Watching a show on DVD vs. TV

UPDATED: Thursday, July 16, 2009 12:00
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Saturday, July 11, 2009 3:31 AM


I searched the archives a bit and couldn't find this discussion anywhere, so either it hasn't been done or I didn't search far enough. Either way, I was curious about what you all think is the best way to watch a show.

Do you prefer to watch the DVD release and just go straight through, going from episode to episode as fast as possible?

Or do you prefer to watch a show as it progresses on TV week by week?

I thought of this because I watched all 7 season of Buffy in about 2 months and was wondering if I missed anything because I watched it so quickly. Would it have been any different to have watched the characters grow over 7 years, or did I get the full effect?

I've watched many full series on DVD and am currently watching many as they currently air on TV. Personally, I'm often surprised by how many little things I do remember (such as character traits on a show like Supernatural) but often forget about certain things when a show takes a long break (Fringe, for example. There is so much going on for that show, I forgot a lot before the finale).

So what do you say, TV or DVD?

People who don't care about anything will never understand the people who do


Saturday, July 11, 2009 3:41 AM


There's no place I can be since I found Serenity.

DVD is certainly more convenient, especially if the show you are watching was on a commercial network. I can't answer your question about Buffy, since I didn't start watching that until after I was a Firefly fan, and I rented them through Netflix. After the second season I bought them all, and Angel too. I know it took me longer than two months to get through it, but still I did it rather quickly.

Shows that are currently airing I like to watch each week, then if they are good enough will watch them on DVD again later. It can be frustrating because most of the stuff I watch is serialized rather than episodic, so I am always anxious to see the next episode.


Saturday, July 11, 2009 6:31 AM


If by myself I prefer to have the DVD, so I can just watch an episode whenever I want however fast I want but if I watch it with somebody else then I quite like watching it on TV since its a time we set to watch something.

But DVD overall, just more convieninat and don't have to worry about missing it or forgeting about it.

Best forum ever, a small nice, kind,& caring community + News + Movie News & I'm on there, so come on over *WARNING WE WILL MAKE YOU FEEL WELCOME* AND if enough Browncoats join I am promised a whole brand new section just for Firefly/Serenity :D (though be sure to PM if you do join)


Saturday, July 11, 2009 6:44 AM


I guess it depends on how you look at it and how you like to watch your shows.

Note - I'm leaving cost out of this as you have to pay for all the options in one way or another.

TV version:
Pros: You get to see it first. The cliffhangers leave you in suspense longer coz you have no choice but to wait until the next airing. Recording means you don't have to watch it exactly when it airs.
Cons: If a show is interrupted for a couple of weeks you could lose track of the plot etc. Adverts.

DVD version:
Pros: Watch any episode whenever you want. Watch as many as you want. Easier to follow ongoing plots as you can remember points you've just seen. Better picture, better sound.
Cons: You have to wait for it's release. much more likely to have the plot 'spoilt'. Cliffhangers don't work as well IMO if you can just watch the next episode straight away.

I'm sure there are lots more.
Personally I watch the TV version and then if the show is great enough I will buy the DVDs and rewatch it. If the show is good enough but I wouldn't shell out for it normally then I'll keep the recorded TV version and transfer to DVD. Everything else gets deleted.
I do prefer watching on DVD though, it's just so much better.
But I'm not willing to wait that long for the DVDs to watch fresh episodes.

"I don't believe in suicide, but if you'd like to try it it might cheer me up to watch."


Saturday, July 11, 2009 8:20 AM


I prefer to watch something along the way as it is airing on TV. The weekly build for it intensifies your feelings about the show, as does season cliffhangers. By the end of a few seasons, you can rightfully say that you've invested a few years of emotion into that show.

This is not to say you can't love speeding through entire series (as I did for BSG and Farscape) because we can't catch every show during its run.


Saturday, July 11, 2009 8:39 AM


Depends on the show, I can watch "BONES" every night on TNT, but if I need an "ALIAS" fix I'll put in a DVD.


Sunday, July 12, 2009 7:23 AM


I'm pretty much with most of you. If it's on TV, that's when I watch it. If it's really good, I buy the DVD.

If I missed any episodes or a show's complete run, then it DVD because I have to.

I guess what I'm getting at is this, and I'll use Buffy as an example because I just watched it. How different was my viewing experience of watching it quickly on DVD from someone's who watched the show while it aired? Is one better than the other?

Reading all your post I get the feeling the experience is different, but neither is better than the other by definition. I guess it's all relative.

People who don't care about anything will never understand the people who do


Wednesday, July 15, 2009 11:22 AM


Nolo contendere -- DVD!

I know, I love Firefly, and it was a TV show, and, I'm also a major Star Trek freak, but, now that I have DVDs as a reference point, I can't abide television. I hate the inconvenience of having to watch something when THEY air it, I DESPISE commercials, and I hate the waiting for the next episode (or next season to begin, and cliffhangers totally made me want to scream -- all the Trek series after TOS had them).

