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By popular demand, a forum devoted to Mr. Philo T. Farnsworth's remarkable invention.
93

"How many people watch TV via DVD first" or "Does *everybody* on the East coast have HBO?"
Topic by: woozy
Posted: August 19, 2005 - 4:05 PM PDT
Last Reply: October 9, 2005 - 4:43 PM PDT

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author topic: "How many people watch TV via DVD first" or "Does *everybody* on the East coast have HBO?"
woozy
post #1  on August 19, 2005 - 4:05 PM PDT  
So the final episode of HBO's "Six Feet Under" is showing Sunday. Listening to the radio morning they describe "Six Feet Under" as a hit show and talk about how everyone is watching it on Sunday nights. Now to me, calling anything on HBO "a hit" seems odd because almost nobody I know has HBO so from my point of view nobody watches SFU or "The Sopranos" when it comes out but eagerly awaits it to arrive on DVD.

So today the radios were just blase-ly mentioning a pivitol event that occured this fifth season on what seemed to be the belief all fans would seen this episode and be aware of the event by now.

Well, phooey, I'm a fan! A big fan! and I had no idea and didn't appreciate being told.

So I wonder would percentage of TV viewers of such HBO shows wait for DVDs before seeing them. I'd imagine it's not insignificant. Maybe TV reviewers should consider a DVD release date as almost as significant as the first broadcast date.

And now that I think about it, *everyone* I know on the east coast has HBO (some even pay for it) but no-one I know on the west-coast does. Why is that?
underdog
post #2  on August 19, 2005 - 4:24 PM PDT  
I don't really think this is an east coast vs. west coast thing (though I could be wrong).

I have HBO now (only because my landlord threw in free cable to get me to take my apartment), after not having premium cable for years... So before this summer I'd been watching HBO shows via DVD or friends' tapes or discs. I do have other friends with HBO.

And some others who cancelled for budgetary reasons. Maybe it's a financial thing, vs. geographical?
woozy
post #3  on August 19, 2005 - 5:09 PM PDT  
> And some others who cancelled for budgetary reasons. Maybe it's a financial thing, vs. geographical?
> ---------------------------------

Well, I was wondering if it's easy to make deals with landlords on the east coast, hence my sarcastic comment "some (i.e. not most) even pay for it". Or maybe population density allow for competing cable companies throwing premium stations in at a discount. Plus I know of a dozen folks who claim "we moved into the apartment and it came with it and we don't want to rock the boat by asking if we're supposed to have it". (That's never happened to me :()

Ten years ago a friend who had lived in Boston for two years said everyone on the east viewed cable (regular cable, which I don't have either-- not nescessarily premium cable) as though it were electricity; everyone had it and never questioned it even the unemployed and marginally employed who avoided public transit to penny-pinch on the fare never cancelled their cable.

Anyway, it *really* annoyed me that the radio reviews seemed to assume everyone was in the loop. I would guess us DVD-hounds are a significant portion of their audience. In fact we may even be in the majority. (Gad... I can't wait till season 4 next week!)

Battie
post #4  on August 19, 2005 - 5:17 PM PDT  
Could also be a "we have better things to do than schedule our lives around TV" thing. Mind you, I do occasionally schedule parts of my life around TV...but it's usually only with TV shows with multiple viewing times. ;)

TV shows on DVD? Phooey. Downloads. Illegal. But highly effective since I tend to uhh...lose time...and end up missing half a season of some show I like. >_< For instance, I started watching Into the West on the first week...the finale comes along...I missed it...a number of times....downloaded it...and I finally, FINALLY watched the last episode two days ago. Which is about a month after it ended. Damn Time Monster.

Plus, I have weird sleeping habits that refuse to obey me (on any given day, I could be sleeping during the middle of the day, the early part of the day, late evening, or in the a.m. before morning). This makes watching a show difficult since I can, and will, nod off (assuming I don't sleep through it to begin with). I did that with Battlestar Galactica last week. :P

I...don't know anyone that has HBO. My cable bill is about $45 for expanded basic (no movie channels of any kind). I'm considering cancelling it because I hate my cable company and would prefer to watch via downloads and antennae to save it. Regression, anyone?

