What Do You Think Of The Studios?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by ElijahS, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    Over the past few months that I've been a member of this board, I've noticed that there are certain studios that are highly praised for their TV-DVD products and certain studios that are slammed for their horrible treatment of TV-DVD. This thread is to IN ONE THREAD ultimately compare the various studios. Share your personal experiences in dealing with the studios, the quality of the items offered by the studio, etc.

    Some of the studios/companies to review:
    Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
    Buena Vista Home Entertainment (Touchstone/Disney)
    Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (formerly Columbia/TriStar)
    Paramount Home Entertainment (includes CBS Video)
    Lions Gate Home Entertainment
    Anchor Bay Home Entertainment
    Ventura Distribution/Urbanworks
    Shout! Factory
     
  2. Jamie Middleton

    Jamie Middleton Stunt Coordinator

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    SONY GRRRRRRR. If the studio didn't own rights to half of the good television shows that I am a fan of I would boycott them. I am disgusted at their practice of releasing one or two seasons of a show and then with total disreguard to anyone but their billfold....abandoning the series and its fans.
     
  3. Alex Wagner

    Alex Wagner Stunt Coordinator

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    Warner - I think they have very good products.
    for the most part i've noticed almost all music is included, like on Smallville, The OC, One Tree Hill etc. the quality of video is very nice. although the book packaging has too many loose discs.

    Buena Vista - has good video. its disappointing that they have replaced basically all the music on the felicity sets. but they do release things ever after they've been considered dead, like Once and Again season 2 and felicity season 3.

    Universal - The only thing i really hate is they like to use double sided discs

    20th Century - probably my favorite release company. I don't like that on shows like angel, x-files, buffy that they cut off the Previously Ons. but they always have good extra features and great video

    Sony - Awful, they try to cramp too many episodes on too little discs like Dawsons Creek which makes bad bad picture quality. they leave too many shows to die. Party of Five, Just Show Me etc

    Lions Gate - i dont own too much by them, but they messed up Will and Grace(cut episodes, season 2 had out of order episodes), Boomtown was good but it should have been the complete series

    dont have any anchor bay or ventura.
     
  4. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    Warner Bros. Home Entertainment - Probably the most consistent among the major studios. The added work to the Friends sets alone has thoroughly impressed me. I know that I own more WB sets than any other studio. Also the fact that they've been switching from double-sided discs to single-sided is a major thumbs-up.

    Buena Vista Home Entertainment (Touchstone/Disney) - I've been overall impressed with the sets I own that are Buena Vista, though the fact that they will replace music is a little upsetting.

    Universal Studios Home Entertainment - Problems: double-sided discs, music replacements, and a lack of bonus features.

    20th Century Fox Home Entertainment - I've been impressed, almost to the point of placing this 2nd to Warner Bros. However, the lack of a play-all function still on many of their DVDs and the occasional music replacement brings it down a few notches.

    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (formerly Columbia/TriStar) - Despite the fact that they probably can screw up a product more than any other company, I will admit that Sony will at least take chances with some of their releases. However, this is also the studio most likely to halt releases altogether, so I find Sony to be ultimately lacking.

    Lions Gate Home Entertainment - I've only purchased Will & Grace products, but I wish NBC had waited a year or so and released this through Universal. Universal would've possibly done a better job.
     
  5. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    By the way, I've heard a lot of complaints about the book packaging from Warner Bros., but I've never had a problem with it personally.
     
  6. Jamie Middleton

    Jamie Middleton Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with the part about Beuna Vista. Had it not been for them, I would have probably never seen "Popular" again.
     
  7. Alex Wagner

    Alex Wagner Stunt Coordinator

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    well for all 3 smallvilles, gilmore season 1, and the oc season one at least 2 discs have been loose.
    they've never been scratched so that is a plus.
    it just upsets me that there is a possiblity they could get scratched
     
  8. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    My primary TV-on-DVD experience has been with Warner Home Video products, and overall they've done fantastic jobs with their TV-on-DVD products with one exception: lack of 5.1 tracks. In 2002, when WHV issued a single-disc release of the re-edited/extended "Smallville" pilot and second episode (into a feature length film) for the Canadian market, they included a 5.1 track on its release. But when we got Smallville S1, all they had were 2.0 tracks on the set (same as for the later seasons). A bit of a head-scratcher as to why this is, but otherwise great sets nonetheless.

    Universal: no response from them at all. I've repeatedly contacted them regarding their TV-to-DVD sets (Quantum Leap, Battlestar Galactica), and have never received any response from them at all. Bummer.

    Fox Home Entertainment: Their MASH releases are the only ones I have in my collection, and while the quality of the episodes is quite beautiful, they could do with extras on their sets. Now that they're in the home stretch of the series, with only three more seasons to go before the entire series is complete on DVD, I don't think we'll see any extras at all.

