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Why Do DVD/CD/Bluray Discs Spin In Your Computer/Player?

Thursday, May 24th, 2012 by | Filed Under: I've Always Wanted To Know...
 
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I’ve Always Wanted To Know:
Why do DVD/CD/Bluray Discs spin in your computer/player?

Answer:
Optical Media (DVD/CD/Bluray) store information by burning or pressing very tiny pits on the surface of the disc. Your computer or player then shines a very narrow laser beam up at the disc and reads where a pit exists and where one doesn’t and translates that into the 0′s and 1′s (Binary) that a computer or electronic device can understand.

In order to read just the right pits your computer or player wants (Like a specific Song or part of a movie) the laser needs to move to just the right part of the disc. Just like a record player the creators of optical media realized that if you spin the disc around you can move the laser up and down a track and be able to read every part of the disc as it spins around. This spinning optical media allowed players to be much smaller and allows the information to be encoded in circles on the disc to be read very quickly as it passes over the laser.

cdimage

~Tim

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4 Responses to “Why Do DVD/CD/Bluray Discs Spin In Your Computer/Player?”

  1. John Ford says:

    CDs and DVDs are not created by burning or pressing pits on the surface of the disc. They are created by the laser creating tiny pits in the polymer layer under the label on the other side of the disc. That layer consists of the label, polymer, a crystalline dye layer, and a reflective layer, and the clear disc is the platter it is mounted on. That is the reason the label should not be written on with a ball-point pen, or burnt at a high speed, which can melt the polymer because of the heat created.

  2. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very useful info specifically the last part :) I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

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  4. Neobaroque says:

    Recordable Compact Discs (CD-Rs) are molded with a photosensitive dye which is altered by a laser during the “recording” (burning) process. Commercially produced CDs are “pressed”. A negative image of the glass master is pressed into a substrate leaving a final positive image on the disc. This process is similar to pressing vinyl records in the olden days.

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