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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. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Several titles I bought two copies of 4-5 years ago, was stuff like:

    - White Collar
    - Bones
    - Blade Runner final cut
    - Crank
    - Crank 2
    - House MD
    - the original Dynasty (season 2)
    - the original Dallas
    - etc ...

    In the end, it didn't matter at all when none of these titles had much rewatch value for me as I got older.

    This is saying a lot when back in the day, I use to watch various Blade Runner versions on VHS over and over again in an ocd manner. (Such as the voiceover version from the 80s vhs, and director's cut without the voiceover from the 90s vhs).

    By the time I got the blade runner dvds (or bluray), they had very little to no rewatch value for me. (I had the version from 2007 which had a plastic suitcase packaging).
     
  2. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Lead Actor

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    Movies tend to have a lot less urgency in owning, because I know that is some way, shape, or form, I will be able to view it.
    When my DVD copy of "Ordinary People" went bad, well it was a minor disappointment but no big deal. I can rent it digitally, or stream it from one of the major streaming services.

    It is the TV shows on disc that were a miracle when released, and will most likely never be available for viewing again that I worry about.
     
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  3. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Back in the day circa early 2000s, I vaguely remember the first tv show season dvd sets being a very HUGE thing at the time.

    My then-wife picked up some sets like Sex and the City, XFiles, etc ... which were around $50-$100+ a pop when they were first released. (I watched through the Sex and the City dvds with her, but not really the other shows on dvd).
     
  4. Message #764 of 887 Jan 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
    Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Yes, early DVD sets like The X-Files and Star Trek: TNG were very expensive. I recall when the season sets at Costco for $90-100 were considered a good deal.
     
  5. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Back when I first started buying a lot of dvds in 2011, I use to think almost exactly in this ^ same manner as you stated.

    Since then in regard to availablity/unavailabity, my stance has radically change. In practice I've found that when a show is no longer producing new episodes, the rewatch value nosedives to almost zero for me. A very recent example of this is Madam Secretary, which ended last month. Since the series finale, I have found that I very little to no interest in watching the weekend reruns after midnight on various cbs stations.

    Another example of this is The Big Bang Theory. The only reason I still watch TBBT, is that I keep the tv playing the daily reruns in the background after I get home. Otherwise if TBBT reruns were not on, I don't think I would care much about watching it again. (Similar story with the semi-daily Seinfeld reruns I watch if I am still awake after the 11pm local news broadcasts).

    In the case of Seinfeld, my complete series dvd set was only ever watched once. It has been collecting dust ever since. I strongly suspect if I purchased The Big Bang Theory complete series set, it would suffer the same fate too and remain unplayed.
     
  6. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (From a personal historical perspective).

    With 20/20 hindsight, the cases which made this crystal clear clarity for me was the CSI franchise. I have the dvd season sets for CSI Miami, the original CSI up to season 12, and CSI New York up to season 7.

    By the time the final season of the original CSI was over sometime in early 2015, subsequently I found that I had almost no interest anymore in watching the daily reruns on various network (after midnight) and basic cable channels.

    In contrast more than a decade ago, I use to always watch the CSI reruns + marathons on various basic cable channels such as Spike and AETV. At the time when I first started buying a lot of dvds in 2011, I erroneously thought that the CSI franchise dvd sets would also have a high rewatch value for me as the daily reruns + marathons did (several years prior).

    In the end in practice, I was completely wrong. It took me many years to come to the realization and accept the fact that I am NOT a hardcore tv/movie person at all. (I was in denial for many years, while my OCD compulsive completionist collecting mentality was in overdrive).
     
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  7. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    I really enjoy completing a collection of movies, and really have very little interest in re-watching anything. I gradually acquire the complete set of say James Bond movies, watch each one with extras once and then display them on my shelf. Sometimes I think of re-watching, but I always have new ones to watch first. The only time I seem to re-watch is when I upgrade.

    I bought the complete Monty Python DVDs when they first came out and watched through them. I have never played them since. I will watch the show again soon when I receive the Blu ray set that is on its way. I guess I collect like those people who haunt garage sales looking for ceramic frogs or Coca Cola memorabilia etc.
     
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  8. Message #768 of 887 Jan 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
    jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (On a tangent).

    I have a similar mindset ^ for many other hobbies I've had.

    This is the primary reason why I purposely avoid jumping back into anything related to buying monthly comic books. It will be a neverending collecting treadmill, and all the anxiety involved when my collection is "incomplete".
     
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  9. Message #769 of 887 Jan 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
    David Deeb

    David Deeb Screenwriter

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    Many used to buy and collect movies and series because there were so few choices. We wanted to know something enjoyable was available to watch. The alternative was viewing whatever terrible cable channel or reality show was playing at that minute (complete with more commercials than one could stomach).

