we need to be good consumers, if we want good products

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by jimmyjet, Nov 26, 2009.

  1. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Brad,

    I agree with Gary, you brought up some very good points and the posts since yours are good ones. So I'll put in my 2 cents as well guy about this, but I agree with some here....I just don't see most of these older shows ever getting released on BR. There have been a few, "The Prisoner", and others, but by and large, BR is seen, imo, by the studios, as a format for new and recent programming. The Std format has been around since, what, '97? And look at all of the TV shows, as well as movies, that have yet to be released on that format. I don't see BR changing that much.

    If they start to crank out older TV shows on BR, I wouldn't double-dip on 95-99% of my Std collection anyway. I would have to shell out the $$'s for one of those BR region-free players which will play all Std regions as well.

    OT sports: Anyone catch that Arizona/Tennessee game? Fantastic finish. Vince :) I still remember that '05 'Horns title :) How about those Colts? Still undefeated. Go Saints (Mon night). Sorry, Gary....they're playing the Pats :) Great holiday weekend for me....'Horns heading for that BCS title game if they beat the 'Huskers on Sat.
     
  2. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Wow again! I hate to just keep saying "amen" to what you guys are posting without saying much more - but you really are covering all the same bases I would. For instance, I'm in full agreement with Jeff about those of us here not representing the larger audience the studios are looking at.

    While I am pretty cynical and skeptical when it comes to the studios listening to the consumers, there are a couple of small victories here and there. For instance, as best as I can tell the one and only reason we saw the ultra-rare Christmas-themed episode from WINDOW ON MAIN STREET released is because I asked Brian Ward about it several times at the Shout board and Sitcoms Online. There may have been one other poster that also mentioned it with me, but as best I can tell it was released on the basis of the request of just a couple of fans. Literally! So every once in a blue moon you get some nice surprises, but I'd never expect just one or two people to be able to have that kind of impact. Unless we are talking Oprah...


    Gary "if Shout is listening I have many more suggestions for Christmas-themed compilations" O.
     
  3. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Gary,

    It's interesting that you mention your Shout! feedback. One of the main reasons that Image went ahead with the Combat! release was due to "T-Gun" on the Combat! forum. He worked directly with Image in supplying info and fan feedback during the planning of that DVD series release. So you're right, sometimes it does make a difference.

    Also, I remember you telling me about that "Dick Van Dyke" DVD release story. The license owner needed convincing that the show would do well if it was released on DVD.

    Remembering that (orig) Star Trek quote from Cpt Kirk: "In every revolution, there's one man with a vision."
     
  4. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Quote:Originally Posted by Jeff Willis

    Wish we had more of them.


    Gary "great points made by a bunch of you in this thread - bravo" O.
     
  5. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    "Mama's Family" season one is generally considered one of the worst tv-on-dvd releases...ever. And that's not just me talking--it's pretty much everyone who bought it. Flip through older threads for loads of Mama hate! lol I don't consider myself a boycotter of that dvd, I just didn't buy it because I had no use for it. The fact that I already have it on vhs has something to with it, because I consider them a superior product to the dvds, because they are uncut and unedited. They also used inferior picture-quality episodes on those discs--the same prints that have existed in syndication for many years. Mine are simply better, even though the vhs tapes are 26 years old and growing older. What would have happened if I didn't own those vhs tapes? Would I have bought the dvds then? Probably not, citing the rising howls from the members of this forum who did buy it. I would have assumed by now that the studio would have corrected the dvd's many problems, recalled the old dvds and put out better ones. Since they weren't willing to do any such thing, I'll move on and concentrate on the shows that they got right. I own 100s and 100s of dvds and blurays and all of them are of acceptable quality (to me). I don't spend money on junk.

    The Big Valley had very good picture quality; but some of the episodes jammed up big time in my own players. Same spots, different players--and the discs would jam. And others on this forum cited the same problems. "Dallas" also utilized DVD-18s and none of mine have ever had a problem, nor have I heard complaints from others.

