The Daily Belmore

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How Much Do We Really Value What We Watch?

In the current state of online media, how much do we really value what we’re watching?  I started thinking about while using my AppleTV to watch an old episode of The Office I had downloaded from the iTunes Store.

I bought said episode for $1.99.  I could have waited and purchased the season from Amazon for $31.99, but at the time the DVDs were not out, so I had no other choice (aside from bittorrent, but we’re talking legal options today).

Read that again.  I paid $1.99 for an episode because I wanted it right then.  Had I waited another few months, I could have gotten it for $1.28 (the price of the full season divided by how many episodes were included) had I just waited.  Was it really worth that extra 71 cents (at 156% of the cost) just to watch it immediately?

This comes into play in other facets.  We pay, roughly, $10 every time we go to a movie theater to watch a movie.  Is it really worth that much?  We can wait a few months and buy it for around $20, and then watch it as many times as we want.  Or we can rent it (in various forms, the most likely being from your cable or service provider for roughly $4), and watch it any time in a 1-5 day period.  Is it a little ridiculous for us to be paying so much for immediacy?

Yes, I understand that some movies just need to be seen in a theater.  And I do love the Cinerama for that.  But still, in this age of digital everything and ever-cheaper home theater systems, is it really worth it? With TV it is even worse; the only reason to buy something online is to have it immediately.  You don’t get a better item (in fact, the video quality is worse than a DVD), and it is crippled with copy protection.

I don’t know, maybe I’m preaching to the choir, or maybe my words are falling on deaf ears.  Whatever the case, I don’t ever plan on buying another online TV show or movie, as it is just a big scam.  I’ll continue to watch things on TV, buy DVDs, and (oh God, say it isn’t so!) download them for free (for a moral stand: I purchase any TV show seasons once they come out, such as Heroes, and I also have a DVR and a subscription to Netflix, so I don’t actually feel that I’m doing anything wrong…illegal, yes, morally wrong, no).

Sorry, had to get that one out there.  Feel free to leave your ideas and/or counterarguments in the comments.

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October 12, 2007 - Posted by | Musings, Television | , , , , , ,

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