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With Blu the apparent victor, it's time to demand some changes....


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#1 of 83 OFFLINE   Nick Graham

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Posted January 05 2008 - 04:18 PM

I realize I am a broken record, but now we are all unified more or less, it's time to focus on the few glaring issues remaining with Blu. With CES coming up this week, and some of our members attending, there would be no better time to voice some of this (courteously but firmly)than now, IMO. I make no promises on b 1) $39.99 catalog titles - Okay, since this whole war was about what was best for the consumer, and ending it was so that high def optical would have a chance to thrive in the mainstream, how about stopping the early adopter price gouging on catalog titles? Even with one format for the retailers to get behind, are mom and pop really gonna buy up BDs like they did DVDs when Die Hard is $9.99 on SD and $29.99 on BD at Wal-Mart? The early adopter phase is now over - players are $299 at Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, and Target. The perpetrators of this pricing are more than likely getting some incredible incentives to have stayed so loyal for all this time. How about passing that savings on to the consumers? Every single Fox title I own I have purchased used, with the exception of one, which was purchased during the 50% off Amazon sale. How much revenue are you getting from me for those? 2) Big budget movies with low bitrate lossy audio tracks - Warner, there should not be a single movie sizable budget released in the last 10-15 years that should have a lossy audio track on Blu-Ray, or HD-DVD for that matter. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't recall The Aviator, The Fountain, or the Ocean's 11 movies being quaint little indie affairs with small production budgets. 3) DTS-MA - New Line, exactly what were you thinking (aside from "Thanks for the incentives!)? I realize DTS probably told you of all the umpteen BD players that would be able to decode the full lossless track any day now, but guess what?! They don't exist, and you've just screwed the majority of the Blu-Ray customer base, as they don't have the ability to hear more than the standard DVD level core track. Fox, your continued support of this codec makes me shake my head, but chances are you have received some nice compensation is some form from DTS, so you may just not care. Regardless, it's not to late to go TrueHD, or at least demand that SCEA and DTS find a way to get at least the PS3 able to decode the lossless stream, and to get with the CE manufacturers and get crunching on getting any players with the horsepower to decode it to decode it. 4) Featureless BDs with feature-laden SD counterparts - MGM, you are the only kids left in the room for this one. 2007 has been a year of great two disc feature-laden standard def releases of your catalog films, coupled with featureless BDs of the same films with a retail of $39.99, which means $29.99 in the real world. Guess what? Unlike Fox, I haven't even purchased any of your discs used!! What possible incentive do I have - you won't even include commentary tracks on these things! Even at a 50% discount, I'm still not touching it. We have patience (most of us, anyway), and I would bet your sales numbers reflect that. It's 2008 - how about taking a new approach fro a new year? The DTS-MA rule applies to you as well, assuming you have control over such things. 5) Fifth and final - release your high profile indie/art house fare and your classics on BD! One of the best sleepers of the year from Fox was Waitress, a movie that played literally for months at some of the theaters in both KC and Tulsa due to endless word of mouth going around. Juno looks like it will blow that out of the water, and yet I am expecting only an SD release for it. Buena Vista is at least doing us right on this, with stuff like The Lookout (though I am still waiting for The Hoax to be put back on the schedule.) Sunshine is a good start, but please increase the output, all of you! Same thing goes for classic fare - now that there is only one format, the sales will happen if you release them. Warner doesn't seem to be swimming in red ink from releasing them. That's enough for one night, but I'm hoping these things get brought up in a courteous, professional way to those who have the power to make changes at CES.

#2 of 83 OFFLINE   Jason Harbaugh

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Posted January 05 2008 - 04:53 PM

1) I agree with 100%. I've been saying for the better part of 2 years that the MSRP needs to come down at least $10 on these titles. Fox being the biggest culprit, but then Sony went crazy with the $43 price of Superbad. It wasn't until the BOGO's that I finally purchased a Fox disc, at the nice price of $14 each. The average price of my 60+ disc collection is probably under $15 which is great. I would just like to be able to walk into any B&M and purchase a disc at a reasonable price instead of waiting for sales or scrounging online. 2) Also agree 100%. Thankfully, all of the exclusive studios with the exception of Lionsgate have put out 100% of their titles with lossless audio. Warner Brothers better follow suit. If it is a matter of cost, stick PCM on there, it is free. 3) I disagree with this at least for now. DTS HD MA is a great audio format. A full 1.5MB DTS core legacy track for everyone and a full lossless track for those that can use it. Right now, that is very few people. However, if the rumors are true and they do get the update out for the PS3 to decode the tracks, then all of the sudden 85% of all BD player owners can access the track. I was worried that Fox was going to be the only one supporting the format, if that was the case then get rid of it. But now that New Line is showing interest and I would love to see Lord of the Rings use this, I'm all for it. They just need to get working on getting more hardware out there and a patch for the PS3. Right now this is DTS on DVD all over again, but we quickly got past that and enjoyed some incredible DTS soundtracks over the years. 4)Lack of features has been a problem. They could at least give us the features from the DVD if that is all they want to produce. One thing I'm really afraid of is all this IME stuff. Most of it is pointless. I don't exactly enjoy trying to watch behind the scenes stuff at 1/32 the size of my tv screen. If they do insist on this stuff, make the footage available as standalone full screen extras or enable resizing of the PiP at all times. 5) Not much of a deal to me, but the more diverse the library is the better. Everyone's taste is different, would be good to feed them all. Some additions of stuff I would like to see in general. 6) Would it hurt to include inserts showing the chapters and even a layout of all the extras? 7) No more starting the film automatically. There is nothing worse than inserting a disc, heading to the bathroom or going to the kitchen to grab some drinks and popcorn only to come back to a movie that 5 minutes into it. Let alone that now I need to also change the audio track to the correct one. If they want to bypass the main menu, at least have a paused screen with the option to select your audio track/subtitles etc. Then play when we select play. 8) Don't bother with internet extras. If you have something you want to be seen, stick it on the disc. How many of those DVD-Rom accessable websites still exist this many years after the release? Not many. Interactive type extras like a Q&A with the director on a specific night might be ok but most of these extras could be on the disc to begin with.

