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TV DVD: What Influences Your Purchase?

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#1 of 26 Mark Talmadge

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Posted December 31 2005 - 10:00 PM

Due to a mistake on my part for bringing my arguments in the past into the Battlestar Galactica topics, and I understand why Gord has been so upset, thought I'd create this topic instead.

In the past several years my collection of TV Shows on DVD has grown in leaps and bounds. While most TV Shows on DVD have remained stable around the $40-50 mark does the number of episodes released in a set have a direct influence on your purchase?

When I have decided to latch onto a new TV on DVD series, some shows which begin with an initial 15 episodes but level out around 22 episodes for less than $50 does not bother me when purchasing these sets. But, the number of episodes in direct impact with the price does affect my purchase.

Most of us, and I think there are a huge variety of fans who find themselves in a position just like myself, purchase these sets in real brick and mortar shows and often purchase these sets on the week of release. However, price often does bear a consequence of whether or not I purchase the series.

Most often, if it's a series I caught watching on television then usually price doesn't matter as long as it's within reason. The only time I spent over $50 for a set was with Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers at a whopping $80-90 per set. While I haven't seen the new BG series on television I had seen the mini series but with Universals pricing structure and it's not just that company either, Fox seems to have the same problem with high profile TV Shows.

While single DVD releases have leveled out between $10-20, if you're lucky enough to find a store chain that discounts its DVD's but the TV DVD format hasn't exactly caught up to that point. While it's a dreadsome subject, most fans dislike spending $40 for a Boxed set that contains only 10 episodes. Battlestar Galactica, OZ, Shield, MI-5 and many others have suffered from this problem preventing many new fans from discovering these shows.

It's a conbination of things that determine this, msot people work on shifts where they aren't able to watch the show when it's broadcast or don't receive that channel from their cable company and prevent those new fans from discovering or purchasing that show on DVD. Most are on a budget and this sort of hinders other people from picking up the series and resortinh to other methods such as ordering Region 0 DVD's through auction sites.

If I had watched some of these shows during their broadcast, I might have different feelings but the fact is that price isn't a neccessary factor for me. I had never seen Gilmore Girls or Smallville before I picked up the first two seasons of each show for $20 each. The following seasons I gladly paid $45 for the remaining seasons because I absolutely fell in love with the shows. Warner Bros is a good example of doing good business and keeping their DVD sets at an affordable price while giving their fans of their shows a reasonable number of episodes for what they are pay8ing for.

#2 of 26 ThomasMon


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Posted January 01 2006 - 02:55 AM

Wow, very good question!

The first thing that comes to mind is it one of my all time favorite shows? For example, The Dukes of Hazzard is my all time favorite and that was a no brainer. I would have paid anything for season sets. So any of my all time favorites, I have about 3 or 4, I get them without question.

Now, if there is a show I liked, and it has no bonus features or has the syndicated episodes, I won't even consider it. An example of this would be Alf. However, Cheers, which is one of my all time favorites I buy right away even tho there are no extra's. I would probably almost pay anything for Cheers too, but the fact that it has no extra's would make me think differently.

Now, there are shows I just like and I would buy depending on the price. For example, Dawson's Creek. Watched it when it was on. They were released at $35.00 each. I didn't go out and buy it right away. However, recently Deep Discount DVD had Buy one, Get one free and those sets were included. So I purchased them.

The biggest thing to make me think twice about buying a show is Syndicated episodes. I think I may not even buy one of my favorites if it was syndicated, as I probably already had them on VHS.

Also, I am not one for "Best Of" sets unless there is absolutely nothing else available on the show. The only show I have a compilation DVD set of is "The Incredible Hulk" and I strill hope every day they will release it in season sets.

Hope this makes sense, lol.

