So here’s something interesting I came across the other day ( According to the article, fourth quarter shipments of DVD’s fell 32% in the U.S. and Canada: “The drop is the biggest since the industry-funded researcher started keeping track in 1997.” It goes on to blame the consumer shift toward digital media services like iTunes and Netflix, echoing what many have been saying with regard to the apparent drop in television audiences over the past several years.

Of course, from personal experience, the connection isn’t that clean-cut. After all, I don’t download programming, nor do I rent movies. And yet, I’ve gone from purchasing 5-6 DVD’s a week to 1 every couple of months. So what happened?

Well, for starters, Blu-ray happened. While a part of me appreciates the technological advancement, another part of me (specifically, that part now saddled with a room full of second-rate DVD’s) does not. Granted, Blu-ray players are backward compatible, allowing me to view both the gorgeous new Blu-ray DVD’s as well as my old, shitty ones, but I’ve yet to pick one up. There’s the cost of the new player, the extra costs of the DVD’s, and the fact that many, many titles are not yet available on Blu-ray. And then there’s the admittedly irrational notion that they’ll come up with something even better in the interim, making the Blu-ray obsolete. I used to be an impulse shopper, picking up any DVD that struck my fancy but now, I think twice and three times before picking a title up. I won’t pick up the Blu-ray version because I can’t play it, and I won’t pick up a regular DVD because they’re going the way of the dodo and I feel as though I’d be essentially throwing my money away – especially since I’m going to be picking up that Blu-ray player sooner or later (much, MUCH later). And yet even though I don‘t own one, I’ve already become extremely selective about the titles I plan to include in my new and improved Blu-ray library. While I’ll probably get movies like Iron Man and The Dark Knight, those smaller titles I used to pick up will no longer make the cut. After all, do I really need to see The Secret Life of Bees in glorious HD?

Then there’s the fact that, simply put, most of the movies coming out of Hollywood are not very good. Frankly, most of my past purchases were TV on DVD, but the convenience of personal video records (Tivo, PVR, DVR) has obviated the need to add anymore to my collection.

And, finally, there’s the fact that I just don’t watch as much as I used to. I’m busier – out and about, enjoying life, working, reading, and, of course, writing these blog entries.


Thornyrose writes: “So when do the cameras actually begin rolling on Universe?”

Answer: Soon, soon.

Thornyrose also writes: “Is it safe to say that most of the production people, such as Bam-Bam, Joel Goldsmith, and others we’ve grown used to will be coming aboard Universe also?”

Answer: Yep.

Paloosa writes: “I know you’re in SGU mode, but I mention this only because it’s Friday night and after so much trauma I just wanted to sit down, relax and enjoy ATLANTIS!”

Answer: Hope you’re on the mend.

Belouchi writes: “1. hows Jason Mamoa fairing … hope all is well?

2. Joe, that almost depleted ZPM that was replaced after the events of Lifeline by the stolen one from the asurans, was it depleted?

3. Can we assume the Tria is salvageable?

4. Can we assume the Daganian ZPM is lost forever and will never be procured by our intrepid Atlantis team?

5. The Atlantis replica city from this Mortal Coil wasn’t total obliterated by Oberoth’s ship, is there a chance that our team can salvage it or strip it from its drones?

6. I have just rewatched all 100 episodes of Stargate Atlantis and I can confidently confirm that at least 29 Hive Ships were destroyed and at least 6 cruisers, would it be correct to assume that these numbers will go higher after project twilight?

7. Is the Sun-Tzu, the ship, Chinese owned or USAF?”

Answers: 1. Last I heard, he was well.

2. TBD.

3. If it was salvageable, it would have already been salvaged.

4. We can make that assumption for now.

5. It’s gone. And our team wouldn’t know where to look for it.

6. Not necessarily.

7. It’s a Chinese-crewed ship.

Blademos writes: “1. Ummm….. Where can I get the song Teyla sings during the ring ceremony?

2. Would you write more for SGA if you were given the green light?

3. Im sitting here watching an episode of SG-1 where the oddesy goes to Atlantis. How come there was no super gates in the SGA series that could allow them to get home?

4. Where can I get some Banana Cake with Caramel Ice Cream and Pecan Crumble?

5. Are you going to be at the next Comic Con?

6. What ever happen to Lt. Ford when the hive ship went BOOM?

7. I bet this one will not be last one. When writing for the SGA series did you have countless nights about what you were going to hear, when Brad Wright and MGM said it was time for SGA to come to its end even tho it was in its Prime stage?”

Answers: 1. Don’t know. Sorry.

2. Sure.

3. Because they never came across any.

4. Market in the Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver.

5. Nope.

6. We can assume we went down (or “up” as the case may be) with the ship.

7. Not really. Like I said, season 6 was a longshot – but that didn’t make the news of the cancellation any less disappointing.

PG15 writes: “So I’m assuming filming will begin on Monday, then?”

Answer: You assume incorrectly.

Johnny E! writes: “Hey Joe, ever thought about twittering? It is a great way to shortly get out some info on what you are doing.”

Answer: Nope, no desire to add yet one more complication to my already far-too-complicated life.

Nemi writes: “Is there a place where I can buy a Stargate Atlantis leather jacket?”

Answer: Sorry. No idea.

Major Davis writes: “1. What month will the atlantis movie film and is there still a chance that it will be released in late 09?

2. is it possible to have Colin come back and play major davis in the movie cause he was awesome in enemy at the gate.

