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DVD's Have they Lost their Luster?

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#1 of 156 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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Posted March 21 2004 - 01:28 PM

Having been on the bandwagon of DVD since the REEL.com Glory days and a member of the HTF since 1999, I've seen alot and been thru alot in the DVD World. I started my Collection in 1997 and 800+ Titles later there it sits. But a funny thing started happening in the last few years. I started viewing less and less of the Disks special features. Gone were many of the interesting content of the past and in it's place alot of Buzz pieces, fluff featurettes that could be found on HBO late at night and alike. I stopped listening to commentaries and pretty much watched the movies and up on the shelf it went. The quality of DVD presentations were all over the map, some were steller with excellent DTS tracks, some were downright terrible downright down resolution affairs as the studios began to stuff more and more features and forced trailers and fullscreen versions on the small disks. Then there's the subject of Cover art, Dumbed down for the masses so that it plays to the grocery Store crowd whose Eyes are darting between a DVD of "Real Science" and the special on the 24oz bag of Doritos in the same aisle. TV on DVD also may have added to the downfall of alot of movie Viewing of late as those Multiple Disk Box sets of all those shows demands time, time that is taken away from Movie watching. I have about 90 disks that sit shrinkk wrapped, that like a dog at a pound, look at me hoping to be peeled of their plastic prison and viewed in all their anamorphic glory ! But there they sit now more of an Obligation than a thing of Joy, Just one less disk that needs to be viewed one more chore before I sleep. I've started buying less disks. Really why do they need to be on my shelf if I will only need to view them once or every few years? They are not like the Indiana Jones, Star treks or James Bonds films. They are not the Precious of the Lord of the rings series. They are Media vieing for my time along with so many other diversions these Days. Do I sound disillusioned with our favorite Hobby. Well I guess I am. What would bring me back? Well maybe HD DVD but I don't relish the though of buying alot of those disks again. Maybe Star Wars would have if it were the definitive set with the original versions. Or maybe the focus will shift somewhere else. How's Your Collection Doing ?
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#2 of 156 OFFLINE   Ricardo C

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Posted March 21 2004 - 01:41 PM

Feel free to FedEx me and and all discs that no longer give you a rush, Dave. It's the least I can do for a fellow HTFer, really Posted Image

Seriously, though... I'm still in love with the format, infuriating elements aside. Just think about it: We can buy over 10,000 films with (usually) pristine a/v quality, on a medium that will likely outlive us. On any given day, I can sit down and enjoy OAR presentations of films that I couldn't have even dreamed of owning on VHS ten years ago. For a film buff, there's no time like the present Posted Image

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#3 of 156 OFFLINE   Alex Spindler

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Posted March 21 2004 - 01:43 PM

I'm quite loving it. I've been nearing the point where my wishlist is getting thinner and thinner, so I've been able to enjoy the films that I've already got even more. I'm able to visit the special features I didn't get through earlier, opening new avenues on the films that I love. Then I get the real enjoyment on getting films I was skeptical on ever seeing again, including TV show releases. What I think I really miss is the bargain hunting of the past. Working out which areas gave me the best deals, trying to balance which ones I ordered at Real or Buy or some unknown to get the best overall price on the 10 discs I was after at the time was a good deal of fun. It's too bad those days of coupon frenzies are done for, but it was a great time to be a collector.

#4 of 156 OFFLINE   Arnie G

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Posted March 21 2004 - 01:43 PM

My interests keep changing. For a while I'll get into Eurohorror, then Classics, then Animation especially Disney which I am currently obsessed with. When I get tired of that I'll change to Musicals or Music titles, or whatever hits me at the time. I don't think I'll ever tire of video altogether. I'm quickly approaching 1200 titles:b
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#5 of 156 OFFLINE   Casey Trowbridg

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Posted March 21 2004 - 01:52 PM

I still love the format, but have only been with it since 2001. I think that my fondness is leveling off, and it will be interesting how enthusiastic I am after Star Wars comes out in September.

