For Those Who Still Think Physical Media Has No Place in the 21st century…

3 Stars

https://www.smh.com.au/culture/movi…tflix-for-physical-media-20191115-p53b1o.html

An interesting piece that reinforces the old adage “can’t we all just get along?!?” Enjoy and be hopeful. Physical media isn’t dying. While streaming services would like everyone to think they are hastening its extinguishing, they’re not, and a whole cottage industry is starting to take advantage of it!

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Kevin Collins

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646 Comments

  1. Nick*Z

    https://www.smh.com.au/culture/movi…tflix-for-physical-media-20191115-p53b1o.html

    Physical media isn't dying.
    While streaming services would like everyone to think they are hastening its extinguishing, they're not, and a whole cottage industry is starting to take advantage of it!

    (On a tangent).

    I still prefer "physical" paper books, than digital ebooks.

    Apparently too many publishers are still very incompetent when it comes to books with a lot of mathematical symbols, which are frequently not rendered properly in the ebook verisions.

    Really stupid stuff like plus "+" signs which are not rendered properly, and end up looking like "-" signs.

  2. With most of the final few dvd-video patents expiring over the next several years, in principle there is nothing to stop anybody from manufacturing their own pressed dvd discs. Once expired, the patent holders can't use patent law to kill the dvd-video format.

  3. So, if sites like Disney+ have a download feature, how hard is it for someone to download a show and put it on a blu-ray (for their own personal use only, of course; I in no way advocate bootlegging)? I prefer physical media as a storage device. All of my music – even downloads I have purchased and backed up – are on CD.

  4. Sam Favate

    So, if sites like Disney+ have a download feature, how hard is it for someone to download a show and put it on a blu-ray (for their own personal use only, of course; I in no way advocate bootlegging)? I prefer physical media as a storage device. All of my music – even downloads I have purchased and backed up – are on CD.

    They don't let you do that – it's copy protected.

  5. I think how it's all changing is interesting. So basically, how many streaming services does one have to get to be able to see every movie? Physical media makes this a hell of a lot easier and I can see this being one reason it sticks around longer than some have thought.

  6. Sam Favate

    So, if sites like Disney+ have a download feature, how hard is it for someone to download a show and put it on a blu-ray (for their own personal use only, of course; I in no way advocate bootlegging)? I prefer physical media as a storage device. All of my music – even downloads I have purchased and backed up – are on CD.

    Disney+ has a download feature?

    It better be worth more than what vudu offers last I looked as they only offered bit-reduced downloads for most movies that looked worse than the same movie streamed and they only offered it in 1080p.

    With a good playback device 4k downloads could be something that would win a lot of people over who do not like to be dependent on their internet when they watch a movie or who have such low bandwidth that they could never stream a movie in top quality.

  7. OliverK

    With a good playback device 4k downloads could be something that would win a lot of people over w

    No such thing as a 4K download from any of the streaming digital services.

    1080P only.

  8. The home video charts at the-numbers.com shows physical media is still a force, selling a couple million units per week (combined blu/dvd). This includes a surprising number of catalog titles that appear to be selling 20-30,000 copies per week, such as The Goonies, San Andreas, Hocus Pocus, Matilda, Gone with the Wind, Gremlins, and the original mini-series of Stephen King's 'It'.

    This can still add a significant amount to a title's bottom line, as bigger titles are still selling $40 million or more worth of physical discs (Captain Marvel $65m; Avengers: Endgame over $80m; Shazam! $32m; Aquaman $48m). That's an amount that cannot be ignored by the studios.

    Plus, it would take a lot of $10/month subscriptions to make up that money, and not all of those who buy discs are even interested in streaming, or do not have the necessary high-speed Internet access to even make it possible.

  9. As someone who was given a number of the earliest Japanese music CDs from a Brazilian producer friend at Som Livre back in 1982, I can attest to the fact that those I have still play perfectly and have no surface anomalies…yet. So I wonder just how long a disc that was pressed on a stable blank and was taken care of might last. The problem rests with sub-standard blanks it seems. I've seen "100 year guaranteed" DVD and BD blanks for sale. Of course, how can the manufacturers guarantee 100 years? Still, if the downloading of true HD or even 4K "bought" media ever comes around I'd sure go out of my way to figure out how to create a disc from that purchase. That's NOT bootlegging, it's preservation, whatever the greedy studios may think.

  10. Tino

    No such thing as a 4K download from any of the streaming digital services.

    1080P only.

    I guess it figures that neither studios nor services have much interest in such a distribution model but who knows if with the competition between streaming services these things will change.

  11. Malcolm R

    The home video charts at the-numbers.com shows physical media is still a force, selling a couple million units per week (combined blu/dvd). This includes a surprising number of catalog titles that appear to be selling 20-30,000 copies per week, such as The Goonies, San Andreas, Hocus Pocus, Matilda, Gone with the Wind, Gremlins, and the original mini-series of Stephen King's 'It'.

    I wouldn't really call San Andreas a catalog title just yet, but some of the "physical media is dying" stories gave some declining numbers for new releases, saying that they sold less in their first week than other titles out previously did in theirs. That's a bad way to think, since not everyone can buy everything that comes out in its first week. I will do that for long-awaited titles (or 3D now, just to encourage them to keep coming out) but if I don't buy something that soon doesn't mean I won't eventually.

  12. OliverK

    I guess it figures that neither studios nor services have much interest in such a distribution model but who knows if with the competition between streaming services these things will change.

    Oh I have no doubt that 4K downloads are coming. It’s a matter of when not if.

  13. Jesse Skeen

    I wouldn't really call San Andreas a catalog title just yet, but some of the "physical media is dying" stories gave some declining numbers for new releases, saying that they sold less in their first week than other titles out previously did in theirs. That's a bad way to think, since not everyone can buy everything that comes out in its first week. I will do that for long-awaited titles (or 3D now, just to encourage them to keep coming out) but if I don't buy something that soon doesn't mean I won't eventually.