I believe there was/is a bill being introduced in Texas (maybe nationally, but definitely Texas) that would allow phone companies to begin offering cable. Frankly, I wish it would. As much as I hate the idea of one company owning cable tv, phone service, AND internet access, I am really sick of my cable company. They sent a bit of news along..."Recently rates have increased, partially because of the higher cost of some sports channels..." These are the same people who 1) don't want competition, but 2) also don't want to sell services based on what the customer actually buys. So, because some halfwits around here (Texans+sports) need 24-hour sports crap on about five different channels, I have to help pay for it. >:| All I REALLY want is Sci-fi, Comedy Central, USA, Nick, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, A&E, F/x, and The History Channel (plus the broadcast channels). Maybe VH1 and TNT, but it's doubtful. And if it were too expensive, I'd just go for CN, Nick, and Comedy Central.

Furthermore, why am I paying for channels I can get free via antennae?

Okay, cable ranting over..back to the topic at hand. Who says Six Feet Under is a hit show? I don't know ANYONE (besides you, woozy) who watches it. I suppose hit these days means having at least one million viewers, which is really a drop in the hat since America has around 290 million people.
Battie
post #5  on August 19, 2005 - 5:21 PM PDT  
> On August 19, 2005 - 5:09 PM PDT woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Well, I was wondering if it's easy to make deals with landlords on the east coast, hence my sarcastic comment "some (i.e. not most) even pay for it". Or maybe population density allow for competing cable companies throwing premium stations in at a discount. Plus I know of a dozen folks who claim "we moved into the apartment and it came with it and we don't want to rock the boat by asking if we're supposed to have it". (That's never happened to me :()
> ---------------------------------

Hmmm....When my mother moved us to the boonies, our new place had pirated cable (only a few channels). Ahhh...the good ol' days of WGN and HBO! I never questioned it THEN, until I moved into my grandmother's place and found more pirated cable, thanks to the people she'd rented the place to years before.

Now...I pay for everything on my TV. >_< And my cable company runs that stupid pirating=jail ad every few days. >:|
woozy
post #6  on August 19, 2005 - 6:47 PM PDT  

> Furthermore, why am I paying for channels I can get free via antennae?
>
Well, supposedly aerial reception is unacceptable. Or at least that was the original selling point of cable. Of course, broadcast tv is more or less crap so why should I pay for good reception of crap when I can get so-so reception of crap for free. As for basic cable... there are stuff that seems intriguing but most of the time they play the same stuff over and over and it's not really worth $45 a month (That's a lot of money!) for three of four shows I do like.

> ..back to the topic at hand. Who says Six Feet Under is a hit show? I don't know ANYONE (besides you, woozy) who watches it.

Really? It's a *great* show! I like it better than the sopranos. But the way they talked today (and gave away a *pivotal* plot element that aired a month ago >:| ) you'd think *everybody* has HBO and everyone who watches is watching it religiously as soon as it airs (If you aren't hot on Six Feet Under consider Sex in the City, or the Sopranos instead). I honestly wouldn't be surpised if more people rent DVDs than watch on HBO. I mean, cripes, how many people even have HBO? I'm glad they're making good shows but even those don't make it worth the cost.

Maybe I'm being paranoid but there is a definate east coast bias in media. I usually take it with a grain of salt but sometimes it gets annoying.

hardcle
post #7  on August 20, 2005 - 5:35 PM PDT  
I heard the same story on the radio that you did woozy. I was a bit miffed because I was three episodes behind and I didn't know about the spoiler they revealed. I'm catching up on them right now. They're really good, but sad.

As for HBO, I've had it for as long as I've had cable, which has only been about 10 years. I really enjoy almost all of their original series. Except for Carnivale, Deadwood and K Street, I couldn't get into any of those. I used to always catch the Saturday night movie, but it seems nowadays I've either seen them already or I don't want to see them.
woozy
post #8  on August 20, 2005 - 8:26 PM PDT  
> On August 20, 2005 - 5:35 PM PDT hardcle wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I heard the same story on the radio that you did woozy. I was a bit miffed because I was three episodes behind and I didn't know about the spoiler they revealed. I'm catching up on them right now. They're really good, but sad.
>
Think about how I feel; I'm just getting ready to get excited about Season *Four*! I'm a year and twelve episodes behind! Have a heart guys!