Because of the fact that I completely missed Firefly when it was on TV (which I had totally stopped watching the year before), I didn't get to see it until my friend gave me the series on DVD, but you know what? I'm GLAD I got to see it "all at once," at my convenience with no waiting, no commercials, and, I can watch it again and again anytime I please, whether I'm by myself or have someone over to watch with (I showed it to my boyfriend this past weekend: he hadn't seen it either).

Oh, and I feel the same way about movies, too (though for different reasons: in this case because I hate driving and crowds which include noisy kids). I haven't set foot in a movie theater for 6 1/2 years, but I enjoy watching movies on DVD in the peace and quiet of my living room.


"Call me if anyone interesting shows up..."


Wednesday, July 15, 2009 11:43 AM


"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)

Personally, I love watching on DVD. If I really like the show, I can totally immerse myself in its universe by watching 3, 4, or 5 episodes at a pop.

If I'm not totally crazy about a show, I find that saving up two or three episodes on the DVR can help me get into it a bit better, for the same reason - I can immerse myself in that 'verse, and I can find myself getting caught up in it.

There are some shows that I won't really buy on DVD - Fringe, Terminator, Eli Stone - but I like 'em enough to not be able to wait to build up a few of them before watching.

But if I have a choice (and enough willpower), I prefer to watch several episodes in a row. I went through all seven Buffy seasons in about 2 months myself, and that was the first TV show I'd ever bought a season of! Did I miss anything by doing that? Hard to say. I loved every single minute of it, though!

And yes, I *have* rewatched the series, beginning to end, more than once. More than twice, in fact. :)


Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day...
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

If it wasn't for my horse, I wouldn't have spent that year in college...


Thursday, July 16, 2009 3:51 AM


It depends on the show. If it's a really good show, I love watching it live. It gets you excited for the next episode. DVDs though are nice, when you don't have time to watch the show during the season, so you can catch up in a few days once the DVD comes out.


Thursday, July 16, 2009 5:19 AM


hi yersina, i agree with you about going to movies, plus dvd of them have the extras. on topic ill have to say i like watching tv shows when they 1rst air if i can but mainly like to buy the dvds of shows that i love and missed the first time around. i work very odd hrs and miss alot of tv, so the dvds are more easy to catch up on my faves and they have extras and no commercials.


Thursday, July 16, 2009 11:57 AM


I ignored LOST for the first three years, and then I found out that ABC was streaming all the episodes in HD, so I got myself fully caught up in three weeks (4-6 episodes a day!).
The whole time, I was saying to myself, "This is amazing, but I wouldn't have been able to follow this with gaps of a week or 6-9 months!"
I watched all 14 episodes of Firefly in two days!
I long for the day when I can just plug an entire series into my brain through a jack in the back of my head!


Thursday, July 16, 2009 12:00 PM


In principle - following episodes on TV is the best (especially with well-crafted cliffhangers).

Unfortunately, TV execs seem to be embarking on a campaign to make TV unwatchable by anybody with a brain cell.

Of course, here in the UK we're slightly spoiled by the ad-free BBC who (after a long drought) have even been turning out some decent genre shows like Doctor Who, Torchwood (esp. the latest run), Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes and Being Human.

Until a few years ago, probably because of competition from the ad-free BBC, the ads on commercial TV were bearable, too - ads and trails between shows and breaks every 20 minutes or so, filled with adverts from paying customers. Unfortunately, with the advent of lots of new digital channels (and no corresponding increase in big ad customers) its all gone pear shaped and they've learnt all the dumb US tricks: breaks every 10-15 minutes, including right after the titles or 2 minutes before the end, half filled with self-promo for the channel and the SAME FRACKING trailer for the SAME FRACKING SHOW at the start AND THE END of EVERY FRACKING AD BREAK.

Or worse, they decide its a "yoof" or "kids" show and you have to endure pop videos hosted by talent-free presenters during the breaks. Which is a pity, because some kids shows are worth watching (they completely killed the "Captain Scarlet" re-make - which could have had a huge big kid following - a few years ago by embedding it in a Saturday morning show, apparently designed to encourage kids to grow up as dribbling morons with two-second attention spans).

Don't get me started on on-screen "channel idents" or "coming next" pop-ups. The BBC childrens' channel has an animated ident bug for frack's sake! If it was a commercial channel I'd assume they were being sponsored by the makers of Ritilin, but its the BBC... Completely ruins my, er, critical deconstructive analysis of Shawn the Sheep!

So far, the worst that's spread to the two main "prestige" BBC channels is the dreaded "credit squeeze" at the end of the show, but the infection has already spread to the BBC 3 digital channel (on-screen idents, "coming next" popups, and news-free news bulletins during anything longer than an hour). Some market researcher obviously interviewed some WKD-addled chavs who think "Big Brother" is a documentary and decided that "meh. whatever." meant "I strongly approve of your idea".

Sorry. Nurse says its time for my tablets, and wants to take my crayon away.






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