Wait, or make your own DVDs?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Chris Bardon, Jun 23, 2004.

  1. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    The thread on TV show pricing got me thinking about whether it was even worth waiting for a lot of these TV on DVD discs. Recently, I've made my own DVDs of Enterprise season 3, and am working on Six Feet Under right now. True, these DVDs aren't up to the professional quality that we've come to expect, but when you combine the high price of these discs with the long waits for some of them, you have to wonder if it's really worth waiting. Also, when you consider that the blank DVDs I'm using are down to around $1.20 each, then the first season of 6 Feet Under that I just transfered has run me about $8.50 in media (and a few hours of time). Contrast that with the $90 the same episodes would cost retail-are the retail discs really 10 times better?

    Don't get me wrong, I'll still buy some TV on DVD (the collector's mentality is truly an evil thing), but I'm definitely going to think twice about whether making my own discs is "good enough".
     
  2. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    The thread on TV show pricing got me thinking about whether it was even worth waiting for a lot of these TV on DVD discs. Recently, I've made my own DVDs of Enterprise season 3, and am working on Six Feet Under right now. True, these DVDs aren't up to the professional quality that we've come to expect, but when you combine the high price of these discs with the long waits for some of them, you have to wonder if it's really worth waiting. Also, when you consider that the blank DVDs I'm using are down to around $1.20 each, then the first season of 6 Feet Under that I just transfered has run me about $8.50 in media (and a few hours of time). Contrast that with the $90 the same episodes would cost retail-are the retail discs really 10 times better?

    Don't get me wrong, I'll still buy some TV on DVD (the collector's mentality is truly an evil thing), but I'm definitely going to think twice about whether making my own discs is "good enough".
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Having recently finished recording Buffy season 7 to DVD-R (a favor to my wife; she didn't want to wait until the R1 release to see how the series ended), I know where I come out. Recording off-air is an OK interim measure, but the minute the official releases appear, my DVD-Rs are going in the garbage. There's no way that broadcast recordings -- replete with transmission hiccups, stations bugs, credits with promotional voiceovers, etc. etc. -- will ever be "good enough" to sub for a properly mastered home video release.

    Now of course there are some series that probably won't ever come to DVD (which is why, for example, I just recorded the eight episodes of Cop Rock that TrioTV is showing during their "Flops" month). But if it's a choice between homemade recordings and a decent studio release, to me there's no contest.

    M.
     
  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Having recently finished recording Buffy season 7 to DVD-R (a favor to my wife; she didn't want to wait until the R1 release to see how the series ended), I know where I come out. Recording off-air is an OK interim measure, but the minute the official releases appear, my DVD-Rs are going in the garbage. There's no way that broadcast recordings -- replete with transmission hiccups, stations bugs, credits with promotional voiceovers, etc. etc. -- will ever be "good enough" to sub for a properly mastered home video release.

    Now of course there are some series that probably won't ever come to DVD (which is why, for example, I just recorded the eight episodes of Cop Rock that TrioTV is showing during their "Flops" month). But if it's a choice between homemade recordings and a decent studio release, to me there's no contest.

    M.
     
  5. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    All you really have do to is ask yourself this question: "do I like the show that much to buy it on an official release, or are my home-made tapes/DVDs good enough for me?"

    One good thing about the HBO series is that they are immune from the station bugs, syndication edits and (usually) squeezed or voiced-over credits you get on network shows like "Enterprise". I don't watch "Six Feet", but like you, I couldn't see paying that kind of price for them, especially if you're recording them all anyway.

    Of course, I'd have a problem paying that much for a single season of just about any show. I like "Star Trek: The Next Generation", but given the pricing, I just can't justify the cost to myself, especially as I haven't watched very many episodes in the last 10 years (I have off-air recordings of most of them, many recorded from the same "wild" satellite feeds that were beamed to the local stations). I just can't see paying $700 for something that's just going to gather dust on my bookshelf.
     
  6. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    All you really have do to is ask yourself this question: "do I like the show that much to buy it on an official release, or are my home-made tapes/DVDs good enough for me?"

    One good thing about the HBO series is that they are immune from the station bugs, syndication edits and (usually) squeezed or voiced-over credits you get on network shows like "Enterprise". I don't watch "Six Feet", but like you, I couldn't see paying that kind of price for them, especially if you're recording them all anyway.

    Of course, I'd have a problem paying that much for a single season of just about any show. I like "Star Trek: The Next Generation", but given the pricing, I just can't justify the cost to myself, especially as I haven't watched very many episodes in the last 10 years (I have off-air recordings of most of them, many recorded from the same "wild" satellite feeds that were beamed to the local stations). I just can't see paying $700 for something that's just going to gather dust on my bookshelf.
     
