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    Friday, November 21, 2003

    DVD. Little plastic discs that give us so much joy.
    What's the difference between DVD 5 and DVD 9?
    The guy will tell you that DVD gives you better picture and audio quality. That's a load of bull. He won't know unless if made the copy himself. The only relevant difference to the DVD guy is that he makes more money selling DVD 9s than when he sells DVD 5s.
    DVD 5 and DVD 9 are capacity specification.
    There is technically NO DIFFERENCE between DVD 5 and DVD 9 except their storage capacity. DVD 5 hold 4.7GB of data, which is a little over 2 hours of audio and video. DVD 9 holds 8.5 GB.
    A possible reason for any picture degradation is if the pirate transferred the pictures differently when copying to DVD 5 and DVD 9. But I do not see why this would happen.
    Most video pirates would save time and digitally copy a DVD. I don't think any would bother to degrade the pictures by sending the video out into the analog domain and then rerecording it onto another digital device. It's just too time consuming since it is done is real-time.
    Therefore, pirates would rather sell you DVD 9s to make more money but the content may be the same as that you'd find on a DVD 5, ESPECIALLY if the movie has not been released on DVD by the film studio yet. This is true for most movies.
    There are also larger-capacity DVDs such as the double-sided, dual-layer DVD which holds something like 17GB of data, which is about 7-9 hours of audio and video.
    In a nutshell, if it is a very new movie and has not been released on DVD by the film studio, you're better of getting a VCD. If you can't get the VCD, you're better off getting it on DVD 5 since the source will be either VHS or something some guy took with a video camera strapped to his head.
    Get it on DVD 9 only if you can't find it on DVD 5 and you want the additional features such as track commentary or featurettes (even that you wonder if they actually put them in the DVD.) By the way, "scene selection" and "subtitles" are not a special features.
    I cringe whenever someone tells me that they can tell the difference between video from a 5 or 9. That's totally irrelevant. It's like someone saying the audio sounds better from a 70-min audio CD versus a 80-min audio CD. Or their Word document looks better saved on a 40GB hard drive than when its saved on a 80GB hard drive.
    These are the very people why Monster Cable is still in business.
    Next week, we will discuss why MyKad is safe for you and me.

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