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TV on DVD: How much is too much?


I consider myself a generous man, but I hate to pay out more for something than I think it’s worth, especially if I feel I’m being taken advantage of.

That’s why I’d rather spend several hours shoveling the drive myself than pay the $130+ dollars my neighbor shells out to have someone with one of those giant snow-plough thingies attached to the front of a truck do the job in five minutes. It’s also why I don’t possess DVD recordings of some of my favorite television shows, like the various Star Trek incarnations or Doctor Who.

Much as I enjoyed them, the DVD prices are significantly higher than those of other shows made around the same time. I’ve no doubt they sell plenty of copies, otherwise the price would be lower, but to me it just doesn’t seem right.  I feel like it's assumed that I'll pay the extra because I'm a fan, and so I make do with watching re-runs on the telly when I can.

Up until recently, I’d have included another sci-fi favorite, Farscape, on my list of over-priced DVDS, but the other week I came across the complete series (four seasons) at DeepDiscount.com at a discounted price of $59.98 (RRP $149.95) - for the record, they also have the individual seasons available for $19.98 each. 
**  ETA: Sadly, as of about 1:30pm on Tuesday, Feb 23rd, [info]cloudscudding reports the price for the Farscape DVDs has gone up $92.97.  If you're a Farscape fan, I recommend adding the above address to your favorites.  Sooner or later, the price will come down again.

I’ve been shopping at this site since we moved to the US in ’04. I’d happily recommend them to anyone. If you don’t mind waiting a couple of weeks, there are no shipping/handling costs and delivery is free.

Senior Management and I are thoroughly enjoying watching Farscape again and my teenage son, who’d never seen the show before, is now a big fan. Now I’m waiting for similar prices for Star Trek and Doctor Who, though I’m not holding my breath.

How about you?

When it comes to buying your favorite TV shows on DVD, how much is too much?


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( 58 comments — Leave a comment )
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Feb. 22nd, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
The first couple seasons of Farscape are on Netflix watch instantly, so I watched like the first three episodes. Does it get better?
Feb. 22nd, 2010 05:59 pm (UTC)
Oh and as to your question, yeah. I wanted all the Voyagers in a set but was like....!!!? No way I'm paying that. I pretty much will only buy films on DVD, if it's something my husband and I stamp a 'must have'. Otherwise it can get expensive.
(no subject) - jongibbs - Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ajjones - Feb. 23rd, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Feb. 23rd, 2010 06:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ajjones - Feb. 23rd, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 22nd, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
That's a great price for the Farscapes! I'm sure I paid a lot more for mine, as I acquired them one DVD at a time.

It's been a long time since I bought anything, though. I've pretty much decided to stop acquiring physical media. My husband and I mostly just rent stuff through AppleTV/iTunes and Netflix (the "watch instantly" feature is great even though not all their content is available that way yet).
Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
I suspect the 'watch instantly' kind of deal will become the norm at some point.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
I think it depends on how avid you are- I owned literally no television shows on DVD until I began watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was completely hooked but I still didn't buy any until I found seasons 1-5 at Walmart for 15 bucks each. I saw the same sets at Borders for 35 dollars each- for me that would have been too much.

Farscape is cool- I have seen a couple of the episodes on Netflix so far.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean. I have similar feelings about CDs, especially when I bought the original recordings on vinyl.

Farscape is loads of fun :)
Feb. 22nd, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
Anything is too much. I can't see buying TV shows on DVD when there are scads of things to watch should I indulge. I rarely buy DVDs of movies either. When the kids were little and watched the same movies over and over again, fine. Now?? It has to be something I REALLY want to own.

At the moment, my DVD collection consists of Billy Elliot, The Labyrinth, The Princess Bride, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, Kinky Boots, the original Star Wars trilogy, Saint Ralph (GREAT, mostly unknown movie), Stardust, Dogma, Lady Hawke, To Wong Fu Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar, Everything Is Illuminated, Hot Fuzz and (brace yourself) Role Models.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
Once you have The Princess Bride and Hot Fuzz, everything else is just icing on the cake ;)
(no subject) - bogwitch64 - Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
'except these half seasons cost the same amount you'd normally spend for a full season of the same length for another show'

Yeah, it makes me feel like they're trying to put one over on me, so I don't buy.

As for Star Trek, I'm sure the actors get a big percentage or something, but I still think it's taking advantage of the fans.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 06:31 pm (UTC)
I picked up the complete series of Rome for $40. Money well spent. :)

I bought seasons 1-2 of Alias for something like $20 each. I'm thinking about buying the rest if they come down to $15 each or something. Lost is something I may buy the whole series if it ends well. I do own the entire series of Battlestar Galactica as well, ranging from $20 - $35 a season.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:22 pm (UTC)
Usually, if you're prepared to wait about a year, you can find a season from most TV shows on DVD for $25 or less, at least for a while.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
I totally know what you mean, Star Trek, CSI...they are waaay over priced, most I will pay for a season of a show is $60 which I know is waaay high, I will only go there if I really want it.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
I go up to $45 if it's for Senior Management, but if it's something I like, I'll wait until it's around the $30 mark.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 06:34 pm (UTC)
I just placed my order for the Farscape - thanks for the link!