3. When will the Children of the gods remake be released, will it be soon?

4. Who will be directing air?

5. Is there any way on earth us fans will be able to find out the nielsens ratings for vegas?”

Answers: 1. The production schedule has yet to be finalized and I doubt it would be available for a ‘09 release.

2. No plans to have Major Davis in the movie.

3. Not sure.

4. Andy Mikita.

5. I’m sure they’ll come out eventually.

Liberationbc writes: “It is simply a shame that “fine” dining must be had at the expense of the animals who suffered for this “food.””

Answer: Let’s be frank. Any dining, fine or otherwise, that involves the consumption of meat can be considered cruel. Whether it’s foie gras or organic, free-range chicken, an animal is giving up its life. People who tut-tut-tut the force-feeding of geese while chowing down on their KFC hot wings are just as hypocritical as, say, vegetarians who fixate on meat-eaters yet have little concern for the human cost of the fruits and vegetables they enjoy. Everything comes with a price, from the car you drive to the chocolate you eat. It falls on the individual to make a hopefully informed choice and draw his or her own line. Whenever possible, I opt for local, organic, free-range product because, at the end of the day, I prefer to support it over mass-produced beef and battery chicken. And if someone eventually produces a more humane version of foie gras, I’ll be the first in line to pick some up.

64 thoughts on “January 31, 2009: I’ll take a DVD, an eight-track cassette, and a tincture of laudanum

  1. I’ve never known how many DVDs I buy. There are some I pre-order like Stargate and others I pick up on a whim. I don’t think my habits have changed over the years. Haven’t got a blu-ray. I’ll wait until it all stabilises, see if/when the next thing comes out. My friend however has a rule – the $20 rule. She won’t buy a DVD unless it’s under $20.

    I loan mine out to family and close friends. I’m very tempted to catalogue them (Koha perhaps – how nerdy is that 🙂 ). All I’ve got at the moment is a quick inventory. What does everyone else use to catalogue or inventory their DVD collections?

    Cheers, chev

  2. @Libertionbc: Knowing Joe is a foodie, why would you read this blog if it bothers you so much? Eat your tofu and sprouts and stop insulting others for their personal choices. PETA is looking pretty ridiculous these days (human breast milk ice cream, really?), just check out their Super Bowl commercials. Crap, I’m so sorry that cucumber had to give up its life for you to eat it. Peace.

    @Joe, hi! The food looked fabulous, and all I have in this town is Mildred’s Big City Food (Chef Bert does know his stuff, though…)! Otherwise, when, when, when do we get Joel’s Q&A? Glad to hear he’ll be part of SGU! Have a good Sunday!

  3. Joe – can ya pass me the laudanum? 😛

    I’m with you – I held off switching from VHS to DVD because I wanted to make sure DVD would be around a while. Ha. When I finally made the switch I bought up a bunch of films…mostly classics from the 30s/40s which I fear will one day will be gone forever. But now I’m not buying anything except those I *must* own – first the cost, and second, the ever-changing technology. It’s just not worth it anymore, and – like you – I don’t watch as much as I used to.

    What I find is happening to me is that the more there is (technology, info, entertainment), the less I partake. I’ve certainly experienced an overload, and find myself using the computer less, except for nonsense like forums, and watching less tv (despite having a bazillion channels), and just basically disinterested in putting more into my brain than is necessary.

    Guess I’m just getting old… 😛


  4. I have a Blu-ray player even though the only Blu-ray disc I own is Continuum. I like watching my regular DVDs in the Blu-ray player but if I don’t watch the whole episode the player doesn’t start from where it left off when it gets turned on again. So I mostly watch on my older DVD player unless I’m going to sit through the whole movie in one sitting.

  5. I used to buy DVDs all the time but now I buy them only once in awhile. And I usually wait until they come down in price. I finally bought Mars Attacks because it was only $4 and I was too cheap to pay $10 for it.

    I also used to watch TV all the time. But then the writers strike happended and when the reruns hit I turned my TV off and now watch only a few hours a week compared to a few hours a day that I used to watch.

    Now that I’m finished my degree I can finally read again and that’s where all my money (and time) goes – although since I work at a bookstore I do get a nice discount 🙂

  6. It has been so long since you told us any funny doggy stories.

    At this time of year the weather is so grey and dreicht and spring seems so far away (and no Atlantis to watch) we really need to hear humorous stories to cheer us up.

    I am sure that your pack keeps you entertained.

    My two cats are really nice cats – but they are young and adventurous and always getting into trouble or trying to beat the crap out of each other. Frankie doesn’t realise yet that girls are mean fighters – his sister, Merlin, has got paws like boxing gloves…. she usually wins the fights. It costs me quite a bit in vets fees to fix Frankie’s infected cuts.


  7. Joe,

    From everything I have read the Sci-Fi channel wants to air it in 2009. I would rather see what happens to Atlantis after Enemy at The Gate, this year rather than next year. As much as I am looking forward to Universe, I would like to see Atlantis at the end of the year. So will it air on Sci-fi first then DVD or DVD then Sci-fi?

