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What Does DVD Stand For?

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By Katy Aguayo

The VHS tape took the world by storm in the 1970s. Before its inception, it took a lot more effort to make any sort of home recording. But once the VHS tape and camcorder came onto the scene, home movie making became a regular part of family events. Moms and dads everywhere could be spotted sporting massive video cameras on their shoulders at kids’ soccer games, piano recitals, and birthday parties, and no wedding was complete without a taped wedding video.

The VHS changed the way we create and record memories, but it’s reign didn’t last forever.
In 1995, another media giant came into play that completely wiped out VHS usage in just a few short years. That’s right, we’re talking about the DVD.

 

The DVD has its origins in the 1950s. Inventors David Paul Gregg and James Russell created the laserdisc technology that paved the way for DVD all the way back in ’58. It’s crazy to think that all those years ago, the DVD was already in the minds of inventors. What kinds of technology are being pioneered today that won’t be fully developed for another 40 years?


DVDs were invented in 1995 and released to the public in 1996. They quickly took over the market, as DVDs produced better sound and video quality than the VHS tape, had larger storage capacities, and interactive functionalities. After their release to the public, DVDs began to replace VHS tapes in movie releases and before we all knew it, VHS tapes were essentially obsolete. Of course, lots of folks still owned VCRs and stockpiled Disney movies on tape, but all the new releases were produced on DVD.


DVD stands for digital versatile disc or digital video disc. The name “digital versatile disc” was adopted over “digital video disc” because computer companies complained that “digital video disc” didn’t allude to all the applications that DVDs could hold. The versatility of the DVD is one of its biggest selling points, so this name change makes practical sense.


Today, we are seeing a decline in DVD usage as streaming media becomes increasingly popular. Used book and media stores have tons of DVDs just waiting for their next new home. However, may folks still own DVD players and will pop in a movie every once in a while. It’s interesting to think that one day DVD players and DVDs may be as obsolete as VCRs and VHS tapes are to us today. 

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