How do you watch your TVB series? On the internet, rent discs, or buy copies either online, at stores or from the rental place? I rent from the tvb rental stores but I also like the feeling of keeping and having my own copy (since I am obsessed with TVB.. haha). For those of you guys living in the U.S., TVB seems to be releasing more series for sale at a more rapid pace than before. About 2 years ago, they started to sell series that were a few years old such as Golden Faith, Triumph In the Skies, and Witness to a Prosecution to name a few. Now, they seem to selling really new series such as Tai Chi and Life Made Simple, so for those that want to have a copy of your favorite series, you might get a chance soon. The selection shown on YesAsia and other internet sites actually differ than ones sold in asian dvd stores since the stores actually have more for sale though!
From what I heard from my local store, they might be changing around the formats on how they sell some series because of different licensing issues so let me describe some of them to you in case you're wondering about the quality.
The slighter older series that were released in the past few years were packaged in a hard cardboard with another plastic dvd case in the inside. Each disc has 4 episodes and quality is really good since they seem to transfer it from originals. English subtitles depend on if the original had them (when they were rented) unless the older series was super popular, then they added it later such as Greed of Man.
The most recent series that was released was Tai Chi but it only came in a smaller plastic dvd case. The episodes are more compressed with 6 episodes per disc but the quality is still really good. I didn't really notice anything different but maybe it could be because the background is more muted in the series. I heard that future series will be released in these type of cases with the next releases listed are The Four (that's super recent!) and Under the Canopy of Love. I also looked at Yesasia just now and they're on sale for $16! That's pretty cheap! I actually like the older casing but at least this will save me space. An older series that will also be released soon is the popular The Bund, but I'm not sure what kind of case they will be using. It does look like it will be compressed since part 1, 2, and 3 which is comprised of 65 episodes will be on only 8 discs! They better do some digital enhancements to clean up the quality!
At the stores, there are more older releases that are now on sale. I believe they started about a month or 2 ago but so far they have 16-20 series out. These have 2 episodes per disc and it looks like it's basically the same set as the rental discs. If the original series was rented out in dvd format (approx. 2002 and beyond), it looks like they might release a lot of them in this format. In case you were wondering, the series that were released in this format is: Dreams of Colours, Scavengers Paradise, The Gateau Affairs, An Herbalist Affair, A Case of Misadventure, Family Man, My Family, Lost in the Chamber of Love, Placebo Cure, Guts of Man, Real Kung Fu, A Handful of Love, To Get Unstuck in Time, In The Realm of Fancy, The Prince's Shadow, Strike at Heart, Into Thin Air, and Misleading Track. I might be missing a series or two but that's about it. There's also a version of Guts of Man that I see that they are releasing on YesAsia that I see in the compressed format since it's only 3 discs, so I wonder it's 2 different companies licensing and selling these series. These are also cheaper since I see that they are selling them for around $13-16.
From the looks of it, most TVB series from 2002-2007 will actually be released soon! I think it's good for them since it's another way for them to make money and employ their actors (even though they're probably not getting a cut of it!). I just hope that this doesn't affect the rental companies any because mine are super nice and I don't want to see another place close down in this bad economy! I'm thinking it shouldn't since most people rent really current series as they come out right? On the other hand, I am really, really excited for Survivor's Law to come out on DVD!!! Even though there are a lot of ways to watch tvb series online (and for free), I like watching mine on a big screen, and with english subtitles!