The Shift to DVD-18's

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Dave Scarpa, May 13, 2004.

  1. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    David Scarpa
    For a long time I was a proponent of TV Product on this format. Having a pretty large library anything that shortened the amount of disks for long television series was welcomed. But a couple of things have happened since I formed that view. First I started putting my larger collections into Thinpaks and Multi Disk keep cases. There's new Slimpaks on the market that take up far less room and look and work great.

    Second I started buying and using some of these DVD-18's Mostly from Universal with their Galctica set and then the Monster Legacy set, and Franccccccccchise collections, and I don't like them. Handling the disks are problamatic, they are more suceptible to scuffing and scratching. I had to get a replacement on One Galactica set due to skipping and pixilization. Also I've had play issue on the abbott and costello set, they play great on my player, but I loaned them to my parents and some of the sides refused to play on their players.

    I just don't know if the manufacture of these disks are being kept to the same high level as DVD-9's or are they just prone to more defects.

    More and more TV Product is coming in this format and I'm split to where this is a good or bad thing.
     
  2. Deb Walsh

    Deb Walsh Stunt Coordinator

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    I personally don't like discs that have to be flipped over to continue watching episodes. I have a multidisc player that really just becomes pointless when the discs can't be played sequentially. And the tiny, tiny print telling you which side is which on some discs is really not very helpful for anyone who is visually challenged in any way.

    That said, I have bought sets on the DVD-18s, but only because those programs were shows I really, really wanted. I'd be unlikely to do a casual or blind buy on them.
     
  3. Mark Lx

    Mark Lx Second Unit

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    I haven't problems with them yet. I know what you mean about the print though. Basically anything that works and keeps prices (and size) down, I'm all for.
     
  4. Carlos Garcia

    Carlos Garcia Screenwriter

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    I love DVD-18s because I have 3 DVD Jukeboxes, so all my discs live inside my players and I never have to handle them, so they never get scratched. Now, having said that, I also HATE how many of these discs have been poorly packaged. The Best of Abbott and Costello sets are an example of poor packaging. So far I have bought 3 separate DVD sets of volume 2, and all 3 came scratched because they become loose and wobble inside the package. These companies should realize DVD-18s need special care because they are double-sided. They should put these discs in boxes with special binder rings that are stronger and won't let the discs get loose and all scratched up.
     
  5. GarySchrock

    GarySchrock Second Unit

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    DVD-18's are evil. It seems like it's hard enough these days to get single sided discs that haven't been scratched by having them slid over the hub when they're packed, but make it a dvd-18 and it's a rare set that I don't have to return looking for a pristine set. And god forbid if they're in those plastic trays that are hard to get discs out of, because if the disc doesn't want to come out, it's hard to get it out without putting fingerprints on it.
     
  6. GarySchrock

    GarySchrock Second Unit

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    Oh, and I know I've seen people saying they're in favor of it if it keeps costs down, but how much does it really save to do a dvd-18 vs two dvd-9's? I'm honestly curious, because to me it seems like the costs would be pretty similar, and and most, aren't a whole lot more for the dvd-9's, and I'd rather pay a little more and get the dvd-9's. (Admittadly, packaging might cost more because the dvd-9's take up more space).
     
  7. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    Well let's try to break it down a bit. Take a set like E.R. Season one or two. That's 3 DVD-18 and a single sided disc. De-DVD-18ing the set would require the set to consist of 7 discs. If W.B. was going to initially press 500,000 sets they would have to use 3.5 Million discs as opposed to 2 Million. Let's just say it costs the factory 5 cents per disc. You would save $75,000 on that run. Compound that with shipping. With more discs, you have a bigger package of more weight, which means the less you can ship per truckload. Combine that with perhaps stores stocking more copies of the DVD-18 package because it takes up less shelf space. Take into account any other factors I have not mentioned and at the end of the day you could be talking about some significant savings using DVD-18.

    I don't have a problem with it myself. The only problem I have had with the format so far was some kind of pressing error that printed "Side B" on both sides of the disc. But nothing that involved playability.
     
  8. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Screenwriter

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    I loathe DVD-18's. 3 of the last 4 defective discs I have had are either DVD-14's or 18's. I'd personally rather pay a few bucks more for separate disc.
     
  9. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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    True.
    It wouldn't be nearly so bad if the disc-makers would just use a bolder font on the "inner ring" to ID the content. And actually tell us what side is A or B, without having to hunt for the small ".A" or ".B" which is tacked onto the end of the detailed text on the "rings" of some discs.

    Why can't they always say "Side A"/"Side B"? Never could figure that out? [​IMG]
     
  10. GarySchrock

    GarySchrock Second Unit

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    While I'll agree about the savings on packaging, I have to wonder how much savings on the discs themselves really is. After all, they still have to produce the two layers for the other side. I'll admit that it might be slightly cheaper for the disc, but I'd be surprised if it was real significant. And it really comes down to this, I don't really buy that the total additional cost is enough to make it worth it (although I'll admit they're probably not passing the savings on to us). And if the difference is a buck or two per unit, well, I'd rather pay the buck or two.

    The flintstones set is a perfect example of why dvd-18's are bad. If you don't realize that the last disc is double sided, it's exceptionally easy to open the case up and put your fingers on the surface of that last disc. (I know, I did it).
     
  11. WillG

    WillG Producer

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    It is a valid complaint. They could actually use the entire inner hub for the labeling and then they could make the font much bigger. On may CDs they use the whole surface of the disc including the entire inner hub for artwork. Don't know why it could not be the same for DVDs
     
  12. Anthony Hom

    Anthony Hom Supporting Actor

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    Maybe they should come up with a standard to color each side different. Side One is gold, side two is silver for quick and easy ID. Just a suggestion, I'm not sure how they could do that.
     
  13. Deb Walsh

    Deb Walsh Stunt Coordinator

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    If the industry starts moving in the direction of the DVD-18s in a serious way, I could very easily see a class action suit resulting on behalf of visually impaired customers. That is, unless they find a more appropriate way to label the sides so that people can actually read the information and identify the side they want without requiring a significant magnification.

    Of course, I'm very annoyed with releases that don't include a closed-caption track, especially for recent television. I can't understand why Profiler would not have the captioned track, considering the episodes were aired with captions intact. Unless there's some licensing issue with the caption track, since it's prepared by an outside organization.

    It's commendable for DVD set producers to be looking at ways to trim costs to deliver less expensive product, but I'd rather see decent labelling on single-sided discs, and cut back on the fancy packaging - nowadays, one can easily get multi-disc packs inexpensively. Save money there, and put the money where it needs to be - in the discs. I'd rather see simpler packaging and more user friendly discs.

    As the market grows, if DVD-18s become more common, I believe these accessibility issues are going to gain in prominence. Add in the fact that a lot of folks who aren't visually challenged don't like the DVD-18s, after a while, the market begins to erode.
     
  14. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    I like disc art. Other than that, I really don't care.
     
  15. Mike~Sileck

    Mike~Sileck Supporting Actor

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    I don't mind them in terms of handling, but I hate hate HATE when movies are split up. I have a DVD changed for a reason, so I don't have to get my lazy butt up to switch disks. When I opened Schindler's List and found I would have to flip it halfway through the movie I almost cried. It's bad enough that some movies have to be split in half, but at least put it on two dvd's so people with dvd changers don't have to get out of the experience anymore then they absolutely have to.

    Mike
     

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