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by Steve Siercks, Jordan Streiff, & Chris Rogers
computer news with the teen perspective

Enhance Your DVD Viewing Experience
by Steve Siercks
October 6th, 2000

So you just got your new iBook, iMac, PowerBook, or G4 that has DVD capability. Your first instinct is probably to bust out the free DVD that comes with it (for me it was A Bug’s Life) and sit back and enjoy the show, right? Well, you’re wrong. Theres a lot more to just putting in the DVD and opening it up if you want a quality viewing experience. You have to have the right version, the right sound quality, the right preferences that suit you, and finally the right ability to enjoy what you’re watching. Some of these you may not know anything about, but thats ok because thats what this article is for. Join me now as I venture to the center of the DVD and explain how to ::sci fi music start::: properly enjoy your DVD experience. Do Do Do!

Download DVD Player 2.2

If you have one of the original computers with DVD capabilities you probably have DVD Player 1.0 or maybe even 2.0. In a very short phrase, these versions SUCK. There are many problems with the "pre-2.2 versions", but one major one: the sound/video syncranization. When one is using these versions, about five minutes into any DVD the sound will not be synced up with the video anymore and it will look almost like a foreign, Japanese film (nothing against them, but the sound syncranization really stinks sometimes). I remember when I first got my iMac DV and put in A Bugs Life and to my suprise found that the sound was no where close to the video. It just made the whole movie look really bad and tasteless. I called up Apple and they told me that there was no known fix to this, but they would be coming out with a revision sometime "soon" (with Apple that could mean weeks, if not months). So, for about two weeks I had to watch movies where the sound and video were all messed up; it was very embarassing among friends.

But, thankfully, there is a fix for this! Apple has since come out with DVD Player 2.2 which fixes this problem with the sound/video syncranisation. Be sure to download this fix before watching any DVDs because you will be utterly digusted if you do. Note: According to Apple’s site, they say, "It is not compatible with the DVD hardware found in the Power Macintosh G3, PowerBook G3, and Power Mac G4 (PCI graphics) series computers. Please refer to the "Hardware Required" field before downloading and installing this update." It goes on to say in the "Hardware Required" section, "iMac DV (Slot Loading), Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics), or PowerBook (FireWire)". So, if you own one of these computers, go ahead and download that fix from Apple for a much more enjoyable viewing experience. If you dont have one of the types of computers listed, don't download it because it will only incur more problems.

Sound, Sound, SOUND!

So now that you have the right player for your DVD experience, you now need some good speakers to go along with your computer. The reason I say that you should get new speakers is because I have had experience with the built in speakers of many computers and also external speakers and I must say it is better to go with external. It doesn't really matter which brand or kind of external speakers you go with (I have Altec Lansing), but any speaker brand will do. The main things to look for in speakers though are surround sound, a good subwoofer and, if you can, a USB connection. I say you should look for speakers with a USB connection only because that will eliminate problems and also give you much better sound quality, eliminating most delays that the stereo speaker jack gives sometimes.

Pick a Good DVD

This section is not really intended to tell you which movie would look good on your computer DVD, but moreover suposed to give you a couple good sites to go to in order to purchase good DVDs at a good price. I’m sure most other teenagers, like myself, are not millionares that can get 25 dollar DVDs whenever they want, so here is a list of a couple DVD sites that offer a good selection along with a good price tag.

DVD Express: DVD Express is an awesome site. It not only gives you great DVDs at great prices, but it gives great descriptions of each movie so you really find the movie that you are looking for. Some sites give very fauge descriptions so you never really find what you are looking for and end up getting a movie that you never wanted in the first place. DVD is the exact opposite and a great store to shop from for DVDs on the internet. Amazon is a great place to go if you are dont really know what exact movie you are looking for, but you know what type of movie you are looking for. It has great sub categories which you can look in to find exactly what you want to watch on your computer.

These are just some of the many websites online that allow one to shop for DVDs and have them sent directly to your house. I urge you to take some time to check out these sites and also look for some on your own and try and get the best price for a DVD that you can because they can be mighty expensive sometimes.


After you have your speakers set up, new version downloaded, and DVD picked out, its time to open up the program and adjust the screen to fit they way you want it to. Some things that you might want to do is to present the video on the screen so it isn't in a little tiny box (use the "view" menu bar at the top of the screen) or also set up your sound quality (using the prefence menu). There are so many things that you can do to enhance your viewing experience just with the program itself, so take a moment before watching a DVD to check out all this stuff and costomize it to your liking.


The most important part to watching a DVD is enjoying what you’re watching. Sit back and relax because movies are what make the world go ‘round! hehehe.. I hope that you enjoy your viewing experience and as always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to give me a holler at Come back next week where we.. well, it’ll be a big surprise, so come back soon! See ya then..

Steve Siercks

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