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 (July/August)

Family Matters - The Complete Seventh Season Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete First Season Maude - The Complete Final (Sixth) Season Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Three Superstore - Season One

07/08 - The Monkees - The Complete Series (Blu-ray)
07/12 - Grady - The Best of Grady
07/20 - Bob's Burgers - The Complete 5th Season
07/26 - Family Matters - The Complete Seventh Season (WBShop.com)
07/26 - Where's Huddles? - The Complete Series (WBShop.com)
08/02 - Hangin' with Mr. Cooper - The Complete First Season (WBShop.com)
08/09 - Maude - The Complete Final (Sixth) Season
08/23 - Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Season Three
08/23 - Superstore - Season One
08/23 - The Wonder Years - Complete Series (New Slipcase Version)
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Friday, August 26

Bunk'd - "Zuri Weasels Out" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
Hazel makes Zuri a counselor in training in the weasel cabin, much to Hazel's dismay; Jorge and Griff tell Ravi that the camp's horse has a secret talent.

Girl Meets World - "Girl Meets Bear" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
It's a state of emergency in the Matthews household when Riley's childhood teddy bear, Barry, is missing; Riley gathers a search party.

Love Thy Neighbor - "Love Thy Privacy" (OWN, 9:00PM ET/PT)
A heated discussion with Danny's family brings Troy to her limit.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of August 22)

Friday, August 26

  • Jeff Foxworthy (The Jeff Foxworthy Show) - Watch Jeff on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon at 11:34pm on NBC. He also appears live in studio to discuss his new comedy show on People Now at 8:30am. He is a guest on Good Day New York on WNYW-Fox5 in New York sometime between 7-10am.
  • Abby Elliott (Odd Mom Out) - Abby visits The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) - Tituss appears on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly at 1:35am on NBC.
  • Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program) - Sarah chats with the ladies of The View on a repeat on ABC at 11am ET/10am CT-PT.
  • Joel McHale (The Great Indoors/Community) - Joel guest co-hosts a repeat of LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
  • Jurnee Smollett-Bell (On Our Own) - Jurnee appears on a repeat of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so check your local listings. She teams with Mario Batali to dish up Blackened Spicy Garlic Salmon on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Hilary Duff (Younger/Lizzie McGuire) and Sutton Foster (Younger) - Hilary and Sutton are guests on a repeat of The Meredith Vieira Show, so check your local listings.
  • Brandy (Zoe Ever After/The Game/Moesha) - Brandy guest co-hosts a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • John Krasinski (The Office) and Margo Martindale (The Millers) - John and Margo talk about The Hollars on NBC's Today in the 10am hour. Margo will also be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.