    As for blu-ray--keep in mind that the assumptions you made above echo the assumptions people made when tv-on-dvd just barely got off the ground. People assumed that only cult-favorite tv shows like Star Trek and I Love Lucy would end up on dvd in their entirety. And they were put out early in the game...followed by 100s of other shows. Now, of course, tv-on-bluray is becoming more common...and Star Trek was one of the first vintage shows to appear. Can Lucy be far behind? I don't think so. I think Lucy will start coming out on bluray within the next 2 years. And then the studios will start making second passes with other "fan favorite" shows. "Highlander" is coming out now. I believe they'll try it with shows such as "The X-Files" and "Buffy The Vampire Slayer." Trust me, this is going to happen. Blu-ray will, within the next two years, completely replace standard def in all areas of production. Look at the new movie releases of current blockbusters; they're starting to be priced at $19.99 or even lower. That indicates an leveling-out of the two formats in terms of price points. Little by little, consumers will switch to blu because the price point is in keeping with what they expect to pay for a movie, and of course, they'll gravitate to the superior format. That's what happened between vhs vs. dvd in the first place, 12 years ago. Watch as it's happening again, and now. But don't tell me it's not happening, because I'm watching history repeat itself as we speak--all the evidence is right here in this forum.
     
  6. LeoA

    LeoA Screenwriter

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    The thing that might end up making Blu-Ray's evolution different from DVD's is digital distribution.

    That's a unknown that I think will lead to history not repeating itself with Blu-Ray.


    Hope I'm wrong, I'd love nothing more than to own my favorite classic shows on Blu-Ray, but I suspect "leasing" digital copies of our shows is the future we have to look forward to...
     
  7. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    I just don't think the comparisons between the advent of SDVD and Blu-ray are as applicable as you say. When dvd came on the scene nothing like it had really been seen. Laser discs had never taken off and certainly there hadn't been a foray into TV series in that format. Blu-ray, on the other hand, is trying to come right in over the top of a recent format and I just don't see it taking off when it comes to classics. Sure, its a nice format for HD material and I'm confident it will continue to work well with current films and TV shows. But let's face it. The upgrade for older material isn't going to be that great from what we have right now on standard def dvds. I imagine the studios will try to sell the public on double-dipping into popular titles like I LOVE LUCY, but I'm just not convinced it will take off to the degree that you think it will when it comes to older material.

    Bottom line: time will tell who's right and who's not. But as it stands right now I just don't see vintage TV being saved by Blu-ray.


    Gary "I know I'm not double-dipping on vintage series I've already purchased for a very slight upgrade in pic quality" O.
     
  8. smithb

    smithb Screenwriter

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    The Blu-ray debate is an interesting one but as Gary indicated we will just have to wait and see since it is all still speculation as to how far it will go. As for history repeating itself and all the evidence is right here in the forum, well that is also left up to interpretation. In other words, while trying to predict the future we can easily be reading the so-called "tea leaves" differently. Thus, leading to the speculation of differing results.

    But I will grant you that Blu-ray disks have come down in price. Enough so that I have already picked up 35 without even having a player yet. I would estimate that I am averaging about $12 a Blu-ray. That is a good sign for helping Blu-ray adoption.

    I can very well see Blu-ray being adopted for more recent shows. But here again is where different definitions come into play. For me the line in the sand is drawn at the 70's, where post-70's shows may appear more viable to studios since there is a larger demongraphic that know's these shows. Pre-70's is what I consider to be "vintage" and this is where I believe only the shows with very strong followings and excellent prints will be considered. Interestingly enough, it is the earlier shows that would more likely benefit from a Blu-ray release given that their source might be 35mm film. While many of the 70's and 80's may provide limited benefits with their video source. So again, the evaluation of Blu-ray as a success, or not, in the TV medium may depends on what era of shows one is looking for.

    Another factor for history to repeat itself is to what degree of success studio's really feel the production of vintage movies and TV shows has achieved. Again the really well known titles for both are a given. It is the lesser titles where success can be debated. Many say that studio's are putting out fewer and fewer classic titles. The advent of archive programs shows that the previous approach may not havebeen living up to expectation. For TV shows, stalled series after stalled series and obvious slow downs in specific era's. History isn't going to necessarily repeat in areas that were not as profitable as may have been hoped.

    And worth repeating, you have to consider the quality of the video source. If the source isn't going to improve the experience in HD then why do it. While yes they could do it for space saving considerations or just because it is the new format, but I don't see many double dipping to take advantage of it. In some cases, taking a lesser source and increasing its resolution seems to make a worse result in that the flaws are magnified even more. You also have shows that were edited at lower resolution video like many shows relying on CGI special effects. These can be very expensive to port up because all the effects have to be redone at a higher resolution to show any real benefit.

