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DVD Input Media

December, 1997    Richmond, Indiana

DLT Tape
The input media to master DVD's is called DLT tape. This stands for Digital Linear Tape. Why was DLT tape chosen for DVD input media? Storage capacity. The capacity of a single sided DVD is 4.7gbytes. In order for this type of media to be manufactured, a high capacity storage solution was needed. 8mm Exabyte did not have the capacity at the time, but other factors were involved including reliability and data integrity.

Quantum 4000 Drive
  Quantum 4000 Drive  
DLT Cartridge
  DLT Cartridge

Better Error Detection
DLT tape was developed for high data capacity and high data rate transfer. DLT technology provides both the capacity and performance demanded by data-intensive applications, and features a much longer drive life than previous technologies. It also offers one the best error-detection and correction specifications in the industry. This is very important for any application, but in terms of DVD mastering---even more so---because errors encountered during the mastering of the DVD image requires remastering and this wastes time and money.

Faster Transfer Rate
Compared to helical scan technology, DLT transfer rate is better by a factor of 3, its capacity is about 3 times and head life is about 5 times that of helical scan heads. DLT uses a stationary head which allows quicker access times.

DDP - Disc Description Protocol
Authoring/encoding production houses use sophisticated encoding equipment when preparing a DVD image for production. When all the video, audio and authoring is assembled it is then transferred to a DLT tape as an image file. This tape also contains some files called "DDP". This stands for Disc Description Protocol. This is an industry standard for describing the contents of various types of CD's and DVD's. This information "tells" the LBR how to arrange the data and what type of data it is. This is very important for DVD mastering.

New Technologies on the Horizon
With DLT technology's inherent ability to deliver high capacity, data integrity and reliability, it was the input of choice for DVD. But computer technology never stops and new technologies are emerging which in time may also be suitable (MO7), but we'll just have to wait and see.

Charles Plumer, DVD Technical Manager

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Phone:  800.704.7648
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