Technology has always been a great love of mine. If its new and hot, I have to have it. Things like ipods, flat screen monitors, cool cell phones, and of course everyone should have the benefits of owning a DVD Recorder.
It wasnt but a few years ago when the first DVD recorders came about and they were over $600.00. At that time, it was hard to imagine you could create your own digital DVD disc from shows right off the TV. We spent a whole decade using VCR’s. And that would soon be ending as the DVD recording revolution was well on the way.
Now that we have established that DVD technology was taking off, lets look at whats happened since then.
The entire industry is in a state of instability.
Some companies supported the +R standard, while others supported -R. You would think it would get easier once you find the proper format of media you want or need, right?
It seems, that is barely the icing on the cake. Next you have to find a compatable brand. Whether it be Memorex, TDK, Maxell, Fuji, or whatever, it seems the list of disc manufactures is growing at alarming numbers. Originally it seemed like the big players like Memorex were going to cash in, but that wasnt going to happen. Oddballs starting popping out of the woodwork. Verbatim, Ritek, This Generic Brand, That Generic Brand…heck even Walmart released their own Durabrand.
Ok, deep breath here. So we now know what format we want. We found a brand that works with our particular device after going through hundreds of coasters (if youve never had a coaster youre very lucky). That should be easy enough to do right?
Not exactly! So youre on your second spindle of the same exact brand that worked, and the package labeled as “Memorex” is actually not really Memorex, but something like CMC Media or Ridata, or a number of other manufactures. Compare it to a roll of the dice. But in the case of Memorex, you just never know what you’ll get. As well as some other brands that use the same tactics. Confused yet?
Some say buy discs that are made in “Japan” rather than “Taiwan” or “India”. Perhaps there is some rational logic to that, but Ive never proved it either way.
Lets recap again. The format, then the brand, then the actual manufacture, then the country of origin. Should that be enough to find the right media?
It is not over yet!!!.
Now in the last year you have another factor that creeps in - Media Speed!! Do you get the 1-4X or the 1-8X, or just 8X, or 1-16X? Which one does your recorder support, do you even know? And if your recorder doesnt support the quick changes in media speed, I suppose that means you have to go and buy new hardware right?
(sidenote: can you imagine if the car manufactures changed the kind of gasoline that cars took every few years, so therefore you have to buy a new car in order to use it?)
Doesnt it seem the DVD pioneers are right in the middle of playing a HUGE JOKE on all of us? (or have I just lost my mind?). Sure the price of media continues to decline or remain stable, but is that really the cost? If you really think about it, the particular selection of media that you choose to buy/use today will NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE within a short short time (like only a year or two… Can you say DL or Blueray?). We have already seen prices of the older slower speed media rising due to lack of supply and increased demand.
Is there a real solution to the madness? Or is it easily explained by new technology and incompatibilty?
It surely would be nice to (finally) see some standardization in the industry. There should be certain criteria that ALL media manufactures MUST meet. Cheap media is really inexcusable! (even the FDA has standards on beef)
We are looking at a technological revolution going on! Will there ever be one media, thats guarranteed to work, in any device. Is that even possible?
Perhaps with all the various choices in media we are still in the middle of reviewing the technology and tweaking it to find the right standard. Is that the case? Are we test dummies looking for the best standard? Sure, it is nice that we have a choice of what to buy. But as you see here no two people agree on the same thing.
On the horizon… Double layer dics and Blue Ray discs. Yes you pay more, but still at least that techology is less crowded in that you dont find huge differences in quality and standards.
It is frustrating, But as long as I remain committed to be on the forefront of technology then it will be necessary to deal with all the crazy unexplained mysteries of the DVD world. But still, its hard not to wonder where its all going?