  7. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    Here is the way I am going about it. I have been collecting for about 25 years, going back to the days of $1,000 VCRs and $20 blank tapes. Back when you developed a network of traders from around the country and, if you were lucky, overseas. Also, when there were a huge amount of shows being sold on 16mm that you could never hope to get elsewhere. So here is the criteria I use.

    1 - Forgotten shows with no chance of release: TRANSFER

    2 - Shows pre-1980 containing original commercials: TRANSFER

    3 - Film chain masters: TRANSFER

    4 - Shows on pre-recorded tape (Columbia House, etc.), which
    are not being remastered for DVD anyway: TRANSFER

    5 - Shows recorded cut from syndication: DO NOT TRANSFER (unless there is zero chance of a commercial release)

    6 - Shows recorded in the last several years in the bug, squeeze, crawl era: DO NOT TRANSFER

    7 - Shows recorded off-network, SP masters, when you could get a show clean, off-air and shows recorded from network affiliate feeds off satellite: CASE BY CASE BASIS. For instance, I bought Freaks and Geeks because several episodes only aired later in edited form on Fox Family. I will not buy Wiseguy because of music changes and the high cost. That show I will transfer from my clean, off-air records. To me, that is a no-brainer. If I have a perfect quality recording of a show and they fuck with it for the DVD release, I will transfer my copy. So when it comes to modern shows, i.e., since the taping era started in the late 70s, I will only consider a purchase on something that is A) In its original form, B) Priced reasonably or C) There are unaired episodes. If none of those is the case, I will transfer what I have and save my money for the pre-VCR era shows that I didn't have a chance to record uncut.
     
  8. Mark To

    Mark To Supporting Actor

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    Here is the way I am going about it. I have been collecting for about 25 years, going back to the days of $1,000 VCRs and $20 blank tapes. Back when you developed a network of traders from around the country and, if you were lucky, overseas. Also, when there were a huge amount of shows being sold on 16mm that you could never hope to get elsewhere. So here is the criteria I use.

    1 - Forgotten shows with no chance of release: TRANSFER

    2 - Shows pre-1980 containing original commercials: TRANSFER

    3 - Film chain masters: TRANSFER

    4 - Shows on pre-recorded tape (Columbia House, etc.), which
    are not being remastered for DVD anyway: TRANSFER

    5 - Shows recorded cut from syndication: DO NOT TRANSFER (unless there is zero chance of a commercial release)

    6 - Shows recorded in the last several years in the bug, squeeze, crawl era: DO NOT TRANSFER

    7 - Shows recorded off-network, SP masters, when you could get a show clean, off-air and shows recorded from network affiliate feeds off satellite: CASE BY CASE BASIS. For instance, I bought Freaks and Geeks because several episodes only aired later in edited form on Fox Family. I will not buy Wiseguy because of music changes and the high cost. That show I will transfer from my clean, off-air records. To me, that is a no-brainer. If I have a perfect quality recording of a show and they fuck with it for the DVD release, I will transfer my copy. So when it comes to modern shows, i.e., since the taping era started in the late 70s, I will only consider a purchase on something that is A) In its original form, B) Priced reasonably or C) There are unaired episodes. If none of those is the case, I will transfer what I have and save my money for the pre-VCR era shows that I didn't have a chance to record uncut.
     
  9. Gordon St Pierre

    Gordon St Pierre Stunt Coordinator

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    I've recently made DVD-Rs of Deadwood Season one & Jeremiah Season 2 & the Quality from digital Sat & my PVR card are actually pretty amazing ...but I'll for sure buy Deadwood on DVD when it comes out ...Just for the Extras & to give my support to the show...Jeremiah probably not ..copy I have is good enough
     
  10. Gordon St Pierre

    Gordon St Pierre Stunt Coordinator

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    I've recently made DVD-Rs of Deadwood Season one & Jeremiah Season 2 & the Quality from digital Sat & my PVR card are actually pretty amazing ...but I'll for sure buy Deadwood on DVD when it comes out ...Just for the Extras & to give my support to the show...Jeremiah probably not ..copy I have is good enough
     
  11. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    I want to start recording Dawson's Creek because of music changes. Yes, I buy all the season sets, but since the show aired while I was in school, it is just not the same without the music. So, what do you guys use to do it? Ideally, I would like to transfer from a Tivo or something to my laptop and then burn/master them to DVD there. What do you all think? I have digital cable at my house. I will always buy shows commercially available, but in this case, I want to record them as well so I have them as originally aired. Also, I would love to do this for shows like the 1960's Batman that are in legal limbo. [​IMG]
    Any input/advice would be greatly appreciated. If this question is inappropriate for this forum, then please edit/delete and accept my apologies. I am just very interested in giving this a shot.
    Zack
     