I haven't seen Deadwood or Carnival yet. They sound interesting. I don't like "Curb your Enthusiasm" though. And I think I'll wait a while before I decide to get addicted to "Sex in the City".
Battie
post #9  on August 20, 2005 - 8:38 PM PDT  
> On August 20, 2005 - 8:26 PM PDT woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I haven't seen Deadwood or Carnival yet. They sound interesting. I don't like "Curb your Enthusiasm" though. And I think I'll wait a while before I decide to get addicted to "Sex in the City".
> ---------------------------------

I like Carnival (I thought it was Carnivale?) alright, but I got lost in the series (this was before I found downloads), so I stopped watching.

And as far as I'm concerned, which you already know, Sex in the City is disgusting. ^_^


Anyway (Sex in the City reminded me of this), I started watching the beginning of The Power of Nightmares (thank you, Greencine), and realized just how much I identify with neo-conservatism. I'm actually rather shocked. :S But it's my innate "People can do what they wish to do--it's none of my business" that keeps me a liberal. >:P
woozy
post #10  on August 20, 2005 - 10:48 PM PDT  
> I like Carnival (I thought it was Carnivale?) alright,

It probably is. What is it about. What is it like.


> And as far as I'm concerned, which you already know, Sex in the City is disgusting. ^_^
>
I've only seen one or two episode. I kind of liked and didn't like it. I like the idea of talking and some of the concepts (I rather like the one about a friend who married a bullying jerk who yells at everyone whom he thinks is too load in his apartment {he reminded me of my ex-brother in law}) but I didn't think I could take the show or characters seriously. They seemed abstract ideas to me.
>
> ...I started watching the beginning of The Power of Nightmares (thank you, Greencine),

I don't know what this is.

> and realized just how much I identify with neo-conservatism. I'm actually rather shocked.

How so?

> :S But it's my innate "People can do what they wish to do--it's none of my business" that keeps me a liberal. >:P
> ---------------------------------

Yeah, it's my believe that people are best when we help each other and behave morally that keep me liberal. I have some odd republican beliefs that surprise me as well.

originaldiva
post #11  on August 21, 2005 - 5:01 PM PDT  
I do not have cable or satellite at all and watch all my non-broadcast TV shows either by DVD or...ahem...other means.

Battlestar Galactica actually runs only 40 minutes without all the commercials, so I am glad I don't bother to watch that on Sci Fi. What a waste of my 20 minutes.

But the main reason I am moving towards watching everything on DVD is that everything I like gets canceled before its time. So I want to know ahead of time not to get my hopes up for a long series.

My TV losing streak started in the 1990s with Earth2, My So-Called Life, and Lois and Clark, and has continued to this day, to include Farscape, Wonderfalls, Carnivale, and Dead Like Me. (Fortunately, I didn't even bother to watch the last two on TV and get my hopes up...I started out with the DVD versions.)

Carnivale, BTW, is absolutely amazing, and if you can be patient enough to sit through it, you will not be disappointed. This series, BTW, is really best on DVD when you can watch each episode at order and at your leisure.

(Ahh, though Season 2 is not yet on DVD...it is available, however...*elsewhere*...)

Battie
post #12  on August 21, 2005 - 5:31 PM PDT  
> On August 21, 2005 - 5:01 PM PDT originaldiva wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I do not have cable or satellite at all and watch all my non-broadcast TV shows either by DVD or...ahem...other means.
>
> Battlestar Galactica actually runs only 40 minutes without all the commercials, so I am glad I don't bother to watch that on Sci Fi. What a waste of my 20 minutes.
>

I watch it and just read through the commercials. ^_^

> But the main reason I am moving towards watching everything on DVD is that everything I like gets canceled before its time. So I want to know ahead of time not to get my hopes up for a long series.
>
> My TV losing streak started in the 1990s with Earth2, My So-Called Life, and Lois and Clark, and has continued to this day, to include Farscape, Wonderfalls, Carnivale, and Dead Like Me. (Fortunately, I didn't even bother to watch the last two on TV and get my hopes up...I started out with the DVD versions.)
>

I like Claire Danes. :P

> Carnivale, BTW, is absolutely amazing, and if you can be patient enough to sit through it, you will not be disappointed. This series, BTW, is really best on DVD when you can watch each episode at order and at your leisure.
>
> (Ahh, though Season 2 is not yet on DVD...it is available, however...*elsewhere*...)
> ---------------------------------

Hahaha! I think I may need to give it another go...
woozy
post #13  on August 21, 2005 - 6:56 PM PDT  
> On August 21, 2005 - 5:01 PM PDT originaldiva wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I do not have cable or satellite at all and watch all my non-broadcast TV shows either by DVD or...ahem...other means.

