DVD & MiniDVD
MiniDVD, also called cDVD, is a kind of DVD-Video burned onto a
CD-ROM. MiniDVD appeared in the year 2000, promoted by software editors
to boost DVD authoring software sales, but it wasn't a real success because
MiniDVDs aren't readable on standalone DVD players. There have been some
success reported on Asian models.
In early 2001, manufacturers like Pioneer started to ship DVD-R drives
at consumer prices so we think one has to consider the DVD format and whether
to burn on a DVD-R or a CD-ROM (CD-R/CD-RW).
What is DVD ?
About DVD features
What is MiniDVD ?
DVD ripping and DVD/MiniDVD authoring
1. What is DVD ?
DVD stands for Digital Versatile Disc. It's bigger and faster than CD and
can hold cinema-like video, better-than-CD audio, and computer data. DVD
invaded home entertainment, computers, and business information with a
single digital format sometimes replacing audio CD, videotape, laserdisc,
CD-ROM, and video game cartridges.
The best known form of DVD is DVD-Video. It is usually called simply
DVD and is the one we play movies from in our standalone DVD players. DVD-Video
and DVD-Audio are application formats to support video and audio.
DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM are physical formats and
aren't compatible with each other. The usual file system for DVD-ROM is
(different from ISO-9660).
2. About DVD features
In ladDV.com , we call DVD-Video simply DVD like everyone, here is
the feature table :
||DVD-Video (or simply DVD)
variable up to 9.8 Mbps
720x480 interlaced, 29.97Hz
720x576 interlaced, 25Hz
up to 9 angles selected during playback
|MPEG, PCM, DTS/AC-3
16, 20 or 24 bits at 48 or 96 KHz
typical of 768 Kbps for AC-3
up to 8 tracks
up to 8 channels per track
Dolby Digital (AC-3) with 5.1, DTS
||up to 32 subtitles/karaoke tracks
Single-layer, single-sided DVD (DVD-5) can hold a movie up to 135 minutes
long, or 4.7GB ; dual-layer, single-sided DVD (DVD-9) has 8.5GB capacity
; single-layer, dual-sided DVD (DVD10) can store 9.5GB ; dual-layer, dual-sided
DVD (DVD18) can store 17GB, or 8 hours of film:
Regional code is a mechanism whereby movie studios can control
the release of home video titles in different parts of the world. To support
this industry standard, the DVD specification provides codes used to prevent
playback of discs in various geographical regions. Each player is given
a code for the region in which it's sold. A player coded for one region
will not play discs that are not allowed in that region. Regional codes
are optional. Discs can be made with multiple codes or no code-discs without
codes will play on all players, regardless of country. Regional codes also
apply to DVD-ROM systems, but only apply to DVD-Video discs, which also
play back on CD-ROM drives. There are 6 regions with codes:
||Canada, U.S. and the U.S. Territories
||Japan, Europe, South Africa and the Middle East
||Southeast Asia, East Asia (including Hong Kong)
||Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central
America, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean
||former Soviet Union, Indian subcontinent, Africa,
North Korea and Mongolia
There are two widely used copy protection technologies currently available
for DVD-Video. The first is Macrovision, a software technology which
prevents analog duplication of DVD to videotape. Macrovision adds a rapidly
modulated colorburst signal along with pulses in the vertical blanking
signal. An unauthorized copy of a DVD protected with Macrovision will playback
showing stripes of color, distortion, rolling, black & white picture
and dark/light cycling. The use of Macrovision protection is optional and
licensing fees for use of the technology apply on a per disc basis.
The second is Contents Scramble System (CSS). CSS encryption
prevents digital copying of files directly from disc. DVD-Video players
have a decryption capability that decodes the data before display. In computers,
many DVD-ROM drives and MPEG2 video decoding boards have extra hardware
to deal with movie copy protection. Since 1999, all DVD-ROM drives are
required to support regional coding in conjunction with CSS.
About the physical formats:
||4.7 to 17GB
||4.7 to 17GB
||2.6 and 5.2GB
||HP, Philips, Sony
Please note that even when we say (Yes) from vendor documentation, it
sounds that it's too optimistic and only 50% of DVD players will read Recordable
or ReWritable DVD if we consider the compatibility
list published by Apple (fitted with Pioneer DVD-R drives).
DVD+RW sounds to be the most promising format to encompass the
Optical Disc Market. The first drives are expected by fall of 2001 (from
HP, Philips, Ricoh, Sony, Thales, Yamaha, Mitsubishi). Here's what DVD+RW
Alliance claims: "DVD+RW drives intended for personal computing use
will be designed to work with a personal computer and will be controlled
by software running under popular operating systems like Windows and Macintosh.
Consumer Electronics focused DVD+RW products are designed for use similar
to the current video cassette recorder. The DVD+RW products will provide
recording and play back functionality for video programs from a variety
of different sources for enjoyment on television or home theater systems.
In addition, they will play the tens of thousands of DVD videos currently
3. What is MiniDVD ?
MiniDVD (also called cDVD) is a DVD-Video content (VIDEO_TS,
IFO and VOB files) burned onto a CD-R or CD-RW. MiniDVD helps one create
one's own homemade DVD, which will play movies with DVD quality on a PC.
Unfortunately standalone DVD players don't read MiniDVD.
Where can we play MiniDVD:
|Standalone DVD player
|PC with DVD-ROM drive
|PC with CD-ROM drive
4. DVD ripping and DVD/MiniDVD authoring
Because movies are scrambled to prevent them to be illegally copied, to
extract a clip from a DVD-Video you have to de-scramble the VOB
file (DeCSS). This process is performed by ripping software during transfer
of the VOB file to the hard drive. After being ripped, you can convert
the VOB file to the AVI format. This process is called DVD ripping.
At this stage we have to remind you that copying right-protected movies
from DVD is illegal and done at your own risk.
DVD authoring is the process of transforming MPEG-2 movies into
VOB files, creating interactive menus, chapter entries, arranging all in
a DVD content compliant (VIDEO_TS folder, etc) and then burning them onto
a DVD-R, DVD-RW or DVD+RW media.
MiniDVD authoring is exactly the same as DVD authoring process
but burned onto a CD-R or CD-RW.
Philips DVD950/955/956 Instructions for use manual
Forums dedicated to DVD only:
Author: Jim & Stan (April 8, 2001)
DVD-R/RW on labDV
DVDplusRW moderated by Jorg Kennis