DVD Forum Goes Into Standby Mode

By · Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

DVD Forum (DVD Consortium)Every major media format from the Compact Disc to the DVD, HD-DVD, and Blu-ray has been backed by an industry association. These associations are made up of dozens or even hundreds of member companies in the hardware, software, content, and distribution industries who work together to develop standards for a specific media format.

Since 1997, the DVD Forum has been working to establish a common format for DVD discs and to promote acceptance of DVD products worldwide. Now, the DVD Forum has announced that it will be entering a period of reduced activity starting April 1st, 2012.

Since it was founded in 1997, the DVD Forum’s efforts to expand the DVD format worldwide cannot be emphasized enough. Without this group of more than 220 companies working togther towards a common goal, DVD might have become a commercial flop like Laserdisc or the short-lived DivX format.

It is easy to forget how remarkable the now-commonplace DVD format once was in a world that was dominated by VHS video cassettes. When Twister was released on DVD in 1997, the floodgates were opened to a new format of home entertainment. Some of DVD’s notable features include:

  • Higher resolution, better picture and sound quality than VHS
  • No need to rewind
  • Offered subtitles and multiple audio tracks
  • Discs large enough to store bonus features, deleted scenes, trailers, etc
  • CSS protection aimed at preventing unauthorized duplication
  • Region code system attempted to reduce international piracy
  • Lightweight and easier to produce than VHS

The DVD format was also adapted for use in computers, which kicked off another revolution in data storage and home movie authoring. Now, consumers could transfer their libraries of tapes to DVD recordable discs and prevent any further degradation of quality.

The DVD Forum (formerly DVD Consortium) was the driving force behind the DVD-R recordable disc format, while the competing DVD+RW Alliance backed the DVD+R format. In the end, companies simply started producing burner drives that could read and write both types of discs.

Now that Blu-ray is dominating the market, the DVD format has reached maturity and it is unlikely that any major new innovations will be made. The DVD Forum’s charter calls for it to disband sometime around 2017, though if current market trends are any indication of what’s to come, it may be even sooner than that. We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on the DVD Forum and other DVD-related news!

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