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Sinking DVD prices are an exciting development for 1999's
The hottest new
technology for your PC is DVDDigital Video Disc. DVDs look a lot like CDs, but can
hold up to 28 times more data than a CD-ROM. In addition to storing text and graphics, DVD
is the superlative medium for distributing movies and video for PCs. And not just the tiny
(though helpful) movies you get on your current CD-ROM encyclopaedia, eitherwere
talking full-length, full-blown, full-screen major motion pictures and music videos here.
Santa dropped by my house last month
and left behind Sheryl Crows new album, The Globe Sessions, so I popped it
into my DVD player, which had recently replaced my CD-ROM drive. I nearly fell of my chair
when instead of just playing music, the thing took over my PC and launched a
great-quality music video. One for every track, in fact. Plus interactive liner notes.
Plus full-motion transitions and credits. Plus adjustable everything. I was in Geek Girl
Increasingly, the CDs you buy in
music stores will be DVD enhanced, giving those with DVD players in their PCs a complete
multi-media music and video experience. (Those with traditional CD-ROM drives will still
be able to listen to the sound tracks as always.) More and more movies are coming out on
DVD, as well, and 1999 is poised to be the year for a major glut of DVD software releases.
If youre in the market for a
new computer, lack of a DVD drive will soon make your PC yesterdays news if you opt
out of the option. But if you already have a 133 MHz Pentium machine, you can currently
upgrade to DVD for as little as £150. The upgrade kit will add a DVD-Video board and an
MPEG-2 decoder board for high-quality video; for sound, youll need either Dolby Pro
Logic speakers or an AC-3-capable stereo receiver to get Dolby AC-3 Digital Surround
The best DVD hardware news is that
prices are set to plummet for both upgrades and new PC components this year. The best DVD
software news is that Windows 98 is designed to support the DVD add-on, which should
seriously stimulate DVD software development this year.
Whether you buy today or buy later,
DVD is a standard for now and for the future that will eventually make its debut on
By Sabrina Dent, Forum Manager