Video Card Roundup - DVD Quality, Features & Performance - October 2000by Anand Lal Shimpi on October 11, 2000 1:43 AM EST
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In the past two decades, the PC has been witness to a serious change in the way the public accepted its presence. What was once reserved for a very small percentage of the population has now become increasingly commonplace. Just two years ago there were 43 million adults with Internet access in the United States, and today there are well over 100 million. Back then only 35% of US households had at least one computer in them, and as you can guess, that number has increased dramatically as the computer becomes more of a home appliance and less of a feared bit of technology.
With this welcome adoption of the computer and in our case, the PC, has come a number of applications that the PC hadn’t seen prior to this recent boom in public acceptance. While continuing to be a tool for the professionals in virtually all conceivable fields, the PC has also taken on an alter ego, a home entertainment appliance, much like the TVs, game consoles and VCRs that had previously held that market to themselves.
By entering this market, the PC was destined to take on some of the features that its relatives in the home entertainment industry have boasted for quite some time. We saw the introduction of TV tuner cards so you could watch TV on your PC, and let’s not forget about the advent of powerful 3D graphics accelerators that would pave the way for a gaming revolution on the PC.
While all of this was going on, the assimilation of yet another technology into the home entertainment industry was taking place. Once called the Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc, the DVD started to become the perfect addition to any home theatre collection. Destined to replace the VCR as the ideal playback medium because of its high capacity and long lasting nature as a medium, the DVD was also set on a crash course with the PC.