Is digital versatile disc worth the investment? With more players appearing on the market, we help you decide whether to make the leap from videos to DVD. By Simon Kent
Having had a great impact on the consumer sector, DVD or digital versatile disc is poised to take on the world of training. With players retailing at under £200 and the latest film releases on shelves everywhere from Blockbusters to Woolworth's, there is an expectation from employees that the technology and high quality playback they can experience at home should be utilised within training sessions.
Certainly the three major players currently working on DVD products see great potential for the medium. Given the incredible amount of information that can be stored on one disk, DVD not only offers high quality video footage played straight to desktop, laptop, TV or projection screen, but has space to spare for other training related information.
“Not only will users access videos, but we’ll also be able to offer course materials on the same disk,” says Martin Addison, marketing manager of Video Arts. “There could also be presentation slides for the trainer to use or a question and answer course for use in the classroom.”
Cath Adamson of Fenman agrees. “Trainers will certainly find DVD a valuable tool. It offers a great deal of flexibility. Trainers can customise the material for different individuals or courses by selecting the appropriate training sections from one disk. They can leave out parts of the course which may not be applicable or replay sections they particularly like.”
While Video Arts is still at the development stage of DVD, Fenman has already produced The Learning Needs Interview on this format and believes DVD will slowly but surely replace VHS as the prime media for film training.
TADS has also produced a DVD product. As managing director Jack Wills explains the company’s Creative Manager programme is now available on two DVDs. Not only does this enable users to access both text and video portions of the course from one source - including five 45-minute video programmes - but TADS can also provide subtitles and audio tracks in French, German, Spanish and Italian on the same disk, enabling international companies to share the resource. “You can store up to 30