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Interesting Results From A DVD Survey I Took... (1 Viewer)

Chuck C

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A couple months ago, I agreed to participate in a University DVD study. I was sent a survey with 46 comments about DVD technology that I was to place in a special hierarchial order (strongly disagree----strongly agree).
Here are the results from an e-mail I just received:
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Dear Mr. Corsillo,
Thank you for participating in our DVD-Home theater study. Given the anthrax situation, we are sending you the promised study report via e-mail. Below are your score and a summary of the study. The full report is attached in a PDF file. If you would like a paper copy of the full report, please reply to this e-mail and we’ll be happy to send it to you through snail mail. Once again, thank you for your assistance and we appreciate your participation.
Sincerely,
Hun Shik Kim and Seow Ting Lee
School of Journalism
University of Missouri-Columbia
__________________________________________________ ______________________
Based on the computer-assisted analysis, you belong to Group 2: Technophiles.
For the detailed description of your group, please refer to the summary below, and the full report.
SUMMARY
This study examines the growing DVD-home theater phenomenon by mapping the characteristics of DVD-home theater adopters and their attitudes toward the new technology, which entered the mass market in 1997 as a competitor to the VCR. It attempts to locate and differentiate DVD adopters based on patterns of media use, and utilities from gratification, socialization and substitution.
Based on Q-Methodology with a sample of 38 American respondents, three distinct groups are evident: Audiophiles, Technophiles and Recreation Seekers. These groups are guided by different goals and gratifications, and hence exhibit different patterns of use, diffusion and substitution, although they all agree that their DVD adoption was driven by the DVD’s technological quantum leap over the VCR.
1) Audiophiles use DVD to pursue audio quality
2) Technophiles are the early adopters who are drawn to the new technology and its potential.
3) Recreation Seekers utilize the DVD to satisfy a need for entertainment, enjoyment and escape.
Group 1: Audiophiles:
- Audiophiles are likely to lavish all available cash on elaborate sound-source components such as power amplifiers, CD players, and loudspeakers.
- They tend to upgrade their audio/video components whenever necessary, aspiring for better gear with less consideration for price tags. They proclaim to have a keen ear for music and are ready to go the extra mile to achieve better sound.
- Audiophiles are deeply interested in extracting superior sonic quality from their DVD-home theater systems, as seen in their assertion that the DVD’s Dolby Digital 6-channel (5.1) surround format is a giant leap forward in sonic realism from the VCR. They purchased the DVD player because it surpasses the audio and video resolution of the conventional VCR.
- They believe good receivers and loudspeakers are more important than good DVD players in a home theater system. Audiophiles indicated the DVD player’s sound signal should be reproduced accurately by using good receivers (or amplifiers) while not stressing the importance of video signal sent to TV screen.
- Sound clarity is an extremely important consideration.
- They are interested in acquiring big screen TV, believing the bigger the screen size, the better the home theater experience. Interestingly, despite a disdain for the VCR, they still keep their old VCR to play old VHS tapes and record TV programs although they believe the details and richer colors from DVD films give the DVD player a definitive edge over the VCR.
- They also prefer watching action-packed movies (over drama or any other less sound-intensive genres) with the DVD player to enjoy audio richness such as ultra-low bass.
- Audiophiles believe home theater is a common popular pastime; they reject the suggestion that home theater is a plaything of the rich and famous.
- They are not very enthusiastic about purchasing the latest releases of DVD titles from local stores. They would rather not buy DVDs; they would rather rent them.
- They believe DVD is better fitted for watching movies rather than music CDs. Audiophiles tend to believe that DVD players have limitations. For instance, they disagree that a good DVD player can reproduce a musical experience like that of a live performance. However, they are optimistic about the future of DVD, believing that DVD players will soon take over the market share of VHS-VCRs.
