The Physics
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Angular Speed of a DVD

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Fogg, C. Physical Parameters. DVD Technical Notes. 21 July 1996. "Max revolutions/sec: 25.5 (12 cm disc) Min revolutions/sec: 10.5." 630-1530 rpm
Cochrane, Nathan. Life in the fast lane can be a disc shattering experience. The Age. 9 December 2002. "A DVD's stronger tensile properties mean it can spin at up to 32000 rpm before serious problems arise, compared to 23000 rpm for a CD-ROM." 32,000 rpm
(max. physical limit)
Panasonic 8x/8x/32x CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive. Gateway Support. May 2003. "Rotational Speed: 4600 rpm (8x the speed)." 4600 rpm
DVD Physical Specifications "Rotational speed (1x): 570 rpm to 1600 rpm." 570-1600 rpm
(1X to 8X)

Jointly made by Philips/Sony, for the mmCD format, and Toshiba and Time Warner, for the SD format, DVDs (Digital Video Disc) became a new phenomenon by September 1996. mmCD stands for Multimedia Compact Disc, it s the standard format used to store 4.7 GB of data and 133 minutes of clear video. SD stands for Super Density, which can store 18 GB. After debating which to use, they combined the two, which is why DVDs did not make it to America until 1997. Although similar to a CD (Compact Disc), DVDs are more densely packed with data and spin faster.

DVDs hold seven times more information and spin three times faster than a CD. The rotational speed, or angular velocity, of a DVD goes between 570-1600 rpm (rotations per minute). The closer to the center of the disc, the faster it spins and which is why there is a range for the angular velocity and not one specific number. This means the "read head" passes the same length at all times and radii. Theconstant linear velocity (CLV) is why a DVD spins slower on the outer edge and faster on the inner edge.

Now that DVDs are widely available, they are beginning to conquer over CDs and VHS. Now there are DVD-ROMs, DVD-Audio, DVD-R, and DVD-RAM as well as DVD-Video, which most people only know of. Not to mention, DVD players can also play any type of CD, CD-ROM etc. since it is backward compatible, but not vice versa. Now that DVD 16X (about 9120-25600 rpm) is going to be made, soon there will no longer be a need for anything else.

Clerbie Montilus -- 2003