DVD player

DVD player

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A DVD player is a device that plays discs produced under both the DVD-Video
DVD-Video
DVD-Video is a consumer video format used to store digital video on DVD discs, and is currently the dominant consumer video format in Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia. Discs using the DVD-Video specification require a DVD drive and a MPEG-2 decoder...

 and DVD-Audio
DVD-Audio
DVD-Audio is a digital format for delivering high-fidelity audio content on a DVD. DVD-Audio is not intended to be a video delivery format and is not the same as video DVDs containing concert films or music videos....

 technical standards, two different and incompatible standards. These devices were invented in 1997 and continue to thrive. However, with the release of high definition media, sales and popularity are expected to drop in the upcoming years.

Technical details



A DVD player has to complete these tasks:
  • Read a DVD
    DVD
    A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

     disc in ISO – UDF
    Universal Disk Format
    Universal Disk Format is an implementation of the specification known as ISO/IEC 13346 and ECMA-167 and is an open vendor-neutral file system for computer data storage for a broad range of media. In practice, it has been most widely used for DVDs and newer optical disc formats, supplanting ISO 9660...

     version 1.02 format
  • optionally decrypt the data with either CSS and/or Macrovision
    Macrovision
    Rovi Corporation is a globally operating, US-based company that provides guidance technology, entertainment data, copy protection, industry standard networking and media management technology for digital entertainment devices and services...

  • read and obey the DVD's Regional lockout
    Regional lockout
    Regional lockout is the programming practice, code, chip, or physical barrier used to prevent the playing of media designed for a device from the country where it is marketed on the version of the same device marketed in another country.-Video games:...

     codes and display a warning if the player is not authorised to play the DVD
  • decode the MPEG-2
    MPEG-2
    MPEG-2 is a standard for "the generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information". It describes a combination of lossy video compression and lossy audio data compression methods which permit storage and transmission of movies using currently available storage media and transmission...

     video stream with a maximum of 10 Mbit/s (peak) or 8 Mbit/s (continuous)
  • decode sound in MP2, PCM or AC-3
    AC-3
    AC-3 can be:* AC-3 algorithm , one of a series of algorithms used for the solution of constraint satisfaction problems* Comte AC-3, a 1920s Swiss bomber/transport aircraft.* Dolby AC-3, a Dolby Digital, audio codec...

     format and output (with optional AC-3 to stereo downmixing) on stereo connector, optical or electric digital connector
  • output a video signal, either an analog one (in NTSC
    NTSC
    NTSC, named for the National Television System Committee, is the analog television system that is used in most of North America, most of South America , Burma, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, the Philippines, and some Pacific island nations and territories .Most countries using the NTSC standard, as...

    , PAL
    PAL
    PAL, short for Phase Alternating Line, is an analogue television colour encoding system used in broadcast television systems in many countries. Other common analogue television systems are NTSC and SECAM. This page primarily discusses the PAL colour encoding system...

     or SECAM
    SECAM
    SECAM, also written SÉCAM , is an analog color television system first used in France....

     format) on the composite
    Composite video
    Composite video is the format of an analog television signal before it is combined with a sound signal and modulated onto an RF carrier. In contrast to component video it contains all required video information, including colors in a single line-level signal...

    , S-Video
    S-Video
    Separate Video, more commonly known as S-Video and Y/C, is often referred to by JVC as both an S-VHS connector and as Super Video. It is an analog video transmission scheme, in which video information is encoded on two channels: luma and chroma...

    , SCART
    SCART
    SCART is a French-originated standard and associated 21-pin connector for connecting audio-visual equipment together...