    Having ditched terrible cable years ago, I have more quality commercial free options of new streaming content than I can ever get to. So the urgency to collect physical is somewhat less attractive.
     
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  10. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    On at least a semi related note, I can remember back around the mid 2000s, among my obsessions was getting the longer four and a half minute version of The Who's "Magic Bus" in CD quality. Endless pouring through CD bins, etc, would only uncover the shortened, three and a half minute edit. When I finally found their "Meaty, Beaty, Big & Bouncy" album in CD form, I thought I'd finally hit paydirt, as I long had the vinyl version which had the full length cut that I was so familiar with. However, much to my dismay, it turned out to be the shorter edited version of "Magic Bus."

    At that point, I finally gave up the ghost, and did a vinyl to digital transfer of the longer version of "Magic Bus." Subsequent YouTube searches also revealed that the master for the longer version of "Magic Bus" was no longer known to exist. As I recall, this was prior to the 2008 Universal fire, which as it was revealed in 2019, destroyed a lot of audio master recordings. (The Who were on MCA, which I believe is a Universal label.)

    CHEERS! :)
     
  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think this is the biggest factor for the overwhelming majority of consumers. Ownership and access used to be one and the same, and now they’ve been separated.

    Your average consumer wants to have some say over what they watch and when, and generally prefers to avoid commercial breaks when possible, but everything else is more or less negotiable.

    For a while, buying a physical object was the only way to achieve this goal.

    But subscription streaming fills that role for most people now. It allows them to watch programs on their schedule instead of a network’s. It usually allows for the option to watch commercial-free. It’s available instantly at the touch of a button. It doesn’t require waiting for, taking care of or storing physical objects. And a year of any one particular service generally costs less than a monthly cable bill, or the cost of one complete series set or three or four individual discs.

    My wife and I just decided to rewatch Frasier, which we haven’t seen since it went off the air. I almost bought the complete series box set - $80 for 11 seasons is entirely reasonable in my book. And then I realized it’s on a service I already pay for. So why should I spend $80 to buy a physical object when I already have access to it? So I didn’t buy it. And the money saved by not buying it basically pays for a year of the service that I’m watching it on.

    That’s gonna be the reality for most people. They’ll look for things to watch on the services they have. Most people will just move on to something else that is available if the thing they’re looking for isn’t. And for the minority of viewers who have stronger preferences, they’ll buy a digital copy or a disc when they absolutely have to. But that’s a much different mindset than ten or twenty years ago.
     
  12. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (On a huge tangent).

    What really clarified for me the notion that I'm not a hardcore tv/movie person at all, was when I came into a situtation where there was no cable/satellite while I had access to several flat-rate streaming services. This happened last month, when I did some "housesitting" for one of my in-laws nearby over the xmas break. These in-laws only had several streaming services and didn't bother setting up the OTA antenna at all.

    I ended up spending a weekend at their empty house sleeping on the living room couch, where I decided to watch tv. Going through various shows/movies on these streaming services, I came to the realization that I had no interest in watching much of anything in spite of the variety and presence of recent episodes of shows I regularly watch at home on cable. For example, I only made it 30 minutes into some episodes/films until I dropped it. (Rinse and repeat numerous times).

    No matter how many times I tried to watch anything on streaming (whether familiar shows/movies or unfamiliar to me), it seemed like it was rather "boring" to me. (For lack of a better description).


    When I finally got home, it dawned on me that the only reason I watch any tv/movies at all in the first place, is largely happenstance by whatever I have on playing on the tv in the background when I'm at home.


    Frankly at this point I strongly suspect that if I ever "cut the cord" on cable, most likely I would end up not watching anything at all afterward.
     
  13. Traveling Matt

    Traveling Matt Supporting Actor

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    Waaay back when Blu-ray was fighting the format war with HD-DVD, I clearly remember saying to a close friend (and fellow home video lover) that I wasn't crazy about a new disc that - unlike previous ones - was proprietary tech. BD is Sony, HD-DVD was Toshiba, and I didn't like either one because of that. I was concerned one of them would win the war, take off in popularity, and then major movies would be held hostage (i.e. become super expensive to own).

    Didn't emerge the way I thought, but frankly I'm astonished all these years later it's happened in a slightly different manner.
     
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  14. Message #774 of 887 Jan 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Dvd originally started off as two proprietary formats too. It took a lot of negotiating between movie companies spearheaded by then Warner Home Video executive Warren Lieberfarb, and the hi-tech companies. For the latter, the hi-tech firms had data integrity as a priority more than anything else.

