DVD questionnaire
"Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment" included a little questionnaire in with my DVD purchase (American Pie 2). The usual ticky-box stuff. I have completed it, and included a note pointing to this URL so that I can elaborate on some of the points...


My current TV is...

  A  [ ] Smaller than 14"
  B  [X] 14-26"
  C  [ ] Greater than 26"
  D  [ ] Wide Screen (16x9)
I find it interesting they broke it at fourteen inches. Considering many traditional TVs are 14" (like mine), I think they may have had a better idea of statistics if they split 14-26 into two chunks, or did less than 15 and 15-26.

How do you like to view your movies?

  A  [ ] Full Screen (4x3)
  B  [X] Letterboxed
Even on a 14" TV, I will choose to buy widescreen. American Pie 2 was bought in it's widescreen version, and it is one of the reasons why DVDs are attractive - more titles are provided in widescreen, than comparable video releases.

Do you play your DVD through...

I use a dedicated DVD player, Scart linked to TV.
Nothing fancy.

What brand of DVD player do you own?

Very happy with it.

How many DVDs have you bought so far?

  A  [ ] 1 - 5
  B  [ ] 6 - 10
  C  [ ] 11 - 15
  D  [X] 16 - 25
  E  [ ] 26+

How many DVD titles would you anticipate buying in the next year?

I really cannot answer. This time last year, I just bought a DVD player and Chicken Run, and I figured on getting a few DVDs - most likely of Buffy. I didn't figure on as many as I have now!
I purchase on impluse. The other day, I figured I might go into Tesco (for my food) and I noticed their new section had been finished, and there were lots of DVDs. So I decided I might get myself Bridget Jones' Diary. Then I saw American Pie 2 and though, hey, why not?
I rarely plan to get certain movies on DVD.

Do you rent DVD titles?


What type of films do you enjoy watching?

Action / comedy / horror / sci-fi, mainly.
Depends a lot on the film, and who is in it. "Fly Away Home" is none of the above, while "The Matrix" is most of the above. :-)

What do you consider to be most important when purchasing your DVD title?

  A  [X] Additional languages : 
  B  [X] Subtitles : 
  C  [X] Special features
  D  [X] Cast
  E  [ ] Genre
  F  [X] Title
  G  [ ] Packaging
  H  [X] Price
  I  [ ] Made by Columbia TriStar
  J  [ ] 5.1 Audio
Let's go through again...
Additional languages
I would find it useful for French to be included
I'm not deaf, I just prefer to watch things with subtitles switched on. It's the way I am.
Kudos to Columbia TriStar for subtitling the extras on the "American Pie 2" DVD. There are four different commentaries, all subtitled. Well done guys!
Special features
I don't exactly buy for these alone, but they do play an important part in my purchasing decisions.
Important to me are commentaries and deleted scenes - it is sometimes very useful and very interesting to learn from the director (and actors?) why something was done in a certain way.
It's also amusing to watch out-takes.
Please, though, if you are going to put nice things in the DVD-ROM section, like the screenplay, please put a copy on-line so those of us without DVD-ROM drives can access this additional content.
Specific people can sway me to purchase, like Alyson Hannigan for both American Pie movies, but generally not. It depends who and what, really.
I don't think "I like sci-fi, I think I'll buy a sci-fi movie".
Usually I have some idea of what people thought of the movie before I buy it.
Packaging is important. It isn't a purchasing decision, but I much prefer those nice solid plastic cases to those flippy cardboard things.
Always important. :-)
Made by Columbia TriStar.
I'm very sorry to upset them, especially after their stirling work with subtitling AP2, but I cannot - off the top of my head - name any other Columbia TriStar movie.
Let's put it like this, if Columbia TriStar grab all the best movies, I'll be buying Columbia TriStar. If they don't, I won't.
I base my purchase choices on the movie, not on the distributor.
Actually - it occurs to me that I can name another CT movie - American Pie (original).
5.1 Audio
I tend to feel 5.1 sounds 'better', even though I'm usually listening with headphones and regular stereo. Sometimes, it is almost like the perceptual difference between tape and CD.