    Same here. It's very rare that I buy anything in its first week of release. Sometimes if it's a title I'm looking forward to, and it's under $20, I'll pick it up. But usually I wait until it's available for $15 or less.

  14. Tino

    Oh I have no doubt that 4K downloads are coming. It’s a matter of when not if.

    I should have mentioned that it is actually available with Kaleidescape but I had something both more accessible and affordable in mind. I sincerely hope you are right and that when we will get it the quality will be better than what we can stream in real time and not worse, not sure if that will materialize though or if we will again get some watered down version of the stream.

  15. Tino

    So it wasn't a portable device? Where’s the fun in that?;)

    It is pretty much a UHD Blu-Ray player that doesn't play discs but does play UHD downloads at roughly the same bit rates as the discs.

  16. Ed Lachmann

    So I wonder just how long a disc that was pressed on a stable blank and was taken care of might last. The problem rests with sub-standard blanks it seems. I've seen "100 year guaranteed" DVD and BD blanks for sale. Of course, how can the manufacturers guarantee 100 years?

    It sounds like it will last as long as there are machines that can play it.

    "Titles getting lost forever, that's going to happen with physical media anyway. We've got the [National Film and Sound Archive's] 'Deadline 2025' around the decay of physical media and the machines that can play those tapes; those things are deteriorating. The idea that something can last forever is a problem no matter where we look."

    Which brings me to this. I didn't read their report but I looked at the site and watched their video. I understand why tape degradation is a problem, but I don't understand why they cannot fund the manufacture of new machines and train people to operate them (the other 2 of their 3 issues). Tape degradation should be their only concern, and plenty would surely survive into 2025.

  17. Sam Favate

    So, if sites like Disney+ have a download feature, how hard is it for someone to download a show and put it on a blu-ray (for their own personal use only, of course; I in no way advocate bootlegging)? I prefer physical media as a storage device. All of my music – even downloads I have purchased and backed up – are on CD.

    There is no way that Disney is going to allow downloaded content from Disney+ to be burned to a disc. It is going to be cloud-resident only and require a subscription to access. It will probably follow a model similar to PS+ on the Playstation. No subscription, no access. It will basically be a cloud-based version of DIVX with the exception that your subscription will allow unlimited access at any time.

  18. Sam Favate

    So, if sites like Disney+ have a download feature, how hard is it for someone to download a show and put it on a blu-ray (for their own personal use only, of course; I in no way advocate bootlegging)? I prefer physical media as a storage device. All of my music – even downloads I have purchased and backed up – are on CD.

    Tino

    No such thing as a 4K download from any of the streaming digital services.

    1080P only.

    It's already beat. People are recording what I think are high-bit rate streaming buffers and posting them to pirate sites. I was reading a discussion about whether The Mandalorian is in Atmos and it was noted that it's already posted in high bit rate 4K HDR Atmos extracted from the streaming service.

    So…not easy for normal people. But for folks that want to go to the effort, it's happening. (I've not looked into it and I don't know what sites these things are on. But it's tempting to search, since as a paid subscriber to D+, I want Atmos and currently this is the only way I could get it. The old argument of dealing with scum and villainy to work around corporate limitations of not supporting the devices that I own.)

  19. As for physical media: it's still both / and for me. I buy discs for best quality and special features and so on (and put them on my HTPC because the digital experience is better than dealing with physical media). But I've got lots of cable stations and streaming content I enjoy as well.

    If anything kills media and HTPC for me, I think it's likely D+. I'm paying about $50 a year for D+, that's the cost of two blu-rays. Why will I buy another Disney / Marvel / Pixar / Star Wars movie again?

  20. DaveF

    As for physical media: it's still both / and for me. I buy discs for best quality and special features and so on (and put them on my HTPC because the digital experience is better than dealing with physical media). But I've got lots of cable stations and streaming content I enjoy as well.

    If anything kills media and HTPC for me, I think it's likely D+. I'm paying about $50 a year for D+, that's the cost of two blu-rays. Why will I buy another Disney / Marvel / Pixar / Star Wars movie again?

    Yes. I think that will be the biggest effect of Disney+. It is going to cannibalize disc sales for their films. If all their major releases end up on Disney+ and are permanently resident there then purchasing a disc becomes pointless. There would only be one reason for purchasing any of Disney's films on disc from that point on; that is if the film gets a 3D release in another market and people who still have 3D TV sets want to import a copy.

  21. This isn’t meant as a knock on the concept of physical media, but it’s a fallacy to believe that physical media is a guarantee of lifetime access.

    Whether it’s due to an evolution of formats (a pan and scan VHS copy would not be considered an acceptable viewing option for many, and analog sunset has resulted in a new generation of TVs that don’t have inputs for VCRs anyway), or due to physical degradation (I’m in the process of ripping my disc collection to a home theater PC and some discs have simply gone bad through no fault of my own), buying a copy of a movie stored on a physical item is no guarantee that that physical item will always be accessible for playback.

    I also believe it is ludicrous to compare physical ownership of a disc with subscription streaming services. Just as there is no relation between owning an exercise bike or being a gym member, or buying a DVD vs renting one at a video store, purchasing a disc or subscribing to Netflix/Disney+ are not the same thing, have never tried to be the same thing, and aren’t a valid comparison.

    I don’t think anyone has attempted to make a real argument on this forum that physical has no use in the 21st century. Rather, the point has been made that the average consumer has moved away from physical media as their preferred delivery method of content. But if you’re a member of this site, you’re not an average consumer to begin with. That physical media is important to us has very little relation to how most people feel. Most people buy a new TV, see that it has apps built in, press a button on their remote and can watch something, and that’s all they want or need. And if enthusiasts can’t recognize that, they will not be able to understand why the world is changing around them.

  22. I never understood the people who have an actual, seeming hostility to physical media. Even friends of mine have busted my balls over my DVD/BD collection. I’ve heard stuff like “it doesn’t appreciate in value” (which isn’t even always entirely true, some OOP titles have fetched high prices on eBay, no?). Neither do cars, but we still buy them.

