Network: My Technology: Where's the popcorn?

Comedian Richard Blackwood says the Sony DVD Player is a movie- buff's dream
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The Independent Culture
I went to New York in February last year, and it was basically the craze out there - everybody had the DVD player and all the videos were coming out on DVD before VHS. It wasn't even out here at that time. Certain shops had it, but it wasn't really on the market. So when I bought it in June last year there were only two or three films out on DVD.

But I knew that it was going to take off. I found certain shops that actually had DVD films, and I could order them from America. By the time it came out properly I had 20-odd films on DVD already.

I would by lying if I said there was that much of a difference. Except, put it this way: if you are watching a film on videotape, the tape can easily get worn down, and you will see that effect on the screen. But with DVD it will keep its perfect quality for ever - unless you scratch it, but then that's the same with everything.

The number-one thing you will notice about DVD is how clear the visuals are. And the sound quality is much better; more like stereo sound. It does pay to get a surround-sound system or something like that to enhance sound on your television, because obviously a normal TV can only do so much. I have got surround-sound on a Philips WideScreen TV.

Then there are the different angles. You can also watch selected extra scenes from films, get little biographies of the characters, and it'll show the trailer. It's interactive. However, all of these extras do depend on what each film has included, but generally you have a lot of different options besides watching the movie. And you can jump to a particular scene just by punching a button.

It hasn't stopped the way that I watch films. I still watch movies from beginning to end. But if you are watching a movie again it means you don't have to stop and rewind. Initially, my friends were like: "What is it?" Now they all want to get one. I think they have got cheaper because everyone wants one.

I would say that you need to be into movies to get one, because DVDs are not that cheap. If you are a person who doesn't watch many movies, it isn't worthwhile getting things from movies that you wouldn't normally, such as the trailers or biogs. So you would have to be interested in that.

I am a film buff, definitely. I collect films, and I probably buy two films a week depending on what's out. I am a person that can watch a movie more than once. But there are only a couple of films that I reckon I can watch over and over again.

I love horror films. On DVD it's not that you are going to get a better gory scene but on the DVD version of The Exorcist' for instance, you also have The Making of The Exorcist.

It's kind of like buying a stereo; some people are cool with the midi- system, while others might want the blazing 120 watt stereo. It's all down to personal preference.

I try to be up on technology. It's not because I work in this business - I just like gadgets. When I was younger I had the Commodore 64 and Atari. I had quite a few computers, actually. I still play computer games.

The visual quality on computers is so much better now. I have the latest Sega console, Dreamcast, and it's leagues ahead.

I have also got a PlayStation and a Nintendo. But it's just the way the market is that in six months' time they will bring out something even better than both of them. The next generation PlayStation console, for example. But that doesn't stop me. If you were going to look at it that way, you would probably never buy anything.

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