Middlebury

LIS Documentation

LIS Documentation

The Analog Sunset

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==Important Notice About the Analog Video Format==
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This is an important Notice About the Analog Video Format. It relates to the phasing out analog media and analog players (VCR, Laserdisc [LD] and slide projectors) in the classrooms at Middlebury College. Please review the next sections for information on the reasons behind this and the approach that LIS plans to undertake.
  
 
== What do the analog sunset and digital audio/video mean for Middlebury?  ==
 
== What do the analog sunset and digital audio/video mean for Middlebury?  ==
 
 
=== Summary ===
 
=== Summary ===
 
Analog media (VHS, LaserDisc, etc.) has become obsolete – new media is not being produced, replacement players are not being produced. For Laserdisc and VCR technology, better, higher quality and easier to use digital technologies have emerged. By removing VHS, LaserDisc players and slide projectors from classrooms, and by replacing analog materials with digital copies, we can ensure that our classrooms will continue to be functional, easy to use and easy to support, both now and in the near future.
 
Analog media (VHS, LaserDisc, etc.) has become obsolete – new media is not being produced, replacement players are not being produced. For Laserdisc and VCR technology, better, higher quality and easier to use digital technologies have emerged. By removing VHS, LaserDisc players and slide projectors from classrooms, and by replacing analog materials with digital copies, we can ensure that our classrooms will continue to be functional, easy to use and easy to support, both now and in the near future.
  
 
The [http://www.extron.com/company/article.aspx?id=analogsunsetwp media ]and [http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2010/12/08/leading-pc-companies-move-to-all-digital-display-technology-phasing-out-analog computer industries] have chosen to retire analog audio and video and move to digital audio and video. This is the death of VHS, LaserDisc, 3/4" tape and (eventually) our beloved [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vga-cable.jpg VGA] (and maybe even 16mm and 35mm film, but we don't know yet). Blu-ray (over a new connection type - HDMI) and Internet video are the new formats that are meant to replace all of the aforementioned media formats. The DVD format will remain alive, for now.
 
The [http://www.extron.com/company/article.aspx?id=analogsunsetwp media ]and [http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2010/12/08/leading-pc-companies-move-to-all-digital-display-technology-phasing-out-analog computer industries] have chosen to retire analog audio and video and move to digital audio and video. This is the death of VHS, LaserDisc, 3/4" tape and (eventually) our beloved [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Vga-cable.jpg VGA] (and maybe even 16mm and 35mm film, but we don't know yet). Blu-ray (over a new connection type - HDMI) and Internet video are the new formats that are meant to replace all of the aforementioned media formats. The DVD format will remain alive, for now.
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Due to the imminent demise of the analog video format, and the need to support new formats, LIS has developed a plan to address the obsolescence of VCR, Laserdisc and slide projection, as well as the impact on teaching materials that are currently available in these formats. The process is guided by technology options but also by Copyright Law. The [http://www.middlebury.edu/about/handbook/lis/copyright Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines] section of the Handbook outlines some of the copyright intricacies. If you currently have a VHS tape, Laserdisc or 35mm slides that you use for class, you should be developing a strategy for migrating the class material to a different media for use inside and outside of class.
  
 
=== Important Dates ===
 
=== Important Dates ===
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Phase II - Beginning as of January 1, 2014
 
Phase II - Beginning as of January 1, 2014
 
LIS will remove VHS, Laserdisc and slide projectors from '''all classrooms''' except the main auditoriums (Sunderland Dana, Alexander Twilight Auditorium, Axinn 232). We need to preserve as many of these devices for spare parts and archival purposes.
 
LIS will remove VHS, Laserdisc and slide projectors from '''all classrooms''' except the main auditoriums (Sunderland Dana, Alexander Twilight Auditorium, Axinn 232). We need to preserve as many of these devices for spare parts and archival purposes.
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Phase III - Onward and Upward
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LIS will continue to move forward with digital technology and strive to accommodate any emerging technologies for the future.
  
 
=== What does the analog sunset mean for computers ===
 
=== What does the analog sunset mean for computers ===
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=== What can you do to prepare ===
 
=== What can you do to prepare ===
* Look for DVD, Blu-ray or (legal) Internet video replacements for any VHS, Laserdisc, 3/4" tape or Betamax titles in your personal collection. The Library ([http://go.middlebury.edu/request go/request]) or your liaison ([http://go.middlebury.edu/liaisons go/liaisons]) would be happy to assist you with this.
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* If you currently have a VHS tape, Laserdisc or 35mm slides that you use for class, you should be developing a strategy for migrating the class material to a different media for use inside and outside of class. Look for DVD, Blu-ray or (legal) Internet video replacements for any VHS, Laserdisc, 3/4" tape or Betamax titles in your personal collection. The Library ([http://go.middlebury.edu/request go/request]) or your liaison ([http://go.middlebury.edu/liaisons go/liaisons]) can assist you with this.
 