- In terms of social utility, Audiophiles, compared to other two factors, are less inclined to invite friends or family to enjoy their DVD collections. They prefer to savor their DVD-home theater system alone rather than in the company of others.
- For Audiophiles, HDTV broadcast is an object of interest although their degree of interest in purchasing a HDTV set is the least perceivable among the three factors in this study.
Group 2: Technophiles:
- Technophiles purchased DVD players because they were attracted by new technologies. This group tends to adopt new technologies whenever they become available. Hence, Technophiles resemble early adopters of technological innovations.
- They purchased the DVD player to enjoy the benefits of new technology, specifically, superior audio and video quality over VCR. They assert the advantage of DVD lies in its crisp and vivid picture quality as well as the exquisite details and richer colors over VCR.
- Sound clarity is also an important consideration to Technophiles.
- The technological potential of the DVD clearly captivates the Technophile. For instance, Technophiles prefer DVD titles with DTS or THX logos to the traditional Dolby Digital because they believe DTS or THX can reproduce more thrilling sounds. They also say 6-channel (5.1) surround format is a giant leap forward in sonic realism from VCR. They agree that the new DVD video technology called the “progressive scan” mode enhances the picture quality noticeably.
- Home theater is perceived as a means “to keep abreast of the latest home theater technologies.”
- Technophiles are the most avid users of DVD technologies among the three factors, to the extent their use of other media is affected by DVD-home theater. For example, they seldom go to movie theaters any more because they can enjoy movies on their DVD home theater system. Similarly, they say that watching TV programs is not as enjoyable as watching DVD titles. They reject the suggestion that DVD is better fitted for music CDs than for viewing purposes. In line with the Technophile’s interest in keeping up with new components, they are extremely interested in buying a HDTV set to enjoy better picture quality.
- Technophiles believe that DVD players are affordable to most people. Hence, they are also strongly confident that DVD players will take soon over the market share of VHS-VCRs.
Group 3: Recreation Seekers
- Recreation Seekers use DVD-home theater systems mainly for enjoyment and escape. They utilize the system to play DVD movies, but do not pursue sophisticated high-end visual or audio quality in their DVD home theater components.
- Unlike Audiophiles and Technophiles, Recreation Seekers rarely seek home theater system upgrades but are satisfied with what they currently own. In fact, their home theater products are the most affordable models among the three factors in this study.
- Like the respondents in the two other factors, Recreation Seekers indicate that they purchased the DVD player for its audio and video quality. They enjoy DVD for the crisp and vivid pictures it delivers, and acknowledge that a DVD player has an advantage over a VCR in its exquisite details and richer colors.
- Recreation Seekers are not believed to be trendsetters or early adopters of new DVD technology. They use their old VCR, more often than Audiophiles and Technophiles, to play their old VHS tapes and record favorite TV programs. In addition, Recreation Seekers do not plan to upgrade their DVD player even if the new technologies become available in the future. Recreation Seekers, like other two factors, express their interest in HDTV. As a group, they rank second, after Technophiles, in intention to purchase HDTV.
- Recreation Seekers insist that going to the movie theater is a very different experience from home theater; they claim that the two are not interchangeable.
- Recreation Seekers prefer watching DVD movies to TV or VCR movies because DVDs contain bonus materials such as movie trailers, interviews with stars and production episodes.
- They are the only group in this study who values the relaxation derived from watching DVD movies. Their strong agreement with these two statements reveal a pattern of uses and gratifications not found in the other two factors.
- Recreation Seekers also believe DVD is a technology better fitted for movies than for music.
- They believe the increasing affordability of DVD players has enabled everyone enjoy home theater these days. Similarly, they disagree that home theater is a plaything of the rich and famous.
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The entire 26 page report is also available if anyone wants to email me for it.
Techophile huh?....awesome!
------------------
Chuck
Chuckster's HT Site
The At-Home Home Theater (E.L.)
The Dorm Room Theater (E.L.)
 

