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There are many options for consuming video on your computer or even on your High Definition TV. Whether it’s a Mac, Windows or even a Linux flavor, the options for video have expanded exponentially over the past several years. Back in the early 2000s, online video was a figment of many people’s imagination. Video was compressed so horribly that nothing more than a few minutes of video could be tolerated or downloaded. Now, with the explosion of broadband and the increased speeds available to consumers, the video market has grown to include the masses. There are several ways to consume video on the Internet. Throughout this multi-part article, you’ll learn about many of the differing ways to get your video fix.
DVDs have come common place since their introduction back in 1997. DVDs accounted for almost $24 billion last year (2007). DVDs became the successor to VHS tapes. By using optical media versus magnetic tape DVDs allowed for more storage, better quality and ease of access to special features, including deleted scenes, bloopers and the like. These discs have content up to 480p, given the specification. DVDs are physically the same size as CDs but contain up to 10x the data storage capacity that CDs do. This provides for more space and better quality for the motion picture that you’re watching.

Blu-Ray is the accepted successor to DVDs. Blu-Ray beat out HD-DVD in a “╦ťformat war’ that officially ended on March 4, 2008. Toshiba, the proprietor of HD-DVD, said that they will no longer be manufacturing HD-DVD equipment. Blu-Ray is pioneered by Sony. (They had to win one at some point). Blu-Ray can hold up to 50GB for a dual-layer disc. This is nearly six times the storage space as a regular dual-layer DVD can. Blu-Ray allows for the specification to support a range of screen resolutions from 480i to 1080p, running the entire gamut of what is considered high definition. Sony took a gamble when it introduced Blu-Ray into the Playstation3. This move seems to have paid off to an extent (most still don’t know that their PS3 has a blu-ray drive in it).

Coming Soon: Part IV: Blends of Physical and Web