Skip to content

Unified DVD Format Emerges

Toshiba Corporation announced that it, as well as Matsushita, Sony, Philips, Time Warner, Pioneer, JVC, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric, have agreed on the details of final DVD format.

For more information visit:

Unedited press release follows:

DVD Format Unification

8 December, 1995

(The following is the text of the statement anouncing final agreement on the DVD format, as released by the companies supporting the format, on 8 December 1995.)


Since September 15, when a general agreement was reached on a common format for the high-density optical disc, the SD and MMCD groups have continued discussions to finalize details of the format. Today, they announced an agreement on the final details of the new format.

This technical breakthrough in digital storage was reached by Toshiba, Matsushita, Sony, Philips, Time Warner, Pioneer, JVC, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Electric. DVD technology promises important benefits for consumers, the film and computer industries, and consumer electronics firms. The nine companies will now undertake discussions in an effort to develop a patent licensing program. Thomson, which has worked closely on DVD development, has expressed a desire to join the discussion.

From today on, the companies supporting DVD will propose and promote a wide range of applications for the format. They will continue to develop the technology and work to position DVD optical discs as the ideal digital storage medium for the age of multimedia.

Specifications have now been finalized for the DVD movie player and the ROM (Read Only Memory) for computer application. These specifications reflect the recommendations made by the Hollywood studios and the computer industry. Specifications for music applications will be finalized after hearing opinions from the music industry.

The name chosen for the new format is a familiar one: DVD.

The technical specifications are as shown in the appendix.

Over December 12 and 13, the DVD Forum in Tokyo will pave the way to the early start up and development of businesses using DVD technology.


Main Specifications

Physical Characteristics Disc Diameter: 120mm (5 inches)

Disc Thickness: 1.2mm (0.6mm thick disc x 2)

Memory Capacity: 4.7 gigabytes/single side

Track Pitch: 0.74 micrometer

Wave Length of Laser Diode: 650 nanometer/635 nanometer

Numerical Aperture (NA): 0.6

Error correction: RS-PC (Reed Solomon Product Code)

Signal Modulation: 8 – 16

Specifications for Audio/Video Application

Data transfer Rate: Variable speed data transfer at an average rate of 4.69 megabits/second for image and sound

Image Compression: MPEG-2 digital image compression

Audio: Dolby AC-3 (5.1 ch), LPCM for NTSC and MPEG Audio, LPCM for PAL/SECAM (A maximum of 8 audio channel and 32 subtitle channel can be stored.)

Running Time (movies): 133 min. a side (at an average data rate of 4.69 megabits/second for image and sound, including 3 audio channels and 4 sub-title channels)

File Management Structure: Micro UDF and ISO-9660

Specifications for Computer Application File Management Structure: Micro UDF and/or ISO-9660

Notes: Dolby is a trademark of Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corporation.