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Authoring Conventions

R
DVD+R means that information can be recorded on the disc only once. It is
similar to the disc type -R, however both the disc types have different
individual tracking systems, speed controls and they manage defects
differently. A single layered disc has the memory space of about 4.7GB and
the double layered disc has the memory space of about 8.5GB. DVD+Rs
have a protective layer on the surface known as a dummy layer and there
is a layer underneath this that has tiny pits that encodes the binary data.
There is a final transparent adhesive layer. DVD-R uses an ADIP disc system. ADIP stands for
‘Address In Progress’ and this system control how the laser is guided and the speed that the
laser works at in the drive. The disc type DVD+R means that information can be put on to
the disc in sessions, so the user can use the disc as a backup for information. The user can
add information over time and they can add to sessions or they can create a new session.

+RW
DVD+RW stands for ‘Digital Versatile Disc Rewritable’ and this means that
information can be added to the disc and it can also be removed/erased
from the disc. This disc type can come as a single layered disc or as a double
layered disc. The single layered disc has about 4.7GB of storage space. On
this disc type, the recording layer is a metal alloy that has two states
(crystalline and amorphous) that the layer changes between them.
DVD+RWs have layers that are insulted so that heat is drawn away from the
recording layer. A laser imprints information in the form of binary onto the
disc in the pits and lands (microscopic indentations). The DVD+RW disc type
can use the lossless linking system to encoder information on the disc without link loss.
-R
DVD-R stands for ‘Digital Versatile Disc Recordable’ and it means that the
disc can be recorded on. However, the disc can only be ‘burnt’ on to only
once and the information that is ‘burnt’ on to the disc cannot be removed
or erased either. It is the most commonly used type of disc because most,
if not all, DVD players can accept and read this disc format. The discs are
constructed by polycarbonate layers being bonded together. The way in
which the information is recorded on to the disc is more accurate than
other optical storage types. The drive’s laser can reach the recording layer
of the disc with about half the laser wavelength of a CD, this is because of
the packed in polycarbonate layers. They also have a higher storage
capacity compared to CDs. This is because in the spiral groove that runs around the disc,
there are finer track pitches and reduced pit sizes. A single layered disc has about 4.7GB of
storage space and the double layered disc has about 8.5GB of storage space. This disc type
does not let the user add information in sessions, all the information must be put on in one
session even if there is storage space left on the disc.

-RW
DVD-RW stands for ‘Digital Versatile Disc – ReWritable’ and it means that
information can be ‘burnt’ onto the disc but information can also be
erased from the disc. This disc type is useful for information that needs
to be backed up frequently. DVD-RWs can come as a single layered disc
or as double layered disc. DVD-RWs have a recording layer that has been
alloyed and this layer alternates between a crystalline state and a
nebulous state to allow information to be added and erased. Between
the spiralled tracks and grooves there are microscopic pits and lands in
an area of the disc called ‘Land Pre-Pits’ (LLP). This disc type has an
electric insulation layer near the recording layer to remove heat away
from the recording layer. There is a protective layer on the surface of the disc that is made
from polycarbonate and a metallic top coat that are bonded together to protect the
recording layers from damage. This is known as a dummy layer. Systems are in place to
encrypt sections of the disc so that certain information cannot be unlocked unless it is in
playback mode. This is to deter illegal copying and playing of protected material (such as
music and movies).

