Home Media Magazine - November 11-17, 2007 - (Page 16)
COMMENTARY www.homemediamagazine.com THE BUZZ BY JOHN LATCHEM, ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR Extras Should Be Just That I recently found myself watching the second season of “My Name Is Earl” on DVD, and one of the episodes, “Get a Real Job,” suggested I find the scratch-and-sniff card in the box to rub certain scents when a number flashed on the screen. Trouble is, the box didn’t have the card. I later learned the card was a Best Buy exclusive. Including the numbers on the DVD version in essence makes the scratch-and-sniff card part of the viewing experience, and without it the numbers can be distracting to anyone who doesn’t know what they are. Anyone wanting to enjoy the full experience of the DVD set had to buy it from Best Buy before the promotion ended, essentially penalizing those who didn’t. A quick Internet search revealed the episode was originally aired with the smell-o-vision promotion and the card was available in various magazines, ANYONE WANTING TO ENJOY THE FULL EXPERIENCE OF THE DVD SET HAS TO BUY IT FROM BEST BUY. THIS MAY BE CROSSING THE LINE AS FAR AS EXCLUSIVES GO. but later reruns omitted the flashing numbers. So the episode could have been put on disc without the numbers, or maybe it was engineered with the idea of including the card in all sets, only to revert to an exclusive later. I applaud Best Buy for pulling off such a shrewd move, but this may be crossing the line as far as exclusives go. The most important content on any DVD is the program itself, be it a film or TV episode. Extra features are icing on the cake, although the big chains have an John Latchem’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org annoying habit of offering bonus content on an extra disc. The retailer can’t be faulted for trying to get a leg up, so decisions about who gets exclusive content really come down to the studios. My general belief is that if it’s good enough to put on a disc at all, it should probably be available for everybody regardless of where they choose to shop. Maybe that means exclusives should be limited to discounts, special packaging or collectibles such as plush dolls or trading cards, all of which have nothing to do with content. Usually I don’t mind not getting an exclusive if it has nothing to do with the enjoyment of the program. But above all else, exclusives shouldn’t detract from the viewing experience. READERS’ FORUM I The following letter is in response to Paramount’s decision to support only HD DVD and not Blu-ray Disc: ONLINE P O L L R E S U L T S As a consumer, I want the best collection possible. In the past four to five years, nothing was more annoying than seeing studios rush my favorite film to DVD and buying it, only to shortly thereafter see that the new extended director’s cut or some special edition was already being advertised. It happened on every title I loved Black Hawk Down, Lord of the Rings, Tombstone, etc. In fact, the only thing worse than spending my hard-earned money on a new title to add to my collection was selling off that title and upgrading to the newer version, only to see almost no difference at all other than a few minutes of added footage or a new commentary track. So if consumers are anything like me, I think they are a bit jaded after seeing their collections so easily outdated. In your article you mentioned that the guy who would buy Pirates of the Caribbean could also be counted on to buy titles for friends and family. I don’t believe that lack of hit titles are the reason sales are declining. Instead, I would like to point out that in the past, all DVDs were essentially created equal. All we had to know to buy a DVD for a gift was that the intended recipient owned a DVD player. That is no longer the case as we now must remember not only if they own a DVD player, but if it’s standard, HD DVD or Blu-ray, and frankly it’s not worth the guess. The downward sales trend also has nothing to do with the stacks of DVDs in my living room. I am proud to keep adding to my collection, but until the format war has been decided, I see no reason to spend money on one format only to find out six months from now that it is losing ground in the high-def war and my system is already on its way to being outdated before I can even get it out of the box. This business is my livelihood, but as a consumer I am halting all DVD purchases until I feel secure that my next purchase will be the right one. I want to upgrade my collection, but why buy standard DVDs anymore when I can get it in HD? And why buy HD if I don’t know which player to buy it for? Again, I am sure I am not alone in this. My solution: Either the war is resolved or companies need to focus on dual-format players. As a consumer, if both formats are going to exist, then only with an affordable dual-format player will I be willing to once again buy DVDs with the same passion and fervor as in years past. Wes F. Las Vegas Results for last week’s question: * I Question What type of special features are most beneficial? Holding Paramount Accountable Regardless of what the real reason is for Paramount’s decision to support only HD DVD format, it’s not going to reverse direction unless there is a reason to do so. The only place Paramount can be hurt is in its bottom line. Blu-ray was seemingly winning the HD war, and then, “out of the Blu,” Paramount announces that it will no longer support the format. First, weren’t there some contractual agreements prior to launching the formats? Is there a legal course of action? What about a class-action suit by owners of Blu-ray players that were told by Paramount that it would support the format and made purchasing decisions based on this promise. I think they should be liable for refunding the purchases of all Blu-ray players because they misled the public. Greg D’Auria Norwich, Conn. I The following letter is in response to Thomas K. Arnold’s editorial “The Hits Need Some Help” (HM, Oct. 7-14, 2007), in which he said box office hits alone aren’t enough to keep the home media industry afloat: I Answers A: Commentary 12% B: Deleted Scenes 24% C: Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes 48% D: Games 1% E: Bloopers/Gag Reel 15% Go to www.homemediamagazine.com and vote on this week’s question. * Results based on Web site respondents We Want to Hear From You! Please send letters to: Editor, Home Media Magazine 201 East Sandpointe Ave., Suite 500 Santa Ana, CA 92707 E-mail: HomeMediaMagazine@questex.com Fax: 714.338.6712 Include name, business address (city and state) and telephone number. Letters are subject to editing. The Culprit Is HD After reading your recent article, I felt obligated to write you with a few thoughts. I receive this magazine because I am a retailer of video games and DVDs, but I am also an avid DVD collector myself. My personal collection is at 150 titles, and I keep another 177 titles on a wish list. In fact, every time I rent a DVD I really like, I immediately add it to that list. The wish list used to be a fairly balanced affair, as incoming DVDs were added to my collection at about the same rate as new titles were added to the list, but recently that list is growing and growing. The main reason is that I have completely stopped buying DVDs. In fact, despite my love for the format, I haven’t bought a single DVD in all of 2007. In previous years, I could be counted on to buy 30 to 40 titles per year. Am I alone? I don’t think so. Why the complete halt? Join Us Online: www.homemediamagazine.com Visit our Web site to participate in discussion boards and weekly polls on the latest industry issues. 16 Home Media Magazine November 11–17, 2007
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Home Media Magazine - November 11-17, 2007
Top 20 DVD Sellers
Top 20 Rentals and Top 10 Charts
Christian Entertainment Review
Home Media Magazine - November 11-17, 2007
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