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Universal Vault Series - Amazon.com exclusive DVD-Rs

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#41 of 868 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted January 14 2010 - 01:44 PM

Quote:
"the DVD-Rs are not suppose to be durable and are not made to last for any entended period of time"  
I'm more shocked by the fact that Warner cannot write proper English in a "standard form answer". Yet this is supposed to be a literal and seriously meant quote, and certainly not a double entendre. Cees

#42 of 868 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted January 14 2010 - 01:53 PM

     Quote:
Originally Posted by greylocke5 /forum/thread/296971/universal-vault-series-amazon-com-exclusive-dvd-rs/30#post_3649522 Remember back in the early '80s the record companies released a lot of new digitally-recorded releases on so-called digital LPs?  This was especially true of classical music.  The sound was inferior and eventually, after customers purchased CD players and got used to regular CDs, the LPs - especially the digital LPs - disappeared. I am convinced that these large media giants, like Warner Brothers, expect that within five years or so virtually everything  - movies and music - will be download only.   Disney is already going that way with film scores, e.g., no CD for the score for UP. They don't want to deal with physical product and its attendant costs.  I would not be surprised to eventually see these Vault and Archive MOD DVD-Rs disappear, especially as broadband improves.  A few months ago WBShop conducted a survey of the WB Archive customers.  If I remember correctly, the demographics were skewed to aging boomers like me, who still remember these classic movies from those days when they were run over and over on free TV.  And we like things we can put our fingers on - something tangible.  I just don't like downloads - call me a Luddite. People under 30 nowadays download everything.  It's their preferred platform.  In the future we will be saving our files on our hard drives or on rented space on some server somewhere.  Physical CDs and DVDs - pressed or MOD - are going the way of cassettes and LPs.  If they remain they will strictly be a high-priced boutique item. Meanwhile, I will continue to hold on to my physical stuff  (I still have hundreds of LPs) so a few MOD DVD-Rs are OK with me - versus not having those films at all.
Wow, I didn't know there were mind-readers here at HTF but there must be because you wrote exactly what I've been thinking for a while now.  I couldn't agree more with all your sentiments and your assessment of what the future holds.  I think the technology is advancing so fast that downloading/streaming will quickly replace Blu-ray as the preferred studio medium.  I wouldn't at all be surprised if Blu-ray didn't even get a strong 10 year run, much less anything close to a 2 decade run. Gary "definitely want to own something I can hold and not just stream via my computer" O.
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#43 of 868 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted January 14 2010 - 08:48 PM

Yep, same here.  I see it the same as you guys.  Things just seem to move too fast for me these days :)......3D?  I'm still in the clouds with old-time 2D HD :)  I'm happy with Std upconverted DVD's on my 50" Panny Plasma set.

I also prefer owning a physical media to any streaming/downloading scenarios, even if such formats offer some of the more obscure titles or TV shows.  Just me, I guess.

As for the Archive programs, I've only bought the WB Tarzan set but I'll be buying one of the Uni movies ("The Brass Bottle") as soon as I get some online review info about the movie format (OAR?, video xfr).  Fortunately for me, my movie "wait" list is very small compared to most on the movie Bd.

As for that WB DVD-R disclaimer, I am also surprised that WB would release that statement if it's true.  We all know that there are some questions about the DVD-R shelf life of the format but there are posts on the Bd from DVD-R owners that have had discs on the shelf for several years and have not yet seen any issues develop.  Then again, I've read where some here have had problems with their discs.  Who knows?  Without knowing much about the burning process, I'd guess that there are too many variables to pinpoint the issue with consistancy, ie, what machine was used to burn, what blank media was used, etc.

