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A DVD is an optical disc technology that uses multiple layers of a compact disc to store data. Originally used to store movies, the abbreviation 'DVD' stood for Digital Video Disc; however, after becoming a more widely used format, it was shoehorned into the new abbreviation, Digital Versatile Disc.


The DVD, launched on November 1, 1996, was created by a number of companies as a compromise between two potential competing formats: MMCD (MultiMedia Compact Disc) and SDD (Super Density Disc). Toshiba, Time Warner, Matsushita Electric, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, Pioneer, Thomson, and JVC were behind SDD, while Philips and Sony were behind MMCD. Sony and Phillips agreed to work with the other companies, recognising it was in their own interests to end the format war, and DVD was developed using technologies from both camps. All the companies involved in the development of the DVD format would later form the the DVD Forum (originally founded as the DVD Consortium) to further develop the standard, along with several other companies: Panasonic, Warner Media (the new name for Time Warner), NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company.