NYTimes looking for TV on DVD interviewees

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by andreaIkahn, May 10, 2005.

  1. andreaIkahn

    andreaIkahn Auditioning

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    Hi,

    I am writing a story that will appear in The New York Times about the popularity of TV on DVD. I'm looking for interesting/funny stories about people watching their favorite shows on DVD -- anyone who has parties/marathons watching entire seasons, etc. If you are interested in being interviewed, please contact me. Thanks!

    Andrea Kahn
    The New York Times
    [email protected]
     
  2. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Don't think I'd be much of an interviewee, but you might want to mention how the onscreen network logos, along with pop-up show promos and increased amount of commercial time has made current shows unwatchable until they're released on DVD. Without these intrusions I'd be content to record shows off the air like I used to, now I don't even bother watching- if it's worth seeing, it'll be on DVD. (I'll be a devoted viewer of the first network to STOP the on-screen junk though!)
    You might want to have someone watch the entire Brady Bunch set straight through, then have their brain examined and write an article about that! [​IMG]
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Andrea, give this thread at least a week to offer some of the ideas and anecdotal material you are seeking for your story. And Jesse's comments about those atrocious network "station bug" logos are very pertinent, as is the comment about all the commercial and promotional nonsense. For example, I've seen three episodes of ABC-TV's Lost, and I'm intrigued. But I cannot tolerate how commercial television ruins its own programming with the station bugs and commercials every ten minutes or so. So, to really get into this Lost thing, I'll pick up the first-season DVD set this fall and just follow the series that way. JB
     
  4. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Count me in as one who's more likely these days to wait for a show to come out on DVD than to watch it live with the awful station bugs and commercial interruptions.
     
  5. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Andrea,

    Ditto on the posts about the commercial TV "interruptions". Most of us here will gladly pay for TV/DVD releases to watch it the "right" way as Jack said [​IMG] What I like about the TV/DVD's is the flexibility of watching them on my schedule without the interruptions of ads and with the excellent picture quality. I can only speak for myself about this next point but I have a feeling that it's shared by most of us here: The #1 issue for me is that the studio use the uncut master prints of the eps during the mfg process of TV/DVD's. I feel that, if I'm spending my $$'s on this product, that's a required service that all of the studios/dirtributors need to insure that it happens. I'm not too understanding when they use the "syndicated" versions. Otherwise, I'm a very "forgiving" and easy-to-please buyer [​IMG] I collect mainly 60's & 70's series with a few 80's included. My "signature" says it all [​IMG]
    Please convey a "thanks" to the NY Times for selecting this topic for a story and best to you for a great upcoming article [​IMG]
     
  6. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    The worst are the self-promotional overlays that promote upcoming programs on the network. Some of them are not only so big that they take up 1/4 of the screen, but they are animated AND have sound that interferes with the regular program. Credits are treated with disrespect, if shown at all. The bugs are annoying. I think the least intrusive aspect of broadcast television is the traditional commerical break. Though they have become longer and more numerous, we've been accepting them for decades - and they pay for the show.

    I find TV on DVD a much more enjoyable experience than the original broadcast.

    -Scott
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Ah, yes! Remember when an "hour" of commercial-network television was fifty to fifty-two minutes? Now it's at forty minutes. An entire act has been removed from hourlong television series these days.

    (And this can show. For example, an episode of Star Trek's original series feels better thought-out than any of the spinoff series, largely due to its additional ten minutes of drama.)
     
  8. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    The best reason is getting to see shows that haven't aired in syndication in years. Also, to gain new viewers. My 10 year old daughter loves the 80's tv show "Punky Brewster". If this show wasn't available on dvd. She may never have seen it.

    My tv collection:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Reagan

    Reagan Supporting Actor

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    Hi Andrea,

    I'm not a big TV on DVD watcher (I only have parts of three series), but there are two big reasons why I like it.

    1. I like being able to watch episodes of older shows without the cuts made for syndication purposes. I can tolerate commercials, but I do not like having an episode shortened.

    2. This almost goes without saying, but the picture quality is often better. My favorite example is the new releases of the original Twilight Zone series. The picture quality of these DVD releases looks so good that it's almost hard to believe that they were made for TV.

