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For Those Who Still Think Physical Media Has No Place in the 21st century...

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Nick*Z, Nov 16, 2019.

  1. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    As in mediocre scifi tv shows, there's plenty of catalog and current stuff. My issue is frequently that the first season or two were excellent, while subsequent seasons were garbage.

    In terms of movies, there's tons of garbage such as the scifi movies produced by bottom feeder "mockbuster" studio The Asylum. (The Asylum were famous for producing the Sharknado franchise and other absurdities). In terms of decent quality scfi movies, there's hardly anything worth mentioning that isn't already a classic.
     
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  2. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Most of my dvd/bluray purchases over the past several years, were exactly these type of garbage scifi movies. They were largely $2 dump bin stuff. A lot of this stuff isn't even released on bluray anymore. Just dvd-only.

    This is the type of stuff I leave playing in the background when I'm at home during the day, and not watching something like Star Trek or The Big Bang Theory reruns.
     
  3. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    It seems to be fashionable in Hollywood (for directors?) to be doing sci-fi going by the last 10 years or so.

    I have not seen most of them as I have not had the opportunity to watch movies over the last 6 years or so but films such as Gravity, Prometheus, The Martian & Moon to name a few. I am sure there are many more you can mention.

    I have seen Prometheus and I have to say I did not like it too much. Maybe I had high expectations of it being directed by Ridley Scott.

    It seems to be well liked from what I can tell by other movie lovers that have seen it.

    I will probably watch it again at some point to see if my opinion changes on it.

    Don't know if many of the modern Sci-fi movies are worth viewing but I do plan on watching a few over the next year or so including those films I mentioned.
     
  4. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    It sounds like you really go out of your way to find that undiscovered Sci-Fi masterpiece out there that nobody else has discovered yet. :)

    That's something I tend to do with films in general and I have to stop doing it because I have watched too many bad films out there.

    My problem is I don't have the capability to stop watching a movie before it is finished no matter how bad it is. I will torture myself just in case the ending changes my opinion of the film. :(
     
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  5. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    I do buy/collect a lot of dvds and blurays, though for very different reasons that you would probably not expect at all.

    For almost a decade, a lot of my dvd/bluray purchases were for very sordid type reasons completely unrelated to watching any actual movies. One of my hobbies was figuring out how the drm and extra extensions functions on dvd discs. So every time I go through dvd/bluray bins, I search for titles which are known to have such extra basketcase drm. Over the years I spent way too much time reading the code in the *.ifo files on dvd discs, to decipher how the extra basketcase drm functions.

    Most of my dvd/bluray collection is a rogue's gallery of dvd/bluray discs which are infested with extra basketcase drm which attempt to trip up or deliberately crash dvd/bluray ripping programs.
     
  6. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    For that matter, scifi was always a ghetto that nobody reputable went into unless they were looking for career suicide and/or ridicule.
     
  7. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    I have yet to find any such "masterpieces".
     
  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I don’t want to bore everyone with rehashing in full comments I’ve made before in this thread that have touched on this.

    I know that some people genuinely believe that studios are making digital cheap and nice now in the hopes of getting people to abandon discs, and then will up the prices and lower the quality of service later.

    I can’t disprove a theory that’s meant to predict what will happen. I can say that I genuinely do not believe it to be true. I’m a movie enthusiast that has collected since the day of VHS, so I’ve been at this some time. I also spent a good number of years working in the home video industry, including at the time that streaming and legal downloading was first being offered, so I’m aware of what that was like from both the consumer side and the business side.

    And my read is this: changes in technology were already driving people away from buying physical objects to enjoy the content contained on them. It happened in the music world with CDs first, and then it happened in the print world with books.

    The challenges that every content producer are facing now are complex and long, but to simplify (possibly oversimplify), there is more content available at the consumer’s fingertips than ever before. Wages have remained mostly stagnant since the recession, so the amount of money people have to spend on entertainment hasn’t risen to coincide with the additional availability of entertainment. And the proliferation of illegal downloading and hacked streaming devices means that anyone can simply choose not to pay, but still see everything as if they had. So if you’re a media company, your struggle is to get people to pay for what you’re offering. I agree that there are probably too many services rolling out for them all the survive long term. This is why companies like Netflix are betting big on original content and spending fortunes now: so that their libraries retain value for a long time that will entice people to keep those low cost subscriptions active. Netflix didn’t spend $200 million to make “The Irishman” in the hopes of getting it all back now. They spent it as part of a strategy meant to ensure that when people start having to choose which services to keep or let go, that Netflix has too big and too vital of a library with too many attractive offerings in the pipeline for most of their customers to let them go. When you see Disney+ offering a huge selection for just $7 a month, many things in better quality to the versions on disc, the long term plan isn’t to hike rates to unreasonable levels. The long term plan is to be so indispensable and so reasonably priced that they’ll just stay signed up.