#6 of 156 OFFLINE   john mcfadden

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Posted March 21 2004 - 02:06 PM

I just miss the huge catolog dumps from studios in the past (Like MGM ) where youd get like 20 or so titles announced at a time .But i guess thats a thing of the past Posted Image

#7 of 156 OFFLINE   BarryRR



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Posted March 21 2004 - 02:10 PM

Sounds like a case of DVD Burnout, which can happen to the best of us. For me 2004 is the best year yet for DVD. Things are really blossoming with catalog titles and state of the art new titles--what's not to get excited over? I too have a ridiculous stack of unwatched DVDs, but they inspire enthusiam for their anticipated turn, not a sense of tedious duty. Maybe if DVDs were too inordinate a passion for a long time this sense of so-whatness may seep in after awhile, but I see DVDs as a wonderfully reliable boost that never stop as long as pre-orders keep happening. Posted Image

#8 of 156 OFFLINE   Kami



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Posted March 21 2004 - 02:35 PM

I'm in the same boat really, though my collection isn't that huge. The biggest its been was about 210 titles, now its down to 130. If I hadn't sold/traded ANYTHING over the years I'd probably have 500 titles.

Nowadays when buying a DVD the most important thing is the quality of the transfer and compression. I only watch the special features that are good and not fluff. LOTR Extended Editions, Indiana Jones, Alien Quadrilogy come to mind first. I just took a glance at my shelf and picked a random title...Pirates of the Caribbean. Love the movie and watched it 4 times so far, haven't touched disc 2. Posted Image

Quality-wise, I've pushed DVD as far as it'll go with my HTPC doing scaling to 1080i and now I'm patiently waiting for the next high definition format...but in the meantime buying my favorites when they come out and enjoying them. Posted Image

#9 of 156 OFFLINE   Adam_ME


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Posted March 21 2004 - 02:50 PM

I'm definitely disillusioned with the way DVD is starting to resemble VHS in certain areas. Forced trailers, fool screen releases(sometimes the only AR offered on certain discs), constant reissues of the same titles(yes, I'm talking about you, Artisan and Sony! Posted Image), even minor things like the omission of case inserts.

Overall, I still love the format and my collection keeps growing(over 530 titles at last count). But the dumbing down of DVDs is getting tiresome.
I should really learn to knock....in case there's a threesome going on in my bedroom. - Sandy Cohen, The O.C., The Countdown

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#10 of 156 OFFLINE   Jeff_HR



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Posted March 21 2004 - 02:57 PM

If you're disillusioned perhaps you should sell, give away or throw away your DVDs & find a hobby that holds your interest for a long period of time. I love watching movies. Since I rarely go to the theatre any longer I have to rely on in home formats. Any way that I can watch movies that interest me I use. Right now DVDs are the major medium that I'm using.

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#11 of 156 OFFLINE   Dick



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Posted March 21 2004 - 03:01 PM

Although I never actually lost it, my enthusiasm for DVD's has been revitalized with Warner Bros. incredibly 2-disc special editions, and their output in general (and to think that, a mere three years ago, I was admonishing them far and wide for their lack of catalog titles!). When Disney does it right with their own 2-disc editions, they are right up there, too. The recent $14.95 price point that Paramount and Fox are routinely using for superb quality catalog titles means I can scoop up a whole bunch of desirable discs for less than ten bucks each - which is every bit as good a deal as we used to get on average with coupons at the dot-com's. Classic titles are hitting us so quickly now I can't keep up, but I love every minute of it. The technology still blows me away - to think that something that looks and sounds so good can be carried on a nearly paper-thin disc I get my fingers around has never stopped producing awe in me. These are movies I might have once owned in 16mm on three-four 1200' metal reels that would get scratched and brittle over time, and instead (albeit on a smaller screen) I can now pop this lovely shiny disc into a fairly small unit and get (when the transfer is good) a sharp, beautiful image that will theoretically not wear out, and watch it along with a soundtrack that matches or surpasses the quality of theatrical playback. What is not to love about DVD's? We all have our (admit it) petty issues regarding cover artwork and snappers cases, plus some lingering substantial concerns, such as OAR. But by and large we who love movies have been handed Nirvana on a plate - an incredibly affordable means of collecting and viewing our favorite motion pictures with a quality that exceeds our wildest dreams of the past. That this technology has occurred within a mere 7-year span (add about fifteen years if you include laser disc as a forerunner) just goes to show what quantum leaps science has taken in this field well within the lifetimes of every member of this forum. I am still reeling. I can't even imagine home theater 20 years from now.

#12 of 156 OFFLINE   Ryan Wishton

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Posted March 21 2004 - 03:05 PM

One reason why you should only buy movies or shows you will actually use... Think about how much 90 DVD's sitting in shrinkwrap costs you... Probably more than enough to buy a HD-DVD player when it hits the market if you choose... Netflix comes in handy for someone like me to rent things that will only be viewed once... I agree with most of the extras on DVD... Most get watched once if ever...

