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Technology of the DVD Player Essay

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Ever since Thomas Edison’s introduction of the first commercially viable film projection device in the late 19th century, society has been enamored with the idea of recording and playing back events in the form of “motion pictures,” and the 20th century has marked a rapid progression of said technology. Initially, video playback was expensive and cumbersome, meaning that consumers had to attend movie theaters to enjoy their favorite flicks. The next advance came in the 1970’s with the development of the Video Home System (better known as VHS), which brought about the advent of VCR’s and the ability to view “video tapes” in the comfort of your own home. Subsequently, the explosion of microelectronic and digital technology enabled a new video playback device, first available commercially in 1996. This new technology harnessed the power of digital data storage and cutting edge optical and electronic semiconductor technology to bring users the ultimate home theater experience. What exactly am I referring to? You guessed it, the now ubiquitous DVD.
The acronym “DVD” originally stood for Digital Video Disc, but as this versatile technology found more and more uses in non-video applications, it has come to be known by many as the Digital Versatile Disc. Officially, the members of the DVD Forum (maintained by Toshiba) never came to a decision on the matter, so the name of the format remains “DVD,” and the meaning of the “V” remains ambiguous. But despite the confusion over the acronym, the DVD has taken the world by storm.
As DVD technology has evolved, two factors have made DVD players incredibly appealing and successful: a combination of its simple interface and its incredible power and capability. Digital microprocessor/mi...


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...st, as they say, is history. By 2003, DVD sales and rentals had topped those of VHS, and sales of DVD players had reached over 65 million worldwide, merely a handful of years since their introduction in 1997. Clearly, the DVD standard had cemented its place in society.
Today, the DVD player contains additional features such as digital rights management (DRM) to prevent copying of movies. These safety features also include a content scrambling system (CSS) and a region code, also aimed at preventing piracy. Players must be able to decode both the CSS and the region code, providing extra protection and ensuring that a player sold in a given country does not play discs encoded for a different country. While the technology of the DVD player continues to evolve, its prevalence is undeniable, in 2008, over 85 percent of homes in the United States owned a DVD player.


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