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Explaining DVD to a newbie?

 
 
John
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      01-29-2006
Hi. I just wondered if anyone can help me? I am trying to write a
small email for my father to explain DVD to him in very simple terms.

He has recently bought a combination VHS/DVD Player from a well known
large place selling goods like this in the UK. It was not what he
wanted though and I believe that either the salesperson pulled a fast
one on him and sold him the wrong thing, or he just got confused and
asked for a DVD-R with the salesperson thinking he wanted a player
compatible with recordable formats? Either way he actually wanted a
DVD that can record.

So far I have put together the following in as simple language as I
can. I have removed the hyperlinks to the site that was underneath the
info, I didn't want anyone to think I was spamming for that electrical
store.

Thanks for any suggestion to what I have already put:



FYI: The xxxxxx xxxxxx site has some good info on DVD Recorders and
Players and the different types.

For a DVD Recorder you are going to be looking at a price of about
100.

For a DVD Recorder with built in Hard Drive (useful if you are on
holiday for a long time) you would be looking at a price of about 220
minimum.

There's not really much point in getting a combination VHS/DVD unit as
VHS became pretty much redundant 3 years ago in 2003, and the more
parts you have inside a machine the more things are likely to go wrong
with it. It is usually always best to get a stand-alone product. If
you did want to get a combination VHS/DVD Recorder the cheapest price
it would cost you would be about 150.

DVD though is a widescreen format and to get the best use out of a DVD
Player or Recorder you really need to have the best quality Widescreen
Television you can afford.



Can you think of anything else to add to this? And is this good
simple advice for someone who knows nothing about DVD? I put the last
bit because he doesn't have a widescreen telly, he just has a cheap
25" 4:3 one.

Cheers

John


 
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Cardman
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      01-29-2006
On Sun, 29 Jan 2006 08:43:18 +0000, John <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Hi. I just wondered if anyone can help me? I am trying to write a
>small email for my father to explain DVD to him in very simple terms.
>
>He has recently bought a combination VHS/DVD Player from a well known
>large place selling goods like this in the UK. It was not what he
>wanted though and I believe that either the salesperson pulled a fast
>one on him and sold him the wrong thing, or he just got confused and
>asked for a DVD-R with the salesperson thinking he wanted a player
>compatible with recordable formats? Either way he actually wanted a
>DVD that can record.


Under UK trading law then so does your father have a "few days" in
which to reject the item (for any reason) and to return it to the
store for a full refund.

In other words, since this device was not what he wanted, then the
earlier he returns it the better.

Having the store exchange it for the correct item would assist in
their cooperation, but since he has already walked away with the wrong
item once, then it would be better if you assisted in obtaining a
suitable model on his behalf.

>So far I have put together the following in as simple language as I
>can. I have removed the hyperlinks to the site that was underneath the
>info, I didn't want anyone to think I was spamming for that electrical
>store.
>
>Thanks for any suggestion to what I have already put:
>
>
>
>FYI: The xxxxxx xxxxxx site has some good info on DVD Recorders and
>Players and the different types.
>
>For a DVD Recorder you are going to be looking at a price of about
>100.


A cheap DVD recorder then. It is best to avoid high street stores if
he wishes to obtain a good price.

>For a DVD Recorder with built in Hard Drive (useful if you are on
>holiday for a long time) you would be looking at a price of about 220
>minimum.
>
>There's not really much point in getting a combination VHS/DVD unit as
>VHS became pretty much redundant 3 years ago in 2003, and the more
>parts you have inside a machine the more things are likely to go wrong
>with it. It is usually always best to get a stand-alone product. If
>you did want to get a combination VHS/DVD Recorder the cheapest price
>it would cost you would be about 150.
>
>DVD though is a widescreen format and to get the best use out of a DVD
>Player or Recorder you really need to have the best quality Widescreen
>Television you can afford.


In my case I spent a long time trying to figure out if I should go for
a 16:9 or a 4:3 rear projection TV. I decided in the end to get a 61"
4:3 model when even now most TV programming is in 4:3 mode.

My TV however supports a widescreen mode in that I can display a
widescreen picture to a size of 56".

The other reason I decided on a 4:3 model is that most movies are not
actually recorded in the 16:9 model. As in the Hollywood's way of
always trying to avoid the home use format then so are most of my DVDs
actually in the 2.35:1 mode. In other words even with a widescreen TV
you would still have black bars top and bottom.

The main thing that you overlook in your father's case is that any
reasonable DVD model will always support widescreen, letterbox and pan
& scan display modes. So no matter what the shape of the TV then the
DVD player will support a mode that he would be happy with.

So it is best to avoid all TV replacement advice.

>Can you think of anything else to add to this? And is this good
>simple advice for someone who knows nothing about DVD? I put the last
>bit because he doesn't have a widescreen telly, he just has a cheap
>25" 4:3 one.


A 25" CRT model is bound to be fairly expensive. And as I said he can
play DVDs on his 4:3 model just fine.

Anyway, if he does not want that DVD + VCR model, and I would
recommend getting rid of it, then tell him to return it to the store
in it's original packaging *urgently*.