  8. I think you’re right about Blu-Ray having something to do with the decline in DVD sales. I, too, have yet to get a player, but think I may eventually. Say, when there simply isn’t any other alternative. I don’t think it will completely make all my DVDs obsolete, though. I have no intention of getting rid of my DVD player, as long as there are still compatible TVs to plug it into (or, especially, computers that will play DVDs, as that’s more common for me). After all, I still have a VCR and a large stack of VHS movies that I may pop in from time to time. Sure, the quality keeps improving, but I don’t think that necessarily means the older version becomes utter crap. Besides, I hate that, by coming out with newer technology all the time, they’re basically forcing us to continue to buy the same product over and over again. Which is why most of the movies I have on VHS, I haven’t bothered buying again on DVD. Like you, if and when I get a Blu-Ray, I’ll probably be focusing on the films that will really benefit from it. Just like there are some movies I really prefer on DVD, while I don’t mind watching Dumb and Dumber on VHS.

    But I think the fact that they’ve given us the choice to make, between DVD and Blu-Ray, is at least part of what’s caused people to just not bother at all.

  9. chevron7 —

    I, too, refuse to buy a DVD unless it’s under $20 (though if it’s a multi-disc set or special edition of one I really want, I might make an exception, or if it’s a new release of a movie I just absolutely have to have right now). And for most DVDs, even that’s too much.

    I used to keep better track of cataloging my movies. I’ve run out of shelf space, so a bunch of them are in one of those big CD folders, which really isn’t as nice to look at, and is a bit more difficult to keep organized when I buy new DVDs. I really should keep an updated list, though.

  10. I know what you mean about DVD’s Joe. My current collection is upwards of 300 dvd’s but since bluray came out i almost completely stopped buying dvd’s. I want to switch over to bluray, but i don’t feel like spending the money on the player and all the dvd’s i’d need to upgrade so for the moment i’m just not buying anything aside from Dark Knight, the SG1 movies and the direct to dvd Futurama movies.

  11. I’m glad to see someone else is wrestling with the issues of blu-ray/HD dvds vs. regular dvds. My own purchasing of DVDs is also down.Partially because I’m finding it harder to sit and watch them all, and partially because it seems as if there are fewer and fewer I am interested in. I in fact purchase more than I am really prefer too simply because my father no longer goes to the movies. Nor do I download very many shows or movies. And something that should be obvious is that in a time of economic downturn, things like dvd purchases are naturally going to be one of the first things to suffer. After all, a new dvd release will buy one of those KFC dinnner for four. And most people still seek food for the body before food for the mind, even if it’s junk food.
    Thanks for the mailbag. As for Blademos’s request on “Teyla’s song”, I’ve settled for bookmarking a couple of youtube videos that have the song. If Goldsmith ever releases another soundtrack of Atlantis, I would hope that it could be negotiated to put that track onto the album.
    Just one last matter Mr. M. No predictions from Cookie Monster and/or Baron Destructo about how the big game plays out tomorrow? Please consider polling them on their opinions and giving us at least a brief post before the game…again, many thanks for all the work you put in here, and yea, at the studio too.

  12. But until the screw the birds *g*

    Btw, you look at twitter all wrong – the whole point of twitter is you can only write SHORT messages, much more productive not to have to write tons of words in a blog 😉

  13. DVD and Blu-ray. LOL. I feel your anguish over the shift in technology and owning obsolete formats! Let me tell you a technology story ….

    I was stationed in Japan when both VCR and Betamax came out. The movies were horribly expensive, about $75 each, in both formats. The Navy exchange carried stuff not yet seen in the states. About half of us ended up with VHS, the rest had betamax. This is in the days when you bought 6 hour tapes and crammed as many shows as you could onto them. (Archaic hint: never record porn on the same tape as movies you’re sharing at the division BBQ; you get remarks like, “They’re wrestling! Mommy and daddy wrestle all the time”)

    At that time, I even had a CED player … played large discs with a needle!!!! Should have hung onto that, but it and the movies in their plastic sleeves were quite heavy.

    Next was laser; I upgraded my machine twice and still have many movies in that format, including the original Star Wars set before it was redone. Not hooked up, but on the shelf, I think it still works.

    The move to DVD was simple once the prices came down. I was in no rush. Next, I bought a DVD-R/vhs combo machine; a real lemon and is still in the shop. The plan is to transfer the tapes to disc, I have many eclectic and odd Bad Movies I don’t think I can replace.

    I don’t have a big TV, and H-D isn’t on my horizon. Why bother when I do not have hi-def eyes anymore? As for Blu-ray … yeah, well, there will be new technology soon enough. Again, I am in no rush whatsoever.

  14. Joe, why do you even resond to, which gives a voice to, someone like Libertionbc?

    If they think they are better than you for wanting to eat solely fruits and vegetables grown in chemically inhanced dirt or organically, using animal waste (cow manure dirt mixture), outdoors under the umbrella of polluted skies and rain, sprayed with a cocktail of suspected cancer causing chemicals for bug infestations and to help extend grocery store shelf life, picked by underpaid overworked poor illegal alien migrate workers who sometimes transfer life threatening diseases such as E coli and Salmonella that the government is too understaffed and also overworked to inspect and regulate, which leads to death and nation wide recalls for natural non animal foods as simple as peanuts, and they complain about you eating foie gras? Give me a break! Worry about your diet and not what everyone else is eating. Stop passing judgement.

  15. Ok then, not the 4th.

    I’m assuming it’ll be the 11th then? Pictures? Yes please? 😀

    As long as they continue to release DVDs, I’ll be buying them. I watch everything on my computer anyway, so it’s no difference. In fact, the last (*sniff*) Futurama movie is coming out in a few weeks, and I’ll be getting that. Then, some time later, I’ll be getting the SGA Season 5 boxset.