    All in all, it is interesting to debate, but we will just have to wait a few years to see who guessed right.
     
  9. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    For older shows, if they've remastered the films in hi-def, then their exhibition is definitely going to benefit from a blu-ray format. Problematic shows are those like Dallas and Star Trek: The Next Generation, which were edited on video and can't really be upgraded in that regard. But there plenty of shows that were shot in 35mm that can be remastered in hi-def, and the results will be immediately apparent on Blu-ray--there is no "slight" upgrade in quality. You've got to get yourself a blu-ray player and compare. What you'll see is more than twice as good as it was on dvd. I just bought "Gone With the Wind" on blu-ray...it's beyond amazing, what you will see. True, the special effects in that one look cheesy in hi-def (check out the invisible carriages riding up to Twelve Oaks) but when compared to the film's older dvd release...it's about ten times better than it had been. Ditto the Wizard of Oz. Vintage movies and filmed tv shows on blu-ray are definitely going to enjoy a marked visual improvement over their dvd counterparts; in the cases cited above, a breathtaking improvement.
    Recent tv shows? Again, they definitely benefit from blu-ray. I have seasons 1-3 of Supernatural in standard def. I got season 4 in blu-ray...it looks like a completely different show. There's so much clarity now; the show has a much higher impact on me when viewed in hi-def.

    Many, many classic shows are being transferred to hi-def right now, to benefit cable and local tv syndicators. This will give those shows good transfers to use for blu-ray. It's being done. Now whether people will stop buying discs altogether in favor of VOD or viewing online; that's none of my business. I'm only talking about the
     
  10. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    The way I look at the BR question is programming availibality. If the day comes where we have all or most of 50's thru 90's TV/DVD catalog available on BR and we're not seeing duplicate releases in Std DVD of new releases of the older shows, then it'll be time for me to enter the BR mkt. Until or unless that happens, I'm content with Std upconverted DVD for now. One has to look at another double-dipping cost scenario as well for another format change, like some of us did when Std DVD replaced VHS and Laserdisc formats. I didn't invest much in the LD format years ago but I did collect a few titles on that format. For me, I just don't see being able to justify the cost double-dipping to replace many of my Std DVD's. The Std DVD format took off so fast that there's a lot of collectors out there that have ammased a large Std collection.

    If one if talking about recent releases or a few of the older movies and even fewer TV/DVD shows that have been released to date on BR, then I can see one's viewpoint for entering the BR mkt. Correct me if I'm wrong here,but I haven't seen many BR releases of TV/DVD shows that date back to the 60's-70's. "The Prisoner" was one recent exception but I haven't seen many other BR releases in that vintage time frame. For me, it's all about choice and availability of what the movie collectors refer to as "catalog" titles. Since I'm not a recent movie and TV series collector, with rare exceptions, BR isn't a format that's going to be something that I'm interested in investing in for the time being.

    I have seen BR demonstrated for me by my nephew and I agree, when I was watching one of the "Spiderman" movies on BR, it was awesome. But, I'm not interested in most of the newer movie and TV series programming so it's a moot point for me. Now, if you were to demonstrate for me, say, the entire Leave it to Beaver series, or the Big Valley, or Combat! released in BR without amplificaion of its era's filming imperfections, then you have my attention.

    No one here, imo, is disputing BR's clear technical advantages of the format. But there's no case here, again, imo, that BR is going to replace Std DVD anytime soon. For my definition of that to happen, I'd need to see a vast majority of catalog titles, including older TV/DVD sets being released on BR and I haven't seen that yet.
     
  11. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    For the record, I've seen films on Blu-ray a few times and know it's a great format in terms of pic quality and such. So it's not that I'm unaware or unappreciative. But like Jeff said, I do believe the greatest advantages come with newer films & TV shows. The bright colors and clarity work well together.

    Yes, you're right about the older 35 mm material versus the series on film. Nevertheless, I'm not convinced we will see the same amount of vintage TV released on Blu-ray that we've seen on standard def DVD. I don't think it will even be close. A few things here or there maybe, but that's about it. Hope I'm wrong and you're right. I'd love to be able to justify buying a BR player and purchasing as yet unreleased material. But if it's all about rereleasing things that have already come out then I'd be content with watching my dvds upconverted, as Jeff said in his post. If Blu-ray wants to dive into uncharted waters and start releasing vintage series that have never been released before then I'm all for it. I just don't believe that will happen.