* If you are purchasing a personal computer or tablet (e.g. iPad) and suspect you may need to use it in a classroom, ensure that it has a VGA port or, if it does not, purchase a VGA video adapter (speak with your vendor for more details about compatible adapters). Keep an eye on this page and MiddPoints/the LIS blog for any announcements on the future of VGA.
 
* If you are purchasing a personal computer or tablet (e.g. iPad) and suspect you may need to use it in a classroom, ensure that it has a VGA port or, if it does not, purchase a VGA video adapter (speak with your vendor for more details about compatible adapters). Keep an eye on this page and MiddPoints/the LIS blog for any announcements on the future of VGA.
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===Frequently Asked Questions===
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* '''What has Middlebury College done so far to ease this process?''' See the section above, [[#What we are doing to prepare|What we are doing to prepare]].
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* '''What will happen to all the tapes and LaserDiscs in the Library's collection?''' See the section above, [[#What we are doing to prepare|What we are doing to prepare]].
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* '''What can I do to prepare?''' See the section above, [[#What can you do to prepare|What can you do to prepare]].
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* '''How can I replace my NON-LIS VHS or Laserdisc film that is needed for a class?''' Check if the Library has a copy of the film already (http://go.middlebury.edu/midcat). If we do not already have the film and if it is available on DVD, the library can order a replacement - place your request to purchase the item at http://go.middlebury.edu/request.
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* '''If I convert my VHS tape to DVD, will it increase the quality?''' No, and there may be some loss of quality whenever a conversion happens. It is best to look for a commercially made replacement title.
 +
* '''Does digital media offer higher quality than analog media?''' For VHS and LaserDisc, yes, a commercially made DVD, Blu-ray or Internet video will usually provide higher quality.
  
 
===Other resources===
 
===Other resources===

Revision as of 14:46, 21 February 2013

Important Notice About the Analog Video Format

This is an important Notice About the Analog Video Format. It relates to the phasing out analog media and analog players (VCR, Laserdisc [LD] and slide projectors) in the classrooms at Middlebury College. Please review the next sections for information on the reasons behind this and the approach that LIS plans to undertake.

What do the analog sunset and digital audio/video mean for Middlebury?

Summary

Analog media (VHS, LaserDisc, etc.) has become obsolete – new media is not being produced, replacement players are not being produced. For Laserdisc and VCR technology, better, higher quality and easier to use digital technologies have emerged. By removing VHS, LaserDisc players and slide projectors from classrooms, and by replacing analog materials with digital copies, we can ensure that our classrooms will continue to be functional, easy to use and easy to support, both now and in the near future.

The media and computer industries have chosen to retire analog audio and video and move to digital audio and video. This is the death of VHS, LaserDisc, 3/4" tape and (eventually) our beloved VGA (and maybe even 16mm and 35mm film, but we don't know yet). Blu-ray (over a new connection type - HDMI) and Internet video are the new formats that are meant to replace all of the aforementioned media formats. The DVD format will remain alive, for now.

Due to the imminent demise of the analog video format, and the need to support new formats, LIS has developed a plan to address the obsolescence of VCR, Laserdisc and slide projection, as well as the impact on teaching materials that are currently available in these formats. The process is guided by technology options but also by Copyright Law. The Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines section of the Handbook outlines some of the copyright intricacies. If you currently have a VHS tape, Laserdisc or 35mm slides that you use for class, you should be developing a strategy for migrating the class material to a different media for use inside and outside of class.

Important Dates

Phase I - Beginning as of January 1, 2013 LIS will no longer add VHS players to new or renovated classrooms.

Phase II - Beginning as of January 1, 2014 LIS will remove VHS, Laserdisc and slide projectors from all classrooms except the main auditoriums (Sunderland Dana, Alexander Twilight Auditorium, Axinn 232). We need to preserve as many of these devices for spare parts and archival purposes.

Phase III - Onward and Upward LIS will continue to move forward with digital technology and strive to accommodate any emerging technologies for the future.

What does the analog sunset mean for computers

The VGA plug that can be found on most computers is slowly being phased out. Dell and other computer manufacturers are not including it on some computer models - a trend that is likely to continue. HDMI is a new type of audio/video connection that allows audio and video to be sent over the same cable. DisplayPort (used by some Dell computers) and Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt (used by most modern Apple computers) are additional audio/video connection types that are compatible with HDMI and can send both audio and video over the same cable. Both HDMI and DisplayPort aim to reduce audio/video projection complexity and reduce cable clutter. Moreover both of these connection types allow for higher quality projection.