What special features would you like to see on upcoming titles?

  A  [X] Unseen footage
  B  [X] Outtakes
  C  [X] Commentaries
  D  [ ] Trailers
  E  [X] Documentaries/Making Ofs
  F  [ ] Photographs
  G  [ ] Animated Menus
  H  [ ] Computer Internet Link
  I  [ ] Inclusion of interactive games
  J  [ ] Seperate music track
  K  [X] Information on production, director and cast
  L  [ ] Production/Costume designs

Unseen footage
Always interesting to watch
As the above...
A must, really.
Not really important to me.
Documentaries/Making Ofs
Useful, yes...
When somebody makes a DVD with full-screen BIG photographs, I'll be happy. I don't like these little quarter-screen sized shots in the middle, nor do I like silly arty effects around the picture.
Animated Menus [between choices]
Quickly become annoying in a series where you'll be using the menus a lot. More tolerable in something like a film.
Animated Menus [menu animation]
I guess it is nice eye candy, but not a selling point.
Example - the main menu of "Bring It On".
Computer Internet Link
No use.
I really wish there was a page on-screen with the URLs, as I have internet access. I just don't happen to have it on anything that the DVD player connects to.
Interactive games
Seperate music track
If you mean like the CD album for the movie, that would be great, but... The price should not rise unacceptably due to this. And there should be explicit permission granted to copy the music onto CD-R or cassette for private personal use - as many things that can accept CDs (or tapes) won't touch a DVD, obviously.
Sometimes useful, sometimes not.

Where do you buy your DVD titles from?

Refer to the DVD list if you want to know exactly.
Otherwise: Virgin (well, v.shop), Woolies, WHS, and supermarket.
I have only purchased one DVD on the Internet.

Where do you find out about new DVD titles?

Mainly shelf-browsing.

Which of these magazines do you read on a regular basis?

Dudes, why isn't SFX in that list?

Which of these newspapers do you read on a regular basis?

I buy the Daily Mail on Saturday for the TV guide. And I pick up The Independent when I'm in M&S and it's offered complimentary with your coffee.
Neither can be considered 'a regular basis'...
My main news comes from Ceefax page 102. Other, nerdier, news comes from The Register.

Did you previously buy pre-recorded VHS videos for yourself?


If yes, do you now only buy DVD videos for yourself?

There should be a 'mostly' box. I don't only buy DVDs, but I mostly buy them as they offer so much more than VHS for a very similar price. You'd be mad to stick to VHS tapes...

Tell us about yourself:

I'm 28, no kids (thank god), household size 2.
Don't think I'm going to disclose my personal income. You have no need for that information.


Down the bottom it says: I consent to Sony keeping me informed by mail, telephone, fax, e-mail, or by any other method, of products and services which Sony think may be of interest to me. I consent to Sony using automated call systems and recorded telephone messages for the purposes of direct marketing.

No I bloody well don't. I have ticked the box because I would like to receive further information by POST, but I have crossed out the note regarding email/fax/telephone and I have also crossed through and omitted such information. I do NOT want to be telephoned, I do NOT want spam and I do NOT want wasted fax roll.
I think the sooner companies learn to differentiate between what costs me, the potential buyer, and what doesn't cost me, the more willing we'd be to share information on us.
I have no problem at all in Sony sending me all sorts of postal mailings. They may even get a few sales out of it. However dare they send a UCE, their entire domain will be added to my blacklist (which is shared between users and is downloadable if you know where to look). If they plan to call me on the phone, they'll probably withold their number. In which case I'll be informed of this, and I won't bother to pick up. If they show their number, it will be noted for a second time, in which case I'll pick up if I feel like it.

Really, people, post is the best way. It doesn't cost your buyer anything. It is self contained, and it can be read at any time that is considered suitable. I'm much more likely to browse a leaflet, than to listen to sales in a phone call. And certainly, most UCE goes unread - especially if you send it out in incomprehensible HTML format.



Finally, on a lighter note - how many DVDs of mine are your releases? Why not read my DVD reviews to see what I thought of various movies.

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Copyright © 2002 Richard Murray