Re: dvd prices

Randy Pitman (
Tue, 27 Jun 2000 14:58:38 -0700 (PDT)

Just to clear up a couple misconceptions: "The Matrix" was released on Sept
21 on *both* VHS and DVD; the "repriced" VHS version of "The Matrix" came
out Dec. 7th, after an unusually short period. The studios are actually
quite ambivalent about DVD, ranging from Warner's wholeheartedly embracing
the format to Fox's reluctant embracing of the format (they're worried about
digital copying). I hate to sound like "The X Files" but there is no
conspiracy here. The studios won't pull the plug on VHS anytime soon, nor
will they tick too many people off with street date tricks. New Line did
release "Detroit Rock City" on DVD before VHS, but that's a) the exception
rather than the rule and b) they did it with a title that no one cared

I think we're also getting a bit confused over different institutions here.
It makes some real sense for academic libraries to embrace DVD quickly,
since they're using these titles not for general circulation, but for
instructional purposes (doesn't matter to students, since the students
aren't the ones supplying the viewing equipment). Public libraries are
obviously a different matter altogether.

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 2:16 PM
Subject: RE: dvd prices

> The main "scam" was this:
> The very slick and loaded the other hand, are in the circ busines
'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
> 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
> Matrix DVD... and none of them machines were selling for $150 then.
> Christmas time brought another batch of very inexpensive DVDs. The one
> caught my eye was Pink Floyd's The Wall which sold for $19.99 Cdn (about
> 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
> with the times" -- it's deliberately eliminating options (slashing prices
> 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
> 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
> That's why I think libraries have an obligation to the serve everyone --
> at least try.
> Uh, this is a video library listserv, isn't it?
> dw