Will DVD Recorders Hurt TV Shows on DVD?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Pete Battista, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. Pete Battista

    Pete Battista Screenwriter

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    This is a concern of mine, with DVD Recorders coming down in price (Think Wal-Mart has one for about $200 now) Will this hurt the Market for TV Shows on DVD?

    Will people still be willing to buy the releases when they can just rocord them off tv? I for one definitely will as I enjoy the uncut, commercial free episodes... not to mention all the great extras you get.

    But this don't mean everyone thinks this way. I just hope that the DVD Recorders will not hurt the releases we love so much!
     
  2. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    I don't think it will hurt at all. The presentation of the TV on DVD as released by the studio is going to be slicker than you get with a DVD recorder in almost every way. It might mean that you start to see more extras on TV shows on DVD but that would be ok with me. I don't think this would hurt a show that isn't experieincing first run episodes such as Married with Children and the reason is that the only way to get those would to be to record sindicated episodes which means they'd be cut, and you might not get them in order.

    So ultimately I don't think it will really hurt TVOnDVD at all, but we'll see I suppose.
     
  3. DougFND

    DougFND Second Unit

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    It's very hard to keep up with recording the run of a series. I've tried a few times now and it just never works. Things get pre-empted, rescheduled, cable/satellite goes out, you forget to buy new tapes/DVDs, etc.

    Until TV series become available as "on-demand" purchases, I don't think DVD sets will be hurt much if at all.
     
  4. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I think you need to look at why people are buying TV shows on DVD. I would think the majority of people who do, are doing it because they love the uncut episodes, no station ID, etc.

    I personally think there's too much work involved in recording to DVD, having to edit out the commericals, then creating menus, worrying about file sizes, etc. And then you have to worry about station logos, those damn promos running across the screen, etc. etc. etc. - if it's on DVD, then it makes more sense to buy the discs than to go through all the trouble of creating your own.

    Sure it may take away some of the sales, but I still believe that even for the average consumer (and not just us DVD nuts) that the advantages of the professionally made TV DVD sets are FAR MORE superior than anything you can do at home with a DVD recorder.

    p.s. The only thing I can see as a possible worry, is the HBO series. Since you don't have to worry about logos or commercials, shows like "Curb your Enthusiasm" and "The Sopranos" may find themselves victim to being just recorded onto DVD-R's, but then again, not everyone subscribes to HBO, so it all balences out.
     
  5. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    MarkHastings,

    Thanks for that excellent post. I couldn't have said it any better than you did. And you hit on all the reasons why the TV on DVD market isn't threatened by DVD recorders.

    I've got a few "home-made dvds" from different friends, and usually all those do are make me yearn even more for professional sets!

    Gary
     
  6. Ryan_Guah

    Ryan_Guah Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, some people are able to get the wildfeed MPEGs off the internet, and then burn them, so they are very similar to the TVonDVD product. I don't think it will hurt too much though. DVD-R's are still really expensive.
     
  7. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    And some people have some old series sets on tapes, from their first runs - in the pre-logo years.

    You could make an entire season of a 1/2 hour sitcom and put it on 3 DVD-R's. It would cost about $10 or so.

    As for the commercials, none of my tapes have them. If you are paying attention and know where your pause button is, cutting those out isn't a problem.

    I've got about 7 different shows (entire runs) scheduled for transferring, and that doesn't include great single episodes of shows that were just ok. Most of them aren't scheduled to be released anyway, so it's just a time-shifting media transfer to me...

    Glenn
     
  8. andrew markworthy

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    To answer the question with another question - did recordable VHS affect sales of pre-recorded VHS tapes?
     
  9. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    They did for me. I have 6 pre-recorded VHS tapes, and brought my first recorder when they were just starting the Beta vs. VHS battle.

    I knew from the get-go that the tapes would deteriorate over time, and most of them were $50. and up.

    With 8 hours of recording time on a blank for about $3, I could put 4 movies on each tape. It wasn't hard to compare $3 against $200.

    Sure, the picture quality wasn't as good, but most of the cable or OTA signals here aren't either. I had about 200 blank tapes all full when DVD's started to come out. The 400+ movies that I had recorded are now down to around 100. The rest are all on DVD. I have a feeling that about 50 movies I'll never see on DVD, ever.

    Someday we might be able to order any movie that we want, but until then I'll gladly keep a copy that will last until then.

    Glenn
     
  10. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Yes. Recordable VHS greatly increased sales of pre-recorded VHS tapes. Early adopters bought VCRs for time-shifting purposes. Once they got past the $1000 hardware price tag, they were then much more amenable to spending incremental amounts on video sales and rentals (*).

    (*) Hollywood's pricing practices in the early home video days virtually guaranteed that most sales were to rental stores, rather than to households.
     
  11. Pete Battista

    Pete Battista Screenwriter

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    Thanks for all the replies. One of the main reasons I asked is I never seen much on TV Shows on Video... other then the best of tapes. Definitely not season boxsets.

    I think I have gotten spoiled with all the great releases in the past couple years. Not to mention excited to see all the upcoming releases that have already been announced.
     