When it comes to TV shows on DVD, I'm all in, though I do shop around before I buy anything, and I'm not afraid of buying used. I used to rent series at Blockbuster, but now that they break them down and charge you $30 to a rent a whole season, I'd rather buy it so I have the option to sell it later. I've purchased series from the used pile at Blockbuster, bought series at yard sales, used eBay, Amazon.com, and just now found a store in the local mall that sells new and used series.

My recent purchases were mostly new - with a 50% off sticker, a 10% membership discount, and a 10% military discount. I spent $160 for 6 series on DVD. Not bad by any means. And now I just bought Farscape from DeepDiscount. I'll have to wait a while until I peruse what else they have to offer or I'll have a huge stack of shows to watch.

As for exactly how much is too much? Well, that depends on the show and the full price. I prefer not to spend more than $30 per season brand new and hot off the presses, and no more than $20 for used seasons or older series, including all shipping fees. For a whole series, I'd pay no more than $20 a season, so something like an 8-season collector's set I'd pay $160, including shipping. But it depends on how many episodes are per season; many seasons a year or so back were too short due to the writer's strike, so I'd pay less for them.

I've gone out and rushed to buy the next in a series I just *have* to finish right away, but mainly I pick up what I can, when I see it for a good deal. So I have quite a variety on my shelves...

And I suppose that's more than you really wanted to know;)

Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:27 pm (UTC)
The few shows the whole family wants to watch on DVD (like The Closer, The Big Bang Theory or Lie to Me) tend to be around the $35 - $40 mark for the first week of release, which is okay.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC)
For me, mostly it depends on who is going to watch it. If it's just me (Dr. Who, e.g.), I don't usually buy them, I try to borrow them. Shows my daughter and I both like (Due South, Mad Men, etc.) I will buy because we sometimes watch them more than once, and I like the bonding opportunity. For a complete season of something, I will spend $35--$45, depending on the show. When I can, I save my Borders Rewards club coupons and get 10 to 30% off!

Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:28 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I loved Due South :)
(no subject) - karen_w_newton - Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 22nd, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC)
I don't have an answer to that. The only TV series I ever bought was Firefly. I think I picked it up at Costco for $20 for the complete show, which is only 14 episodes. I can't really complain at that price.

I don't normally bother buying a TV show. I've thought about it on occasion, but just never really cared enough to do it, because most of the time, I just watch the show or not. With TiVO, the motivation to get a DVD is a tiny bit diminished, since I just about always get every episode I want to watch recorded to watch at my convience.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
I think we paid about $25 for our copy, which makes it about 2 cents per episode viewing... so far :)
Feb. 22nd, 2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
never taken advantage of!
> I hate to pay out more for something than I think it’s worth,
> especially if I feel I’m being taken advantage of

I 100% agree. Like you, I never buy DVD sets unless prices are completely in my favor.

And oh by the way, would you please bring Farscape Season 1 to our next crit group session? *evil grin*

Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Re: never taken advantage of!
Hehehe, will do, just be sure to remind me a few days before.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
About a buck per time I expect to watch an episode again is my happy comfort zone. Under that, I'll tend to expect to Netflix it.

Exceptions are made for things that are not available to me otherwise. I paid a bit of moolah for season one of QI, for instance.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
QI, I don't think I've heard of that before. What's it about?
(no subject) - incandragon - Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - incandragon - Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:16 pm (UTC)
Nowadays, I don't buy DVDs. I very rarely want to watch something more than once. I've got a Netflix subscription, and my boyfriend and I have watched a lot of TV shows via it. It's a surprisingly nice alternative to cable TV -- for about $15 a month there's a large collection of shows available on instant watch (that's how we've watched Heroes), and we can have two DVDs out at time (which is how we saw the entirety of Torchwood and the first season of the Sarah Connor Chronicles). There's not as many different shows available via instant watch as there are on broadcast/cable, but the depth is much better -- you can catch up on an entire series that you just heard about, in some cases. And of course, no commercials. :)

Several years ago, I did buy the entire run of Babylon V for about $90 a season. My break point was around $5 an hour, then. But B5 is the only show I would ever have paid that much for, definitely, and at that time it was priced in line with most other shows.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but can you watch the Netflix instant watch on TV, or is it a computer thing?

(no subject) - rowyn - Feb. 22nd, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 22nd, 2010 09:55 pm (UTC)
Anything is too much because I'll never have the opportunity to watch them unless my life changes very much more than I expect it to.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC)
It'll change, sooner or later :)
Feb. 22nd, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)
I'll pay anything up to €50 for a 12 hour-long HBO series. Only because I'll watch them several times.
Feb. 22nd, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC)
'Only because I'll watch them several times.'

I think that's the key. If it's something you know you'll watch over and over, it doesn't seem such an expense.
(no subject) - peadarog - Feb. 22nd, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Feb. 22nd, 2010 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
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