Angelo Colombus

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Interesting article on the website The Digital Bits about Disney's internal decision to suspend the 4K Ultra HD release of live action catalog titles from both their own vaults and those of their newly acquired 20th Century Fox label.

 

Jake Lipson

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This sucks, but it is not terribly surprising given where Disney's energies are at for the moment. I'm sure they're thinking they would rather keep people subscribed to Disney+ for $6.99 a month than spending ~$30 on a 4k disc that would then be owned permanently. I'm not saying I agree with that approach, but it seems like what they would think. The Black Cauldron still doesn't have a Blu-ray upgrade, even though it is available on Disney+ in HD and (maybe, I don't know) 4K. I know that's an animated title and this article was talking about live-action ones, but the lack of it serves as proof of Disney's disinterest in anything that's not one of their top-tier titles.

As for Avatar, which is one of the titles mentioned as an exception, I assume Disney will trot that out in advance of the first sequel's theatrical release, whenever that actually happens. Currently that would be around the holiday season 2022, if the film actually makes the December 16, 2022 date that it has now claimed.
 
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TravisR

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As for Avatar, which is one of the titles mentioned as an exception, I assume Disney will trot that out in advance of the first sequel's theatrical release, whenever that actually happens. Currently that would be around the holiday season 2022, if the film actually makes the December 16, 2022 date that it has now claimed.
Yep, now that all the Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars movies are on UHD, the only catalog titles they'll release are ones that have a tie-in to a new theatrical feature. Everybody needs to start hoping that their favorite classic gets remade or gets a sequel so they'll give the original a 4K disc release.
 
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MatthewA

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Also, I must side with Matthew in that they’ve barely done anything with their live-action catalogue, with most of the few they have done only available through their Movie Club (I’m still waiting for a Blu-ray of Darby O’Gill and the Little People with both dubs). I shudder to think how the rest of the Fox catalogue will fare at this rate.
They had been getting around to remastering a lot of titles, but those titles were scattered all over the place and only a select few seem to be on Disney Minus.
 

Ejanss

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Also, I must side with Matthew in that they’ve barely done anything with their live-action catalogue, with most of the few they have done only available through their Movie Club (I’m still waiting for a Blu-ray of Darby O’Gill and the Little People with both dubs).
They originally had big plans for classic live-action on retail Blu, but "Babes in Toyland" was first out of the gate for Christmas, and...it's no classic. :huh:

Everything else was exiled to the Club, and while they've done some good bare-bones, DMC Blu's seem to be a necessary step in remastering prints for Disney+.

No 3D, no 4K and forget SOTS and Fox. Damn the Mouse!
3D was kangaroo-court lynched by a disgruntled audience wanting to vent their frustration at a half-dozen other unrelated issues, and "evil" Disney gave them all the ammunition they needed when they bungled the Oz the Great and Powerful release.

4K, OTOH, just didn't find an audience: Nobody knew what it was (except that it was supposed to be the "new thing" that would make that bad old 3D go away), and when they were told "The screen's bigger!", the minority who wanted to specialize did, and the indulgent folk who just wanted a big screen to watch the game...didn't.
The debate between studios and hardware companies about whether 4K digital or 4K disk would rule supreme held up the release long past its freshness date, and by the time 4K Disk won the battle, 4K digital had sunk to a minority of a few fans with super-bandwidth. And Disney seems to be catering to that minority, in the same niche that still buys digital on Movies Anywhere, since the animateds seem to be the only thing selling for them on 4K UHD.
(And let's not even get into Sony just now including 4K disk playability on their Playstation 5's for later this year. Barn door...Horses.)

Everyone back in '10 whined that 3D was "forced upon them" by "greedy hardware companies", but, frankly, in hindsight, feels like 4K actually was.
 
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MatthewA

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They likely don't want to eat the cost of unsold units like they did in the DVD days.

3D still has some life left outside of the US if Frozen II could get a 3D UK Blu-ray in addition to the obligatory 4k UHD disc but if you want both 3D and 4k? This is how they respond:


As for the choice of titles, putting Babes in Toyland out was one thing when it at least looked better than it had in years, the absence of anything else with Annette in it was another.
 
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jcroy

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Interesting article on the website The Digital Bits about Disney's internal decision to suspend the 4K Ultra HD release of live action catalog titles from both their own vaults and those of their newly acquired 20th Century Fox label.

Quoted from above link ^

This is odd, because current Disney CEO Bob Chapek was for years (back to the early days of Blu-ray) the president of the studio’s home entertainment division. And while he’s certainly had his hands full lately, stepping up to the role of company CEO just as the pandemic hit, I’m hopeful he’ll realize that rejuvenating home entertainment can help put the company in a stronger position. He’s even made a bit of noise in the direction in recent interviews (see here), though only in regard to VOD and Digital. Regardless, Disney currently seems to have almost no physical media strategy other than to simply ignore it.


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It takes a former president of a studio's home entertainment division, to completely eschew the 4Kbluray disc format entirely for "non essential" stuff. (Independent of whether there already exists 4K quality transfers for such "non essential" films).
 