    Same with 3D, people seemed to hate its very existence even though no one was forcing it on them. And unfortunately they kind of won.

  23. Edwin-S

    Yes. I think that will be the biggest effect of Disney+. It is going to cannibalize disc sales for their films. If all their major releases end up on Disney+ and are permanently resident there then purchasing a disc becomes pointless. There would only be one reason for purchasing any of Disney's films on disc from that point on; that is if the film gets a 3D release in another market and people who still have 3D TV sets want to import a copy.

    speaking of which, if Disney will not longer release 3D discs in North America, would it kill them to offer a 3D option on Disney+. How hard could that be?

  24. WillG

    speaking of which, if Disney will not longer release 3D discs in North America, would it kill them to offer a 3D option on Disney+. How hard could that be?

    No ones ever really solved the streaming 3D issue; it’s been offered before but there have been serious quality issues due to the compression and reformatting.

    But beyond that – and I say this as a huge 3D fan – there’s very little market for it. No consumer electronics manufacturer has made a 3D television for over three years now, most streaming boxes can’t support it, and most consumers who dipped their toe in that water have given up on it.

    I wish there was a less grim answer but I don’t think that capability passes a cost/benefit analysis at Disney.

  25. Josh Steinberg

    This isn’t meant as a knock on the concept of physical media, but it’s a fallacy to believe that physical media is a guarantee of lifetime access.

    Whether it’s due to an evolution of formats (a pan and scan VHS copy would not be considered an acceptable viewing option for many, and analog sunset has resulted in a new generation of TVs that don’t have inputs for VCRs anyway), or due to physical degradation (I’m in the process of ripping my disc collection to a home theater PC and some discs have simply gone bad through no fault of my own), buying a copy of a movie stored on a physical item is no guarantee that that physical item will always be accessible for playback.

    I also believe it is ludicrous to compare physical ownership of a disc with subscription streaming services. Just as there is no relation between owning an exercise bike or being a gym member, or buying a DVD vs renting one at a video store, purchasing a disc or subscribing to Netflix/Disney+ are not the same thing, have never tried to be the same thing, and aren’t a valid comparison.

    I don’t think anyone has attempted to make a real argument on this forum that physical has no use in the 21st century. Rather, the point has been made that the average consumer has moved away from physical media as their preferred delivery method of content. But if you’re a member of this site, you’re not an average consumer to begin with. That physical media is important to us has very little relation to how most people feel. Most people buy a new TV, see that it has apps built in, press a button on their remote and can watch something, and that’s all they want or need. And if enthusiasts can’t recognize that, they will not be able to understand why the world is changing around them.

    Of course everything decays over time and streaming can often be very convenient. But for me, streaming is still not a 100% flawless experience. For example I did a big streaming binge on Game of Thrones via HBO GO leading to the final season. It was unwatchable on my 65” LG OLED even on a LAN connection (it was passable on my older 55” Samsung 1080 set but still looked shitty if you looked close enough). The Mandolorian looked pretty good on the OLED for the most part, but there was still some blockiness in the darker interior scenes. Streaming has also been frustrating in terms of content. I have Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, and I have rarely been able to find a movie I wanted to watch at a given time on all three of those services. Maybe people like us are the minority, but there’s no reason we should have to justify a preference for physical media.

  26. Josh Steinberg

    No ones ever really solved the streaming 3D issue; it’s been offered before but there have been serious quality issues due to the compression and reformatting.

    But beyond that – and I say this as a huge 3D fan – there’s very little market for it. No consumer electronics manufacturer has made a 3D television for over three years now, most streaming boxes can’t support it, and most consumers who dipped their toe in that water have given up on it.

    I wish there was a less grim answer but I don’t think that capability passes a cost/benefit analysis at Disney.

    I get that the market isn’t really there, but Disney is still releasing their movies in 3D theatrically in NA (I have a ticket for an IMAX 3D showing of TRoS) so, it’s not yet an entirely dead format. Disc releases are one thing, but I can’t imagine it would be that costly to dump the option on their streaming service (barring technical issues). Last time I checked my cable provider still offers on demand 3D titles, not a huge selection, but it is there.

  27. WillG

    there’s no reason we should have to justify a preference for physical media.

    I don’t think we do.

    I think everyone has friends/family/colleagues who don’t understand their hobbies and therefore express that lack of understanding in ways that can come off as (or simply are) condescending. But that’s more of a people problem than a disc person.

    But I don’t think anyone on this forum is asking anyone else to justify liking a disc. I think it’s more a matter of that, in general, there are a small number of disc enthusiasts out of the total number of posters who simply do not understand or believe that average consumers like streaming, and seem to view it as some kind of a trick, when I think it’s just a simple case of the average consumers liking their new options more than their old ones.

  28. WillG

    I never understood the people who have an actual, seeming hostility to physical media. Even friends of mine have busted my balls over my DVD/BD collection. I’ve heard stuff like “it doesn’t appreciate in value” (which isn’t even always entirely true, some OOP titles have fetched high prices on eBay, no?). Neither do cars, but we still buy them.

    Same with 3D, people seemed to hate its very existence even though no one was forcing it on them. And unfortunately they kind of won.

    The problem was that the people whining about 3D did think it was being forced on them because they supposedly had to pay extra for a feature they would never use. I wonder how many of those people will whine and complain about paying more for NVidia G-Sync technology in their LG OLED sets; a technology that about 90% of average TV purchasers will never use.

    3D was pretty well the first TV feature for which support was completely eliminated even though by the time of its elimination the actual cost increase of including it was probably near to zero. I say that because TV prices did not decrease in any measurable amount by its elimination. The drop in 4K TV prices is all due to the normal market forces of market penetration, competition from new entrants and market saturation.

    WillG

    speaking of which, if Disney will not longer release 3D discs in North America, would it kill them to offer a 3D option on Disney+. How hard could that be?

