Network.

What's not currently on the box
JWG
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Network.

Post by JWG »

Ignoring the stuck-in-limbo 2099 titles,Network have 9 archive TV releases scheduled over the next few months.'Big Night Out' volume 1 has just disappeared,though Amazon are still listing it for pre-orders.

Lots,and lots of films-some of them quite interesting-but not a lot of TV. Will this change?For the better?

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Juswuh
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Re: Network?

Post by Juswuh »

Looks as if the films are simply better sellers - there are a number of companies devoted to releasing old British movies, and Network have moved in and become champions. Hopefully they won't swamp the market...

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Ross
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Re: Network?

Post by Ross »

I've very happy with the films they're releasing, more so now they seem to be putting out Blu-rays on a regular basis.

I'd still like a few TV series to get released though, mostly kids dramas beginning with Soldier & Me. I'm amazed it's not out already. Maybe they're restoring it for a Blu-ray. :-D

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Richard A
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Re: Network?

Post by Richard A »

Yes, it certainly looks like a winning formula: Good source materials, decent price, adaptations of original artwork on the covers (much better than drab uniform branding (e.g. Renown)) and narrow shelf space saving cases.

Unless Network are being bankrolled by an eccentric Russian oligarch, it seems to be a profitable line of business at the moment.

Like many on here, fuzzy telerecordings with sibillant soundtracks don't really get in the way of my enjoyment of the excellent archive TV fare we've had in recent years, so I'm certainly hoping for more in the near future, but it could be that the general market is more selective about transfer quality and most, if not all, of the recent The British Film releases have been digitised from good sources.

Either way I'm happy because I'm interested in a lot of these recent film releases.

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Ross
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Re: Network?

Post by Ross »

Also, as far as I'm concerned, just about all the decent archive sitcoms and dramas series that are available to Network have been released.

It's only the kids series that I'm really desperate for them to release. Also factual series and documentaries; I'd love more Whicker; Tempo, World in Action; Magpie... And I hope the proposed releases of This Week and The South Bank Show haven't been scuppered.

BD upgrades of films series would be lovely, too. More ITC, The Sweeney and The Professionals, please. And if you get around to Dick Turpin, Soldier & Me, Intruder, Follyfoor etc then better still.

I'll definitely get Big Night Out and the Clitheroe discs on release day; I might even get Don't Rock the Boat, but it's actually The Professionals Blu-ray and all the film releases that I'm most enthused about this year.

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gallifreyan
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Re: Network?

Post by gallifreyan »

Ross wrote:And if you get around to Dick Turpin, Soldier & Me, Intruder, Follyfoor etc then better still.
A really nice dvd of Dick Turpin would be a start. & indeed Foolyfoot. I bet they'd scrub up rather nicely.

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Ross
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Re: Network?

Post by Ross »

Why bother with DVD when you can have Blu-rays?

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Re: Network?

Post by brigham »

Ross wrote:Why bother with DVD when you can have Blu-rays?
I've been asking that question for years. Do you know there are still DVD-only players on sale? Can you imagine selling a 78-only Dansette in the '60s?

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Controller 2957
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Re: Network?

Post by Controller 2957 »

brigham wrote:
Ross wrote:Why bother with DVD when you can have Blu-rays?
I've been asking that question for years. Do you know there are still DVD-only players on sale? Can you imagine selling a 78-only Dansette in the '60s?
For some people DVD is sufficient and the equipment and discs are cheap. Blu-Ray involves a step-up in cost and quality that some casual viewers can't really see the benefit of... Even a cheap Blu-Ray player can cost x5 the price of a DVD Player and often the ratio of cost versus quality isn't sufficient to justify the outlay.

Personally there are films that I would pay a fiver for to see in reasonable quality but baulk at paying £15 for presented in bollock-busting clarity just for the sake of it.
You see, no-one... NO-ONE escapes the new world!!

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Ross
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Post by Ross »

Fair enough. You can get a good Sony Blu-ray player for about £55, but if picture quality isn't an issue, then people can stick with the existing Follyfoot and Dick Turpin DVDs, which do the job well enough.

However, if restored upgrades are done then surely HD is the way to go. The Blu-rays of The Persuaders, The Prisoner, Space 1999 etc speak for themselves.

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Re: Network?

Post by JWG »

You'll be aware that there are one or two people who think that vinyl provides the best reproduction of sound...

I'd really rather go for five times the choice,but lower sound/image quality.Though I do get excite that 50s and 60 classics are "better than you've ever seen them".

As for the quota-quickies that Network are releasing (well,not really that?) there are one or two other companies releasing that sort of thing.
But Network are (were?) the best,overall,at TV reissues.I'm surprised at how blase people are at the possibility of Network no longer living up to their name.What other company would have released dozens of episodes which were believed lost? Think of the Sergeant Corks,think of Biggles.(OK,that one's in limo at the moment,but at least we now know it survives complete).