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#44 of 868 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted January 15 2010 - 06:00 AM

I agree with you, Jeff.  My biggest concern with the entire "Archive" program being used by WB and Universal and others is the media.  I'm just not as confident in DVD-Rs as I am pressed DVDs.  The shelf life is very, very questionable to me.  I've got a good friend who recently mentioned he pulled out a DVD-R he made less than 6 years ago and it is now not playing on any of his machines.  And it just worked last year.  I've yet to encounter this myself but I've heard one too many horror stories about these things being unreliable.  And it scares me to death because I have an awful lot of homemade DVD-Rs myself.  The thought of spending $20 on one only to have it stop working after less than a decade turns my stomach.  I'm not nearly as concerned about the old "DVD rot" deal we heard about early on with pressed dvds.  I know there were some instances of that but I think the industry got a hold of the problem early on and I don't expect my pressed dvds to "crap out" on me in the next several years.  But DVD-R is a different ball game completely, as far as I can tell.  Just my two cents.

There are definitely some properties that Universal holds that I'd be interested in.  I can't say I'd never indulge, but the longevity issue is always in the back of my mind with this stuff.  It's a bigger deal than the price tag for me.  

Gary "thankfully I'm like Jeff in that my 'holy grail' movie list is pretty small too so I'm not apt to have a huge collection of these studio DVD-Rs" O.

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#45 of 868 OFFLINE   Jobla

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Posted January 15 2010 - 12:18 PM

I have just received KITTEN WITH A WHIP and RESURRECTION.

The packaging states that both are in 1:85-1 and are anamorphic.  Judging by the opening credits and first scenes of both, I concur.

The only "supplement" is the anti-FBI warning.  No trailers, no official chapter stops.

Both appear, upon first glance, to be improvements over the old VHS transfers.  I was able to compare the opening of both the VHS and burned DVD of KITTEN, and the new disc has a sharper, crisper image than the VHS.  RESURRECTION, I haven't seen on VHS in many years.  However, the new disc appears to have stronger colors and looks very good to my eyes.

I'm going to let the two discs play to their conclusions, and then watch KITTEN in its entirety tonight.  One of the discs is playing on a ten year old Sony deck, and the other is "unspooling" on a two year old Panasonic deck.  No problems so far, but I'm only spot-checking them at this point.

#46 of 868 OFFLINE   Bradley-E

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Posted January 15 2010 - 05:19 PM

I ordered Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here for $17.99.  I'll advise on how it looks when I get it.  These may be decent transfers and were probably remastered for DVD back when catalog titles were selling better. 

#47 of 868 OFFLINE   Nebiroth

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Posted January 16 2010 - 03:24 AM

Bargain basement quality product at a premium price sold as a monopoly.

It's what the studios have dreamed about all along.

It's like all the car makers decided to make only Trabants - but sold only through selected outlets with prices fixed at Rolls Royce levels and then expect us to celebrate the fact that they are giving us something that we can drive.

"Own a Trabant today - it's an overpriced rustbucket but still better than walking"



#48 of 868 OFFLINE   jdee28

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Posted January 16 2010 - 07:03 AM

Originally Posted by Nebiroth /forum/thread/296971/universal-vault-series-amazon-com-exclusive-dvd-rs/30#post_3650264 Bargain basement quality product at a premium price sold as a monopoly. It's what the studios have dreamed about all along. It's like all the car makers decided to make only Trabants - but sold only through selected outlets with prices fixed at Rolls Royce levels and then expect us to celebrate the fact that they are giving us something that we can drive. "Own a Trabant today - it's an overpriced rustbucket but still better than walking"  
Agree 100%.

#49 of 868 ONLINE   Chuck Pennington

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Posted January 16 2010 - 11:33 AM

 THE CHALK GARDEN (1964)
http://ecx.images-am...oXL._SS500_.jpg">

The packaging has more photos and a more elegant design than the titles from the Warner Archive, but the mastering quality - judging from the efforts from the Warner Archive from August 2009 onward - is lacking. This title is presented in interlaced 1.85:1 widescreen and is not anamorphic. The print appears to be in decent condition, but an interlaced, non-anamorphic title from a major studio priced at $19.99 is pretty hard to stomach. The price dropped $4 just two days after my order, but is still too high if this is the technical quality we should become accustomed to in this line of DVD-R releases. The actual encoding doesn't have the excessive macroblocking and color distortion inherent in the first few waves of Warner Archive titles, but the transfer itself looks rather odd. Scenes that appear to be taking place in broad daylight are quite dark, and the gamma looks off throughout the entire film. It reminds me of how some theaters project films with lower lamp power to get more hours out of their bulbs, ultimately dimming the film and making it difficult to watch. Colors appear accurate and solid, but the overall darkness of the film is quite different from what I remember from seeing the film on AMC when it was in heavy rotation in the early 1990s. 

