Back in time, when there were no flash drives, memory cards, and hard disks, DVDs or Digital Versatile Discs were the only sources of storing important data. Other than storing confidential information, DVDs also started storing movies and music.
The introduction of movies and music on DVDs was unexpected in the newly developing technological world. People found comfort with DVDs as it was fascinating to watch their favorite movies any time they want, especially during their leisure time with family and friends.
But have you ever wondered how these DVDs were invented and gained such immense popularity? Here is a detailed guide for our inquisitive readers that want to know all there is to know about DVDs and how they work.
- The DVD Invention
- Twister- The First Movie On DVD
- About Twister
- DVD Video
- Offline And Online Tie-Ups
- Introduction Of Auteurs
- Music Duplication And Licensing
- What Will Happen If We Uncompress A DVD Movie?
The DVD Invention
DVD was started by the big brand technical junctions like Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic, and Philips. These technological stations are still the main companies today, advancing technology in the most useful ways.
Sony Corporation in Japan collaborated with the Pacific Digital Company from the United States in 1997 to create the first DVD players. Although DVD players originally appeared in late 1996, they could not be released in that year due to political reasons.
On March 31, 1997, DVD players were officially available in the United States but with limited distributions. Only seven major cities managed to get stock for the first six months.
Twister – The First Movie On DVD
In 1996, the first version of the DVD was finalized. The original single-sided, single-layer DVD-1 with the capacity of 1.46 gigabytes, today abbreviated as GB, was released.
After releasing the DVD players and discs in 1997 all across the US, the first movie quickly followed. Twister was the first movie to be commercially available on DVDs.
Twister depicted a devastating scenario, where the house is ripped apart, tractors falling like rain, 15,000 gasoline tankers became air bombs, and this all happens while a cow spins through the air. At this point in time, the point of Twister hits home.
A tornado with a reckoning speed of 300 miles per hour can cause unimaginable destruction. Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt are scientist superheroes responsible for saving America from the most destructive weather storm ever experienced.
The climax is exemplified by launching electronic sensors into the funnel systems. The storm chasers aim to obtain enough data to create an improved sensor alarmed warning system. But the twist lies in that they must face the tornado dead-on to accomplish their mission.
Overall, the movie is an adventure swirling excitement with special effects and was loved by all sci-fi-loving fans. Being the first movie on DVD, we can understand that it was not super-powered with the advanced feature, but it easily trumped the standard DVD markets.
Technology And Design Behind DVDs
The shiny plastic circular plate-like thing is a wonder and was made with a lot of expertise. DVD has a high standard in terms of storing data; the storage capacity of a DVD is enough to give space to a full-length MPEG-2 encoded movie. The best technology that emerged through DVD movies was an on-screen index.
With this very feature, the creator of the DVD has labeled significant parts of the movie, sometimes with a picture or notation that is easily recognizable. Through your remote, select the segment of the movie that is to be watched; the DVD player instantly hops to that part of the movie with no rewind or fast-forward delays.
DVD movies support both – the Letterbox format for a wide-screen TV and the Standard TV size format. It is easier to choose how you want to watch the movie. DVD movies have several soundtracks, and some of them also provide subtitles in different languages.
The storage capacity of a DVD is very high, but the uncompressed video data of a complete movie would never fit onto a DVD. So, video compression is required to fit a movie on the DVD.
This is done by a group called the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), which establishes the standards for compressing moving pictures on digital platforms.
When movies are put on the DVDs, they are encoded in MPEG-2 format and stored on the disc. This video compression format is a widely accepted standard in all corners of the world.
Your DVD player contains a MPEG-2 decoder, which will uncompress this data and allow you to watch it.
Impacts Of DVDs On The Film Industry
DVDs bought a digital revolution in the media industry, especially changing the norms and layouts of the film industry. From business changes to creative effects, here are some of the major impacts that DVDs brought to the showbiz industry.
Offline And Online Tie-Ups
Print media and classic merchandising products like toys were a source that helped movie producers and production companies make a lot of money. But when DVDs entered the entertainment universe, it was a golden chance to maximize the “Promotional Factor” for movies that earlier had only box office standings.
By encrypting the DVDs with online codes, with product registrations, and trial versions of online/offline games, the production houses popularized advertising and attractive opportunities to keep a hold on the audience and their interests to maintain their brand value and promote their movies at the same time.
New and improvised releases of older films have always been a way for the industry and filmmakers to keep their fans hooked. Showing improved versions to gain maximum reach is only possible in the DVD age.
For example, the mid-’90s theatrical release of the classic “Star Wars” trilogy was a massive blockbuster due to its easy availability through DVDs.
The “Lord of the Rings” films, was already mega-mega blockbusters despite their long theatrical running times. They were released in even longer formats on DVD to acclaim audience attraction; it was a strategic move to make more money by the film’s producers.
Introduction Of Auteurs
Many young filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino used the digital foundation through DVDs to create an auteur atmosphere.
These directors who value film-making as art and consider every personal attention to detail and each film as a recognizable part of a larger body of work are termed, auteurs.
The upliftment and wider approach of DVD helped budding auteurs, without any big brand value and name, to publish their content. This helped them gain credit for their original craft and talent but also covered an extensive audience.
Piracy, Theft, And Bootlegging
There are always pros and cons for everything; similarly, DVDs might be a convenient source of entertainment but can easily be hacked, copied, and pirated. Because of peer-to-peer sharing, torrents, and pirate networks, it is very easy to broadcast movies through DVDs after their instant release.
No matter how hard the studios and production houses enforced the restrictions and asked for help from the law to punish the hackers, once the movie is out, it’s gone forever.
Some studios even appeal to the Digital Rights Management (DRM) software to make their products impossible to duplicate and share easily.
Music Duplication And Licensing
If the elder sister (Film Industry) has problems with piracy and bootlegging, then the little sister (Music Industry) is not far behind. Music duplication also hiked when piracy of films broke the charts. Because, if the films are leaked, then its music will also leak along with it.
It becomes a major concern for the distributors and producers to manage piracy concerns. Because music plays an important role in any great film, and if the whole movie gets leaked, then budgets cannot be compensated.
Rare Facts About DVDs
All of us are aware of what DVDs look like and what their roles are. But there are very few of us who know everything, so here are some rare facts about DVDs that you probably aren’t familiar with.
What Will happen If We Uncompress A DVD Movie?
If we uncompress a DVD movie and retry to download it through the phone line, it will take almost a year to download successfully. Isn’t it mind-boggling to know that the plastic circular plate is such a wonder!
The DVDs you purchase from the markets have hidden features on the disc itself. These “Easter Eggs” contain the previews of some other music albums, an upcoming movie, or computer software.
Next time you see a DVD, don’t forget to check this out.
CD Vs. DVD
The Compact Disc or CDs offer fewer storage capacities than the DVDs. In general, a DVD can store up to eight hours of CD-quality per side. And it holds about seven times more data than a CD.
A vital invention in the field of technology that changed the media business is attributed to DVDs. Twister was the first movie to be accessed through DVDs, followed by a million more.
They are a progression after the launch of CDs in terms of storage, efficiency, and credibility. The impacts, be it positive or negative, on the film industry, its invention, and some less known, interesting unknown facts give us a better understanding of DVDs.