Origins of ordinary things: The DVD

In the early 1990s, if someone wanted to watch a movie, they would have to pay a fee to borrow a VHS tape from a movie store. The VHS tape was the size of a brick, only lighter. It had space for only one movie and was susceptible to destruction.

Then, several motion picture and electronic companies such as Sony, Philips, Toshiba and Time Warner which had made various formats of the Digital Video Disk came together and agreed on one format for the DVD. It was released in 1995. This is according to Let Us Find Out, an information website.

This is to say that the invention of the DVD cannot be attributed to a single person. However, James T. Russell an American inventor is worth mentioning. In 1965, according to Quora, a knowledge sharing platform, Russell made the overall concept of optical digital recording and playback.

Whether his concept contributed to the invention of DVD remains debatable. What remains true is that his prototypes were ahead of his time.

The acronym DVD originally stood for Digital Video Disk but some member companies of the DVD forum felt that it was limiting since the disk has other non-video applications. They suggested Digital Versatile Disk as an alternative name. To this day, the companies have never agreed on the full name. It remains simply: the DVD.

The name of the product has had no bearing on its popularity since it was released.

In November, 1996, Japanese electronics company Toshiba launched Toshiba SD-3000, the first DVD player. By the following year, the DVD players were being sold in other continents. According to Did You Know, an information website, as the existence of DVD players in the market grew, the demand for VHS tapes gradually went down.

According to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, people were impressed by the fact that on top of being smaller than the VHS tape, the DVD had bigger storage space, superior moving pictures and sound. It was also more durable and more interactive.

Among low income families, especially in developing countries, DVDs are still in great use. The affluent families pay subscription fees for television stations and they gain access to various forms of visual entertainment. They can watch movies, series, music videos, comedy shows and news just by change from one channel to another.

It’s possible that just like the VHS tape, DVDs will one day get completely phased out. More and more digital options for streaming different forms of entertainment are being developed each day. However, it will be a while before that type of technology sweeps the entire globe.