Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Just $17.98

XS Cargo
I was just looking through the XS Cargo flyer and one of the ads caught my eye. It was for a DVD player and the advertised price was $17.98. Now, I realize that this particular player wouldn’t be top of the line and more than likely it is in a battle for last place, but $17.98 is a pretty good price for a DVD player no matter how crappy it is. That costs less than most of the DVD’s that you would play in it. What I thought was really funny is that under the $17.98 there was big red lettering that said “WHY PAY $19.98”. Why indeed?

For that price, it might be worth it to have a couple just sitting around waiting for our current DVD player to break down. I know it will break down eventually, and it will break down when there are no $17.98 DVD players available and I will have to pay the $19.98. I just hate to pay full price!
It wasn’t too long ago that I had hundreds of video cassettes cluttering up the house. We had a couple of VCR players, one hooked up to each of the TV’s. I had taped a lot of shows, most of them for the kids, but Louise and I had our favourites as well. This was before PVR’s and if you were going to miss a show you would set the VCR to record it. Sometimes it would, and sometimes it wouldn’t. Those recorders were temperamental machines and more often than I like to remember, the last five minutes of your show wouldn’t record, leaving you totally unsatisfied.
They would also malfunction every now and then and I became quite adept at taking them apart and cleaning them. The tape in the cassette would also break from time to time and I learned how to take the housing apart and splicing the tape back together. I once found a broken tape on one of my walks, brought it home and repaired it just to see what it was. Turns out that it was a very explicit porno tape. The kids thought it was really funny and told their friends that I made a porno tape. Just so you know, the kids were legally adults at the time, or pretty close anyways.

When the DVD technology came out I was very happy and very sad at the same time. I had hundreds of tapes that would be no good once we switched over to the DVD format, but comforted that I wouldn’t be buying a DVD player anytime soon, unless the price came down. It became obvious that DVD’s were the future and since it was shiny and electronic, I wanted one badly. It was just about this time when the Playstation 2 came onto the market. Not only could you play games on the PS2, but it would also play DVD’s. It would do all of this for a measly $400- $500 which was the price of just a DVD player. There was nothing else that we could do but buy one.
It turns out that a PS2 is no good without buying expensive games and even though it was able to play DVD’s, it can’t play one if you don’t own one. I managed to “borrow” sample games disks that came in PS Magazine, but it turned out that I didn’t really like to play games on the TV. The first two DVD’s that we bought were “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “The Sixth Sense”. “Crouching Dragon” may have been a success at the box office, but I don’t think I watched it to the end. What a piece of shit movie! The “Sixth Sense” was a very good movie, but it is the kind of movie that once you have seen it…you have seen it. The thing that makes it great is also the reason you have no need to watch it ever again.
It was a long time before I bought another DVD, in fact, I would request them for birthdays and Christmas. The library now carries DVD’s and blueray as well, but I am hesitant about the whole blueray movement. I will stick with DVD’s for sometime, because I can copy my own and I have a feeling that blueray won’t be around long enough for me to make a collection. I think our society is on the verge of easily downloading pretty much anything we want, whenever we want, where ever we want either for free or very cheaply.

I think I will check out the $17.98 DVD players tomorrow, you just never know when new/old technology will be useful.

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