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Could Physical Media Extend To USB

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Blu Eye, Feb 14, 2020 at 1:45 PM.

  1. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been thinking of the concept of HD films been packaged on a USB flash drive.

    64 GB drives and bigger are widely available now so there does not seem to be an obstacle in a data storage capacity regard.

    Also, I am curious to know if it would save costs over discs.

    Don't know how much they cost to produce viz a viz discs.

    However, as the film file content is digital and then encoded onto a disc in what I presume is a costly procedure wouldn't this be eliminated with a USB?

    I think they could be packaged well too with a graphic printed onto the USB flash drive. I know they will be small but I think it could work.

    There is also less hassle with storage issues too.

    Thoughts on this idea?
     
  2. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Without an effective encryption system, this will never get off the ground.

    Note that the drm encryption systems on dvd and bluray/4Kbluray have all been cracked (entirely for dvd). It took slightly longer to crack the encryption on less popular disc formats, such as dvd-audio, sacd, etc ...
     
  3. Message #3 of 36 Feb 14, 2020 at 1:59 PM
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020 at 2:04 PM
    Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Undesirable.

    For the average consumer who has already moved past the idea of needing a physical object to enjoy their entertainment of choice, this would be a step backwards. The average consumer today is more satisfied than not with the options they have: they can spend about $10 a month and get unlimited access to thousands of movies and shows from providers like Netflix or Amazon Prime. They can also rent or purchase individual titles digitally for less than that. All of that involves simply pressing a button on their remote with no further effort on their part. How does going to a store to buy a USB stick, or ordering one in the mail, improve upon pressing a button on a remote they already have? To understand the market and why certain products are successful and certain ones are reaching their end of life, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the people who make up the vast majority of revenue for the studios. They are happy with their options. They want to watch content of their choosing, on their schedule, preferably as part of a subscription rather than a la carte, and don’t want to be responsible for a physical object. Offering them USB sticks with individual titles does nothing to address their preferences and doesn’t improve upon what they already have. If you can already press a button on your remote and have access to exactly what you want right this second, how does an option to pay more to wait for an object to arrive help you?

    For studios, it’s a non-starter because a USB drive would not offer the kind of end-to-end encryption that discs theoretically do. They’d need to develop an entirely new type of encryption, which would then force the consumer to have to buy new hardware, which again is a non-starter.

    I really don’t mean to be rude or abrasive, but the world at large has been moving away from physical media for years and it’s simply coming not coming back in the way it once existed. Whether it’s on a disc or streaming, it’s all digital data. A disc is no longer the most efficient way to deliver that data for the vast majority of consumers, and that’s why discs are losing market share so dramatically.
     
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  4. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    From a technical perspective, usb flash drives also generate a lot of heat when it is constantly being accessed.

    Try it sometime. Copy a movie from a dvd or bluray onto a flash drive, and play that rip on your standalone dvd/bluray player via the flash drive plugged into the usb port. You will notice after 10-15 minutes, the flash drive will generate a lot of heat.

    Cheaper USB drives will sometimes just shut down if there is too much heat produced.
     
  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    It doesn’t matter. It’s a physical object at a time when it’s no longer necessary to use a physical object to view something. It’s one thing for the legacy formats to chug along; it’s another thing to ask consumers to buy into a new format that offers them all of the drawbacks of what they’ve already left behind with none of the advantages of what they’ve already adopted.
     
  6. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    In contrast, a generic dvd or bluray spinning for 2 hours doesn't have major heat problems.

    It is a complete non-starter if a usb flash drive is generating way more heat, than a generic dvd/bluray player spinning discs.
     
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  7. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    Seems like a bad idea, then.

    To me, I was thinking about possible higher profit margins for the sellers and the more practical aspect to it.

    For example, just connecting the USB to the TV and letting it do the rest saves the hassle of a specific player such as with Blu Ray.
     
  8. Cranston37

    Cranston37 Cinematographer

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    People are moving past owning movies, rather it be on disc, USB, or Fortress of Solitude crystal.

    Really.
     
  9. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    In bulk, without data loading or outer packaging, USB drives are around $3/unit for 16gb, in quantities of 1000. Figure another 50 cents/each for minimal packaging.

    1000 BD-25 Blu-rays are around $3.00 each, including all packaging.
     
  10. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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  11. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    It must have been a bomb because this is the first I've heard of it.
     
  12. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Supporting Actor

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    Also undesirable from the pro-physical media perspective. A USB drive is physical in the sense you can hold the device, but it's not a write-once hard copy. DVDs and BDs are permanent recordings. USB drives are soft copies, much more similar to digital downloads which are not preferred by some for precisely this reason.
     
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  13. AshJW

    AshJW Screenwriter

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    Films on a USB drive would have been a good idea if it were now 2010 or so.
    This ship has sailed.
     
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  14. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    It would increase them. Even cheap, small USB drives cost $2 or more, while discs might cost 10 cents or less. That might drive movie prices up by $4 or more once you factor in margins.

    No. DVDs and Blu-Rays are already digital. And you can stamp out an entire layer of a DVD or Blu-Ray disc at one go, instead of having to wait for serial writing as with a USB flash drive.
     
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  15. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Two cases that I can recall of USB stick packaging affecting prices.:

    1. For Mac OS X 10.7 ("Lion"), Apple dropped the usual DVD release. An electronic download was $30. A preloaded USB stick was $70.

    2. There was a Beatles box set on a USB stick. If memory serves, this was high-priced compared to disc-based releases with uncompressed audio.
     
  16. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    In principle, basically not much different than a metaphorical pre-recorded cassette tape from back in the day.
     
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  17. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Supporting Actor

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    Meh, I'd say no. You'd have to put tape over the vacant tab to record over a cassette, and even then you can save some of the song if you change your mind partway and hit stop.

    Files on a drive can be deleted or corrupted in a split second, it's gone entirely and who knows if you get it back.
     
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  18. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I've seen porn sold on USB thingys, don't know how the quality is. I lost my trust in USBs after I scanned a bunch of magazines onto one before selling them, then they all suddenly disappeared from the USB. Most of the demo material being played on TVs in stores these days is on USBs rather than discs.
     
  19. Marco S

    Marco S Stunt Coordinator

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    And that's exactly what the movie studios want.
     
  20. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    As planned all along by the evil "wizard behind the curtain" at Sony/ViacomCBS/Disney/Universal/Warner/Panasonic/Pioneer.

    :cheers:
     

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