Rachael B

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Ha, ha, ha, they left out my category audio-vidiot! Maybe I'm all three of their categories rolled into one? So, this is like, somebody's doctorate research paper or somethin', me bets. It is amusing! Best wishes!
------------------
Rachael, the big disc cat! "...in a democracy it don't matter how stupid you are you stille get an equal share..."
I survived the AFI top 100 Film Challenge! I've seen them all.
 

Glenn Overholt

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Well, that one woke me up! Geez, what is wrong with these guys? Can we get their address so we can express just how messed up that survey was? Better (or worse, depending on how you look at it), can we find out who financed this thing?????
Glenn
 

Michael Yung

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My guess is that this is just some semester long undergrad project for a survey or marketing class. It's obvious that the students involved are not audio or videophiles and they made some pretty far fatched conclusions.
 

Alex F.

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Out of curiosity, I went over to the university's website and found that the two gentlemen are students working on a Ph.D. in journalism.
The study has many flaws as it pertains to my wife and myself. We do not fit neatly into any of the three categories. Rather, we are a combination of various items from each category. I also think they need to add at least one additional category: "audiophile-videophile," like Rachael above, myself, and several close acquaintances.
In my opinion, the study is seriously flawed by its oversimplicity. It needs a good deal of refining. I'm sure the professor who is their advisor will have a great deal to say to them.
 

Philip Hamm

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I also participated in the study and I found it very detailed, and was struck by how much the people knew their stuff. Going through the survey it was obvious that these guys are hobbyists like us. Of course the study's flawed, no study like this is perfect, but it's certainly not as bad as many of the completely uninformed comments here suggest. They definitely pegged me correctly in the "Recreation Seekers" category. No-one fits perfectly in a category, but after filling out the survey (which was exhaustive and well designed) I find the results very interesting to say the least.
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Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker
 

Alex F.

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I beg to differ, Philip. In my opinion its flaws are egregious. Maybe I should have made it more clear that neither my wife nor myself come even close to fitting into any one of the three categories. And I'm certain the same applies to most (probably all) of my closest acquaintances. A solid study inherently cannot achieve a score of zero out of everybody to which I refer. The survey may have been long (and length is not an indicator of quality), but its results indicate to me that it needed significantly more work.
[Edited last by Alex F. on November 14, 2001 at 11:40 AM]
 

Alex F.

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No.
You're missing the point. For example, if the authors of a study say their results indicate red and green are identical colors, one does not need to see the methodology to conclude it had flaws.
Don't be so protective. Knowing typical advisors of Ph.D. candidates (I've helped many grad students with their dissertations), I'm going easy on them here. For heaven's sake, criticizing studies ranging from world-class scholars all the way through grad students is one of my duties. I know a weak study when I see one.
 

Ryan Schnacke

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with a sample of 38 American respondents
From this, I think its obvious that their goal was to become familiar with the methodology used to conduct studies like this. They weren't actually concerned with getting accurate results. If they were then they would have used a much, much larger sample size.
 

DaveF

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I just want to point out that it may not be good form to repost or distribute the full article. There are copyright issues, not to mention academic courtesy. Especially if these are Ph.D. students, they may seek to have this published in a professional journal; having it posted or distribued on the web might be detrimental to their work.
Just speaking IMO, as a graduate student.
 

Philip Hamm

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From this, I think its obvious that their goal was to become familiar with the methodology used to conduct studies like this.
Great point, as a matter of fact they specifically called this out in their survey. It was very interesting the way they set it up.
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Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker
 

Holadem

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Why not relax, take this little survey for what it is and stop being all academic and serious about everthing for a change?
It is a fun read, and while a few things are amiss (audiophiles do not collect?) most of it ringd very true to me.
I would put myself in the audiophile - recreational category, leaning more toward recreational.
--
Holadem
[Edited last by Holadem on November 14, 2001 at 01:15 PM]
 

Glenn Overholt

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to be more specific in what I didn't like about the survey, an audiophile has NOTHING whatsoever to do with a picture of any kind. It should have read Audio/videophile at the least.
I had hoped for five catagories. I don't know why, but I knew that the bottom of the heap would be J6P. Maybe the above listed categories are 2, 3 & 4?
Glenn
 

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