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TWO EPISODES PER DISK IS NOT ACCEPTABLE
on August 25, 1999
I sent the following to Paramount at firstname.lastname@example.org:
I recently purchased the DVD Star Trek: The Original Series, Vol. 1. The "digitally enhanced and remastered" episodes 2 & 3 looked great. This is the best that the original series has ever looked. It didn't look this good when originally broadcast. I remember.
As much as I like the high quality of the video and sound provided by the DVD, there are a few things about it I don't like. The main problem is that the DVD contains only two episodes. Two episodes per video tape made sense because that was the most that could be recorded and still provide the best picture of which tape is capable. That is not the case with the DVD format. A DVD could store six episodes without loss of quality. I don't expect that though, since I understand Paramount wants to maximize its profits from Star Trek. However, four episodes could be included on each DVD and if the price were increased to maintain the cost per episode of two per DVD, the total price for a four episode DVD would be within the range of DVD movies and so be practical to market. Why is it important to me to have more episodes per DVD, enough so that I am willing to pay more for that DVD? Partly it is that I hate to see the waste involved in using only a fraction of the storage space on each disk. That waste directly effects me by taking up more shelf space to store the DVDs. Merely doubling the number of episodes per DVD would halve the storage space required for the entire collection. Right now, I doubt I will buy the entire series because of the problem of storing them (I never purchased the video tapes for the same reason). Instead, I will probably buy just the DVDs that contain my favorite episodes. Understand that I am a serious collector of DVDs. I have over 50 movies on DVD already, and expect to continue to buy more (speaking of which, when are the Indiana Jones movies going to be released on DVD?). But the size of my DVD collection already means that storage space is at a premium. Also, the ineffieciency of using only a fraction of the DVDs capability offends my conservative nature. It's bad ecology as well.
To sum up, I love the quality of Star Trek on DVD but I hate the packaging (or is it marketing?).
One more thing. I'd like to see more bonus materials on the Star Trek DVDs. Its nice to have the preview trailers, but there is so much more that could be included. How about interviews with the cast, or commentaries such as those shown on the Sci-Fi Channel when it rebroadcast the original series? Anything about the special effects or design of the show would be great. I have been very impressed with the DVDs from New Line Cinema or Columbia Tristar and recommend them to my friends who are just entering the world of DVD. I'd like to be able to recommend Paramount also.
Will Paramount pay any attention to my letter? Probably not, if it's the only one they receive. If you feel that two episodes per DVD is a waste, why not let them know?