Videotape is on the way out as the DVD arrives in Ireland.

Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs) have been enhancing the viewing experience for film fans in the USA for some time, and now Irish film buffs can enjoy them too.  It will be a big change from watching films on video cassette tapes, as Mark Hyland from Peats World of Economics explains, 

There’s a lot of extra features such as subtitles, you can have numerous different subtitles, different languages.  You can jump directly to a scene in a movie.

While a DVD will cost around £17, a DVD player will set you back £600.  A DVD can also be played on your PC (personal computer), if it has a DVD-Rom drive. For now though, DVDs are not able to record, and a second issue may also prevent DVD players from becoming a standard fixture in Irish homes right away, says Derek Walls of HMV,

They have two different zones, so a lot of the big titles that they have in the States aren’t available over here, and they can’t be used over here at the moment.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 8 December 1998.  The reporter is Anthony Murnane.