The Doctor Who Easter Special, Planet of the Dead has aired and those helpful fans in Great Britain already have copies of it on line. I will have it downloaded shortly. This has me wondering why the producers of such shows don’t do more to attempt to receive revenue from viewers.
I have no idea when this year’s Doctor Who specials will make it on American television. If I could just go to my pay for view on cable and watch for $5 or $10 I would do so, especially as this is the first time a Doctor Who show was filmed in full high definition. I don’t have any such option. Instead I’m downloading a DivX copy which, based upon past experience, will be DVD quality. It is even likely that if I wait a few more hours a 1080p version will be available for download.
Not only are a wide variety of videos easily available for download, but there are multiple gadgets sold whose primary function is to facilitate watching downloaded shows on large screen television. Sure my Western Digital HD Media Player can also be used to show my own photos and videos, but there would be no real market for the product if not for DivX video downloads.
If shows like this were available, it is inevitable that many would still download them rather than purchase them, but if the producers don’t make an attempt to sell the material they leave no alternative for those who want to watch. At least in some cases there are reasonable alternatives. Last week my wife picked up season two of Friday Night Lights for about $21. I could have downloaded it instead, but I was certainly willing to pay for the DVD set when offered for such a reasonable price. Friday Night Lights offers one more incentive to purchasing the DVD set. The deleted scenes are often quite significant. I believe they are available on line, but it is simpler to have both the episode and deleted scenes on one DVD set.
Update: A review of Planet of the Dead has been posted here.