#13 of 156 OFFLINE   Will_B



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Posted March 21 2004 - 03:26 PM

My interest was revitalized when the "best video store... ever!" moved in nearby. Every film I'd ever wanted to see, a whole wall of Criterions (and not by chance - that's what that particular wall is for, the Criterions), obscure films I'd always hoped to see, and on and on. The only thing they don't have is some of the older out of print titles like The Last Days of Disco - but they offered to bike that one in from another one of their locations for me.
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#14 of 156 OFFLINE   Darren Haycock

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Posted March 21 2004 - 03:38 PM

Dude, it sounds like you're burned out. Instead of enjoying sitting down and watching a movie from time to time, you make it sound like it's a chore now. I'd suggest taking a break from it. Find another hobby that's totally different and have fun with it. You don't need to leave home theater completely. But maybe you could use a break, it's all about balance man. Also, if you overkill on something, it's going to get pretty dull. 90 DVDs unwrapped? A bit of an overkill, IMHO...
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#15 of 156 OFFLINE   Sergio


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Posted March 21 2004 - 03:47 PM

Dave Scarpa, Same thing here. That's why I am more selective now than ever with the titles in my collection.
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#16 of 156 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted March 21 2004 - 04:39 PM

Are you kidding? With each month bringing a mouth watering assortment of classic catalogue titles (I'm not into the movie blockbuster thing) my "DVD to buy" list just keeps getting thicker and they keep coming out faster than I can afford to buy them. There might be 25 to 30 titles coming out each month that I want and I can afford to buy maybe a dozen of them. At this rate, I'll be dead long before I can buy everything on my want list.

#17 of 156 OFFLINE   Brian W.

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Posted March 21 2004 - 04:49 PM

That reminds me of my old laserdisc days, when I said once to a friend, "Sometimes I feel like I just want to take all my laserdiscs and throw them out the window," to which he replied, "And I'd be standing right outside to catch them!" I know what you mean, though. I buy less than I used to. I used to buy 2 or 3 titles a month. Now I'm lucky if I buy one a month. And a lot of that is because of the shelves full of titles staring back at me that I watched once and never watched again. HD-DVD being not far away has an influence on my buying habits as well.

#18 of 156 OFFLINE   Peter Overduin

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Posted March 21 2004 - 05:18 PM

What's disappeared from the scene is 'Anticipation.' There was a sense of wonder as to how titles would look and the OAR battles raged. "Animorphic" was the bench mark and we all wondered when our favorite movies would show up, and show up the way we wanted them. We had DIVX, we had virtually all the studios in our trigger sights and regularly 'assasinated' the fools that wouldn't release such and such, in such and such a way. We pleased and prodded studios for what we wanted, mand could only guess when a title would finally show up. Anybody else remember 'Titanic?' A year after VHS! We lobbed missiles at Paramount daily for that one. Now? What battles remain? What drives any sense of anticipation at all? There is little sense of anticipation because we know even before movies hit theaters that we will see them only months later. What's left to fight over? Everything important is OAR and animorphic, with some few exceptions. 'Titanic' debacles are notes in history, recalled with fondness by those who were there. I still look forward to my favorite films being released on DVD. I still research ways for improving my HT and built a HT room in my new house, fitting it with a new Hitachi 57S500. I love HT and will soon buy my first Universal player - but the excitement in checking the web sites that matter for the latest gossip and rumors - well, yea that's gone. I know I'll have all the latest greates movies of 2003 on my shelf by XMas 2004 - and they'll be OAR, animorphic et al.

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#19 of 156 OFFLINE   Dan Hitchman

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Posted March 21 2004 - 07:47 PM

Yes, DVD's are losing their luster. However, if HD-DVD and/or Blu-Ray doesn't deliver the goods in both audio and video performance (way beyond the norm), then I won't be thrilled about them either. What the studios keep giving us are compromised products. Compromised for Joe6P, politics, technical merrits, content, lack of a solid, high capacity medium in which to place said product, etc. The next new HD formats had best be for the purists with the utmost attention lavished on the movie or TV show's video and audio first and which are second to none, or I will be very disappointed. Dan

#20 of 156 OFFLINE   DanFe


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Posted March 21 2004 - 07:53 PM

Well, I only have Schindler's List ordered from R3 and after that it isn't until Dick Van Dyke show and Return of the King that I plan to buy anything else. I've dropped way down from buying everything I thought I was interested in.

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