I’m currently a lapsed Trekkie, I guess. I don’t have copies of any of the Episodes of any Star Trek Series, in any format, other than the mpg’s that I’m pulling off the air on both The CW Austin and TV Land.
We sold the few laserdisc copies of Star Trek episodes that we did have at the Las Vegas convention The Wife went to. I think she got 25 bucks for the first season of Star Trek and all of the Babylon 5 disks that were made. Compare that to the much larger amount that we spent obtaining those disks, and you begin to understand the disgust that I feel right now. C’est la vie.
As for becoming a Trekkie in good standing again, I’m waiting for everyone to sell off their old copies of the Star Trek DVD’s so that I can get a copy of my own on the cheap. You can’t be a confirmed Trekkie if you don’t possess at least one copy of the show. Look it up in the regulations, don’t complain to me about it.
The fact that I don’t own a copy of Star Trek in any format can be blamed directly on my experiences with attempting to collect the more recent series I mentioned, Babylon 5. I had a few choice words for Warner Brothers over that debacle:
I noticed that the B5 episodes are coming out on DVD. I’d like to state, for the record: I love B5, it is one of the best SF shows ever to see broadcast. I would also like to state, for the record: I will not be buying the DVD’s until season 3 is available due to previous experiences with Warner Bros. and video releases of B5.
We were told, when the laserdisc format episodes were released, that all the episodes would be available in that format, that there wasn’t going to be a release on DVD (I believe they said ‘ever’), and that the widescreen formats DID NOT EXIST (even though we had been assured by those who worked on the production that the shooting was done that way). This was all told to us by representatives of WB.
My wife and I foolishly, in hindsight, bought LD’s as they came out, instead of waiting for them all to be available. WB only released seasons 1 & 5, half of 2, and half of 4. None of 3 ever saw LD format. If you add it up, 40 bucks a disk, 12-14 disks a season, that comes to about $1700 that was wasted on those disks, which are worthless now; worthless, not because the format is dead (I generally watch a laserdisk at least two times a week) but because the series is incomplete, and is missing THE BEST EPISODES.
Time pases, SciFi shows the episodes, and low and behold, the widescreen versions do indeed exist. Now they are releasing the ‘entire series’ again, this time on DVD’s, one season at a time.
As the saying goes “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I’ll wait for the episodes I need to make a complete set. I’ll be glad to make a even trade with WB, episode for episode, for all of the B5 that I already own on LD format. From where I’m sitting, ya’ll would be getting quite a bargain.
I now own the Babylon 5 DVD’s, because they were finally all released in that format. The funds wasted on the Laserdiscs have left a sour taste in my mouth when it comes to attempting to collect other television programs in any format.
Just when I was ready to spring for Star Trek DVD’s, the remastered versions show up, as well as the newly conceived format of HD-DVD. And I get that feeling that I could have wasted money again.
So, once again, I’m not buying anything else media related until I know what the eventual result of the format wars will be. When ya’ll (the bigwigs in the media conglomerations) figure out which end is up, let the rest of us know, will you? Until then, I’m duping on-air copies of programs and burning them to disk myself.
Of course, they could offer to upgrade previously purchased media to the new format (as I suggested they do with the B5 Laserdiscs) but I’m sure they don’t see any reason to cut into their profits and offer to make good on their take on intellectual property rights, their take being that I don’t have the right to duplicate my purchased copies of their intellectual property for my own use,
make good on their interpretation of property rights and guarantee that the average user doesn’t need to duplicate their copy protected material in order to keep using our previously purchased copies of copyrighted material.
Consequently, I don’t see any need to run out and line their pockets with money that I can ill afford to spend right now, purchasing copies of media that will be defunct and in need of replacement a few years down the road. The cost of digital cable and blank DVD media is a bargain in comparison.
Blu-ray won the format wars. No one remembers that HD-DVD ever existed. Hell, most people don’t even understand why buying your own copy of a thing was ever important. You can just stream whatever it is you want from the cloud these days. Until you can’t, and then it’s too late to go looking for a copy you can play while offline.
There never were widescreen versions of the finished Babylon 5 episodes:
Knowing that would have saved us all a lot of time and trouble.