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Physical Media might not be dead, but Physical Media in Retail Stores are accelerating the death

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by mrz7, Mar 4, 2018.

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  1. Paintbeanie

    Paintbeanie Stunt Coordinator

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    Digital media only lasts online if it is saved by others. Once the original website is gone, so is anything nobody copied. There are many sites and data that no longer exist (many geocites for example or tvshowsondvd) that were not saved and are gone. Internet archive works to a degree but still does not always catch everything.
    Also, it is not about “save physical media save the world.” It is the question of how much control and censorship will the studios have without physical media. Right now if Disney edits (and don’t kid yourself, they do like their squeaky clean image and will edit if they feel like they can) a film or puts it in their “vault” it can still be seen and shared through previous copies. If it is regulated through streaming and digital media and they decide to take down their films on all these platforms then nobody can see them. There is no “backup” in this case. The studios have complete control.

    While I am for physical media and I feel I have made it clear in previous posts. I have no problem preserving media digitally as it is probably more practical when considering space and degradation that film, tapes, etc. take up. The problem is currently that the studios have full control and censorship, even more so than in the past, and studios, especially some of their executives, have no sense of history and cannot always be fully trusted with that much control. Take note this is not a small concern and not something to look down on. Just look at the demise of filmstruck and some of the responses that got.
     
  2. Mysto

    Mysto Screenwriter

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    It's all about ART. There are physical forms of art. Paintings, books, etc. When it is produced the viewer "owns" it. Then there is "art of the moment" Plays - Live music performances - variety entertainers these only exist during the performance (you can record the event but the result is not the performance hence the statement "you shoulda been there"). Movies - TV are different. For a long time they were "of the moment even though they were (in most cases) physical. The studios would "rent" you a view. They decided when you could see them. They decided if they wanted to edit (alter) the art. We had no say. At a point in history this changed. People got 16mm prints (I even had a friend with 35mm) - they bought VCR's. Laser - DVDs - and stored digital copies with various methods. Now some control was in the hands of the consumer. No matter what the legal definition was the viewer "owned" it. The studios could no longer decide when we could see it or could they change or alter the copy. Now with the popularity of streaming - the studios are in a position to take control away from us and only allow viewing on their terms. In light of current developments, that distresses me. I will continue to amass physical movies and tv as I can, knowing these cannot be changed and that the studios (at least for now) can not make them go away. Because we changed to physical means, no matter what Disney does - Song of the South exists in the viewer's world. Dumbo (uncut) exists in the viewer's world. And I am grateful.

    I already talked about proliferation of movies to protect them from being lost - destroyed - etc. - this is to protect them from being altered from the original artistic intent.
     
  3. Message #643 of 814 Apr 27, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
    bmasters9

    bmasters9 Producer

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    OT-- I will do the same with vintage newspapers as much as I can, because in perhaps a decade, maybe more, papers as we have known them will be gone entirely, and the only way to be informed will be on a phone (latest purchase from EBay is the Thursday, Jan. 17, 1991 edition of Newsday from Long Island, supposedly having 160 pages; cover story was about the War in Iraq).
     
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  4. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (On a tangent).

    I still buy paper books when it comes to non-fiction titles, such as techanical topics and history. Though I've been gradually moving to digital ebooks when it comes to fiction paperback type of stuff, such as Star Wars books or other scifi stuff I only read once,
     
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  5. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Supporting Actor

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    I think the concern is streaming's potential to eventually replace ownership. Cable/OTA was never going to do that.
     
  6. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    It's been proven you learn better from paper books than ebooks. With a paper book you'll usually be able to lookup information you found useful without an index as you'll recall the area in which the material can be found (rough page location), which side of the page, and the page layout. You don't do this with digital. In spite of this our schools are on a headlong rush to dump paper based learning in favor of electronics. It's creating a generation who doesn't know things their parents knew at that age and they don't care as the attitude is "If I don't know or remember I can always google it."
     
  7. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Supporting Actor

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    I agree with your overall sentiment, but want to challenge you here. Digital is NOT any form of real preservation. Film is the only proven, long-term medium for that purpose. Doesn't matter how much room it takes. Digital is mostly for convenience and, yes, as a backup to film. But it should not be considered a replacement ever.
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Why not? How else do you archive movies when there is no “film” involved cause it’s bits from beginning to end? Likewise, photography. There is no actual film now. Bits is the medium and the final product, and the long term archival method, no?
     
