gervase_fen: (ermine)
[personal profile] gervase_fen
Based on recommendations on Roobarb's forum, I trialled and then paid for Invelos' Software's DVD Profiler, in an attempt to establish exactly what is lurking in the DVD cabinet, the spare bedroom, the main bedroom, and slip case self assembly box for newspaper DVDs that the Guardian gave away some years ago ("Instantly removes unsightly piles of DVD freebies" "Even works on DVDs from other newspapers!")

DVD Profiler uses a database compiled from submissions from the program's users, and I've done my bit to add to the sum of human knowledge by researching release dates of some of the free DVDs given away by the Daily Mail ten years ago, information not in the profiles in the database.

I couldn't get the mobile app to scan barcodes as recommended, but there's something comforting about typing in UPC after UPC and seeing the software recognise the item concerned almost immediately.

As well as providing cover scans, cast lists, production information and release dates, the database also lists Easter Eggs, so if I need to find a clean set of Pertwee titles I can narrow down the search criteria a bit.

Two weeks' data input later, and I can reveal that the oldest DVD in the collection is Mrs Fen's copy of Maverick (14th May 1998) followed by my import of The Silence of the Lambs - Criterion Collection (14th July 1998). The newest two are Callan - This Man Alone (30th November 2015) and Spectre (22nd February 2016). There are currently 1219 titles in the collection, 670 classified as TV, and just one in the genre of Sports (Rush).

Why do this?  Every time there's a blu-ray or DVD sale by Network I find myself tempted to binge, but occasionally nearly double dip on a title I already own but haven't watched yet.  Conversely, sometimes there's a sale and I'm stuck for inspiration, which is where the wishlist feature on DVD Profiler comes in handy.

But isn't DVD going the way of VHS given the rise of streaming and downloads?  Probably.  I've just splashed out £87 on a smart Samsung blu ray player (have been putting in lots of over time at work) and I can see the attraction of having, say, all of Ken Burns' PBS documentaries available via Netflix. Nevertheless it seems that there are more and more eclectic and niche titles released or announced for release than ever before, thanks to Network, Simply DVD, and the BFI. Catalogue titles are getting cheaper and cheaper.  After enjoying Deutschland 83 the other month on Channel 4 I wanted to see Good Bye Lenin! again - currently the price of a posh coffee and a newspaper.

And when will I get round to watching the 700 or so titles I think I've yet to stick into the DVD player?  Well, some of them are Mrs Fen's, and I can't see myself binge viewing Farscape or every Bond movie, any more than I think she'll get round to watching three seasons of Arrested Development , two of Sports Night and one of John Adams. We still love to share the viewing experience : I've absorbed a heck of a lot of NCIS by osmosis, and in return I'll inflict really obscure but worthwhile 40s and 50s movies on her (Cast a Crooked Shadow, The Clouded Yellow and The Halfway House have been recent hits.) These, of course, I don't buy - I rent them from Lovefilm!

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