Sunday, December 04, 2005


I have developed a passion for home entertainment aka audio visual for quite some time now. I particularly indulge myself into good sound, produced by high fidelity sound systems, which heavily involves good media sources like CDs, VCDs and currently DVDs.

Unlike CDs and the traditional video cassette VHSes which have successfully dominated the media market for over a decade, VCDs and DVDs are brand new, spurting out less than five years back, and rapidly making its way leading the media market. One main factor contributing to the VCD success was obviously the availability of piracy: pirated copies of VCDs are readily sold almost everywhere in the world, providing cheap and affordable media format yet sustaining the original satisfaction and quality of the media format. Thus, it is not surprising when DVD(supposingly more superior than VCD) was out, and would also make its way overshadowing the recently popularised VCDs. Likewise, DVDs nowadays also come in pirated copies, easily accessible anywhere.

I myself have been scooping around Kuching for pirated CDs, DVDs and computer softwares. Yes, they are illegal, but once those copies are made available to the consumers, we Kuchingites of all people would choose whatever cheaper and worth the bargain. Who cares about legalities anyway when the original DVDs and CDs cost more than double the pirated copies of similar titles bearing the similar end product quality? It would just be plain ignorant if one chooses the more expensive option over the other. Same goes for MP3 and movie downloads online. Once made available online, there is no stopping for Internet users to search and download whatever files that may or may not be legal.

Authorities everywhere have been combating piracy with much effort but to no avail. Why piracy has become unstoppable? The answer is simple. Consumer demand. Why do people go for piracy? Yeah, everyone knows of copyright infringemet. Yeah, I am sure people respect their idols, favourite singers and actors and so on. Yeah, people are aware of the consequences and repercussions of the existance of piracy, tarnishing and scarring the work of original artists and affecting detrimentally the business of movie and music industries. What the heck... the plain truth is..

People want it cheap. Piracy fulfills this very basic need of consumers. People save $$$$ going for piracy alternatives. As long as consumers prioritise value for money, originality is sadly out of the question.

Looking back now, the evolution of optical media is indeed fascinating. I am referring specifically to DVDs. Pirated DVDs. Some time a year ago, i have noticed a trend of pirated DVDs with 2 or 3 movies, compressed in a single DVD. I thought that was cute, though obviously there was significant loss in picture and sound quality due to the heavy compression.

2 movies in a single DVD, what a bargain...

But after going away for a year, coming back from Perth, I have become eager to look for those DVDs again, since Perth is extremely clean and deprived of piracy, compared to Malaysia. After going around much in Kuching, this is what I recently found.. to my amazement...

7 F**king movies in one piece of DVD !!! SUPERB BARGAIN !!! Beat that !!

Seriously, I am starting to wonder if the number will increase furthermore. I am tempted to get one just to test the quality. Sadness as I speak, that shall wait for another time, for this poor soul is STILL living a financially handicapped status.


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