    , or component video
    Component video
    Component video is a video signal that has been split into two or more component channels. In popular use, it refers to a type of component analog video information that is transmitted or stored as three separate signals...

     connectors, or a digital one on the DVI
    Digital Visual Interface
    The Digital Visual Interface is a video interface standard covering the transmission of video between a source device and a display device. The DVI standard has achieved widespread acceptance in the PC industry, both in desktop PCs and monitors...

     or HDMI
    High-Definition Multimedia Interface
    HDMI is a compact audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed digital data. It is a digital alternative to consumer analog standards, such as radio frequency coaxial cable, composite video, S-Video, SCART, component video, D-Terminal, or VGA...

     connectors.

CD/DVD/AVI/MP4 playback


Additionally, most DVD players allow users to play audio CD
Compact Disc
The Compact Disc is an optical disc used to store digital data. It was originally developed to store and playback sound recordings exclusively, but later expanded to encompass data storage , write-once audio and data storage , rewritable media , Video Compact Discs , Super Video Compact Discs ,...

s (CDDA, MP3
MP3
MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression...

, etc.) and Video CD
Video CD
Before the advent of DVD and Blu-ray, the Video CD became the first format for distributing films on standard 120 mm optical discs. The format is a standard digital format for storing video on a Compact Disc...

s (VCD
VCD
VCD is a three-letter abbreviation with multiple meanings, as described below:* VCD Athletic, semi-professional football team* Video CD* Voice command device* Value change dump * Vocal cord dysfunction* Visual Communication and Design...

). A few include a home cinema
Home cinema
Home cinema, also commonly called home theater, are home entertainment set-ups that seek to reproduce a movie theater experience and mood with the help of video and audio equipment in a private home....

 decoder (i.e. Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital is the name for audio compression technologies developed by Dolby Laboratories. It was originally called Dolby Stereo Digital until 1994. Except for Dolby TrueHD, the audio compression is lossy. The first use of Dolby Digital was to provide digital sound in cinemas from 35mm film prints...

, Digital Theater Systems (DTS)). Some newer devices also play videos in the MPEG-4 ASP video compression format (such as DivX
DivX
DivX is a brand name of products created by DivX, Inc. , including the DivX Codec which has become popular due to its ability to compress lengthy video segments into small sizes while maintaining relatively high visual quality.There are two DivX codecs; the regular MPEG-4 Part 2 DivX codec and the...

) popular in the Internet.

Portable players



Most hardware DVD players have to be connected to a television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

; there also exist portable devices which have an attached LCD
Liquid crystal display
A liquid crystal display is a flat panel display, electronic visual display, or video display that uses the light modulating properties of liquid crystals . LCs do not emit light directly....

 screen and stereo speakers. Portable DVD players are often used for long road trips and travel.

Output


Due to multiple audio (and video) output devices, a consumer has many outputs on a DVD player, and may become confused with connecting a player to a TV or amplifier. Most systems include an optional digital audio connector for this task, which is then paired with a similar input on the amplifier. The physical connection is typically RCA connector
RCA connector
An RCA connector, sometimes called a phono connector or cinch connector, is a type of electrical connector commonly used to carry audio and video signals...

s or TOSLINK
TOSLINK
TOSLINK is a standardized optical fiber connection system. Also known generically as an "optical audio cable," its most common use is in consumer audio equipment , where it carries a digital audio stream from components such as MiniDisc, CD and DVD players, DAT recorders, computers, and modern...

, which transmits a S/PDIF
S/PDIF
S/PDIF is a digital audio interconnect used in consumer audio equipment over relatively short distances. The signal is transmitted over either a coaxial cable with RCA connectors or a fiber optic cable with TOSLINK connectors. S/PDIF interconnects components in home theaters and other digital high...

 stream carrying either uncompressed digital audio (PCM) or the original compressed audio data (Dolby Digital, DTS, MPEG audio) to be decoded by the audio equipment.

