On the advice of a couple people, I recently rented the Battlestar Galactica mini-series. This is a remake of the 1978 exploit-the-Star-Wars-phenomenon series that only lasted one season, and a precursor to the new series that launched in January, 2005. I found the mini-series to be very watchable, with great special effects and at least average dialogue and performances. Not 2001, certainly, but pretty good television.
Lacking a Tivo-type device, I’ve recently taken to buying DVDs of shows that I like. Watching Buffy or The West Wing on my own time, without commercials, is a radical improvement on regular television. I missed the entire first season of Battlestar Galactica, so I figured I’d just buy it on DVD.
The last episode the first season aired on April 1, 2005–two and a half months ago. Is there even a whisper of a release date for the season 1 DVD? I couldn’t find anything on the series site, on Amazon or in Google. I’m a converted lead, ready to part with $75 for 10 hours of television on DVD. Do you think I can?
What recourse do I have? Wait for reruns to show me all 13 episodes? I think not. Wait for the DVD? I don’t like those odds. The final episode of season 5 of The West Wing aired in May, 2005, but can I buy the DVD yet? Instead, I visited the bit torrent site du jour, and am currently downloading 5.1 GB of season one. I’d prefer not to watch the series on my PC, with all the substandard audio and video that implies, but the industry has given me no other option.
It’s the same old lesson for the content distributors. Let me, a willing consumer, give you money. Exploit the buzz around new offerings and let consumers buy the DVD as soon as the content has aired.