Saturday, May 28, 2011

Digital Digest: What About Used DVDs?

Happy Memorial Day weekend, and welcome to Digital Digest, your weekly place for all things digital in the world of sitcoms! We have another slow news week again, but in addition to our regular news and preview of Tuesday's DVD releases, we have somewhat of a follow-up to a story that we brought you a few weeks ago about Home Media on a Budget, where this week, we'll talk exclusively about used DVDs. Let's get going!


DIGITAL NEWS

The series I Love Lucy is about to have another milestone anniversary, as it approaches 60 years with the 60th anniversary coming up, but that anniversary isn't going unnoticed. Just in time for the anniversary, on June 21, CBS Home Entertainment will be releasing The Best of I Love Lucy, a two-disc collection of fourteen classic and memorable episodes of the series. But it won't be receiving a wide retail release, at least not for now. It'll be available exclusively atTarget for the time being. If a larger retail release is announced at a later date, we'll let you know, of course.

We found this interesting piece of news from TVShowsOnDVD.com. It looks as if Shout! Factory is on the acquisition trail once again, this time with acquiring the rights to release the Universal series Kojak! They say to look for the second season later this year. We'll update you when we know more information.

We told you a while back that The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones, the crossover cartoon movie based upon two classic animated sitcoms, would be coming to DVD soon from Warner Archive. Well, now we have a release date for it, and it is coming very soon. Look for it to be released on June 14 at a $14.95 MSRP. Of course, it is a MOD release only available from Warner Archive.

The website MemoryLane.com has announced some new video-on-demand offerings, including memorable clips from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. You can also watch classic commercials on the website--there are over 1000 available! It appears that the content is available without a subscription for the time being, though that could change in the future. The website was formerly Classmates.com.


UPCOMING WEEK PREVIEW

Tuesday (May 31) has no sitcom releases other than The Abbott and Costello Show - Hit the Road. Other releases include The Red Green Show - The Midlife Crisis Years (you can read our review here) and Rookie Blue - The Complete First Season. We hope to have a review of Rookie Blue soon in Digital Digest.

BLOG FEATURE STORY

What About Used DVDs?

A few weeks ago, we talked about Home Media on a Budget, where we told you about how you can build your collection of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs without breaking your budget. We talked a little bit about used DVDs, but this week, we'll go a bit more in-depth.

When I first started my DVD collection about eight years ago with one DVD set (literally, I only had one lone Family Guy DVD set to start out), I always insisted upon keeping all of my DVDs in pristine condition, which also meant only purchasing brand new DVDs. But as my collection eventually started growing to the nearly 1000 DVD sets that I own today, I realized that buying new DVDs may not be so cost-effective, and began looking into the idea of buying used DVDs.

I was rather reluctant at first. I know how some people treat their DVDs. Some people just take the DVDs out of the package and literally throw the boxes away, and leave the discs sitting on a dusty bookshelf somewhere. When I took my first gamble on a used DVD, I had no idea what to expect, and truly did expect the worst. But, I found that by doing some careful shopping, you can often find used DVDs that look just as good as new.

When you are shopping in a store that specializes in used DVDs, you can often be alleviated of many of your fears before you leave the store. Often times, these stores will leave the boxes items sitting on the shelves, where you can check out the condition of the packaging. You'll often find that, with a few exceptions, most of the items will have packaging that is close to perfect quality, if not perfect. But in many of these stores, the DVDs will not be in the packaging on the shelf, as a security measurement. Instead, the actual discs are often stored behind the cash register, in plastic sleeves. Many times, these stores will actually buff and polish the DVDs before they sell them to you. In fact, I've seen some stores do that as they are checking you out at the register so that they can prove right before your eyes that they are doing their best to give you good quality DVDs. And I've noticed that in many cases, these DVDs look as good, if not better, than many of the ones that I have in my own collection. To top it off, many of these places have return policies that will allow you to return anything that you buy if there is a problem with the set or even if you decide that you just don't like the show, although many will only give in-store credit.

So, while that takes care of the bricks-and-mortar retailers, what about buying used DVDs online? Well, when you shop online, you are taking a little bit more of a risk. You usually don't see any photos of the sets other than a basic stock photograph, and can't get much of an idea of the quality of the set. Sometimes sellers will describe things as being in one condition, when it is actually much worse (although sometimes the opposite occurs). Even worse, some of the larger sellers don't even have time to describe every detail of every set that they sell, so you are essentially in for a crapshoot. This has happened to me before with a large online retailer when I purchased a used DVD set. With no guidance on condition, I bought a DVD set, expecting something decent, and what I ended up getting was a bunch of DVDs inside of Blockbuster rental cases with no original artwork and scratches all over the disc (the retailer was nice enough to give me a refund without even asking me to return the item, however). On the other hand, from the same retailer, I have purchased used DVDs, and ended up receiving DVDs that were still sealed in their original packaging. It is difficult to offer guidance here, as the online retailers will usually be cheaper, but you are in for a big mystery as to what you'll get.