#3 of 83 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted January 05 2008 - 05:20 PM

The hi-def releases need to be the same price as the DVD counterparts. The studios are getting a protected format by having us trade up to BluRay, away from the cracked DVD format. It is in their interest to get people to change to BluRay and phase out DVD. Make it easy for people to do that -- price them the same.
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#4 of 83 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted January 05 2008 - 10:40 PM

I think we can all agree that Fox/MGM need to seriously adjust the MSRP of their catalog product. Furthermore, all studios need to adjust down their MSRP for newer titles so they can be competitive with SD DVD. When that happens, it will encourage more consumers to buy into the HDM market.

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#5 of 83 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted January 05 2008 - 11:54 PM

Oh GOD no! I got a Pioneer player last year with hacked firmware that can tell it to start most discs right at the main movie (it also ignores all the button lockouts) and it's the best thing ever. Menus were kinda cool when DVD was new, but they're just plain annoying now. They give away the movie if you haven't seen it before, and make the experience more like a video game than a movie. When I start a movie on my hacked player I still have to double-check the audio and subtitle settings then restart the movie, but it's a lot better than a silly menu. Ideally they should allow you to set not only the preferred language but also the audio format if there's more than one; Sony DVD players usually have a setting that defaults to the audio track with the most channels so they should be able to do this with the next-gen formats (well OK at least Blu-Ray since it looks like the other format is dying now).
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#6 of 83 OFFLINE   Fritz Nilsen

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Posted January 06 2008 - 12:41 AM

Yes to all of the above. I agree re. the Fox pricing of titles, but it is unrealistic to demand DVD-level pricing of HDM for several reasons. The price of HDM is a sticking point for the studios. The price structure of SD has become so eroded that a major incentive for them to push for HD is to level the prices a bit and increase revenue. DVDs have simply become too cheap. Consumer expectations regarding DVD price levels has made it unfeasible to publish on DVD in the long run, the per-unit profits are so low that only sheer volume makes up for it. DVD has been discounted too intensely and too frequently to ever bring it up to "reasonable" price point again. It is argued that DVD is at the end of it's fiscal life cycle and therefore a new format is necessary. HDM is MEANT to cost more than the level we're used to with DVDs. It remains to be seen if the consumer will support this however, or if they've been so spoilt by the current SD price structure to ever go back. Obviously there's a price equilibrium to be found somewhere, but if that is at a level where studios can justify the added expense of HD mastering remains to be seen. It has been mentioned elsewhere on this forum; if HDM will only sell for SD prices the studios will have no incentive to publish it. The manufacturing costs of HDM (including transfers and mastering) will not support $9 pricetags at current or near future volumes. So, either we pay more, or they (the studios) drop out of HD alltogether. Sadly(?) the current frequency of BOGOs and the like is already draining the profits of HDM and lowering the consumer-expected pricepoint prematurely in the format's life cycle. It is acknowledged that the same mistake was made early with DVD and that this hurt the DVD price structure in the long term. I see indications on this forum that people are holding off HDM purchases in the hope of (or certain expectation of) near future discounts. These discount sales lower the prices consumers expect to pay to an artificially low level and may hurt the economic viability of the format in the long run. (Of course, record companies shot themselves in the foot by maintaining their price levels on CDs and look how that's turned out for them...) Some other suggestions for BD. Menu navigation on most of my titles (played on a PS3) has been clumsy. If I select something from the Special features menu, let's say a trailer, once the trailer is finished the disc returns to the movie. I then have to select my way through all the menus and sub-menus again to select another trailer etc. Make sure the disc navigation returns to where you left it after playing a featurette. I've no clue wether this is hardware, software or java-related or what, but just fix it, OK? Simplest menus possible, please. And for crying out loud, no spoilers on the menu. (A major gripe with DVDs as well.) Scrap the region coding. Just don't use it. Just say No. I'm looking at you Fox. And Warner better not get any bright ideas now that they're dropping HD DVD. Keep the region free BDs coming. (I'm from Europe, can you tell :-)? Oh, and I'd love some sort of managed copy system that let's me transfer my BDs to my mediaserver. Drop the swooshes and other tacky bling stuff on the covers. Poster art will do fine. Otherwise, just keep up the good work.

