INTRODUCTION

This report will strive to clearly discern the differences between the average home Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) and the recently developed Digital Video Disc (DVD) system. These two home entertainment components have very clear differences. It is important for consumers to carefully consider each of these concerns before deciding on the home entertainment component that is right for them.
When considering the purchase of a home VCR or DVD system, consumers should carefully examine the varying costs of the two components. If cost is a concern, consumers should pay special attention to the purchase price of both systems, as well as the cost of movies and maintenance.
A second consideration of consumers when choosing between VCR and DVD should be the video and audio quality. Various technical factors can alter the quality of both picture and sound in both of these systems, making picture and audio quality a major consideration when shopping for home entertainment components.
A final consideration that consumers should give special attention is the accessibility of the systems. In today’s growing entertainment market, the difficulty in accessing video and DVD movies can play a large part in the decision of which component is right for the consumer.



METHODS

The beginning of any research project is in the decision of a topic to research. I chose to research the differences between the VCR and DVD home entertainment systems because the intricacies of the systems and the ways in which they work greatly interest me. I began my work using ordinary encyclopedias, found in the Rosewood High School branch of the Wayne County Public Library. Due to the technical nature of my topics, there was very little information in the encyclopedias dealing with these topics. While I did receive some information on the background of home entertainment systems, especially the VCR, most of my research had to be found from other sources.
I continued my research into the differences between these two systems, using the Microsoft Encarta Multimedia Encyclopedia. Through this source, I discovered a great deal of information on how the VCR works. However, little information was to be found on the DVD home entertainment system. For this information, I was forced to search the Internet, where a wealth of information exists. After a general search for DVD, I found several web sights discussing the pros and cons of DVD, as well as the intricacies of how it operates.
After making notes of all of the information I had gathered, I proceeded to sort the notes into separate groups dealing with the VCR and DVD. This made it much easier to group my notes into feasible arguments for and against each system, as well as easing the process of making a final decision on the value of each system.
At this point in the process, it was necessary to draw my final conclusions, and begin work on the composition of the paper. After completing this phase of the process, all that will be left is to prepare for the presentation of my information and conclusions.
















RESULTS/DISCUSSION

Today, there are two main options of video components in a home entertainment system. The Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) and the Digital Video Disc (DVD) player are both positive additions to any home entertainment system. Both systems offer benefits and disadvantages to their users, and both should be carefully examined before a final decision is made on which one a consumer should purchase.
The VCR was first developed in the 1950’s, but did not become a part of the average home entertainment system until the 1980’s, when the machines became much more affordable for the average household. The VCR uses ordinary video cassettes, measuring approximately four inches by seven inches, containing yards of video tape inside. This video tape is little more than a plastic strip covered with particles of iron oxide. This strip is recorded on by changing the television signals used to broadcast programs into magnetic fields, which magnetize the particles of iron oxide into patterns. The tape is played back by converting the magnetic patterns on the tape back into television signals.
Many VCRs today use a form of recording and playback known as helical scan. In helical scan, one or two record/playback heads are mounted on the circumference of a drum that rotates rapidly in the same direction as the tape moves.