    I don't think there would be any technical limitation. It just won't happen, IMO, because the Suits at Disney decided to cut their losses with 3D content. They had zero issue with cutting customers, who had purchased all of the physical equipment for 3D, off at the knees. They certainly are going to have little concern for those same customers with their streaming service. Manufacturers dropping 3D support off of their sets does not help the case for Disney to support 3D releases on Disney+ because, going forward, the audience with the capability to watch 3D content will continually shrink as 3D capable TVs die and are replaced by 2D only sets. There is just no incentive for Disney to put 3D copies of their films on Disney+.

  29. WillG

    I never understood the people who have an actual, seeming hostility to physical media.

    Oops. Hit the post button too soon. There is always going to be a percentage of people that will look on someone else's hobby as childish or a waste of money, while failing to see that the same argument could be applied to anything that they like to do. As long as you enjoy what you are doing then who really gives a shit what someone else thinks of it or whether it is a "waste" of money. It's not like a miser is going to be taking their money with them. All it means, is they may have a fancier looking tombstone, unless their heirs have taken their message to heart and figure that they money spent on the tombstone could be better employed somewhere else. :laugh:

  30. WillG

    I get that the market isn’t really there, but Disney is still releasing their movies in 3D theatrically in NA (I have a ticket for an IMAX 3D showing of TRoS) so, it’s not yet an entirely dead format. Disc releases are one thing, but I can’t imagine it would be that costly to dump the option on their streaming service (barring technical issues). Last time I checked my cable provider still offers on demand 3D titles, not a huge selection, but it is there.

    I just don’t think there’s enough demand for it to register on Disney’s radar as a thing they must do. Usually 3D streaming or on demand requires either halving or quartering the resolution to fit two eye views into a single frame, and then that frame gets highly compressed, and the end result is less than desirable. And the people most likely to take advantage of the offerings would be people who already ordered a disc from somewhere.

    I’d really love it if there were a solution here that Disney embraced, but given that they had no interest in a domestic 3D disc release of Frozen back in 2014 when 3D TVs were still made and 3D discs represented ten percent of any given title’s sales, it’s just hard to imagine them showing the interest.

  31. Edwin-S

    The problem was that the people whining about 3D did think it was being forced on them because they supposedly had to pay extra for a feature they would never use. I wonder how many of those people will whine and complain about paying more for NVidia G-Sync technology in their LG OLED sets; a technology that about 90% of average TV purchasers will never use.

    3D was pretty well the first TV feature for which support was completely eliminated even though by the time of its elimination the actual cost increase of including it was probably near to zero. I say that because TV prices did not decrease in any measurable amount by its elimination. The drop in 4K TV prices is all due to the normal market forces of market penetration, competition from new entrants and market saturation.

    which actually kind of proves my point. There was no cost reason that manufacturers had to kill 3D capability (ok maybe active shutter glasses cost a few extra bucks, but I don’t recall that any major manufacturer that sold 3D capable only sets). And yeah most TVs still have features that 99% of people aren’t going to use. Even Smart enabled TVs are kind of pointless as any device you would connect to a television these days is also Smart enabled. 3D really bugged a lot of people for some odd reason.

  32. Josh Steinberg

    I just don’t think there’s enough demand for it to register on Disney’s radar as a thing they must do. Usually 3D streaming or on demand requires either halving or quartering the resolution to fit two eye views into a single frame, and then that frame gets highly compressed, and the end result is less than desirable. And the people most likely to take advantage of the offerings would be people who already ordered a disc from somewhere.

    I’d really love it if there were a solution here that Disney embraced, but given that they had no interest in a domestic 3D disc release of Frozen back in 2014 when 3D TVs were still made and 3D discs represented ten percent of any given title’s sales, it’s just hard to imagine them showing the interest.

    not disagreeing with anyone, but would be nice

  33. Josh Steinberg

    I think everyone has friends/family/colleagues who don’t understand their hobbies and therefore express that lack of understanding in ways that can come off as (or simply are) condescending. But that’s more of a people problem than a disc person.

    (Without going into details in an offtopic tangent).

    For several of my "hobbies/interests", the mere mentioning of it is an immediate conversation stopper with many of my local offline acquaintances/friends.

  34. Will – absolutely, it would be nice. The problem with companies that only want to do big is that they’re content (and can do just fine without suffering any market consequence) to ignore small requests.

    As for removing 3D from 4K TVs, I think the biggest reason for that is that the 3D filters built into the set cut some of the brightness, which manufacturers wanted back for HDR purposes. And then you get back to the same “market won’t penalize companies for ignoring small requests” thing. There’s probably a market for selling a couple thousand 3D sets a year but that’s not enough for them to care, and there’s no market penalty for not caring.

    I say this by way of explanation, not endorsement. I wish there was a way to incentivize companies into caring about small markets in addition to world domination.

  35. jcroy

    (Without going into details in an offtopic tangent).

    For several of my "hobbies/interests", the mere mentioning of it is an immediate conversation stopper with many of my local offline acquaintances/friends.

    like I said, I’ve had my balls busted many times over my preference for physical media and my collection. There really does seem to be an attitude from some that preferring physical media is stupid.

  36. WillG

    like I said, I’ve had my balls many times over my preference for physical media and my collection. There really does seem to be an attitude from some that preferring physical media is stupid.

    But in the end – people who do that are just as likely to bust your chops if your hobby was fancy kitchen gear or bicycles or anything else. It doesn’t speak to discs being terrible, it speaks to some people thinking nothing of being rude towards hobbies they don’t share.

  37. Josh Steinberg

    Will – absolutely, it would be nice. The problem with companies that only want to do big is that they’re content (and can do just fine without suffering any market consequence) to ignore small requests.

    As for removing 3D from 4K TVs, I think the biggest reason for that is that the 3D filters built into the set cut some of the brightness, which manufacturers wanted back for HDR purposes. And then you get back to the same “market won’t penalize companies for ignoring small requests” thing. There’s probably a market for selling a couple thousand 3D sets a year but that’s not enough for them to care, and there’s no market penalty for not caring.