#7 of 83 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted January 06 2008 - 02:22 AM


Yes, I agree with this... but also have to add the word "foreign" to the list because studios can give indie/arthouse/classics and still avoid foreign films.

I get depressed (relatively speaking) when I look at all the Blu-Ray titles. It's mostly filled with popcorn flicks, and the ones that aren't are usually just Oscar-bait type films. I have a list of at least 200 titles that I would buy on Blu-Ray if released, and 2001 is the only title to show up on the format.

I guess that's the problem when the format was targetted towards gamers, who are the majority of PS3 owners.

I'm still waiting here by the sidelines.

#8 of 83 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted January 06 2008 - 03:30 AM

Posted Image ??? That sounds like the best reason I've heard to buy BR! I grow ever more annoyed with unstoppable previews, FBI warnings, and lengthy menus. I just want to watch a movie. Auto-start seems like a good thing! Is this a universal BR behavior?

#9 of 83 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted January 06 2008 - 03:52 AM

Warner discs have this. The others don't. I've never paid more than $29 for a Fox title. No reason to when that's the price I see locally. DTS MA: With bitstream output becoming a common feature here shortly, this is a non-issue. Yes, older players are screwed but this is no different when DVDs had DTS on them and early adopters were screwed there too. My biggest complaint is the forced trailers. Put them in the menu.

#10 of 83 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted January 06 2008 - 03:54 AM

Unfortunately, no.
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#11 of 83 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted January 06 2008 - 03:57 AM

Absolutely agree with you here.
"You bring a horse for me?" "Looks like......looks like we're shy of one horse." "No.......You brought two too many."

#12 of 83 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted January 06 2008 - 04:05 AM

I agree with more classics, but I'll wait for quality rather than settle for rush-jobs. Lossless needs to be across the board. No matter the source or origin of the soundtrack. Even if it was Vitaphone I'd still want it to be lossless. I agree with #4 wholeheartedly, especially for what they're charging.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then. And while you're at it, PLEASE stop dropping DVD/laserdisc extras from Blu-ray releases of other films.


#13 of 83 OFFLINE   Southpaw

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Posted January 06 2008 - 04:49 AM

I heart DTS-HD master audio so please don't take that away New Line and Fox/MGM!!!!

#14 of 83 OFFLINE   Dan Hitchman

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Posted January 06 2008 - 05:07 AM

It is true that WB and Paramount and Universal will now have ZERO excuse to not have lossless, even 24 bit lossless, on each and every title. MPEG-2 releases should be a thing of the past. BD-50's should be the norm from now on. Pricing should be brought down, especially for catalog titles. However, many of these issues are NOT Blu-ray related, they are studio related. The studios themselves decide what pricing structure will be allowed, what audio codec will be used, how much disc space will be utilized, what video codec will be used, etc. Again, these are not format issues per se. Take it up on a studio by studio basis.

#15 of 83 OFFLINE   Paul.S

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Posted January 06 2008 - 06:25 AM

Disagree with your #3, Nick, for some of the reasons Jason states. Wholeheartedly agree on your #4. Marc C.: I'm curious--do you mind naming, say, 10 of the more well-known of these 200 movies that you'd buy if they were on BD?

#16 of 83 OFFLINE   Nick Graham

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Posted January 06 2008 - 06:31 AM

I'd easily drop my DTS-MA complaint if Sony and DTS would get it working on the PS3. A multi-core CPU running at 3.2 GHz should not have an issue decoding this format. I'm just tired of hearing the empty promises of "it's coming!". It's been "just around the corner" for over a year now.

#17 of 83 OFFLINE   Paul.S

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Posted January 06 2008 - 06:38 AM

Absolutely agreed on getting tired of hearing 'it's coming,' Nick . . . and I don't even have a PS3. Posted Image

But I do find it ironic how suddenly the 1.5 kbps core available on all these DTS HD MA discs--a fidelity level many of us got very excited about just a few years ago--now is seemingly shunted aside as inadequate even as a stopgap until there's more MA-compatible hardware. And I'm as guilty as the next guy on this.

#18 of 83 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted January 06 2008 - 07:45 AM

I have to disagree with this. PLEASE start the movie when you put the disc in. And please Disney, give me a way to skip your previews with out having to push the forward button 18 times! Doug
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#19 of 83 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted January 06 2008 - 07:48 AM

I've never paid $29 for ANY title. What a rip off! Doug
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#20 of 83 OFFLINE   Paul.S

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Posted January 06 2008 - 08:48 AM

Oh and an important caveat: my posting herein does not mean I necessarily agree with the "With Blu the victor" phrase in the thread title.




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