  9. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Actually, I was QUITE up in arms back in the 80s when I saw that the "basic" cable channels showed cut versions of movies, in addition to interrupting them with commercials. They aren't under any FCC regulations, and one of the original purposes of cable was to see uncut movies and other things that broadcast TV couldn't or wouldn't show. Instead, it just increasingly became more like broadcast TV, even worse in some aspects. AMC was one of the last good cable channels too, but they've completely sold out- only MTV is worse in having abandoned their original concept.

    If streaming ends up run with the same mentality as most cable channels, then I'm out (there's already some cable-like behavior going on which I strongly object to, but thankfully isn't completely widespread yet.) As far as editing, it's funny that VidAngel, a voluntary system that edited streaming movies to one's tastes, was basically sued off the market but studios have no problem with edited versions being the only choice in other venues.
     
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  10. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Supporting Actor

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    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film-out

    To my knowledge all the studios do film outs to preserve new work, and the new work they've done restoring old work (films). They just don't make prints for distribution obviously.
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Fascinating. Here’s an article on the topic from a few years ago.
    “If this situation sounds ominous, it is. True, the cost per bit of digital storage has dropped dramatically over the last three decades: A gigabyte of storage 30 years ago might have run you a couple hundred thousand dollars; these days, it’s mere pennies. And there’s reason to believe that advances in automation will lower labor costs, while advances in energy efficiency will reduce power bills.

    But once you’re on the technology treadmill, it is impossible to get off. For large collections of important or valuable digital data—not just motion pictures but news footage, scientific measurements, governmental records, and our own personal collections—today’s digital storage technologies simply do not work to ensure their survival for future generations. The uncertain state of digital preservation is such that most major studios continue to archive their movies by transferring them to separate, black-and-white polyester-based film negatives, one each for red, green, and blue. This is the case even for those works that are born digital.

    Three years ago, Dominic Case of Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive made the following observation, which still holds true: “Even if we could switch to a low-cost, low-maintenance, secure digital solution tomorrow, we’d still need our film collection to last for 100 years, because it would take that long to transfer everything onto it.””

    https://spectrum.ieee.org/consumer-electronics/standards/will-todays-digital-movies-exist-in-100-years
     
  12. Message #652 of 814 Apr 28, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
    Mysto

    Mysto Screenwriter

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    I am a lover of film but...
    Film isn't for 100 years - Just one example: My Fair Lady 1964 and barely saved for it's 30th anniversary.(Thanks Mr. Harris) That's a bit short of 100 years. Digital has three advantages. It doesn't rot. It can be copied quickly. The copies are perfect - film copies are analog and do have loss.

    ADDED: I wanted to add that I recognize downsides to digital as well. Just wanted to point out that it is a complex issue with pros and cons for both directions.
     
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  13. John*Wells

    John*Wells Screenwriter

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    This drives me nuts too. I mean, I watched Early episodes of Dallas for example and they are almost 50 minutes uncut. Star Trek TOS is the same way. Nowadays, For a one hour episode, we're lucky to get 40 minutes per episode of anything unless its on a Streaming Service or premium Cable channel. But, even with streaming, you have ads (Hulu, CBS All Access)
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Read the article. It also talks about how 50% of films prior to the ‘50s and 90% before the ‘20s are lost. And that film requires proper storage.
     
  15. David Deeb

    David Deeb Screenwriter

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    I don't know the whole VidAngel story, but it is still going. Perhaps in a different configuration. But still going and allows users to skip objectionable content. They are also producing original / exclusive content.
     
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  16. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    The big studios might, but the vast majority of independent films and television don't.
     
  17. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    I remember reading some years ago that Kodak was working on a system that would record digital data onto 35mm film, an attempt to combine the best of both worlds. Of course, you'd still need some device to read the data, but it seemed to make sense as a longer term storage solution. Don't know whatever became of it, though.
     
  18. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    Sounds like the LP turntables invented that played the records with lasers.
     
  19. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    How exactly did this function?

    For example, did the lasers take a high resolution "picture" of an entire vinyl record into a giant data file, and later run a program which reads the "picture" file and interprets what the data would mean to a needle?
     
  20. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    You put the LP in a slot and the laser followed along in the groove. I remember reading a review, in a magazine and the reviewer saying there was no point to it because CDs had been invented.
     
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