July 6, 2007

Technology Schmechnology

What’s the deal with DVD’s, aren’t they supposed to make life easier? When they came out, it was great not having to rewind like with our VHS. But after having a kid who watches a DVD every once in a while, I’m starting to miss the option of being able to fast-forward and rewind. Take his Thomas the Tank Engine DVD’s for example. Picture a cranky kid who really wants to watch his shows and a parent who is itching for a good hour of peace and quiet. The DVD is put in and loads (10-20 seconds, no big deal). First we get to sit through almost a minute of FBI warnings and notices about copy protection that is already available on the box… we get it, don’t copy your stuff… enough already. Then comes the “previews” which, while playing, have disabled the skip / menu buttons.

With VHS we could simply fast forward through previews we don’t want to see… minor inconvenience, but no big deal.Thomas isn’t as bad as Sesame Street. They’ve got a super-long introduction about how our purchase of their DVD helps “educate kids around the world”… blah blah blah. I don’t care, my kid doesn’t care, we just want to see Elmo and veg for an hour. Our cheap-o $30 DVD player seems to be able to FFWD through the Thomas previews while our higher-quality Pioneer player does not. Neither player can get through the annoying Sesame Street previews.

Weren’t we supposed to see lower per-album prices when the lower-production-cost CDs first came out? I haven’t seen it. And why, when the technology is there, does the new tech make our lives increasingly difficult and add more wait time. Sorry for the rant… there’s only so many times you can sit through some of these kid’s shows until… well… you gotta say something 😉


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