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I'm getting totally DISGUSTED with collecting TV series on DVD


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#1 of 148 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted June 29 2005 - 10:39 AM

I'm coming within a few nanometers of not getting any more sets of TV series on DVD. I certainly am going to stop looking forward to any that are announced. The reason is that way too much has gone wrong lately.

I'm only interested in series from the 1950s-1970s. I realize that means I'm dealing with older material. Even so--

I Love Lucy Season Four -- two or three episodes are cut.

Wanted: Dead or Alive -- sped up.

My Favorite Martian Season Two -- several episodes sped up.

Now comes the news that The Doris Day Show Season One, touted as being from "original elements," contains sped up syndicated episodes.

And I could go on, unfortunately!

The problem with TV shows is that they were subjected to too many indignities over the years and sometimes, like Humpty Dumpty, they just can't be put back together again.

The other problem is that too many of these companies are clueless. Don't they realize that what people want are the episodes as they were originally shown? If people want cut, sped up, bad-looking episodes, all they have to do is record them off TV Land! I'm afraid some of these companies don't even KNOW that they're dealing with cut or sped-up prints -- or they don't care, which is even worse.

I've about had it. Complete seasons on DVD was a great idea, but I'm afraid that for every great set, there are three or four that are so botched up they result in NO SALE for me.

#2 of 148 OFFLINE   ScottR

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Posted June 29 2005 - 10:50 AM

I totally agree with you.

#3 of 148 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted June 29 2005 - 12:37 PM

Joe, I totally understand. However, I have a slightly different take on it that's developed over the last couple of years.

As much as I would love for all the series to come unedited from pristinely restored negatives, even the ones that aren't are usually better than the further edited ones currently being shown on TV. In the case of I Love Lucy Season Four, the missing footage has never been seen since the 1950s, so it's not like scenes or dialogue we're familiar with have been cut out, as is the case with current airings.

And in the case of The Doris Day Show, they haven't been aired at all in years, so having them is still a bit of a treat.

In a perfect world, I would want pristine episodes, even if that meant bare bones editions. Then, if budgets allowed, interesting extras. However, when I was a kid, and even in the years of VHS, I never dreamed I'd be able to own all of my favorite series to watch whenever I wanted. And in a few cases I'd rather have somewhat imperfect editions than none at all. Or, God forbid, the currently aired episodes butchered by an additional 2-3 minutes, with station logos in the corner, and program promos popping up over the lower 1/3 of the screen during the episodes.

And some series have been really well done. I'd hate to miss out on the great Dick Van Dyke Show sets because the Doris Day ones were not as well done.

I toally understand if for you it's more frustrating to see the imperfections, but for me it's a case of being much happier having even the imperfect sets than having none, or being at the mercy of the TV stations.

#4 of 148 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted June 29 2005 - 02:03 PM

Quote:
sped up
What does this mean?

--
H

#5 of 148 OFFLINE   JeffWld

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Posted June 29 2005 - 03:16 PM

Quote:
The other problem is that too many of these companies are clueless. Don't they realize that what people want are the episodes as they were originally shown? If people want cut, sped up, bad-looking episodes, all they have to do is record them off TV Land!


The problem has many levels. Some situations are understandable, while others are totally inexcusable.

In the case of Doris Day, it is simply a case of economics. The DVD set will never break any sales records and has limited sales potential. The cost of restoring 35mm negatives would never be justified in this case.

In the case of Wanted Dead or Alive, the decision to use PAL masters was uninformed. Not only does it produce a set that is unnecessarily time-compressed, it also produces artifacts and degrades the overall quality. Considering that there was a perfectly good set of uncut, non time-compressed NTSC masters made in the early 1990's, this situation should never have happened.

In the case of "Too Close For Comfort" or "ALF", it is sheer stupidity mixed with a healthy dose of laziness and apathy. Compounding the felony (so to speak) were the fictional and pathetic excuses that Lion's Gate and Rhino produced to explain away the situation. It is this kind of conduct that really erodes the base of consumers who would be willing to lay their money down to support the industry in exchange for quality products.

#6 of 148 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted June 29 2005 - 03:25 PM

I think what "sped up" refers to is "time compression" technique. It has to do with (I think) a technical effect called "lexiconing". Bottom line is that the affected episode[s] are processed to where they are viewed slightly faster than the originally-aired shows. Now, this might be an unpopular opinion here, but I own all of the Combat! series DVD's and it's nearly impossible to detect the time-compression effect when viewed. This issue was discussed in detail on another site (the Combat! fan site) by knowledgable individuals who work in the video editing industry. The opinions on the Combat! forum were divided on this subject as to how much the average viewer can detect time-compression. However, I found it interesting that a significant # of those forum members that work in the video editing industry stated that they were not able to detect the lexiconing technique when viewing TV/DVD's normally (ie without timing the eps with a timer or viewing a time-compressed TV/DVD ep simultaneously with an originally-aired copy). I guess, to me, the time-compression issue is much less concern than the issue of TV/DVD mfgr's using syndicated/cut eps in their products. That, to me, is my #1 concern as a collector.

