Re: DVDs

Randy Pitman (
Tue, 27 Jun 2000 10:07:48 -0700 (PDT)

I've seen a couple people in this thread comment on DVD's higher price tag
vs. VHS. Actually, just the opposite is true--for feature films, at least.
"Being John Malkovich" cost $106.99 in VHS upon release and $24.95 in DVD.
Public libraries, in my opinion, might want to strongly consider purchasing
new titles in DVD at the lower price and pick up a couple of DVD players
(which I've seen as low as $150) for checkout to even the playing field
amongst patrons.

Randy Pitman
Video Librarian
8705 Honeycomb Ct. NW
Seabeck, WA 98380
Tel: (800) 692-2270

----- Original Message -----
From: Darryl Wiggers <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2000 8:53 AM
Subject: RE: DVDs

> In a few years that Library Director will likely be saying the same about
> HD-DVD... and a few years after that, whatever the next format is.
> Meanwhile the end-users have to have the machines to play them on. Even at
> few hundred dollars, it's still a hefty sum to those on a tight budget.
> yes, many new computers come with DVD... but not everyone needs, wants or
> can afford a new computer -- or wants to view movies on their monitor
> are still millions who have a TV, VCR but not even a Commodore 64 in
> Suddenly the library is divided between serving the "haves" and the "have
> nots" -- which defeats the purpose of most public libraries.
> Plus, most DVD users are new users who are buying titles (more so than
> did with VHS) for their personal library. They handle the discs like
> plutonium, for fear of scratching them. Are people going to be that
> with a disc from a library? I know I wouldn't want to be the librarian who
> has to check each disc when it's returned.
> Money should also be a factor with libraries (isn't it?) -- and DVDs are
> still more expensive than VHS. If you can't afford both, why buy the more
> expensive format, with the more limiting audience, that is not always
> superior in quality (there are a number of crappy transfers out there
> because of the rush to put out more titles), susceptible to damage, and
> not survive the HD-DVD revolution?
> It would be wiser to wait. VHS still has a reasonably good shelf life (I
> still have playable tapes from 1982) and, as DVD gains in popularity, the
> prices of VHS should continue to drop... the problem is that people tend
> fall in love too passionately with new technology, and they lose their
> objectivity. And there are those DVD-lusters who think the whole world
> should switch to DVD and, by God, if they can force their hand they will.
> I'll bet my next paycheque that your Director has DVD at home. Am I right?
> -----Original Message-----
> From: maureen [mailto:ECL_MAT@FLO.ORG]
> Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2000 10:45 AM
> To: Multiple recipients of list
> Subject: DVDs
> Are any Audiovisual Librarians changing their collection development
> policies
> to purchase only (or primarily) DVDs? Anyone have thoughts on the wisdom
> such a policy? My Library Director is urging us to buy DVD, and only DVD,
> unless a title is not available in this format. Feedback on the pros and
> cons
> would be much appreciated. Thanks--Maureen,