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Must haves on any DVD set? (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Jan 10, 2003
An earlier thread discussed the fact that Paramount generally releases their TV show DVDs pretty bareboned. It got me thinking. What would you consider the must haves that should be on every TV series DVD?

This is my list:

1) Every episode uncut as it appeared during it's initial showing. Not a syndicated version of the episode.

2) For comedy - ability to turn off laugh track

3) For a 1st season DVD - How the series was developed and cast

4) Best available sound

5) Video should appear as shown during it's network run, but cleaned up of any defects.

6) For post 1st season DVDs, I'd love to see a synopsis of the changes from one season to the next. For instance, season 4 of M*A*S*H should discuss how and why McLean Stevenson and Wayne Rogers left the show, and how they came about replacing them with Harry Morgan and Mike Farrell.

Nothing else IMO is necessary. I can do without the interactive quizzes, blooper reals, commentaries, etc.

Casey Trowbridg

Senior HTF Member
Apr 22, 2003
Must haves.

1. Every episode uncut and as it originally aired.
2. A good video transfer
3. A good audio mix, that keeps the integrity of the originally intended track. In other words I don't want Andy Griffith in 5.1 surround if it was originally a mono track.

4. Music in tact from the episodes.
This one is not hard and fast, as I will buy Married with Children the complete third season even if the opening theme is missing. But, if they took bad to the bone out of the episode...that would be another issue.

Anything else is not a requirement or something that would prevent me from buying a set. Any one of the above mentioned 4 if missing would be enough to make me not buy a set.

Jon F.

Stunt Coordinator
Jun 29, 2004

I'm a big fan of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. Disney now owns the rights to the show and the copies they have do not have the all of the original narrations by Stan Lee. (They have SOME of the narrations but not all.) I'm terrified that Disney won't go to the trouble of finding the original episodes if they put the show on DVD.

I would also like to add one:

-Place season sets in proper production or chronological order (depending on what is required to view the episodes properly.) I know this one seems obvious but I think it is only a matter of time before some company screws this one up. After all, I NEVER thought a DVD company would release the syndicated version of a show!

Rob Gardiner

Senior HTF Member
Feb 15, 2002
A chapter stop at the end of the opening credits!

And I kinda like it when the "next week on..." bumpers are in the correct place (not all collected on the last disc of the set).

Eve Brown

Stunt Coordinator
May 4, 2004
1. uncut episodes
2. Place season sets in proper production or chronological order (depending on what is required to view the episodes properly)
copying this since I totally agree


Second Unit
Dec 20, 2003
1. Uncut episodes
3. Subtitles
4. Chapter stops
5. Bonus features

Only 1-3 are enough to stop me buying a set (I have poor hearing so subtitles in English for the HI are a must). 4 and 5 are preferable, but not enough so that I wouldn't buy a set without them.


Supporting Actor
Jun 3, 2004
For me, the list goes as follows, and pretty much agrees with most of you above:

1. Picture quality - The technology exists to restore a print to great quality, there's no excuse for half-assed efforts here.
2. Audio quality - Ditto. In addition, since everyone seems so willing to crank up the music and sound effects, how about doing a slightly better mix so the DIALOGUE can be heard as easily too!!!
3. Ability to turn off the laugh track - I don't need "help" in deciding where to laugh. The canned laughter sounds ever so fake anyway.
4. Chapter stops - sometimes, there is a favorite moment, in either a drama or a comedy that I MUST see more than once, and I don't feel like fighting with the fast forward/rewind to get to exactly the right spot.
5. Captions/Subtitles - Though I do not suffer from hearing loss myself, I think this should be added as a common courtesy for those who do. In addition, it also helps to have subtitles, because sometimes the dialogue is obscured [bad timing on a music cue, sound effect, perfomer's diction, etc.].
6. Extras - Most of the time, I am not really that much into extras, especially if a barebones is that much cheaper. BUT, like Steve KNJ points out, it would be so nice to have at least a quick explanation for things like cast changes, as there were in MASH.
7. Shorten the lead ins - I know there is a reason we have the studio logos on each disk, as well as the FBI copyright warnings. But is it absolutely necessary to make us sit through ten minutes of these things, without allowing anyone to at least fast forward through it? Most of the people buying/watching these DVD sets are NOT criminals, nor do most of us possess the equipment and know how to copy/transfer these things. Also, why does there have to be at least 4 different translations of the warnings that the opinions of the people being interviewed on this disk do not necessarily relfect those of the studio?


Stunt Coordinator
Feb 15, 2004
Uncut (including original music)
Cast & Crew bios with filmographies
& most importantly COMPLETE SEASONS & not volumes.

