Customer Reviews: The Digital Bits Insider's Guide to DVD (Digital Video and Audio)
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on October 6, 2003
I have to they did a great job on this book. I love the site and the book is great as well. A great amount of time and work was put into the book and it shows. This is a great book for all,especially new DVD users.But it still has great info for hardcore fans as well. I know that I will be letting friends know if they want to learn about DVD, to go get this book and check out your site as well.It is kind a like a special edition book version or companion piece to your site.
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on October 10, 2003
With almost 30,000 main stream DVD titles al ready released and many many more smaller inde releases, why not take a look at the top 100 so far? This book is packed with a lot of information for anyone that is interested in ever keeping some of their favorite movies on the digital format. There is also a slew of cool behind the scenes information on what goes into making great DVD's and all...
What I enjoy from these writers is their candid reviews on movie or other dvd's, it all seems real without any ideas held back. They tell you exactly how they see it, instead of hearing a whole lot of baloo from the popular movie "critics" or reading mediocre explanations that try and appease the entertainment/movie industry... these guys shoot from the hip. AND they know their stuff. If you want an honest, educated and informed look at DVD'a and part of the industry, definitely get yourself a copy. It is truly for anyone interested in dvd's... whether you consider yourself a long time collector, new to dvd's or at any level!
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on October 7, 2003
Wonderful as I expected. As an avid reader of their website, I welcomed this book with the same care as any good book I read. Hey, if you guys ever need donations or extra money for your website, don't be hesitant to ask.
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on October 10, 2003
This book is the perfect book for both DVD lovers and people who are looking to get into DVD's for the first time ever. Bill and Todd do a terrific job explaining how DVD works, why DVD is great, and most importantly - how to get started on your own DVD home theatre and collection. I have already recommened this book to some of my friends who are a little confused about DVD's and even though I consider myself a DVDphile I still learned more than a thing or two. If you are, want to be, or will be a fan of DVD's then this book is a must for you.
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on October 19, 2003
A friend recommended this book to me, being new to DVD. I was hesitant and afraid I wouldn't get much out of it, but boy was I wrong! I can't recommend it enough to anyone who is interested in DVD. I couldn't put it down, the writing style is very conversational and easy to understand. These guys obviously know what they are talking about and explain complicated principles in an easy to understand manner. The Alien section was fascinating, I really had no idea what all went into making DVD's. I was not aware of their website before this book, but be sure I will be a frequent visitor now! Nice job guys. :o)
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on November 9, 2003
The authors did a great job of laying out all the technical info on how DVDs work and are produced in an informative yet entertaining way. Here are some of the ares covered:
- The evolution of the format
- How DVD works
- What aspect ratios are and why they're important
- Explains the different sound formats on DVD
- Explanation of Region Codes
The great thing about this information is it's either in the past or standard to DVD so it's not likely to change. This will be useful info through the life of the DVD format.
Next on the list is a discussion on setting up a home theater. Everything is covered from recievers, speakers, DVD player, TV even the cables you'll need and best style of room. They're honest in how much this is going to cost and separate the guidelines into four price ranges. It helps to keep the book current in passing years by not talking about specific brands, but features that are important.
As a way of describing the process of how a DVD special edition is created, the book then goes into an in-depth interview with the creator of the ALIENS QUADRILOGY set due later this year. It's a fascinating look at the hard work and amount of time invloved in creating a truly comprehensive set. Some might find it a bit distasteful that this section is all about a specific DVD, but in focusing on one you get a full picture of the process.
After all this great information we get the least helpful (and by far the largest) section of the book - DVD reviews. They offer things like the best DVD sets ever, best sci-fi movies on DVD, best dramas on DVD etc. All this information though in-depth can be found on their web site and many others for free. I read 4 or 5 of these and skipped the entire section.
The book redeems itself near the end when it discusses teh future of DVD. Namely HD DVD, recordable DVD and high resolution audio. This section helps you get a handle on the near future of the format, but is also the sectin with the thinnest information since they of course can not predict the future.
I'd reccomend this book to those interested in creating a home theatre and those interested in learning a bit of the technical side of the DVD format. The book is most hurt by the lenghty DVD reviews that add little to the books value but much to it's length.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 15, 2003
What if someone took all the essential
information that every person should know about
DVD and Home Theater and put it into book form?
Well, this is exactly what Bill Hunt and Todd Doogan
have accomplished with their newly authored book,
The Digital Bits: Insider's Guide To DVD.
This is the very first publication of its kind to
explore the DVD format from history to future. You'll
not only learn how DVD discs are manufactured and
compressed, but learn about about the authoring process
in creating some of the great menu designs we have
come to appreciate over the years.