    I say this by way of explanation, not endorsement. I wish there was a way to incentivize companies into caring about small markets in addition to world domination.

    Believe me, I understand the counter arguments and the very limited market for 3D but I was always dumbfounded by cutting it if there was no real cost savings advantage. What you just said may be the first time I’ve seen a technical reason cited for manufacturers cutting out 3D capability, so thanks for that.

  38. Josh Steinberg

    But in the end – people who do that are just as likely to bust your chops if your hobby was fancy kitchen gear or bicycles or anything else. It doesn’t speak to discs being terrible, it speaks to some people thinking nothing of being rude towards hobbies they don’t share.

    I’m not entirely sure about that. I don’t think the things you mention would get as mocked. People understand food, people understand bikes, nobody mocks a person who collects guitars. Nobody questions why someone who’s into photography has a bunch of different camera lenses. Nobody says to another person “why do you have so many books, you’ll never have the time to read all of them!l

  39. WillG

    Nobody says to another person “why do you have so many books, you’ll never have the time to read all of them!l

    This ^ is exactly what I get all the time from local acquaintances/friends. (My primary interest is non-fiction and highly technical type reading material).

  40. Ironically of my local acquaintances/friends, the most vocal/rabid ones are hardcore into reading Star Wars books.

    Apparently they think my interest in non-fiction history and technical books, is completely inferior to their "superior" interests in Star Wars books and comics.

  41. I don't care what hobby it is. There will always be someone who will say it is a worthless pastime and a waste of money. I'm pretty sure there is someone out there that has been scoffed at for spending 5 grand on a bicycle.

  42. Ed Lachmann

    As someone who was given a number of the earliest Japanese music CDs from a Brazilian producer friend at Som Livre back in 1982, I can attest to the fact that those I have still play perfectly and have no surface anomalies…yet. So I wonder just how long a disc that was pressed on a stable blank and was taken care of might last.

    Experience suggests that CDs with factory-pressed aluminum layers (like the Japanese music CD your friend gave you) should have very long data retention spans.

    As for burnt discs, a Library of Congress summary suggested that CD-Rs can be expected to last for 30 years. Some, but not all, DVD-Rs were able to achieve this projected mark.

    https://www.loc.gov/preservation/scientists/projects/cd-r_dvd-r_rw_longevity.html

  43. I hope they last much longer! 10 to 15 years ago, I converted my gigantic LP collection to DVD-R. So far everything is holding up fine. As I go through them, they all still play perfectly, even the ones with stick on labels.

    I am 68. As long as my Blu rays, DVDs, CDs, and players last at least another 12 years or very optimistically another 22 years, I am fine. I keep thinking of the longevity of my gramophone collection. Just a little oil once in a while …

  44. Edwin-S

    I don't care what hobby it is. There will always be someone who will say it is a worthless pastime and a waste of money. I'm pretty sure there is someone out there that has been scoffed at for spending 5 grand on a bicycle.

    This also applies to hobbies/interests which have very little to no costs.

    For example, my hardcore Star Wars local friends frequently say I'm wasting my time on reading a lot of stuff on an arcane esoteric subject which is largely in the form of free downloaded texts. (The authors post up their manuscripts online). Since I don't print out any of these manuscripts on paper, my only "costs" is a monthly internet connection and many hours of my free time.

    Whenever I do buy a paper book in these specialized niches, I buy it when it shows up at "dump bin" prices. Basically when it is cheaper to buy the book, than to print up several hundred (or thousand) pages on my printer. (ie. Printer ink is not cheap).

  45. Thomas Newton

    Experience suggests that CDs with factory-pressed aluminum layers (like the Japanese music CD your friend gave you) should have very long data retention spans.
    As for burnt discs, a Library of Congress summary suggested that CD-Rs can be expected to last for 30 years. Some, but not all, DVD-Rs were able to achieve this projected mark.

    Failure rate of my CDs, DVDs and BDs has been very limited and very odd at the same time:
    A Matter of Life and Death BD (Criterion) First playing
    The Sun Also Rises CD (Quartet) First playing
    The Big Steal DVD (WB) First playing
    The Robe BD (Fox) After 5/6 Christmas viewings
    Come to the Stable DVD-R (Fox) After 3 Christmas viewings
    Replacements stable. Seems like bad blanks to me (or Xmas curse).
    There may have a very few more but out of a collection of over a thousand which are in constant rotation…not bad.

  46. Now that I'm 75 I'm searching for a 30-year plus guaranteed medium
    I've struck a few flaws recently on replay of my high-def audio (24-96) archived on blank DVD discs but I tracked the cause down to a faulty burner. Apart from that glitch, all seems just fine.
    All of my DVD movie compilation discs (a double-disc compiling the best Judy Garland song numbers and a double-disc compilation of all the Fred and Ginger song-dance numbers) are holding up just fine with no sign of disc wear or glitches.
    So physically, they're doing better than me!

  47. WillG

    speaking of which, if Disney will not longer release 3D discs in North America, would it kill them to offer a 3D option on Disney+. How hard could that be?

    Josh Steinberg

    No ones ever really solved the streaming 3D issue; it’s been offered before but there have been serious quality issues due to the compression and reformatting.

    But beyond that – and I say this as a huge 3D fan – there’s very little market for it. No consumer electronics manufacturer has made a 3D television for over three years now, most streaming boxes can’t support it, and most consumers who dipped their toe in that water have given up on it.

    I wish there was a less grim answer but I don’t think that capability passes a cost/benefit analysis at Disney.

    3D has been made available on streaming before, but the only current example is on Shudder: Found Footage 3D. It's on the site in a SBS format, and doesn't look bad, given that it's 1080 x 960 for each eye. To stream MVC, you need a fair amount of bandwidth, and i don't think Disney believes the install base is there to offer streaming 3D on Disney+. They're probably right. 🙁

  48. Jesse Skeen

    That would get more people interested in 3D though, if it were part of a $7 per month service vs. the $35 per digital title purchase they wanted before.