  12. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    I want to start recording Dawson's Creek because of music changes. Yes, I buy all the season sets, but since the show aired while I was in school, it is just not the same without the music. So, what do you guys use to do it? Ideally, I would like to transfer from a Tivo or something to my laptop and then burn/master them to DVD there. What do you all think? I have digital cable at my house. I will always buy shows commercially available, but in this case, I want to record them as well so I have them as originally aired. Also, I would love to do this for shows like the 1960's Batman that are in legal limbo. [​IMG]
    Any input/advice would be greatly appreciated. If this question is inappropriate for this forum, then please edit/delete and accept my apologies. I am just very interested in giving this a shot.
    Zack
     
  13. Phil_La

    Phil_La Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll buy anything I like if it's officially released. I made my own DVDs for MacGyver and The Lone Gunmen because I don't know if they will ever be released, but I'll buy them if they are. I don't waste time with fancy menus though, just generic looking episode lists.
     
  14. Phil_La

    Phil_La Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll buy anything I like if it's officially released. I made my own DVDs for MacGyver and The Lone Gunmen because I don't know if they will ever be released, but I'll buy them if they are. I don't waste time with fancy menus though, just generic looking episode lists.
     
  15. Rick P

    Rick P Supporting Actor

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    I agree with all of the above.

    If you think there is ZERO chance of it ever coming out... TRANSFER

    If you think there is a SLIGHT chance of it ever coming out... TRANSFER but HOLD TILL YOU HAVE FREE TIME (this is what I did with Sledge Hammer.. I had 40gb drive full of off dish recordings, but for some reason I held back... now it's coming out).

    If you just can't wait (ie. "Jake 2.0" aired in the UK, widesceen with the unaired episodes) TRANSFER but be prepared to trash later.

    No matter what, if I transfer something the INSTANT there is an official REVIEW of something, I trash the DVD-R's. And yes, I DO make an exception there.. the Season 1 "Forever Knight" is the perfect example. I have a DVD-R of the 1st 2 eps in with my 'offical' set because of the foul up they made in putting in the 'cut' version of the opening 2 parter.
     
  16. Rick P

    Rick P Supporting Actor

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    I agree with all of the above.

    If you think there is ZERO chance of it ever coming out... TRANSFER

    If you think there is a SLIGHT chance of it ever coming out... TRANSFER but HOLD TILL YOU HAVE FREE TIME (this is what I did with Sledge Hammer.. I had 40gb drive full of off dish recordings, but for some reason I held back... now it's coming out).

    If you just can't wait (ie. "Jake 2.0" aired in the UK, widesceen with the unaired episodes) TRANSFER but be prepared to trash later.

    No matter what, if I transfer something the INSTANT there is an official REVIEW of something, I trash the DVD-R's. And yes, I DO make an exception there.. the Season 1 "Forever Knight" is the perfect example. I have a DVD-R of the 1st 2 eps in with my 'offical' set because of the foul up they made in putting in the 'cut' version of the opening 2 parter.
     
  17. TedT

    TedT Second Unit

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    I just bought a DVD recorder. I'll definitely be buying less TV shows on DVD unless they come with extras (preferable commentaries).

    Extras are the only thing that will sell me on TV Shows on DVD (unless it's a series I missed when it was on the air like Buffy, or a series on HBO like Curb Your Enthusiasm).
     
  18. TedT

    TedT Second Unit

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    I just bought a DVD recorder. I'll definitely be buying less TV shows on DVD unless they come with extras (preferable commentaries).

    Extras are the only thing that will sell me on TV Shows on DVD (unless it's a series I missed when it was on the air like Buffy, or a series on HBO like Curb Your Enthusiasm).
     
  19. Rick P

    Rick P Supporting Actor

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    what do you call 'extras'??

    - uncut (unlike syndication edits)
    - restored/remastered (unlike faded prints)
    - proper aspect ratio (when filmed widescreen, but only shown full frame)
    - no squeezed credits, station crawls, obnoxious logo bugs and voice overs??

    for a show I like enough to save, that's enough reason for me.
     
  20. Rick P

    Rick P Supporting Actor

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    what do you call 'extras'??

    - uncut (unlike syndication edits)
    - restored/remastered (unlike faded prints)
    - proper aspect ratio (when filmed widescreen, but only shown full frame)
    - no squeezed credits, station crawls, obnoxious logo bugs and voice overs??

    for a show I like enough to save, that's enough reason for me.
     

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