Okay, that makes two of us.

>> My TV losing streak started in the 1990s with Earth2, My So-Called Life, and Lois and Clark, and has continued to this day, to include Farscape, Wonderfalls, Carnivale, and Dead Like Me. (Fortunately, I didn't even bother to watch the last two on TV and get my hopes up...I started out with the DVD versions.)

Carnivale and Dead Like Me, have been cancelled? "Officially" cancelled? Dead like me, like the Sopranos, Six Feet Under, etc. have thirteen episode story arched series and don't have regular t.v. season so are they actually "cancelled"? (breaths deep and is deep denial, deep in his soul woozy insists Dead Like Me *will* be back. Noooooooo)
>
> Carnivale, BTW, is absolutely amazing, and if you can be patient enough to sit through it, you will not be disappointed.

What *is* it about?
originaldiva
post #14  on August 21, 2005 - 9:25 PM PDT  
> On August 21, 2005 - 6:56 PM PDT woozy wrote:
> Carnivale and Dead Like Me, have been cancelled? "Officially" cancelled?

Yep. Fans are furious. At this point, I'd say Dead Like Me has a slight chance of coming back (from the dead) while Carnivale is probably finished for good.

> > Carnivale, BTW, is absolutely amazing, and if you can be patient enough to sit through it, you will not be disappointed.
>
> What *is* it about?

It is set in the dust bowl in the 1930s. You have your traveling carnival, of course, and a bunch of misfit characters. More than that, however, it is a supernatural tale of the battle between good and evil. It is quite mesmerizing as the story unfolds. Once you get into it, you will eat, breathe, and sleep Carnivale. It really gets under your skin.

Clancy Brown, in particular, is absolutely spectacular and so is Amy Madigan. Well worth it.

Now...I believe the second season of Carnivale ends in such a manner that if that's all we get, I am OK with it. Some people felt it ended on a really frustrating cliffhanger...I do not think so. I felt it the two seasons actually told the story very well, and while I would be curious to hear what happens after...it's not the same type of "cliffhanger" that really doesn't tell the story in a satisfactory way.

There have been worse cliffhangers for sure. Lois and Clark ended with a baby left on their doorstep and no explanation. Farscape originally ended with the two main characters blown to pieces. Farscape got to fix the ending; LnC did not, though I understood that season 5 was supposed to explain that the baby came from the future Lois and Clark or something...I'll never really know now...





underdog
post #15  on August 22, 2005 - 9:41 AM PDT  
I became bitter with both My So Called Life, and later, even more so with Freaks and Geeks - one of the more famous cases of an outpouring of obsessive fan support ultimately not doing anything to save a series. (Thank God for DVD - again.)

- = -

If you think there's an East Coast bias when it comes to reporting about culture, you should try following sports (if you don't already). ESPN, based in New England, seems to think the world revolves around the Yankees and Red Sox and Patriots and then some other teams. Ditto coverage of college sports, and media respect - poor Cal was screwed over last year.

- = -

I was a big fan of Six Feet Under, myself. I sort of lost interest in it partially because it's outlook was so bleak I was getting really sad watching it, despite its brilliant use of dark humor. And then some stupid critics blew the big final season spoiler, forgetting that some of us watch the show on DVD, and now I don't feel like watching the end anymore. So brilliantly written and acted though.

Deadwood is also a little misanthropic, but it's pretty darned authentic as far as the wild west goes, and also brilliantly written and acted. How you react to it depends on how you can tolerate the Western genre, and can deal with some overly complicated plotting which is similar to what Battie described for Carnivale.

woozy
post #16  on August 22, 2005 - 10:33 AM PDT  
> I was a big fan of Six Feet Under, myself. I sort of lost interest in it partially because it's outlook was so bleak I was getting really sad watching it, despite its brilliant use of dark humor.

It *did* seem to get bleak in the second and third. But I really like it because the characters are whole and they go through real life lessons sometimes very small which are just as important as the very large. One thing at the end of the third season though seemed rather ... Diablus ex Machina (to coin a phrase) though.