I made these captures for people to judge the DVD for themselves. The PNG captures I made direct from the DVD using VLC appear below my comments. I am happy to finally have this title on DVD (I'm a Hayley Mills fan, to be sure), but what a disappointment to pay a premium for definitely a less-than-standard presentation. Although even with its deficiencies it is surely an improvement compared to the previous VHS release or broadcast versions, I hope to see more effort go into mastering future Universal Vault Series titles. I don't think I'm alone in wanting progressive-encoded, anamorphic widescreen masters on titles from the mid-50's and on. Warner Archive drastically improved the quality of their mastering, and I hope Universal does the same.

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#50 of 868 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted January 16 2010 - 11:54 AM

Chuck, Thanks for your comments and I agree with you that the studios need to do a better job with their presentations especially, if they're going to charge premium prices. 

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#51 of 868 OFFLINE   Simon Howson

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Posted January 17 2010 - 04:21 AM

Originally Posted by greylocke5 /forum/thread/296971/universal-vault-series-amazon-com-exclusive-dvd-rs/30#post_3649522 People under 30 nowadays download everything.  It's their preferred platform.  In the future we will be saving our files on our hard drives or on rented space on some server somewhere.  Physical CDs and DVDs - pressed or MOD - are going the way of cassettes and LPs.  If they remain they will strictly be a high-priced boutique item.
Well, I'm under 30 but won't buy digital downloads that have copy protection. If I could buy downloads that could then be converted to DVDs I'd do so. But I'm not paying to download a file that may not play in a few years because I don't have the right license key on my computer.

#52 of 868 OFFLINE   John Morgan

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Posted January 17 2010 - 08:16 AM

 Well, one of the reasons for getting these (like the Warner archives) are having anamorphic transfers for appropriate films. Warners does it, and if Universal doesn't, that turns me off bigtime. I made a DVDr copy from my old laser disc of LIST OF ADRIAN MESSEGENER and before reading the post on CHALK GARDEN, hoped for an anamorphic release. I did order it, along with SPAWN OF THE NORTH, RUGGLES OF RED GAP and HOUSE OF SEVEN GABLES through Amazon. At least some of the titles are somewhat discounted.
I don't really mind DVDr's if they use quality media and present the films as they should and can be. I buy quality blanks myself from the beginning and have had no trouble with DVDr. They say they have a life of 100 years and since I am 63, I am not worried that much about them outlasting me, although I know anything can happen.

And I think $10.00 per disc would be a fair price for all concerned.


#53 of 868 OFFLINE   Jim_K

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Posted January 17 2010 - 08:44 AM

An anamorphic presentation would trump what I could produce on my homemade DVD-R's but if they aren't going to do widescreen films somewhat properly then I'll just keep my money. I am curious to know how House of Seven Gables turns out.  I've not had a chance to produce a DVD-R of that yet for my collection so I might be tempted if it's a decent transfer.
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#54 of 868 OFFLINE   John Morgan

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Posted January 17 2010 - 01:02 PM

I made my DVDr copy from the oldish VHS release. It never made it to laser, so it has the softness typical of VHS. With the recent fire at Universal, I wonder if this is a title that had to be re-transferred. 

Originally Posted by Jim_K /img/forum/go_quote.gif

An anamorphic presentation would trump what I could produce on my homemade DVD-R's but if they aren't going to do widescreen films somewhat properly then I'll just keep my money.

I am curious to know how House of Seven Gables turns out.  I've not had a chance to produce a DVD-R of that yet for my collection so I might be tempted if it's a decent transfer.





 


#55 of 868 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted January 17 2010 - 01:42 PM

John, Jim,

Agree 100%,  I am a rare archive buyer but I have to know that these are OAR's and not 1.33:1 or otherwise cropped before buying.  I'll be getting "The Brass Bottle" but I need an online post before taking a chance on it.