    And it might get some to subscribe, period. At the moment, there's nothing I need D+ for. If they were to add 3D availability, I'd have to reconsider.

  49. If there is something you care about, there is nothing like a physical media copy to ensure you have continued access to the item (and the version you prefer).

    My only copy of Star Wars is the "Definitive" laserdisc collection. It may be over 20 years old, but it has not suffered the modifications that Lucas made nor the new changes that Disney is making.

    Once everything is streamed, content owners will be able to modify, suppress, pull from release, or decide to charge you an arm and a leg.

    It is about control.

    We fought for the control over 40 years ago and thought we had won. Now the studios are going to get it all back.

  50. If there is something you care about, there is nothing like a physical media copy to ensure you have continued access to the item (and the version you prefer).

    My only copy of Star Wars is the "Definitive" laserdisc collection. It may be over 20 years old, but it has not suffered the modifications that Lucas made nor the new changes that Disney is making.

    Once everything is streamed, content owners will be able to modify, suppress, pull from release, or decide to charge you an arm and a leg.

    It is about control.

    We fought for the control over 40 years ago and thought we had won. Now the studios are going to get it all back.

  51. Speaking of which, I heard all of the digital versions of Star Wars were changed last week. The ones initially sold weren't the original versions, but suppose I had LIKED those particular versions only to have them changed to something else?

    One thing I'll be watching closely is whether literally everything stays accessible forever. I've picked up literally every free TV episode and promo on Vudu since it started, many of which are no longer available for purchase now.

  52. Jesse Skeen

    Speaking of which, I heard all of the digital versions of Star Wars were changed last week. The ones initially sold weren't the original versions, but suppose I had LIKED those particular versions only to have them changed to something else?

    One thing I'll be watching closely is whether literally everything stays accessible forever. I've picked up literally every free TV episode and promo on Vudu since it started, many of which are no longer available for purchase now.

    I believe that with the exception of A New Hope the only changes were adding the 20th Century FOX logo back to the beginning of the movies.

  53. I think that a library is a reflection of who the person is. The moment I go into someone’s house I’m always looking onto the shelves and seeing what sorts of things they like or collect or have an interest in.I am perfectly happy to display as much of my Blu-ray collection as possible– and any other movie memorabilia that I think is cool or fun.It would be a pretty boring house where there wasn’t anything to examine in a room outside of the furniture.

  54. Mark Mayes

    The moment I go into someone's house I'm always looking onto the shelves and seeing what sorts of things they like or collect or have an interest in.

    Yikes. That’s kind of creepy. 😉

  55. Physical media is my preference as well and I also agree that a media library says something about the person that lives there. I have gotten into digital media but the fact remains there is a chance your content could disappear the moment a provider goes under. I know I will always have my physical library but never know if or when I will loose my digital content. At this point I am not sure what impact the loss of physical media will have on collectors but it may end up causing prices to go up. Eventually I want to have a few movie posters and memorabilia to dress up the room. But for now physical media will remain my focus and will continue to buy it even if I have to go to the used market in the future.

  56. The streaming services are wisely preparing for future generations who will care nothing about the classics or film history. I don't blame them for that as they are businesses and need to do whatever it takes to remain relevant. I don't think they are necessarily endorsing physical over streaming from an altruistic perspective. They are only trying to protect their revenue stream.

    That said, I will ALWAYS prefer a physical copy of anything I want to regularly view.

  57. Mark Mayes

    I think that a library is a reflection of who the person is. The moment I go into someone's house I'm always looking onto the shelves and seeing what sorts of things they like or collect or have an interest in.I am perfectly happy to display as much of my Blu-ray collection as possible– and any other movie memorabilia that I think is cool or fun.It would be a pretty boring house where there wasn't anything to examine in a room outside of the furniture.

    I'm the same, I want to look at the discs & books. I'm quite happy for someone to eyeball my motley collection. After all, why do we put these things out on sight for all to see…& I judge, we all do 🙂

  58. John Dirk

    The streaming services are wisely preparing for future generations who will care nothing about the classics or film history. I don't blame them for that as they are businesses and need to do whatever it takes to remain relevant. I don't think they are necessarily endorsing physical over streaming from an altruistic perspective. They are only trying to protect their revenue stream.

    Maybe not altruistic but I'm sure they're happy to see things evolve back to where customers don't own copies.

  59. Yes, I've always thought they wanted to get back to a model where they are essentially charging per-view. That's why some studios back things like Divx where the disc self-destructed after a certain amount of time. Then the consumer would have to buy another disc to watch it again, rather than paying just once for a physical copy they can watch over and over, basically forever.

    It will also reduce the availability of used copies eventually.

  60. Mark Mayes

    I think that a library is a reflection of who the person is. The moment I go into someone's house I'm always looking onto the shelves and seeing what sorts of things they like or collect or have an interest in.I am perfectly happy to display as much of my Blu-ray collection as possible– and any other movie memorabilia that I think is cool or fun.It would be a pretty boring house where there wasn't anything to examine in a room outside of the furniture.

    Tino

    Yikes. That’s kind of creepy. 😉

    Billy Batson

    I'm the same, I want to look at the discs & books. I'm quite happy for someone to eyeball my motley collection. After all, why do we put these things out on sight for all to see…& I judge, we all do 🙂

    I look at this as sort of a "challenge accepted" type of situation, as in, "I like all kinds of movies. What kind of cross section can I have in my physical media collection that will cause people to question my state of mind?' 😀

  61. BobO’Link

    For most people simply seeing a lot of horror titles is enough for them to question… It seems that with a half dozen or so and you're "OK" but much over that and you're suddenly creepy and weird. So… throw in some Disney/animation/kid movies and then some horror and hide all the other titles people might consider "normal."

    I have a designated "family" title bookshelf on the main floor of my home, a 3D bookshelf next to my HT, as well as Criterion, UHD 4K, and music content shelves. I'm pretty sure my 3D shelf alone is enough to make some people shudder.