Christi P

Aug 1, 2004
My main requirement is uncut episodes, and I really prefer single-sided discs.

I don't really care about extras, although I do like the box the discs come in to be attractive and well-designed.

I also feel that the pricing should reflect the packaging - I have problems with shows like 'Northern Exposure' with high prices and cheapo packaging, but I have 'Murphy Brown' and 'Night Court' on preorder for around $20 each, and I don't mind cheapo packaging if the price is that low.

Jeff Ulmer

Senior HTF Member
Deceased Member
Aug 23, 1998
1. Uncut episodes, preferably with original music intact.
2. Decent image quality. Film based series should use film transfers, not video tape, whenever possible. Original audio, even if it included laugh tracks, intact.
3. Basic menues - episode selection, play all. Skip the transitions and fancy, time wasting stuff. Chapter breaks in the episodes, especially immediately following the opening theme, and preferably also before the end credits.
4. Episode/disc guide/synopsis. I'd like to know where to find what I'm looking for, spoiler free would be nice.
5. Complete seasons, or combined if the episode count is small.

I would also prefer it if the company logo was NOT inserted between every episode, especially using play all. I saw it the first time.

Deb Walsh

Stunt Coordinator
Feb 1, 2004
My requirements are:

1 - Good picture quality. At least as good as I saw in first-run.
2 - Clean and intact audio track - and intact music would be nice, but it's not a deal-breaker for me, unless it becomes too invasive.
3 - Subtitles/captions. I've actually purchased sets from other regions rather than US sets because the other region version had captions.

I'd prefer simple menus, a play all feature is nice, and I could care about chapter breaks since I rarely use them. Original aspect is nice, but not a requirement so long as the presentation doesn't screw up the program. Features and extras are nice to have once - I don't have time to watch most of them, rarely listen to commentary, and to be honest, I'd rather have barebones discs with a lower price than full-featured sets at a much higher price. The volume of TV on DVD coming out now makes the lower price much, much more attractive to me than the features, especially since that same volume restricts the time I have to delve into features. If I had to pick one feature that I'd really consider adds value to a set ... I guess it would be bloopers for me. Or an in-depth feature on some aspect of production (as opposed to a puff piece loaded with sound bites).

Bill Williams

May 28, 2003
Here are my requirements:

1. Uncut original episodes, remastered for the best picture and sound quality whatsoever. (No edited versions, please.)
2. Choice of audio tracks, 5.1 or original broadcast version.
3. Menu selection process to choose a particular episode or a "play all" function.
4. Solid extras on series' production information, etc.
5. Outtakes, deleted scenes, and bloopers.
6. Original TV preview spots.
7. Audio commentaries on episodes with cast and production crew.
8. Vintage interview clips with cast and production crew - this is really important when it's someone significant on a series and they're no longer alive (i.e. Gene Roddenberry or DeForest Kelley on "Star Trek").

The main thing of a TV set is the episodes themselves. It's like buying a steak dinner just for the gravy - do you waste your money on the gravy alone? No, you spend your money on the steak dinner itself. The extras are that little something extra to top off what can be a good TV-on-DVD product, if handled properly.

Deb Walsh

Stunt Coordinator
Feb 1, 2004
I guess I feel that complete and uncut is so much a no-brainer that it's a requirement, I forgot to include it. The picture isn't very good if it's missing bits ... :>


Supporting Actor
Sep 4, 2002
Vancouver, BC
Real Name
Misha Lauenstein
What's with all this 'laugh track' nonsense.

There is no laugh track. There is only one track. In mono. And it was recorded 50 years ago.

You might as well cover your ears while the laughter is happening, because that's the best you're going to get.

And how horrible would it be to watch a comedy with 2 or 3 seconds of unnatural silence after every joke?

The only show that should have had this option is Sports Night, which added the laughter AFTER the master had been given to the network. But they lost the original version, which is very sad. I hope they have the original version of Fresno without the added laughter.

Now to my MUST-HAVES

1) Either the complete as-aired version or the longer, initial edit before it was cut down for timing reasons. (ala the Friends season sets)
2) Best video humanly possible
3) Best audio humanly possible

Of course, if some of these don't exist, then a fabulous reconstruction is a must.

The point being to have a version that would be so good that when the HDVD version comes out, I would have no need to buy it because I've already got the best version.


4)All peripheral footage that logically goes with the season:
contemporary new stories (Entertainment Tonight and such), photo gallery, bloopers, outtakes, alternate endings.

I would add extended scenes here, but it's technically my #1 must-have.

5) Interviews/documentaries with cast/creators today.
6) Peripheral documentaries (ie Biography episode relating to stars of the show)

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