What Is a DVD Reader?


As fast as computer technology evolves, it can sometimes lag behind the home entertainment sector. While DVD drives are a common sight on the desktop, you may not be familiar with the technology.

Defining Compact Discs

  • CDs (Compact Discs) can contain about 74 minutes of music, or about 700MB of data. This is enough space to store an entire encylopedia, with room to spare.

Defining DVDs

  • In contrast, standard DVDs (Digital Versatile Discs) can hold 4.7GB of data, with 1024MB equaling one gigabyte. A DVD can also have multiple layers, allowing up to about 8.5GB of storage.

Compatibility Issues

  • Unfortunately, a CD player or computer's CD-ROM drive cannot read a DVD. A DVD requires a different, more fine-tuned laser than is contained in a CD-only device.

Solving Compatibility

  • If you want to use a DVD in your computer, you will need a DVD drive. You can install one in your computer, or get an "external" drive that connects to your computer with a USB cable (usually included with the drive).


  • A DVD player and computer DVD drive can also read CDs without requiring any additional steps. You will not need to hang onto an old CD drive if you want to keep using CDs in your computer.

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  • Photo Credit "18/365 - Joy and Pain" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: kennymatic (Kenny Louie) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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