Re: future DVD?

Gary Handman (
Tue, 10 Oct 2000 09:18:12 -0700 (PDT)

Here's a little parable:

One sunny day in Berkeley (yes, those DO happen occasionally)...sometime in
the early 1990's, I believe...I sauntered over to the local Tower Records
store to buy a John Coltrane album (albums...remember those?). Now, a few
weeks previous to this outing, I had gone to Tower to buy a Miles Davis
recording; the store was full of vinyl. So...I entered the shop...looked
around, and felt something was horribly amiss...and, by the ghost of
Edison!...upon closer inspection, I realized that the vinyl offerings had
been downsized to four or five bins and shunted to the far back of the
store (next to the T-shirts and Iron Maiden posters). In the course of
one week, the Lords of Mass Market and Consumer Electronics had completed
their coup... Did they care that it would be years before Bix Beiderbeck
recordings made it onto CD...not a chance. Do they care that a substantial
portion of the video universe is likely to drop firmly between the cracks
in a wholesale transition to DVD...not a chance. The lessons here
are: Content has nothing to do with anything anymore; the market drives
everything, and that market demands product hegemony (ain't nothing like
peaceful format co-existence when it comes to technology). And if a
gizmo catches fire with the buying public, it shall reign supreme (watch
what happens this Christmas...razor scooters and DVD players!!!). I think
the only thing that's gonna stop DVD from conquering the world
(temporarily) is the read/write problem...but that is, by all reports,
close to being solved.

At 06:30 PM 10/09/2000 -0700, you wrote:

>On Mon, 9 Oct 2000, Jessica wrote:
> > Call me old fashioned but I think VHS is going to be around for A LONG
> > It is not just rare educational material that won't come out on DVD but
> Yes, I agree with that. Plus the whole country-code thing. 'Though
>at this ALA I asked Films for the Humanities and other educational film
>companies about country code and they said they didn't plan to do it.
> - Victoria Caplan
> HKUST Library

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley 94720-6000

"Everything wants to become television"
(Gregory Ulmer. Teletheory : Grammatology in the Age of Video)