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Old 18 Mar 2002, 01:34 AM   #1
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Default Rant about the term: "video and DVD"

I've noticed over the past year or so a worrying, growing trend emerging. The trend is for retailers and advertisers to refer to video tapes as "video" and DVD videos as "DVD".

For example, I see adverts on TV for movies saying "own it now on video and DVD". Or I walk into a shop and I see two sections, a "DVD" section and a "video" section.

This is crazy, and a totally inaccurate way of describing the two mediums. Referring to VHS video tape as simply "video" is stupid because the video could be on any medium. And referring to DVD videos as "DVDs" is stupid because DVDs can contain any kind of data, not just video data.

This trend must be stopped as it only serves to cause confusion about the two mediums and does not communicate effectively what the retailers are trying to sell!

When referring to DVD videos and VHS video tapes, if the format is not important then both should be referred to as "videos". (Example: "Most of my videos are DVDs".) However, if the format is important then VHS video tapes should be referred to either as tapes or cassettes (or as VHS, as VHS also describes the medium); however, as DVDs can store more than just video, DVD videos should always be referred to as DVD videos (unless it's obvious that you're talking about videos, in which case DVDs would suffice).

If you don't think all this matters then let me tell you what happened to me a few weeks ago. I was talking about buying a video to my friend and he actually corrected me and said "you can't call them videos when they're on DVD"! If this isn't proof that advertisers are screwing with people's minds then what is?

It has to stop!
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Old 18 Mar 2002, 10:10 AM   #2
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i totally agree except for
"then VHS video tapes should be referred to either as tapes or cassettes
(or as VHS, as VHS also describes the medium)"
this should ONLY be VHS because "tapes" and "cassettes"
refers to audio tapes.
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Old 18 Mar 2002, 10:45 AM   #3
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Okay, I forgot that tapes have other uses. I should really have said "in the context of video, they should be referred to as tapes". (But really, does anyone use audio tapes any more?)

But I still do think "tapes" or "cassettes" is more correct than "VHS", because although VHS is an integrated tape medium/video compression format, it is really irrelevant when discriminating between storage media. VHS is to video tapes what MPEG-2 is to DVD videos. VHS is only a format and not an object. You can't say "I have a lot of VHSs in my collection." or "I used to buy VHSs but now I only buy MPEG2s."

So, to summarise how it should be:

When obviously talking about video:
"I have a lot of videos in my collection. Some are tapes, some are DVDs."

When not obviously talking about video:
"The other day I bought a great video."

When not obviously talking about video, and medium is important:
"Video tapes are coming down in price."
and
"DVD videos are everywhere these days."
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Old 18 Mar 2002, 10:48 AM   #4
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I will also add that I only use S-VHS. And at work I have had to deal with Beta. So that's another reason why "VHS" can't be used as a generic word for videotape. Because it's too specific. Even if you only refer to the format in question, it's gonna sound silly at times: "I love all my S-VHSs"!
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Old 22 Mar 2002, 12:40 AM   #5
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I had a friend of mine who asked me last month if it's possible to store videogames and stuff on DVD. He really thought you could only store movies on DVD.
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Old 4 Apr 2002, 02:00 AM   #6
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I have a friend who thought that DVD-ROM drives could only read DVDs.
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