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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. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Do you have slower internet? Or a great upscaling display? I’m finding streaming looks as good or better than HD cable broadcast. And both look better than DVD. I haven’t done rigorous comparisons, but I’m struggling to believe DVD looks better than nominal HD streaming?
     
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  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Dave: You really wouldn't buy a DVD of a desired film/TV show if it's not released any other way?
     
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  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I’m like that with Star Trek. If the discs were barebones, I’d have to think long and hard about it, but the plethora of bonus features are what makes the purchase vital. I think the thing is, in the end, it’s all data - the data itself doesn’t care if it’s pressed on a disc or downloaded over the internet. Physical media in these cases isn’t necessarily intrinsically more valuable because the data is pressed on a disc; it’s more valuable because the disc version is including those bonuses that rarely come with subscription streaming and inconsistently with digital purchases. Include all the bonus features with the digital version and it becomes a harder choice again.

    I’m not Dave, but... I would say that I might just consider the streaming version the release. For a lot of things these days, I’m finding I have a choice between a DVD version as the only disc option, or an HD version that’s a digital exclusive. It’s harder for me to accept watching a DVD version when I know that it’s available in HD.

    I faced the same dilemma with The Orville. I decided not to buy the DVD, even though I love the show. My household is subscribed to the commercial-free version of Hulu, which is how we watched it (in HD) in the first place and where it resides in perpetuity. So for me, it was a question of, why spend $20 for a standard definition copy of something I already have access to an HD copy of? Since I’m already paying for Hulu no matter what, why buy the extra thing?

    Or, in the case of CSI. They put out some seasons on BD, but the later seasons are DVD only. I collected all the early seasons on disc back when DVD was the only format and got BD when they started coming out that way. But when they went to back DVD only for the last years, I stopped buying. Truth be told, that was just a coincidence on my part because I had lost interest in the show. Flash forward to last year, and I wanted to finish it. The DVDs have bonus features; the iTunes versions don’t but are in HD. And I had already started collecting the show on physical media. But I realized I had never watched the vast majority of those bonus features, so I went with the better quality version.

    I love when the physical media version of something is the best version out there. When it is, I buy without hesitation. I buy with utter delight. But... if what’s on disc is not the best version, it’s really hard for me to buy these days.

    Somebody give me a larger budget and a house and I’ll be glad to reconsider :D
     
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  4. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Every time I enter this thread, I'm reminded of that Dylan Thomas poem: "Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

    I won't buy a DVD of a show that was originally broadcast in HD.
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Personally, I have reached the point that the above is not the case for me anymore. When the 4K + HDR streaming version of something can be purchased for under $10 (sometimes as low as $5), I have no issue going that way instead of spending maybe $25 for the corresponding disc-based version. Price has become a big consideration with me.

    Also, in my case digital versions offer another advantage -- the ability to watch my purchases from multiple locations. Since retiring, we are away from our home more and more, so having more material available to watch "in the cloud" offers a lot of benefit. It also is solving another issue -- running out of space for all those discs. These are the same reasons I have moved to digital purchases of books -- I do not need a physical copy on my shelf.
     
  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Scott, I’m generally in agreement with you. I should clarify: when I said “best version” I’m not talking about whether a disc or streaming looks better. I’m talking about other things like, is this version a new restoration? Does it include bonus features that I actually want to watch? But I agree, it’s really hard to pass up a $5 digital version in 4K, especially when iTunes is throwing in all the same bonus features from the disc.
     
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  7. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    $5 is the point where I'll cave and buy something on digital that I haven't seen, as it's about the same price as a rental so just getting to watch it once is good for the price. If the movie is really good I'll still buy the disc later.

    As I believe in voting with my dollars, I absolutely will not downgrade a series back to regular DVD when previous seasons were on Blu-Ray. If they want my money, they'll put out the format I want as they were before. Otherwise I'll stop watching further seasons or find some other way to see them.

    As far as retiring DVD, what if they quietly discontinued DVD-only players but kept selling those ultra-cheap $50 Blu-Ray players, clearly marked that they can also play DVDs? Someone needs a new player and doesn't want to spend a lot gets a cheap Blu-ray player since that's their only choice, keeps watching their DVDs on it but gets new stuff on Blu-Ray from then on? There's people out there who would still be buying VHS tapes if they were still being put out, but those are clearly obsolete.
     