    Eventually IBM was brought in to negotiate a final standard which eventually became the dvd standard. I suspect the primary reason Sony and other movie companies were willing to sign on, was to avoid another beta vs vhs format war where one company/faction owned the winning format (ie. JVC for vhs).

    https://www.cnet.com/news/the-brains-behind-the-dvd/

    https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1996-08-03-fi-30811-story.html

    Unfortunately Sony had a change of heart years later, and was not able to come to a final agreement for a negotiated hi-def disc format. Hence the two hd-dvd and bluray formats.
     
  15. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    In hindsight if the dvd format did not have data integrity built-in by design (ie. no hi-tech companies involved in the final dvd spec), most likely I would have never purchased any dvds. My previous experiences with laserdiscs back in the early 1990s, indicated in practice what a disc format with very little to no effective error-correction would turn out. (ie. Visible noises from scratches and/or skipping).

    Initially when I first read about the dvd technical specs and how data integrity (ie. error-correction) was going to be a priority, it immediately caught my interest. (Both cd and dvd used the Reed-Solomon error correction algorithms).

    Unfortunately when I purchased my first dvd (Terminator 2), it turned out to be defective where it froze 20 minutes into the movie. I had to pull the plug on the dvd player and plug it back in, in order to open the disc tray again. This completely changed my mind immediately about dvd, and (at the time circa y2k) abruptly ended any "dvd collecting hobby" for me before it ever started.
     
  16. Message #776 of 887 Jan 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    Exactly. I also remember that the Trek sets (both TOS, TNG, etc.), The X-files, and the HBO TV shows (The Sopranos, The Wire, Rome, Deadwood) were about $80-$90 each season in those early days.

    I got my first DVD player in early 2003, primarily to watch TV shows on Disk. I wasn't the huge movie fan that I later became, but I wanted to watch The Sopranos (which was one of the early TV shows on DVD) at the time, and I didn't want to buy/subscribe to HBO - which was expensive. I correctly felt that buying the DVD sets would be a great cost effective way to watch the show, and also ensure that I could see all of the episodes in a given season. Sure, I wouldn't be able to watch the latest seasons - but I figured I could always catch up since every season would be put on DVD eventually. And, though the HBO TV DVD seasons were expensive - they were still less than having to pay a monthly cable/HBO bill ;)

    Later in the 200X's, this led to buying even more TV show seasons on DVD.

    Less expensive (which I did collect more of) were newer shows like Smallville, Lost, The Office, etc. which were about $50 a season (or less, if you were getting them on sale - typically the first week of release).

    I clearly remember keeping up with these shows on Disk by checking the site tvshowsondvd.com on a regular basis, and going to stores like Target & Best Buy on the release dates (typically Tuesdays) to pick up the seasons.

    How times have changed! Now I stream most newer TV shows. And, if I want to purchase any shows on Blu/DVD (rarely), I usually get them through Amazon. Though I still buy TV series on DVD occasionally in brick & mortar stores - it's almost always impulse buys at discount places like Big Lots, etc.

    I haven't gotten a TV show season (or film) @ a store on the release date in probably 8-9 years.
     
  17. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (On a huge tangent)

    Initially I didn't buy into dvd for several years, largely because of the prices of movie dvds and that the discs were encrypted.

    What removed my initial reluctance completely, was when the dvd css encryption system was completely cracked in late-1999.
     
  18. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    (Thinking about this more).

    The closest analogy to this ^ from when I was younger, was when I use to go to a local video rental store and end up walking out without renting anything. In spite of the huge selection and variety of titles, I still ended up walking out empty handed.

    Back then in the case of renting out a movie which was lackluster or outright shit, I still ended up watching the movie from beginning to end. Even if it was just playing in the background, while I was doing something else (such as reading the newspaper or eating supper). In those days, I was reluctant to waste $4 or $5 on renting out a movie that remained unwatched or partially watched.

    Fast forward to the present nowadays with flat-rate streaming services, I don't have any issue with dropping an episode or movie which turns out to be really boring (subjectively).
     
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  19. Mr. Handley

    Mr. Handley Supporting Actor

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    Very interesting discussion here!

    I've never been a "background" consumer when it comes to TV. If I'm watching something, it has my undivided attention. When I realized that I was watching my DVDs way more than I was watching cable, I cut the cord. Best decision I ever made. I just did an inventory, and realized that I now have over 5,000 discs at my disposal. I love the feeling of knowing that I can watch anything I choose, anytime I want. I grew up in the "3 channel" era of TV and was totally at the mercy of the networks and local stations. The very first TV series I collected on DVD was The Twilight Zone (in those individual volumes) and I just couldn't believe that I could watch those episodes uncut and in great quality! When the entire series of Dark Shadows came along, I was floored!

    I'm not a huge re-watcher, either. I just like knowing they are there and I don't have to rely on some type of outside service to provide the access to my entertainment.
     
  20. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    In the end, it's a matter of finding the combination of services/products which fits into your own particular set of interests (and/or "neuroses").
     

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