Oksana Dykyj (
Tue, 15 Apr 1997 13:07:21 +0000 (HELP)

Kristine Brancolini wrote:

>Beth: There just are not enough DVD machines or software out there yet
>to consider it an alternative to laserdisc. I support my software
>collection with equipment. I have no plans to buy a DVD player right
>now. Besides, there are only about 20 films on the market! Even if
>there were 100, I'm not ready to shift to a new format that does not do
>anything a laserdisc cannot do. So, short answer. No, I am not putting
>off further laserdisc purchases. I will probably begin a DVD collection
>someday, but not today. And I will probably buy VHS, laserdisc, and DVD
>simultaneously for awhile. BTW, there are still plenty of laserdisc
>titles being released. Lots more than DVD. My users still need new
>releases and most of them are on laserdisc, not DVD.

I tend to agree with Kristine. My purchases are content oriented. When I'm
asked to find a title I look for it in the best possible medium to suit the
presentation. For Film Studies if a letterboxed laserdisc is not available I
look for alternatives, and so I still purchase VHS along with laserdisc.
We've been purchasing laserdiscs since 1984 and due to title availability it
has taken a very long time to build this collection. Titles go in and out of
print all the time and obscure titles, silent films, European, Latin
American and all non-mainstream material is still not very well represented.
As I've mentioned before, there will be a number of years where careful
maintainance of the playback equipment will be crucial. I too will buy DVD's
and playback after carefully reading tests published in the various
magazines dealing with the hardware and software.

I'd like to mention two further issues rarely discussed vis-a-vis DVD. In
last Tuesday's New York Times (April 8, 1997) Stephen Manes, who writes the
Personal Computers column, talked about the DVD consortium having divided
the world into 6 parts, so a Region 4 disc (Mexico and points south) will
not play in a Region 1 (USA and Canada) player. This is worse than the
current NTSC, PAL and Secam problem. Secondly with the current talk of
conversion to digital television, the author notes that the present
incarnation of DVD cannot deliver HDTV-quality images. As for DVD-ROM, his
tests were performed on a new Pentium 200 MMX where the performance was
"lackluster at best". Manes claims that "movies that looked fine on a tv set
looked even sharper on a computer monitor but revealed artifacts of the
decompresion process. Motion that should have been smooth often looked

Well there you have my two cents' worth.


Oksana Dykyj Tel: 514-848-3443
Head, Visual Media Resources Fax: 514-848-3441
Audio-Visual Department H-342 Email:
Concordia University
1455 de Maisonneuve West
Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8