Bits & P.C.s: We interrupt this program …

This week, instead of talking computers, we’re going to talk about TV. More specifically, we’re going to talk about TV shows on DVD.

Over the years you’ve seen the commercials on TV offering to sell you one or two episodes of I Love Lucy or M*A*S*H for $20 per cassette. Considering the number of episodes of these series, it would cost you a ton of money to collect them all.

With the storage capacity of the DVD, you can purchase entire seasons of many popular shows at a reasonable price, and you don’t have to rewind them after you watch them.

Now it is possible to watch more than 10 hours of Groucho Marx in You Bet Your Life The Lost Episodes. Though not a TV show, you can also watch The Adventures of Ma & Pa Kettle just like you did as a kid when you went to the Wednesday matinee at the Midway Theater.

Moving forward in time you can find 16 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show for as little as $6. For less than $30, you can get the entire first season of Green Acres, that’s 32 episodes. And you don’t have to worry about seeing Lisa’s nipple.

One of the reasons my father bought us a color TV was because he saw The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle on a friend’s TV. Now you can purchase the complete first season for about $30.

One of the favorite sci-fi series was Lost in Space. The first season is available, that’s 29 episodes including the pilot that was never broadcast. This DVD set is a little more expensive, but it is still less than $75 for eight DVDs.

Other popular shows from the ’70s are also available. The first season of SOAP which was so controversial when it aired that the local station did not show it until 9:30 p.m., is now out. One of the latest releases is Starsky & Hutch which is available for $40.

The first two seasons of NYPD Blue are available. Since our local ABC affiliate did not broadcast the first season, it’s a good reason to buy the DVD set if you are a Blue’s fan. Other recent TV series are also available, including Friends, The Sopranos, and Sex and the City, along with the Star Trek franchise.

Many of these DVD sets include extras such as behind the scenes, bloopers and outtakes, vintage commercials, and other goodies. Probably the most important thing that these recordings offer is complete episodes.

Many of you will say, “Why buy it?” when some of these shows are on cable. Most of the episodes broadcast today are edited to fit in the half-hour or hour available. The problem is, back when many of these shows were made, there were a lot fewer commercials, so they time-compress or hack the shows to make them fit.

So, why not use your TV as a time machine and watch these shows from your youth. You enjoyed them then, and you and your kids will both enjoy them today.

Richard Heller is an independent computer specialist who specializes in repairs, installation, upgrades, technical support, Internet sharing, data recovery and diagnostics. If you have any computer or service-related questions, please send them to The Rock River Times, e-mail, or call 243-1162.

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