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Editorials

1997-1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002+



DivX Sux

Sorry for the sarcastic title! We've been trying to do more upbeat editorials, but I couldn't resist that title. :)

I think it's great that 20th Century Fox got the prequels. Personally, it wouldn't feel like a Star Wars movie to me without the fanfare and the logo!

But there is one thing about them getting it that has me worried. DIVX. Fox is only releasing their movies (as far as I, Joe Schmoe Fan, knows) in the DIVX format rather than DVD.

What's the difference between DVD and DIVX? Well, with DVD, you buy a rather expensive player, plug it into your TV, buy the DVD CD for about $20 or so, and you take it home and play it. Simple.

DIVX is a bit more complicated. First, you have to buy a DIVX player. It costs around $500. (You can buy DVD players that also play DIVX) You take it home and plug it into your TV AND your phone jack. Yes, your phone jack. Oh, but don't worry! You can still plug your phone into the jack, too! Then you have to go buy the DIVX CD. That costs about $4.50. Cool, eh? The catch? The CD is only viewable for 48 hours. Huh? Well never fear! You can buy unlimited viewing of the CD for around $12 by swiping your credit card through the DIVX machine! But, if you only want another 48 hour viewing, just swipe your credit card through the player again and you'll view it for $3.50. Therefore, most people will want unlimited viewing. However, the CD is only playable on YOUR machine and no others. So, you can't take the CD YOU paid for and watch it at a friends house.

Now you see why I said DIVX SUX.

Since Fox has an exclusive deal with DIVX, that means the Special Editions and the prequels will probably not be available in DVD format.....unless something changes You'll have to swipe your credit card in order to view them.

This is such an incredibly stupid idea that it is destined to go the way of Beta videos tapes, new Coke, and Vanilla Ice. If I buy a player, I don't want to have to plug it into a phone jack. If I buy a player, I don't want to have to position my TV near the same phone jack. If I'm going to spring and buy a CD, I want to watch it all the time, not have to take it home and buy it again. And if I want to take my CD to a friends house to watch it, I don't want to have to swipe my credit card again. And what happens if my DIVX player breaks? Do I have to pay for my whole collection again? Or if I move to another house with another phone number, do I have to buy my whole collection again? It's all too confusing for the average customer, and even an Aggie like me. :)

If Lucasfilm has any mercy for the fans (and actually wants to make more money), then they made sure in their contract that the prequels (and special editions) will be available on DVD, because nobody is going to want to have to deal with the hassle of the DIVX player. If the only way to view Star Wars is to have a credit card, then that immediately turns me off.

Personally, I don't even own a DVD player. I have so much money invested in video tapes it will be many moons before I spring for a new player. But I can guarantee you it sure isn't going to be a credit card machine if I buy one. I'll go with DVD as have many of you that have been writing us asking "When is the Special Edition going to be on DVD?" And if going with DVD means not getting to buy a copy of the prequels, then so be it. After all, I only have a gazillion different copies of the original films that I can watch.

Scott Chitwood
4/9/98

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