    There's another studio that you left off, Elijah, and that's Paramount Home Entertainment. Excellent customer service - when I had a non-working disc in my set of Have Gun Will Travel S1, I notified them of the malfunction and asked for a replacement disc - they went one better and sent a complete replacement set. Now that's first class. The audio/video quality of their TV-to-DVD product is great, though for some reason I can't get past the whole "bonus Best Buy disc" deal on its sets, when the R2 counterparts have these extra featurettes included on the main sets. Consistency should be strived for across all the regions without having to jump through lots of hoops to get the extra stuff - that's just my two cents' worth on it.
     
  9. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    Warner Bros. Home Entertainment: I own from them: Dallas, North & South, Roots, and the Thorn Birds. All seem OK from this point. No edits that I could spot. Original logos are often removed. No music replacements. Picture quality OK. Extras moderate.

    Buena Vista Home Entertainment (Touchstone/Disney): I own the Golden Girls from them. Uncut episodes, reasonably good picture quality, all music intact, but extras are lacking. Where's the nearly 3 decades worth of the original Wonderful World of Disney?

    Universal Studios Home Entertainment: No extras, remover of logos, replacer of music, picture quality varies, but keeps episodes uncut. I own from them: Baretta, Law & Order, Murder She Wrote.

    20th Century Fox Home Entertainment: Fabulous, simply fabulous. Uncut episodes, original music, good picture quality, often original logos (especially on MTM series). I own from them: The Simpsons, M*A*S*H, Futurama, Family Guy, King of the Hill, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Bob Newhart Show, Dynasty

    Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (formerly Columbia/TriStar): Did someone say schizophrenia? They have probably the greatest library of TV shows one can imagine, but the worst release policy and ZERO customer service. Maybe with the combination of Sony and MGM they'll improve. Cut episodes turn up occasionally, as do music replacements (but some get saved), removed logos. The picture quality varies, but with taped shows there's not much they can do. If they would get their act together they would be one of the best studios. I own from them 227, All in the Family, Beulah Land, The Blue and the Gray (UNCUT), Good Times, The Jeffersons, Married with Children, The Nanny, Sanford & Son, What's Happening.

    Lions Gate Home Entertainment: This is one lion who sure isn't king of the DVD jungle. They should be forbidden by law from ever releasing any TV show ever again. After the ALF debacle I will never, ever purchase anything from them again.

    Anchor Bay Home Entertainment: Don't own any of theirs

    Ventura Distribution/Urbanworks: See Lions' Gate.

    and two you forgot:

    Paramount Home Entertainment: Great job on I Love Lucy. Also own Cheers, Laverne & Shirley, Shogun. Uncut episodes, music intact (on Lucy), good release schedules.

    Shout! Factory: Does great work for a small company. Tries as hard as possible to get uncut shows with original music. I own from them: Punky Brewster. I wish they had done The Cosby Show and ALF.
     
  10. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    Warner does some good work, but they are inconsistent about the most important thing: following up season 1 releases with season 2 releases. Not as bad as Sony -- no one is -- but the lack of season 2 announcements for shows like "Night Court" is troubling. Also, they haven't shown any willingness to dip into the Spielberg cartoons or really seriously exploit their late-'50s early-'60s library. They're pretty good, but not on a level with their classic movies department.

    Fox has gotten weaker lately, what with the double-sided discs and all, but they are still doing a good job: they have a large TV library, they have recently shown a willingness to dip further into the MTM catalogue, they usually add some bonus material (e.g. the upcoming extras for season 2 of "Bob Newhart"), and most importantly, they really seem to try hard not to abandon shows, as the new "Mary Tyler Moore" release proves. I wish they would find some way to get WKRP out, but I realize that that's kind of a pipe dream on my part.

    Shout! Factory is doing some great work, and Anchor Bay does very good work (except on the Cannell shows, but that seems to be largely Cannell's fault).

    Sony is unquestionably the worst. Unless the original creators take an interest in the sets -- which is how we got excellent sets of "Seinfeld" and "NewsRadio" -- their releases are almost uniformly shoddy, and they have the worst series-abandonment track record in the business. Universal seems to throw its sets on the market without much care, but their presentation and their release schedules are a bit better than Sony's.

    Paramount doesn't do nearly enough bonus material, but their presentation is very good -- almost always uncut shows in the best prints available -- and their release schedules are pretty fast. They lose some points for abandoning "Happy Days" et al (though it may be the fault of the music publishers and such), and for not doing "The Odd Couple," but they're doing a generally good job of exploiting their and CBS/Viacom's library.
     
  11. ElijahS

    ElijahS Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Bill and Matthew for mentioning the two major studios I forgot; I've added them now to my original post.
     
