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The DVD day's are numbered.

Discussion in 'DVD' started by [email protected], Mar 11, 2018.

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  1. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    Isn't it just inherently more expensive to manufacture blu-ray discs and players than DVD, regardless of licencing fees? Blu-ray players are already pretty cheap, but that doesn't seem to have moved the needle much on adoption of the format. I don't think we'll ever see blu-rays being cheaper than DVD. If anything, I think prices are going to rise as disc sales fall.
     
  2. Message #142 of 169 Jan 30, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2020
    The Drifter

    The Drifter Supporting Actor

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    Agree with all of this 100%. The bottom line here was that VHS tapes sucked. And, though a lot of people were slow to adopt the DVD format, once it took off I remember them selling (and renting) fairly well. Obviously, DVD had a lot going for it when compared to VHS:

    -Much better PQ, sound, etc.

    -DVD's were more likely to present the film in the correct Anamorphic Widescreen vs. the full-screen format (VHS). As time went on, the AW format became the norm.

    -TV shows! Before streaming, the availability of full TV show seasons/series (at almost the touch of a finger) would have been next to impossible without the DVD format.

    -No need to rewind.

    -Overall, DVD's were less expensive than VHS tapes were - for purchase.

    -Much smaller format & therefore easier to collect/store/display - i.e., they took up a lot less space.

    Conversely, I think a lot of folks don't see the need to upgrade to Blu. Blu's are slightly more expensive, so I suspect most people just don't want to bother. I also still hear people say that they "can't see the difference" between DVD & Blu :huh:

    Also & very important to note - a lot of folks don't collect/buy/rent DVD's or Blu's at all - they just stream exclusively. So, these folks obviously won't have a need to upgrade to Blu if they've given up physical media entirely, anyway.
     
  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    They were ten years ago but that may no longer be the case. Some of the extra expense was just about those manufacturing lines being new and needing to be paid for, some was demand, and some was due to licensing costs for the format’s tech. The licensing fee is still there but the other factors aren’t as crazy as they once were.

    But I still think DVD will be the last one standing - the install base is much, much larger than BD, and I think the majority of people who care about the picture and audio advantages of BD and UHD disc will end up migrating to streaming when that ends up being the best or only avenue for certain titles. I imagine what we saw first with TV on disc will spread. (With TV on disc for new shows originally broadcast in HD, the option is often between a physical media in standard definition on DVD, or a digital version in HD.)

    Most people transitioned away from DVD in the last decade. Most moved to streaming, some moved to higher quality disc formats. The DVD-only holdouts are the people who never made that transition, and if something changes to force them to make a leap, for the majority it’s going to be to the thing that 90% of people are already doing - streaming. If you couldn’t justify buying into Blu-ray ten years ago, the case for doing so now is worse, not better.
     
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  4. steve jaros

    steve jaros Supporting Actor

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    I agree with everything I snipped, I would just add one thing: To me, in terms of mass acceptance, there was a psychological dimension to DVD adoption as well. For example, In the 1980s, when the record industry was introducing CDs, the CD looked more advanced than a vinyl LP or a cassette tape, because it was a shiny metallic disc and it was associated with computers. So in the mind of the layperson, it wasn't a hard sell to convince them it was an "advanced" and hence better format. Music aficianados could talk chapter and verse about the richer, warmer sound of vinyl, but to the man on the street, the CD just looked superior even before you played it.

    Similarly, when they came out in the late 1990s, DVDs looked more advanced than VHS tapes. They looked like the natural analog (irony intended) to the compact discs they had adopted for music, whereas a VHS looked like an oversized cassette tape by comparison. So the DVD was an easy sell as more advanced to the masses.

    In contrast, a Blu-ray disc looks well, pretty much just like a DVD disc. To the layperson, it's just the same kind of shiny disc, but the price was twice as much (initially). Sure, the marketers told them that the BD disc had better picture quality, but it wasn't intuitively obvious just looking at the thing.
     
  5. WaltWiz1901

    WaltWiz1901 Extra

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    Don't forget progressively-encoded transfers! (AFAIK, all VHS' (and LaserDiscs) were interlaced; from DVD onward, video transfers could be encoded as either interlaced or progressive)
     
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  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Most people don’t sit anywhere near close enough to their TV to get anywhere near the full benefit of what a better quality image can show. I have a 55” 4K TV, and in order to see the difference between 4K UHD and 1080p, I have to be standing literally right in front of it. Five feet back and you just can’t tell. Ten feet back, and I can’t tell the difference between 4K and a DVD.

    The majority of customers use TVs 55” and smaller, and the majority sit more than five feet away. Most people watch TV in rooms that aren’t light controlled, and many watch TV in rooms where the set is at a poor viewing angle.

    DVD was a big advantage over VHS for the average consumer. All discs were available for sale, a big change from VHS where most were rental only - thus taking the hassle out of having to go to a store twice to see something once. They didn’t wear out. You could skip around and didn’t have to rewind. Picture quality was better than VHS. These were things that were obvious and easy to understand. For many, Blu-ray didn’t offer any new tricks - it was a refinement for enthusiasts, not a game changer for average folks.

    Streaming offered average folks another easily explainable, workable benefit - being able to press a button and watch something instantly. Subscription improved upon that - watch lots of somethings for a flat rate!

    I think it was really that simple for most people.
     
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  7. John Dirk

    John Dirk Producer
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    This is certainly true but I still think the day will come when economies of scale will make standard DVD obsolete. It will simply be cheaper to manufacture all physical discs the same. Of course the quality of the content may be altogether different.
     
