I like to collect stuff. I have a card collection (all sorts), lapel pin collection, and a DVD collection.
When in search of DVDs, I look for the rare, the vintage, the common, the interesting, the blockbuster, the “diamond in the rough”, and/or childhood/new memories.
Each person’s motive is different. This is just my personal account of how I research to add to my living collection.
Step One: Know the product.
What is the format?
An avid searcher for DVDS I came across out dated formats such as VHS, Beta, Laser Disk, and HD, of course I have also come across DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital.
What is the Region?
There are six regions (Go to Amazon for a full list) for a regular DVD, and three regions for blu-ray The standard DVD for the United States and Canada is region one (U.S., U.S. Territories, Canada, and Bermuda), and for blu-ray the region is A/1 (North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia).
I once bought a region 6 of a season of Deep Space 9 through Amazon.
Some movies or TV shows can be released in one region and not another. A short live show from the 90s that I saw on Netflix, Space Rangers, is released for VHS, and Region 4 (only in Australia).
Amazon and other sites that sell used (or new) DVDs will primarily sell region 1, but one will find other regions, so be careful.
Step Two: Know, Store and Maintain the Existing Collection
CD & DVD Wallets
I have DVDs. I have a lot of DVDs. Within the last year and a half, I started to store DVDs in binders. Yes, a binder full of DVDs (Memorex Travel Case Active CD & DVD Wallet 256-ct). I like this one the best. I bought one with a fancy design for my audio CDs, and that fell apart.
The problem is that I can only find these at Target, and they are around 32 dollars. I have eight to ten of them.
Do not make the mistake that I did when transferring each DVD from the case to the binders. One movie might not mean one DVD. A TV series does not equal one DVD, more like for to seven discs. I easily own over three hundred to four hundred titles.
The majority of one binder will cover my Star Trek Collection alone. I have also kept space open, just in case I get the titles I do not have.
I find when going through my existing collection that I start thinking if there are holes to fill, and then I list them.
I found that some of the disks were thrown across the room by small children, and did not work as they should. I finally took the plunge and did some research online.
These were the two best articles that I found. Over vacation, I took a couple of my DVDs that did not work, bought some car wax, and they worked.
Step Three: Listing and Finding Part One
How to do what? Make a list? Just write down what you want. Is that simple? I don’t know, maybe? Or maybe not? This is up to your ambition.
I have too many family members. I don’t mind shopping for people. That is fun, and I do not care about the cost.
Because of the family (by birth and in-laws) a listed needed to be created any way This list has also other items, but mainly DVDs.
I have no idea what I want, so first I go through my binders and look at the franchises I own (Star Trek, Babylon 5, Wizard of Oz, Highlander…) and started to do some searches online to see if there were other versions or different stories.
There are many websites that will help in this process. Part of this is to remember what they are and their functions. Amazon is my go to, but they are not always the cheapest, nor do they have everything.
Netflix & Amazon Prime & The Internet Movie Database
Netflix and the Prime well they let me watch movies, and then I go “hey; I like this movie. I think I want this movie.”
Then I go online to IMDB to do a little, simple research on the movie, and maybe a Google search.
Amazon, Half.Com, & Albris
Of course, there are other sites as well, but these are the ones that I like for a mix of new and used.
Step Four: Listing and Finding Part Two
Going to Netflix, Amazon, Albris, Half.com, etc….. Even to Google for a movie, and to see if it is anywhere. That is one thing, and a basic search is of course a necessity.
Let us break the walk.
I had an epiphany one day.
I look at my one dollar DVDs, and I wondered why they are not around any more and why were they a dollar. I was in college when they first came out, and have obtained some of the Cartoon Craze, Warriors of the Wasteland and The Wonderful Galaxy of Oz.
The company is Digiview, and the movies they sold were all Public Domain movies. Digiview did go out of business, and that is a shame.
However, I use this technique to look for other publishers of DVDS, and producers.
There are so many other sites that sell their product, or list their product to give you ideas.
There are times where I ask my friends on Facebook questions pertaining to entertainment.
In this case, I asked (A younger) Lt. Commander Michael Eddington + Star Wars + Conan the Barbarian =?
How does one answer this question? I will say that if you were a science fiction/fantasy geek whom you might have an easier time and even answer the question right away.
First, if I was the user, I would ask myself what is this geek trying to get at. There is a TV character (that might not be known at the time) and two movies with an equal sign. My intention is that the user will think this would equal to another movie or TV Show in the fantasy/science fiction genre. So, now we know what we are looking for.
Second, if I was the user, I would break down the formula into three concepts.
- (A younger) Lt. Commander Michael Eddington
- Star Wars
- Conan the Barbarian
I would start searching.
The user might search for the concept of “Star Wars,” then they will find information on “Star Wars” and the same goes with “Conan the Barbarian.”
Let us experiment with the key concepts here. We will need to use the Boolean Method of search.
- Three Operators: And, Or, Not
- ” ” = Exact P
There is more to the Boolean, but these are the basics. Users mainly search by using Boolean without knowing.
AND says a user wants to search for all the words. The AND is not required if the user writes Star Wars that would be equivalent to writing Stars AND Wars.
OR says that a user wants to search for either or of the words, but not something that has both items. If the user is just searching the two words Star Wars, and places a OR in the middle making the phrase Star OR Wars.
NOT says that a user wants everything with concept X but not the concept Y. In this case the user would write Star but not Wars, so the user would only get information in the Blue area of the Venn diagram.
By placing quotations over words the user is asking to search that concept as exactly written. For example, “Star Wars.” Every source should have those exact words together and in that order.
What will be the results if the user does a search result such as “Star Wars” and “Conan the Barbarian?”
The user does not get too much as seen on the first five results of Google, nor the other results.
Maybe, we walked through the wrong door when searching. The third concept, (A younger) Lt. Commander Michael Eddington. I would also break this apart too.
- (A Younger)
- Lt. Commander
- Michael Eddington
If I were the user, I would drop A younger and Lt. Commander, and do not search for them. I would add Lt. Commander later if I need to, and also I would use LT Commander to indicate that I am right in my searching results. When I wrote Younger, I was trying to convey to the user to the past.
Notice the Google’s advice from other people searching Michael Eddington. Deep Space 9 and Star Trek appears. I would guess as a user that I am not looking for him on LinkedIn or as an illustration, and design person. The safe bet is picking one of the links pertaining to him as a Star Trek character. Notice the link that I have already looked at that has Lt. Commander. I would go to The Internet Movie Database.
The next question the user would ask. Is the person asking the question alluding for the character Michael Eddington or the actor who plays Michael Eddington?
The Internet Movie Database has that information about the actor, Ken Marshal, who played Michael Eddington on Star Trek.
IMDB lists around twenty-four different acting appearances. There are a few ways to limit the choices. I would subtract any TV Show or movie cameo performances. Hopefully, the user picks up on the fact that the movie or TV Show needs him to be the lead. Second, one can subtract anything that is not in the genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Third, the movie or TV show would have to be older than Star Trek: Deep Space 9, because of the key word “younger.”
At this point, one should figure out the answer.