Hello here’s what I think that’s important if you go out and buy a DVD.
- Know the movie. Don’t buy a DVD of a movie you have NO idea how good it is.
- Don’t buy DVDs where it says “cut version” or anything. Always go for the uncut original version of the movie. Director’s Cuts are mostly to prefer.
- ALWAYS go for the original aspect ratio (mostly widescreen). Anamorphically enhanced DVDs have far better image quality and are compatibly to 16:9 screens.
- You definitely want the original voices. So no matter what language the movie is from, make sure the original language tracks are on it, along with subititles in YOUR language, the original language and maybe a dubbed version in your language.
- Region Code. Make sure you have a multi-region DVD Player that’s capable of even playing foreign DVDs and is capable of displaying NTSC on PAL or vice versa. Compatibility to VCD or SVCD is also a large plus on a DVD Player.
- Extras. The more useful stuff is on the DVD, the more you get for your money. Always good: interviews, audio commentaries, deleted scenes or alternate endings. Also good: production notes, making-of, documentaries, trailers.
- Quality. Before you go shopping, check out the world wide web for reviews and read if the DVD you want to buy has a good picture and sound quality because if not, you end up watching a crappy TV-ish DVD with mono sound thats making noises. Can happen.
- Don’t buy a DTS-only DVD if your home cinema equipment lacks a DTS decoder and proper speakers. That’s wasted money. Dolby Digital is sufficient and fully compatible from 6.1 down to 1.0 mono.
- DO NOT BUY 4:3 Full Screen versions you find at Wal Mart. See point 3.
- Compare prices! Amazon may have the biggest selection and good bargains, but maybe your local super market has some cheap DVDs as well. Also check price-comparing websites or look abroad. How about free-shipping tax-free DVDs from Canada (dvdboxoffice.com) or from hong kong / japan / england (cd-wow.net). If you live in Europe, check DVDs from France, England, Germany or Denmark. They often are quite the same with different prices and maybe quality differences.
- Always go for Special Editions (mostly 2-disc). Because even if they are more expensive than a single-disc editions, they have more to offer and the have higher re-sale value in case you got sick of the movie and want to sell it on ebay.
- Packaging. Don’t let yourself be fooled. Often you get DVDs packaged in cool-looking paper cases with posters and film prints or soundtracks, but what’s in there, is the same DVD you can get seperately, the Poster sucks and the filmprint is only collector-stuff. You don’t wanna shove money up the studio’s ass, you want the maximum of a movie for your dollar.
- Check if you really want that movie on DVD. If it’s on TV the day after, you may regret it because the movie may not have a high re-watching value. Go for classics or highly entertaining movies, or movies with lots of extras that make you spend hours watching. Buy movies that you can watch with friends, family or partner.
These are some ideas. Please comment and add stuff if you want. I think these 13. rules are quite essential to DVD buying.