DVDs will likely be a brief footnote in the history of digital viewing, burning bright and fast. DVDs rapidly conquered the world of movie watching previously dominated by VHS tapes when they arrived on the commercial market in 1997. But while VHS held ground for almost 25 years as the most popular format, DVD and Blu-ray discs saw rapid declines after only 10 years. This can be largely attributed to the meteoric rise of streaming services like Netflix, the current giant of home-theatre.
But laser-disc technology has been around since the late 1970s, although in a slightly different guise to the familiar CD and DVD devices we recognise today. Once this technology was refined, it could accommodate huge amounts of data. The output brought image and sound to life in far better quality than VHS tapes, making it ideal for full-length films. Optical disc media saw the development of a variety of similar formats, specialised to hold different kinds of data, including CDs, mini-DVDs and Blu-ray.