Monday, November 21, 2005

DVD Movies Suck

I love DVDs. But they have a huge down-side especially in the rental market.

Stop touching the face of the DVD!!!!!!!

Yes, I'm talking to you. I know, DVDs and CDs were touted by some as indesctructible. What they meant by that is that you can't really wear them out like you used to be able to do to cassettes that got a lot of play. But if you scratch it, you ruin it.

One of the most frustrating things in life is to rent a movie (who buys any more?) get half way in, absorbed in the story, then the picture freezes and skips 3 scenes down the road. Wipe it off all you want, the thing has been scratched.

There are many fault points in this system.The first fault is with DVD packaging. Remember tape packaging? The tape itself was protected from me screwing it up. You had to depress the little button and flip up the front of the cassette to even see the tape. But DVDs are just sitting there so people touch them and drop them on the floor and lay them on the coffee table and then return them to my video store ruined. What is needed is a sleeve that fits over the DVD that DVD players can open to read the DVD. The problem with this solution is that its going to make your portable DVDs huge and will not work with computer-based players. Or anything out there already. Its too late to re-work the players.

The second fault is with the rental stores. Remember how pissed they used to get when you returned tapes without rewinding? Anyone heard word one from them about scratched DVDs? Why? Do they not care? The problem is that its hard to tell if a DVD is scratched until you play it. Blockbuster does not have time to watch every movie returned to it every day to make sure the idiot who rented it didn't ruin it. Maybe there is a technology solution to this. Can someone invent a DVD reader that essentially just quick scans a DVD for faults. If it comes back scratched, the rentor buys it.

The third fault is with people themselves. I suppose I could argue that if everyone would be more carefull...

I guess what we really can do is try to learn from this debacle when we move to the next format. When movies start coming on hard-drives we will have licked this little annoyance and I, for one, will be happy to see DVDs die.


A hint...keep your DVD lens clean. I have found it helps enormously. I bought one of those disc cleaning gizmos (basically a CD with a brush attached to it) and it helps quite a bit. If the DVD looks scratchy, clean it with water and towel. It will help somewhat.

Comment by steve (12/15/2006 15:54)


AND you still owe me a copy of UNBREAKABLE. I had the two disc version, but I don't think they make it anymore. Hmmmmm.

Comment by steve (12/15/2006 15:54)


Yeah...why is there not a return scanner/cleaner to process incoming DVD's? Actually it has already been done:

Maybe the economics are not there to support cleaning the incoming DVD's? Even if you rent a scratched DVD you do not stop renting DVD's. Ultimately it is clear this incident has disrupted the tranquility of your home. We can only hope for the advent Movies on Demand for an entire video store to rescue the masses from such maddness.

Whatever happned to the Quest communications commercial where the clerk of the now-where motel says, "We have every movie on every format even made!" Or we can just go and return it and get a clean copy.

Comment by Armchair quarterback (12/15/2006 15:54)

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