  62. Chelsearicky

    There is absolutely nothing 'creepy' about looking at someone's bookshelves to peruse the titles of the books or films they contain. . Calm down!

    I am calm.

    And it’s absolutely creepy imo. reread the original post… which I quoted partly in jest hence the smiley.
    Quote;
    “The moment I go into someone's house I'm always looking onto the shelves”

    The moment??

    that’s what I found “creepy”.

  63. Tino

    I am calm.

    And it’s absolutely creepy imo. reread the original post… which I quoted partly in jest hence the smiley.
    Quote;
    “The moment I go into someone's house I'm always looking onto the shelves”

    The moment??

    that’s what I found “creepy”.

    Kinda reminds me of the old John Waters quote: "If you go home with somebody and they don't have books, don't fuck them!"

    I was at a gathering at a neighbor's house a year or so ago and was looking at their bookshelf while waiting for someone in the bathroom, and what do I see but the Stanley Kubrick Masterpiece blu-ray collection. I felt more relaxed instantly.

  64. Tino

    I am calm.

    And it’s absolutely creepy imo. reread the original post… which I quoted partly in jest hence the smiley.
    Quote;
    “The moment I go into someone's house I'm always looking onto the shelves”

    The moment??

    that’s what I found “creepy”.

    Agreed. People coming in and immediately searching your shelves? Would they even say "Hello" first?

    But at least if they were to try such instant snooping around my shelves, they'd see themselves staring right back at them:

    [​IMG]

    😉

  65. Malcolm R

    Yeah, a section that includes Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Bambi, Casablanca, The Exorcist, The Sound of Music, I Spit On Your Grave, and Frozen. 🙂

    I used to alphabetize mine, then I got lazy about it after life happened, and I found it easier to put the lone released season of Silver Spoons in the space atop the complete run of Golden Girls, to put Small Wonder right between The Boys in the Band and Ted, and what has come out of Webster next to The Killing of Sister George. I'm typing this from where I can see Serial Mom on Blu-ray stacked next to Prancer, recommended by John Waters in one of his published writings, on DVD, and I just put Xanadu next to Citizen Kane.

    I noticed I also had the movie Peyton Place nestled between Lady and the Tramp and Pocahontas. Considering who owns that movie and the TV show based on it now, was I, like Cassandra, being able to predict things and have nobody believe me until they actually came true? Naah, it's just a coincidence. At least on the surface…

  66. Top 25 best-selling discs in the US for 2019 (info from the-numbers.com). Units is combination of Blu-ray and DVD copies sold. Combined numbers on most titles generally comprise roughly 65% Blu-ray, and 35% DVD. I presume 4K is rolled into the Blu-ray numbers. https://www.the-numbers.com/home-market/packaged-media-sales/2019

    For catalog titles (The Goonies, Hocus Pocus), the numbers below seem to represent 2019 sales only. Interesting that some catalog titles are still selling a good number of copies. Probably somewhat due to re-release on 4K and/or blu-ray.

    View attachment 66875

  67. Malcolm R

    Top 25 best-selling discs in the US for 2019 (info from the-numbers.com). Units is combination of Blu-ray and DVD copies sold. Combined numbers on most titles generally comprise roughly 65% Blu-ray, and 35% DVD. I presume 4K is rolled into the Blu-ray numbers. https://www.the-numbers.com/home-market/packaged-media-sales/2019

    For catalog titles (The Goonies, Hocus Pocus), the numbers below seem to represent 2019 sales only. Interesting that some catalog titles are still selling a good number of copies. Probably somewhat due to re-release on 4K and/or blu-ray.

    View attachment 66875

    Wow -impressive sales figures ! I wonder how many copies things like the Shout Factory Universal Horrors and Abbott And Costello box sets sell. Obviously a lot less , but hopefully enough to be encouraging to Shout Factory .
    BTW, I'm still and avid 'physical media ' consumer .

  68. Malcolm R

    Top 25 best-selling discs in the US for 2019 (info from the-numbers.com). Units is combination of Blu-ray and DVD copies sold. Combined numbers on most titles generally comprise roughly 65% Blu-ray, and 35% DVD. I presume 4K is rolled into the Blu-ray numbers. https://www.the-numbers.com/home-market/packaged-media-sales/2019

    For catalog titles (The Goonies, Hocus Pocus), the numbers below seem to represent 2019 sales only. Interesting that some catalog titles are still selling a good number of copies. Probably somewhat due to re-release on 4K and/or blu-ray.

    View attachment 66875

    Interestingly, I purchased three of the titles on this list on UHD disc and three others via digital streaming (although I bought the 2D version of Spider-Verse) .

  69. Scott Merryfield

    Interestingly, I purchased three of the titles on this list on UHD disc and three others via digital streaming (although I bought the 2D version of Spider-Verse) .

    I think the Spider-Verse entry is for the 2D discs, as there was no 3D disc option even released in the US. I'm not sure why they added the 3D tag to the title.

  70. Jesse Skeen

    If they were smart, they'd start promoting awareness of the advantages of discs over digital. I bought a Blu-Ray in Mexico that actually has an insert about that, will have to post it here.

    I suspect this would be "too little too late" at this point.

    That is unless the government bans digital streaming altogether and enforces it with an extreme iron fist (ie. long prison sentences for anybody who streams).

    😉

  71. Keep buying those discs! The Digital Bits reported on another 18% drop in 2019 😮 the trend is down & not likely to reverse again sadly 🙁
    https://thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two-cents/011420-1430

    For the record in 2019 I bought about 25 x 4K UHD discs (nearly every single one was an older catalog title!) and a few older BD's which will never come to other disc formats & ZERO digital downloads! Going forward I intend to be the last man standing of physical media so bring on more 4K UHD's please Hollywood my wallet will buy as many as you can release (provided they are worth buying!!).

  72. Sam Posten

    There is no way to spin that positively.

    Time for Lionsgate, Paramount, Criterion and all TV shows to get on the Movies Anywhere bandwagon.

    (On an offtopic tangent).