  12. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    Paramount - while they lose points from me for abandoning Happy Days and Mork And Mindy (the latter doesn't have any substantial music rights, so why not release it?), they have been consistant with a lot of titles I like, such as Taxi and Charmed. I don't like their general reluctance to do special features though, but you usually get what's most important - uncut episodes.

    Warner - I wish they'd switch to slimcases, they're the last major holdout. Tales From The Crypt is the only title out they have currently that I really love though, I hope in the next year they rais the vaults and release shows like Alice and Welcome Back, Kotter in season sets.

    Sony - what's to love? They have done a fantastic job with the Seinfeld DVD's, but besides that, they've been atrocious. I wish another company would inherit the rights to all the Norman Lear and Embassy titles, someone who might actually do them right... they have such a great library of 70's and 80's television but most of the shows are treated like crap. I'd love to see a season two of Diff'rent Strokes and know plenty who would do the same for a season two of Who's The Boss. Also don't forget the shows like One Day At A Time, Maude and The Facts Of Life that a lot of people would amputate their arm for and have yet to be announced,

    Universal - not too big of a fan of them over their obsession with double-sided discs. Cleopatra 2525 and Murder She Wrote are the only titles of theirs I currently own, though I wish they would raid their sitcom vault, as I would love to own Gimme A Break and Kate And Allie. Considering their obsession with hour-long 80's dramas, too bad we haven't seen Simon And Simon yet, I love that show.

    Anchor Bay - with the exception of the Stephen J. Cannell shows, they have done a great job with DVD's. And unlike companies like Sony, they show actual care to the product instead of treating the show like garbage if you can't expect it to move Seinfeld numbers. Whether the show is a semi-obscure show like Sledge Hammer or a smash hit like Three's Company, they always treat the titles wonderfully. I am just hoping that they continue this with Roseanne, easily my favorite series they have rights to. Hopefully since they treated 3rd Rock good, they will do the same since both are C/W titles.

    Buena Vista - not a big fan of their pricing or their music replacement, but their quality is generally good. They brought Popular back from oblivion and while The Golden Girls is lacking extra features, the episodes are uncut.

    HBO - waaaaaaaaaay too expensive, and they don't dig in the vaults enough to make an excuse for it. The "special features" disc on the last Sex And The City set was a huge disapointment. Sex is the only HBO show I have on DVD, even though I'd like to get Curb Your Enthusiasm someday.

    Fox - definately the first company to really storm out of the gate. While there have been a few disapointments (such as taking three years for Mary Tyler Moore season 2, and replacing almost all the musical numbers in In Living Color), there's been more than enough to make up for it.
     
  13. Katherine_K

    Katherine_K Second Unit

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    Warner Brothers: I've had the best experiances with them, their sets are consistently well done, they have a decent amount of extras, though not an exceptional amount. I had some problems with the discs in the Babylon 5 sets falling off the hubs, but none have been scratched that way, and their recent switch to a different book style with single sided discs in West Wing season 4 is probably my favorite packaging style of any set. From them I own Babylon 5 1-5 +Movies, Crusade, V Miniseries, Wonder Woman 1-3, ER 1-3, West Wing 1-4, and briefly owned and have gifted on Murphey Brown 1.

    Universal: The products I have from them I enjoy and have liked, I haven't bought anything with music replacement so I can't say that's really affected me. I do wish they'd have more than the bare bones in terms of extras, especially on their blockbuster series. I REALLY wish they'd pick a packaging style for the L&O sets and stick with it. This every release is a new style has gotten on my nerves. From them I own Law and Order 1-3 +14, Law and Order Special Victims Unit 1 and 5, and Law and Order Criminal Intent 1 and 3. I own Earth 2 but haven't watched it.

    20th Century Fox: I have a limited sampling from them, but have generally positive feelings. Plenty of extras, excellent quality. I found the packaging on the X-Files season sets ... ackward to say the least, making getting at the first or six or seventh disc hard even on my football field sized desk. I liked their Lone Gunmen packaging. From them I have X-Files 1-8, and the Lone Gunmen.

    MGM: This is based on the Stargate SG1 sets alone. Their video quality improved a lot, as did the truely massive amount of special features over the years. A full commentary on every episode. I do wish they'd use a smaller packaging style because the individual cases in a box take up twice the room of must TV-DVD sets on my selves. From them I own Stargate SG1 1-7 and the Stargate Atlantis Pilot.

    I don't own anything from the other studeos on your list, but I do own sets from other studios (in this case other countries).

