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Why don't some TV shows get released completely re-mastered? (1 Viewer)

MarkHastings

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Of course the thinking is different than with the VHS days. A VHS only held a few hours and sold for over $20. DVD sets hold almost 3-5 times that amount and only cost slightly more than $20.

I guess if you want the days of VHS, then we'd be paying for 3 episodes of a TV show for $20. Just imagine how much an entire season of "24" would cost on VHS!!! :eek:
 

Joe Karlosi

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Sounds logical, doesn't it? Except that it really isn't. Because there are some fans who don't care for the first season of a show and prefer the later ones when a series really hit its stride. I know someone who absolutely loves the final 4 seasons of THE ODD COUPLE but can't stand the first season and says he wouldn't buy it.

Also, for some fans it's "give me all or none". Back when Fox released the first handful of VHS tapes for LOST IN SPACE, for example, I refused to buy any of them. I wanted all 83 installments, not just the first 7. So they may have thought they were playing it smart, but in reality they were shooting themselves in the foot -- because I WOULD have purchased all 83 episdodes, had they put all the seasons out.
 

Michael St. Clair

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If Paramount doesn't release Trek:TOS in compact, affordable boxes, some fans who balked at the pricy singles will be upset.

If they do release it, some consumers will complain they aren't focusing on different series.

If they release these boxes without substantial additional extras, some people will complain.

If they release them with extras, the fans who bought the pricy singles will complain that they got hosed.

If restoration and extras drive up the price of a set, some people will complain that the set costs too much.

If releasing a set bare-bones is the only way to make the set profitable (keeping costs down, and raising volume with a good price), some people will complain that the set isn't fancy enough...while others say 'just give me the show I love, even if it is bare-bones'.

No matter what the studios do, somebody will complain.

The truth is that each year we are getting more product (often of more obscure shows), at less cost per episode. While some of you want to complain, I want to celebrate.
 

Michael St. Clair

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I always buy the early seasons of any show I want...even if they are seasons I don't like. I figure if nobody supports the early seasons, I may not get the seasons I want.
 

Joe Karlosi

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Granted...

But I think the problem is that the companies get greedy and want to make millions instead of settling for thousands. If a DVD release makes a tiny profit, it's not the same as losing money IMO. But the studios want MR. ED to sell the same as FRIENDS would in 2004, and that's just not going to happen. It's one thing if a company loses a lot of money; it's another if they make a profit but don't consider it huge enough to bother with the rest of a TV Series.
 

Joe Karlosi

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That's it. I agree. And I'm sorry to those who defend the major studios, but I honestly think it stinks.
 

Joe Karlosi

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Yes, but I wonder then why major studios hang onto shows/movies which don't make them megamillions? To think that some great older shows will languish and rot in studio vaults because it's just not economically viable for THEM to release the product.... well, that's sad. I wish they'd license them out to smaller indie companies...
 

Michael St. Clair

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I sure as hell hope they want to make millions...my retirement mutual funds are invested in some of these companies...do you want me to retire broke?
 

Joe Karlosi

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I just bought WB's first season of THE WALTONS. It's a show I used to watch while growing up as a child but I don't recall many of the episodes. All I know is, I'm having a great time with this series right now and I don't want it to end. I know there are 8 more seasons to go after the first. But what really bugs me is knowing full well that I've got a better chance of winning the Lottery ten times over than seeing all 9 seasons of this "old and too wholesome" classic show being released to DVD while, in the meantime, I'm sure SOUTH PARK and THE SIMPSONS will be very well covered.
 

Joe Karlosi

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Heh... Heh.. :)

Well, the point is, these companies aren't going to go bankrupt if they only make a profit of $25,000 off an older TV show instead of $500,000. There are plenty of "blockbusters" to take up their slack. And it's not like they're losing money.
 

Jason Seaver

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That's a single data point, though. I'd be willing to bet that most of the time, were you to chart the sales of a series of anything that comes out as a numbered series - movies, TV shows, comics, books, whatever - the sales of #1 are generally a good predictor for the sales of #2. If you make a graph, it likely resembles a hyperbolic curve with a negative slope. We can all come up with a bit of anecdotal evidence of people who would buy #3 but not #1, but the studios probably have aggregated data that says otherwise.
 

Joe Karlosi

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I don't know if this is an exact science one way or the other, though. There is no guarantee that #2 of anything will sell too, just because #1 did.. just as it's possible for, say, #5 of something to exceed sales of a previous weak #4.