As if he keeps it beyond the allowed "few days" then the store then
has a right to reject his return. They may charge him a restocking fee
if he returns it in a condition below what he got it as, like in the
case of removing it from the box, but as they sold him the wrong item
in the first place then so should he press them to cover their own
mistake.

All he needs to do to find a replacement is to make sure that it is a
"DVD recorder". However, since the ideal model can be somewhat
technical to describe, then that is why I said that you should
directly assist him in this purchase.

Or just buy him a magazine with DVD recorder comparison review and to
tell him to buy the winner.

Cardman
http://www.cardman.org
http://www.cardman.com
http://www.cardman.co.uk
 
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Laurence Payne
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-29-2006
On Sun, 29 Jan 2006 08:43:18 +0000, John <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>He has recently bought a combination VHS/DVD Player from a well known
>large place selling goods like this in the UK. It was not what he
>wanted though and I believe that either the salesperson pulled a fast
>one on him and sold him the wrong thing, or he just got confused and
>asked for a DVD-R with the salesperson thinking he wanted a player
>compatible with recordable formats? Either way he actually wanted a
>DVD that can record.


Why do people get all coy over mentioning names? Currys? Dixons?
(same company anyway). Anyway, if he takes it back promptly they'll
swap it. He may have a little trouble if he wants his money back
instead.
 
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John Russell
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      01-29-2006

"Laurence Payne" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Sun, 29 Jan 2006 08:43:18 +0000, John <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>He has recently bought a combination VHS/DVD Player from a well known
>>large place selling goods like this in the UK. It was not what he
>>wanted though and I believe that either the salesperson pulled a fast
>>one on him and sold him the wrong thing, or he just got confused and
>>asked for a DVD-R with the salesperson thinking he wanted a player
>>compatible with recordable formats? Either way he actually wanted a
>>DVD that can record.

>
> Why do people get all coy over mentioning names? Currys? Dixons?
> (same company anyway). Anyway, if he takes it back promptly they'll
> swap it. He may have a little trouble if he wants his money back
> instead.


And I wouldn't be surprised if the salesperson actually believed it recorded
to DVD!

Good's have to be fit for purpose, but that's usually interpreted as does
what it says on the box. How do you prove your requirements where different?
I doubt anyone goes around with their own spec list on a piece of paper
demanding the shop's stamps the thing to confirm the goods sold match's it.
Perhaps we should. That's how big companies make major purchases.


 
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Dave Farrance
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      01-29-2006
John <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>... or he just got confused and
>asked for a DVD-R with the salesperson thinking he wanted a player
>compatible with recordable formats? Either way he actually wanted a
>DVD that can record.


Dunno. It's good enough for a small telly, if that's what he's happy
with. And it gives him the chance to wait for Freeview DVD recorders to
come down to a sensible price before the analogue switch-off.

But if he really did want a DVD recorder and you're not putting words in
his mouth, ask him to be careful what terms he uses when he goes back to
the shop. He might have asked for a "DVD player that can record" which
might confuse some shop assistants - so make sure that he knows to ask
for a "DVD recorder"

>...
>For a DVD Recorder with built in Hard Drive (useful if you are on
>holiday for a long time) you would be looking at a price of about 220
>minimum.


If he doesn't know anything about DVD recorders, I'd guess that the
above would be confusing.

Speak to him on the phone first. Try to keep it simple and bear in mind
that you don't have to explain about everything available. When you're
talking to the technically disinclined, don't spout a monologue, but as
you give each piece of information, say it in a way that requires a
response so that you can surreptitiously test how well it was
understood.

Maybe the first thing that you need to mention is that there are various
types of blank DVD disk (+/-, re-recordable, write-once, etc). He
doesn't have to remember it all, so long as he knows that he must get
the type of blank that matches his recorder.

As for hard drive, explain that HD is the buzzword to look for if he
wants an expensive recorder that can store tens of hours of television
inside it without having to use blank DVDs. If he's interested, he needs
to check how many hours a given unit will record (and don't mention
gigabytes).

*Then* tell him that you'll follow up with an email about the things
that he said he was interested in so that he's got it as a reminder.

>There's not really much point in getting a combination VHS/DVD unit as
>VHS became pretty much redundant 3 years ago in 2003, and the more
>parts you have inside a machine the more things are likely to go wrong
>with it. It is usually always best to get a stand-alone product. If
>you did want to get a combination VHS/DVD Recorder the cheapest price
>it would cost you would be about 150.


He can buy a pack of blank tapes which should last for the life of the
recorder, and he'd got the DVD player for rented films. Dunno. I've seen
some fairly cheap ones, and you only expect that sort of product to last
a few years anyway.

>DVD though is a widescreen format and to get the best use out of a DVD
>Player or Recorder you really need to have the best quality Widescreen
>Television you can afford.


Is that in his interest or yours when you're visiting him?
DVD-recorders record the telly in 4:3, and that might be the main thing
he's interested in. (Unless it's one of those expensive Freeview
recorders, which he needn't worry about unless he's in the Border region
where the switch-off is scheduled for 200.

