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Buying TV seasons on DVD is much better than recording them.

Buying TV seasons on DVD is much better than recording them.

 
Old 12-21-03, 04:55 PM
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Buying TV seasons on DVD is much better than recording them.

I was recently pondering purchasing a DVD recorder or DVHS recorder to record some TV shows and figured that it is advantageous to just buy them when they are released on DVD.

I have taken the the example of Alias Season 2 and figured the costs associated with
a) Recording to DVD-R at the highest quality recorded from the HD source.
b) Recording to D-VHS at the highest quality recorded from the HD source.
c) Purchasing the season set.

I know VHS recording is also an option and it is the most cost efficient method, but I have disregarded it due to obvious reasons.

This is recording undertaken with the intent to permanently keep each episode, so Tivo recording is not an option here.


A) A single high quality DVD-R costs about $2.
It can fit 1 hour programming at the highest quality.
An episode of Alias is 1 hour with commercials.
PQ is near DVD quality and sound is 2-channel.

One episode costs $2 to record with a DVD recorder.

B)A D-VHS tape costs $14. To my knowledge, it can record 2 hours of HD at the highest quality.
PQ is excellent and sound is 5.1DD.

One episode costs $7 to record with a DVHS deck.

C) The box set of Alias Season 2 retails for around $46.
It contains 22 episodes.
PQ is excellent and sound is 5.1DD.

One episode costs ($46/22 episodes) $2.09 to purchase.
(I bought my set for $40, which brings each episode to $1.82 to purchase)


Conclusions:

DVD-recorder: Falling in price and certainly an alternative to buying the season set, but no 5.1DD surround sound and PQ can vary. Not everyone can access the 16:9 broadcast to get uniform recording quality. When recording from the standard signal, the value recording with this option plummets.

DVHS: Best PQ of the bunch and 5.1DD sound, but still dealing with a tape-based format; too expensive.

Purchasing: Best value; Near DVHS PQ; 5.1DD sound; Extra features; packaged and ready; no need to fiddle with recording options; every show is unioformly good; no hassle with removing commercials, etc.


I always thought it would be advantageous to just record the show, but after some analysis, just outright buying the set is the most viable option.

If one also includes the fixed costs of purchasing a DVD-recorder or DVHS deck, the value of just purchasing the season set increases dramatically!

This is also assuming one actually gets the DTV broadcasts of TV shows. So for most people who don't, buying the DVD set is an even better option!


But everyone has different predilections, so this analysis may not be valid for others. And there are shows that are not released equally on DVD, so the line between buying or recording becomes even narrower.


I just want to start an intelligent conversion about the benefits and drawbacks of both buying TV shows on DVD and recording them.

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Old 12-21-03, 05:01 PM
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I could have told you that w/o all the calculating/thinking Not to mention alot of TV sets are coming w/ some really nice features these days. I still think I'll eventually purchase a DVD recorder though since there are always probably going to be shows that I'll want to watch w/o buying the set later. Having them on DVD makes them more compatible w/ my systems since I have more DVD players than VCRs (for instance being able to take a DVD w/ me and playing it on my laptop).

Last edited by nemein; 12-21-03 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 12-21-03, 05:06 PM
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i totally agree. now if they would just release ed i would be happy.
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Old 12-21-03, 05:30 PM
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But for shows that won't be coming out on DVD anytime soon, it's pretty easy to stock up on cheap DVD media (when the deals come 'round) and go from ReplayTV --> DVD. Pretty decent quality, and commercials could easily be cut out. Some might even have fun doing their own editing, making menus, etc.

