Friday, February 29, 2008

More on DVD vs. VHS

Searching through the referrals (a lot of you seem to come here because someone linked from an e-mail, which makes me feel oddly self-conscious), I saw someone linked to the VHS vs DVD post.

That lead me to this anti-DVD post. Now the post is about seven years old, but it's interesting nonetheless. The main four points he brings up are:

1. DVD vs. VHS picture quality.

In absolute terms, there's a point here. A perfect VHS tape was pretty good visually, and Beta was even better. But we all had experiences with less than perfect tapes.

2. DVD vs. VHS sound quality.

The guy (wrongly, I believe) claims that DVD sound is not (potentially) better. I'm pretty sure you can't get surround sound out of VHS, but I think that's a matter of no spec being available.

3. DVD vs. VHS longevity.

In a vaccuum, DVD will last longer. But nobody lives in a vaccuum.

4. DVD vs. VHS special features.

The guy trashes these because he doesn't like them, which isn't really relevant. Some folks do like them. They are "value added" material just obviously based on the fact that people buy them. And skipping around on a DVD is way easier than it was on VHS.

None of this is as compelling as the DVD hawkers would have you believe, and of course they're trying--far less successfully--to sell people on high-definition DVDs. But at some point "more" just isn't compelling; there is such a thing as "enough".

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