One of the greatest benefits of this book for
DVD "newbies" is the fact that it clearly explains
aspect ratios. Through the use of many comparison
film stills, a reader can not only see how a
1.85:1 ratio compares to 2.35:1, but how Full Frame
greatly compromises the widescreen scale. If there
is one thing I hope this book accomplishes is to
educate people as to why widescreen is so important
in preserving the filmmaker's intended vision.
For anyone just getting into Home Theater, this
book provides valuable information on how best to
begin building a theater based on a particular budget.
The authors are very careful in making certain that
readers wisely spend their budget, finding the right
compromise between features and price. Those of you
on a limited budget can actually do better than buying
a "home theater in a box," and you'll find some
invaluable advice on how you can better spend your money.
While the book does spend a good deal of its first 84
pages on material already familiar to most of you, Bill
and Todd have included eye-opening material that will
keep readers glued to their seats.
This book contains comprehensive reviews of the
Top 100 DVDs of all time. I particularly
find these reviews to be valuable as there are so
many great films crossing all genres that I have
yet to become aware of. The book examines the
very BEST of both Film and TV on DVD, with reviews
that contain background history on its subject
matter as well as giving us detailed information
on its transfer and included supplements.
As many of you are aware, Fox Home Video is
about to release The Alien Quadrilogy to
DVD. The Digital Bits had the opportunity
to go behind-the-scenes in the production of
this amazing 9-disc DVD that contains never-before-
seen versions of these films as well as all-new
supplemental materials.
At just over 400 pages, The Digital Bits:
Insider's Guide To DVD is a very easy read.
You can pretty much flip through the pages and
find something that will catch your eye. Newbies
to the DVD/Home Theater experience will spend
more time scouring through the first 84 pages of
the book. These pages provide a thorough look
at everything anyone needs to know about DVD and
building a Home Theater. Established enthusiasts
will fully enjoy the in-depth look at the creation
of this year's anticipated release of Twentieth
Century Fox's nine-disc Alien Quadrilogy.
The fact that this book contains comprehensive
reviews of the Top 100 DVDs of all time
is reason enough to keep a copy next to your
favorite sitting chair. It certainly takes the
guesswork out of "What are we watching tonight?!"
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on October 10, 2003
If you've ever tried to explain to your friends how DVD works, what equipment they should buy, or why there are little "black bars" on the bottom of the screen, of if you've ever tried to convince your parents to get a widescreen instead of a 4:3 DTV, this is the book for you.
Also, if you've ever wondered what all these Surround Sound modes mean or what anamorphic means, this is the book for you.
Finally, if you've ever wondered what equipment or DVDs to buy, this is the book for you. Anyone building a home theater or DVD collection should start at this book before making purchases you won't be happy with!
There is also a discussion of all the new Audio standards like DVD-AUDIO and SACD, as well as the next generation of DVD, HD-DVD.
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on October 10, 2003
This is a MUST-HAVE book for anyone, whether you have a hardcore DVD collection or if you're still on BETA. It's a great book - very funny and well thought out. It's all written for the common's honest and practical. It's very easy to flip through, and I find myself reading pages and then chapters.
The guys at have put together this book to try and give an honest look at a rapidly chaning market. They deserve kuddos for recognizing that this kind of book is needed.
I don't have a home theater system, wouldn't know where to begin. But they lay it out it very easy terms, having already done the thinking for you. I don't know what to look for when I watch a disk, but they do. and they tell me.
This is a book that gives me the quick and dirty AND the nitty gritty all in one very easy to read manner. Not an easy feat, but one they do easily.
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on October 22, 2003
I have had [...] as my homepage for the past 3 years. Bill & Todd & the rest of the bits staff put a lot into this book to help newbies & veterans of dvd's with whats what & whats to come for the format.
I love the section on Aspect Ratio's & the whole Widescreen vs Full Frame debate. Why anyone would still want to watch movies in the awful, disgusting, flawed full frame is beyond me!!! When DVD first came out, they were all WIDESCREEN, but now the big studios feel they need to bring out full frame discs too. Just to make more money. Widescreen/OAR/1:85:1/2:35:1 (Original Aspect Ratio) is the filmmakers original version of the film, the WAY IT WAS MEANT TO BE SEEN!!!!! Not cropped, chopped & squeezed into a 4:3 full frame to make you miss up to 60% of your movies!!!!!!
The special section on the upcoming 9-Disc Alien Quadrilogy we frequent bits website visitors were told about months ago was well worth the price alone. Several reviews on the best DVD's ever made are also included.
Overall the best guide/book/manual on the history of DVD, the present of DVD, the future of DVD, anything you need to know about buying & setting up a Home Theater system in your living room, dozens of different reviews on different genres of films & a lot more!!!!!
Keep up the EXCELLENT JOB Bill, Todd, and the rest of the Bits Crew!!!!!! Cant wait for your next book!!
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