    -Reagan
     
  10. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Todd's post is another big reason that TV/DVD is attractive to us. There's been several recent releases that haven't appeared in syndication for years.

    BTW, I have a ways to go before I catch up with Todd's collection size [​IMG] ...but I'm gaining fast...hope this market doesn't "peak" too soon [​IMG]
     
  11. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    *** Rant Mode On ***

    Never mind the fact that I find very little on broadcast TV (either OTA or cable) that is worth watching anymore (most have jumped on the PC bandwagon). I want my son growing up seeing quality entertainment that does not feel it necessary to continually push boundries just to get ratings. As has been pointed out, once the shows existed for their own sake, with commercials peppered scarcely throughout. Anymore the opposite is true; the shows exist as merely icing on top of shameless marketing and PC indoctrination. IMHO, TV on DVD is the best thing since the format itself.....

    *** Rant Mode Off ***
     
  12. Juan Books

    Juan Books Stunt Coordinator

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    I hope you mention how collecting tv-on-dvd has become increasingly frustrating, and how many people who were initially very enthusiastic have abandoned it altogether.

    Reasons include:

    * replaced music: Many shows have been ruined by having music crucial to scenes and plots changed. Some studios, such as Sony, will go as far as removing entire scenes from episodes to save a few bucks by not having to license the music!

    * abandoning shows: When a show's first season is released, people buy it with the expectation of being able to build their collection and eventually complete the entire run of the series. Some studios, particularly Sony, are fond of leaving people hanging by not following up with subsequent seasons. This discourages many from buying other shows' first seasons, waiting to see whether or not the rest of the seasons will be put out. This in turn lowers sales of first seasons, so studios might conclude there is not enough demand and abandon the show, when they were in fact the cause of lower sales by not fulfilling consumers' expectations in the first place.

    * cut episodes: one BIG reason for people to buy tv-on-dvd is to watch uncut episodes, since they can watch syndicated versions for free. In all their wisdom, studios have increasingly started to use syndicated cuts for their DVD releases, thus defeating the main rationale for buying the sets.

    * poor picture quality: some releases, specially those by Sony, have picture quality that is worse than that of the broadcast version. Why buy the DVD when it looks better on cable, where the music is intact also?

    * poor quality control: it seems getting defective sets is becoming ever more common these days. Getting a disk that is scratched, unplayable, or just missing from a set is now a frequent occurrence. Considering we are talking about a $40 product (not exactly inexpensive), and the hassle involved in rectifying the problem, many (there is a recent thread about it here) feel this is the straw that broke the camel's back, and are quiting tv-on-dvd collecting altogether.

    All this is to show that where there was great potential, studio's mediocrity, greed, and plain disdain for the consumer, have turned what should have been a very rewarding hobby into a big headache.
     
  13. Doug^Ch

    Doug^Ch Second Unit

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    Andrea, Besides all the great reasons already mentioned for owning and watching TV On DVD, there is another one: There is something peculiarly satisfying about being able to own and view a long lost show that you grew up with. When I pick up a copy of say The Dick Van Dyke Show, I am magically transported back to my youth. I also love all the newer shows such as Freaks and Geeks, that I may have missed the first time around. TV on DVD - the best thing ever!
     
  14. Vader

    Vader Supporting Actor

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    I stand corrected... [​IMG]

    IMHO, TV on DVD has the potential (not always lived up to) to be the best thing since the format itself.....
     
  15. Joe*R

    Joe*R Stunt Coordinator

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    I also have to agree with the entire post by Juan Books. That was one great post Juan. You nailed it exactly. I can totally relate to the part where you buy the first season and then get stuck with just one season. When I purchase a first season, I'm inclined to believe that the whole show will be released. Studios need to realize that sales will drop dramatically if they start this "habit" of only releasing one season due to sales and yes sales wouldn't be bad if consumers had known there would be more seasons coming. But overall, great post Juan.
     
