What Does DVD-5 Mean?

A DVD-5 is a single-sided, single-layered DVD disc. A DVD-5
holds 4.7 GB of data. DVD-5 discs can either be commercially-produced discs
containing movies or software or can be writable discs, such as DVD-R, DVD+R
and DVD-RW. The name comes from the fact that a DVD-5 holds nearly 5 gigabytes
of data. A dual-layer disc is known as a DVD-9.


Techopedia Explains DVD-5

A DVD-5 is a standard DVD disc. It superficially represents a CD. Like a CD, the underside of the disc is made up of pits and bumps representing binary 0s and 1s read by a laser. With a DVD, the pits and bumps are spaced closer together, which allows a DVD to hold more data than a CD. The DVD is made of polycarbonate plastic with an aluminum reflective layer. A label is silk-screened on top of the disc.

Commercial DVDs are stamped with the pits and bumps, but recordable discs use a dye to store information. With recordable discs, the DVD drive’s laser changes the color of the dye to store the information. Recorded or “burned” DVDs are believed to have a lifespan of approximately 30 years. Writable discs include DVD-R, DVD+R and DVD-RW.

A DVD-5 holds about 4.7 gigabytes of data. DVD-5s are a common way of distributing movies on home video as well as software, even with the growth of downloads and streaming.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.