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Ross
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Re: Network?

Post by Ross »

I just get the impression that in terms of drama and comedy the well of available stuff is almost dry.

I hope they continue to release TV material, especially kids dramas of the seventies, but they're a private company who can release what they like.

My number one want is Soldier & Me, followed by Quest of Eagles. Three or four years after they were first glimpsed on Look-Back I've still got my fingers crossed that they'll be released some day soon. If Network announced that they would never release them, my reaction would be "Oh, bugger!" but no more. It's not as if I'm entitled to own these series.

You say people are surprisingly blasé about the switch in emphasis to British films, but what are they supposed to do if they dislike this? You can express disappointment online and not buy the film DVDs and Blu-rays, but that's about it.

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Re: Network?

Post by ctraynor »

I've had a blu-ray player for a year or so but have still only got three blu-ray sets: 2001, Quatermass and the Pit (film version), and Magical Mystery Tour (Ok, maybe not the best thing ever but nice to have if you're a fan). I didn't think I'd notice any appreciable difference in the DVD and blu-rays of Q and the Pit but I did. It was well worth the upgrade, partly for the quality and partly for the extras. Watching it in blu-ray I almost jumped this time round when Quatermass accidentally slips inside the spaceship.

I'll upgrade/buy other things as and when the cost seems ok for the old bank balance; I've no rush.

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Re: Network?

Post by JWG »

No,there's no argument that Network are free to list themselves as a limited company specialising in the maintenance and repair of large-scale fishing-tackle for the trawler trade.Nor is there any dispute that if they aren't making a profit,can't get the stock,or their hearts are no longer in it,they should continue schlepping old telly programmes.In one or two ways,it's still a free country.
I'm actually quite keen on old British films,in moderation.Not so much the venerated ones,which I perhaps know too well,and not often the little-remembered ones on the Ealing collections.Give me 'Don't Ever Leave Me' or 'The Huggets'.

If Network are of necessity or otherwise winding down the classic TV side,it will be a great pity,but imagine the gaps in your collection if they hadn't existed. (Cue 'Camelot').

Time for the BBC to sign a deal.

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Ross
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Post by Ross »

JWG wrote:If Network are of necessity or otherwise winding down the classic TV side,it will be a great pity,but imagine the gaps in your collection if they hadn't existed.
Yes, I'd hate to be without Budgie, Callan, Public Eye, Airline, the Sandbaggers etc. Ditto Father Dear Father, The Doctor series, Watching... But that was then. Now I can't think of any drama or comedy from ITV Studios that remains unreleased and is anywhere close to those series in terms of quality.
Time for the BBC to sign a deal.
If they could do that and bring us Target, Play For Today, The Machine-Gunners and the like then that'd be brilliant.

But at the moment, if it's Feet First, Room Service and Jimmy Clitheroe versus Some People, The 14, Play It Cool, Three Hats For Lisa and now a new Blu-ray almost ever week, then my money goes to the films.

And if they do restored Blu-ray upgrades for filmed TV series, then my money will go on those, too.

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Re: Network?

Post by JWG »

'Three Hats' is one of my haven't-seen-it-in-over-thirty-years films,as is 'The Breaking of Bumbo'.Saw the latter late one night on TV,the former was afternoon fare,I think.

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Re: Network?

Post by Mike S »

Controller 2957 wrote: For some people DVD is sufficient and the equipment and discs are cheap. Blu-Ray involves a step-up in cost and quality that some casual viewers can't really see the benefit of... Even a cheap Blu-Ray player can cost x5 the price of a DVD Player and often the ratio of cost versus quality isn't sufficient to justify the outlay.

Personally there are films that I would pay a fiver for to see in reasonable quality but baulk at paying £15 for presented in bollock-busting clarity just for the sake of it.
I'm not sure how much of a minority I'm in, but I've got a player that can handle both DVD and Blu-ray but I've still only got a SD TV. So while there's no immediate point in me buying Blu-rays, I tend to buy them anyway - when the set eventually dies and I embrace HD, I'll be glad I did. The imminent release of Gregory's Girl, for example - I'll be getting the Blu-ray of that.

The sad truth re Network is that the archive TV DVD bubble probably burst long ago. I don't know how much easily-available-to-them stuff remains unreleased, but then the rights situation is a complete mystery to me. There's tons of Channel 4 stuff I'd like to see, for example, but I don't know what kind of contractual headaches that would involve.

At some point, though, we should start seeing huge chunks of the BBC archive going online, at which point nobody will give a toss about Network failing to release Oi, That's My Oil Rig: The Complete Series 9.

