DVD, which stands for Digital Video Disc, Digital Versatile Disc, or nothing, depending on whom you ask, is the next generation of optical disc storage technology.
DVD has become a major new medium for a whole host of multimedia system:
It's essentially a bigger, faster CD that can hold video as well as audio and computer data. DVD aims to encompass home entertainment, computers, and business information with a single digital format, eventually replacing audio CD, videotape, laserdisc, CD-ROM, and perhaps even video game cartridges. DVD has widespread support from all major electronics companies, all major computer hardware companies, and most major movie and music studios, which is unprecedented and says much for its chances of success (or, pessimistically, the likelihood of it being forced down our throats).
It's important to understand the difference between DVD-Video and DVD-ROM. DVD-Video (often simply called DVD) holds video programs and is played in a DVD player hooked up to a TV. DVD-ROM holds computer data and is read by a DVD-ROM drive hooked up to a computer. The difference is similar to that between Audio CD and CD-ROM. DVD-ROM also includes future variations that are recordable one time (DVD-R) or many times (DVD-RAM). Most people expect DVD-ROM to be initially much more successful than DVD-Video. Most new computers with DVD-ROM drives will also be able to play DVD-Videos.
There's also a DVD-Audio format. The technical specifications for DVD-Audio are not yet determined.