Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Xena DVDs and quality

Things getting a little heated around here, so I want to sort of go over something concerning the Xena DVDs.

Shawn, replied to the movie thread stating that the quality of the DVDs may have played a role in the sets not selling well, especially the first two seasons.

While Shawn acknowledges the fact that the series was shot in 16mm film for the first two and a half seasons, he misses the mark in that it's the reason why people simply didn't buy the series on DVD.

Quality had little to do with it. The extras on the first two seasons definitely had some role to play in poor sales and the quality did suck. Kinda hard to justify spending $60 on a DVD set for just the series or $60 on a set for a couple of interviews and cheezy photo gallery.

Of the people who didn't buy the early sets, the biggest reason was cost and content. Not quality.

There are lots of reasons why some people didn't buy the sets. One, is money. That's probably the biggest reason of them all. Two, is availability. If you lived outside of where the series was sold (I'll get to the Internet in a moment), you were out of luck. The series was available at such places as: Best Buy, Circuit City, Media Play, Sam Goodey, F.Y.E., Target, Wal*Mart, K-Mart, Target. Three, the Internet. Some people just don't like to buy things on the Internet.

Reasons two and three are weak and at best are often a copout.

The fourth reason could be that people simply didn't know. If they didn't get the Sunday paper with all the ads, they were out of luck. The series wasn't advertised on TV that much. I can only think of a couple of adverts I saw: one was on Oxygen and the other on Sci-Fi Channel.

The fifth reason is that I sometimes think that fans get this thing into their heads that says: Xena was the really popular show and that everyone watched it and everyone will buy it. I've been in the fandom for (figuratively speaking, ten years but it's really more like nine). I don't talk to anyone that I talked when I first got into the fandom. Most of those people stopped watching after the fourth and fifth season. The rest didn't seem to care about the series after it ended and left the fandom a short time after that.

Why? I can tell you that the biggest reason I know of and it is, ironically the fandom drove many of these people off. This pretty is because of the petty arguments, lack of respect and general vile that gets spewed when people their view is the only view and everyone else is just ignorant. (It's the number reason why I go into a shell or go off on a tirade on the fandom at times because I'm sick of seeing people saying that because you don't see it this way you're an idiot.)

The sixth reason could be the quality, but I think that had little to do with the overall sales. In the later seasons (three to six), there would have been little excuse for people not to buy the sets based on quality because they were shooting in 35 mm film.

You're going to get compression no matter what. They used the masters and then digitized the film with enhanced Dolby 5.1 surround. (Note, the series masters were in Dolby 2.0.) In the end, what we got is no worse than what most shows filmed using similar stock. Could it have been better? Yeah, if you're willing to put up the cost to do it. But most fans were happy just getting the series onto DVD.

(Btw, I don't know what your problem is. I have a HD-DVD player and a 42-inch LCD with 1080i and the series looks fine to me and it looks better than a standard DVD.)

If they were to have done what you wanted Shawn, which was totally clean up the film---it would have put an individual set about $20 or $30 more. Now, you might be able to afford that. Most can't.

It comes down to cost and people just simply not caring enough to buy the sets.

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