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The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

A lot of the documents have been sent to me or have come from other web sites. The name of the web site is given where known. If I have unintentionally included an image or document that is copyrighted or that I shouldn't have done then please email me and I'll remove it.

I make no money from this site, it's purely for the love of the films.

[Any comments are by me (Steve Crook) and other members of the email list]

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DVD Information
DVD information by our resident DVD expert (self appointed!)
Alan Head

Derek Baldwin asks:-
Can one link a DVD player up to existing television and video combo? How?

Alan replies:-
Unsurprisingly, there are a number of things to consider, which means that it isn't a stupid question - in fact the newsgroups are full of "How do I connect X to Y?" type questions about DVD players.

Generally the best connection method is via the SCART socket, if the TV has one (if you've bought your TV in the last 10 years and it isn't a portable it probably has one, and maybe two). Its a long flat connector with two rows of pins (21 in all I think) and carries both audio and video signals, and also some fancy picture control stuff as well. If the TV only has one SCART socket and the video is connected to the TV using it there's a problem as, due to a system called Macrovision, you're not able to daisychain the output from a DVD player through a VCR to the the TV. This is in order to stop copying of copyrighted material to tape. The solution is therefore to connect the VCR to the TV in the conventional way via the aerial leads and then connect the DVD player direct to the SCART socket.

Macrovision also causes a problem if your TV doesn't have a SCART socket as the only way to link a DVD player to such a TV is to connect it via SCART (or some other method) to the video, and then route the signal through the video using the aerial connection from the video to the TV (confused yet? - I am...)

All these problems and others such as region coding of DVD discs (the UK is Region 2, and USA is Region 1, and in theory you should only be able to play discs from Region 2 on a UK purchased machine) can be overcome by buying a modified player - there is a veritable cottage industry in the UK dedicated to this and its all relatively cheap - typically adds about 50 quid to the price of a player.

A final thing to consider if you are interested in playing discs from the US is whether your TV will be able to handle the different TV system used in the States. As with SCART, most modern TV's will handle this no problem - if you let me know the make and model of your TV I should be able to find out what the connection options are.

As I've just mentioned off-list to Steve, consumer electronics shouldn't be this complicated - if it wasn't for the internet I'd be as much in the dark as anyone else. As it is, I probably know more about DVD than is healthy (you'll know from my list postings that I have a bit of an obsessive personality!). I'm already advising Steve on his player purchase and I'm more than happy to help other list members take the plunge into the choppy and slightly chilly waters of DVD (and for that matter digital TV and home cinema sound).

Note: Alan has done a nice summary & glossary about all the various options and complexities to do with Home Cinema and Entertainment.

Remainder of FAQ Section 2