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#3 of 26 seanOhara


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Posted January 01 2006 - 03:22 AM

I don't pay much attention to the number of episodes in a set. What I buy for is the quality of a show -- I don't find $70-80 unreasonable for 13 episodes of Deadwood or 17 of The Prisoner, but $90-100 is outrageous for 26 eps of a Star Trek spinoff. A low price might induce me to get a show I'm on the fence about -- the only reason I watch the Dead Zone is because the sets are ~$25; if they were $40 I wouldn't be interested.
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#4 of 26 Mark Talmadge

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Posted January 01 2006 - 03:26 AM

I have to admit quite honestly, that the original and unedited episode do make the difference but when a studio releases a set with syndicated episodes it means that there's no possibility of that particular set being released with original unedited episodes.

As far as the original music soundtracks go when they need to replace the original music with soimething else due to the rights of that music, this doesn't really factor in as I'm getting the episodes. I don't buy a TV Show on DVD to listen to the music soundtrack. I can go out and buy the CD Soundtrack for that.

But, I've paid between $24.99 to $44.99 for a Season set of a belov3ed television show. Also, it would help if studios introduced an introductory price for the first season set thereby enticing fans old and new to pick up future sets of that series.

As far as "Best Of" sets I don't jump on those because I figure that's $10 I could use to pay for the official set when it's eventually released. It's just a poor excuse for studios to suck more money from fans especially when these studios know that they are going to release the set anyway.

This was done with with such shows as Battlestar Galactica, Stargate: Atlantis, Babylon 5: In the Beginning and other upcoming sets. It is indeed a poor marketing strategy because those fans who want seasonal sets won't buy these best of sets.

Take a look at the Incredible Hulk boxed set that were only "Best Of" episodes. I would have been more apt to buy the season boxed sets than spend $60-70 for a collection fo various episodes. But, that's Universals marketing strategy.

When it's a choice between buying an overpriced Universal TV DVD boxed set I'd be more tempted to go out and buy the New Outer Limits Season 1 boxed set (which I plan on doing anyway). Most of Sony/MGM's and Warners sets are priced around $44.95. They've pretty much set a standard price for all of their boxed sets and not charging more (or price-fixing certain titles) just to inflate their profit margins. And, Circuit City has just dropped their prices on Stargate SG-1 boxed sets down to around $34.95 now.

#5 of 26 george kaplan

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Posted January 01 2006 - 03:27 AM

While I do shop around for the best price (e.g., you could usually find that $100 Star Trek:TNG for much less at Costco), price and/or # of episodes is essentially of zero import in my purchasing decisions.

It all boils down to the following:

a) is this a tv show I want to watch again and again?

b) is it presented in season sets? With the rare exceptions of shows like Johnny Carson or Whose Line is it Anyway?, season sets are a requirement.

c) is is uncut, and in the proper aspect ratio? Song replacement - no buy. Faux Widescreen - no buy.

As long as it's an uncut season set of a show I want, I'll be buying regardless of price point.
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#6 of 26 Mark Talmadge

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Posted January 01 2006 - 03:51 AM

Yeah, I was very depressed when Josh Whedon released Babylon 5 in its faux paux widescreen format. While I love that series it was a disappointment to discover this.

It doesn't bother me if the show is still being showed on television because I hate watching episodes on television with the commercials and all of that.

The networks have been concerned for a very long time that DVD sales are affecting the box offices as well as the ratings that networks get from broadcasted syndicated episodes. This is a very qualified concern and they should be concerned as TV Shows sales on DVDs have been increasing each year.

#7 of 26 Nelson Au

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Posted January 01 2006 - 04:55 AM

This is a can of worms! I can see it will be a cause for a lively debate.

My case might be non-typical. I mainly collect Star Trek. The price is high, but I am fortunate I can afford TOS and all the spin-offs. My collection is mostly Sci-Fi classics, Outer Limits TOS and Twilight Zone-The Definitive Collection, The Prisoner, Gerry Anderson puppet shows, stuff I grew up on. And now the new Galactica. And I bought that sight unseen based on friends recommendation.

