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  xFriday, June 20, 2003

sign o' the times


Interesting...according to Reuters, rentals of DVDs topped rentals of VHS tapes for the first time last week.
ENCINO, CALIFORNIA-BASED Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) said 27.7 million DVDs were rented in the week ended June 15 compared with 27.3 million VHS cassettes.

“Since the advent of video rental 25 years ago, videocassettes have been the dominant format for video rental. Just over six years since its launch, DVD has supplanted that pioneering technology in the rental market,” said VSDA President Bo Andersen.

Since their launch in 1997, DVDs — which offer crisper digital pictures, clearer sound and last longer — have steadily made gains against the older, video technology.

DVD sales have eclipsed video sales, and just this past March, the weekly revenue from DVD rentals exceeded VHS rental revenue for the first time, according to VSDA.

As faithful readers (both of you) know, I'm a total convert to DVDs. We got our first player when Cecilia was born, almost four years ago. Two features made it indispensable to a couple with a baby: She was colicky, so the ability to invoke subtitles was invaluable when trying to calm a crying baby. And the DVD player's ability to pause indefinitely was another handy plus. These days, I hardly ever watch my videotape collection, although the girls do (it's easier for them to just stick a tape in the VCR than to perform the complicated remote-control gymnastics required to activate the DVD player, even if I did let them touch it). There's no real reason not to -- I still have some excellent programming on tape that I don't yet have on DVD -- but the inherent fragility of video tape is an impediment. Mostly, though, it's that I hardly ever think of them; my tapes are on the opposite side of the room from the DVD cabinet (which, after my recent Father's Day acquisitions, is now officially incapable of holding my whole collection). When I'm in the mood for a movie (which is almost every night, although I often choose to do something else instead), I go straight for the DVD cabinet, literally turning my back on my videotapes.

Indeed, now that the local blood collection agency now has combination DVD/VHS players, I'll probably favor DVDs when I give platelets, too.

(via FARK)





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