A standard plastic DVD case is 7.5 inches long, 5.3 inches wide and .5 inches thick. Slim DVD cases measure 7.2 inches long, 5.1 inches wide and .4 inches thick. Blu-ray cases are 5.8 inches long, 5 inches wide and .6 inches thick. These cases are made from plastic and may be a solid color or transparent.
History of DVD Cases
The introduction of the DVD as a form of optical media led to the need for storage options. Plastic product manufacturer Amaray took on the challenge and developed the first DVD case in 1995. The company continued innovating the product with clips designed to hold literature like movie credits, song lyrics and booklets related to the content on the disc.
Anatomy of a DVD Case
Although there are some variations between manufacturers, all DVD cases perform the same function: storing and protecting the DVD. Design elements include a space to hold literature and a disc hub to hold the DVD securely in place. Cases designed for DVD sets have multiple hubs to accommodate all the discs they must hold. A label may be printed and placed behind a plastic sleeve on the outside of the cover or printed directly on the case.
CD Cases vs. DVD Cases
DVDs and CDs are physically the same size, so it seems reasonable to think they can share the same cases. However, there is an important distinction in their designs. A DVD is essentially two discs fused together. This makes the DVD more fragile when removing it from the case. The locking hub inside a DVD case is designed to make it easier to remove the disc without damaging it. Using a jewel case intended for a CD increases the chance of damaging the disc during regular use.
DVD Storage Solutions
Individuals with an extensive DVD collection have several options for storing and displaying their DVDs. One option is to place them on a shelf with the spines facing out like books in a library. This makes them easy to sort through, especially if they're arranged in alphabetical order or grouped by genre. They also fit inside drawers with the spines facing up so they're easy to read at a glance.
Those who don't have walls of space to dedicate to their DVD library have to look for other solutions. They may need to remove them from the original cases and store them in a disc file. Other options include disc storage cases and file boxes.
How to Care for DVDs
With proper care and handling, DVDs can last for years. In addition to storing the discs in DVD-specific cases, it's important to pick them up, hold and clean them in ways that don't damage the information stored on them. When cleaning discs, users should use a lint-free cloth or compressed air to remove dust, and they should hold the discs by the edge or center hold. Keep DVDs out of direct heat and intense light.