I don't own a TiVo, but I'd think similar options would be available.
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Old 12-21-03, 05:38 PM
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Well obviously compared to one season of a show already on DVD its easier to buy the season set. BAD COMPARISON How about recording episodes of Seinfeld to uh well its not on DVD.
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Old 12-21-03, 08:43 PM
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Also doesn't look like Charmed or Ally McBeal will be coming anytime soon.
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Old 12-21-03, 10:39 PM
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Originally posted by kevin75
i totally agree. now if they would just release ed i would be happy.
I thought Ed was rumoured for next year????
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Old 12-21-03, 10:52 PM
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Originally posted by dvd-4-life
Also doesn't look like Charmed [...] will be coming anytime soon.
Rights revert to Paramount in 2005. We may see some action, then.
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Old 12-21-03, 11:10 PM
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The option I've been using for just two shows (Joan of Arcadia and Tru Calling) is an option I might start using more frequently if HD-DVD doesn't take off enough for TV shows to get released on the format. I would be doing it on others, but it's a lot of work and it takes up a huge amount of space (physical and digital).

I record with a MyHD-120 card, save to hard drive and later burning to DVD. The only reason this is a viable option, quality-wise, requires a DVI input on your HDTV. With the DVI-Daughercard for the MyHD card, I can output any recorded material and see no difference between recorded and live HD. The card also doubles as an HD-Tivo, with as much recording time as I care to invest in hard drives.

The downsides are as I mentioned, huge physical space requirements for each show. For each transport stream file, it's roughly 10GB an hour. Cut out commercials and it's closer to 6.5GB per episode. So, if you don't try to fit two episodes on three discs, it's 44 DVD's per season.

Consider DVD-R's at their cheapest B&M price, about $1, and you could just as easily buy the show on DVD for the same price, and a hell of a lot less work. Not to mention it cost about $500 for the MyHD card, DVI Daughter and 30foot DVI cable. You also have to have a PC near your HDTV for the DVI daughtercard to work, or build a completely new PC.

But for shows such as Joan of Arcadia, who are by no means guaranteed a DVD release, it's the only way to go. And as far as quality, it is utterly unbeatable. An episode of Smallville on the season 1 DVD set vs an episode of Smallville in HD results in an unquestionable winner. But the downsides are many, and this really isn't a very logical way of doing things. I doubt many have a PC near enough to their HDTV for this to be an acceptable option.
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Old 12-21-03, 11:38 PM
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Originally posted by speedy1961
I thought Ed was rumoured for next year????
not that i have heard. from www.stuckeyville.com:

6.4_Can I get any episodes on video or DVD?
No. Stuckeyville.Com has been informed by knowledgeable sources that a DVD box set of Ed will most likely not be released until at least a year after the show goes off the air, as it is in their contract.
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Old 12-21-03, 11:49 PM
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agreed...i bought 24 S1 and it would have driven me nuts to wait a week to see the next episode!
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Old 12-21-03, 11:57 PM
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Picked up 24 for 23.99.. it's a dollar an episode. I can't beat that price with a stick so yes.. buying tv season box sets is well worth it
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Old 12-22-03, 12:00 AM
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Well..i guess that all depends. I got Season 3 of Will and Grace a few months ago and some of the episodes are cut (as they were for syndication). So it doesn't always pay...to...ummm...pay.
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Old 12-22-03, 01:26 AM
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jack: was taht S1 or S2?
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Old 12-22-03, 03:24 PM
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Re: Buying TV seasons on DVD is much better than recording them.

Originally posted by smirnoffski
a) Recording to DVD-R at the highest quality recorded from the HD source.
...
c) Purchasing the season set.
This is comparing apples to oranges. The season sets are not in HD so comparing recording in HD to the sets is not a fair comparison.

This is recording undertaken with the intent to permanently keep each episode, so Tivo recording is not an option here.

A) A single high quality DVD-R costs about $2.
It can fit 1 hour programming at the highest quality.
An episode of Alias is 1 hour with commercials.
PQ is near DVD quality and sound is 2-channel.

One episode costs $2 to record with a DVD recorder.
I have done just this with alias season 3. I record on my replayTV at DVD resolution (medium on replay). Pull to pc via the ethernet port. Edit out the commercials and compile the dvd with my own menus. I fit 3 episodes per dvd+r at the same quality as the purchased sets at a max of $2 per dvd+r. (Can often find them cheaper by the way.) So at that price 22 episodes would cost under $15 vs ~$40 for a season set.