    And then the 3rd SG1 movie, and the 1st SGA movie, and the season 1 of SGU, and the season 2 of SGU, and the season 3 of SGU…hmm…I need to save up.

    Blu-Ray? Ehhh…I don’t ever purchase DVDs of random movies anyway, even if I loved it (which is a moot point right now since I haven’t seen a movie in theatres since Harry Potter 5). If they release SGU in Blu-Ray, THEN I’ll probably, finally, get a Blu-Ray player…which will be built into a new computer I’ll be getting at the same time.

    @ das: Lol, so THAT’s how your name came to be. I like that. 😀 How do you pronounce “Deirdre” anyway? Is it like “Dear-dra”? Enlighten me please. 😉

    Sorry to hear about the craptacular day you were having. Maybe it’s time to revisit the doctor’s office again? Isn’t it a bad sign if Pneumonia gets worse like this? Whatever happens, I wish you good luck!

    And yes, it was the “d as in DESTINY” (haha, now you must sing it again. :D) that flicked that “on-switch” in the ole’ noggin of mine.

  16. Joe,

    I just wanted to let you know my packaged arrived safe and sound today, thank you! I’m already deep into one of the short story collections that I didn’t have yet. Did you get the short story “Nigerian Scam” that I sent?

    re: DVD purchases, these days it’s not so much the cost of the DVD as much as the time it takes to watch it. We pretty much save ourselves for the blockbusters that we can’t watch in the theatres because we’re so busy with the kids.

    @ Liberationbc –

  17. My dad has over 500 movies on DVD (he doesn’t believe in renting movies and DVD bargain bins at Wal-Mart were made for him). The threat of Blu-Ray has not curbed his DVD purchasing; no interesting new releases and nothing new in the bargain bin has.

    And considering the man kept a single VCR player running for fifteen years, I’m sure we’ll be well past Blu-Ray by the time his DVD player finally packs it in and he has to buy something new.

    As for me, I don’t buy movies often enough. I always say I need to get such and such on DVD and it never happens. In the end, I suppose that’s cheaper.

  18. wow i can’t believe liberationbc commented on your blog. Well, good for you for defending food and foie gras. By the way, what does foie taste like?

  19. All I can say is that I still have my first record player with about 200 LPs and my first gaming system the Atari.

    I remember the whole VHS/Beta thing. It was 1985. I was 7 and my mom made my dad buy a color tv for March madnness. That following weekend we went to the video store and rented a VHS player for a week. The VHS I saw was Firestarter. My dad also rented Star Wars, E.T., and Close Encounters. It was the first time I got to see any of those movies. Hey, I just figured out why I like Sci-Fi so much!

  20. Hey Joe.

    Yeah, I don’t have a BlueRay either…..yet. Althought, I did mention to the people at my work today that when I return from my Florida vacation, I’m going to look into buying for the new HDTV LCD Flatscreen TV I bought the other day for my room…….maybe………considering that all the movies I’d want to get for on BR I already have on DVD……..hmmm…..

    Thanks Joe.


    **@ Liberationbc**:

    Hahahahahahahahaha………your comment actually made me laugh!!! So, I assume that you’re a vegetarian. Well, do you grow your own fruits and vegetables? Do you spend hours and hours watering and planting and nuturing and whatever else you have to do to grow “organic” food? Exactly.

  21. Grrr…..why does the picture on my comment ALWAYS turn out the same? Does this happen to everyone? I always end up being a purple Christmas tree with wings……

  22. Thanks Joe! I was cleared to give my quake walk today, so I figured if I was going to croak, walking up the trail would probably do it. The “Big One” has a whole new meaning for me now.

    Your insight into the DVD dilemma is interesting. Of all the movies ever made only a small percentage were ever transferred to VHS. An even smaller percentage of all VHS titles were transferred to DVD. And a miniscule percentage of available DVD titles will be transferred to Blu-ray. I know this because my second job is for a company that locates older films, mostly available only on hard to find VHS. Whatever older DVD titles you truly value, keep. Most of them will never be transferred to Blu-ray.

    And although Blu-ray technically is visually stunning to watch, it still can’t beat a great story well told, even if it’s on VHS. Let me know if you’re looking for any older titles, I’d be happy help.

  23. Oh, I dunno about that whole obsolete thing. I’m still picking up VHS tapes at Wal-Mart every now and then. (They seem to have a ton leftover from when they actually were the mainstream way to watch a movie at home…) They’re really cheap, too! I don’t mind VHS, but then again, we only have like a 20 inch TV, so I don’t notice the difference as much as you would on a nicer one 🙂

    Teyla’s song really is beautiful. It’d be awesome if it were on the soundtrack. But, of course, it isn’t.

  24. I like just reading the answers to the list questions you’re given.

    1. no.

    2. Fried chicken.

    3. Only at noon.

    It makes life more interesting.


  25. I also don’t buy as many DVDs as I used to but my main reason is that I really can’t afford to and I think with the struggling economy and the rise of unemployment people are thinking twice about their impulse shopping. I have two jobs now and I still can’t afford to buy much of anything. In the last year I bought more books than I did DVDs and have been reading more than I watch TV, movies or otherwise. There are still some that I will buy whether I can afford it at the time or not. I know I really shouldn’t think like that but I do.

    Speaking of reading, I’m almost done with Ender’s Game and I really, really like it. I was hesitant to start it only because I haven’t really read Sci Fi but this one I’m really enjoying. Usually I can figure out most of the ending of books, but this one’s got me stumped. Thanks for the suggestion.