For other TV shows, as George said above, it comes down to how often I'll watch it. Unless I'm a series fan, I doubt I'll buy more then 1 or 2 seaosns. I only buy the seasons with a favorite episode. There's too much out there and so little time to watch. Extras are nice, but it depends on the show. If all 5 seasons of Get Smart came out next week with remastered prints, OAR, mono sound and no extras, I'll buy them. Same for WKRP, hopefully with all the original songs.

So it depends on the show and what it means to me, what kind of connection I have to it. Anything less then that, it's just collecting for collection sake.

#8 of 26 Paul Miller

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Posted January 01 2006 - 05:57 AM

1. The TV Show - It has to be something I like
2. Price - It has be affordable and on par with what other releases are charging
3. Episodes - Sometimes I skip first seasons because they have a limited run of episodes but charge the same price as a full season
4. Reliability of studio - they continue things that they start without making us wait long periods of time
5. Video Quality - I want better than TV VQ or it better be really cheap
6. Commentaries - great commentaries can help show a show for me, especially if they are on every episodes - the Simpsons, Futurama, and Greg the Bunny did a great job on this


#9 of 26 Mark Talmadge

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Posted January 01 2006 - 06:11 AM

That's really the only reaqson why I'll buy a boxed set if its one that I've already watched before and that I'd be interested in watching time and time again or I grew up watching it. Other times, if it is a show I've never seen before it would depend on the price.

But, as far as bonus features go, they don't really impress me much because the features that they usually include bit dust. The proble I have is the deleted scenes. The whole thing about DVD's is that studios should be reinserting those deleted scenes back into the episodes that they were cut from.

#10 of 26 Michael Alden

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Posted January 01 2006 - 06:12 AM

1 - Complete or cut episodes. If it's a show that I have never had access to complete, such as fifties or sixties shows that have never aired complete anywhere in the taping era, then and only then would I consider purchasing them cut. Otherwise, if it's a show like Alf or Cosby Show, I just go back to my off-air network masters which are beautiful and I transfer those.

2 - Price, but only relative to how important the show is to me. If it's something that is only of marginal importance to me and I feel it's overpriced, such as much of the A&E product, I put it in my Netflix queue. Anything that I really care about, price is irrelevant.

3 - Music changes on post-1980 shows. Once again, as with cut episodes, if it's a show from the taping era and it's been tinkered with I won't buy it and I'll source the shows from my broadcast masters. In this category are all of the Cannell shows for example. Pre-1980 music isn't really much of an issue.

That's pretty much it. I don't really care at all about commentaries, extras, etc. If they are there, okay, if not, also okay. Not an issue with me.

#11 of 26 FrancisP



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Posted January 01 2006 - 06:35 AM

The first question is if it is a show that I am interested in. That can vary from show to show. There are shows like Hogan's Heroes that I love the series. Then there are shows that I love certain parts of. I am one of the few who liked the addition of Michelle Trachenberg's Dawn character to Buffy. That's why I bought Buffy S5& 6.

The second thing is value. I love ST:TOS but it is overpriced. I like both the original BG and Buck Rogers but BG was better than a featureless Buck Rogers. At the right price, I am willing to buy. Buffy S7 is a good example. That season was problematic because of the slayers in training. They came in around the ninth episode. It degenerated into something idiotic when the number reached 20 or 30. As a result, the regular cast pretty much disappeared into little more than cameo appearances. The bottom line is that I was not willing to pay full price for about 8 episodes. When Target put it on sale for $15.99 then I bought it. With LIS going down to $40 per season, that is something that I may reconsider.

There is only one exception that I can think of. I broke down and bought the Xena and Hercules season sets that had Callisto in them. I thought Hudson Leick did a excellent job with the character and that is the only reason I bbought them. Nobody's perfect.

#12 of 26 seanOhara


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Posted January 01 2006 - 06:44 AM

The proble I have is the deleted scenes. The whole thing about DVD's is that studios should be reinserting those deleted scenes back into the episodes that they were cut from.

