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Scribe Touts DVD’s ‘Strong Showing’

By Thomas K. Arnold | Posted: December 02, 2008

At last, a reporter who gets it.

I’m talking about Mark Dawidziak, the television critic for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, who interviewed me recently for a column he did on the appeal of TV DVD.

For starters, Dawidziak is not drinking the Kool-Aid of the tech companies and their analyst shills that the whole world is fast migrating to digital downloading. No way.

The Midwestern scribe, if you can believe it, actually is a fan of DVD and packaged media, if for no more noble a reason than that it gives consumers optimum control over their home entertainment consumption.

“Although separated by 50 years, seven states and 2,400 miles, my brother in Redondo Beach, Calif., and my daughter in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, share the same view of cable and broadcast television,” Dawidziak writes.

“They don’t watch it. They don’t need it. They don’t like it.”

Instead, “my 62-year-old brother and my 12-year-old daughter are part of a growing segment of the population happily taking care of their own programming needs. DVDs, particularly boxed sets of vintage series, are filling the viewing hours once supplied by the networks.”

The columnist also opines that packaged home entertainment could be in for substantial future growth, given the surge in sales of HDTVs, which he correctly asserts are tailor-made for Blu-ray Disc.

And even though DVD sales are slightly off from last year, Dawidziak isn’t joining the chorus of reporters who believe — or, rather, want you to believe — that the sky is falling.

Instead, he puts things in remarkably clear perspective. “DVD sales through August were down just 2.5% from the same time last year,” he writes. “Factoring in higher-than-expected Olympic ratings in August and economic woes, that’s a very strong showing.”

Yes, Mark Dawidziak of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer — the daily paper read by my boss, by the way — understands our business. We could use more journalists like him.



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