ITGS Syllabus

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Topic 210

New media: DVD, CD, VR, stereolithography by Ronald Chu

It is the twentieth century now and new technology is booming, making lives much more convenient for everyone. The area that has the most technological advancement is probably the media. The media includes television, entertainment, computers, games, etc. New media refers totraditional forms of media that have been transformed by advancements in digital technology and digital computing.

The difference between “new media” and “old media” is very trivial since because new media does not so much represent an entirely new creation, but the reorganization of a current, and most likely popular source of information in a newly digital format. The term new media gained currency in the early-mid 1990's as part of the marketing pitch for the CD-ROM Revolution and the corporate idea that the book was on its way out. One of the key features of the corporately described new media was that corporations, not individual creators, would control copyright. There are many types of new media, but one of the main ones are “DVD,” “CD,” “VR,” and “stereo lithography.”

DVD stands for "Digital Versatile Disc" or "Digital Video Disc.” According to a definition by, it is “an optical disc storage media format that can be used for data storage, including movies with high video and sound quality. DVDs are similar to CD’s, which will be discussed later on in this essay. However, they are encoded in a different format and at a much higher density. DVD-ROM discs are read-only discs. In other words, once you save a file onto this disc, you can not erase it and record another file above it. However, u can do this with DVD-RW discs. A DVD-video disc is a DVD with properly formatted and structured video content. A DVD-audio disc is a DVD with properly formatted and structured audio content. All other kinds of DVD discs are referred to as DVD-DATA discs.

CD stands for “Compact Disc.” It is used widely as an optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. The CD was first let out into the market in 1982, and is currently the standard physical medium for commercial audio recordings as of 2007. Normal CDs have a diameter of 120 mm (with a hole in the middle for putting your finger in to make holding/inserting the CD easier) and can save up to approximately 80 minutes of audio. There are also 80 mm discs, sometimes used for CD singles, which hold approximately 20 minutes of audio. The system is a bit similar to the DVD system. CD-ROM (aka "Compact Disc read-only memory") is a Compact Disc that contains data accessible by a computer. A CD-R is like a DVD-ROM disc. It is much cheaper than a CD-RW disc, but once you save data onto it, you cannot replace that data with new data. However, this is possible with the CD-RW disc, much similar to the DVD-RW disc.

VR, which stands for virtual reality, is an interesting technology which, according to wikipedia, allows a user to interact with a computer-simulated environment, be it a real or imagined one. Most of these virtual reality experiences are displayed on computer screens or special stereoscopic players, but some simulations can be experienced through speakers or headphones. VR is a very useful “tool” that can be used for things such as military training. For example, a US Navy soldier may go through a VR experience using a VR parachute trainer for his military training.

In order to engage the other sense of taste, the brain must be manipulated directly. This would move virtual reality into the realm of simulated reality, The Matrix. Although no form of this has been seriously developed at this point, Sony has taken the first step. On April 7, 2005, Sony went public with the information that they had filed for and received a patent for the idea of the non-invasive beaming of different frequencies and patterns of ultrasonic waves directly into the brain to recreate all five senses. There has been research to show that this is possible. Sony has not conducted any tests as of yet and says that it is still only an idea.

Finally, there is stereo lithography. Stereo lithography is one of the more commonly used rapid manufacturing and rapid prototyping technologies. It is considered to provide high accuracy and good surface finish. The devices used to perform stereo lithography are called SLAs or Stereo lithography Apparatuses.


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