Dual Layer
Duals layer discs are created by two individual recording layers
being out together on one disc. This creates more storage space
than normal single layered discs. Dual layer discs are also known as
DVD-9 and the usually have about 8.5GB of storage space. Two
DVD-5 types are combined. There is a thin transparent spacer and
a thin reflector between the two layers. On the first layer, a laser
can read the information and ‘burn’ on information in the same
way that a single layered disc would. However, for information to
be ‘burned’ on or read on the second layer, the laser must focus a
fraction of a millimetre past the first recording layer. Dual layer
discs can also have information added to them via the process of
DVD duplication or the process of DVD replication. In order to ‘burn’ information on to both
layers of the disc, you must have dual layer enabled DVD burner. But once the information is
on the disc it can usually be read most, if not all, DVD players. This type of disc is most
commonly used for the production and distribution of commercial DVD movies. However,
dual layer discs are not as commonly used for other purposes because the usual 4.7GB
single layered disc usually has enough space. In addition, this disc type is also more
expensive than a single layered disc.
Writing Speed
Writing speed is the time and the speed it takes to
record/save information onto a disc. The writing
speed of most discs is 52X. However, a lot of DVD
disc now support a writing speed of 16X and higher.
But the writing speed can depend on the type of
information that is being transferred onto the disc.
If the writing speed is very fast then the disc’s
reflectiveness (its optical quality) may be lower.
However, if the reflectivity is too low then the accuracy of the disc’s information will not be
good. For example, some of the information may have been missed out and if there is any
audio on the disc then it may have clicking noises over it. This could be avoided by ‘burning’
the information a half or full step slower than the maximum speed rate of that disc.

Audio
DVD audio is the digital format for audio content on DVDs. DVD audio can have a better
sound quality than video DVDs that have music videos. However, sometimes this type of
audio disc will not support moving images such as music videos.
However, the audio on discs can be ‘DTS’ (‘Digital Theatre
Systems’). DTS specialises in a series of multichannel
technologies, this is surround sound. So, the sound quality on
the disc is fairly high. DTS uses 5.1 channel surround sound.
Some audio is in the standard format of ‘Compact Disc Digital Audio’ (CDDA).
Sound is played because the laser reads the information and converts it into
sound. This type of CD can hold up to about 70 to 80 minutes’ worth of audio.
The disc consists of many different layers that are made from different
materials, for example, a polycarbonate plastic forms the base layer which then
holds the information. The information layer has millions of pits (indentations) that are
microscopic. These pits have been encoded with binary data which helps to maintain the
speed of the disc and the sound that has been recorded on to the disc. So that the original
sound can be heard, the binary data has to go through a digital-to-analogue converter at a
16-bit rate. The sound is then created by using a low-pass filter to reconstruct the original
wave form.

Video
DVD video if a format that allows videos to be digitally stored
on a disc. DVD stands for ‘Digital Versatile Disc’, but it can
sometimes be referred to as ‘Digital Video Disc’. Before a
video is put on to a disc it needs to be compressed and when
it is finally put onto a disc it needs to be encoded with the
format of MPEG-2. The DVD player then needs to have a
MPEG-2 decoder so that the video can be uncompressed as
the user watches it. This compression format is very widely accepted, so most DVD players
can accept DVD videos with this compression format. The quality of the video that is put on
to the DVD often depends on the speed at which the information was written on to the disc.

Menus
DVD menus consist of buttons that allow the user to
navigate and access information that has been put
on the DVD. Most DVD menus are very different and
they vary in the features and styles that are used.
But a common feature in a lot of DVD menus is the
use of symbols as the buttons. The use of this style is
found on a lot of DVD menus. Usually there is text
under these buttons to tell the user what the
symbol means.
The buttons that are usually on DVD menu pages are for starting the movie, for choosing a
scene (or episode), and for changing the spoken language or the subtitles. Some time there
is an extra button on the DVD menu for special features or extras. When a user clicks on a
button, they will usually be taken to a sub-contents page (unless they are starting the
movie). This page will have a list of options that the user can choose from.
Buttons often have rollovers on them so that the user knows that it is a
button and also that they know what they are about to click on. The
rollover can be one that is a colour change or it could be one that causes
a symbol to appear next to the button.
DVD menus have a background that can be either a still
image or a moving image. The background of the DVD
menu is usually related the information that is on the DVD. When a still image is used, it is
usually either the same image that is on the DVD case, a screen shot from the film, or it is a
picture of the main character/s. When a moving image is used, it is usually several small
clips from the film or a small animation.