- Abbreviation of digital versatile disc or digital video disc, but DVD also serves as the proper name for such discs. A digital optical storage medium, usually 12 centimeters in diameter, whose contained information is encoded in microscopic pits on its metallic surface, which is protected by a plastic layer. Since there is no contact between the pickup and the recorded surface, wear is minimized, and the protective layer helps avoid reading errors due to dust or minor marks on the surface of the disc. To recover the recorded content, a laser is focused on the metallic surface of the disc, and the reflected light is modulated by the code on said disc. DVDs can be used to store any type of digitally encoded information, and are used especially for movies and/or computer multimedia content, and can hold up to 17 GB. DVD players can usually also play optical discs with other formats, such as CDs and Laserdiscs.
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