    Long term, ad supported viewing is either going away entirely or at the least falling out of favor with people. Buying TV ads isn’t a great return on investment for companies anymore. When commercials were invented, there were only three channels and no way to record or time shift. Viewers had to watch them. Now between streaming and downloading and DVRing, skipping commercials is for everyone, not just that one family member who knows how to set the VCR. Ad companies know that the viewership isn’t what it once was. They just haven’t come up with something better to spend the money on yet.
     
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  9. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    This may not be what you want to hear, but my reasons for buying a lot of dvds/blurays probably does not fit into any of your assertions.

    At heart, I am not a tv/movie person at all. When I was younger back in the 1990s, I lived for long extended periods of time where I didn't even have a tv at home. (As long as 3 years without a tv at home, entirely of my own choice).


    Over the years I've come to the realization that most of my dvd/bluray purchases (or binges) were largely driven by obsessive compulsive (ocd) type behavior and/or hoarding, especially when it comes to $5 or less titles. The closest analogy would be similar to the behavior of a hardcore comic book collector who doesn't even read any of the comic books they have, in conjunction with the behavior of a degenerate gambler.

    Basically "collecting for the sake of collecting" and continually buying more and more, type of extreme behavior. Similar to an appetite which can never be satiated.
     
  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Look at the chart included in the article for physical media sales for the first week of this year:
    UHD - 4.9%
    BD - 28.0%
    DVD - 67.1%

    For 2019, the industry took in $3 billion in physical media sales, $3 billion in digital medial sales, and about $16 billion in subscription streaming revenue. Ten years ago, physical was at $20 billion.

    There is no criteria available under which having your section of the industry transition from being a $20 billion a year business to becoming a $3 billion a year business could be considered healthy or desirable.

    People are consuming more content than ever before, but the vast majority are not using discs to do so.
     
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  12. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Cinematographer

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    My wife is at her book club tonight so i am having a few friends over for a film night. Spent a happy hour going through my disc collection to make up a shortlist. Twiddling through a digital list just isn't the same.
     
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  13. Message #333 of 647 Jan 24, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
    bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    Why do some people believe in that possible bait and switch?
     
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  14. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Screenwriter

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    The real problem with market share had little to do with the competing interests of DVD vs. streaming, vs. DVD and everything else on physical media. When DVD arrived VHS was still king and LaserDisc a niche market. With the exception of LD dying hard and fast, the industry refused to entirely abandon VHS, giving consumers the option which format they would prefer. As many consumers are not videophiles they stuck with VHS until it was no longer supported, giving DVD a slow but obvious climb in the industry. Fast forward to the war between DVD and Blu-ray. Same problem — worsened by the industry’s ineffectual stance that both formats ‘should’ co-exist. Instead of supporting the same ‘forced obsolescence’ to retire DVD and present Blu-ray as the only alternative to streaming, the market share has been fragmented, first — two, and now three (4K) ways, again, leaving consumers to choose where they put down their money.

    As Blu-ray remains the marginally more expensive alternative, DVD remains king. It makes no sense to have 3 competing physical media formats (DVD, Blu-ray, 4K). Now, we come to an even more insidious underlying plot regarding the ‘push’ to streaming by the industry at large; namely, that when VHS debuted back in the early 1980’s, the industry as a whole had a fit — worrying that they would be losing a major stream of revenue and control of their product to bootleggers and even legitimate renters/buyers, who could purchase the title once and then show it to all their friends, thus depriving them of the total copyright control they once held dominion over. Alas, when the numbers for rentals and sell-through came in, greed took over. The industry was willing to sacrifice control to reap the benefits of a new ‘fad’ that became a cottage industry all its own. The dawn of ‘home video’ was upon us.

    We are now well past that dawn and streaming has presented itself as a ‘better’ alternative to the industry because, not only does it allow them to share their wares with the public — and charge them for the privilege — but it also allows them total control over what is consumed, how it is consumed, and when it is consumed. When copyright elapses, the studio simply pulls the title off their on-line service, leaving consumers in the dark and pushing some other titles in their stead. The consumer has no say, and no ability to share their content with others. So, Hollywood has won the war over ‘home video’ at last.

    Let’s forget for a moment that true 4K content cannot be — as yet, streamed in its entirety as 4K content, as it can on an actual 4K Blu-ray, and that most streaming services still have an issue even delivering native 1080p signals that do not present themselves with various down-sampling algorithms to compress their content and make it download friendly to consumers, thereby completely belying the need for ANY non-disc-consuming collector to run out and buy a native 4K TV (let alone, an 8K one); the industry is more interested in control than quality here, and supporters of streaming over physical media are just giving them another reason to go whole hog by a show of numbers.

    However, it is still important to acknowledge that it isn’t the consumer who initially walked away from physical media. It’s the industry that began its forced obsolescence by introducing too many alternatives, thereby forcing the consumer to choose and then eventually get bored with the idea of re-tooling their private collections over and over again with a handful of titles that chronically continue to get released in various formats while the bulk of Hollywood’s vintage lore remains locked away to decay in climate-controlled vaults, likely never to be seen anywhere again.

