Any insight on Ally McBeal?

Jay_B!

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Also, the two times that I decided to back up reruns on VHS because I hated myself for not doing it with past shows that left syndication and took awhile for DVD, both series not only decided to hang around in syndication (Ellen on Lifetime, now on Oxygen, and Roseanne on Nick At Nite) but they also came out on DVD too.

At this point, there's no point in taping anything off reruns on TV these days unless it's something like Happy Days or The Wonder Years or something in that vein that you know never in a million years will finally come out since it seems like 95% of the shows rerun on TBS, Nick At Nite, Sci-Fi, whatever, are out on DVD.
 

Michael Alden

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Right. That's why those of us who are serious about the hobby have been recording the shows on their network airings for the last 30 or so years.
 

Jay_B!

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well, it wasn't until a couple years ago when I even realized that episodes lost stuff in syndication from the original airing. I didn't know that the fifteen year old reruns of The Cosby Show that I was watching in the afternoon after I came home from work were at all altered from the same episodes I watched on NBC back when I was in third grade. It didn't cross my mind.

Why the hell should I have recorded a show when I was two years old because of the possibility that in 2006, I might wanna watch it again? I wasn't alive in 1975, so why should it be held against me because I didn't think to tape something off it's original 1975 airing? I mean, seriously. Think about it. Once again. (points the finger at you). YOU! (points the finger back at myself). NOT YOU! Good for you that you were old enough to be able to preserve MTM when it originally aired on videotapes, but some of us were too young to even watch or even remember the show until Nick At Nite. But you need to realize that you're you and the rest of us aren't.
 

Jeff#

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Well, I'm serious about the hobby (which is why I've collected more than 30 TV series on hundreds of discs -- most of which I bought pre-recorded), but I'm only in my 30s and my videotape recording experience only goes back to 1984.
I've since abandoned VHS in favor of DVD-RAM and DVD-R in 2003.
 

Michael Alden

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I have a friend who also started in the hobby in 1984. He never had a lot of money yet he got a satellite dish and thru trading amassed a great collection with about 20,000 tapes.
 

ChadKo

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Mar 8, 2005
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I would really like some info on the UK sets. Are most dvd players multi-regional? Are the quality as good as US releases? Where can I buy that set?

Chad
 

Michael Alden

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Jun 5, 2005
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Amazon UK would be one place. As for DVD players, depending on what brand you have, you should be able to find a hack code on the internet to make your player region free.
 

Jeff#

Screenwriter
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He sounds like he watches too much TV!
I never wanted that large a collection of tapes, and I didn't have room for that many. Eventually when I moved to another state almost 5 years ago I had no need for the hundreds of tapes I had. And it was around that time when I purchased my first DVD recorder. When I switched over to DVD I had my family throw out my tape duplicates, including I SPY and Saturday Night Live.

Those hundreds of DVDs I have are easy to store.
 

Robert Ringwald

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May 16, 2001
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I have the individual season sets available at
www.amazon.co.uk

Seasons 1, 2 and 4 are full-frame, seasons 3 and 5 are 16:9 widescreen.

All of the seasons look pretty good in comparison to the network airings I remember. To the best of my knowledge they have all of the original music (and even music cues *Wicked Witch theme from Wizard of Oz for Ling, etc.*).

There aren't many special features. One of the sets has a very short behind the scenes promo (3 minutes or something) that you'd probably have found on a VHS tape release of one of those "Best of" things FOX did in the late 90's.

I've heard some people have copies of season 4 that are in widescreen, I only know that my copies are the ones listed above in terms of aspect ratio.

I personally don't really care either way, because to the best of my knowledge the show was composed for 4:3 for all five seasons. Seasons 3 and a lot of season 5 appear to have a lot of dead space on the sides. It's just weird to go from full-frame seasons 1 and 2, to a wide season 3, back to full-frame in season 4 and wide again in the last season. It's especially difficult because season 4's "previously" shows images you'd likely JUST seen in widescreen and for a moment it feels cropped, until you remember that you're just missing dead space on the side.

As a set I got all 5 seasons about a year and a half ago for under 100 in US dollars. They ARE in PAL, so you need a DVD player that can do that conversion (Some TVs do, I believe), and they're region 2. They were worth it for the price, let me tell you that.

If FOX ever gets them out in the US they'd have to have substantial extra features and would have to do some strong remastering to get me to rebuy them...
 

Christian Preischl

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Oct 11, 2001
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Christian Preischl
The German season 4 set is widescreen. However, fullscreen is definitely the way to go. The amount of editing continuity goofs I noticed outside the 4:3 frame was simply awful.
 

RoryR

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Jan 13, 2006
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You could also just play it on a computer which means you can easily change region coding either through legal hardware change or risky software (such as VideoLan).
 

EurovisionGS

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Nov 11, 2006
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Gerhard
I have Seasons 2, 4 and 5 (Region 2, UK and Belgium) for sale, 15 bucks each. E-mail me if you're interested.
 

EurovisionGS

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Gerhard
The season sets have been available there and in the rest of Europe for years and used to be more expensive at first, but now the price has gone down, as is the case with many other series here in the US as well, when they have been around for a while. The quality, by the way, is absolutely fine, they are the official studio releases issued by the European distributors. No idea why it is taking so long for the US to get them out... this happens quite frequently, All the seasons for Friends, Will and Grace, and other successful American exports had been available much earlier in the UK and Europe than on the US market. One of the reasons, I think, is that there are no syndication deals in the European countries, which means that the TV audience got to see the shows once, maybe one repeat, and that was it, so the demand for video/DVD releases is much higher, since there is no other way to watch them, unless you tape/Tivo the episodes when they are first broadcast. Some other oddities can be found in movie releases of the back catalogue... Private Benjamin and Death Becomes Her, for instance, are only available in the US as full frame versions (shame on the studios!) while you can buy the UK or German versions in glorious widescreen... it's all about making as much money as possible, and if somebody messes up a major release it may never be fixed domestically, or only after the buying public stages a heavy protest.... edited (syndicated) versions of the first season of Roseanne, and several Will & Grace seasons with cut episodes should simply not be acceptable but they keep churning out these rip-off products, unless we flood the studios and distributors with complaints or simply refuse to buy flawed products.
Releasing DVDs of TV shows and classic movies is not rocket science
 

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