As long as it's all profit (even if it goes up and down), I say keep 'em comin'
 

Carlos Garcia

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As long as they released the entire show I wouldn't care. It just seems to me that the DVD industry doesn't care about the customers. Why aren't there any warning labels on DVD season sets when they release a season 1 set. A warning that would say something like "Warning, while we have released season 1 of this show, this doesn't guarantee we will release the rest of the seasons". I'll tell you why, because they would be shooting themselves in the foot. I'm sure many, if not most of the people who buy TV shows on DVD buy their favorite shows with the intention of buying the complete show, every season. And as a result, if they knew ahead of time that only season 1 of that show would ever be released, they would most likely NOT buy season 1, optioning instead to see if the entire show will eventually be released, before buying it. How many people who now own season 1 of the Mary Tyler Moore Show would never have bought that set, had they known the rest of the series wouldn't be getting released? I can guarantee you ALOT. In fact, if such a warning would've been put on the season 1 set, the 20th Century Fox home video division would probably be out of business right now. I still think because of company failures, WE the consumers are the ones getting screwed. Yes, I believe that if Mary Tyler Moore season 1 had been a hit, then we'd be seeing Lost In Space re-mastered. It failed, so we consumers are the ones paying for their failures...In more ways than just price. Sure the price may go up on other stuff we buy from them, but also the quality will come down. The customer is always right? Not when DVD companies fail they're not.
 

MarkHastings

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Why does that matter? I'm sure with every season 1 release, the studio is planning (i.e. hoping sales are good enough) on producing a season 2, but if season 1 doesn't sell well, then why take another bad hit with season 2? Better to cut your losses.

In fact, your argument makes even a better case as to not produce season 2. If you are saying that most everyone will buy every season and season 1 was a wash, then why would you expect season 2 sales to go UP? If anything, they'll go down or stay the same (which still isn't good).
 

Carlos Garcia

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What does one thing have to do with another? I would guess the reason so many shows are coming to DVD is because the DVD industry sees a potential goldmine with the customers, that has nothing to do with how much they care about the customers. It's a business and all they care about is making money for themselves, as much as they can, for as little expense as possible. This is why many shows are being released without re-mastering, some using poor syndication prints that show alot of dust, scratches, may be dark, may be missing scenes, or have bad edits in them.
Oh I admit there are some companies that go the extra 9 yards for the customers, but for every great looking "Dick Van Dyke Show" there will be alot more bad looking "Larry Sanders" releases. Some companies care more than others, it's just a shame that the small companies (the ones who seem to care) don't have more of the "name" shows people want to see. They are the ones going the extra yard for us, so they are the ones I want my money to go to.
 

MarkHastings

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At first, I used to think that DVD was this highly superior being that no one could touch, which is true in some cases, but what I realize is, it's also just a VHS tape in metal disc form. I think you are putting too much pressure on the format. If a company wants to spend thousands in a resotration, that's great, but if they just want to transfer their old tapes directly to a digital fromat, it's not like they're somehow angering the DVD gods by producing a 'sub-par' product. The digital transfer is worth it alone, any restoration is the icing on the cake, but I don't think it's a necessity to fulfill the DVD standard. Also the fact that you have a disc that can stand the test of time longer than VHS.

Not every release has to be a super-duper "Lord of the Rings: EE" release. DVD is better than VHS in so many ways, but it's still basically the same thing.

A lot of the problem was in the first few years of DVD when they used it as a way of convincing people that it was better than VHS and studios used it to produce the "Holy Grails" of their collections, but now that VHS has basically become a thing of the past, DVD's are becoming both the showpiece for DVD and the new way of producing tons of material at a reasonable price.

DVD has gone too mainstream and versatile to expect every realease to be a showpiece.
 

David Lambert

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Sorry to interupt this heated discussion, but I have a question for Carlos:



Who told you that the new sets weren't going to be re-mastered? Image, to my knowledge, hasn't said yet whether or not the new sets are being re-mastered. Did you hear or read something different somewhere?


Back to the discussion at hand, I'll interject a new thought into this whole thing: there are only so many companies that are around which do this sort of remastering, and part of each studio's decision about whether or not to remaster something might have to do with the availability of such a contracter.

Example: I'm Columbia and I want to remaster the original TV series Quark in time to tie in to the release of the new theatrical film re-make. But the facility that does the remastering won't be available until after my timetable for the project requires the remastering process to start. As project leader, I'll have to make a rather hard decision as to whether or not to move forward with the remastering, or leave the elements as they are.

Obviously, nothing like that is really happenning with Quark, a rather forgotten series that I'd love to have on DVD. But you get the idea.
 

Chad R

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But they can on that small of a profit margin. What do you consider the break even point? Is this $25,000 profit you speak of just based on resoration, production and distribution costs. Well, then that money has to trickle into the company and pay a heck of a lot of hands. Not to mention, as someone stated earlier, stockholders aren't happy with measly profits, will get nervous and sell stock, devaluing it, and devaluing the company, etc. Big business like this isn't a lemonade stand.
 

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