BTW, I do agree 100% with Joe's issue about the availibility of the older TV classics. They can't release 60's & 70's era series fast enough for me.

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#7 of 148 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted June 29 2005 - 04:42 PM

Quote:
I think what "sped up" refers to is "time compression" technique.

Yes, that's what I meant. I guess I should have said "time compressed."

My dictionary also tells me that it might be better English to say "speeded up."

Whatever the correct term is, these time-compressed, speeded-up movies and TV shows were a stupid idea in the first place, but at least there was a rationale for them: they could show the films uncut but still jam more commercials into the time slot.

But they have no business being sold to the public on DVDs! I don't care how many "experts" say they can't even notice it. Maybe they're in the wrong line of work if they can't. Posted Image

#8 of 148 OFFLINE   Chris Bergmann

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Posted June 29 2005 - 09:55 PM

While I don't care about the same kind of TV shows, I agree with your statement.

There are so many TV on DVD boxsets that I would have loved to buy but didn't because of music replacement or syndicated episodes.

I would've bought Quantum Leap, ALF, Moonlighing, Tour of Duty, Keen Eddie, Scrubs, Wonderfalls, Roswell and Northern Exposure without hesitation - but I didn't because of the music replacement.

The worst thing is that most people don't seem to care.

These people buy the messed-up boxsets and thereby tell the companies that it is okay to release crap.

I wish more people would grow a spine and be able to say no to compromised messed-up releases instead of "being happy to get it at all".

#9 of 148 OFFLINE   ElijahS

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Posted June 30 2005 - 01:11 AM

Quote:
There are so many TV on DVD boxsets that I would have loved to buy but didn't because of music replacement or syndicated episodes.

I would've bought ... Scrubs ... without hesitation - but I didn't because of the music replacement.

The worst thing is that most people don't seem to care.

These people buy the messed-up boxsets and thereby tell the companies that it is okay to release crap.

I wish more people would grow a spine and be able to say no to compromised messed-up releases instead of "being happy to get it at all".

I believe the one change for Scrubs involves a song that a particular artist was unwilling to extend rights for. Considering that the show has been held back from syndication by at least a year, and won't be airing on NBC until later this/next year, I do consider that particular release OK to buy.

On the others that you listed, though, I understand where you are coming from.
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#10 of 148 OFFLINE   Peter Raber

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Posted June 30 2005 - 01:43 AM

On the matter of music replacement for TV shows I don't know if most consumers are even aware of this fact.

I haven't bought any of the series you mentioned, but I would be surprised if the outside of the set stated in any way that these episodes are not the actually aired ones due to music replacement.

I would be shocked if they mentioned it at all, even on a booklet inside, but by then you have opened it and it's too late. I suppose you could return it to the studio and ask for your money back, but by then the studio will have reeled most people in as most will just say it's too much effort to do that.

Now, if it does say it on the outer box then the consumer is at fault, but my guess is there's no nitification to alert the copnsumer they are buying an altered product so I don't think they are really to blame.

Add that to the fact that if the artist doesn't want to allow the use of the music what's the studio to do, not release the series at all, because one artist won't let his music go out on dvd for Alf that was only on one episode. Most people won't even realize or remember it's missing.

#11 of 148 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted June 30 2005 - 01:45 AM

Quote:
The worst thing is that most people don't seem to care.

You're right, Chris. Many people have far more important things to concern themselves with: cancer, their jobs, their kids, their elderly parents. Whether a few of their TV shows are edited on DVD is a totally irrelevent issue in their lives. I'm sure they would love to have such a blessed and easy life that that was a priority.

#12 of 148 OFFLINE   Jon_Are

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Posted June 30 2005 - 01:52 AM

Quote:
I wish more people would grow a spine and be able to say no to compromised messed-up releases instead of "being happy to get it at all".

What makes me happy, it seems to me, is up to me to decide.

Isn't it?

Jon

#13 of 148 OFFLINE   Chris Bergmann

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Posted June 30 2005 - 02:03 AM

Quote:
Many people have far more important things to concern themselves with: cancer, their jobs, their kids, their elderly parents. Whether a few of their TV shows are edited on DVD is a totally irrelevent issue in their lives. I'm sure they would love to have such a blessed and easy life that that was a priority.