Video


Video is another issue which continues to present most problems. Current players typically output analog
Analog signal
An analog or analogue signal is any continuous signal for which the time varying feature of the signal is a representation of some other time varying quantity, i.e., analogous to another time varying signal. It differs from a digital signal in terms of small fluctuations in the signal which are...

 video only, both composite video
Composite video
Composite video is the format of an analog television signal before it is combined with a sound signal and modulated onto an RF carrier. In contrast to component video it contains all required video information, including colors in a single line-level signal...

 on an RCA jack as well as S-Video
S-Video
Separate Video, more commonly known as S-Video and Y/C, is often referred to by JVC as both an S-VHS connector and as Super Video. It is an analog video transmission scheme, in which video information is encoded on two channels: luma and chroma...

 in the standard connector. However, neither of these connectors was intended to be used for progressive video, so yet another set of connectors has started to appear, to carry a form of component video
Component video
Component video is a video signal that has been split into two or more component channels. In popular use, it refers to a type of component analog video information that is transmitted or stored as three separate signals...

, which keeps the three components of the video, one luminance signal and two color difference signal, as stored on the DVD itself, on fully separate wires (whereas S-Video uses two wires, uniting and degrading the two color signals, and composite uses only one, uniting and degrading all three signals). The connectors are further confused by using a number of different physical connectors on different player models, RCA or BNC
BNC connector
The BNC connector ' is a common type of RF connector used for coaxial cable. It is used with radio, television, and other radio-frequency electronic equipment, test instruments, video signals, and was once a popular computer network connector. BNC connectors are made to match the characteristic...

, as well as using VGA
VGA connector
A Video Graphics Array connector is a three-row 15-pin DE-15 connector. The 15-pin VGA connector is found on many video cards, computer monitors, and some high definition television sets...

 cables in a non-standard way (VGA is normally analog RGB
RGB color model
The RGB color model is an additive color model in which red, green, and blue light is added together in various ways to reproduce a broad array of colors...

—a different, incompatible form of component video). Even worse, there are often two sets of component outputs, one carrying interlaced video, and the other progressive, or an interlaced/progressive switch (either a physical switch or a menu setting).

In Europe (but not most other PAL areas), SCART
SCART
SCART is a French-originated standard and associated 21-pin connector for connecting audio-visual equipment together...

 connectors are typically used, which can carry composite and analog RGB interlaced video signals (RGB can be progressive, but not all DVD players and displays support this mode) or Y/C (S-Video
S-Video
Separate Video, more commonly known as S-Video and Y/C, is often referred to by JVC as both an S-VHS connector and as Super Video. It is an analog video transmission scheme, in which video information is encoded on two channels: luma and chroma...

), as well as analog two-channel sound and automatic 4:3 or 16:9 (widescreen) switching on a single convenient multi-wire cable. The analog RGB component signal offers video quality which is superior to S-Video and identical to YPbPr
YPbPr
' is a color space used in video electronics, in particular in reference to component video cables. is the analog version of the YCBCR color space; the two are numerically equivalent, but YPBPR is designed for use in analog systems whereas YCBCR is intended for digital video. cables are also...

 component video. However, analog RGB and S-Video signals can not be carried simultaneously, due to each using the same pins for different uses, and displays often must be manually configured as to the input signal, since no switching mode exists for S-Video. (A switching mode does exist to indicate whether composite or RGB is being used.) Some DVD players and set-top boxes offer YPbPr component video signals over the wires in the SCART connector intended for RGB, though this violates the official specification and manual configuration is again necessary. (Hypothetically, unlike RGB component, YPbPr component signals and S-Video Y/C signals could both be sent over the wire simultaneously, since they share the luminance (Y) component.)

HDMI
High-Definition Multimedia Interface
HDMI is a compact audio/video interface for transmitting uncompressed digital data. It is a digital alternative to consumer analog standards, such as radio frequency coaxial cable, composite video, S-Video, SCART, component video, D-Terminal, or VGA...

 is a new digital connection for carrying high-definition video, similar to DVI
Digital Visual Interface
The Digital Visual Interface is a video interface standard covering the transmission of video between a source device and a display device. The DVI standard has achieved widespread acceptance in the PC industry, both in desktop PCs and monitors...