    Alliance Atlantis: Canadian release. This has to be THE worst DVD sets I've ever seen. Four discs shoved into a single double wide DVD case, with the first disc hidden UNDER the paperwork. No extras. No nothing, with the pilot episode of the series shoved onto the Season 3 set instead of Season 1. From these jokers I own Due South 1-3. They loose points for not having released season 4 yet, though I understand that it should be coming... soonish.

    BBC: The BEST set I have ever seen. Completely uncut British versions of shows not the chopped up American episodes, with hours and hours of extras and commentaries. From them I own MI-5 1 and 2.
     
  14. John*P

    John*P Second Unit

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    Me neither. I have Gilmore Girls seasons 1 and 2 with "book" packaging, and haven't had a problem with loose/scratched discs or broken hubs. I actually prefer that packaging to the kind they used for Gilmore season 3...
     
  15. RandallV

    RandallV Second Unit

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    SONY - I have a good idea what they're doing.

    All in the Family - SONY, early 1970s: Picture quality gets worse with each successive season.

    The Brady Bunch - Paramount, early 1970s: Picture quality is acceptable to great on both season sets!

    Mary Tyler Moore - 20th Century Fox, early 1970s: Picture quality is excellent on both season sets!

    I believe SONY is purposefully distributing poor quality TV shows so that they can release them later in Blu-Ray and say they look, "so much better!" I'm not fooled. Is it a coincidence that SONY is the only DVD manufacturer listed here that has hardware to push in the near future?
     
  16. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Warner: I'm pleased with the variety of releases. Adult Swim titles, other animation, current shows and older favorites. I'd love to introduce this company to the concept of chapter stops.

    HBO: An offshoot of Warner, sets too damn expensive for my liking.

    Paramount: Lots of releases, quick to get successive seasons out in most cases, lacking on special features.

    Universal: I only own Dragnet, and I want Simon and Simon...otherwise I'm happy.

    Fox: My favorite studio, lots of variety, good pricing overall, try to release successive seasons of a series...they're tops, WB second on my list.

    Sony: I appreciate the number of shows they put out, I appreciate the fact they try and make them inexpensive to purchase, but no real pattern of release, cramming episodes on to a disc, they could do so much better.

    Lionsgate: don't get me started...

    Anchor Bay: Hey I was happy with the 3rd Rock release, and I will check out Roseanne.
     
  17. MichelleB

    MichelleB Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't have any complaints about any other Studios except SONY. And you don't want to get me started on that subject...

    Who's The Boss? and Party of Five, just to name a couple of the DVDs that have been forgotten since the first Seasons have been released.

    Paramount have been great, for me, so far they've been releasing TAXI on a regular basis.

    Warner Bros. I have no complaints about either I have all the Friends and one more to come, which makes me happy. And I'm pretty confident that they will release more of the Lois & Clark.
     
  18. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    Paramount- While yes...I have been getting everything they have released so far from I LOVE LUCY...my parnter would love to get the multiple STAR TREK series, but at their current price...not even on the radar. On the downside...for LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY to be sitting and doing nothing and having only season one been released, while this my favorite sitcom, it is almost as if I am being punished for buying the first season. I want the rest now. Plain and simple. Also, I want more of the PEANUTS specials brought to DVD. So far, while they have released the Holiday titles, there is no excuse for other regions having them or the feature films.

    Columbia/SONY- Again...I feel punished for having bought the first two seasons of CHARLIE'S ANGELS. I want the rest. The least they could do is give us the final season with Kate Jackson if they don't intend on giving us all five seasons. Been awaiting word for THE FACTS OF LIFE...another show that I am for the entire length of the program. I am hoping that they will speed things up a bit on THE JEFFERSONS. Looking forward to DESINGING WOMEN as well in 2006. Wonderful job on Bewitched...but damnation to the retailers that would only stock the colorized versions.

    Disney/BV- While there aren't many shows that I would purchase from them, I am in should they release LILO AND STITCH: THE SERIES. What I am most horrified about from them though is that when they do a release...it is more of in the line of a 'best of' collection type release then full seasons. Disney...you are always going to make money and there will always be a outlet for your product on television. But keep in mind, people do want complete collections as well. And keep the GOLDEN GIRLS coming. Nice to finally see the original shows again.

    Fox- Great going on the SIMPSON'S sets...though I am miffed that season six is going to look really strange on the shelf next to the others. Maybe this new packaging option should have been a limited edition piece and not so much 'as is.' Doesn't flow. Also...along the lines of Fox...please...Warner and you need to sit down and discuss BATMAN. Right now...neither one of you is making anything from it but it is one of the most sought after titles. Stop being babies and play together, otherwise, it is going to be time out for you.
    :b

    HBO- You prices is what is keeps me away from many of your shows.
     
  19. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    don't know why my work server went crazy with multiple submissions...sorry mods...
     
  20. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    Again...sorry...
     

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