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Some Site Stuff

Mar 14th, 2008
Make your influence felt

I could report that Toshiba will likely have to write off almost a billion dollars in costs associated with the failure of HD DVD, or that Microsoft is planning on supporting Blu-ray Disc in its operating systems but not necessarily with an external BD drive for the Xbox 360, or how Sony can’t keep up with demand for BD players causing street prices to rise, or that we’re beginning to see some pundits come around to Blu-ray Disc’s potential by predicting a 300% increase in BD sales in 2008, but I feel that with the end of the format war, all of those items are no longer really newsworthy. They take up space, they provide you with facts, but I think we should move on to other topics, even though I plan to continue to write opinion-pieces when I think you’re being misinformed by others.

The Suggestion Box Is Open

What I’d appreciate now are suggestions for columns that you’d like to have me write. For example, a recent article that warned that not all HD is high definition was inspired by a reader who asked me to investigate various HD delivery systems. So, if you have any suggestions, feel free to pass them along. Please put Suggestion Box in the subject line of your email sent to dan at dvdfile dot com. If you’d like me to acknowledge you in the piece, let me know that I’m free to include your name in the article (I certainly won’t publish your email address). And if you have any other suggestions concerning our coverage or ways you feel we can make the site more appealing and helpful, don’t hesitate to make those suggestions as well.

The Google Search Engine

Even though the new search engine (which accepts all the syntax of Google search) is more productive than our previous search engine. There are a few bugs left to be sorted out. When it first went live, it included our forums, but since the forums have their own isolated search engine, that was unnecessary and we made the appropriate disconnect. But there remains an annoying little problem. When we switched over from our old site design to a database-driven content management system, we archived the old site on our server and Google indexed those pages as well. So a search for a film title that was newly released to Blu-ray Disc but had been released to DVD years before will yield the old format review (likely in incomplete form), the old review imported into in the new format, and the new review on BD. Similarly, you might see both old and new Disc News items. Hint: if the search returned link begins with www.dvdfile.com/index.php?... it’s new; if the link begins with www.dvdfile.com/news/... or www.dvdfile.com/software/... then it’ old and may be ignored. Google also might return the home page, which is silly and unhelpful. I’m told we’re working on a fix. I appreciate your patience.

Wanted: A Few Good Reviewers

Over the course of my tenure as editor, I managed to find only two people qualified to join our dysfunctional little family as reviewers, Dave and Ken. I’d love to find a couple more, so I thought I’d once again ask if we have any qualified readers who might be interested. The qualifications are three-fold. First, the candidate must have a properly set up, sufficiently revealing, HD-equipped home theater system; the video and audio technical concerns we address must be perceivable. Second, the candidate must be sufficiently knowledgeable about film, video, and audio to be able to write intelligently about the subjects. And third, the candidate must be able to express himself or herself well. Since payment is in the form of a commercial copy of the reviewed disc, the ideal candidate should be a film lover. If you choose to write me to express an interest, please include in your email a comprehensive list of your equipment with make, model number, diagonal screen size, and viewing distance eyeball-to-screen. And please put Reviewer in the subject line of emails sent to dan at dvdfile dot com.

An Official Welcome

And speaking of recruiting new reviewers, now that all the paperwork is in place and I’ve posted his staff page, we’d like to officially welcome Ken Souza to our dysfunctional and highly opinionated little family. Ken’s already contributed a few fine reviews, but his real workload begins with April’s releases. I’m looking forward to his pieces and hope he can manage with sleep deprivation. (By the way, all staff pages can be found by first clicking in the SITE button on our menu bar, then maneuvering to the Meet the Staff page and selecting the person of interest.)

And Making It Official

When I take my spring vacations, Dave fills in for me with edits and posts. So I thought it was time for appropriate recognition. Dave is now associate editor but, just like me, he’ll remain a reviewer despite the additional work.

Parting Thoughts

Based on trends I’ve been following for the last couple of years, we’re growing, attracting new visitors who become regular readers, so I’m sure there are many of you I haven’t heard from. This is an opportunity to get questions answered, issues addressed, and have an influence on our future direction. I’m looking forward to your constructive suggestions.