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Survey: DVDs and how they effect your love for movies

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Survey: DVDs and how they effect your love for movies

Old 11-01-05, 01:06 AM
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Survey: DVDs and how they effect your love for movies

Hello. I have a report I have to do about a recent aspect of technology and how it has influenced people's lives as a whole or a select group of people's lives. And, always turning whatever I am assigned to be somewhat film related, I'm doing mine on how DVD revolutionized the way current generations view, revisit and study movies. So the help of any serious DVD collectors or aficionados would be appreciated in answering a few of these questions.

If I could get more than a few word answers and more detailed statements, that would work better in my case beyond just demographical information.

1. How has DVD affected the way you view movies? [i.e allowed you to have a medium where you could constantly revisit a film for analysis as opposed to seeing it at a theatre, being able to better familiarize yourself with films that you typically wouldn't encounter at a theatre, etc.]
2. What is better about DVD than any other previous methods of viewing movies at home? [Beyond just merely "better picture." Perhaps a specific commentary of series of discs that offered insight into something you really like.]
3. Has the ability to have your favorite films at your fingertips effected how much you enjoy or understand a certain movie? [seeing it once in a theater vs. seeing it numerous times in your home]
4. What are detracting factors from DVDs or areas where you could see improvement? [Not with a specific disc, but DVDs as a whole, or their general treatment of certain types of films. For example, if you feel not enough classic films are released or something along those lines.]
5. Is there a difference to you between owning/watching your favorite movies on DVD vs. VHS?

Thank you.
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Old 11-01-05, 01:37 AM
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1. DVD has absolutely changed the way I view movies. Five years ago, I never thought I would've accepted a home video format presentation over the theatrical experience, but with the cost of a trip to the theater for two roughly equalling the purchase price of a DVD, the DVD is often a no-brianer, especially when considering the rude and noisy people in the theater. I have a pretty decent 16x9 TV & 5.1 sound system, so I make due pretty well at home.

2. I like that DVD offers not only a potentially better audio & visual presentation, but quite often there are also extra features that enhance and better educate about the movie itself. Back in the days of laserdisc, I would often hear about these big fancy editions of movies with things like "commentary tracks" and "bonus features", but back then, i couldn't begin to afford to buy movies at $50 - $100 (or more) a pop, much less a laserdisc player. Back then i was happy just to be able to own my favorite movies on widewidescreen VHS tapes. I remember gladly paying $18 for a ws VHS copy of "The Frighteners". The inexpensiveness of DVD has spoiled me in this regard - these days I'm not sure i'd pay $18 for most any regular DVD. But, i'm a bargain hunter, so i've learned patience. Fortunately the used market for DVD is pretty buyer-friendly. But it's true that DVD has brought film school to the masses. I never have to give the "why widescreen is better" speech anymore. Many more people now understand or at least accept why there are those "black bars".

3. I love having movies right at my fingertips. Admittedly, collecting DVDs can be a bit of a minor addiction, but many collectors have rich film libraries in their homes to show for it. People often ask why I blind buy so many movies. I reply by asking if they have read every book on their shelf at home before they bought it? These days, most DVDs are actually cheaper thhan your average new hard cover book, to boot.

4. Nobody does DVDs better than the Criterion Collection - I really appreciate their brilliant handling of classic and often obscure world films. Lately Warner Brothers has become a forced to be reconned with as well - impressive transfers and brilliant picture quality have come to be routinely expected of both Criterion and WB. If only the other studios and DVD manufacturers put the care that these two do into their product...

5. I'm not sure VHS is even a factor anymore, as most store don't even stock them nowadays. But yes, there's a big difference in quality and wear & tear.

JiM T
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Old 11-01-05, 03:12 AM
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1. With VHS, it was almost a hassle to watch a film. I had to skip through 5 minutes of FBI warnings and previews before the movie would even start. Then it was a hassle to pause a movie, since for some reason my VCR would fast-forward the film 5 or so seconds.
DVD offers the chance to hear and see the film in the way the director enviosed the film, rather than a fullframe pan & scan version. with the popularity of DVD, almost any film I want is at my fingertips and I can revisit it whenever I want. DVD also offers unique special features that allow me to gain more insight into the film, through documentaries, deleted scenes, interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and commentaries.
finding unique and rare films, as well as movies you normally wouldn't see is possible with DVD. For example, websites and forums (such as DVDtalk) offer recommendations on movies that I normally would have never known existed.
Finally, there is a DVD culture involved. On DVDTalk, for example, people find the best deals on DVDs, offer their advice on the best versions of movies, list DVD defects, etc...