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  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    What they said. :) I’m not buying HD shows downgraded to SD.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I am undecided on what to do about Game of Thrones. I don't subscribe to HBO, so I didn't see the series live. I'm considering whether it's worth watching, and if so do I do it streaming by a sub to HBO or buy the discs. The discs are more expensive but have the Atmos mix, and reports were that HBO's streaming quality was unwatchedly bad for at least one episode. So, maybe discs for GoT.
     
  10. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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  11. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    How would this be done in practice? (ie. Excluding the case of the government banning dvd-only players by legal decree).

    How would you deal with manufacturers of dvd-only players where all of the dvd-video patents expired already (or soon will be) ? (ie. Excluding the case of the government banning all dvd-only players being imported from China).

    On a variation of the latter case, how would you deal with a factory located in the middle of the United States which manufactures dvd-only players which are patent-free ? (ie. Excluding activities such as arson, vandalism, changing land zoning laws, etc ... or any other deliberate sabotage).
     
  12. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Basically patent-free legal stuff cannot be stopped from being used/manufactured by anybody who has the will and the means. (Profitability is a different matter).
     
  13. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Compounding such awfulness are current tv shows like NCIS and Criminal Minds, where the image was put throught a "softening filter" which "crappy-fies" the video to look like 480i ntsc sd video quality. In spite of recent/current episodes being filmed with hd/4k (or higher) resolution digital cameras, the final post-production appears to have been made deliberately to look like crappy ntsc sd video.

    I was one of those fools which purchased that lone NCIS season 12 bluray set. Compared to the dvd version and the original cbs broadcasts, they all look really awful.

    Criminal Minds never had any bluray sets released in america. Though comparing the hd cbs broadcasts (or reruns) with the dvd versions, they both look really awful and almost indistingishable from one another.
     
  14. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    In contrast, I'll give credit to tv shows which keep up with current technology and don't deliberately "crap-ify" the image to look like a "retro ntsc" sd resolution. Even if they're never released on bluray in america, such as Law & Order Special Victims Unit (SVU) in their 21st season (exceeding Gunsmoke). If you watch the SVU reruns, it appears it was entirely done in HD since the early seasons. (I don't know which was the first season to be entirely shot with digital hd cameras, without using any actual film).

    Even daytime soap operas keep up with current technology, by shooting in hd (or higher) resolution at 60 frames per second (probably interlaced).
     
  15. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    I have exactly one instance of a new release movie I wanted not being available on BD (Bright Star) and that was years ago. I can't complain about the availability of titles, and as far as 4K discs go, none of the new release movies I want on the format have been unavailable to me (my friend complained about "Ready or Not", and I have heard some murmuring about the new Addams Family movie not on UHD disc) so far I guess I have just been lucky in that every movie I want has been released on BD, or 4K disc.

    If it ever gets to the point that I can't find a new movie I want on BD, or 4K then I will start to purchase exclusively digital.
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    The discs are quite expensive. I borrowed the BD's from a friend (except for the final season), and later watched the seasons a 2nd time via iTunes (my friend gave me the digital codes, as he didn't use them). Visually I thought they looked fine via the digital codes on iTunes, and sometimes Apple has the seasons on sale. I need to pick up the final season, and am waiting for a sale on iTunes. We watched the final season via a free trial on HBO Now, and it looked okay -- but not as good as via iTunes, IMO. We were watching many months after the show ended, though, so HBO's servers probably were not nearly as taxed as during the initial run of the season.
     
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  17. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (Going offtopic somewhat, but on the topic of GoT).

    I have only skimmed through the first season of Game of Thrones, when it was in reruns on a basic cable channel a year or two after it first appeared on HBO. Since then I have not had the desire to continue watching anything further.

    At this point I would be more inclined to first read the original George RR Martin books, before I ever watch the show. If I ever get around to this, hopefully the bluray (or 4Kbluray) versions will still be on the market and not out-of-print at skyhigh ebay prices.
     
  18. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Do you have a particular title in mind, where this was indeed the case?
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Good point, I hadn’t considered the middle option of buying digitally from iTunes.
     
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  20. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Here is one counterexample which works in practice for me.

    I have found that for some really old tv shows, stripping out and listening to the audio only (without any video) is almost just like listening to an old radio show drama (before tv was easily available).

    I found this to be the case for stuff like the original Star Trek, Dragnet, the original Twilight Zone, etc ... At times I wonder if some of these same actors were doing radio drama shows when they were younger.
     

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