A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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DVD, also known as "digital versatile disc" or "digital video disc," is an optical disc storage media format. Its main uses are video and data storage. Most DVDs are of the same dimensions as compact discs (CDs) but store more than six times as much data. Variations of the term DVD often describe the way data is stored on the discs: DVD-ROM (Read Only Memory), has data that can only be read and not written.



Captions: Understand DVD Shows

A few years ago, while watching a movie and trying to hear dialogue that was drowned out by background noise - and was spoken by a character who was nearly incomprehensible even in a quiet room - I found that most DVD movies had subtitles available in several languages. Lurking among the offerings of Spanish, French and sometimes others, I found English.

Brown, Lonnie. Ledger, The (2010). Articles>Multimedia>Accessibility>DVD


Creating Blu-Ray Disc Pop-up Menus in Adobe Encore CS4  (link broken)

One of the coolest new features in Adobe Encore CS4 is the ability to insert pop-up menus over video in Blu-ray Disc projects, a feature unique among authoring programs in Encore’s class. In this tutorial, I’ll describe how to implement that feature, as I did in a simple project I produced in early fall.

Ozer, Jan. Event DV (2008). Design>Multimedia>Interaction Design>DVD


Cropping for DVD TV

Because of the size of the pictures not being close to a T.V. 4:3 aspect ratio the pictures have black side bars when viewing them. I was wondering if anyone knows a way to resize the background wider to match the 4:3 ratio?

Photoshop 911 (2005). Design>Multimedia>Video>DVD


Cryptography in Home Entertainment: A Look at Content Scrambling in DVDs

Did you know that every time you watch a DVD, a simple cryptosystem is at work behind the scenes? A cryptosystem, while watching DVDs? Why would anyone need a cryptosystem for playing DVDs on their home television? DVD video is stored in the MPEG-2 format which is easily portable to a personal computer (as a .mpg or sometimes .vob file) where it can be viewed. Theoretically all someone would have to do is copy over the MPEG video files and voila!, they have their favorite movie on their computer. Then their friends could download it, or with the dawn of DVD burners, it could be re-burned and shared that way. There needs to be a way of locking out this sort of activity yet still letting the owner (buyer) view it.

Barry, Mark. University of California San Diego (2004). Articles>Multimedia>Security>DVD


The Degree of Usability from Selected DVD Menus and Their Navigational Systems   (members only)

The purpose of this research is to investigate the usability of DVD interfaces via their menus and navigation, inspired by Donald Norman who has had a pivotal role in user-centred design and usability. The paper encompasses theoretical aspects of interactivity, usability and DVD technology. A usability test was administered with the DVDs chosen. The results from the usability test were the main focus in this research. Such results were supportive of Norman's claims, as participants experienced varying degrees of usability issues. Furthermore, the findings were used to develop a set of guidelines and recommendations designers could follow. If these were adhered to, it would have significantly alleviated the difficulty the participants had in interacting with the DVDs.

Wood-Bradley, Guy and Malcolm Campbell. SpringerLink (2005). Articles>Usability>Human Computer Interaction>DVD


Developing User Interface Guidelines for DVD Menus

Watching DVDs can be a frustrating experience, because DVD menus often miss out on usability and are complex and difficult to navigate through. Similar to the early years of web development, there is a lack of design standards. In this paper, we show the development of user interface guidelines for DVD menus. These guidelines can be used to design and evaluate DVD menus. We built a prototype according to the guidelines, conducted usability tests with the prototype and evaluated other movie DVDs using the guidelines to show the applicability, utility and usability of the guidelines.

Kappel, Karin, Martin Tomitsch, Thomas Koltringer and Thomas Grechenig. Proceedings of ACM CHI 2006 (2006). Design>User Interface>Multimedia>DVD


DVD Menu Design: The Failures of Web Design Recreated Yet Again

Designers of DVDs have failed to profit from the lessons of previous media: Computer Software, Internet web pages, and even WAP phones. As a result, the DVD menu structure is getting more and more baroque, less and less usable, less pleasurable, less effective. It is time to take DVD design as seriously as we do web design. The field needs some discipline some attention to the User Experience, concern about accessibility for those with less than perfect sight and hearing, and some standardization of control and display formats.

Norman, Donald A. JND.org (2002). Design>Multimedia>Video>DVD


DVD Menu Design: The Failures of Web Design Recreated Yet Again

Designers of DVDs have failed to profit from the lessons of previous media: Computer software, Internet web pages, and even WAP phones. As a result, the DVD menu structure is getting more and more baroque, less and less usable, less pleasurable, less effective. It is time to take DVD design as seriously as we do web design. The field needs some discipline some attention to the User Experience, and some standardization of control and display formats.

Norman, Donald A. Alertbox (2001). Design>User Interface>Multimedia>DVD


DVD Rot: DVD Longevity and Reliability

What is going on with DVDs? The industry states that discs should last 50 to 100 years, but on-line reports claim significant problems with both pressed and recordable discs. Can movie discs wear out and fail from "DVD rot?" Is recordable DVD a trustworthy archival media, or is there evidence that discs can wear out from extended play? And what is the situation with the compatibility of recordable media? Is there a way to guarantee reasonable compatibility, some magic combination of formats and brands, software and burners, content and players?

