Feedback about Premiere Issue of DVD ETC. Magazine

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Lambert, May 25, 2002.

  1. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    [c][​IMG][/c]
    Since the HTF doesn't have a section for "DVD Literature", and since the precedent of using the Software section was set here, with the magazine's announcement, and here again with the "Anyone Subscribe yet?" thread, I decided that this is the right place for this feedback thread. Admins can move it if they think it's necessary.
    I took up the challenge of being one of the first 10 to respond, and was rewarded yesterday when I received my complimentary issue of DVD ETC.'s Premiere Issue in the mail.
    I will start by stating that I will definately take advantage of the special HTF Membership offer of 2-year's-subscription for the price of one. I expect to do that before this Memorial Day holiday weekend is over.
    The magazine is all-glossy, standard magazine size, 130 pages, cover price $4.99 ($6.99 Canadian). Seems to be not-too-overrun with ads (a common complaint these days is that a periodical will be over 50% ads...this one MIGHT be right at 50% at most, but definately not more than that).
    The first issue ("June/July 2002") seems to cover more of the hardware side than the software side, but the mag looks designed so that the mix ratio is rather flexible. Hopefully we'll see more of a balance between the two on a normal basis, with the occassional shift as appropriate for special occassions (perhaps higher on the hardware side in the aftermath of CES shows, and then leaning a bit more on the software side for the winter holidays and the avalanche of new titles).
    It was said that the HTF would be prominent in this magazine. Well, we were mentioned in the "Fade In" column on Page 12, which is the introduction by editor Clint Walker. The results of our "The First DVDs You Should Purchase" poll are on Page 82 (more on that shortly). And on Page 93 it is evident that we are linked to on their BargainCenter site (which doesn't appear to be live as of this writing); the example shot posted shows a nice large link in the upper left of the page, next to the masthead! We should get some lurkers and new members as a result of this, folks! Be patient with them and play nice... [​IMG]
    I enjoyed looking through the different features aimed at all levels of skill, from the "Cable 2002" (which might help some of us to convince the missus that it's not a bad idea to spend more than the cost of 3 special editions to get the gold-plated component video cables instead of continuing to use the tin-plated S-Video connection) to the in-depth look at high-end toys like the Fujitsu 50" HD Plasma display! [​IMG] Someone in another thread compared this to Total Movie magazine on a "fun factor" level. I agree that it's a lot more straight than TM, but TM got carried away with it and has gotten left in the dust as a result. Also, I'm confident that these guys will loosen up as time goes on, but right now they are taking the exact right tact to kick things off, if you ask me. In the meantime, both my wife and I got a kick out of the "Seen And Noted" portion of Page 24! [​IMG]
    On to the "Collections" article on Page 82. It features the Top 10 DVDs "chosen by the experts at the HTF". I cannot say that I'm suprised at any of these choices; they are all top notch! And, I won't mention them here yet out of respect for the publishers (I figure that if the results were meant to be published here then Terry Carroll and Ron Epstein would have already seen to it, so I won't contradict that without permission). I will say this: I own 8 of the 10 titles on that list. One I don't own because I just haven't gotten around to it yet (#8), and the other we just haven't been interested in the film's subject matter (#5, and I will get blasted for this one, I'm sure...though I may have to get it now, both because of this new recommendation and because it is rumored to be unavailable soon in it's current form, as HTF members already know).
    #1 and #4 are titles I voted for. I'm a tad surprised that #1 beat #'s 2-4, but not VERY surprised. But I *am* concerned that they showed the correct cover art for #1; I thought that the correctly voted-for version would have been more "ultimate". [​IMG]
    Even more confusing is the bottom of the column stating this: "Next Issue: The HTF's Top music DVDs". I don't recall seeing a music- (or even musical-) related poll, do you guys? I did a search and didn't find one. Maybe I'm just getting senile, but the only other poll I could find for DVD Etc. was the "Top 10 Videos You Can't Get On DVD" poll. Did I miss something?
    One possible explanation here is that maybe the only error is stating that it is the "HTF's" top music DVDs...the "Next Issue" section on the last past says this (all spelling/grammer errors quoted are theirs):
     
  2. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    I'll repost my comments here:
     
  3. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Aha! So *you* were the HTFer I was quoting about nothing being rated worse than a "B"! I couldn't track down your name to give you credit! [​IMG] Sorry!
     
