While most people simply buy their DVDs at retail, knowing more about what formats are available can open up new entertainment possibilities.
DVDs are coded by region to allow for staggered distribution around the world. America is part of Region 1; USA DVD players are set to that region by default and will only play those discs.
Some players allow you to adjust the region setting, or to simply go region-less, allowing you to play DVDs from other countries.
It's important to note that the United States uses a different television signal standard than much of the rest of the world. Imported PAL DVDs will not play on TV sets using the standard National Television System Committee (NTSC) system in the United States, unless the player can convert it.
Some DVD players can play other formats, including home-burned DVD-R discs, as well as more obscure formats such as Video CD. Some can even play .mp3 music files burned to CD.
DVD vs. Blu-Ray
Standard DVD players use discs that can hold about 4.7 gigabytes of data, or dual-layer discs that can hold 8.5 gigabytes. Blu-Ray discs can hold five times as much data or more, offering better picture and audio quality.
- Photo Credit Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Eric
What Is the NTSC DVD Format?
NTSC is a video format developed by the National Television System Committee. It is a standard that was used for broadcasting over-the-air...
How Do I Know What Format My DVD Burner Has?
Like CDs, DVDs come in multiple formats, such as DVD-R, DVD+R, and DVD+RW. As a result of this variety of formats, many...
How to Format a DVD to Play on All Players
All DVDs have some sort of region designation burned into the disc. This allows the DVD to only play in specific DVD...
How to Convert AVI to DVD Player Format
AVI, or Audio Video Interleave, is a Windows-based video format not commonly used on other systems. The file works just like other...
How to Burn JPEG Pictures to CD or DVD
If you have pictures in the JPEG format that you want to transfer to another computer, burning the images to disc is...
What Files Will Play on DVD Players?
Early DVD players were designed to do just one thing: play DVDs. Over the years, manufacturers have added technology to allow DVD...