Tuesday, July 9, 2013

One Problem With Better Technology

    Technology is the making and usage of tools humans do to better their lives and I would say that we humans are always striving to constantly create more and more advanced technology in order to make this world a more livable place. Invention of new gadgets is a part of this and that's what I'm writing about today: the invention of the DVD player.
    Before the DVD came along we used VHS tapes (mostly) to record and playback TV shows and movies. VHS tapes worked well but they had certain problems associated with them; they were a bit bulky, they were prone to accidental erasure, their shelf life wasn't all that great, you had to rewind them, etc. DVD's solved some of these problems; they were more compact but could hold more data, since they were digital instead of analog you could watch it from exact points in the show and didn't need to rewind it, they would last longer, etc. So, overall they have been an improvement over their predecessors. I, however, have found one issue while using DVD's that VHS tapes I think would be considered in a way superior. It may seem like an odd consideration, but hear me out. The issue I'm referring to is when there is some sort of damage or corruption in the file on the disc. Or, maybe there is just some dust or foreign material obstructing the laser of the DVD causing it to not be able to read and interpret the data. Whatever the case may be I have run into this problem several times lately (from REDBOX DVD's I've rented) and it has sometimes made the movies halt mid-movie at certain points & many times this is followed by an error message which states that the movie cannot be played. It is rather frustrating when this happens needless to say. It seems to me that this great technology that we've created is falling victim to smudges. How sad. In the old days of the VHS tape such occurrences weren't a problem. VHS players, being what they were, would simply play whatever was on the tape, smudges and all, and keep on playing. It would take an atom bomb (in the form of a tape being damaged severely) to stop it from working. So, in a way it seems to me that the VHS players have an advantage over DVD players in this one regard. A little error/bit of dirt/or whatever that really means nothing to the overall movie or TV show cannot stop the VHS player, while it can kill the movie watching experience of someone with the so-called more advanced DVD player. I just wonder if this issue has been addressed by anyone of the DVD manufacturers or if they even realize it exists. I would imagine that they must surely know of it, though it seems that, at least as far as my DVD player is concerned, they did nothing to alleviate the problem other than detect the error.
    Perhaps too much power has been given to the machines. What I mean by this is that we have made it the machine's job to try and fix whatever problem might arise while playing a movie & it expects the file it is reading to be perfect.
Perhaps they should not expect perfection-VHS players didn't and they functioned fine.