Featureless Rental copies?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Ric Easton, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I have a Hollywood Video going out of business near me (there are a precious few rental shops left near me) and picked up a copy of a "rental version" of Sherlock Holmes on Blu-ray.

    I originally wasn't that interested in the film (based on the trailers) but enough people are telling me I should give it a try. And, I figured I don't need any extras for that one. I find myself watching fewer and fewer extras. Don't have the time. It's got to be a film I really want to learn more about. Maybe there are just fewer and fewer of those being made nowadays! /img/vbsmilies/htf/tongue.gif
     
  2. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Yeah, I also don't get to the extras nearly as much as I used to. These days I often just end up falling asleep to them (after watching the movie) and then don't get back to them again in most cases.

    But back on topic, I agree w/ Adam G that the main issue here for the studios is probably the used/previewed-sale market for rentals and how it impacts their retail sell-through market. It's probably also partly what drives a studio like Universal to try their duo-format BD/DVD flipper while others have been going w/ separate discs in their combo packs -- they don't want people to resell (or give away) the DVDs and cut deeper into their all-around video market. Interestingly, Universal seems to be one studio that has not gone w/ this rental-exclusive model for their BDs so far (though I have no idea about their DVDs).

    BTW, although the lack of extras alone may not make much diff to most who'd either rent or buy the previewed/rental copies, that combined w/ the hard-forced trailers may very well deter many of you who'd normally buy them. Certainly, I'd think there's not much point in buying them if/when you can often find the full featured retail versions (w/ no/less forcing of trailers) for not much more if you just exercise a little patience -- it's not like you can normally buy the previewed/rental ones during release week afterall.

    As I've noted elsewhere, the forced trailers issue (at least w/ BDs) is getting worse, especially on the rental-exclusives. Some of them (namely some recent Warner BDs) are locking out the chapter skip button, not just the menu button, during the forced trailers -- only thing you can do is use the fastforward scan to move them along quicker, but you'd have to repeat that for every single trailer. That's rather annoying for the first viewing though tolerable enough (for a rental to me anyway), but would probably become insufferable if needed for every additional viewing (after you own it), especially if you're prone to accidentally hitting the stop button mid-stream (for the BD-J titles, and you know many of them will use BD-J even if there are no useable/viewing features). Interestingly (again), I've noticed some Universal BDs seem to only force trailers some of the times (or not at all), not everytime, and that may also have something to do w/ their use of BD-Live to download trailers -- and I've disabled BD-Live on my Panny BD60.

    OTOH, maybe forced trailers on BD rental exclusives would be less annoying *IF* it means much faster load times w/out all the extras. /img/vbsmilies/htf/tongue.gif I haven't taken note of that so far, but maybe I will going forward...

    RE: the added authoring/manufacturing cost issue w/ rental exclusives, I wonder if they haven't figured out a way to keep that very minimal (beyond the issue of the physical disc pressings). Maybe all they're doing is authoring and manufacturing the discs w/ a simple, cost-effective way to "cripple" large batches for rental-exclusives rather than actually creating completely separate discs. Wouldn't be a first for a mass-produced consumer product. /img/vbsmilies/htf/tongue.gif

    _Man_
     
  3. IDLRV

    IDLRV Auditioning

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    Hey guys, I started a Cause on Facebook to try to stop rental versions that can be found here: www.causes.com/causes/572896-stop-rental-versions-of-dvds It also is linked to the Facebook Page with the same intentions that can be found here: www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Protest-Against-Rental-Versions/141152139266890 Feel free on either the Cause or the Page to start a new Topic or Note with a current list of rental versus retails. Thank you.
     
  4. IDLRV

    IDLRV Auditioning

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    Hey guys,
    I started a Cause on Facebook to try to stop rental versions that can be found here:
    www.causes.com/causes/572896-stop-rental-versions-of-dvds
    It also is linked to the Facebook Page with the same intentions that can be found here:
    www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Protest-Against-Rental-Versions/141152139266890
    Feel free on either the Cause or the Page to start a new Topic or Note with a current list of rental versus retails.
    Thank you.
     
  5. IDLRV

    IDLRV Auditioning

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    Hey guys,
    I started a Cause on Facebook to try to stop rental versions that can be found here:
    www.causes.com/causes/572896-stop-rental-versions-of-dvds
    It also is linked to the Facebook Page with the same intentions that can be found here:
    www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Protest-Against-Rental-Versions/141152139266890
    Feel free on either the Cause or the Page to start a new Topic or Note with a current list of rental versus retails.
    Thank you.
     
