Warner Bros. from Savior to Failure!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ed St. Clair, Dec 6, 2001.

  1. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    An important, however little told story of this short life of DVD, is that of WB.

    WB saved us all from DIVX.

    [1]. As much heartfelt effort that this and other forums put forth, that did not save us from DIVX. The two city [area] test sales were a success. Sales were respecable for the national launch [although having only one piece of hardware for sale did hurt, J6P had no problem gobbling up discs].

    [2]. Disney [and many other major studio's] did not save us from DIVX, they took the money and held back DVD releases.

    [3]. Steve Speilberg did not save us from DVIX. Nuf' said!

    [4]. Blockbuster did not save us from DIVX. The 800 lb. gorilla, was hand in hand with the Devil. And to this day wants a 'rental pricing' for DVD.

    [5]. Consumers [J6P and beyond] responded to the pay per view [not having to return the product] ease of DVIX.

    [6]. LD did not save us from DVIX. After over fifteen years of sales, there was a grand total of 2 million players in the US of A. Not even enough for the majors to care about. Hence, their all to quick bail-out on their own devoted customers.

    No hope was in site. No Star Wars, no Disney Classics, no understanding by the VHS rental crowd [by far the vast majority, at the time], and no major electronic retailer or manufacture, as they all line up to sale us DVIX.

    Yet WB stood alone to fight the evil DVIX.

    Did they compromise the DVD format to succeed? You bet!

    [1]. Cheap packaging that nobody liked, however, was the only one at the time that could be machine feeded with a disc. Therefore lowering cost.

    [2]. P&S, you bet, you think J6P wanted to lose 1/3 of his 27in. TV screen?

    [3]. Transfers from D2 tape, no problem. If you want to get the street cost down to ten bucks [what other major, in the first 18 months of DVD, put out $14.95 list titles that the general public wanted?] your not going to be able to remaster a title and compete with DVIX's five to six dollar 'rental'.

    [4]. Low bit rate for Dolby Digital [DTS who?] soundtracks, they won't know what they are missing!

    They got the general public [and equipment manufactures, and showed all the other major film studio's how to sell, not rent, a DVD] on the bandwagon.

    And it's been all downhill [for WB, not the format] from there.

    [1]. WB still has the worst packaging. Even for special editions like Kubrick, Stone, & Superman we get cardboard!

    [2]. Still low bit rate DD & no DTS soundtracks!

    [3]. And we still see titles from one of the greatest Hollywood studio's ever, with battered & marred prints.

    Wake up the war is over! You won. And I am happy for all of us. However, now your at war with Fox and all, and your losing big time.

    I have by far more WB titles in my DVD collection, of more than 400, maybe one hundred by WB, but it get's harder & harder to pick up one more title. I fear I'll be getting a inferior transfer, with a compromised soundtrack.

    I will always be grateful for your early efforts for this format. However, it's 2001 and time has passed you by.
     
  2. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    I don't fully agree with you.

    The first part is true. They were strong, when needed, against DivX.

    Part of your second statement is true: they did launch some less-than-optimum DVDs. But they also brought us some very fine films. And in pristine DVD form.

    And, sorry, but I happen to like the snapper. I just would prefer them to switch from cardboard to a similar plastic version (supposing the printing process would allow that).

    Cees
     
  3. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    What do you like about the snapper?

    My main concerns are wear & the fact when I pull the title from the shelf, the tab and/or plastic corners [which are always exposed because of the poor fit with the cardboard] graps the disc next to it as well.

    How have you defeated the problem of wear & how do I pull out a WB title without pulling out the next title as well?

    Thanks.
     
  4. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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    Every single studio has released some DVDs that aren't very good. Why are you singling out WB?
    And their recent transfers are excellent. Osmosis Jones and Cats and Dogs are amazing. Citizen Kane was amazing.
    And what, you think plastic is somehow more expensive than paper and therefore better? There's about .005 cents worth of plastic in an amaray case (and that's being generous).
    WB disks are almost all anamorphic when they need to be.
    They never have EE on their transfers (or, it's very, very, very minimal).
    Their soundtracks never, ever have crackle in them, despite the "low bit rate". I can't say this for ANY other studio.
    They don't use the dialog offset of death.
    They don't re-release every stinking movie in their catalog.
    Their DVDs are inexpensive.
     
  5. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    I still like WB as well. My only gripes are Edge enhancement issues, but WB is not alone in this, and a slow release of catalog titles. But I think it looks like the catalog releases will pick up now, and it certainly seems WB put more effort into each single title than most other studios. Also, I think Snappers look good. As long as they survive shipping & arrive undamaged, my snappers in general look better than keepcases, because the snappers don't touch the same way, thus the superficial scratches that can be seen on most of my keepcases can not be seen on snappers. Also, always putting the DVD's back on the shelf after I have seen them helps a lot...
     