Gads that's a horrible idea. Sure, sometimes good scenes were cut for time, but more often they were removed for good cause. And with TV shows, you get the problem where the deleted material is contradicted by later episodes, so reinserting it creates continuity errors.

Give me the episodes as they originally aired, with the deleted scenes as a separate feature, unless there's a compelling for an alternate cut.
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#13 of 26 Jeff Willis

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Posted January 01 2006 - 07:47 AM

1) I buy only a series that I'll want to keep in my collection for years to come. I rarely purchase "blind-buy's" but the 2-3 that I've bought that way, I've had good luck.
2) Un-Cut Eps. That's the big question for me when considering a purchase. 99% of the time, I won't buy any "syndicated" sets.
3) No concern with music or credit changes. I prefer the original-aired material but it won't prevent me from getting a series that I want to add to my collection.
4) No concern with extras or commentaries. I like them when they are included in a set but it doesn't influence my decision to buy.
5) No concern with a particular studio. I know that some are better than others but if it's a series that I'm collecting, it doesn't matter to me.
I buy 99% of my sets from online stores. I first thought I'd be in the majority here but maybe not. From what I've generally seen, the pricing at online stores is lower than local outlets with a few exceptions at, say, a Wal-Mart discount shelf, etc. I prefer to order online so I don't spend time going to local stores to search for a particular release. I most cases, the more popular sets are available at my local stores but there's a considerable amount of TV/DVD sets that I haven't seen on local store shelves.
I buy "best of" sets only on rare occasions or if I think that season releases may not occcur due to the length of a series or perhaps the era of a series. I bought the "Rifleman" sets for this reason. That's the only "best of" sets in my collection to date. "Gunsmoke" is another one I'm considering since I can't see the entire series getting released.

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#14 of 26 ravma


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Posted January 01 2006 - 07:53 AM

Mark: J. Michael Straczynski, creator of Babylon 5, decided to release the show in Widescreen because,

A: That's how he wanted it (Look at what Joss Whedon, Creator of Buffy, did for Region 1. He made it Fullscreen because that's how he wanted it),

and B: Because they had filmed it protected for both 4x3 and 16x9.

It's only faux widescreen during scenes with special effects, because in scenes which have no special effects, there IS more information on the sides.

#15 of 26 AnthonyC



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Posted January 01 2006 - 09:06 AM

1. Is it something I'll rewatch?
2. Is the show worth it to me at whatever price is being charged?
3. Is it uncut?
4. Is it something I must have immediately, or can I wait and get it as a birthday/Christmas gift?

#16 of 26 MatthewA



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Posted January 01 2006 - 12:43 PM

I am influenced by:

1. The TV show. It all comes down to the actual show. If I liked it at all, would I buy it, and that's the first consideration.

2. The treatment of the episodes. Are they uncut? Have they been restored/remastered? Is the music replaced? This matters to me in 100% of cases unless there is a compelling reason why it cannot be as it aired originally.

3. Season sets. When they choose the "best of" a series, whose "best of" is it? Not mine, necessarily. I want whole seasons, that's all there is to it.

4. Extras. Are they any good? Do they inform anyone about any aspect of the show? Bad extras won't make me not buy a disc, but they will make me question why they bothered making them in the first place.

5. The price. Is it something I can afford, or will I have to save my money?

6. The frequency of the releases. Are they going to come out on a regular schedule, or will they fart one season out and never do anything else with it again?

Once again, as with cut episodes, if it's a show from the taping era and it's been tinkered with I won't buy it and I'll source the shows from my broadcast masters.

You had the foresight to tape the shows you wanted from the network runs. Not all of us did. Some of us weren't born.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.

#17 of 26 Graham Greenlee

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Posted January 01 2006 - 03:37 PM

The show is obviously the most important aspect of the perchase, but for me it does come down to price over anything else.

I perfer having no music replaced, though in some cases I'm just happy to have the show (and half the time, I can't tell the difference ("Scrubs")... and I perfer having the uncut, broadcast episodes (which is why I'm not buying "Third Rock")... but I flat out will not pay over $50 for a television set. I don't care how much I like the show, I won't go over that line.

