Film Downloads, What's the catch?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by DeathStar1, Apr 9, 2006.

  1. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    OK, I read that some major studios are starting up film download services. The size of each film is in the GB range, will take at least 2 hours to download on a hi speed connection, a nd will be allowed one DVD copy, and two hard drive copies..

    So, what's the catch? Is it highly pixilated? Are there limited views? Anyone know? Also, are they going to release entire DVD's on download soon? This would make it much easier and faster to author replacements if they muck up on audio authoring..
     
  2. Harold Wazzu

    Harold Wazzu Supporting Actor

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    I read they cost about the same, maybe a little bit less than buying a hard copy...not worth it to me

    EDIT: Yeah just looked at movielink.com...king kong (2005) costs $26.99....sure
     
  3. John Alderson

    John Alderson Supporting Actor

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    Wow, a featureless, lower quality version of the movie that costs more than a DVD, and you can only watch it on your computer? SIGN ME UP!
     
  4. Ocean Phoenix

    Ocean Phoenix Supporting Actor

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    Yeah, downloading movies is stupid, even when it's free. I did it a few times, but stopped because it takes too long and the quality isn't very good. I guess downloading movies is supposed to be for lazy and cheap people, so they can get to watch a movie for free in the comfort of their home without having to go out and buy or rent the movie. In most cases, however, driving to your local movie rental place or movie retailer probably takes less time than waiting for a download to finish. It take hours or days for a download to finish, so downloading is a waste of time. Recently there were several occasions when I talked to people who downloaded a movie, and when I asked them how the movie was, they said something like "I couldn't tell because the quality was bad". Paying around 30 dollars to download a movie is so silly when you can rent it anywhere for under 10.
     
  5. John Alderson

    John Alderson Supporting Actor

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    The only way I can see something like this remotely making sense is if they make a vast catalog of obscure titles available. Stuff that you *can't* get from your local shops, or maybe isn't even available on DVD at all. But then it wouldn't have the mass market appeal, so I guess it's a Catch-22, but that's how I would get interested. As it is now, it's a complete joke.
     
  6. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    What about those who don't drive or can't get to the store as easily as you and I can?

    Downloading doesn't make sense for us, but there is always a market willing to pay for this kind of stuff. The more we are able to do with our computers, the better (I say).
     
  7. DavidofLondon

    DavidofLondon Stunt Coordinator

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    For a slightly different viewpoint I wonder if anyone on this forum has a phone.

    The first phone network had just six telephones connected. All within the same building. Sound on the phones was dreadful. I suspect it would normally have been far easier to pop into the other room to chat to them in person.

    Download speed and picture quality will probably be addressed in the future. Broadband connnections here (London) are readily available up to 24mb/sec. Assuming a constant connection speed, (which realistically you wouldn't get) that would download a gigabyte within a few minutes.

    Pictue quality is less on these downloads because they want to keep the size down, but in the future with broadband speeds getting faster file sizes could go up.

    Imagine a future where you could download a two hour movie, with commentary in 15 minutes or less with DVD quality picture.

    I can see a future for this type of technology but completely agree that at the current level of technology its not worth it.
     
  8. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    Being able to watch movies without leaving the home is great, but I think VOD or pay-per-view via cable or satellite still makes more sense than slowly downloading over the Internet large files that have crappy quality. Having to watch said quality on a small computer screen isn't too enticing either.
     
  9. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Isn't that what is so great about Netflix and other mail-order outfits?

    I can't see giving up physical media for quite some time to come. The A/V quality, the extras, the price, and the sense of ownership can't be matched by downloadable movies at this time.
     
  10. Brent Hutto

    Brent Hutto Supporting Actor

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    If it costs the same as a DVD, has the same quality and content as a DVD and I could download it in 15 seconds flat that would still get a "Nope". Frankly, unless it is cheaper than a DVD I can't see anyone downloading a movie other than maybe they are downloading it onto some sort of portable player to watch on an airplane or something.

    My reading of the situation is that these download offerings have three reasons:
    • As a placeholder for future pay-per-view downloading products (the studio's wet dream)
    • To gain some sort of PR hook for their ubiquitous anti-piracy media campaign
    • Because if even a few suckers pay them $25-$30 pure-profit for the privilege of downloading a movie that's easy money
     
  11. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    The thing with VOD and Pay Per View is (at least in my area), you don't have that ability unless you pay extra for digital cable.

    I know people who just can't afford that, or they don't want to pay for that extra service. For them, they have to rely on DVD's to see movies in their homes.

    Brent, remember, this isn't exactly marketed toward people like us. I do know people who don't like the physical media acpect and would much rather download movies to their hard drives and watch them at a later date.

    As much as this doesn't interest us, there is a market for it.
     
  12. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    What about artwork on the disc, the cover, the insert? And that's if the film is packaged in a regualr keepcase. But what about those extraordinary digipak packages, like the beautiful Wizard of Oz 3-disc set?
     
  13. Mickey Brown

    Mickey Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    You are a DVD COLLECTOR. You are not the target audience for this. It's a new digital age.

    If it were the same quality as dvd then imagine you wake up on a Monday morning and you have a flight somewhere. You queue up universal.com and notice king kong is available for download. You click a button, take a shower, and it's ready. You can transfer to your ipod or phone to watch during the flight, and even burn it to a dvd if you want to watch on the home theater.

    Your wife is happy because there isn't a big old dust collecting pile of movies sitting in the middle of the living room.

    As early adopters of home theater and net forums, I thought the HTF would understand this premise. As long as the download is fast and the same quality as a store bought dvd, this should be exciting and not something to downlplay.
     
  14. Brett_M

    Brett_M Screenwriter

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    "Wow, a featureless, lower quality version of the movie that costs more than a DVD, and you can only watch it on your computer? SIGN ME UP!"

    Amen.

    This type of service is marketed toward the same idiots who want to watch TV and Movies on their freakin' cell phones. IDIOTS, I said.
     
  15. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Until I can find any real fault in it, I don't want to look like the idiot down the road (i.e. like those in the examples above) [​IMG]
     
  16. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    One thing people are forgetting, is that if you have a decent sized desk, you could get a 42" plasma for around 1100$'s these days. That's not a small screen for a computer [​IMG]. And the one I saw advertised this weekend even had a PC connection..
     
  17. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    I have an iPod but I use that to listen to music. Movies are totally different. There's no enjoyment watching a film on a tiny screen. You could always buy the DVD and then make a copy for watching on the go. So you get both for the price of one.

    I don't see non-physical media replacing DVDs. People like the packaging.
     
  18. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

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    Here's a counterargument: What about e-books? I've tried to force myself to read some I've come upon in recent years and I just can't fo it. I can read maybe 5 pages, tops. Reading an actual hardcover is a totally different experience and I can read dozens of pages, for hours on end.
     
  19. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    You don't have to imagine, it's here. A university showed a internet system dubbed "www2" or "Tnternet 2" that did exactly this from across town. I'm sure sooner or later this well be available commercially.

    The only other aspect to this that might intice me is for TV shows. Download a TV show at your lesure, they can play commercials for the 15 minutes you download it, than you have the show on HDD to watch whenever you want, commercial free, and to burn onto DVD if you desire it.
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I totally agree, but what does that mean? Does that mean no one will go that route because we don't like it? Hardly.


    What I sense here is a lot of fear. You guys fear that this will be the norm and you're trying to argue against its popularity. That's ok, people do that all the time.

    I'm just trying to look at it from a realistic point of view. The mass public is going to LOVE it!
     

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