Of the two, Middlebury has chosen to support HDMI alongside the existing video cables (VGA) for the foreseeable future. Thus, any classrooms built or upgraded after May 2009 will support both HDMI and VGA. This decision was made based on the media industry's decision to support HDMI, Dell's current and future choice to use HDMI and Apple's promise of compatibility between their Mini DisplayPort/Thunderbolt and HDMI.

Presently:

  • some computers distributed by Middlebury College have a VGA connector only (mostly Dell computers made before 2010)
  • other computers distributed by Middlebury College have a DisplayPort and VGA connector (mostly Dells made between 2010 and 2011)
  • a third group of computers distributed by Middlebury College have an HDMI and VGA connector (mostly Dells after 2011)
  • a fourth group - most current Mac computers - can be connected to VGA or HDMI with the appropriate adapter.

What does the analog sunset mean for DVD, VHS, Laserdisc, 3/4" tape, film slides

  • Last (blank) VHS tape produced in 2008. [1]
  • Last standalone VHS player produced in 2008. [2]
  • Last Laserdisc produced in 2000. [3]
  • Last Laserdisc player shipped in 2009. [4]
  • DVDs and DVD players are still actively produced though it is likely they will eventually be superseded by Blu-ray and Internet video. More and more titles are simultaneously released on DVD, Blu-ray and (legal) Internet video.

This means that the supply of VHS/VCR & Laserdisc players and parts is becoming limited. Very soon we won't be able to buy new players to replace our existing ones as they fail. In addition, there will be a limited supply of spare parts and technical personnel that have the know-how to perform repair. Middlebury College's timeline is outlined in the Important Dates section above.

What we are doing to prepare

  • Over the past two years, LIS has replaced a large amount of analog media (VHS & Laserdisc) used for Reserves with DVD or Blu-ray media. Last winter, a large Laserdisc weeding project reduced our holdings by almost 90% and was lauded by staff and faculty as a strong step forward. In the past year we've been turning our attention to the VHS collection, removing all items which have never circulated even once, which reduced our holdings by over 35%. We are currently in the process of removing VHS that we already have DVD or Blu-ray versions of.
  • A number of other VHS titles have not circulated at all in the past seven years, and we are examining those VHS with the help of faculty. Departments should check their collection of media titles for VHS. If any are crucial for teaching or research, we will look to purchase new copies on DVD or Blu-ray if we do not already have them. If these formats are not available, we will keep the VHS. All other VHS will be removed from the collection.
  • Our classrooms will continue to have the option of bringing in an analog device (VCR, Laserdisc player, slide projector) for the foreseeable future. LIS will keeps an inventory of VCRs, Laserdisc players and slide projectors in functional condition and available for check-out from the Library circulation desk. However, there is no guarantee that we will be able to maintain and repair these devices, as new supplies dwindle.
  • We are following similar steps with our collection of aging audio cassettes. Cassettes that have never circulated in the past seven years are being reviewed. Cassettes that have been put on reserve or that have circulated will be replaced, retained, or migrated to a newer format.

What can you do to prepare

  • If you currently have a VHS tape, Laserdisc or 35mm slides that you use for class, you should be developing a strategy for migrating the class material to a different media for use inside and outside of class. Look for DVD, Blu-ray or (legal) Internet video replacements for any VHS, Laserdisc, 3/4" tape or Betamax titles in your personal collection. The Library (go/request) or your liaison (go/liaisons) can assist you with this.
  • If you are purchasing a personal computer or tablet (e.g. iPad) and suspect you may need to use it in a classroom, ensure that it has a VGA port or, if it does not, purchase a VGA video adapter (speak with your vendor for more details about compatible adapters). Keep an eye on this page and MiddPoints/the LIS blog for any announcements on the future of VGA.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What has Middlebury College done so far to ease this process? See the section above, What we are doing to prepare.
  • What will happen to all the tapes and LaserDiscs in the Library's collection? See the section above, What we are doing to prepare.
  • What can I do to prepare? See the section above, What can you do to prepare.
  • How can I replace my NON-LIS VHS or Laserdisc film that is needed for a class? Check if the Library has a copy of the film already (http://go.middlebury.edu/midcat). If we do not already have the film and if it is available on DVD, the library can order a replacement - place your request to purchase the item at http://go.middlebury.edu/request.
  • If I convert my VHS tape to DVD, will it increase the quality? No, and there may be some loss of quality whenever a conversion happens. It is best to look for a commercially made replacement title.
  • Does digital media offer higher quality than analog media? For VHS and LaserDisc, yes, a commercially made DVD, Blu-ray or Internet video will usually provide higher quality.

Other resources

References