  26. Oh, I HATE it when I go to bed early, only to wake up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back to sleep. Ugh. Was exhausted (again) tonight, but now…woo! WIDE awake! My sister – who goes to bed at 9pm and wakes at 5 or 6 – swears I’m a vampire because I love being awake in the middle of the night. But I don’t have a taste for blood, and I DO love garlic…so that rules out any true vampiric tendencies.

    I hope…

    @ pg15 – Yeah, I pronounce my name ‘Dear-dra’ – NOT DEEE-dra, or Dear-dree. Ugh. I’ve been called everything from Desiree, to Delores, to…get this…’derriere’…by my wedding DJ when he introduced us. 😕 My husband never forgave the guy for doing that to me…

    I never liked my name as a kid because I got teased a lot – and in school (for some ungodly reason) they always thought it was a boy’s name, so at the beginning of the school year I was always put in the boy’s gym classes and stuff. I really hated it. That was back when they still said the name meant ‘sorrow’, too (they have no idea what it means, now they’ve tried to pin ‘young girl’ to the meaning, but they really don’t know).

    Then I found out it was based on an ancient Irish legend (Deirdre of the Sorrows) about a girl who bashed her head against a rock until her brains came out and she died (thank you, mom!), and suddenly it seemed quite cool. 😀 I like it now, but I have always wondered if it has made me a darker, more negative thinker…growing up knowing my name is based on tragedy, and all. I just have a tendency to think the worst will always happen, whereas my sister – with her nice, normal name – is all positive brightness.

    You really have to be careful what you name your kids…really…especially the easily-impressionable ones. 😛


  27. I dare say, the ladies are going to love him in his black t-shirt.

    I suspect so!

    Of course, your desserts from the other night look even more amazing. I wish one could get that kind of goody around here. I come from more of an apple pie kind of place.

    Yes, the constant upgrade in technology is somewhat irritating. I’m still buying DVDs, mainly because the Blue-Rays are some $20 more expensive. I also suspect the fact that fewer DVDs are being sold goes along with the economy.

  28. I have no intention of getting a Blu-Ray player. Unless you have a large screen TV (at least 40 inches) with 1080P resolution the difference in viewing isn’t noticeable. Besides the forthcoming holo-layer disk is on the horizon with storage capacity over 50 Gigabytes. Also there is memory card storage format. A DVD disk got about 4.7GB of storage, SDHC memory cards is widely available now with 8GB of storage with higher capacity coming onstream.

  29. On the whole DVD/Blu-Ray discussion I have to say it doesn’t play a big part in my buying habits. More likely to influence me is whether a store has what I’m looking for (and whether I consider the price reasonable). I’m not much of an online buyer – I guess I find some comfort out of being able to instantly hold what I spend money on or something (unless I really, really want something hard to find).

    Like you, Joe, a lot of what I buy is TV on DVD, but it’s usually after I’ve watched a show air. As much as I don’t enjoy ads, I find them interesting and I think they add to the whole TV show experience, probably because there are ad-breaks scheduled in for every show anyway. On the other hand it saves time if you don’t have to sit through the adds – a whole 18 minutes or so.

    Which brings me to some questions:

    As a writer of (predominantly) television shows, do you watch other shows when they air or wait for them to come out on DVD?

    Obviously there’s a time thing (being as busy as you are), which could affect whether you want to watch something when it airs, but generally shows are made for ads, so shouldn’t at least some of them be watched as they are ‘meant’ to be?



  30. Oh, oh! I just thought of a good question.

    SG1 and SGA often relied on old SciFi tropes, like time travel, alternate universes, alien sickness, and stuff like that. Will SGU break this trend and do less of them? If so, would it still do them once in a while? I’d love to see at least 1 time travel episode somewhere down the line.

  31. Regarding DVD sales, I think the answer should include the economic situation as well. At least in Germany, DVD sales were on the highest level ever in the 3rd quarter of 2008. Statistics for the 4th quarter aren’t out yet, but if there is a drop like on your side of the Atlantic, I would blame it on the recent recession, rather then on rentals, downloads or blu-ray. People who just lost their savings or their jobs surely buy less nonessentials like DVDs, don’t you think?
    But you have a valid point with blu-ray, it is just annoying to be manipulated by the industry into buying new hardware and media every couple of years.

  32. I haven’t bought any HD kit yet mainly because having spent six years working as an engineer for a high-end visual effects company in London, we were constantly testing bleeding edge HD kit (being owned by Thomson and having Technicolor themselves as a sister company helps) which makes me believe it’s really not worth investing anything more than a couple of hundred pounds/dollars at the moment for such things. HD is still in it’s infancy, and it’ll get much, much better.

    In terms of watching stuff, I tend to go to the cinema and theatre much more. I don’t have a TV as working in film/TV myself I found I got fed up with actually watching the blooming thing when I came home (and besides, the hours were lousy to boot). I rent DVDs and watch them on the computer, which has a perfectly good display for HD anyway as it so happens. As I’m on a Mac, playing Blu-Ray discs isn’t much of an option unless I install Windows. Damn you, Bill Gates! Damn you, Steve Jobs!

    I use iTunes for films, TV programmes. I use BBC’s iPlayer too. The downside to not having cable or satellite is getting the latest episodes of whatever programmes take my fancy – but then again, release dates between broadcast and DVD release is becoming ever decreasingly short being patient pays off.