  12. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    But I think DVD goes far beyond the ability to just record tv. Sure, most of us here love the quality aspect (over VHS) of DVD, but most consumers are drawn to the other aspects of DVD. - The 'extras', the flexibility, the chapter jumps, 5.1 audio, etc.

    When you compare a purchased VHS tape to a VHS tape that you recorded off tv, there's not a whole lot of difference between the two, but the differences between purchased DVD's and stuff you've recorded off tv are much larger.

    And as others have noted, you can delete commercials, add your own chapter stops, etc., but that's a lot of work to do to come up with anything that comes remotely close to the studios versions of tv shows on DVD (especially for the price).

    Is it really worth your time to record every Simpsons episode (in season 3) to DVD, edit out commercials, program in menus, chapter jumps, etc. just to save $33? Since I've had my DVD recorder, I've had lots of projects that I wanted to do this to, but the time spent doing them is just not worth it. The only thing I've ever actually done is record stuff that isn't available on DVD, but I'd gladly replace my homemade copies if they ever were produced professionally.

    But maybe I'm in the minority here. Maybe others don't mind the time and effort they put into it, if it saves them money?
     
  13. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    With Tivo-type devices making it easier for people to accumulate entire seasons of a TV series, DVD recorders cannot help TV on DVD sales. I'm not a big TV show watcher, but I have passed on buying marginal quality DVD's of some classic films, instead recording to DVD off Turner Classic Movies. Giant and The Quiet Man come to mind. If the DVD contains a high quality transfer, though, I would rather purchase the disc than record a lesser quality copy from cable TV.

    So, you could look on the bright side. This may force studios to release higher quality products in order to provide enough value-add over personal recordings to DVD.
     
  14. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Absolutely not. I bought a Sony recorder this christmas mostly so I could record some stuff on Rewritable disks for my mom to see, like sopranos, sheild, sense they do not have cable. But I'll be waiting on the box set for those shows and others like Dead Zone and Smallville because mostly analog local channels do not look great, are not anamorphically encoded, or offer 5.1 sound (Mostly) so my recorder will not replace the box set
     
  15. With HQ TV signals and TIVO w/burners, I think there may be a threat for those who are motivated to reduce purchases.

    Might be why 'TV on DVD' boxsets are being pushed out at breakneck speeds (any Star Trek show).

    Studios may want to capitalize before this technology becomes more commonplace.
     
  16. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    It's about the quality.

    For me, I get non-network shows via Dish Network. Networks I pull off the air.

    I get frustrated with poor reception of ABC and CBS, so I have given up on watching Alias and CSI. I wait for the DVDs. I get better quality, anamorphically enhanced video without commercials or station bugs. Plus, a continuing plot like Alias, 24 and many others just plays better when you can watch three or four episodes per night.

    Even the Dish Network SD stuff suffers from compression artifacts and softness that is not an issue on DVD. Plus, no anamorphic enhancement...

    Having a DVD recorder doesn't improve the quality of your reception - though you can make better recordings than on VHS.

    It's an expensive habit, but I'm willing to spend the money (within reason) to see the shows I like uncut and with better audio and video quality on DVD. And, like I said, in some cases I have even given up watching the shows on their live broadcast - I just wait for the season set to show up at Best Buy instead.

    -Scott
     
  17. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Scott, I'm curious on your thought about the general DVD consumer. I know a lot of us here feel the quality of professional DVD's are much better than homemade one, but do you think your average consumer will feel the same way? Do you think they understand (or care) that the ones they make at home can't really come close to the ones you buy?
     
  18. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Even though I own a standalone dvd recorder that I use to record certain tv programs, some of which I copy to DVD-R, I will continue to buy sets of the same series. The main advantage of these sets? Subtitles! For instance, my older, treble and upper midrange impaired ears can't understand half of what Buffy (especially), Willow and Giles are saying on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I've never had a problem with Xander, Dawn or Cordelia). Subtitles make a big difference in my enjoyment of this show.
     
  19. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I'm not sure if the 'average consumer' is going to buy many DVR's, be it machines or disks. (Is this the same suy that has the flashing "12:00" on his/her VCR)?

    Ok, maybe the ones that use the 'plus guide' numbers to record. The SP recordings look pretty good. Filling a disk up would be no different than a VCR in that he wouldn't have to label them except for a black marker.

    Could you ask if he'd be willing to shell out the $$$ for the set, knowing that the picture and sound are better, or does all he have on the back of his TV is a 75 ohm coax connection?

    Oh Mark, that's time vs. money. Lots of time and little money would make it a little easier to convince yourself that taking the time out to transfer recordings would be worth it.

    Also, I have found some tapes that just don't work anymore. (I wish I had the recorder a few years ago). If you've got those 'home movies' I'd at least look at them or make a fresh copy for now.

    Glenn
     
  20. Mike Williams

    Mike Williams Screenwriter

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    I have personally refrained from taping TV shows on DVD because I hate the station logos imbedded in the corner, and even more, I HATE the animated graphics advertising other shows on the same network. HATE 'EM!!!
     

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