Given the season set has extras on it that are nice but those can always be rented and watched once.

Edited: Forgot to add, you're dead on about the sound of course. And I still plan on buying season 3 as well regardless of difference in cost, if nothing else to support such a great show.
-Nuff

Last edited by Nuff; 12-22-03 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 12-22-03, 03:29 PM
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No duh. Besides, I like the DVD graphics, and I get the awesome menu.... AND the box.
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Old 12-22-03, 03:38 PM
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A few more points:

Ease of use. Nuff: "I record on my replayTV at DVD resolution (medium on replay). Pull to pc via the ethernet port. Edit out the commercials and compile the dvd with my own menus. I fit 3 episodes per dvd+r at the same quality as the purchased sets " That sounds like a PITA. A lot of folks like doing stuff like that, I used to, but not so much anymore. If you want to and enjoy that aspect of it, more power to you.

Resale value: Technically/legally I don't think you can resell DVDR or DVHS copies of tv shows. You can probably sell them for the cost of the media, plus 'time spent' or whatever, but you'd have to find a buyer [no trade in, and Ebay might not like it.]

Support the show: The more people who buy a DVD release, the cheaper future releases can be, if they come out at all [as far as I know, there will be no S2 of Mary Tyler Moore : (]. In fact, they're considering reviving Family Guy solely due to DVD sales. I don't like that show, but I think that's really cool.

If a show's not out on DVD, then obviously that's fair game, imho; but that could work both ways: inspire a dvd release since so many people want it, or scare away a dvd release since so many people already have it. [And I do have ~20 VHS tapes of the Simpsons, but I have also bought S1 and S2, and I think I'm getting S3 for Christmas.]

digitalfreaknyc: Will and Grace dvd set is cut? I don't like that, I think the shows should be as the originally left the studio. But that doesn't really relate to this; if you caught the show on first play, you're fine, but if you recorded it personally after it's been syndicated, you'd be in the same boat.
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Old 12-22-03, 07:57 PM
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Originally posted by dtcarson

digitalfreaknyc: Will and Grace dvd set is cut? I don't like that, I think the shows should be as the originally left the studio. But that doesn't really relate to this; if you caught the show on first play, you're fine, but if you recorded it personally after it's been syndicated, you'd be in the same boat.
Well...i'm hoping the Region 1 set won't be. Only time will tell. I recorded the episodes on the first run...

However, I didn't realize that they were releasing the "cut" versions. So I threw them out when I got the DVD's.

*sigh*
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Old 12-22-03, 08:50 PM
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Plus I like the graphics that come with the box. That's why I put very little on DVD-r. If I want to own it, I want the artwork without the hassle of downloading.
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Old 12-22-03, 10:03 PM
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I will take the DVD box sets any day, but with stuff like MST3K its not an option as most of the episodes will never be released. I have all the non DVD episodes on VCD.

I had a DVD Recorder for awhile and was never more dissapointed in a product in my life. The poor quality of recordings over an hour long was unbelievable. DVD recording is not anywhere near ready to replace the VCR. I returned my DVD Recorder.
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Old 12-22-03, 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by atari2600
jack: was taht S1 or S2?
2 seasons for 23.99 each season.
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Old 12-26-03, 02:54 AM
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There's no way I would substitute a copy DVD-R discs for the original box set of any show. Even if it was cheaper to record them on DVD-R, I would want the original artwork and discs in my collection.
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Old 12-26-03, 03:03 AM
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This just in...sky is blue.
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Old 12-26-03, 06:54 AM
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I just want more episodes of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" to be released. I just finish the Volume 4 Collection, and I still can't get enough. Hopefully a Volume 5 is coming in the next few months.
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Old 12-26-03, 12:28 PM
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Now the real question is....

....is it cheaper buying season sets than subscribing to cable?
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