    But dedicated HD kit now? Not ready for it yet, not matter how gorgeous current HD is.

  33. VHS v Betamax, Cassettes v eight track Whatever the technology there will always be a choice to be made. I too have a zillion VHS tapes under the stairs and the technology (but unfortunately not the time) to convert and clean them up and put them onto DVD, didn’t cost me a fortune and does a real nice watchable job as I refuse point blank to keep on buying the same titles and putting money for old rope in the pockets of the already-richer-than-me, so I borrow dvds and copy them and I don’t give a shit for the copyright laws. I’m not selling them on or otherwise distributing them they are for my consumption alone, If I buy any new titles as I did and do with my various fandoms SG1, SGA, etc I copy them and keep the originals safe from damage/loss (ok marginally anal but they’re all in perfect condition still) Its been a bloody long time since a movie was made that gave me that frisson of anticipation and didn’t sadly disappoint upon the watching of it, I think Lord of The Rings was the last that fulfilled my expectations. Most of the rest is just to help pass the time. The only things I am still purchasing on a very regular basis are books, books and more books and I have no intention of stopping that. you just can’t beat turning a page, if I haven’t turned pages then I haven’t read a book and I have quite a collection including over 200 titles from Star Trek in my attic I don’t think I could ever not buy a book and there would be no contest whatsoever between the purchase of a book or a dvd, I hope they NEVER replace the printed page.

    What I really DO need to buy though is a kettle, maybe two as they don’t seem to last long in our house these days.

  34. hate to say this but blue-ray got 5 years left, at least that whatve been told. which actually if you think about it, is the max time for a format to remain popular. next will be holographic disc thing which now one at the moment knows how to promote as they people who made it arent as good as sony when it comes to making stuff popular.

  35. Hey Joe,

    I bought you a present today – a bargain at $5! I was supposed to be looking for birthday presents for my family and saw this thing and thought of you. Call it a really, really early birthday present.

    I’ll brave the International post system one more time.

    Cheers, Chev

  36. Hey Joe!

    Has a decision been made on whether Robert Carlyle is keeping his native accent or adopting a North American twang for Universe?

    Nothing more sinister than a well delivered Glasgow accent, i must say. If he is going to be a grey character then get him to keep it.

  37. Hello There Joe,

    I have a few questions about the Stargate series that I would really appreciate if you could answer:

    1:Is the Sun-Tzu a Daedalus-class ship? We never saw it on screen.

    2: What happened to the Jaffa after the defeat of the Ori?

    3: Can we expect to see any Daedalus-class ships in Stargate Universe?

    Thank you, I hope you’ll answer these qustions soon.

    P. S. Thank you for some of the best Stargate episodes put there.

  38. Re: DVD Sales dropping

    When CD sales dropped, the industry blamed internet downloading, particularly the illegal variety. But honestly, the reason I wasn’t buying CDs was very different: I no longer wanted to spend $16 on a disc with only one, maybe two good songs on it. How rare was it (is it?) to find a CD that you could listen to all the way through because it was just that damned good? Today I shop iTunes because I can pick and choose what I like and skip the mediocre stuff.

    Quality probably has something to do with my lack of DVD purchases, too. Only difference is that I can’t download movies and TV shows from the web. Satellite internet is too slow for such large downloads, and they put strict limits on how much you can download. But also, I like to have a hard copy of something I’ve spent money on — are there discs out there large enough to burn entire movie back ups on?

  39. Got the old VHS in boxes in the garage, garage sale someday, naw, don’t like garage sales, maybe they will come back in fashion, and then there is the 8 track player, and a couple 8 track tapes, does it even work anymore, keeping it for nostalgia,,LOL,,or a museum. I only buy dvds if I think I will rewatch when its good for me,(SGA,SG1,,etc) and when its not reun on HBO a zillions times(prefer commercial free). No dvr or tivo, heck I just programmed the ipod. Slow to move into the next century, maybe these things will come back in style like bell bottoms or tank tops, but I am online and blogging on JMs blog, thank you, another accomplishment. Rolling right along, more doggie pix please, and good luck with the writing. good work..

  40. The purchase of DVDs hasn’t gone down much in this household. We did have the purchase stall from Halloween to Christmas, but only because we wanted to give our family ideas for gifts. But this morning I put away about 20 dvds received/purchased between Christmas and now. And I have my eye on two more this week.

    According to my list, I own 500 dvds. Whew!

  41. Hi Joe!

    Caught up on yesterday’s and today’s blog. Been busy lately, so can’t stop by everyday, but eh, that’s life.

    The food at that new restaurant looks delicious, and reading your descriptions *almost* is like being there. At least it’s cheaper! LOL!

    I respect vegetarians, but only the ones who respect my food choices.

    As for DVD v. Blu-ray v. The Next Big Thing, I’m not eager to move on to Blu-ray yet. I don’t buy that many DVDs, usually only for TV shows that I would want to watch again – Stargate, Buffy, Angel, Dr. Who, Torchwood, and a few others. I don’t go to movies much – too busy and theaters are just getting gross, with poor cleanup, annoying with cell phone users and texters, and frustrating with “projectionists” who can’t seem to find the ON switch.

    I find the quality of iTunes videos and my DVR’d shows to be lower than on DVD. I know when I watch S4 of SGA on iTunes (set up to show on my TV) and then the DVD version – there are a lot of details that are lost in iTunes. My DVR is about ten years old, so maybe newer ones have better quality video?

