THE WAY I SEE IT: DVD: The new library video format?

Gary Bravy
2019 College & research libraries news  
D VD-Digital V ideo Disk-has becom e the n ew entertainm ent buzzw ord. N ew s papers a n d m agazines are filled w ith ar a n d advertisem ents about the form at, seem ingly im plying that the '-inch VHS tap e for m at (the standard in m any libraries) is essen tially d o o m ed to obsolescence. W hile DVD has m any a dvantages for seri o u s film lovers, w hat, if any, u n iq u e charac teristics o f th e form at will b e suitable for li brary a n d e ducational pu rp o ses?1 Prom ises o f
more » ... ?1 Prom ises o f greatly im proved video resolution a n d m ul tiple c h an n e ls o f so u n d are certainly inter esting; how ever, th e criteria by w hich librar ians a n d e d u ca to rs ev aluate v id eo form ats are different from th o se that deal w ith the optim al p re sen ta tio n o f theatrical films. A lthough VHS is looked d o w n u p o n by video purists, it d oes offer som e strong a dvan tages: the form at is inexpensive, relatively d u rable, a n d b oth softw are a n d hardw are are w idely available. W hile VHS video is n ot o f terribly high qual ity, in m any situations that lim itation is not a detraction from the training a n d educational properties of the format. Because VHS has been the standard for som e tim e, huge am ounts of software for b o th education and entertainm ent are available. DVD's features DVD is a digital form at that looks like a CD; the co m p u ter version o f DVD is referred to as ti DVD-ROM.2 (This article will b e primarily con cern ed w ith DVD u se d in a "set to p " o r "view clesi ng station" context, m uch in the w ay that cur rent VHS cassettes are used.) DVD can store a b o u t tw o h o u rs o f highquality video. S ound can b e e n c o d e d in th e ater form ats w ith sta n d ard ste reo so u n d a n d a variety o f o th e r form ats. Discs can b e ei th e r o n e -o r tw o-sided.3 B ecause th e form at is digital, it d o e s not n e e d to b e u se d in a strictly linear m anner; w ith a p p ro p ria te p ro gram ing, a so m e w h a t interactive am biance can b e created.4 F o r e d u c a tio n a l a p p lic a tio n s , o n e o f D V D 's m o re in trig u in g fe a tu re s is th e p o ten tial to p re se n t m u ltip le view s o f a scen e. F o r so m e m ate ria l, th e a b ility to s e e a p r o c e s s o r o b je c t fro m v a rio u s a s p e c ts a n d th e e n h a n c e d v id e o q u a lity o f DVD m ay b e e sp e c ia lly a p p e a lin g . Finally, because the form at is new , it could very w ell b e u se d in w ays th at are h a rd to visualize at this point. Sim ply as a fo rm a t, DVD is a flexible a n d m ultidim ensional p ro d u ct w ith aw eso m e technical a n d creative p o tential b e y o n d anything VHS c an offer.5 N ev ertheless DVD m ay n o t b e co m e th e stan d ard form at for th e next decade.
doi:10.5860/crln.60.10.848 fatcat:qjiazeg4bbcznkgxy22ny2ett4