DVD vs. VCR: weighing home entertainment options

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    By Holly Peterson

    DVD and VCR. Both are three letter acronyms and both are used to watch movies. Yet, more frequently DVD players are considered the new and improved VCRs.

    Clearer and more concise picture with CD sound quality and the option to move back and forth between scenes with the touch of a button are some of the reasons why DVDs are quickly becoming the choice of many.

    “I don”t buy anything but DVDs now — they”re better quality and they last longer,” said Christian Bacon, 23, a senior from Provo, majoring in music composition.

    The hype has to do with the fact that DVDs are digitally recorded and operate much like a CD-ROM. There is also the benefit of the size of a DVD compared to a videocassette. “The difference between DVDs and VCRs is like the difference between CDs and cassette tapes,” Bacon said.

    Ray Purcell, 25, a junior from Provo, majoring in business management, agrees. Purcell said that he, too, prefers DVD players to VCRs.

    “I really like the benefit of having the added bonuses that are offered on DVDs that aren”t available of videos. One of my favorite movies on DVD lets me go through and listen to the director”s commentary throughout the movie. It”s much more interactive,” Purcell said.

    Other bonus features include information about the directors and actors in the film, different language options, music videos and multiple camera angles.

    Yet, with so much good said about the revolutionary DVD, one must wonder what, if any, the drawbacks are.

    “My only complaint about DVD is that newer models are coming out and they keep getting better and better,” Purcell said. Kevin Bement, a sales representative in the electronics department at Circuit City in Orem, Utah, said price is often a hindering factor when considering which to purchase. “A good DVD player can be purchased for under $200, while a good VCR sells for about $100,” Bement said.

    “However, the price of a DVD to a videocassette is pretty comparable. On average you”ll spend about $16 on a video, whereas you can get a DVD on sale for about the same price,” Bement said. A regularly priced DVD generally sales for about $20, Bement said.

    Still, there are benefits to a VCR over DVD, Bement said. “The option to record television programs, as well as the ability to hook up a VCR to virtually any TV, remain benefits of VCR over DVD,” Bement said.

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