CeePrompt! Computer Connection
A humbling introduction to the world of DVD
Sept. 11 the country has bemoaned a sagging economy. Having taken these
concerns to heart, we opted for an early Christmas of sorts and purchased
a DVD player in early November. This ultimately proved to be a challenging
and humbling experience, however. For all I know about computers and
software, I apparently know equally as little about DVD players. The word
"digital" in the name did not translate to any familiar
it was out of the box, it seemed straightforward enough to connect the new
player using the red and yellow cables, except we couldn't find any
corresponding outlets on the television. Undaunted, we hauled the player
from room to room, searching for a suitable TV, dismantling bookshelves
and furniture in the process.
it's supposed to run through the VCR? Dragging the player and cables back
to the living room, my patient husband spent another hour trying to
hot-wire the new DVD player to run through the old VCR. Certainly we
couldn't be the only new DVD owners having such difficulty.
three frustrating hours, husband Tom returned to Circuit City and made the
only reasonable choice. He purchased a new television. "George Bush
made me," he stated flatly upon returning home. It was clearly a
patriotic solution that avoided having to ask for further instructions. As
it turns out, our sets were apparently too old to accommodate DVD
would have been nice if the salesman included this information in his
original sales pitch, thereby consolidating the purchases into one trip
instead of two.
and behold, the DVD player finally worked with the new set, although we
watched the first hour of "Bridget Jones's Diary" without sound.
The salesman assured us the new TV was equipped with the latest and
greatest "S" cable,. and nothing more was needed. After yet
another disassembly, we learned the "S" cable was only for
improved video performance. You still need an audio connection.
have a new-found empathy with the struggles of beginning computer users. I
promise to be more patient. We still have several remote controls, and it
takes at least three to accomplish the most-basic tasks, but we're
movies are noticeably improved over VHS technology. The clarity, detail,
audio enhancements and convenience account for the popularity of this new
entertainment medium. Local rental outlets have a disproportionately small
number of DVD movies for rent, however, as compared to VHS rentals.
is subscription service that's a great alternative to running back and
forth to the video store. Based in Los Gatos, Netflix has over 10,000 DVD
titles and an inventory of 2.5 million DVDs. They mail between 65,000 and
106,000 DVDs per day to their subscription customers.
$19.95 a month, you can rent as many movies as you like. You make your
choices online, and you're sent your first three selections by first class
mail. As soon as you return one or more, the additional titles in your
queue are shipped. Average members rent five to seven movies monthly.
There are no due dates or late fees, and Netflix pays all postage costs.
are enjoying the convenience and large selection offered by Netflix.
"No late fees and excellent customer service" are reasons Toni
Cecchetti has been a longtime Netflix subscriber. If your movies are
damaged for some reason, it's remedied via e-mail, and Netflix will
next-day ship the same movie or the next movie in your queue. "To get
the most out of the service, it is best to return the DVD's right
away," Cecchetti advises.
Cathi Schuler owns a computer literacy training/consulting company, Cee Prompt! She is a co-author of computer textbooks and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or by mail c/o The Record, P.O. Box 900, Stockton, CA 95201. She is on the Internet at: http://www.ceeprompt.com. Click here for past archived columns.
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