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penfold
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Re: Network?

Post by penfold »

The other point is that the British Film series may be a better international seller than the UK Archive TV releases......a US-based and US-centric film forum I lurk at has a long-running thread devoted mainly to the Ealing Rarities and the more recent standalone releases....and they're garnering good praise.

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Re: Network?

Post by JWG »

I'm pretty sure I'd be more enthusiastic about the film reissues if it wasn't Network doing them!

VintageFan
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Re: Network?

Post by VintageFan »

I know what you mean,JWG. I like old British movies,but there are other companies out there also doing that kind of thing whereas nobody came close to Network for Archive television. I'm surprised that some people have said that they've already released most of what they can in relation to TV,as I can think of loads of great ITV stuff that's not been released- great quality drama and comedy that would appeal to Archive TV enthusiasts. Let's hope that this is just quiet period while Network exploits it's film deal. I would be surprised if Network was abandoning Archive TV permanently,as they've always struck me as a company that was genuinely interested and very enthusiastic about their product,and not just about putting out what's guaranteed to get big sales.

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Crystal Tipps
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Re: Network?

Post by Crystal Tipps »

VintageFan wrote:Let's hope that this is just quiet period while Network exploits it's film deal.
….and how long could that quiet period actually be I wonder??? For me personally, I don't collect films, modern or old, so this slowing down of Network archive TV releases is very worrying. Is this really the beginning of the end? Has Networks licensing deals come to end perhaps? Maybe we should start thinking about quickly purchasing our favourite Network DVD releases over the coming months that are on our Wish Lists before stocks run out and they decide not to press anymore.

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Re: Network?

Post by Mike S »

A lot of people have started to take Network for granted, that's for sure - refusing to buy stuff (even stuff they've been desperate to see for years) until the price plummets, and even then moaning that the cases are cracked or something.

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Re: Network?

Post by Brian F »

My trouble was that, having found them later than many, I bought so many in the first dale that I saw that I had only watched half of them before the next sale occurred. That means that I mainly do get titles in the sale except for ones that I have waited year to be released such as Educating Marmalade, The Tyrant King etc.

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Re: Network?

Post by longtimelurker »

I hope Network go back to releasing more TV again. My purchases of their releases have dropped back to virtually nil this year as I have little interest in cinema. There is still so much left to bring out, I hope they will continue. There is no one else to take up the baton if they give up the ghost.

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Re: Network?

Post by Mike S »

The whole company's such a mystery - I hope one day someone makes The Network Story, where various ex staff members reminisce about how difficult it was clearing Educating Marmalade.

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Re: Network?

Post by JWG »

Mike S wrote:The whole company's such a mystery - I hope one day someone makes The Network Story, where various ex staff members reminisce about how difficult it was clearing Educating Marmalade.
Obviously a love of the medium is involved.
It would be fascinating to have some sales figures for favourite titles.And least favourite.Fidn't the Guinness Book list a first printing of an academic book-a low print run-that was still in stock 200 years later?
I stress that I'm not trying to wish Network out of re-issuing DVDs.The stats suggest that Blu-ray wasn't quite the success that some might have hoped.There's a rather good post on Roobarb or Missing Episodes on the costs and problems of downloading/view on demand.

JWG
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Re: Network?

Post by JWG »

JWG wrote:
Mike S wrote:The whole company's such a mystery - I hope one day someone makes The Network Story, where various ex staff members reminisce about how difficult it was clearing Educating Marmalade.
Obviously a love of the medium is involved.
It would be fascinating to have some sales figures for favourite titles.And least favourite,Didn't the Guinness Book list a first- printing of an academic title-a low print run-that was still in stock 200 years later?
I stress that I'm not trying to wish Network out of re-issuing DVDs.The stats suggest that Blu-ray wasn't quite the success that some might have hoped.There's a rather good post on Roobarb or Missing Episodes on the costs and problems of downloading/view on demand.

Mike S
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Re: Network?

Post by Mike S »

Maybe in 50 years or so there'll be a no-holds-barred documentary, where all 'Me and My Girl? Now there's a can of worms...' anecdotes are finally revealed.

It'd be worth it just for the adcaps.

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Re: Network?

Post by tiswas2 »

I think that the download option is the way they will go for more of the niche stuff - though there are still plenty of titles available for them to release

hope the future TV releases page grows in the next few months - particularly any music titles - that is a market that is poorly served by most

companies

It would be nice to find out who the staff are those that choose the titles- as they have probably been around the archive TV fringe for a few

years given the range of obscure titles released.

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Re: Network?

Post by videoking »

Space 1999 Series 2 on Blu Ray, Nuff Said!

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