2. Besides superior sound & picture, there truly are some unique DVD sets that have been released.
DVDs exist of movies that are decades old. The recent 3-disk wizard of Oz comes to mind. It was released in 1939(?) and 60-something years later, is restored to look the way it was supposed to when it was first released in theaters.
The extended Lord of the Rings offered something I had never experienced before-multiple commentaries by cast and crew, along with an exhaustive amount of extras that really took you into the middle of the film and showed how so much of it was made.
DVD offers a unique opportunity to put you in control of what you watch and learn. When done right, a DVD can be an experience that lasts much longer than the initial 2-hour viewing session.
For instance, I bought the entire Neon Genesis Evangelion DVD collection. It was 8 disks and took around 8-10 hours to watch. I would watch it in 3 or 4 hour sessions every night, go to school the next day, then watch more until I had finished the series. This was a show that I would never known about had DVD never existed. On top of that, I was given the option to listen to it in its original japanese language with subtitles or with the english dub. Now, the Neon Genesis collection has been redone with audio commentary and better audio and video. I will also purchase this. The thing about DVDs I also really enjoy is the collecting aspect. I love to display every movie I own on my shelf and show people some new or special movie they've never seen before. As DVD becomes more and more popular, companies are releasing DVDs with unique and rare special features and packaging, such as the Walt Disney Treasure Tins or the Alien Quadrilogy.


3. I love watching movies multiple times. It's like listening to a really great song. The first time you listen to it you love the song. As you continue listening multiple times, you'll notice subtleties in the song, such as an additional guitar, or a unique drum pattern at certain parts of the song. After noticing individual elements in the song, you gain a new appreciation for the artistry of the song. The same can be said of movies. You usually don't notice subtleties when you first view a movie. After repeat viewings, you'll find new things that help you gain a better understanding of what happens in a movie. The Sixth Sense comes to mind. If you rewatch the movie, you'll notice 'clues' that you didn't notice upon initial viewing. And it's even better when you can use the special features to help you enjoy the film better.


4. I think many studios think that they can release a lackluster DVD release and people will buy it just because it's on DVD, then they go and realease the film 6 months later, with sexier, shinier packaging. Like the previous poster said, Criterion and Warner Brothers are the top studios for DVD right now-they consistently release great DVDs-with great sound, picture, and special features. Most WB(and MGM) and other 'forgotten' classics are released these days, or at least ones that I wish to own. These companies also release other newer releases and do a fantastic job.
Other studios should follow this model and stop releasing "Tricked Out Unrated Whatever Edition" DVDs that just repackage a movie to promote a sequel.

5. With VHS, as I said earlier, it was a hassle to watch a movie. I had to wait at least 5 minutes-fast forwarding past commercials, previews, and FBI warnings. I also am seeing the movies the way the filmmakers intended-with the best sound and video.
Finally, DVD made OAR (original aspect ratio) more popular. 5 years ago I didn't know\care about OAR, I just wanted my screen to be filled. Now that I know, I can't even watch fullscreen\pan&scan movies. The reason I didn't know about OAR was because almost all VHS movies were released Fullscreen. I didn't know any better.
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Old 11-01-05, 07:28 PM
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1. How has DVD affected the way you view movies? It has greatly changed the way I buy movies. I never owned a single VHS tape but I own over 350 DVDs now. Not only is a significant improvement in picture quality (no tracking marks) it's much easier to obtain a much larger variety of movies in the booming DVD industry. Also I grew up just recording movies of movie channels and there was no difference in quality really as they were just both VHS. With DVDs they have to be authentic. I manage to find a lot of DVDs at very low prices so my DVD watching has included a lot of blind buys for movies that I always wanted to see, which probably makes up at least 25-30% of my entire collection.

2. What is better about DVD than any other previous methods of viewing movies at home? Like above the quality is a major difference. VHS quality was always poor and always got worse the more you viewed it.

3. Has the ability to have your favorite films at your fingertips effected how much you enjoy or understand a certain movie? Without question. It's great to just be able to own a variety of movies and watch whatever I feel like when I want to watch it. Look around enough and you can even find the newest stuff for ridiculously cheap.