    Brian J. Smith is a not-unattractive actor. 🙂 I might not not like SGU!

    I need to go back and look at your blog posts, but I remember seeing something about a place in SGU called Icarus Base? I know “it’s just a show and I should really just relax,” but Icarus (in the most common mythologies) flew too high, melted his wings, and fell to his death. Maybe this’ll be dealt in the show, but is the concept of “going too far” part of the SGU story?

    Have a fantastic day!


  42. Like Beta VHS before it, when it first came out I fully supported Toshiba’s HD-DVD because, not only were the disks multi format (both the regular and hi-def version of movies were on there and could be played in either machine) but they were cheaper than Blu-Ray (freakin Sony!) I very much regret the demise and blame the studios and Walmart, and have to agree that I don’t think BR is going to stick as THE hi def permanent format either. fortunately, I haven’t had to buy a player because the PS3 plays BR DVDs just fine (which we rent). The only one I have bought is Continuum on Blu-Ray (my son bought Eagle Eye for some reason), and I very much want ALL SGA EPISODES that were left in hi def, on DVD, MGM has my request.
    I’m not all that happy with the quality of digital file formats yet and have only bought a few (like iTunes SGA seasons and a few movies). A regular DVD has to be under $10 for me to buy it.

    GO Cardinals!

  43. Gen: When CD sales dropped, the industry blamed internet downloading, particularly the illegal variety. But honestly, the reason I wasn’t buying CDs was very different: I no longer wanted to spend $16 on a disc with only one, maybe two good songs on it. How rare was it (is it?) to find a CD that you could listen to all the way through because it was just that damned good? Today I shop iTunes because I can pick and choose what I like and skip the mediocre stuff.
    Just a comment about this- I agree that the days of albums are pretty much over, and I’m very sorry for it. Nothing was greater when I was a kid than to get a hotly anticipated record and start listening from Track 1, all the way thru to the end (including flipping to the B side). Did one always like all the songs? no. Did one usually like most of the songs from a favorite band? yes. Do I think the quality of most of today’s “albums” can hardly touch most of yesteryear’s? yup. I will still buy a whole CD from my tried-n-true bands but somebody new- I have to hear it first and then decide, and I too will likely piecemeal if not.

  44. First of all, always nice to read your blog. Can’t remember the last time i bought a DVD. All my stuff is downloaded now, including my Stargate fix. Can’t wait for my dose of SGU. About the food, well, i’ve had my share, now i am a vegetarian.

  45. I go in streaks with dvd buying. The prices are getting good enough so that impulse buys are without guilt.

    We have a high def dvd player, so essentially, it does the Blu-ray thing. I can’t see spending the money on the hype.

    Off to buy some foie gras…just to be annoying.

  46. We always assumed the next big thing would replace DVD’s, but it’ll be interesting to see how the upcoming generation handles media changeovers. By upcoming generation I mean anyone who has watched a camera phone clip from their high school’s football game. I’m not sure better resolution will always be a major trend.

  47. Hi Joe,

    I must say that only recently I’ve entered to your blog. Unfortunately, I’m neither from the States nor from Canada.
    I’ll be most grateful If you’ll answer me on this question: Is there even a remote possibility that someone who loves SG1 so much (me…) outside of the States, will be allowed to write a script for… say, one of the future movies that might come?

    thanks, in advance.

  48. Gen and drldeboer, I always have bought albums. As a teen, I bought some 45s, but eventually got into collecting my favorite artists, so bought the album. I’m glad I did because the “radio hits” were usually not the best songs on the records!

    I haven’t gotten into buying individual songs from iTunes or wherever else online cuz…I dunno. I suppose I might want to collect the one-hit wonders from my youth some day, but my iPod is filled with albums by my main bands. I’d rather listen to several songs in a row by them than a “mix” of Band A and Artist C.

    I remember reading articles by 70’s bands, talking about when CDs came into existence. These AOR (album-oriented rock) bands put a lot of work into creating not only one hit, but several great songs for each album. Also, they “programmed” the albums, so Side A and Side B would fit (LP records could only fit so much time per side) and would flow well.

    It’s like a good radio DJ (if any of them are allowed to program their shows anymore) – finding the right song to put after the one playing – not too slow, not too fast, does it start immediately or fade in?, does the playing song end cold?

    I’m not talking about only concept albums, though those are the ultimate reason to buy an album, not just the single release. Albums used to be about where the band was at that time in their careers, in their personal lives, and what was happening in the world. Sometimes, the most revealing or challenging song would be Side B, Song 4 (the end of the CD for the young’uns 😉 ).

    I think moving from LPs to CDs to downloads has changed the music industry and what musicians can and do offer. In some ways, the Net has done wonders for connecting bands with their fans. But also, bands have to do so much more than record, tour, and do some interviews, as if that wasn’t enough!

    Well, that’s enough for now. Time to go watch some great TV on DVD! 🙂


  49. Dear Joe,

    Tell me buddy, when you graduated from Mcgill University, how long did it take you to find your first job within your field of study? I ask you this because I’m graduating this December and I was wondering what steps you took to become as successful as you are know.

    Thanks sir

    Also, will we know some if not all of the Advanced Alien societies from Pegasus that Elizabeth Weir uploaded their specs onto Rodney’s computer?

