most newer televisions should have at least 2 different inputs. This will give no problems when playing any DVD.

Does a DVD with Dolby Digital Audio mean it is in Surround Sound?
Not necessarily. Dolby Digital (AC-3) is the main audio standard used for surround sound. However, AC-3 can also be in 1.0 (mono), 2.0 (stereo), 2.1 (stereo with subwoofer), 3,0 (Stereo with center speaker), 4.0, 5.0 and 5.1. As you can see, Dolby Digital can have many different configurations, even on the same disc. Furthermore, DVD's that contain surround sound must have special audio masters. Therefore, an ordinary tape in stereo can not be converted into a surround sound DVD.


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