  6. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

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    Bjørn have you reviewed CK on your site at all?
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    How dare they use cheaper packaging to make the disc cost less! I'm furious how they try to make their discs cheaper so I don't have to pay as much.

    To me, the WB Snapper is the sign of excellence. No studio should be called "bad" because of their packaging. Anyone who really takes packaging that seriously is crazy...you can always buy keep cases, put the DVD's in a CD wallet, or put them in a multi-disc player.

    WB puts out the BEST DVD's of classics (pre-1965) other than Disney. The only bad DVD by WB I have is Vegas Vacation (the movie sucks and it's open matte). I have nearly 15 WB titles in my collection.

    95% of their non-1.66:1 widescreen DVD's are anamorphic (Even most ofthe ancient 1997/1998 DVD's) The ones that are non-anamorphic are getting SE treatments soon anyways.

    Yes, DTS is rarely used, but look at the majority of their titles per year. Would Citizen Kane or Casablanca benifit from 2.0 mono DTS tracks? They have excellent audio even at 2.0 mono!

    " And we still see titles from one of the greatest Hollywood studio's ever, with battered & marred prints."

    You got to be joking. Most of their classics on DVD look superb. Did you know that they put out 42nd Street, a 1933 movie, on DVD with an almost perfect print? Of course, their horrible transfers of North By Northwest, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Willy Wonka, Doctor Zhivago, Arsenic and Old Lace look awful. The only 1930's movies on DVD that I've seen that are close to the excellent quality of WB's '30's films are Columbia's. Their DVD of It Happened One Night is wonderful (besides some unavoidable decomposition faults.)

    In case you haven't noticed, WB has LBX and OM DVD's of Wonka, Cats & Dogs, and also had dual-sided discs for Neverending Story (I and II) and a few others. Even Lord of the Rings had 1.78:1 matting.

    If you really care that much about packaging, bit rates, and nit-picky stuff like that, go out and buy yourself a 16mm film projector.
     
  8. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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  9. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Bjørn Olav Nyberg, why do you think [or know] studio's still use/abuse EE in their DVD transfers? Thanks.
     
  10. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Oh yeah, and you fine folks are the first I've every run across who love the snapper. Just my luck!
     
  11. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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  12. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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  13. Trace Downing

    Trace Downing Supporting Actor

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    What Warner classic released over the last two years has "marred or battered print"? Mind, you. You said "We still see..." So, don't use your '97-99 examples. Fox was a zero back then, and Disney wasn't far behind.
    Snappers don't bother me. Albinos who work in carnivals bother me.[​IMG]
     
  14. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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  15. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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  16. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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  17. rhett

    rhett Supporting Actor

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    Snappers are bulky, ugly and degrade easily. I take VERY good care of my DVD's, but the fact remains that the cardboard edges wear very easily, and since there is no "sheet" cover, fingerprints and any contact deface the packaging. At least with the plastic cases you can replace them if the plastic wears or whatnot. Amaray is evolution, wake up and admit your primitive packaging WB!
     
  18. Angsty

    Angsty Stunt Coordinator

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    Just to wade into the thread...
    Warner are very much hated and despised in Australia (R4) too, especially for continuing to release titles in the NTSC format over here, despite the obvious fact that Australia uses the PAL broadcast standard (Anyone for the P&S, NTSC version of Willy Wonka??)[​IMG] [​IMG]
    While they stopped using snapper cases in R4, their insistence on NTSC releases in a PAL region has earned them the title of $2Warner (the lowest of the low)
    Angela [​IMG]
     
  19. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    All my snappers are in excellent condition. I keep my DVDs in special cabinets with drawers, so they are positioned vertical (backs up, 90 degrees turned as compared to standing, if anyone knows what I mean [​IMG]).
    I never have problems pulling one out (up) and other discs coming out too, or damage to anything. I don't place anything heavy on DVD cases, ever. Only one or two of my snappers arrived damaged (more than 20 Amaray cases had something broken: almost always the center hub). Replacing a snapper jacket was a joy! Snap, snap open. Put cardboard in other jacket, snap, snap closed.
    I like the (slightly better than Amaray) dimensions. They are taller and slimmer and take less space in my cabinets. I don't understand "bulky" in reference to snappers!
    Note: I like the Amarays too, in fact there are no very "bad" cases anymore, now the CD-case (if I may be so rude) and the "slider" ([​IMG]) are gone.
    Cees
     
  20. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

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    Ed, I already mentioned what qualifies as a digital-to-digital transfer.
     

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