So here’s something interesting I came across the other day (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aDMXKb0oqb34&refer=home). 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.

Mailbag:

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.

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chevron7

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 smile ). 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

Deni B.
Deni B.

@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!

Deni B.
Deni B.

Hey Joe and everybody, has the world truly gone mad? Check this out:

http://westinstenv.org/news/2008/11/20/epa-proposes-cow-fart-tax/

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Joe – can ya pass me the laudanum? razz

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… razz

das

Barbaro
Barbaro

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.

Laura
Laura

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 smile

susan the tartan turtle

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.

smile

Brendan
Brendan

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?

Shawna Buchanan

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.

Shawna Buchanan

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.

Jon K.
Jon K.

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.

Thornyrose
Thornyrose

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.

Shadow Step
Shadow Step

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 wink

maggiemayday
maggiemayday

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.

Ponytail
Ponytail

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.

pg15

Ok then, not the 4th.

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

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. grin How do you pronounce “Deirdre” anyway? Is it like “Dear-dra”? Enlighten me please. wink

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.

Judy in SATX
Judy in SATX

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 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmK0bZl4ILM

Christin

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.

jys
jys

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?

Tim Gaffney
Tim Gaffney

Let’s go Steelers!!!

suziesbluefeather

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!

Davidd
Davidd

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.

Oh…

**@ 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.

Davidd
Davidd

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……

paloosa
paloosa

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.

Delynn

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 smile

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