Honestly, I can say that I don't regret my habit of turning to used DVDs in recent years. I've had a few duds here and there, but when that has happened, I've never had trouble getting refunds or store credit for the bad items. It is a much cheaper way to build up a large collection if that is what you are going for, and for those environmentalists out there, it is undoubtedly more Earth-friendly.


LOOKING AHEAD

We'll be back next week for more Digital Digest. We hope to have our review of Rookie Blue - The Complete First Season next week, but that depends upon whether or not we receive a review copy of the set by then. Until then, keep it digital!


New on DVD/Blu-ray (October/November/December)

2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series Hot in Cleveland - Season Five Sgt. Bilko - The Phil Silvers Show - The Complete Series
Family Ties - The Complete Series Happy Days - The Sixth Season The Jeffersons - The Complete Series Mister Ed - The Complete Series Mork & Mindy - The Complete Series

10/07 - The Dick Van Dyke Show - Classic Christmas Episodes
10/07 - The Flying Nun - The Complete First and Second Seasons (Mill Creek)
10/07 - The Middle - The Complete Fifth Season (Warner Archive)
10/07 - The Office - The Complete Series
10/07 - The Wonders Years - Season One
10/10 - The Wonder Years - The Complete Series - TARGET="_blank">Read Our Review / The Signature Edition / Seasons 1-3
10/14 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Third Season
10/14 - Two and a Half Men - The Complete Eleventh Season
10/21 - Married with Children - Seasons 5 and 6 (Mill Crek)
10/21 - The Soul Man - The Complete Second Season
10/21 - Square Pegs - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
10/28 - WKRP in Cincinnati - The Complete Series
11/04 - Hot in Cleveland - Season Five
11/04 - Napoleon Dynamite - The Complete Animated Series
11/04 - Sgt. Bilko (The Phil Silvers Show) - The Complete Series
11/11 - Dads - The Complete Series
11/11 - Family Ties - The Complete Series
11/11 - My Favorite Martian - Best of Collection
11/11 - Taxi - The Complete Series
11/11 - Wings - The Complete Series (Mill Creek)
11/18 - King of the Hill - The Complete Seventh Season / The Complete Eighth Season
11/25 - Better Off Ted - The Complete Second Season
12/02 - Happy Days - The Sixth Season
12/09 - Barney Miller - The Complete Sixth Season
12/09 - The Jeffersons - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mister Ed - The Complete Series
12/09 - Mork & Mindy - The Fourth Season / The Complete Series
12/16 - The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis - The Final (Fourth) Season
12/23 - My Favorite Martian - Season Two - Collector's Edition
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, October 24

Last Man Standing - "School Merger" (ABC, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Mike and Chuck debate the merits of a local ballot measure merging their upscale neighborhood high school with one in the inner city. For Halloween, Ryan dresses up Boyd as a lump of coal – another reminder to Vanessa how her job as a geologist may be hurting the environment.

Cristela - "Mr. Felix and Ms. Daniela" (ABC, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After Daniela’s friend mistakes Cristela for the nanny, tensions flare between the two sisters and surprisingly it is Felix who brings them back together. Meanwhile, Alberto tries to get closer to Cristela in an unexpected way.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of October 20) (All times ET unless noted)

Friday, October 24

  • Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld) - Watch Jerry on a repeat of The Late Show with David Letterman at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Sarah appears on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • John Mulaney (Mulaney) - John is a guest on a repeat of Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) - Melissa appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother/Stark Raving Mad/Doogie Howser, M.D.) - Neil discusses his new autobiography on The Talk on CBS at 2pm ET/1pm CT-PT.
  • Sean Hayes (The Millers/Sean Saves the World/Will & Grace) - Sean visits The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings.
  • Amy Yasbeck (Wings) - Amy talks about the legacy of her late husband, John Ritter, and the foundation created in his honor on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.
  • Suzanne Somers (Three's Company/Step by Step) - Suzanne chats on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • Analeigh Tipton (Manattan Love Story) - Analeigh is a guest on The Better Show, so check your local listings.
  • John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun/Twenty Good Years) - John talks A Delicate Balance on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am.
  • Jenny Slate (Married/Parks and Recreation) - Jenny chats about her book (Marcel the Shell: The Most Surprised I've Ever Been) on NBC's Today in the 9am hour.
  • Laurence Fisburne (black-ish) - Laurence appears on The Queen Latifah Show on your local station or at 2am on BET.