> And then some stupid critics blew the big final season spoiler, forgetting that some of us watch the show on DVD,

*that* is exactly what pissed me off! I think watching TV series primarily through DVD is a new paradigm and critics should keep that in mind. They review DVDs when they are released but for TV shows I don't think they get that for many, maybe even most, *this* is the primary chance to watch.

>and now I don't feel like watching the end anymore. So brilliantly written and acted though.
>
I still want to watch and the spoiler makes sense but it's going to be hard to watch season 4 (soon... oh, god yes, soon) and pretending I don't know what's coming.


> Deadwood is also a little misanthropic, but it's pretty darned authentic as far as the wild west goes, and also brilliantly written and acted. How you react to it depends on how you can tolerate the Western genre, and can deal with some overly complicated plotting which is similar to what Battie described for Carnivale.
>
I'm curious about Deadwood. But Carnivale is sounding more and more intriguing to me. Underdog, what do you think of Carnivale?
--
I usually take the East Coast Bias with a grain of salt. After all, Metropolitan New York is a bit of an elephant when it comes to all other American contenders. And when it comes to the entire publishing and advertising culture, it's pretty well established there. So I can understand the bias. BUT... when it comes to representing national news, interest, and culture, by numbers and representative industries they seem to forget we aren't all east coast publishers and advertisers.

Actually, it isn't the bias that bugs me so much as when they *do* mention California and the west or the dot com industry it is always presented with an air of the bizaar and exotic and the foreign which New York, D.C. and New England never is and if a native Californian (a concept east coaster perpetually find bizaar) make a comment from a west coast perspective (such as "where's a good place to get bagels in Manhattan" or "I don't have any winter clothes, what do I need" or "I haven't got a hang of the seasons on the east coast") its considered a bizaar ironic joke.
underdog
post #17  on August 22, 2005 - 1:33 PM PDT  
I've only seen one episode of Carnivale and thought it really interesting. Definitely want to see more when I get a chance. Also not surprised if it ends up not lasting long. Maybe too David Lynchian (in some ways) for most of America to jump on.

Now I've got The Wire to check out, as quite a few people I trust raved about it; another show I missed the first season of...

Btw, I'll be off line most of the next week as I go on a vacation. Perhaps my colleagues will chime in here on occasion. Be well and talk soon!

C
Battie
post #18  on August 22, 2005 - 3:57 PM PDT  
> On August 22, 2005 - 1:33 PM PDT underdog wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I've only seen one episode of Carnivale and thought it really interesting. Definitely want to see more when I get a chance. Also not surprised if it ends up not lasting long. Maybe too David Lynchian (in some ways) for most of America to jump on.
> ---------------------------------

Hehe. Yeah, I couldn't really see too many average Americans getting into it.

Btw, as much as I would love to take credit for the summary...That was originaldiva. ;)

Y'all have me interested in Deadwood now. I've so rarely seen ANYTHING historically authentic, much less a western.

Btw, if y'all think the West Coast gets the shaft...try living in the South and Southwest. >_< We're not bizarre; we're ignored. Well...except for those years when the Cowboys were actually a good team. ^_^ Which reminds me of the stadium they're building in Arlington, which annoys me because they said Arlington needed the taxes (humph, DALLAS needs the taxes--or better yet, some honest people managing it).

I hate sports. I really hate sports. ESPN needs to die.
woozy
post #19  on August 22, 2005 - 5:19 PM PDT  
> Btw, if y'all think the West Coast gets the shaft...try living in the South and Southwest. >_< We're not bizarre; we're ignored.

Yes. As I said it was an east coast bias. You southerners definately get the fuzzy end of the lollipop. But it's odd that california and the west coast is always treated as an exotic odd thing that needs to be explained and one of those far flung populations of little influence. In population and industry we are every bit the norm and more so than the east coast.

>
> I hate sports. I really hate sports. ESPN needs to die.
> ---------------------------------

I love that you hate sports.

shiori308
post #20  on August 22, 2005 - 11:37 PM PDT  
> On August 22, 2005 - 5:19 PM PDT woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------

>
> I love that you hate sports.
>
>
> ---------------------------------

Wow... I have a friend that would have said this exact same phrase in response to that and I mean verbatim... are you sure that you are not someone I know that lives in Minnesota?
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