Members of the Church will be able to obtain an audiovisual version of the April 2002 general conference on DVD (digital video disc). General conference on DVD, which will be available at Church distribution centers, is being touted as the Church's "first truly international product" because a user can click on any one of 16 languages and because the DVD is becoming the medium of choice throughout the world, said Bill Schaefermeyer, director of development and production for the Church's Audiovisual Department.
"The world's going to DVD; that's clear," Brother Schaefermeyer told the Church News. "The benefits of DVD are quality of sound and picture and searchability. You don't have to shuttle tape to get to the speaker. From our menus, you can select language, any out of 16; you can select the speaker that you want or you can play the whole conference the way you would on a video tape. Or you can play just the music, which is kind of a nice feature."
Copies of the April and October 2001 general conferences on DVD are already available at distribution centers for $14.25 each; the October conference DVD is on back order. Brother Schaefermeyer said the April 2002 version should be available in May. Each set contains all conference talks in Cebuano, German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, FaaSamoan, Tagalog, Reo Tahiti, Lea Faka-Tonga, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Cantonese and Mandarin.
A unique aspect of the product is that the voice of the actual speaker can still be heard beneath the voice of the translator. "We try very hard so that people will know the faces and the voices of the [Church leaders]," Brother Schaefermeyer said.
He commented that the DVDs allow many people, especially those who live away from Church headquarters, to get a visual identity of Church leaders when they otherwise would be unable to do so.
Another aspect of general conference on DVD is the topical index, which allows a user to pick from a variety of topics. For example, if individuals want to hear messages on self-mastery from the October 2001 general conference, they are referred to the addresses by Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder Wayne S. Peterson of the Seventy. The topic "faith" refers users to six different speakers.
General conference on DVD comes on four discs and includes all five sessions (four general sessions and the priesthood session).
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