Information about my DVDs

Updated 27 December 2013

What kind of DVDs are these?

These are enthusiast DVDs. By that I mean they are prepared by one enthusiast for other enthusiasts and (intentionally) lack some of the features of commercial DVDs. There is minimal additional sound and no added commentary. I go for exciting action footage but try to give good coverage of individual lines and locomotives. I prefer to cover 1-4 lines per DVD not whole countries or continents. There is minimal non-railway padding although I am a great fan of the railway in its environment (be it country or town) and try to cover this with distant shots, people shots and long takes. I always seek out real, working steam where it is still available. Only where there is no other option, will I join small groups to arrange steam charters or to video special trains. My DVDs normally run close the the maximum length I can get on a DVD (typically 80 minutes) and have a full menu and options to navigate to different scenes. I burn DVDs (DVD-R) on my computer to order. Any profit (after UK tax) goes towards further trips and more video or computer equipment in order to continue to bring new DVDs to you. I have produced more than 60 different titles to date.

Prices

The current price for my single DVDs is 15 plus postage and 18 + postage for double DVDs . This compares with magazine adverts for railway DVDs in UK railway magazines at prices generally from 18 to 29 with additional postage. I can offer a discount price for an order for more than one DVD and I am very happy to discuss a special price or a barter arrangement for anyone in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, China, etc. who cannot afford British prices. 

Ordering

You can order by clicking on the email link with the DVD details. This will provide a subject title contining the name of the DVD you are interested in. If you send me emails for several titles, I will combine this into one order. Postage is only charged on the first DVD and I will offer a special price for four or more DVDs ordered at the same time. You can also request a special price for larger orders or for DVDs in sleeves not in DVD cases.

email

Technical Issues

My latest computer is an Apple Intel duo core iMac with an improved DVD drive that can burn DVD+R as well as DVD-R disks. Initial tests shows the DVDs produced (both -R and +R) are more compatible with the DVD player I use to test disks. However, most people will now be aware of the potential issues with burned DVDs (possible compatibility problems with different DVD players, questions about how long the disks will remain readable, the same old NTSC/PAL compatibility problems). I burn DVDs at the slow speed of x4 rather than the default x8 to avoid problems towards the end of DVDs. Not just my DVDs but others I have tried have been known to hang and skip towards the end of the footage. So far, a slower burn speed seems to be an effective solution to this problem.

I am not able to produce NTSC versions of these DVDs. However, a number of DVD players sold in the USA do offer PAL playback on NTSC TV and maybe you should invest in one of these are they are not expensive. Models include Malata DVD-806RF, D-558 and D-520, the Jaton PSD-7611K, and the Apex Ad-1200. The website http://www.musicbymailcanada.com/DVDPAL.html lists a range of suitable players available in both the USA and Canada and where to buy them.

The paragraph above was written some time ago. It's quite likely that the models referred to may have been superceded. I have had mixed feedback on whether the PAL/NTSC problem is still relevant with modern, digital HD TVs although I assume the problem is still there with some DVD players.

I received this comment from an American customer, 'The DVD's arrived this afternoon. A pleasant surprise no problem viewing them. They play full screen on my TV using my Mini DVD player CH-DVD 300 by Cyberhome. Although some of the picture from a PAL discs played on a NTSC TV is supposed to be cut off, it is not apparent.'

Worst case scenarios

Should a DVD fail to arrive, contact me. I always take my DVDs to the local post office and ask for proof of posting. If the DVD gets lost, I promise to provide a replacement once a reasonable time has elapsed for the DVD to arrive. Due to potential problems around Christmas - New Year with any excess mail being stockpiled by the post office, I do not like to post DVDs later than 10 December to addresses outside the UK  or after 15 December to addresses in the UK.

Should any DVD I provide fail to play satisfactorily on your DVD player, please first check if it will play OK on your computer or on another DVD player. Then, contact me to see how we can solve the problem.

I recently received the following message (and what is very rare feedback on a problem) from a Dutch enthusiast who managed to solve the problem himself. 'Unfortunately I could not play your DVD in my DVD-player [Unknown disk]. I had to make a copy on my PC, and burn a new DVD. Now the DVD works fine! Nothing to complain about, but maybe other people have this problem? If so, just make a copy, and everything will be fine.'

To allow for possible deterioration in the DVD media over time, I now feel I need to say: This DVD should reach you in perfect condition. Please let me know if you have any problems playing it. Should you wish to watch this DVD many times over the years, I strongly suggest that you make a back up copy on your computer just in case the disk should deteriorate over time. You have my permission to make a back-up copy for this purpose. I offer a 1 year warranty on the DVD. Should it fail within one year of purchase, I will replace it. However, after that time, it is your responsibility to make a back-up so you can watch it forever.

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