--
Dave Farrance
 
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Laurence Payne
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-29-2006
On Sun, 29 Jan 2006 12:29:08 -0000, "John Russell"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> Why do people get all coy over mentioning names? Currys? Dixons?
>> (same company anyway). Anyway, if he takes it back promptly they'll
>> swap it. He may have a little trouble if he wants his money back
>> instead.

>
>And I wouldn't be surprised if the salesperson actually believed it recorded
>to DVD!
>
>Good's have to be fit for purpose, but that's usually interpreted as does
>what it says on the box. How do you prove your requirements where different?
>I doubt anyone goes around with their own spec list on a piece of paper
>demanding the shop's stamps the thing to confirm the goods sold match's it.
>Perhaps we should. That's how big companies make major purchases.



In practice, the chain stores will accepting a return on the grounds
"it wasn't what I wanted". Don't waste time sweet-talking the
assistant. He doesn't care. Either he's authorised to swap or he
isn't. You'll find he is.
 
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John Cartmell
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      01-29-2006
In article <43dcb564$(E-Mail Removed)>,
John Russell <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Goods have to be fit for purpose, but that's usually interpreted as does
> what it says on the box. How do you prove your requirements where different?
> I doubt anyone goes around with their own spec list on a piece of paper
> demanding the shop's stamps the thing to confirm the goods sold match's it.
> Perhaps we should. That's how big companies make major purchases.


A verbal contract is sufficient except where land and Intellectual Property is
concerned. Take a tape recorder if you're worried about them denying the
contract.

--
John Cartmell john@ followed by finnybank.com 0845 006 8822
Qercus magazine FAX +44 (0)8700-519-527 www.finnybank.com
Qercus - the best guide to RISC OS computing

 
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ama terasu
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Posts: n/a
 
      01-29-2006
In message <(E-Mail Removed)>, John
<(E-Mail Removed)> writes
>Hi. I just wondered if anyone can help me? I am trying to write a
>small email for my father to explain DVD to him in very simple terms.


Snipped....

Having browsed the various responses to your post, I'd suggest that you
Keep It Simple (you did use the term "simple"). I'd suggest that you
tell your father to:

1. Take it back to the shop, and tell them that he asked for a
DVD recorder but was sold a DVD player.

2. Ask for either (his choice) a refund, or an exchange for a DVD
recorder (with an appropriate payment to make up the price).

3. If the sales person seems reluctant to do anything, don't beat
around the bush - ask to see the manager. In many retail
chains, sales persons aren't permitted to authorise refunds -
only the manager is allowed to authorise that.

I'd suggest that he goes for the refund, then hot-foot it down to his
nearest Asda, and purchase a Cyberhome DVR 1600 at about 68. And while
he's there, pick up one or two 5-packs of DVD+RW at about 4. Aldi also
sell 5-packs of DVD+RW for the same price.

If he has some VHS tapes that he'd like to transfer to DVD, the he
should connect his VHS SCART to the input SCART on the Cyberhome, use
the 'Select Source' to select the VHS, and transfer his VHS tapes to DVD
(the Cyberhome user guide give a connection diagram and simple
instructions).

--
Tony Morgan
 
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John Russell
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      01-29-2006

"John Cartmell" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> In article <43dcb564$(E-Mail Removed)>,
> John Russell <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Goods have to be fit for purpose, but that's usually interpreted as does
>> what it says on the box. How do you prove your requirements where
>> different?
>> I doubt anyone goes around with their own spec list on a piece of paper
>> demanding the shop's stamps the thing to confirm the goods sold match's
>> it.
>> Perhaps we should. That's how big companies make major purchases.

>
> A verbal contract is sufficient except where land and Intellectual
> Property is
> concerned. Take a tape recorder if you're worried about them denying the
> contract.
>


At last a use for the mic record mode on my Zen!


 
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Stan Brown
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      01-29-2006
Sun, 29 Jan 2006 08:43:18 +0000 from John <(E-Mail Removed)>:
> There's not really much point in getting a combination VHS/DVD unit as
> VHS became pretty much redundant 3 years ago in 2003, and the more
> parts you have inside a machine the more things are likely to go wrong
> with it. It is usually always best to get a stand-alone product.


I don't think it's as open and shut as you make it. A combo unit can
be an excellent way to transfer treasured tapes to DVD.

If your father has no VHS to transfer to DVD, and never intends
renting or buying or borrowing another VHS tape, then for his
specific use I would agree.

> DVD though is a widescreen format and to get the best use out of a DVD
> Player or Recorder you really need to have the best quality Widescreen
> Television you can afford.


I disagree with this, rather strenuously.

First, DVD is no more a "widescreen format" than VHS or broadcast.
The choice of full screen or wide screen is completely independent of
the choice of media. Widescreen isn't intrinsically better; it's
better when the original source material was created in widescreen. A
widescreen TV adds nothing to /All About Eve/ or inner at Eight/ or
/Witness for the Prosecution/.

A widescreen TV might be a good choice if he's in the market for a
new TV, but it is by no means a necessity "to get the best use out of
a DVD player or recorder".

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com/
DVD FAQ: http://dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html
other FAQs: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/faqget.htm
 
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