DVD started off slowly. Rosy predictions of hundreds of movie titles for Christmas of 1996 failed to materialize. Only a handful of DVD titles, mostly music videos, were available in Japan for the November 1996 launch of DVD. The first feature films on DVD appeared in Japan on December 20 (The Assassin, Blade Runner, Eraser, and The Fugitive from Warner Home Video). By April, 1997 there were over 150 titles in Japan. The first titles released in the U.S., on March 19, 1997, by Lumivision, authored by AIX Entertainment, were IMAX adaptations: Africa: The Serengeti, Antarctica: An Adventure of a Different Nature, Tropical Rainforest, and Animation Greats. (Other movies such as Batman and Space Jam had been demonstrated earlier, but were not full versions available for sale.) The Warner Bros. U.S. launch followed on March 24, but was limited to seven cities. Almost 19,000 discs were purchased in the first two weeks of the US launch -- more than expected. InfoTech predicted over 600 titles by the end of 1997 and more than 8,000 titles by 2000. By December 1997, over 1 million individual DVD discs were shipped, representing about 530 titles. By the end of 1999, over 100 million discs had shipped, representing about 5,000 titles. By the end of 2000 there were over 10,000 titles available in the US and over 15,000 worldwide. By the end of 2001 there were about 14,000 titles available in the U.S. By the end of 2002 there were about 23,000 titles available in the U.S. By March 2003, six years after launch, over 1.5 billion copies of DVD titles had been shipped. Compared to other launches (CD, LD, etc.) these are a huge numbers of titles released in a very short time. (Note that these numbers don't include adult titles, which account for an additional 15% or so.) Just over 10,000 new DVD titles were released in 2003, and almost 11,000 came out in 2004, for a total of 42,500 titles (with about 40,300 still available). It would cost you about $800,000 to buy one copy of each.
DTS is an optional format on DVD. Contrary to uninformed claims, the DVD specification has included an ID code for DTS since 1996 (before the spec was even finalized). Because DTS was slow in releasing encoders and test discs, players made before mid 1998 (and many since) ignore DTS tracks. A few demo discs were created in 1997 by embedding DTS data into a PCM track (the same technique used with CDs and laserdiscs), and these are the only DTS DVD discs that work on all players. New DTS-compatible players arrived in mid 1998, but theatrical DTS discs using the DTS audio stream ID did not appear until January 7, 1999 (they were originally scheduled to arrive in time for Christmas 1997). Mulan, a direct-to-video animation (not the Disney movie) with DTS soundtrack appeared in November 1998. DTS-compatible players carry an official "DTS Digital Out" logo.
Maximum video bit rate is 9.8 Mbps. The "average" video bit rate is around 4 Mbps but depends entirely on the length, quality, amount of audio, etc. This is a 31:1 reduction from uncompressed 124 Mbps video source (or a 25:1 reduction from 100 Mbps film source). Raw channel data is read off the disc at a constant 26.16 Mbps. After 8/16 demodulation it's down to 13.08 Mbps. After error correction the user data stream goes into the track buffer at a constant 11.08 Mbps. The track buffer feeds system stream data out at a variable rate of up to 10.08 Mbps. After system overhead, the maximum rate of combined elementary streams (audio + video + subpicture) is 10.08. MPEG-1 video rate is limited to 1.856 Mbps with a typical rate of 1.15 Mbps.
Samsung and C-Cube made a technology demonstration (not a product announcement) in October 1999 of a DVD-RAM video recorder using the new DVD-VR format (see DVD-RW section above for more about DVD-VR). Panasonic demonstrated a $3,000 DVD-RAM video recorder at CES in January 2000. It appeared in the U.S. in September for $4,000 (model DMR-E10). At the beginning of 2001, Hitachi and Panasonic released DVD camcorders that use small DVD-RAM discs. The instant access and on-the-fly editing and deleting capabilities of the DVD camcorders are impressive. Panasonic's 2nd-generation DVD-RAM video recorder appeared in October 2001 for $1,500 and also wrote to DVD-R discs.
Philips demonstrated a blue-laser miniature pre-recorded optical disc. The 3-cm (1.2-inch) disc holds 1 Gbyte of data. The prototype drive to read the disc measured 5.6 x 3.4 x 0.75 cm (2.2 x 1.3 x 0.3 inches).
Kelli, Thanks so much for you and your company's incredibly responsive service. You folks stand alone at the top of the "responsive service" chart! I have received the new subwoofer, and will be packing up the broken one over the weekend, and will then have UPS pick it up for shipment back to you. Thanks again. You have continued to impress at every step of the way through this transaction. Tom, Ohio -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Aperion Audio Friends, I have to tell you that it was your kind and personable personnel who really helped me make the decision to go with your company. I've looked at quite a few much higher and lower priced systems, but decided on your company due to the way I was treated over the phone. Ironically, I never heard of Aperion (2nd thought, maybe I have) before I stumbled upon you through the Net. Caleb was extremely helpful in assisting me in piecing together my system since I was very lost and unsure of what to decide upon. If your products work as well as your staff, it looks like I'll be experiencing a win-win situation. I'll let you know how I like or love the system. Sincerely, Randy, Virginia -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Caleb, sorry to bother you one more time, but I wanted to add that when I was trying the speakers out Sunday night, my wife said, "They're too loud!" while my 23-year-old daughter came in from her room and said, "That sounds great!" Sounds like a success story to me. By the way, I've found that the DVD-A of Queen's "A Night at the Opera" is a good demo disc. "Bohemian Rhapsody" really shows off the multichannel and bass very well. That's also the track that garnered the comments from my wife and daughter. For a good bass demo, almost any Enya CD has extremely low bass notes. Doug, Virginia -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wendy and I want to thank all of you at Aperion for your exceptional customer service and attention to detail. We believe customer service is much more than a purchase. And MORE is what you folks at Aperion have been providing to us. We can't say enough about Caleb. Months ago he got us started by meeting with us in your sound room after hours and recommending a top-notch receiver. We went home and made the purchase thanks to his research. Several months later we attended your Saturday 4 hour sale. Alex, oh patient Alex, attentive and knowledgeable Alex helped us piece out our additional speakers and subwoofer with Caleb's final approval. Then we had an after hours visit by Caleb who was so patient and professional and knowledgeable in getting us through the maze of perfecting our surround sound. We never would have figured out how to maximize the performance of our system without him. And now we have our Aperion Audio sound system and LOVE it! We are starting to watch our movie collection from the beginning to hear what we missed. Wendy and I will gladly recommend Aperion Audio to our family, friends, and perfect strangers. We challenge anyone to find a better combination of fantastic speakers, the best personal customer service, user friendly website, and price. Keep up the good work and Thank You. Jay and Wendy, Oregon 2b1af7f3a8