In the case of Good News Week — a show drawing on current events — a DVD release seems unlikely, so iTunes is the only legitimate purchase option. In the case of drama or comedy, a DVD release is much more likely, and will often prove to be a cheaper option.
For instance, a single season of 30 Rock costs $29.99 on iTunes. A quick hunt online tracks down a new copy of a three-season box set for around $60. And for that, you get actual packaging and a much higher-resolution copy. Admittedly, what you don’t get is immediate availability; DVDs generally don’t get released until after a show has finished broadcast, though there are sometimes exceptions with overseas shows.
TV production needs a revenue model, and paying for a season pass is one obvious way to do that without resorting to downloads (however much we like to do that). But the approach on iTunes still lacks consistency and (in many instances) decent value for money.
What seems like a reasonable season pass price to you? Share your thoughts in the comments.
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Angus has been writing professionally about technology since 1994 and breaking it for even longer. He is based in Sydney but spends a frankly unhealthy portion of his life on the road, tracking down the latest stories. In 2011, he won the IT Journo Award For Best Consumer Technology Journalist and Consensus IT Writers Award for Best Technical Writer for his work on Lifehacker; about time too.