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 Home Theater Media Types

For home theater systems the term Media has come to have a rather specific definition. It is what you use to play a movie. This currently includes several, hardware specific, options.

bulletVideo Tape or VHS: Magnetic tape that contains a movie or other event. This can be purchased or created at home by a Video Recorder. This format now includes a new challenge to laser discs and DVD, Digital Video Tape. This format uses digital information stored on a magnetic tape in a manner similar to what is used for corporate computer backups and off line storage. The advantage of this format is digital clarity, greater capacity and reusability of the media.
bulletLaser Disc: A digital, optically based disc that contains a movie. These are rather large in size and can contain a very limited amount of information. This format is rapidly being replaced by the DVD.
bulletDVD: Digital Versatile Disc. This format revolutionized viewing for home theater. This format has taken off as the preferred format for much of the home theater market. These discs are the same size as a normal CD but it can hold a very large amount of information. As such, the DVD can contain different versions of the movie, commentary, different sound tracks and other features all on a single disc.
bullet Blu-ray: This format was the winner of the latest format war for high definition. With its incredibly large storage capacity it provides the best in video, audio and new special features.
bulletVCD: A hybrid between the DVD and the good old fashion CD. Limited storage capacity and audio/video quality. The current favorite with bootleggers and Hong Kong action flicks. 
bulletD-VHS: Digital Video Tape. A new format that provides a lot of the advantages of DVD with the easy of recording of VHS tape. Currently the acceptance with the studios is very limited. 
bulletFilm: Some home theaters actually have film projectors. While this is not common among most households very high end set ups can contain this option. So unless you are Steven Spielberg or James Cameron don't worry about it. (If you are give me a call)

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