  50. I decided to wait for all new technology to settle in becuase of the obvious reasons of a) Let all the kinks get worked out and b) this technology if sucessful generally gets alot cheaper as it get more popular. I still have the memory of my Mum cursing at my Dad for buying a Betamax player. Actually I have never had to buy a DVD player at all becuase when I bought my Playstation 2 it plays DVDs anyway and when I buy the Playstation 3 it handily will play Blueray 😀

  51. I posted once before so sorry if this is a repeat but my internet went all hinky.

    I decided to wait before buying any new technology becuase obviously a) let all the kinks get woked out and b) if sucessful new tech generally gets cheaper the more popular it becomes. I still remeber Mum cursing at Dad after he bought a Betamax player 😀 Fortunatley as a game consol fan the descision was taken out of my hands as my playstation 2 plays DVD’s and when I get my hands on a Playstation 3 handily it will play Blueray. Maybe the sucess of these technologies will reply on incorporating them into other useful items you buy, like for me having the PS3 with Blueray I will no doubt start buying the DVD’s because hey why waste what I’ve already got? The same may apply to those who are buying new TV’s which in some way are designed to take avantage of the new technology. Those clever corporations are alwasy thinking of ways to get you to invest!

  52. I’m patriotic, except when you meet Aussies overseas that can’t seem to leave some of our Aussieness at home, so I’m going for Arizona.

    So Joe, what’s caused the need for a tincture of laudanum? Other than putting up with us most days.

    Airelle – Autumn is not far away so temperatures will cool, however February is traditionally our hottest month so either it’s come early or it’s going to be longer than usual – just hearing rolls of thunder as I write this so hopefully we get some rain.

    Unfortunately with Stage 3a, yes don’t forget the “a”, water restrictions in Melbourne we aren’t allowed to water grass, rarely water our gardens, have time limits on our showers and get told off when our water consumption is over 155 Litres per person, per day. Apparently we all used around 40 Litres more per person during the heat wave. GIVE US A FREAKING BREAK! I think I used 40L a day in ice cubes.

    One of our dogs thought it was Christmas with possums falling out of trees from the heat. Usually he spends hours tracking and hunting them.

    There musn’t be anyone from Adelaide on this blog, otherwise they’d be saying us Melbournians don’t know what heat is. They are far worse off than us right now. At least we’ve dropped back under 100 Fahrenheit now.

    Rachel – Glad you’ve come out of lurkdom and thanks again for the ebook link!

    Sparrow_hawk – Enjoy the Supebowl ads!

    As for DVD’s. I’ve just lost interest. I can’t find anything that is worth spending the money on of late. I look at the DVD, look at the price and think of what else I’d rather put that money towards; holiday, new decking boards, sponsor an orangutan, fix the fence, stronger Venetian blinds, the electricity bill we’ll have after all of this hot weather…
    Instead, we find ourselves watching Nat Geo and Discovery. If there’s a doco on, then there’s always “something” on TV.

  53. hi, joe,

    i’ve read and reread your post and then the article you linked. this has been on my mind, because i was wondering if this was your way of letting us know there might not be stargate movies coming up?

    if this is true, the fact that these dvds are based off of stuff already seen -whereas the sg1 and atlantis movies would be new- should be taken into account.

    i also might be jumping to conclusions, but i’ve been bred (darn you guys!) to be suspicious. :p

  54. Ok, so I am late reading the blog, but just something to think about – DVD’s replaced VHS and that lasted many years before Blu-Ray came about. I know Blu-Ray quality is better, but I still would buy the DVD, if I were really gonna watch it, and then when you get that Blu-Ray player which can play both (I think that is what you are saying since I don’t have one yet myself) you won’t be losing.

    I suppose you could argue that you’d rather wait for the better quality in Blu-ray, but then you never know if some movies will ever be put on Blu-ray.

    The Dark Knight was great BTW and Iron Man is one of my next rentals since I can only go see so many movies in a time frame. By the time Iron Man was on our weekly schedule, it was gone.

  55. The Pittsburgh Steelers are 6-time Super Bowl Champions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  56. Hi again Mr M!!

    RE: DVDs

    I too am loathe to part with hard earned cash for certain DVDs. The reasons include many in common with yourself. However, I also object to “Delux Edition” / “Extended Version” / “Super de Duper Bells and Whistles Edition” of movies that I may already own. It’s a bit jaded/anoarky and quite frankly insulting to the fans of the movie who rushed out and scooped up the first version. I understand that there may be merit is say a Director’s Cut but really it does feel quite exploitive by the marketeers and studios/distributors….Reminds me of Roxy Music and the re-re-re-re-re-re-release of their greatest hits and all other bands who release a “best of” for the Christmans market. It’s just blatant cash-grabbing
    WRT: Blu–ray…Hmmm, I can see the value in improved quality/better HD etc but like you am waiting for the “next big thing”

    @DasNdanger: I am forrunate to be married to a Deirdre and one of my daughters is also a Deirdre. You should check out the ancient Irish saga :”Toraiocht Diarmuid agus Grainne” which features Deirdre of the Sorrows… I must say (personally) I love the name!!!

    Best to all!


  57. Coucou Joseph!

    Oui j’ai regarder le Super Bowl! Je n’ai dormie qu’une heure mais sa va^^!
    C’est vraimentdommage toute ces pauses pub, ces arrêt de jeu et les fautes sifflets, cela tue le jeu. Si vous voulez du vrai sport de contact je vous conseille le Rugby!! d’ailleur le tournoi des 6 nations commence ce week end =)

    Passez une bonne journée. Bisou

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