Monday, September 20, 2004

I Hate DVDs 

It turns out that DVDs have a terrible design flaw: They leave the surface of the disc exposed to every asshat on the planet, so that they can wipe their ass with them, or tape them to the bottom of their feet and slide around their apartment with them, or whatever the hell it is they do. In the past few months, we've only managed to rent a handful of DVDs that didn't have horrible scratches on them that made certain parts of the movie unplayable. It's especially fun when they occur multiple times during the movie.

It's enough to make me wish for some sort of pay-per-view system, digital rights management and all.

Just two weeks ago Anna and I tried to rent the first season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Out of 10 episodes, we could view only 2 in their complete form. I don't know how, but whoever had them before managed to ruin *both* DVDs of the two disc set. I exchanged it for the second season, and we had to ultimately watch the first season on tape.

I think DVDs have superior sound, for sure. But the video is not a hands down win. Although you can skip around to where you want on a DVD, at least a tape can *always* be fast forwarded: the ActiveX code on the DVD could make you wait to see whatever ad it wants you to see. Sometimes the compression creates odd color banding, though the component output is usually superior overall for any TV larger than 12 inches (mine isn't).

Also, it's got some of the length issues of that horrible failure called Betamax: that is, some feature length movies have to be put on two discs (or, alternatively, on both sides, which is less convienent on multidisc changers like mine). One of my strongest pet peeves is when people act like Betamax was superior to VHS: it wasn't. The video was clearly better: some local commercials today are shot on Beta. You can tell the quality difference. But if seeing Pulp Fiction means you gotta plop in two tapes, you're gonna lose a lot of people.

That's partially why laser disc bombed so much. At least with DVDs, most films plus bonus features fit on a single disc quite nicely, but then there is the ocassional Amadeus that needs two discs. I'd bet that people believe DVDs could hold longer movies that VHS, but that's probably only a belief because DVDs contain more special features.

For your point: DVDs can be cleaned and repaired somewhat, but again not as easily as tape.

Anyway, if I were you I'd tell them about the scratches and ask for my money back. The won't do it, but they'll give you a free rental.
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