DVD Replication Of Video And Film

These days the most popular form of video distribution involves the process of DVD replication. The DVD or Digital Versatile Disc has been around for over 15 years now and has become the biggest selling format for video and film releases. The DVD format has killed off the old VHS video tape with virtually no commercial film releases now being available on VHS.

The replication of video or film firstly relies on the production of an error free DVD-R master. Exabyte masters can still be accepted by some plants but the predominate master format is now DVD-R. The master disc is used to create a special set of files known as a DDP fileset. The DDP fileset is then used to create a DVD glass master using lasers and sputtering. This glass master can then be used to create positive and negatives and a final stamper used to press the discs.

Pressing the DVD discs involves the stampers and a “sandwich” of polycarbonate with a thin layer of nickel or silver. The video information is pressed into one layer of the polycarbonate by a series of pits, each pit relates to a bit of digital data. The layer of silver is to reflect the lasers of DVD players, basically the laser shines through the polycarbonate and reflects off the silver layer and back into the DVD player. Digital data is “read” by the laser and values dependant on the depth of the pit pressed into the disc.

DVD replication produces a very reliable and durable disc, unlike the old VHS format it is very hard to damage a disc or for it to become jammed up inside the player. I’m sure we have all experienced our VHS player chewing up the tape of our favourite film! Fortunately with the advent of DVD this is one issue that has been overcome.

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