Joseph Bolus

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Hey!
Why isn't this *bombshell* reported by Bill Hunt late yesterday on "The Digital Bits" not being discussed on here?!

https://thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two-cents/080720-1600

If I'm reading this right Disney will soon be shutting down Physical Media releases for all live action catalog titles!
This includes the entire 20th Century Fox library!!

In the future 4K catalog releases will be available only on Digital or via Disney+!!

New releases will continue to be released on 4K and Blu-ray.

If all of this is true it could be the "Beginning of the End" for studio support for Physical Media.
 

Ejanss

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If I'm reading this right Disney will soon be shutting down Physical Media releases for all live action catalog titles!
This includes the entire 20th Century Fox library!!
No, you're NOT reading it right. At the moment, the decision was only on continuing 4K for releases other than their post-90's WDFA, Fox or Pixar animateds (with the obvious live-action exceptions of Lucas and Marvel), and there are a lot of reasons for that.
Most of them discussed in Engadget's link.

The distinction between "Physical media releases" and "4K UHD physical media releases" is helpful to keep in mind before hitting Disney panic buttons.
 
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Joseph Bolus

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Thanks for the link and the clarification.
I knew a discussion on this situation had to be ongoing on here *somewhere*.
I just couldn’t find it for some reason.
 

Jake Lipson

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I hope Disney will change their mind on this.
I think Disney will do whatever makes them the most money. Right now, they think that's Disney+. If they can be convinced that there is a lot of money in physical 4K, then of course they would want to tap into that more.

I guess this means that everybody who wants more catalog titles on physical 4K should make sure they buy Hocus Pocus and Home Alone when they come out next month. I don't have any idea what Disney's expectations are for how those are going to sell, but they'll probably notice if they do exceptionally well. I don't need either because I'm not 4K equipped, but if I was I would get them in a second.
 

Rick Thompson

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Every day I thank the video gods that, with only a few exceptions, everything I want has been issued on (mostly theatrical) blu-ray or (mostly television) DVD. There's only a couple of films (led by What's So Bad About Feeling Good? in any format plus the 1969 Goodbye Mr. Chips and a few John Waynes on blu-ray) and television series (St. Elsewhere, which I've given up on for legit release, and Slattery's People and The Great Adventure, which won't get even "alternate source.") Otherwise, I've slid in under the wire. All I buy now are current releases, and none of those, thankfully, are with Fox or Disney. Any catalog items are gravy now.

BTW, streaming is out of the question when all you can get is Verizon Wireless. Even if 4G was fast enough for anything beyond basic NTSC (it isn't), the data charges for a high def film would be out of sight.
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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I think Disney will do whatever makes them the most money. Right now, they think that's Disney+. If they can be convinced that there is a lot of money in physical 4K, then of course they would want to tap into that more.

I guess this means that everybody who wants more catalog titles on physical 4K should make sure they buy Hocus Pocus and Home Alone when they come out next month. I don't have any idea what Disney's expectations are for how those are going to sell, but they'll probably notice if they do exceptionally well. I don't need either because I'm not 4K equipped, but if I was I would get them in a second.
It might still be worthwhile getting 4K discs even if your current setup can't make much use of them.

I find 4K players -- even a sub-$200 one like my Sony X700 -- can downconvert 4K discs to yield potentially greater PQ than corresponding BDs, eg. I can see a slight bump in the downconverted 4K of Braveheart despite the BD being reference quality... although this is via an essentially entry level ~120" FP setup (viewed from ~12ft). That would be especially true for less stellar BDs of otherwise promising source content (capable of the extra rez, etc). Plus you do often enough get Atmos audio on 4K that's often not offered on BD.

And 4K discs usually come bundled w/ the BD to boot.

Of course, I wouldn't really suggest buying 4K discs if you don't at least (very soon) own a decent 4K player to spin them at all...

Meanwhile, it seems you really cannot benefit at all from 4K streaming unless you actually have a complete setup to display in 4K since there seems no way to (even) access and downconvert them like it's very doable w/ 4K discs -- I wish there's some viable way, but nada so far... And you can't get to the Atmos audio of 4K streams either in that case...

_Man_
 
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Neil S. Bulk

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I find 4K players -- even a sub-$200 one like my Sony X700 -- can downconvert 4K discs to yield potentially greater PQ than corresponding BDs, eg. I can see a slight bump in the downconverted 4K of Braveheart despite the BD being reference quality... although this is via an essentially entry level ~120" FP setup (viewed from ~12ft). That would be especially true for less stellar BDs of otherwise promising source content (capable of the extra rez, etc). Plus you do often enough get Atmos audio on 4K that's often not offered on BD.
This is true when wanting to watch something like Mission: Impossible, where the only Blu-ray release ever was an old transfer with lossy audio. The 4k disc is a new transfer with lossless audio. Superman: The Movie is another where only the 4k disc has the original 6-track audio.

Reading this thread, am I to believe the Die Hard sequels will not be coming to 4k disc?
 

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