  4. Kelly W

    Kelly W Second Unit

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    MartinTeller posted:
     
  5. MaxY

    MaxY Guest

    Well I found a copy of DVD ETC in Barnes & Noble the other day. I was considering subscribing to it with the deal here.

    Well after reading the first Issue I was very disappointed with the magazine overall. Sure it hase the Neato Factor of including HTF in some of the polls and stuff. Which is absoultely a fantastic Idea. HTF is a great resource for info about Home Theater users It was only a matter of time before some magazine thought of gathering info here and catering to the online users.

    My problem with the magazine comes from the hardware reviews. They have some top notch writers, that should be getting paid big bucks by a Madison Ave firm writing advert copy. The reviews hardly even resemble reviews, they seem more like a Hardware companies web site info pages or those fancy product sheets some companies make.

    I found the reviews to be superficial at best, and actually to be worse then Home Theater Magazine which used to be the king of talking glowingly about every product they ever reviewed. There is no depth to them at all. At leat Home Theater Mag has nice pictures of the review units. In one review there was some Blatant mistakes. Several times The reviewer refered to a DVD player as supporting HCCD playback using the HCCD term in a couple of places and then going on to claim that it will actually improve the playback on NON-HCCD enhanced DVDs. Well sorry but it is HDCD not HCCD and it has no effect at all on CD playback of Non HDCD enhanced CDs.

    It is to bad, as I was really hoping for something more like Perfect Vision with HTF membership particaption.

    I urge anyone thinking of subscribing to BUY one issue first to decide if this is what you want in a magazine before making a long term commitment.

    I really hope they improve, but this first issue seemed really poor and a step in the wrong direction from what is already out there on the market.

    Max
     
  6. MaxY

    MaxY Guest

    Didn't anyone else find a copy of DVD ETC yet on the newstands.

    I think this is like the first time I posted something here and not gottan any replies.

    Max
     
  7. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    I didn't mean to ignore you, Max! I also saw these in BN.

    Nowhere else, though. I looked thoroughly in Borders & Waldenbooks; no dice.
     
  8. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    Ya, they were in my B&N by my work, and by my house.
     
  9. Michael Silla

    Michael Silla Second Unit

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    I have to agree with you Max. I picked the first issue up last week at B&N. I also thought the reviews lacked any real meat to them. Everything seemed to garner a 90 or better score.

    Granted, when such high scores are registered I guess it's reasonable to expect to find less criticism. That said, most of the articles had a "preview" feel to them. It's almost as if they were looking at the products at CES without the benefit of a review unit. I also felt that I was reading part of the Manufacturer's ad in some of the reviews.

    I don't think I'll be making a repeat purchase.

    Michael.
     
  10. Brajesh Upadhyay

    Brajesh Upadhyay Supporting Actor

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    I'd also agree. Almost bought it, but after reading their reviews of DVDs & hardware, I didn't learn anything that I didn't know already. It's mostly fluff -- entertaining fluff, but fluff nonetheless.

    With the web these days, I feel that most mags are already outdated by the time they arrive. For DVD reviews, you can't beat the HTF, DVDFile, The Digital Bits, etc. For hardware reviews/info., AVS & HTSpot are terrific. For hardware reviews, I still find Sound & Vision (I know some here hate S&V, but IMO it's a very good mag) & The Perfect Vision pretty useful.
     
  11. CamiloCamacho

    CamiloCamacho Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, the web is a great resource, but a hard copy that you can read everywhere is also a pleasure.

    S&V was, not a long time ago very bad, but today i think they have improved their content a lot.
     
