Trivia

Hard

The V In DVD Stands For What?

Volume
Vertical
Versatile
Video
The undersides of overlapping blank DVD-R discs in shallow focus.
Disk Depot Ltd./Wikimedia

Answer: Versatile

DVDs were created in the mid-1990s via collaboration between Philips, Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, and Panasonic. The new discs were the same size as CDs and the somewhat successful Video CDs that preceded them. In order to ensure that their new format prospered and was widely adopted, the organizations entrusted oversight of the specifications for various DVD formats and structures, as well as naming conventions, to a third party organization, the DVD Forum.

It is within the charter document of the DVD Forum that we find the true name of the popular disc format. While many people are under the impression that DVD stands for Digital Video Disc (and for a brief period of time back in the 1990s, Toshiba did refer to it as “Video”), the actual middle word in the name of the popular media format is Versatile—a nod to how widespread and multi-functional they accurately envisioned the DVD would become.

This naming convention specifically came about because outside of Toshiba, computer companies complained that calling it a Video disc left out all the other applications that DVDs could be used for like video games, data storage, and such.

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