  6. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Second Unit

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    Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but there's some good discussion here and I thought I'd stick my $0.02 in an existing discussion rather than start a new one.
    I just rented Bridesmaids from Blockbuster and it's a feature-less rental version. This is my first experience with an artificially crippled disc and I'm... displeased. Far from having the desired effect of making me want to buy the retail version, it actually swung me in the other direction of being so furious that I never want to pay these greedy scum another red cent. Yes, first world problems, I know. Still peeved about it.
    All these years and these studio execs still don't get it. They're punishing legitimate customers and encouraging people to seek out movies through more illicit means. I'm not condoning it, but as a customer I can certainly identify with the sentiment. Geez, are you not making enough money as it is?!?!
    /rant off
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I agree completely.
     
  8. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Cinematographer
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    I think Universal is one of the worst offenders (Warner a very close second) with these bare-bones rental copies. The menu design and navigation is identical to the retail version, except when selecting a special feature, more times than not, a dialogue box pops up saying that this feature is only available on the retail version. Gee, thanks!

    Warner's big offense, though, is the forced trailers that can only be scanned through, one at a time, with the next chapter and Top Menu buttons locked out.
     
  9. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    To be honest, you're only scratching the surface. I also did this. but after some investigation, it's obvious that some titles aren't just featureless - in some cases, they are changed. Changed how? Different bitrates on the transfer. I have seen a few that because they "came close" they were obviously made to fit on a single layer BD (BD-25) from a BD-50 disc, which means the bitrate for the title became less along with the loss of extras.
     
  10. Zeros

    Zeros Auditioning

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    Aaannndd some of these titles have entire scenes dropped from them. Saw cowboys and aliens in theaters, noticed a scene or two missing from the rental. I swear other scenes were missing from movies I've seen in theaters and then rented... but Cowboys and Aliens I am sure of.
     
  11. moviepas

    moviepas Second Unit

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    Over the years rental shops had discs without extra features supplied on the discs. Former mail-order rental DVD/Blu Ray businesses shipped out discs with no cases or slicks and each disc was an extra rental.

    My understanding is that screeners sent out to reviewers were incomplete making it an unfair review of the product at hand. Kino, I believe did this.

    In my country Virgin had a VHS division and had many TV shows and British films of worth. The reps copies had the running time running hours/minutes/seconds across the top of the picture. I got given a lot from the trunk of the reps cars and I put up with it. Somewhere along the line the reps had to hand in their sample copies of LPs, CDs and videos when they were finished with because the government decided unreturned product was sales taxable. Weird to say the least. Many a rep told me that when showing new 7" 45rpm pop records to record stores they would come out with less than they took in. Some smart cookie had spirited away some when the rep was not looking!!!! Of course an absent-minded rep could also accidently leave some behind. Then there were the reps who wanted to sell or trade their samples to you, another story.
     
  12. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    I rent a lot from Red Box. They are definitely movie only with a bunch of previews, some allow you to skip them others don't. But for $1.25, I'm happy.

    If It turns out to be something I really like, I wait a while and buy the full version with extras, commentary, etc.

    I'm guessing it takes a while to prepare the menus and extras, so I'm perfectly fine getting the stripped down version at such a cheap price until the "real" release comes out.
     
  13. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    The newest trend is to actually have the special features described in the rental disc menus, so that when you try to access one of the special features, you get a message "This rental disc only contains the feature film. If you would like to see the special features, please purchase the retail version of this movie." or something to that effect. I really don't mind that they skimp on extras for rental discs, however where I have gotten burned is in purchasing a used copy from an Amazon merchant who doesn't disclose that what they are actually selling is an ex-rental disc with no features!
     
  14. Stan

    Stan Producer
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    Never bought a used item from Amazon, and stopped purchasing from eBay six or seven years ago because of problems like this.

    I'll pay the extra and get a brand new, sealed copy that I can trust and return or exchange if there are problems.
     
  15. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    Just rented Divergent from Netflix. Not only is it featureless, but it does not have lossless sound! Just plain old Dolby Digital 5.1 (The retail version has DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1) This is the first time I've ever known a rental disc to skimp on sound!
     
  16. phillyrobt

    phillyrobt Second Unit

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    Yeah this makes me want to stop renting. Borrowed blu-rays of Scary Movie V and Movie 43 expressly for deleted/uncensored scenes from Netflix that weren't there. The trvia track for Lawrence of Arabia cut off after 5 minutes (a Netflix rep gave me an extra rental for that one)
     

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