  12. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    yeah...i posted a thread about who was going to pick this up a while ago.

    i checked out a hard-copy and wasn't impressed. the magazine is pretty slick, but content-wise there was nothing there that really floored me.

    although 20 bucks for two years is a steal, i won't be subscribing.

    i've already got too many magazines going on...
     
  13. Ted Kontos

    Ted Kontos Stunt Coordinator

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    I picked up the issue too and was disappointed. In addition to the "HCCD" errors, there were others in the disc reviews. "The Prisoner" in DD 5.1? I think not! The reviewer even raves about hearing the theme in 5.1! What kind of decoder is he using?
     
  14. MaxY

    MaxY Guest

    Ted,
    i noticed that stuff too. I mean most of the DVD reviews could have been written without having watched the DVD they were reviewing and in the case of The Prisonor it looked as though they did not copy the info off the box correctly.

    I honesly expect certain mistakes like that in the first issue and am sure they will get those taken care of as they tighten up the editing, but to review speakers and not even mention the manufactuers claimed frequency response let alone measuring them to see if the company was being honest is just awful reporting.

    Max
     
  15. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Well, as I mentioned in my separate post about this issue, all the DVD reviews of TV Series product were written by the same person...
     
  16. Michael Lee

    Michael Lee Supporting Actor

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    I picked up a copy yesterday also. I found it at a local DVD shop amidst the other HiFi mags. It seems very light and fluffy in general.
     
  17. Brian Glaeske

    Brian Glaeske Stunt Coordinator

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    To continue the nits on errors, within the Harry Potter DVD review they say, "And as exiting as the movie itself is (which is found on disc 1 in both 16x9 anamorphic widescreen as well as 2.35:1 "TV" pan and scan versions..."

    What disc did they review? One could construe this sentence to imply seperate releases, but it certainly is not clear that there are two different SKU's.

    I myself, would love to see the 2:35:1 "TV" pan and scan. That must be pretty special.

    However, despite these mistakes, I find myself drawn to subscribing.

    Brian G.
     
  18. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    I ended up subscribing through this website. Figured I should support this site one way or another. [​IMG] I usually get all my info from the web anyway but it is nice to have a hardcopy of some stuff.
    The second year free was a nice touch too. [​IMG]
     
  19. terry malibu

    terry malibu Stunt Coordinator

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    First, let me thank all of you for taking the time to comment on our new magazine. Interestingly enough, your comments about the magazine being 'light' are right on target, and exactly what we are going for.
    With over 20,000,000 players expected to be sold this year, our goal is to try and reach and inform the non-enthusiast consumer as they are the majority of the buying public and they need a place to get good information.
    As the former publisher of HT, SGHT and other enthusiast magazines I felt it important to offer a product that speaks to everyman. Solid concise reviews are what we are going for, not spec's and lingo.
    As to our scoring process, I would ask that you please read the legend and understand that a 90 is the base and that products gain or lose points based on the reviewers findings. My guess is that companies like Pioneer were not pleased with their score. The fact is, most of these companies build pretty darn good product. Will we trash a product? If it deserves it, absolutely.
    As most of you know, there are many options as it regards publications out there and for you enthusiasts, you have quite a few to chose from. Support them and enjoy them.
    I must admit that there were a few too many errors in the issue and I assure that this will get much, much better in our coming issues as we have added additional staff.
    Lastly, if any of you feel qualified to review products and can take your knowledge and express it in such a way as to appeal to your next door neighbor while keeping the enthusiast interested, please drop me a line at
    terry@dvdetc.com., we would love to hear from you.
    Thanks for your opinions.
    Terry Carroll
    Publisher
    DVD ETC. Magazine
     
  20. MaxY

    MaxY Guest

    Terry,
    Thank you for deciding to speak up here.
    As you know from my previous posts, I think that tapping the people of this forum was a wonderful idea and one that was a long time in coming.I am hoping that you will not only get info from this forum just for your HTF Poll Page in the mag. I see that Ron's article is going to be in the next issue. Ron's article about widescreen was really an excellent article, and it is great that you have picked it up and put it out there.
    I would like to suggest that you also discuss your magazine and it's style and format with the readers as well.
     

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