Macomb Community College is in the process of updating its Mediated Classroom Carts. The new carts feature faster computers, Blue Ray DVD players, and updated document cameras. In keeping up with the rapid advance of technology, however, some older technology is being retired. The Blue Ray (high definition) DVD players no longer can play VHS tapes. Manufacturers of these players consider VHS tape an obsolete technology and, as they have done in the past with the players for 8 track tapes, audio cassettes, and video disks, they have simply stopped making them. Faculty with VHS tapes need to make other arrangements if they want to use the content on these tapes in their classes.
Possible alternatives include contacting the publisher of the tape to ask if a replacement in Blue Ray (high definition DVD) or streaming media format were available. Copyright law prohibits the conversion of media from one format to another without permission, but if that permission is granted (and the Library can help you with this) the CTL can often convert VHS tapes to DVD or streaming media. Conversions of this type, however, may take up to a week and copyright clearance can take much longer. Nor is copyright clearance usually free. The library may purchase materials in DVD or streaming formats. Any such purchases become part of the library’s collection. The librarians are always happy to assist other faculty in finding new materials in appropriate formats.
Questions about media conversion should be directed to the Center for Teaching and Learning, firstname.lastname@example.org, 586.226.4774, and questions about copyright clearance should be directed to Bruce Bett at the Library, email@example.com, 586.445.7880.
Another issue recently encountered with the new equipment is the inability of the Blue Ray players to correctly navigate the menu of older non-Blue Ray DVDs. Faculty experiencing issues of this sort should try to use the DVD players installed in the computers that are installed in the carts. Software to run DVDs from the computer is on the desktop of these computers and should give faculty complete control of the DVD menus. Questions about this issue should be directed to the Service Desk, firstname.lastname@example.org, 586.445.7156.