Dixon, Douglas. Manifest Technology (2003). Articles>Technology>Security>DVD


DVDs with Audio Description

DVDs can carry up to eight audio tracks. It is theoretically possible to provide main audio and dubbing in three languages and audio description in all four languages. In practice, all anybody's asking for is an audio description track in the main language of the audio.

Clark, Joe. JoeClark.org (2001). Articles>Accessibility>Multimedia>DVD


Exporting to QuickTime or for use with iDVD

You have this great project that you've just finished, and you need to bring it into another program, display it on your web site, or turn it in on CD or DVD. To do this, you will need to export your movie. iMovie has several 'built-in' configurations that take much of the guesswork out of compressing your video for optimal playback on one of those media types. I often find, however, that the standard choices are not quite what I want or need. This is when the Expert options come into play.

Iowa State University (2003). Design>Multimedia>Video>DVD


Guidelines for Designing Usable DVD Menus   (PDF)

DVD menus often suffer from serious usability problems, which has a negative impact on the user experience. The reason for this is that there is a lack of design standards. In this paper we describe the development of user interface guidelines for DVD menus and present the final guidelines. In order to obtain usable and applicable guidelines we went through three phases, which included among other usability-engineering methods an expert walkthrough, a ua prototype, and validating and improving the guidelines.

Költringer, Thomas, Martin Tomitsch, Karin Kappel and Thomas Grechenig. University of Vienna (2006). Design>User Interface>Multimedia>DVD


An iDVD Slide Show

Hardware is easy to talk about, test, evaluate, review and sell. Software takes a little more study. Which is why we remain one of the very few imaging publications to review software in any depth. Most people find software is a solid that must be chewed to derive any nutritional benefits. And so they chew and chew and chew. But, no matter how much they chew, the stuff is still pretty hard to swallow.

Electric Escape (2003). Articles>Presentations>Multimedia>DVD


Implications for Designing the User Experience of DVD Menus

DVD menus often miss out on usability and are complex and difficult to navigate through. One of the main problems is the lack of design standards. By conducting an expert walkthrough we identified typical usability issues of DVD menus and verified them with usability testing and a user survey. Our research goal is to develop a set of specific solutions for designing usable DVD menus to improve the overall user experience. As a first step towards this goal we present an initial set of usability issues that are specifically relevant for DVD menu design.

Koltringer, Thomas, Martin Tomitsch, Karin Kappel, Daniel Kalbeck and Thomas Grechenig. ACM SIGCHI (2005). Design>User Experience>Multimedia>DVD


Lessons from the Death of HD-DVD

Over the last few months, HD-DVD appeared to rapidly fall from its apparent position as promising new disc format–touted by supporters as being technically superior, significantly cheaper, and less restrictive–down to a harsh new reality of scheduled death. However, the fate of HD-DVD wasn’t nearly as unpredictable as some seemed to think. Here’s why HD-DVD’s end should not have been a surprise, what lessons can be learned from its death, and what its demise means for Microsoft.

Dilger, Daniel Eran. RoughlyDrafted (2008). Articles>Multimedia>Standards>DVD


Recordable DVD: Worth the Wait or Worth Waiting For?

It may be a bit hasty to declare the end of the CD-ROM era, but the signposts are pointing in that direction. Although the CD provides a convenient way for presenters to store multimedia, distribute data and back up hard drives, the medium's space limits in the coming era of 100GB and larger hard drives and ever more ambitious multimedia projects will become increasingly evident. Indeed, many see the recordable DVD as the next killer app in computing – the one that makes the most compelling use of all that digital horsepower sitting idle on desktops everywhere, at home and at the office. More than a million recordable-DVD drives were sold in 2001, and the market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC) predicts that number will grow to more than 30 million by 2005. Apple, Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony and other major computer manufacturers already ship recordable-DVD drives with their top-of-the-line models. Drives supporting the highly anticipated DVD+RW format (a format presenters should like because of its greater flexibility and superior write speed) have finally hit the market. And, as with almost all digital technology, recordable-DVD drives and media, not to mention video camcorders and software, are getting cheaper and more widely available by the day.

Kawamoto, Wayne. Presentations (2003). Articles>Presentations>Multimedia>DVD


Storyboarding PowerPoint 2003 Presentations to Video and DVD

More and more people are asking how to burn their Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003 presentations to DVD. Using PowerPoint and a DVD, you have an easy method of getting your message out, whether as a training video or a digital business card promoting your products or services. And your audience can view your material at home as well as in their offices.

Microsoft (2006). Articles>Presentations>Multimedia>DVD


Taking Flash Animation to DVD Video  (link broken)

This article is meant to inspire creators much more talented than ourselves to take the risk and dive in head-first with the idea of bringing their Flash animation work to industry-quality DVD. The efforts and obstacles involved in bringing Broken Saints out as a four-disc collectors' edition were overwhelming, and if we can give you some insights, save you some steps, keep you from making the same mistakes we did, or even inspire you to experience Broken Saints on your spiffy new home theatre, then it all will have been worth it.

Burgess, Brooke. Adobe (2005). Design>Multimedia>Flash>DVD

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