4. What are detracting factors from DVDs or areas where you could see improvement?Well there are still a couple titles I'd like to be released like Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Almost an Angel, but the only thing I can think of is I just hope that all the DVDs I've collected will last for a long time. I know with the new HD formats (of which I have no interest) all of the old stuff might just become useless. As long as all the new formats will be able to play the regular DVDs I'll be ok.

5. Is there a difference to you between owning/watching your favorite movies on DVD vs. VHS?Huge difference. I won't even watch VHS anymore. I even record football and basketball games onto DVDs now instead of VHS.
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Old 11-02-05, 01:00 AM
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1. How has DVD affected the way you view movies?
It sure has. I hardly ever bought VHS tapes, and if it was a movie, I would wait for a previously viewed title to hit the bin at Blockbuster. Only once in a while did I seek out a new tape, and in those instances it was from the widescreen section at Suncoast. On DVD, I've been open to buying more movies that I would have previously passed on, either because of great prices found online or simply because I know I am getting a better product than I ever did before.

2. What is better about DVD than any other previous methods of viewing movies at home?
Durability. VHS tapes would develop problems just sitting on my shelf, I swear. Color drop outs, issues with tracking, that annoying bending of the image at the top of the screen....such an awful medium, it's no wonder why I hardly ever bought VHS tapes. I tended to spend my money on CDs back in those days. Rarely do I have a problem with a DVD not playing later on, and those problems were only with a couple titles I got from Anchor Bay, and was easilly rectified.

3. Has the ability to have your favorite films at your fingertips effected how much you enjoy or understand a certain movie?
Absolutely. I've been able to enjoy movies that I would never get to see on TV, and also I've been able to watch favorite movies time and time again whenever I want. It's a great freedom.

4. What are detracting factors from DVDs or areas where you could see improvement?
My main problem is with people who tie up movies and TV shows in endless legal issues with music rights and what not. While the movie or TV show is sitting unreleased, NOBODY is making money off of it, and everybody suffers. As far as improvement in the medium as a whole, I wish they would stop treating initial releases so poorly and put out expanded special editions more often the day the movie first comes out, with less double dipping.

5. Is there a difference to you between owning/watching your favorite movies on DVD vs. VHS?
Better quality, better sound, takes up less space, easier access, more durable...better all around.
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Old 11-02-05, 08:08 AM
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1. How has DVD affected the way you view movies?
One large way it's affected me is that I've started importing a lot of foreign DVDs, something I never did with VHS. Optional subtitles mean that foreign DVDs can feature English subtitles, which means my viewing options are no longer limited to what is available in the North American market. I can get films unlreased here, or the original versions of films edited and possibly even dubbed for US release.

The ability of many DVD players to convert from the PAL video format to NTSC means that I'm even able to purchase from English speaking countries that I couldn't before, such as Australia and the UK. Were I to have tried to import a UK VHS, I would've needed a several hundred dollar multi-system VCR, wheras nowadays you can get a DVD player than can handle the conversion for under $40.

Also, DVD has popularized widescreen, meaning that nearly every film shot in WS is available on WS on DVD. WS options on VHS were very limited. For me, DVD was really the first time to view many films with the image that I was originally meant to see.

2. What is better about DVD than any other previous methods of viewing movies at home?
The seemless branching feature allows for viewing of multiple versions of a film from a single disc. It gives you the ability to compare versions and gives you choices outside of just what was shown at theaters. Also optional subtitles and PAL to NTSC conversion.

3. Has the ability to have your favorite films at your fingertips effected how much you enjoy or understand a certain movie? [seeing it once in a theater vs. seeing it numerous times in your home]
You could still watch a film numeous times in your home with VHS. Where DVD has really changes things is with the supplimental features. Watching different edits. Watching it either dubbed or subtitled. Watching it with commentary. Watching the making-ofs for it and such.

4. What are detracting factors from DVDs or areas where you could see improvement?
Region coding is one. Trying to artificially limit what DVDs I can or can't play is very annoying. Also, while I appreciate unrated/extended/director's cuts, it's a bit unnerving that many WS DVDs of films have only the extended cut, with no option of viewing the original theatrical cut outside of a seperate FF release.

5. Is there a difference to you between owning/watching your favorite movies on DVD vs. VHS?
My DVD collection is hundreds of times larger than my VHS collection ever was. The higher quality of the image, plus the added features, plus the ability to import, has imporved and expanded my filmviewing experience.
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