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A Compact Disc is capable of storing digital information. The most common types of compact discs are those used by the music industry to store digital recordings and CD-ROMs used to store computer data.

Compact Disc-Recordable, once a CD-R records data that data becomes permanent on the disc. A user can still add data to it in 'mulitple-sessions' up until the disc is finalised or full. Some older CD-ROM drives may have difficulty reading multi-session discs, especially if the disc is not closed. Also, if an audio CD-R is created it may have trouble playing in older CD players, stereos and car systems.

CD-ReWritable, a re-recordable CD that can have data on the disc erased and recorded over numerous times without damaging the medium.

Digital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc, a type of optical disc technology similar to the CD-ROM. A DVD holds a minimum of 4.7GB of data, enough for a full-length movie. DVDs are commonly used as a medium for digital representation of movies and other multimedia presentations that combine sound with graphics.
The DVD specification supports discs with capacities from 4.7GB to 17GB and access rates of 600 KBps to 1.3 MBps. One of the best features of DVD drives is that they are backward-compatible with CD-ROMs, meaning they can play old CD-ROMs, video CDs, as well as new DVD-ROMs. Newer DVD players can also read CD-R disks.

Digital Versatile Disc-Read Only Memory, is the format of DVD disc used for storing information for PC computers.

Digital Versatile Disc-Audio, is an audio format utilising the DVD disc. A DVD-A disc requires a special player to be read, although DVD-A players can usually play DVD Video discs as well. DVD-A offers a great audio range over standard CDs.

DVD-ReWritable, a re-recordable DVD format similar to CD-R/W. The data on a DVD-R/W disc can be erased and recorded over numerous times without damaging the medium. DVD-R, DVD-R/W and DVD-RAM are supported by Panasonic, Toshiba, Apple Computer, Hitachi, NEC, Pioneer, Samsung and Sharp. These formats are also supported by the DVD Forum.

DVD+Recordable, a recordable DVD format similar to DVD-R. A DVD+R can only record data once and then the data becomes permanent on the disc. The disc can not be recorded onto a second time. DVD+R and DVD+R/W formats are supported by Philips, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Ricoh, Yamaha and others.

DVD+ReWritable, a re-recordable DVD format similar to CD-R/W. The data on a DVD+R/W disc can be erased and recorded over numerous times without damaging the medium. DVD+R/W and DVD+R formats are supported by Philips, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Ricoh, Yamaha and others.

A DVD format wherein DVD-RAM discs can be recorded and erased repeatedly but are only compatible with devices manufactured by the companies that support the DVD-RAM format. DVD-RAM discs are typically housed in cartridges. DVD-R, DVD-R/W and DVD-RAM are supported by Panasonic, Toshiba, Apple Computer, Hitachi, NEC, Pioneer, Samsung and Sharp. These formats are also supported by the DVD Forum.

DVD Multi-Layer Storage:
To increase the storage capacity even more, a DVD can have up to four layers, two on each side. The laser that reads the disc can actually focus on the second layer through the first layer. Here is a list of the capacities of different forms of DVDs:
DVD5 - Single-sided/single-layer 4.38 GB (2 hours video)
DVD9 - Single-sided/double-layer 7.95 GB (4 hours video)
DVD10 - Double-sided/single-layer 8.75 GB (4.5 hours video)
DVD18 - Double-sided/double-layer 15.9 GB (over 8 hours video)
You may be wondering why the capacity of a DVD doesn't double when you add a whole second layer to the disc. This is because when a disc is made with two layers, the pits have to be a little longer, on both layers, than when a single layer is used. This helps to avoid interference between the layers, which would cause errors when the disc is played.

PAL stands for Phase Alteration Line, and is the television standard used by a number of countries, including the UK and Australia. The horizontal resolution of PAL is higher than NTSC at 625, and the refresh rate is 25 fps. Because movies are filmed at 24 fps, the conversion to PAL involves speeding the film up by 4%.

NTSC stands for National Television Standards Committee, and is the American and Japanese picture standard. NTSC has a vertical picture resolution of 535 lines, and a refresh rate of 30 fps. Because a movie is recorded at 24 fps, a conversion method called 3:2 pulldown is used which repeats every 5th frame.

Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Black, and pronounced as separate letters. CMYK is a colour mode (using subtractive colour) in which all colours are described as a mixture of these four process colours. CMYK is the standard colour model used in screen/offset printing for full-colour documents/CDs/DVDs. Because such printing uses inks of these four basic colours, it is often called four-colour printing.
In contrast, display devices generally use a different colour model called RGB. One of the most difficult aspects of design with colour is colour matching - properly converting the RGB colours into CMYK colours so that what gets printed looks the close to what appears on the monitor.

Red-Green-Blue, and pronounced as separate letters. RGB is a colour mode (using additive colour) in which all colours are described as a mixture of these three colours. Televisions, for example, which use composite video signals, in which all the colours are mixed together. All colour computer monitors are RGB monitors.
An RGB monitor consists of a vacuum tube with three electron guns -- one each for red, green, and blue -- at one end and the screen at the other end. The three electron guns fire electrons at the screen, which contains a phosphorous coating. When the phosphors are excited by the electron beams, they glow. Depending on which beam excites them, they glow either red, green, or blue. Ideally, the three beams should converge for each point on the screen so that each pixel is a combination of the three colours.

