The very slick and loaded 'Matrix' DVD was released September 21, 1999 at an
astonishingly low price.
But if you wanted it on regular VHS...
you had to wait until December 7, 1999 -- so even though the technology
required to do DVD transfers is more lengthy than VHS, the hottest movie of
the year was deliberately held back on the VHS market. And they made damn
sure that the DVD was loaded with goodies, and blew away any possible VHS
appeal (better picture, better sound, more stuff, cheaper price -- since
when has a Porsche been cheaper than a Ford?)
I lot of DVD players were sold in September, just so people could play their
Matrix DVD... and none of them machines were selling for $150 then.
Christmas time brought another batch of very inexpensive DVDs. The one that
caught my eye was Pink Floyd's The Wall which sold for $19.99 Cdn (about $14
U.S.). My brother join the DVD craze when that happened. He wasn't alone.
The DVD market (geared by the same studios that release VHS) is not "moving
with the times" -- it's deliberately eliminating options (slashing prices to
speed up the DVD market/holding back titles to slow the VHS market) and
festering attitudes that result in library directors thinking they should
only buy DVDs. Many, here, obviously like that idea. But it's like
eliminating the mail service, and using only e-mail. Most of us live a world
where everyone we know has a computer and an e-mail account. And, yes,
e-mail has some obvious advantages over regular mail. But the world is
bigger than ours. And most pay tax dollars to support things like libraries.
That's why I think libraries have an obligation to the serve everyone -- or
at least try.
Uh, this is a video library listserv, isn't it?