[edit] Amazon has lowered the price on "The Brass Bottle" a couple of times over the last 2-3 days.  It's now $15.99 . 

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#56 of 868 OFFLINE   Simon Howson

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Posted January 17 2010 - 04:03 PM

It's quite possible that if people demand anamorphic transfers, they will just take their non-anamorphic transfer crop the letterboxing, then resize the image and re-encode it.

It won't actually increase the resolution of the image, and it may reduce quality due to all the re-encoding.


#57 of 868 OFFLINE   jdee28

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Posted January 18 2010 - 06:50 AM

I would have rather seen Universal release some of these films in their Backlot series and continue to champion digitally cleaned up films on pressed DVDs. But I guess if they see Warner making money on made on demand DVD-rs, with little to no clean up, they're probably going why bother, we can do that too. It's a sad state of affairs.

#58 of 868 OFFLINE   Gary OS

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Posted January 18 2010 - 07:10 AM

     Quote:
Originally Posted by John Morgan /forum/thread/296971/universal-vault-series-amazon-com-exclusive-dvd-rs/30#post_3650624 I buy quality blanks myself from the beginning and have had no trouble with DVDr. They say they have a life of 100 years and since I am 63, I am not worried that much about them outlasting me, although I know anything can happen. And I think $10.00 per disc would be a fair price for all concerned.
I also try to buy high quality blanks and don't mind DVD-R's per se.  If DVD-R's last even 50 years I'm happy because I definitely don't see myself being around any longer than that to enjoy these.  But that's a big "IF" based on different reports I've read from people I know and trust.  Some have had DVD-R's crap out on them after only a few years.  If only we knew for sure that this format had legitimate longevity...  But I'm just not convinced we know that for sure at this point. You're price point is spot on too, although I'd personally say that $10 needs to be the top price and would ideally include shipping for me to get behind the program. The correct aspect ratio is a biggie too.  When it comes to this I'm with Jeff and others.  If Universal is going to do this, do it right. Gary "in general I'm still opposed to this entire MOD concept because of the media being used and the price point" O.
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#59 of 868 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted January 18 2010 - 10:46 AM

As regards the longevity of DVDrs, I've had pressed discs go bad after a year! My own point of view is to enjoy today and don't dwell too much on the future. Any one of us could walk out the door today and get run over by a car or have a building fall on us. So I want to enjoy CAPTAIN NEMO AND THE UNDERWATER CITY today and now!!! I'm not going to worry that I may not be able to enjoy it 20 years down the road.

The person who would love to have CAPTAIN NEMO AND THE UNDERWATER CITY (or fill in the blank of any MOD title) but won't indulge because it's MOD not pressed because he worries he won't be able to watch it in 10 or 20 years is the loser. He may not even be around in 10 or 20 years and there's every likelihood the MOD DVDr will get the last laugh and outlive him.

#60 of 868 OFFLINE   smithb

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Posted January 18 2010 - 11:14 AM

Originally Posted by Thomas T /forum/thread/296971/universal-vault-series-amazon-com-exclusive-dvd-rs/30#post_3650996 The person who would love to have CAPTAIN NEMO AND THE UNDERWATER CITY (or fill in the blank of any MOD title) but won't indulge because it's MOD not pressed because he worries he won't be able to watch it in 10 or 20 years is the loser. He may not even be around in 10 or 20 years and there's every likelihood the MOD DVDr will get the last laugh and outlive him.
While I'm not a big fan of paying these prices for DVD-R's and will question their durability for an extended period of time, I will buy something I really really want in whatever format I can get it in. If MOD is it, then so be it. In other words, I can handle the risk of paying $15 - $20 for what hopefully will cover multiple viewings over the years, but may end up being only one if it is extra special to me. Where the MOD program fails for me is in the nice to have's and the blind buys I was willing to make for pressed DVD sets that ranged in the $8 or less per movie category. I'm not sure how many others fit in my category, but I have very muched enjoyed the discovery of some great films over the years that would seem to fit within the Archive concept. However, at $15 - $20 a pop it is too much for blind buys IMO. It would be interesting to hear the analysis that made them conclude to go with higher prices. I would be much more into the program if they offered make your own bundles for under $10 a title.





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