. Along with video, HDMI also supports up to eight-channel digital audio. DVD players with connectors for high-definition video can upconvert the source to formats used for higher definition video (e.g., 720p
720p
720p is the shorthand name for 1280x720, a category of High-definition television video modes having a resolution of 1080 or 720p and a progressive scan...

, 1080i
1080i
1080i is the shorthand name for a high-definition television mode. The i means interlaced video; 1080i differs from 1080p, in which the p stands for progressive scan. The term 1080i assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, implying a frame size of 1920×1080 pixels...

, 1080p
1080p
1080p is the shorthand identification for a set of HDTV high-definition video modes that are characterized by 1080 horizontal lines of resolution and progressive scan, meaning the image is not interlaced as is the case with the 1080i display standard....

, etc.), before outputting the signal. By no means, however, will the resulting signal be high-definition video; that is, aside from optional deinterlacing
Deinterlacing
Deinterlacing is the process of converting interlaced video, such as common analog television signals or 1080i format HDTV signals, into a non-interlaced form....

, upconverting generally consists of merely scaling the video's dimensions to match that of higher resolution formats, foregoing the scaling that would normally occur in the output device.

Wireless


Wireless connections (bluetooth
Bluetooth
Bluetooth is a proprietary open wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances from fixed and mobile devices, creating personal area networks with high levels of security...

 and/or wifi
WIFI
WIFI is a radio station broadcasting a brokered format. Licensed to Florence, New Jersey, USA, the station is currently operated by Florence Broadcasting Partners, LLC.This station was previously owned by Real Life Broadcasting...

) are useful to manage (play/record) wirelessly content from or to other devices (i.e. cell phones).

Prices


, retail prices for such a device, depending on its optional features (such as digital sound or video output), start between 30 and 80 USD/Euro
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

. They are usually cheaper than VCRs.

Manufacture


the largest producer of DVD players is China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

; in 2002 they produced 30 million players, more than 70% of the world output. These producers have to pay US$15–$20 per player in license fees, to the patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

 holders of the DVD technology (Sony
Sony
, commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

, Philips
Philips
Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. , more commonly known as Philips, is a multinational Dutch electronics company....

, Toshiba
Toshiba
is a multinational electronics and electrical equipment corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of electrical products, spanning information & communications equipment and systems, Internet-based solutions and services, electronic components and...

 and Time Warner
Time Warner
Time Warner is one of the world's largest media companies, headquartered in the Time Warner Center in New York City. Formerly two separate companies, Warner Communications, Inc...

) as well as for MPEG-2
MPEG-2
MPEG-2 is a standard for "the generic coding of moving pictures and associated audio information". It describes a combination of lossy video compression and lossy audio data compression methods which permit storage and transmission of movies using currently available storage media and transmission...

 licenses. To avoid these fees, China has developed the Enhanced Versatile Disc
Enhanced Versatile Disc
The Enhanced Versatile Disc is an optical medium-based digital audio/video format, developed to provide a means for playing HDTV content using existing optical media. It was announced on November 18, 2003, by the People's Republic of China's Xinhua News Agency as a response to the popular...

 standard as an intended successor of DVD; , EVD players were only being sold in China.
It has been said in Sudan that it has the highest percentage of DVD players.

Software


Software DVD players are programs that allow users to view DVD videos on a computer
Computer
A computer is a programmable machine designed to sequentially and automatically carry out a sequence of arithmetic or logical operations. The particular sequence of operations can be changed readily, allowing the computer to solve more than one kind of problem...

 with a DVD-ROM
DVD
A DVD is an optical disc storage media format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions....

 drive. Some examples are the VLC media player
VLC media player
VLC media player is a free and open source media player and multimedia framework written by the VideoLAN project.VLC is a portable multimedia player, encoder, and streamer supporting many audio and video codecs and file formats as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It is able to...

 and MPlayer
MPlayer
MPlayer is a free and open source media player. The program is available for all major operating systems, including Linux and other Unix-like systems, Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Versions for OS/2, Syllable, AmigaOS and MorphOS are also available. The Windows version works, with some minor...