...which is why I bought Freaks and Geeks used... And why I waited until I had a coupon to buy Deadwood at Costco.

#18 of 26 John Carr

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Posted January 02 2006 - 06:56 AM

My purchasing catagories are the following:

1.) It's one of my TV favorite shows. For these, price is almost irrelevant, although I rarely go over $100. However, I did pay $130 for the complete As Time Goes By series, which did include 9 (short) seasons. I still saved money by not buying the individual season sets so that was still, in my mind, a decent price.

2.) Classic TV shows, most from my youth, such as Leave It To Beaver and Have Gun Will Travel. For these, I buy them the first week and usually will not pay over $30. I did pay over $50 for the first season of Have Gun Will Travel, but that series is 'almost' one of my favorite shows.

3.) Blind Buys - Dead Like Me, Shield, Deadwood, etc. Better than 90% of the time I've been VERY happy with these and many now are included among my favorite shows of all time. I will rarely pay over $50 unless it's an HBO show where I will go out on a limb, like for Carnivale, and buy it the first week. Usually, I try to get these either the first week of release or during sales, especially if, like Charmed, they're of mariginal interest. However, I did get 2 seasons of "Smallville" when Target had them priced for $18! (I still remember the days when most TV shows on DVD were over $50 and counting and so any price tag under $20 is almost irresistable if I have 'any' interest in the show, or have read some good reviews.)

4.) New Shows - Lost, Desparate Housewives, House, etc. I will usually get these the first week and won't spend more than $40 unless they're HBO or A&E, where I don't have any choice. Since I don't watch any network/cable TV at all, I depend on forums like this for advice on which new shows to buy.

And, thanks to this forum, I have discovered some of the best TV shows ever! Show I never knew existed! TV Shows on DVD have revolutionized the television medium and given me a wonderful and unexpected source of entertainment. I can truly say that this medium has improved the quality of my life -- and I have a lot of hobbies, a vocation I love, a wonderful wife, many interests and other sources of entertainment.

#19 of 26 Casey Trowbridg

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Posted January 02 2006 - 09:42 AM

Here are mine:

1. Is it a show I like?
This is the biggest key, there have been a couple of blind buys and I've had good luck with them, but its usually got to be a show I like.

2. The price. This is a factor in how soon I will buy the show, I will eventually by shows that I like no matter the price but some I try and wait for a drop/a good deal/I have more funds.

3. Treatment of the episodes. Are they uncut? Is the music in tact? These are questions that I will ask myself. A change in music or a sindicated episode is not necessarily the death nail for me and whether I'll buy it.

A. I ask myself if I can see the show on any of my television channels.
B. I ask myself if the studio has made any attempt to explain themselves. I'm not saying I always accept every explanation, but in the case of Married...with Children and what Gord and Dave over at TSoD.com have said about the money asked for to secure love and marriage, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt.
Music changes are easier for me to deal with, sindicated episodes, well the reason had better be really damn good.

4. Any compelling features? Not something that will kill a purchase, but good features might make me pick something up faster.

5. Series that I'm already buying sets of, usually take priority over a new show's first release.

#20 of 26 Ric Easton

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Posted January 02 2006 - 09:44 AM

It's only faux widescreen during scenes with special effects, because in scenes which have no special effects, there IS more information on the sides.

Not entirely true. I have found that any two shots on either end of a dissolve also had the zoomed in fake widescreen image. The picture quality would always change dramatically during these shots as well. Still, it wasn't enought to stop me from collecting the whole series.

I've been a Trek fan since the early seventies and so even though they were expensive, I have collected it all. Same for the Twilight Zone.

As far as other shows... Price does sometimes play a factor. I may have picked up Deadwood, or Carnivale if they weren't so pricey. I still may when money allows. Granted, they are not as expensive as TZ or Trek, but though I'm a fan, they aren't quite as important to me. I have also found that I have been buying shows faster than I can watch them.

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