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DVD Player FAIL vs. VCR

Friday, April 24th, 2009


Let me start this off by saying I’m no neo-Luddite – I like to think I embrace the latest technology just as quickly as the next person (though I’m more of a rev. 2 kinda guy for practical reasons). Anyway, I can’t be the only person that gets annoyed by the lack of control DVD players give consumers.

Remember the old days when you popped in a VHS tape from Blockbuster to watch a movie and you’d hit play then fast forward to skip past the FBI warning, previews, and credits? Annoying, yes, but not as annoying as popping in a DVD and hitting menu only to see a “Not permitted” message flash on your television while you are forced to sit through the FBI warning, the “commentary expresses the views of the actors and not the studios…” message, and these days, the beginning of the previews. DVD manufacturers have taken freedom away from consumers and as a freedom-loving American this pisses me off.

Yep, the studios must be quite satisfied with DVD technology since it allows them to control every aspect of the home viewing experience. What’s next – the inability to fast forward through slow parts of the films themselves? Eject button stops working during the credits? No pausing?

I read commentary recently where one writer noted the irony of the FBI warning on DVDs these days. Pirated copies don’t have this warning (obviously) so studios are really just wasting the time of honest, paying customers and not getting the message out to those who need to see it.

As soon as movie companies stop treating their paying customers like a captive audience of criminals I’m convinced good things will happen. Power back to the people!