You should get off your high horse - I think the air is getting a bit thin up there. Posted Image

#14 of 148 OFFLINE   ElijahS

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Posted June 30 2005 - 02:12 AM

Quote:
Many people have far more important things to concern themselves with: cancer, their jobs, their kids, their elderly parents. Whether a few of their TV shows are edited on DVD is a totally irrelevent issue in their lives. I'm sure they would love to have such a blessed and easy life that that was a priority.

Quote:
You should get off your high horse - I think the air is getting a bit thin up there.

JohnMor has a point. Whether or not the DVD sets contain the original music is not the focal point for every DVD purchaser.
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STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIPThe all-new drama from the creator of THE WEST WING and SPORTS NIGHTPremiering this fall on NBCThe last five minutes of St. Elsewhere is the only television show, ever. Everything else is a daydream.

#15 of 148 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted June 30 2005 - 02:25 AM

Why do so many threads on forums (not just here, but all over the Internet) have to deteriorate so quickly?

Yes, I will admit that compared to cancer, taking care of elderly parents, terrorist attacks and my eczema, time-compressed episodes of "The Doris Day Show" (which was a lousy show in the first place, come to think of it) don't rank high on my list of the Greatest Problems Facing the World Today.

But this is a forum for TV Shows on DVD -- it's not about cancer and elderly parents. This is the place where we get to praise or complain about DVDs.

But come to think of it -- my hobbies ARE very important to me. Without them, my life would be unbelievably dull. So, yes, the fact that DVDs I had been looking forward to turn out to be so botched-up that I refuse to buy them IS important to me -- not up there with cancer and World War 3, but pretty damn high on the list!

Actually, if you want to put people down for their opinions or priorities, I can do it, too. I have to say I agree with the poster who said that the reason we get these lousy DVDs is because of people who have the philosophy, "It's better than nothing."

NO IT ISN'T!

I'm in no way comparing "The Doris Day Show" to a Beethoven Symphony, but would you think it's ok if a conductor announced, "For this performance, because I'm in a hurry to get to my poker game, I'm conducting Beethoven's Ninth Symphony twice as fast as I usually do"? I think you'd find it outrageous. Well, let's show the same respect for classic television!

#16 of 148 OFFLINE   Eric_Bee

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Posted June 30 2005 - 02:35 AM

Quote:
I believe the one change for Scrubs involves a song that a particular artist was unwilling to extend rights for. Considering that the show has been held back from syndication by at least a year, and won't be airing on NBC until later this/next year, I do consider that particular release OK to buy.


Actually, Scrubs fanatics on one fan site have posted about multiple replacements in music, one fan noting replacement in nearly every episode. I bought the DVD, but this is very disappointing and might prevent future purchases.

#17 of 148 OFFLINE   Craig Beam

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Posted June 30 2005 - 02:39 AM

I'm very fortunate that the series I care most about (The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits) have been treated extremely well on DVD.

#18 of 148 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted June 30 2005 - 03:20 AM

I think how deeply some people believe changing a song on a TV show is a huge problem, there's people that believe just as strongly that it's not a big deal.

I guess what I mean is that everyone'll have to agree to disagree. What matters alot to you, doesn't matter as much to other people. That doesn't mean that the thread has detoriated, it means there's people with differing views.

#19 of 148 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted June 30 2005 - 03:21 AM

Quote:
But this is a forum for TV Shows on DVD -- it's not about cancer and elderly parents. This is the place where we get to praise or complain about DVDs.

That's right, Joe. But we should all be able to express our opinions politely without poorly veiled insults about growing a spine if we disagree with your take on the matter.

Quote:
I have to say I agree with the poster who said that the reason we get these lousy DVDs is because of people who have the philosophy, "It's better than nothing. NO IT ISN'T!"

I didn't just say it was better than nothing. I also said it was better than the currently available alternative. And yes it is. For me.
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#20 of 148 OFFLINE   Wendy_L

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Posted June 30 2005 - 03:25 AM

Ok, I'm gonna give another view point. I do not buy many TV on DVDs because there aren't a lot of shows out there that I would be willing to watch over and over again. But, I do rent a lot of TV shows on DVD, these are shows that I have never seen before and want to check out and watch. "Scrubs" is one of those shows. I have caught an episode here and there on NBC and have said to myself "When this comes out on DVD, I definitely want to rent this and check it out." So, for people like me, we have no clue about the music replacements unless we read a thread like this. I'm in the process of renting the "Felicity" series and I know they have replaced some music on those DVDs but I never noticed because I had never seen an episode before.

Sorry I was so long winded. I just wanted to represent the people who either buy/rent TV on DVD who are new viewers to the show.
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