    The silent era, as example, the very dawn of the industry has been severely overlooked on any disc format. In Kevin Brownlow’s magnificent documentary series: Hollywood, made back in the early 80’s, narrator James Mason makes an astute observation about the industry saying, “The Hollywood of today bears no earthly resemblance to its illustrious past — nor does it choose to acknowledge it ever existed.” That condition has only worsened in the interim, with movies from the 1930’s, 40’s and even 50’s being overlooked on disc media, so we are told by the industry, because they require considerable time, money and effort to ‘restore’ for the modern age. In the same breath, however, the industry quietly makes no comment about what steps are being taken — if any — to ensure that such restorations are taking place, to ensure that the past will not quietly evaporate into dust, as more than 80% of its past before the dawn of sound has already been destroyed through neglect for all time.

    Want to avert the crisis now and give disc media a fighting chance? The solution is simple. Immediately retire DVD. Make Blu-ray the standard and 4K an option to be included with certain Blu-ray titles. Consolidate Blu-ray and 4K into a single marketable commodity and promote it with all the vigor any format deserves, but virtually none of the disc formats have received by the industry. All but the die hard cinephiles are frankly fed up with constantly having to choose which format to support. Remember when 3D TV’s were all the rage. The industry pushed 3D hard for barely 2 years, then completely dropped 3D TV manufacturing from their line-up while continuing to support 3D disc content for another 3 years — offering the consumer NO viable hardware on which to screen their 3D discs.

    3D discs are still being marketed today — albeit, infrequently. But honestly, how successful do you think those sell-throughs are when the number of people owning older 3D sets continues to shrink and no new 3D hardware — except projectors (which are out of most people’s budgets) are MIA? It’s dumb, silly and thoroughly misguided executive marketing decisions like this that have helped artificially kill off formats faster than consumers can actually show an invested interest in them. A lot of consumers still cling to their DVD’s out of concern that Blu-ray is just a flash in the pan and won’t last, leaving them with yet another format to be used as a glorified doorstop; LaserDisc, Betamax, VHS, Divex…anyone?
     
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  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Actually, I find doing it with my digital collection more satisfying than my physical collection. I'll pull up my digital collection on either iTunes or Vudu on my OLED and end up sampling possibilities without ever leaving my seating position because I don't have to go to different storage locations because I have so many discs nor do I have to change any discs out of my player.
     
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  16. Message #336 of 647 Jan 24, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
    jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    This sounds like the idle fantasies and wishful thinking of a "Walter Mitty" being a hardcore disc collector. :)

    The only way to achive this, is if the government passes a law which outlaws the manufacturing of dvd, with long prison sentences for the manufacturing and possession of dvds. ;)

    Joking aside. This will be almost impossible to do since just about all the dvd-video patents have expired already, or are about to expire. So patent law can't even be used to "retire dvd".
     
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  17. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (On a hypothetical tangent).

    @Nick*Z

    To turn the tables, how would you feel if the bluray/4Kbluray patent holders suddenly use patent law to "retire bluray/4kbluray" and completely remove bluray and 4Kbluray from the market in a sudden abrupt manner?

    (The earliest most of the bluray patents will expire is 2030).
     
  18. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Do you really actually believe in this ^ assertion?

    This sounds like putting the cart before the horse. :)
     
  19. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, it is.

    I think most of the collectors who are still primarily collecting are doing so beyond just the sake of doing so for enjoying the movie.
    This is what I was trying to explain but not very well.

    I know someone who collects DVDs and he is a crazy hoarder too. He cannot throw anything away and has piles of worthless junk that he has no use for or ever will have but he will still keep it regardless. A very extreme hoarder.

    Now, if you go to bluray.com and look at the users uploaded pictures of their home theatres many of them show photos of their blu ray collection.

    I have noticed that some have steelbook versions of a film as well as the standard copy.
    Also, some have 3 or more copies of the same movie.

    Sure, they enjoy watching films but they are getting something more from collecting.
    Does that make any sense?

    I think the physical media sellers are aware of this in a crude form which is why they offer steelbook versions etc.

    In fact, I saw recently in this forum about some blu ray release of a horror film I think that includes something like a plastic replica axe from the film and other type gimmicks included.

    The company is obviously trying to cater to that collector type consumer.

    I do personally think hoarders and collectors are very closely related personality traits but not the same and possibly in some instances people have a hybrid version of both these things (illnesses?).

    From what I can gather hoarders cannot throw away any of their possessions regardless of how useless or worthless they are and don't seem to appreciate their stuff.

    Collectors seem to show pride and treasure their items and seem to know trivial things about their collection.
     
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  20. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    This is possibly the primary reason why so much horror, fantasy, superhero, scifi, etc ... type genre stuff is released on bluray. It attracts the hardcore ocd compulsive collector types who buy EVERYTHING in a particular niche (ie. toys, comics, blurays, books, etc ...).
     

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