 (both free software
Free software
Free software, software libre or libre software is software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction, and which can be copied and redistributed in modified or unmodified form either without restriction, or with restrictions that only ensure that further recipients can also do...

), as well as WinDVD
WinDVD
WinDVD is a commercial video player and music player software for Microsoft Windows. It enables the viewing of DVD-Video movies on the user's PC. DVD-Video backups stored on hard disk can also be played...

, TotalMedia Theatre, PowerDVD
PowerDVD
CyberLink PowerDVD is a media player for Microsoft Windows. Several editions of the software are sold including "Ultra", "Deluxe" and "Standard". All editions support the viewing of DVD and the Ultra edition supports Blu-ray playback, including the playback of Blu-ray 3D content.The product is...

, Fluendo DVD Player and DVD Player
DVD Player (software)
DVD Player is the default DVD player in Mac OS X. It supports all the standard DVD features such as multiple audio, video & subtitle tracks as well as Dolby audio, DVD@ccess URLs and closed captions. In some instances, users can choose which VOB file to open. It is found in /Applications/DVD...

.

Successors


There are successors to the DVD player: the HD DVD
HD DVD
HD DVD is a discontinued high-density optical disc format for storing data and high-definition video.Supported principally by Toshiba, HD DVD was envisioned to be the successor to the standard DVD format...

 player and the Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc
Blu-ray Disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD format. The plastic disc is 120 mm in diameter and 1.2 mm thick, the same size as DVDs and CDs. Blu-ray Discs contain 25 GB per layer, with dual layer discs being the norm for feature-length video discs...

 player, utilizing two incompatible technologies that reproduce higher quality video images than standard DVD. On February 19, 2008, Toshiba, creator of the former technology announced it would cease production on all HD DVD products leaving Blu-ray as the high definition successor to DVD players. Also, upscaling and up-converting DVD units are available that connect to televisions via a high definition interface and increase the overall picture quality.

See also


  • CD
    Compact Disc
    The Compact Disc is an optical disc used to store digital data. It was originally developed to store and playback sound recordings exclusively, but later expanded to encompass data storage , write-once audio and data storage , rewritable media , Video Compact Discs , Super Video Compact Discs ,...

  • CD-ROM
    CD-ROM
    A CD-ROM is a pre-pressed compact disc that contains data accessible to, but not writable by, a computer for data storage and music playback. The 1985 “Yellow Book” standard developed by Sony and Philips adapted the format to hold any form of binary data....

  • Digital video recorder
    Digital video recorder
    A digital video recorder , sometimes referred to by the merchandising term personal video recorder , is a consumer electronics device or application software that records video in a digital format to a disk drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card or other local or networked mass storage device...

  • DVD Audio
  • HD media player
    HD media player
    HD media player or HDD media player is a generic term used for a category of consumer product that combines a hard drive enclosure with hardware and software for playing audio, video and photos through a home entertainment system...

  • Recorder
    Recorder
    The recorder is a woodwind musical instrument of the family known as fipple flutes or internal duct flutes—whistle-like instruments which include the tin whistle. The recorder is end-blown and the mouth of the instrument is constricted by a wooden plug, known as a block or fipple...

  • VCR
  • Video scaler
    Video scaler
    A video scaler is a device for converting video signals from one size or resolution to another: usually "upscaling" or "upconverting" a video signal from a low resolution to one of higher resolution A video scaler is a device for converting video signals from one size or resolution to another:...

  • Comparison of portable media players
    Comparison of portable media players
    The following comparison of portable media players compares general and technical information for notable digital playback devices.- General :- Technical specifications :- Syncing and transfer :- Wifi Connectivity :- Audio formats :...