DJ's Entertainment Closes

FTLComm - Tisdale
June 10, 2000

Tisdale's only other video rental outlet has closed its doors. After two years in business DJ's Entertainment has closed up shop.

The video rental business is a difficult one and we have seen a number of businesses attempt to make a go of it in Tisdale but on its own it is a difficult problem.

Wicks Gas Bar has offered rental videos for more then five years and with them it compliments the convenience store and gasoline sales. Prior to the sale to 7-11 the business that operated on the corner of #3 and #35 did the same.
DJ's Entertainment offered an outstanding line of videos and had a good following of loyal customers. Because they were exclusively a video outlet they did not have the latitude with pricing and Wicks Gas Bar was able to undercut DJ's with recent released movies. Despite the price differential customers continued to support DJ's simply because of the excellent selection often having new releases a week or two ahead of Wicks.

In the urban markets private video outlets have all but disappeared. The big mega franchise operations like BlockBuster and others have simply overwhelmed the market place and private outlets simply can not compete. The only way small private operators can remain in the video rental business is with niche or specialty lines of videos.

Many suggest that the hay day of the video rental business is over. Direct view television with the small dish and cableless video have made renting movies obsolete. With direct television consumers can pay up to $50 a month for television service and with that they are getting at least one movie channel or more. Since they have a limited amount of disposable income for entertainment that money is being absorbed by the satellite companies.

However, things are about to change very quickly with the soon to be released HDTV. High definition television is already in the testing stage and operation in many parts of the United States and will flood into Canada. As consumers buy new televisions with the 16 x 9 format (wide screen) they will have no alternative but to return to broadcast network television which can support the bandwidth needed or rent DVD disks which will provide image quality that will fill those big screens.

Image TV head quartered in Yorkton operated the cable system in Tisdale and many other similar communities across the province but last fall it sold off the cable systems to an Edmonton company while retaining its wireless cable system. Shamrock Television developed a series of towers and essential became a television network in Saskatchewan during the 1960s and 70s. This series of towers were used and still are providing broadcast television throughout the province.

However, Image, a descendent of Shamrock has the rights to these towers and uses them with some very advanced technology to broadcast multiple channels. Their customers require about $400 worth of decoding equipment which they can rent or buy to access seventy-three channels but unlike direct satellite television, this bandwidth will be able not only to handle HDTV but it will soon be two way. (1 888 462 4388)

Already operating in Yorkton, Image is selling continuous wireless Internet connections using this system and they are expected to expand the service to all locations served by their towers. As you can see from the map above, only a small percentage of the settled portion of Saskatchewan is not served by these towers.

The odd thing about all of this is that television which came to us originally free with only commercials to interfere with its simplicity has been elbowed to the side by the demand by the public for more choice which lead to cable companies which provide you with a limited number of channels but besides having to pay for the service which you formerly received free you still have the commercials only now they are for business in Detroit, Boston and Los Angels. Direct satellite television with the hundred plus channels comes at about the same cost as cable and also includes the commercials and now we have cableless cable from Image at roughly the same cost but offering a slightly more modifiable signal. In the mean time the consumer had gone to the video store to satisfy a growing demand for selection and the advertisers reduced their budgets because their audience has become diffuse to the point of total confusion. Network television has declined to the point that CBC offers either hockey or the Air Farce and CTV is nothing more then a Toronto local station.

The consumers drive for diversification has lead to alternative anarchy and the devolution of the medium of television to the point that the Internet is now a viable entertainment medium simply because television is a wasteland of reruns and repeated syndicated series created several decades ago. Gillians Island, I Dream of Jeanie and I Love Lucy are and most likely always will be running on some channel.