Re: [Videolib] What to do with DVD-Rs?

Meghann Matwichuk (mtwchk@udel.edu)
Wed, 19 Sep 2007 12:50:47 -0400

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Ah yes, DVD-Rs... Probably the biggest thorn in my side, as far as
playability issues. (Immediately followed by the lack of chapter breaks
and generic menus on some distributors discs -- these are easy to add
using DVD authoring software.) You write:

"I am sure I'm not the only one dealing with this problem .... am I?
How do others handle something like this when a Prof takes a
questionable item to use in a class? Tell him/her to check it first as
it may or may not work? /I don't think so. /(sarcasm indented)"

Well... er... Yes, actually. We ordered custom labels on bright green
stock to alert instructors to the (potential) problem which read:

"NOTICE: This is a DVD-R and may not play on all DVD players. Please
test on classroom equipment before screening."

I understand that some distributors, knowing that a title may not sell
very many copies, see DVD-Rs as the only viable option to releasing some
programs. I'd like to encourage those who are on this list to please
take the rather serious playback problems with DVD-Rs into account when
making such a decision. The cost / minimum numbers for pressing a run
of 'real' DVDs has come down, and the playback issues are a huge
problem. I know of some institutions (mostly public libraries) who, as
a rule, will not purchase DVD-Rs because there are so many reported
playback problems. It becomes an equity-of-access issue.

I've also been told by some distributors, upon reporting problems, that
DVD-Rs should play in newer players -- this is not always the case.
Another response that is not acceptable is "If there's a problem, send
it back". Yes, of course, if we note a problem during our previewing
process, we will send the disc back. But it's impossible to test every
model of DVD player / drive on campus, and of course there's the
variable of students' and instructors' own players.

My $.02,

*************************
Meghann Matwichuk, M.S.
Senior Assistant Librarian
Instructional Media Collection Department
Morris Library, University of Delaware
181 S. College Ave.
Newark, DE 19717
(302) 831-1475
http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/instructionalmedia/

Karen Heckman wrote:
> We have recently been acquiring more DVD-Rs and finding they are very
> unreliable as far as playback. The last one we received we put in a
> Panasonic player and got a message "nothing recorded" ..... tried it
> in a Toshiba player and it worked!
> I think I understand that it is not a problem with the player but
> rather how the info is written to the disc but if I'm wrong it won't
> be the first time .... nor the last.
>
> I am sure I'm not the only one dealing with this problem .... am I?
> How do others handle something like this when a Prof takes a
> questionable item to use in a class? Tell him/her to check it first
> as it may or may not work? /I don't think so. /(sarcasm indented)
>
> I'm not a technical person .... just trying to do the best job I can
> where I am. Help, please!
>
> Karen
> --
>
> Karen V. Heckman
>
> Coordinator
>
> Media Resources Collection
>
> Weinberg Memorial Library
>
> University of Scranton
>
> Phone: 570-941-6330
>
> FAX: 570-941-6369
>
> *
> *
>
> ****
>

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Ah yes, DVD-Rs...  Probably the biggest thorn in my side, as far as playability issues.  (Immediately followed by the lack of chapter breaks and generic menus on some distributors discs -- these are easy to add using DVD authoring software.)  You write:

"I am sure I'm not the only one dealing with this problem .... am I?  How do others handle something like this when a Prof takes a questionable item to use in a class?  Tell him/her to check it first as it may or may not work?  I don't think so. (sarcasm indented)"

Well...  er...  Yes, actually.  We ordered custom labels on bright green stock to alert instructors to the (potential) problem which read:

"NOTICE:  This is a DVD-R and may not play on all DVD players.  Please test on classroom equipment before screening."

I understand that some distributors, knowing that a title may not sell very many copies, see DVD-Rs as the only viable option to releasing some programs.  I'd like to encourage those who are on this list to please take the rather serious playback problems with DVD-Rs into account when making such a decision.  The cost / minimum numbers for pressing a run of 'real' DVDs has come down, and the playback issues are a huge problem.  I know of some institutions (mostly public libraries) who, as a rule, will not purchase DVD-Rs because there are so many reported playback problems.  It becomes an equity-of-access issue.

I've also been told by some distributors, upon reporting problems, that DVD-Rs should play in newer players -- this is not always the case.  Another response that is not acceptable is "If there's a problem, send it back".  Yes, of course, if we note a problem during our previewing process, we will send the disc back.  But it's impossible to test every model of DVD player / drive on campus, and of course there's the variable of students' and instructors' own players.

My $.02,

*************************
Meghann Matwichuk, M.S.
Senior Assistant Librarian
Instructional Media Collection Department
Morris Library, University of Delaware
181 S. College Ave.
Newark, DE 19717
(302) 831-1475
http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/instructionalmedia/


Karen Heckman wrote:

We have recently been acquiring more DVD-Rs and finding they are very unreliable as far as playback.  The last one we received we put in a Panasonic player and got a message "nothing recorded" ..... tried it in a Toshiba player and it worked! 
I think I understand that it is not a problem with the player but rather how the info is written to the disc but if I'm wrong it won't be the first time .... nor the last.

I am sure I'm not the only one dealing with this problem .... am I?  How do others handle something like this when a Prof takes a questionable item to use in a class?  Tell him/her to check it first as it may or may not work?  I don't think so. (sarcasm indented)

I'm not a technical person .... just trying to do the best job I can where I am.  Help, please!

Karen
--
Karen V

Karen V. Heckman

Coordinator

Media Resources Collection

Weinberg Memorial Library

University of Scranton

Phone: 570-941-6330

FAX:  570-941-6369


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