Why no "Blu-Ray on demand"?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Michael Allred, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    MI
    Real Name:
    Michael
    Several of the major studios have their own MOD (Movies On Demand) program that offer up smaller titles that had very little chance at getting a "proper" mainstream DVD release, giving fans the opportunity to buy their favorites in an official capacity and likely the best those movies have even been seen in (in terms of PQ, etc.) For example the cheesy B-movie "Body Slam" (starring Roddy Piper and Dirk Benedict) about a sleazeball music producer getting involved in the world of professional wrestling. The movie was/is a true guilty pleasure but I never once seriously thought it would ever get an official DVD release until MGM started their MOD program. Financially it makes perfect sense - the only copies that get made are when someone actually orders it. These releases simply don't face the same problems as other "mainstream" titles (stocking issues, etc etc etc.) The studios get to make some money off these titles that otherwise would just be collecting dust in a vault somewhere and the small number of fans FINALLY get a decent version to own. So.....why just DVD? Why not Blu-Ray? We're constantly hearing word about how catalog titles just aren't doing THAT well on the format which would be why we haven't seen a deluge of favorites on BD so if the DVD MOD programs have been a success thus far with studios, why couldn't they apply the same thought towards Blu-Ray on demand? Say for example, "Fright Night" (1985.) Sony had already created an HD version for use (broadcast HD movie channels have shown it earlier this year) and that would have been a great example of a catalog title primed for a BD MOD program. Are there technological issues that would prevent this from happening right now? If not then I'm at a loss as to why the studios wouldn't jump on it. (For clarification, "Fright Night" was used merely as an example and because it's a title fresh in my memory. Not to stir up further controversy.)
     
  2. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    MI
    Real Name:
    Michael
    I would assume that movies that have already gotten the HD treatment (but no BD release yet) would be first in line but then how would you decide what DOES get a new HD master? Perhaps put out a list of possibilities and the highest vote getters win next in line? I don't expect "Body Slam" to ever get the HD treatment but.....I can dream.
     
  3. Scott Shanks

    Scott Shanks Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2001
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Louisville, Ky
    Real Name:
    Scott Shanks
    Two words, "Band Width." :)
     
  4. Worth

    Worth Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,724
    Likes Received:
    632
    Real Name:
    Nick Dobbs
    Not sure what bandwidth would have do with anything, as MOD titles are burned and mailed, not downloaded. I think there are two real issues. One, there's simply not enough demand. It's cheaper and easier for Sony to licence out a title like Fright Night than it is to set up the apparatus needed to create MOD discs. Two, BD-R media doesn't play nice with many existing models of blu-ray players. DVD-R is much more widely compatible, but even then, you hear about specific discs not working in particular players. And given that studios are charging $20 for MOD DVD-Rs, you can bet they'd charge $30-40 for comparable blu-rays.
     
  5. DSmith1984

    DSmith1984 Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Real Name:
    Doug
    Give it time. I mean we were what 10 years or so into DVD's life cycle before MOD was developed. Give the studios time to get their major and popular stuff out and then perhaps Blu-Ray MOD will be brought into the picture. I personally think MOD will be the last method of releasing movies/shows on physical media because there will always be stalwarts who want their physical media(myself included in that) and I think there will be just enough that studios will at least try to cater to that group for a little while anyway. I've seen a lot of people saying streaming/digital downloads will be the norm within the next 5 or 10 years max and I disagree. I think there's no doubt that it will eventually happen, but I really don't see it happening for at least 20 to 25 years. Quite honestly, while I think MOD will be the last method of releasing physical, I wouldn't be surprised if somewhere between Blu-Ray's demise and going to all download/streaming, the studios don't try to release movies on SDHC cards. There are already cards out there that have more memory than a DL Blu-Ray does.
     
  6. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 1999
    Messages:
    17,068
    Likes Received:
    367
    Location:
    Disney World and Universal Florida
    Real Name:
    Tony D.
    My first thought was how would they do blu-ray on demand, probably same as Scott was thinking, then I read the topic. Maybe the title should say MOD or made on demand.
     
  7. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    8,449
    Likes Received:
    1,190
    Location:
    North Hollywood, CA
    Real Name:
    Brandon Conway
    A much larger percentage of Blu-ray players have problems playing BD-Rs than DVD players that have problems playing DVD-Rs. I'd estimate the BD players that can't play BD-Rs at about 10-15%.
     
  8. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    MI
    Real Name:
    Michael
    I've never even tried to play a BD-R disc before so I wouldn't know much about it. Would creating BD-Rs on demand be that much more difficult than DVD-R on demand? Good point about price difference.
     
  9. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    MI
    Real Name:
    Michael
    I just have a hard time believing it will only be streaming/downloading. There are SO many issues with that idea that being able to resolve most, if not all, will be nearly impossible.
     
  10. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    MI
    Real Name:
    Michael
    Well why is that exactly? Couldn't there be a firmware upgrade that fixes such an issue?
     
  11. DSmith1984

    DSmith1984 Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    3
    Real Name:
    Doug
    That's part of why I say it will take so long. I mean, VHS has essentially been "dead" for almost 10 years now yet you can still buy blank VHS tapes and a good percentage of DVD players are still DVD/VHS combo players. Is it still true that VHS is the preferred consumer format for recording or has DVD finally surpassed it in that area?
     
  12. MLamarre

    MLamarre Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    37
    Real Name:
    Matthew Lamarre
    If I had to guess: -The BD-R technology is not at a level in this point of time to be able to make this a reality -It would cost the studios a lot more money. They would probably have to buy new equipment to be able to do this, or develop it if it doesn't exist, and raw materials (discs) are more expensive than DVDs -A very small percentage of films have HD masters and those that don't would require one. I highly doubt many of the films they are releasing in their DVD MOD programs have HD masters. They would either have to make new HD masters (way too costly given the obscurity of the films; they already have doubts about remastering much more popular films for BD release) or burn their DVD transfers onto a BD disc (in that case, what's the point?)
     
  13. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    8,449
    Likes Received:
    1,190
    Location:
    North Hollywood, CA
    Real Name:
    Brandon Conway


    It's just too recent in the technology. A lot of early DVD players couldn't play DVD-Rs, either, but now that we've had years and years of capable models it's not as big of an issue anymore.


    Firmware upgrades can't help in this matter, as this is a hardware issue mainly. Also, some of it only has to do with the AACS encryption on a BD-R. While studios could just leave that off, I doubt they'd take the risk, especially with HD releases.
     

Share This Page