This blog contains some simple tips and advice from two regular guys. We're not accountants, financial advisors, or brokers, so follow, ignore, or discuss our ideas as you see fit.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Another new entertainment option from Amazon

Update 11/07/07: Please IGNORE the post below. I just went to purchase several Office episodes from Amazon Unbox, but changed my mind because the DRM will prevent me from viewing the episodes on my iPod. FOR SHAME, Amazon! I won't be downloading anything until further notice!

Posted by Matt

You may remember a post from me recently about downloading mp3s from Amazon. I was excited to find it at the time, but not as excited as I was today to find out that I can buy episodes of The Officeon Amazon now, too.

But, being the frugalizer that I am, I sat down to think, "Is this the most cost-effective way for me to watch this show?"

How much does it cost to watch each episode on broadcast television each week? To figure that out, I'd have to determine how much TV I watch each month, figure out what fraction of that is comprised of Office episodes and multiply by my monthly cable expense. But I'm going to skip the math because I've already watched the first three seasons on my iPod about a half dozen times and the amortized cost of each episode has got to be getting fairly competitive. Also, I'll probably be watching the episodes on TV regardless of whether I buy the episodes, so I think the more important decision is DVD vs. download.

It is only slightly more expensive to buy the entire season via subscription than to buy the DVD, with the benefit that you don't have to wait for the DVD release and you don't have to spend a lot of time ripping from the DVD to put the files onto your media player if that is where you want to store and watch them. And what dollar benefit can I assign to not having the DVDs taking up shelf space? Not sure, but it's a definite benefit for me.

To further rationalize it, my employer hands out recognition for good work in the form of Amazon gift certificates and I've got a few of those burning a hole in my digital "pocket". So, if you see me with my headphones on in the near future, chances are that my mind is on an inexpensive trip to Scranton, PA.

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