    Gary "good discussion - and definitely two completely different opinions about the future of classic material on Blu-ray" O.
     
  12. Powell&Pressburger

    Powell&Pressburger Screenwriter

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    any TV show no matter when it was shot can look good in HD. Let's say Saturday Night Live from 1978 is never gonna really do much with HD it was shot on video. However classic shows shot on film can be upgraded and can look better. The Prisoner is a good example.

    You don't need bright colors etc for a film to look great in HD.

    Take for example The Seventh Seal that was shot in black/white, the HD transfer is insane. In fact most classic films in black and white can certainly have just as good a transfer as a new film or TV show.

    a good example is the TV show How I Met Your Mother was rencetly released on Blu-Ray and got not so great reviews came of it. Some people said it looked worse than what they had seen on the TV broadcast. This isn't always the case.

    It all depends on if the studio or distributor actaully does a good HD transfer and releases it correctly.

    I would also say I can't imagine a huge amount of classic shows being released on blu-ray. Some shows take so many years to be released on DVD, and most cases fans push for the releases while the studios bide their time. I am usually lucky to get a full series release on DVD let alone a BD release.

    I can see myself purchasing a show like The Twilight Zone on Blu-ray (there are several video shot eps however)
     
  13. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Jack,

    I agree with you, the BR potential is awesome. I'd love to own some of the recently-remastered HD older shows, like M:I, The Fugitive, Mannix, on BR. But as a consumer, I have to justify my entry into another format and I can't do that at the present time due to the lack of older catalog movie and TV/DVD titles available in BR.

    Most of the time, these discussions are percieved to be "pro or anti" BR. That's unfortunate since I'm not necessarily anti-BR with one exception. That is, this "what if" possibility:

    Let's say that BR takes off in the next year. If a result of that is the rapid decline and disappearance in Std DVD, including the few older TV/DVD show releases that we are presently getting from the studios, and assuming that those same vintage era's shows won't see BR format releases, then I have to vote "no sale" for BR. For those on the Bd that, from my perception, seem to want to promote BR and post accordingly, I ask them that same question. Would you want to see a format obsolete an earlier format that not only meets your viewing requirements but is releasing the older titles (I'm primarily referring to TV/DVD here), but may discontinue said releases if the newer format expands rapidly?

    I don't want to be misunderstood here: Std & BR can co-exist and I personally agree with Bill Hunt's (The Digital Bits) take on this and that is that Std format will be around for a good while. I believe that the reason that it will is due to the fact that, since its inception, Std DVD exploded onto the scene and grew so fast that there are millions of consumers out there with substantial DVD libararies which represent a considerable investment and they don't see a reason to join the BR mkt at this time.

    So, my BR stance is "live and let live" so long as BR's growth doesn't produce a rapid decline or disappearance in (older) TV/DVD releases. I never visit the new/recent BR release forums and argue that BR is not a good thing. I'd be laughed off those forums anyway When I see BR release announcements on the Bits and TSoD, I say "great" for the BR gang, I don't begrudge them anything. Hopefully, the BR guys that post here feel the same about the ones that choose not to enter that mkt yet.
     
  14. Robert13

    Robert13 Supporting Actor

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    Originally Posted by Gary OS
     
  15. jimmyjet

    jimmyjet Producer

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    wow - this thread sure ended up with some good posts. i guess we all have some different points of view.
     
  16. Gary OS

    Gary OS Producer

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    Quote:
    Sometimes it can get frustrating participating in online communities (as opposed to speaking face to face) because one has to qualify statements constantly so as to not be misunderstood. I'm well aware that it's not just color films/TV that can benefit from Blu-ray and I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. I know there have been some nice looking b/w transfers to HD. I guess what I'm saying is that what is or isn't a substantial upgrade is in the eye of the beholder. And I do think newer, color films benefit more than b/w ones. But to each his own on that point.

    I also know that it's not impossible for shows shot on film to get the HD treatment. But I believe it is more difficult and expensive a proposition. If I'm wrong on that someone please correct me. And regardless of all the above, I'm still of the mindset that Blu-ray will not make major inroads into older, b/w TV. I think a show like The Twilight Zone would be a strong candidate, but that's because of it's cult following more than anything else. The original Star Trek series has already led the way. So a BR release of that show wouldn't surprise me in the least. But my standard dvds, upconverted, look pretty darned good and having seen a couple of examples of b/w Blu-ray I can say pretty definitively for myself that any upgrade to HD wouldn't be substantial enough for me to want to double-dip.

