ANNOUNCEMENT: The Future of Ron's Reviews. Please Read!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Nov 26, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
    Owner

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    First of all, I want to thank so many of you
    who have supported my reviews over the past 16
    months. To this day it surprises me to receive
    so many emails complimenting the job I do, as
    well as the more frequent quotations that end up
    in various newspaper and magazine ads. It's one
    of those little pleasures in life when one sees
    their work recognized.
    I'm still the little guy in this somewhat large
    field of talented Internet reviewers. I have so
    much respect for people like Peter Bracke and Bill
    Hunt as well as their staff of writers on each
    of their sites.
    Where I lack in writing ability, I have tried to
    make up in coverage. I am very proud of the fact
    that the in-depth reviews I often provide receive
    favorable response -- so much so that the amount of
    people that read my reviews is causing some major
    problems to this site.
    There are two problems here. First, my reviews are
    being linked on major fan sites causing thousands
    of additional hits to this site per day. When my
    extended review of Lord Of The Rings Extended Cut
    was posted, this site had to be shut down because
    it could not handle the loads.
    Another problem is the screenshots I provide. I have
    always wanted to provide all of you with the best
    quality screen captures. However, these captures are
    big image files. Every time someone loads up a
    review of mine, it causes a major strain to this
    server. In fact, we are suspecting that the amount
    of images and their total size is the reason why
    the cost of our bandwidth has tripled in the past
    few months.
    Changes Have To Be Made
    Starting with today's posting of my Lilo & Stitch
    review, you are going to notice a change....there
    are far less screenshots than normal. In fact, from
    now on, my reviews will only contain 5-8 images.
    In another week, I am going to make another change.
    I am going to take every single screenshot I have
    posted over the past 16 months (about 2,500 in all)
    and cut the resolution down on all of them. In the
    future, the screenshots I post will have less
    resolution than they do now.
    I don't know how the resolution loss will affect
    the quality of the screenshots. Although I am not
    planning on changing the ratio size of the screen
    captures, I do want to let all of you know that
    the screenshots are going to be geared for
    illustrative purposes rather than accurately
    representing the quality of the capture. I will
    make certain to add a footnote to every review
    that indicates this, once I start reducing the
    resolution of the screenshots.
    This forum continues to grow in such dramatic
    leaps and bounds that the cost of running it
    combined with our loss of advertising support is
    forcing us to find ways to reserve expensive
    bandwidth. If I can reduce the amount of total
    screenshots and bring down their resolution we may
    be able to bring operating costs back to an affordable
    level.
    Once again, I thank all of you for the support you
    have given my little side hobby.
     
  2. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

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    We're with you Ron.
     
  3. Robin Warren

    Robin Warren Second Unit

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    Thanks for being so upfront and honest. It is a refreshing change and really makes us feel part of the community you've built here. Thanks Ron.
     
  4. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Keep up the good work, and we are with you all the way.
     
  5. Artur Meinild

    Artur Meinild Screenwriter

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    Whatever you do Ron, please don't stop posting reviews! [​IMG] I still think they're definitely among the best on the net - keep up the good work!
     
  6. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Great decision Ron! It's actually music to my ears because I couldn't even load your review of the 'Back to the Future' trilogy, maybe after you cut the resolution i'll be able to. Hell, I even tried again this morning at around 3:30, thinking that the activity in the thread is low that early in the a.m., and still couldn't load it, I waited about 20 min or so and gave up.

    I'm with you.
     
  7. Danny Spencer

    Danny Spencer Auditioning

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    Ron,
    Thanks for the excellent reviews. The screen shots are just a bonus as far as I'm concerned. Keep up the great work.
    Danny
     
  8. JeffMuller

    JeffMuller Stunt Coordinator

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    Whew!
    I thought I was going to read that you wouldn't be doing any more reviews [​IMG]
    I'm relieved.
    I might even suggest that you don't do the screen captures. They have served to show how good the DVDs look, but if you're going to reduce the resolution, maybe there's not as much of a benefit to even having them. You may only want to present screens of menus for demonstration purposes. In that case, you could use an even lower resolution, since the purpose will only be to show what they look like, and not the quality of the video.
    In any case, I join all others in saying "keep up the good work". I think that this is a small sacrifice, and is well worth it, if it means keeping "your hobby" affordable to you!!!
    Jeff
     
  9. Charles M Berry

    Charles M Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Ron,

     
  10. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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  11. Jeff Bamberger

    Jeff Bamberger Second Unit

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    Chalk me up as happy to have your reviews, whatever is in them. Keep up the good work.

    Regarding the screen captures....what resolution are you capturing in....300dpi? Most computer monitors in use today, as far as I know, are only capable of displaying 72dpi. Given that, and assuming you had been capturing in 300dpi, there should be no noticable degradation as long as you stay at or over 72dpi. (someone please correct me if I am wrong).

    Again, keep up the good work and rest assured, I would still be giddy about your BTTF review even if there were no screen caps in there!!!!
     
  12. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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    Love your reviews, Ron, but I'll tell you this, if you get rid of the screenshots, that's ok. I rarely let them load anyway!
     
  13. RyanChristoffel

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    The screenshots are great, but if it comes to it, get rid of them altogether. Your reviews are awesome, the screenshots are great, but the review is most important [​IMG]
     
  14. Matt Goddard

    Matt Goddard Stunt Coordinator

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    I always read Ron's reviews and find them to be some of the most unbiased reviews I read. If we have to choose between reviews and reviews with screenshots, I say drop the screenshots. I normally finish the review before the screenshots are finished loading anyways, so punting them is no loss for me. An exception can always be made when you feel screenshot is needed.
     
  15. Joshua Clinard

    Joshua Clinard Screenwriter

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    I agree with the others. If the screen shots are causing this much trouble, get rid of them completly, minus the menu shots. The regular screen shots are not really needed anyway. It's just extra.
     
  16. Andy Olivera

    Andy Olivera Screenwriter

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    Whew! When I read that headline I thought we'd be saying goodbye to your reviews, altogether. Somehow, I don't think compressing the screenshots is going to ruin anything. Keep up the good work, Ron![​IMG]
     
  17. Brett Miles

    Brett Miles Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm personally glad to see some screen shots go because the reviews took forever to load on my dial-up connection. However, the one thing that I could count on and look forward to in your reviews are the great shots of special packaging. Hopefully these will stay. This is something that none of the other reviewers seem to do, and of course the retailers usually only have the same old front shot.
     
  18. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    yes same thoughts here exactly about not doing anymore reviews. To be honest, screenshots are never in my mind when I read the reviews. They take too long to load anyway, and if you need to lose them, so be it. Keep up the reviews, I thought both Fellowship and BTTF reviews are awesome.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Gui A

    Gui A Supporting Actor

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    That was a scary thread title. I too thought Ron was going to stop doing his reviews.
    I like the reviews. The screenshots were one of the things that set Ron's reviews apart from those of digitalbits and dvdfile. But these things have to be done.

    And what if the new smaller screenshots were shown as links? People who don't need screenshots won't load them, saving bandwith.

    Personally, I'd rather see one or two regular screenshots than 5-6 tiny ones.

    Thanks for the reviews, Ron. They'll still be great. It's all about the writing.
     
  20. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Hmmm its sad really, I love the screenshots Ron, they complement your excellent reviews really well, but the BTTF thread did take ages to load on my puny 56k modem, downgrading the images is the answer, shame you have to post fewer screenshots, but if it has to be...
    Keep up the great work.[​IMG]
     

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