Watchdog slams flipper format

Warner HomeVideo, distributors of blockbuster movie Armageddon, has agreed to replace all copies of the DVD film following a BBC Watchdog programme last week complaining about the format.

The film, produced by Buena Vista, came out on 'flipper' disc, meaning watchers had to turn it over half way through the film. This double-sided format for DVD has been widely criticised by DVD aficionados and many production houses are now using double-layered, single-sided DVDs instead.

A Warner spokesman said the film was produced as a flipper because the technology to produce dual-layer discs was not available at the time. However he admitted Starship Troopers, a film due to be released by Warner next month, will also be on flipper disc. "It was produced at the old facility and it is unfortunate that this film is being released on flipper," he said. He promised that all the bigger titles in the future will come out on dual-layer disc.

Bryan Welsh, managing director of DVDplus, hopes the debacle will signal the beginning of the end for flippers. "Most producers have now realised that flippers are a no-no. They are dying a death," he said.

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