  16. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Ok...I tend to be a little too "positive" sometimes [​IMG] , but Juan accurately summed up the problems with this young TV/DVD market. I do agree 100% on his BIG reason we buy these sets, expecting un-cut eps. I generally tend to give the studios the benefit of the doubt on most issues, but not this one. I also expect an entire series' release from the studios and not just S1 or S2 then "that's it". I guess we have to remember that it's a business like any other and (I assume) that the sales #'s drive the decision to discontinue a particular series continuing season's release.

    Thanks, Juan, for contributing a proper "balance" post to this thread [​IMG]
     
  17. AnnaMaria

    AnnaMaria Stunt Coordinator

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    Reasons for TV on DVD:

    The opportunity to watch shows you may never otherwise see. Sure they may be in sindication somewhere but they're not everywhere. For instance, The Brady Bunch has not been in sindication where I am, and I haven't seen Dick Van Dyke in a long time. My kids are enjoying the Brady Bunch now. They've also fallen in love with Lucy. I can't wait to get my hands on Make Room for Daddy, Joey Bishop, and the Loretta Young show because I've never seen them.

    New shows such as Lost and Desperate Housewives can leave us feeling lost and desperate. Some times there's a huge gap between shows in the middle of the season and by the time you get to see a new show again, you've forgotten where you are. DVD allows us to watch it stratight through without weeks and weeks of being pre empted.

    The opportunity to create your own network. You can watch what you want, when you want and not be limited by what networks choose for you. You may want to do a night of Star Trek, another night of comedy from the 70's and another night of kleenex ringing drama's. As well, you can choose what kind of material comes into your home. If you're uncomfortable with the type of comedy that they make now, you don't have to give up watching comedy. TV can be a family thing again.

    Sometimes it's hard to find shows that get moved around or are opposite favorites or are on stations that you just don't get. For instance, I can't find Seventh Heaven, Everwood or Jack and Bobby, or Carnivale on any of my stations, but if they're on DVD I can have access to them. Also I caught the first episode of Revelations but I've missed the rest.

    You can have every episode of a show. No more missed episodes. ANd you can watch them in order. Important for some shows.

    Buying a season set of TV works out to be cheaper than buying a movie. If you plunk down 20 bucks on a movie you pay 10 bucks an hour. If you plunk down 50 bucks on a season set, you're paying about 3 bucks an hour. You get a lot of entertainment value for your money and in a small amount of space.

    Having said that, the cons of DVD...

    Sometimes finding 50 bucks for a season set isn't easy. Although there are cheaper 20 dollar sets out there now. Maybe we'll see a lowering of prices as the newness wears off.

    The same arguments that a previous poster said. Seasons not coming out. Cropped seasons, replaced music etc.

    And the one that bugs me is discs that don't work properly. How do you replace one disk from a set? If you replace the whole set you might get a different damaged disc. The studios putting these sets out should have some kind of exchange or replacement policy on seperate discs.
     
  18. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    As for your "cons" (no pun intended...feels like we get "conned" sometimes by the Mfg'r), you said it. Cut eps are on the top of my list for "cons". Also, leaving us "on the cliff" with un-released seasons of a series. "Anyone out there wanting Barney Miller S2 or Who's the Boss S2?" [​IMG]
     
  19. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Don't forget folks, she is looking for people to interview, she never said she'd be able to quote from message board postings.

    As she posted this on several DVD related board, don't count on her even being present here to read any of these replies!
     
  20. MattGSmith

    MattGSmith Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with what everyone has said so far. For me, collecting tv on dvd is just that, collecting. I think it is in our nature as human beings to enjoy and want to "collect" things. Whether it is toys, cds, baseball cards, or even dvds. I have my favorite shows. And I will buy anything related to that show. There are some shows that I love and that have been a part of my life or childhood, or whatever, that I have to buy to "HAVE," but haven't watched since I bought it. Case in point: FRIENDS. I have seasons 1-9. I have seen them all countless times, but a couple of my sets are still unopened. But, I had to get them for my collection, but also because well, it's Friends! Because I feel a relatable, often times emotional connection with it, I have to own it! Tv on dvd is the only trend that I actually really like, support, and I am not afraid to tell people that I'm addicted.
    Matt
     

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