Additive Colour:
Additive Color is the method of creating colour by mixing various proportions of two or three distinct stimulus colors of light. These primary colors are commonly red, green, and blue, however there may be any wavelengths to stimulate distinct receptors on the retina of the eye.
The distinguishing features of additive colour are that it deals with the colour effects of light rather than with pigments, dyes, or filters, and that the stimuli come from separate monochromatic sources. The most common example of additive color synthesis is the color television screen, (or RGB monitor), which is a mosaic of red, green, and blue phosphor dots; at normal viewing distances the eye does not distinguish the dots, but blends or adds their stimulus effects to obtain a composite color effect.

Colour Matching:
The process of assuring that a colour on one medium remains the same when converted to another medium. This is extremely difficult because different media use different colour modes. colour monitors, for example, use the RGB mode, whereas process printing uses the CMYK mode. As colour desktop publishing matures, colour matching is gaining more and more attention.

A type of printer that works by spraying ionized ink. Magnetized plates in the ink's path direct the ink onto the surface in the desired shapes. Ink-jet printers are capable of producing high quality print approaching that produced by laser printers. Our ink-jet printer provides a resolution of 300 dots per inch. A drawback of ink-jet printers is that they require a special water-based ink that is prone to smudging if wet.
Colour ink-jet printers provide an inexpensive way to print full-colour documents, CDs or DVDs.

Screen Print:
The printing method used to commercially print CDs and DVDs. Screen Printing requires film artwork from which printing screens are produced and is available from 1 colour to full colour (CMYK).

Offset Printing:
A printing technique whereby ink is spread on a metal plate with etched images, then transferred to an intermediary surface such as a rubber blanket, and finally applied to paper/disc by pressing against the intermediary surface. Most print shops use offset printing to produce large volumes of high-quality documents. Although the equipment and set-up costs are relatively high, the actual printing process is relatively inexpensive.
Desktop publishing generally involves producing documents on the computer, printing out drafts on a laser printer, and then offset printing the final version. To produce the plates used in offset printing, a print shop requires either film or high-resolution paper output, which the printer can then photograph.

In printing, a continuous tone image, such as a photograph, that has been converted into a black-and-white image. Halftones are created through a process called dithering, in which the density and pattern of black and white dots are varied to simulate different shades of gray.
In conventional printing, halftones are created by photographing an image through a screen. The screen frequency, measured in lines per inch, determines how many dots are used to make each spot of gray. In theory, the higher the screen frequency (the more lines per inch), the more accurate the halftone will be. However, actual screen frequencies are limited by the technology because higher screen frequencies create smaller, more tightly packed dots. If you are printing on a low resolution device, therefore, you may get better results with a lower screen frequency.
Modern desktop publishing systems can create halftones by simulating the conventional photographic process. This is why some programs allow you to specify a screen frequency even when no actual screen is used.

Short for Portable Document Format, a file format developed by Adobe Systems. PDF captures formatting information from a variety of desktop publishing applications, making it possible to send formatted documents and have them appear on the recipient's monitor or printer as they were intended. To view a file in PDF format, you need Adobe Reader, a free application distributed by Adobe Systems.

Hybrid Discs:
A hybrid disc is a burned CD that can be read across multiple operating system platforms such as Windows and Macintosh. Although this will only allow systems to read the data. It will not necessarily allow a MAC to run PC software and vice-versa. Not all recording software programs can create a Hybrid CD.

Blue-ray Discs:
Blu-ray, also known as Blu-ray Disc (BD) is a next-generation optical disc format. The format was developed to enable recording, rewriting and playback of high-definition video (HD), as well as storing large amounts of data. A single-layer Blu-ray Disc can hold 25GB, which can be used to record over 2 hours of HDTV or more than 13 hours of standard-definition TV. There are also dual-layer versions of the discs that can hold 50GB.

While current optical disc technologies such as DVD, DVD±R, DVD±RW, and DVD-RAM use a red laser to read and write data, the new format uses a blue-violet laser instead, hence the name Blu-ray. Despite the different type of lasers used, Blu-ray products can easily be made backwards compatible through the use of a BD/DVD/CD compatible optical pickup and allow playback of CDs and DVDs. The benefit of using a blue-violet laser (405nm) is that it has a shorter wavelength than a red laser (650nm), which makes it possible to focus the laser spot with even greater precision. This allows data to be packed more tightly and stored in less space, so it's possible to fit more data on the disc even though it's the same size as a CD/DVD. This together with the change of numerical aperture to 0.85 is what enables Blu-ray Discs to hold 25GB/50GB.

High Density Digital Versatile Disc is a digital optical media format which is being developed as one standard for high definition DVD. HD DVD is similar to the competing Blu-ray Disc, which also uses the same CD sized (120 mm diameter) optical data storage media and 405 nm wavelength blue laser. HD DVD has a single layer capacity of 15 GB and a dual-layer capacity of 30 GB. Toshiba has announced a triple-layer disc is in development, which would offer 45GB of storage. HD-DVD was abandoned to Blu-ray and is no longer used.

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