    Jeff's point about how Blu-ray may or may not affect SDVD is important and I share his views. I'm all for "to each his own" as long as the format doesn't immediately crowd out or replace standard def material or make it obsolete in the near future. But if studios immediately shut down SDVD releases in favor of simply double-dipping the same shows they've just released in the last 5 to 10 years then I'm not in favor of a quick assent for that format. Having said all that, I doubt that will happen right away so I'm not overly worried.


    Gary "great comments all the way around" O.
     
  17. Rob_Ray

    Rob_Ray Screenwriter
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    With BluRay players getting to be close to $100 and dropping, I’m starting to view BD as not so much a new format as merely an upgrade to an existing format. All BD players play regular DVDs and upscale them in the process, so the worst thing that will happen is that everyone will have to buy a BD player at some point.

    I don’t even have an HDTV yet and have little interest in any titles released since the 60s. My era is the 20s-50s, including early TV. But I’ve picked up a BD player to take advantage of the lossless audio on the old classics that are now starting to trickle out and to prepare for the day when I upgrade to HDTV.

    I guess I’m an optimist, but I don’t see much of a problem. Three things can happen:

    1. The two formats co-exist for a while and classic TV titles continue to come out on regular DVD exclusively. Not a problem, but not likely to happen for very long.
    2. BDs and BD players drop in price to the point that the regular DVD format dies off. If this happens, the DVD market will just morph to the BluRay standard and even the Alpha Videos of the world will convert to BD. Since BD players are backward compatible, I see shows like Father Knows Best possibly having their final seasons released in BD exclusively if regular DVD goes away. They may not get restored, but they’ll just move over to the new standard for release.
    3. Everything goes to digital download and both formats die. That means niche titles like Father Knows Best become even more financially viable due to the reduced overhead involved. Much as I dread it, I fear this is the future.

    The one thing that won’t happen is the simultaneous release of most niche titles in two formats. The market’s small enough as it is. But if there are enough of us with money in hand wanting classic B&W titles, they’ll generally find a way to market in some format or another.
     
  18. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    What percentage of households who have a video player have Blu-ray? My guess is it's still pretty low, and isn't going to make much difference when it comes to TV on DVD.
     
  19. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Rob, good post & points. I'm about the same; I'm not really excited about downloading delivery of shows. I guess one reason is that I presumably would need to upgrade my PC or buy some kind of network "box" that talks to my TV, etc. I'd have to get educated if/when that day comes but I'm the type that likes to own a studio (ie pressed DVD) physical media on a shelf. If future downloading would allow the customer to burn their own copy to DVD, that's good. But if it is received into your residence with a "coded" protection encryption, say, like DirecTV does with their PPV movies (those will "expire" after 24 hrs from your DVR after you have started viewing them), then I'm not in a hurry for another technological advancement. My Satt Bd aces also tell me that DTV's HD movies that are recorded to your DVR are copy-protected so I can't even burn my own DVD-R for my collection. I haven't tried that as yet but....geezzz I'm not saying it won't happen, I just have to see this trend happening before I'm convinced.

    #3: I don't want to think about that one now. Call me a dinasour.....just me. And that's coming from a guy that was an early entry into both the VHS and Laserdisc formats. I just see the Std DVD growth since its arrival as a far more universal format that has penetrated a very large % of worldwide households vs any previous format and, to date, BR.

    Bottom line, is that I agree with you that BR is an upgrade and not a new format, at least, that's the way I see it as well as you. I just have to see a lot of older catalog titles becoming available before I'll enter the BR mkt.
     
  20. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    Chris, you read my mind :) I don't have the #'s but from the people I know, it's not a widespread format yet. I still think one reason that may be the case is that Std DVD penetrated an amazingly large # of homes during the 12+ years that it's been around. A lot of consumers out there can't yet justify the cost or advantages to entering BR yet. As is the case with most upgrade formats, there is usually a certain # of consumers that will be the early entries in a format such as BR, and I've been in that group of buyers with previous (LD) formats, But I'm not in that group this time around, not yet.
     

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