  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think it’s the other way around - economies of scale will ensure that the lowest common denominator format, DVD, will be the last one around.
     
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  9. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    I was of the thinking at one point that DVD would eventually go away and be completely replaced by Blu-ray, mostly due to the larger storage capacity. The biggest benefit would be TV series that were completed on standard definition videotape, fitting more episodes on a single disc (possibly an entire season on one disc in the case of 30-minute sitcoms), a great way for collectors to save space. I think a few companies tried this overseas, and failed miserably from customers not quite understanding the concept. They were expecting the content to be in HD, but it wasn't, and that was the basis for the complaints, not all that different from those who complain about the studios "upscaling" 2K masters on 4K UHD Blu-ray, missing the point that regardless in most cases the 4K UHD is going to yield a better picture thanks to a higher bitrate, more efficient compression, and HDR.

    Then there are the absolutely whacked conspiracy theorists who claim that HD and UHD are nothing more than snake oil and smoke and mirrors. That we only "think" we are seeing a better picture when someone says HD, 4K, or UHD, and it is all in our heads. I used to run into a lot of those nutcases when I was working retail. Those were the arguments I would get when trying to convince a customer to purchase a movie on Blu-ray (or even a BD/DVD combo pack) than on DVD, often when the BD/DVD was cheaper than the DVD only release.
     
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  10. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I distinctly remember the early day of HD/BR promotion where it was said, multiple times, that one thing would be the ability for full season of a TV show to only need 2 or 3 discs *tops* on the formats. I was quite disappointed when that failed to come to fruition as that, more than better picture quality, was what I was most looking forward to so I would need less shelf space.
     
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  11. John Dirk

    John Dirk Producer
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    Not sure I'm following you. I don't know anything about the manufacturing process but I assumed manufacturing one shiny disc was about the same cost, regardless of the format. If not now then certainly later. What am I missing?
     
  12. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    That the cost of manufacturing doesn’t really matter here. What matters is that DVD has a substantially larger install base among users. At this point, if someone is DVD-only or DVD and streaming (that is, no BD or UHD player) it’s extremely unlikely that anything is going to force them to upgrade to a new system.

    Which means DVD lasts longest by default. We’re already seeing for lower selling categories that DVD is not the product class that gets eliminated. TV on disc doesn’t sell particularly well, especially on BD/UHD - so many TV show releases are on disc as DVD-only and streaming as HD/UHD. It happens also with some movies that aren’t expected to have widespread appeal. Physical is only represented by DVD; streaming has HD and UHD versions. I expect that trend to continue.

    You’re just not going to get the hold outs in any measurable quantity to now buy into a new disc format. There is no scenario I can imagine where any substantial number of DVD-only customers decide to upgrade to Blu at this point in time. I don’t think that’s the upgrade path. I think if somehow DVD went away tomorrow, most DVD-only people will move to streaming - statistically most people have, so when they ask their colleagues what to do next, they’re gonna bear far more voices talking streaming than disc.
     
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  13. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    In addition to what Josh said, DVD patents are just about to expire while there's "considerable" expense for licensing just to press a BR. That licensing expense will be around for quite a few more years. That means it'll be cheaper than ever to press a DVD - a format that *still* outsells BR almost every week (BRs have only outsold DVDs a handful of weeks since the format was introduced).
     
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  14. John Dirk

    John Dirk Producer
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    ^ Excuse my continued ignorance but aren't pretty much all players sold these days BR capable? That was my thought pattern in my previous comments.
     
  15. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    No, there are still DVD-only players for sale, and dirt cheap - my local Rite Aid stocks DVD players for $20 next to the Nicorette gum.

    Think also about all the places where DVD players exist that aren’t being upgraded. If you’re not on the front line of upgrading your tech, you might still be using a computer with a DVD drive. You might have a handheld DVD player. Or one in your car. Or in your child’s bedroom.

    Best you can usually do for BD is $50. So that’s already more than twice what a DVD player costs. That sounds like a big hurdle to climb - talking someone into spending more money for a format they never wanted in the first place.
     
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  16. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Some article linked here also lamented that 4K players were more than $100. But I have to laugh at that- the first VCRs were over $1000, compared to that they're giving away Blu-ray players for $50! I've had a few sub-$50 DVD players just for fun, none of them lasted very long with light use.
     
  17. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    And adjusted for inflation, that would be almost $5000 today. But there were no other options then.
     
  18. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    They don't make them like tanks anymore. Even in the case of bluray, it seems like the only "tanks" made were from Oppo. Otherwise everybody else seems to just sell junk that malfunctions a few years later, typically shortly after the warranty expires. ;)

    I wouldn't be surprised with soo much junk made in china dvd players malfunctioning shortly after the warranty expires, will drive the non-hardcore folks even faster to streaming. Such non-hardcore folks will probably realize it is a waste buying a new "made in china" Sony dvd player every two years. By extension, John Q Public (or Joe Sixpack) will extrapolate and think that $50 bluray players are just as junky as the $20 "made in China" Sony dvd-only players.
     
  19. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Exactly. A $50 Blu-ray player might not seem very expensive in and of itself or in context to hardware thirty years ago. But of course, a $50 BD player isn’t competing for market share against thirty year old machines. It’s competing for market share in an environment where a $20 Roku or Amazon FireStick takes care of what most customers are looking for.
     
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  20. Worth

    Worth Producer

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    And the player is just the prerequisite - then you have to drop anywhere between $5-50 every time you want to watch something.
     

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