For June 1997


Aha...the title caught your attention, didn't it? Well, I was hoping it would, because I'm a bit ticked off this month and I'm going to tell you all about it. Proceed at your own caution, since what I'm going to say very well might annoy some of you...

For many weeks now I have been perusing various internet newgroups to see what the general reaction is regarding DVDs. What can I say...I'm curious. But I've got to admit I've become a bit dismayed by much of what I've been reading and hearing from many current LaserDisc owners. Messages like "DVD Will Die as an Inferior Format," "Die Warner Bros.," "Satanic Laserdisc Worshipers," "DVD Is Doing LaserDisc Owners a Favor," "DVD On Its Way Out," "DVD Starting to Falter," "Why DVD won't sell," and other such titles.

And all I can think of is "Grow Up and Get Off Of It Already."

The sort of attitude and behavior being exhibited by many LaserDisc fanatics is childish in the extreme, and much of what these folks are claiming is "true" is completely the opposite. Much of what they are "reporting" about DVDs is just simple conjecture and wishful thinking on behalf of the individual authors, and is in no way based in fact. Sure, I'm a firm believer that everyone has a right to express their own opinions, but these opinions should be based on facts and nothing else. From what I've been seeing and reading, most of these "fans" who have been trying to convince you of the evils of DVD haven't even bothered to experience the system for themselves before condemning it to the rest of us. I can understand a bit if they were basing their opinion on any of the demo discs, since most demo discs usually have one thing in common - they harm the format they were intended for instead of helping it. I have many LaserDisc demo titles in my collection, and probably 90% of them are so horrid that they would turn anyone off of buying a LaserDisc player. The same goes for the DVD demo discs I've seen - until I saw some actual release titles, most of the demos made me NOT want to own a DVD player.

I love the LaserDisc format, and have more laserdiscs in my collection than you can possibly imagine. I also absolutely love the new DVD format, too, and definitely plan on adding more titles to my collection. But it's not the format I care about.

You heard me's not the format I care about. I don't buy a LaserDisc simply because it is a "LaserDisc," and I don't purchase DVDs because they are "DVDs." Don't get me wrong...both provide the two best possible ways of viewing your favorite program in your average home. But what IS important to me is that I purchase these items first for CONTENT, and then for the quality of the presentation. My dream environment would of course be to purchase a 35mm projector and own my own prints, but that's a bit extreme for most people.

Here's what I'm talking about. I picked up Blade Runner years ago because of how much I love the film. I chose to get the deluxe CAV Criterion edition, because it was the highest quality home video version at the time (okay, and because it had all the cool supplementary features). Recently, I picked up the DVD version again because I love Blade Runner and because the quality was better than the LaserDisc (enough that I probably won't watch the Criterion disc again except for the extras...). Just because the film is on LaserDisc or DVD is secondary to me...if Blade Runner was a crappy film, then it wouldn't at all matter what the format was...newspaper, VHS, LaserDisc, DVD or 35mm. But if Blade Runner could be encoded onto an acrylic disc the size of a quarter with better resolution, than I would be more than happy to upgrade.

All things disappear sooner or later. 78RPM records are long gone, as are 8-track tapes. New vinyl record releases are close to non-existent. And someday VHS, LaserDiscs and even DVDs will disappear completely, and a brand new format with better resolution will arise. But no matter how excellent the format is, it still depends on one single factor - the program that is encoded onto it. It's the message that counts, not the medium. And if you think otherwise, than you are likely in for a sore disappointment.

Thanks for listening and for letting me blow off some steam...I feel much better now. And I'm sorry if I've offended some of you with my words. But as I stated a bit earlier, I am entitled to my opinion... ;)


Originally Created: 06/01/97
Last Updated: 09/13/97