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The future of home television is at a crossroads with new technologies available in every direction Will recordable DVD replace the home VCR Will HDTV succeed with consumers Will our old set be rendered obselete What is affecting the mass rollout of these new technologies The DVD story is a classic computer technology tale All the key elements are there vaporware standards wars compatibility problems extremely high initial prices and confusion at every turn Even the technologys name stirs minor debate Some claim it stands for Digital Versatile Disc others say it means Digital Video Disc and still others claim its not an acronym at all In essence DVD is simply the next evolutionary step from CD-ROM DVD-ROMs look like CDs but they hold far more information anywhere from 47GB to 17GB compared with a CDs 650MB But DVD is more than just higher capacity which is partly why things get so complicated DVD is a critical element of PCTV convergence since its a way to distribute movies with extended features such as user-selectable camera angles and multiple language support Also like CDs there are writeable and rewriteable variations coming DVD is just starting to make a significant impact on the market Estimates vary from about 600000 to 1000000 console players living room boxes used strictly to play movies sold in the United States through the end of 1998 So far the number of DVD drives in PCs is far smaller DVD technology can handle one or two layers of data per disc side That makes for four sub varieties of DVD-ROM the read-only version of this technology DVD5 single side single layer with a 47GB capacity DVD9 single side dual layer 85GB DVD10 dual side single layer 94GB and DVD18 dual side dual layer 17GB With all these competing standards a group has been formed to come
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