DVD-ROM and it’s advantages As software applications have grown ever larger, data storage capacity has become increasingly important to computer users. The CD-ROM drive has enjoyed a long and industrious career over the last four or five years, but the maximum 748Mb of storage capacity is now something of a handicap, with certain suites and applications coming on multiple rather than single CD-ROMs. As a consequence, users are starting to look for alternatives. DVD disks support capacities of either 4.7Gb or 8.5Gb depending on whether they are single or double layered, and DVD drives are fully backward-compatible with other types of media, which means they can also read standard CD, CD-R, CD-RW and audio CD format disks. For these reasons, rather than because of their multimedia capabilities, DVD-ROM drives have started to be installed as standard components in a number of new PCs.
Vendors have, in effect, pre-empted software developers’ intentions to take advantage of the new media, while also retaining the ability to read the many millions of software titles which are currently available on CD-ROM. You don’t need to go out and buy the latest Pentium II specification to get hold of the latest DVD-ROM drives, however, because plenty of suitable upgrade components are available on the direct market. While data capacity is standard, there are a number of differences in other specifications, so prospective purchasers should be aware of how these affect both the performance of the drive and its function. As with CD-ROM drives, a major factor is speed. DVD-ROM drives are able to read data from DVD disks at speeds of either 2.7Mb/sec (double-speed) or 6.9Mb/sec (five-speed), and from CD-ROM s at a maximum of 4.8Mb/sec (32-speed), with 3Mb/sec (20-speed) and 3.6Mb/sec (24-speed) variations also available.
Read speeds should not really concern you, unless you aren’t prepared to wait for bulky software applications to transfer to your hard disk. You might be frustrated at the time it takes for slower drives to run video or sound clips from disk while running films, games or other multimedia applications, although this can be alleviated to a certain extent by a large buffer — typically not less than 256Kb, but preferably 512Kb. There shouldn’t be any difference in the speed of DVD movie playback, regardless of the drive’s read speed, but there can be delays in loading the films before playing them. In my opinion, DVD is a great product but the price now is still high. It is the medium of the future for multimedia development.
Much greater storage capacity enables full length films to be stored on a single disk. Bibliography: 1. www.spa.org/dvd/ 2. dvdtoday.com/ 3. www.tridantpress.com/.