DVD vs. Laserdisc vs. VHS

Kristine R. Brancolini (brancoli@indiana.edu)
Wed, 14 Oct 1998 23:29:31 -0500 (EST)

I think the recent exchange regarding DVD represents one of the
differences between public libraries and academic libraries when it comes
to media services. Despite the fact that laserdiscs never caught on with
the public to the degree that VHS did, most academic libraries have been
collecting them for their price, durability, and special features. Since
we supply our own playback equipment in the library, it doesn't really
matter what people have at home. As Gary noted, our major concern is the
equipment available in classrooms. The situation is completely different
for public libraries.

So even if no one in my community buys DVD any time soon, I've started
ordering them, primarily when I cannot buy a feature film letterboxed on
laserdisc or VHS. Like Rick, our film studies faculty hate VHS, but want
letterboxed anything over a specific format. We've just received a
Parents Fund grant to buy four computers with DVD-ROM drives, so we will
be experimenting with DVD-ROM too. Basically, I think we have an
responsibility to experiment with and to learn about new technologies. I
love my laserdiscs, but their demise seems to be assured. And DVDs will
be easier to store. Now I'm ready for DVD to knock out VHS too...

Kristine Brancolini
Indiana University Libraries

P.S. Welcome back, Gary!