Re: DVDs

Randy Pitman (
Tue, 27 Jun 2000 10:59:27 -0700 (PDT)

Whether or not DVD prices rise (as many industry insiders think they will
once DVD player penetration reaches a higher level and the studios begin to
really feel that DVD sales are cannibalizing VHS sales), the pricing model
for DVD has remained fairly consistent since its widespread inception in
1997: namely, $19.95 - $39.95 list prices on titles. Yes, the VHS price of
"Being John Malkovich" will drop; most high profile titles do go to
sell-through within 3-6 mos. The primary advantage of buying new DVD titles
is that libraries have the opportunity to offer new-to-video titles to their
patrons now, and then can purchase VHS at the sell-through price later. I'm
not suggesting that DVD will supplant VHS overnight, or that libraries
should abandon their VHS collections. I do think it might be prudent to
consider replacing older, lower circ items that are damaged with DVD
versions, however.

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 10:15 AM
Subject: RE: DVDs

> The Being John Malkovich example is a marketing scam to entice people to
> DVD. It started with The Matrix as I recall. In six months, the VHS price
> will nose-dive.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Randy Pitman []
> Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2000 1:08 PM
> To: Multiple recipients of list
> Subject: Re: DVDs
> 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
> 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
> Publisher/Editor
> 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
> > 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
> a
> > few hundred dollars, it's still a hefty sum to those on a tight budget.
> And,
> > yes, many new computers come with DVD... but not everyone needs, wants
> > can afford a new computer -- or wants to view movies on their monitor
> (there
> > are still millions who have a TV, VCR but not even a Commodore 64 in
> sight).
> > Suddenly the library is divided between serving the "haves" and the
> > nots" -- which defeats the purpose of most public libraries.
> >
> > Plus, most DVD users are new users who are buying titles (more so than
> they
> > did with VHS) for their personal library. They handle the discs like
> > plutonium, for fear of scratching them. Are people going to be that
> careful
> > with a disc from a library? I know I wouldn't want to be the librarian
> > 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
> > 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
> may
> > 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,
> > prices of VHS should continue to drop... the problem is that people tend
> to
> > 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
> >
> > I'll bet my next paycheque that your Director has DVD at home. Am I
> >
> > -----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
> of
> > such a policy? My Library Director is urging us to buy DVD, and only
> > unless a title is not available in this format. Feedback on the pros
> > cons
> > would be much appreciated. Thanks--Maureen,