Home Knowledge Base DVD-Video



DVD-Video format logo
Media Type Optical Disc
Capacity up to 8.5 GB (4 hours at typical bit rates)
Standard DVD Books, Part 3, DVD-Video Book (Book B), DVD Video Recording Book
Developed by DVD Forum
Usage Video storage
Extended from DVD

DVD-Video, a consumer video format that being currently dominant in Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia, is used to store digital video on DVD discs. Discs using the DVD-Video specification require a DVD drive and an H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2 decoder (e.g. a DVD player, or a computer DVD drive with a software DVD player). Commercial DVD movies are encoded using a combination of H.262/MPEG-2 Part 2 compressed video and audio of varying formats (often multi-channel formats as described below). Typically, the data rate for DVD movies ranges from 3 Mbit/s to 9.5 Mbit/s, and the bit rate is usually adaptive. It was first available for retail around 1997. The DVD-Video specification was created by DVD Forumand can be obtained from DVD Format/Logo Licensing Corporation for a fee of $5,000. The specification is not publicly available, because every subscriber must sign a non-disclosure agreement. Certain information in the DVD Book is proprietary and confidential.



  • Audio data
  • The audio data on a DVD movie can be PCM, DTS, MPEG-1 Audio Layer II (MP2), or Dolby Digital (AC-3) format.

  • Data rate
  • DVD-Video discs have a raw bitrate of 11.08 Mbit/s, with a 1.0 Mbit/s overhead, leaving a payload bitrate of 10.08 Mbit/s.

  • Filesystem
  • Almost all DVD-Video discs use the UDF bridge format, which is a combination of the DVD MicroUDF (a subset of UDF 1.02) and ISO 9660 file systems.

  • Directory and file structure
  • A DVD volume for the DVD-Video format has the following structure of directories and files:

  • Container
  • Video, audio, subtitle and navigation streams are multiplexed and stored on a DVD-Video disc in the VOB container format (Video Object).

  • Subtitles
  • DVD Video may also include up to 32 subtitle or subpicture tracks.

  • Chapters and angles
  • DVD Video may contain chapters for easy navigation (and continuation of a partially watched film).

  • Extra features
  • A significant selling point of DVD Video is that the storage capacity allows for a wide variety of extra, or bonus, features in addition to the feature film. Extra features often provide entertainment or add depth and understanding to the film. Other extras that can be included on DVDs are motion menus, still pictures, up to 32 selectable subtitles, seamless branching for multiple storylines, up to 9 camera angles, and DVD-ROM / data files that can be accessed on a computer. Extra features require additional storage space, which often means encoding the main title with lower than possible data rate to fit both the main title and the extras on one disc.

  • Restrictions
  • DVD-Video has four complementary systems designed to restrict the DVD user in various ways:Macrovision, Content Scramble System (CSS), region codes, and disabled user operations (UOPs). There are also anti-ripping techniques intended to foil ripping software.

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