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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.
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.