    Does anybody have the cash to do a corporate merger with Lionsgate?

    For that matter, does Sony have any plans to sell off their movie/tv catalog + production division entirely?

  73. It is just amazing to see this industry continuously evolve.

    I find myself evolving with it.

    I am buying more digital copies over discs. It's just cheaper. The only discs I buy these days are first-run movies with Atmos.

    The writing has been on the wall for a long time and I think this partnership — while smart indeed — just signals that the studios are just as concerned about the future of disc media as we have been.

  74. How did you go bankrupt? Slowly…. then all at once.

    From the video games side Gamestop is nearly dead. It will be a major net positive for the gaming industry as a whole for Gamestop to go away and BestBuy and Walmart to stop selling games at all. But it’s going to be a miserable epoch until we go fully digital. And the gnashing of teeth from those who have shitty internet service will be unbearable.

  75. Ronald Epstein

    It is just amazing to see this industry continuously evolve.

    I find myself evolving with it.

    I am buying more digital copies over discs. It's just cheaper. The only discs I buy these days are first-run movies with Atmos.

    The writing has been on the wall for a long time and I think this partnership — while smart indeed — just signals that the studios are just as concerned about the future of disc media as we have been.

    Well – you are going to have to make a new logo for your forum. Discs and film will shortly vanish – at least for your members, who aren't rabid collectors.

  76. titch

    Well – you are going to have to make a new logo for your forum. Discs and film will shortly vanish – at least for your members, who aren't rabid collectors.

    I think we have been seeing our ultimate demise for some time now.

    Websites like ours will cease to exist in the upcoming years, that is unless discussing the quality of streamed titles becomes a hot topic.

  77. Ronald Epstein

    I think we have been seeing our ultimate demise for some time now.

    Websites like ours will cease to exist in the upcoming years, that is unless discussing the quality of streamed titles becomes a hot topic.

    I don't see why it would be any different. At this point, it's all digital data anyway, whether it's on a disc or out there in the ether. There are still things to say about the quality of transfers and sound mixes, and of course, the films themselves.

  78. I think forums have a bright future ahead.

    What doesn't have a bright future? Web based advertising. Until that gets sorted it's going to be absolutely miserable to be an advertising funded site or a consumer unless armed with the latest defenses.

  79. Jesse Skeen

    If they were smart, they'd start promoting awareness of the advantages of discs over digital. I bought a Blu-Ray in Mexico that actually has an insert about that, will have to post it here.

    Jesse, I love you man, but your average consumer, the group of people that make the vast majority of purchases and drive the industry, aren’t confused about the differences between disc and digital. It’s not that they’ve been seduced by evil digital and only need to be reminded of discs. It’s that digital does a better job of meeting their needs.

    Most people want to watch a thing once. They don’t want to own it. They don’t want the clutter that comes with a physical object. Most people are satisfied with the current options which allow you to subscribe to services for unlimited viewing of large number of titles for about $10 a month, and supplement that with a la carte rentals from digital storefronts.

    Discs will never again be the preferred viewing method for the vast majority of the public. They care far more about access than ownership. Ownership was only appealing to that group when it was the only means of access.

    Long term, this isn’t bad news if you care about access. I have the ability to see more titles now, far easier and far cheaper, than I’ve ever had at any point in my life. Discs will probably continue as a niche format for some time, but even that is a good thing – its better for a small number of boutique labels to make high quality releases that sell reliably to a small but dedicated audience than it is for major labels to put out lackluster releases that don’t appeal to a wide audience because that audience is over physical media, and that also don’t appeal to the collector audience because they’re not done well.

    But none of this news is surprising. A lot of old ways for delivering content simply don’t make sense for most people in today’s world. I used this next example in another thread recently. My wife and I decided we wanted to revisit the sitcom Frasier. I looked up the complete series on disc and saw it priced at $90, which I thought was very reasonably for eleven seasons of a show. Then I realized that Frasier was already on multiple streaming services that I already have subscriptions to. So we didn’t buy the disc. There was no point to spending $90 to wait for something to come in the mail when all I had to do was press a button on my remote to watch it for free right at that very moment. And that is what many people have already figured out.

    Rather than trying to return disc to being a mass market consumer preference, which will never happen, the best way forward for the remaining disc producers is to target smaller sales goals and direct marketing towards consumers who are still interested in the product.

    But again, I personally can’t see this as being all bad when I can press a button on my remote and watch nearly any movie that’s in print. I don’t want to go back to the days of having to go to a specialty store to find something outside of the top hundred titles and then have something special ordered and delivered a month later. In the 1980s, it was a week or months long project if someone said “You should see…”. Now, it’s a button push. On the whole, this is a tremendous benefit.

  80. Josh Steinberg

    Jesse, I love you man, but your average consumer, the group of people that make the vast majority of purchases and drive the industry, aren’t confused about the differences between disc and digital. It’s not that they’ve been seduced by evil digital and only need to be reminded of discs. It’s that digital does a better job of meeting their needs.

    Most people want to watch a thing once. They don’t want to own it. They don’t want the clutter that comes with a physical object. Most people are satisfied with the current options which allow you to subscribe to services for unlimited viewing of large number of titles for about $10 a month, and supplement that with a la carte rentals from digital storefronts.

    Discs will never again be the preferred viewing method for the vast majority of the public. They care far more about access than ownership. Ownership was only appealing to that group when it was the only means of access.

    Long term, this isn’t bad news if you care about access. I have the ability to see more titles now, far easier and far cheaper, than I’ve ever had at any point in my life. Discs will probably continue as a niche format for some time, but even that is a good thing – its better for a small number of boutique labels to make high quality releases that sell reliably to a small but dedicated audience than it is for major labels to put out lackluster releases that don’t appeal to a wide audience because that audience is over physical media, and that also don’t appeal to the collector audience because they’re not done well.

    But none of this news is surprising. A lot of old ways for delivering content simply don’t make sense for most people in today’s world. I used this next example in another thread recently. My wife and I decided we wanted to revisit the sitcom Frasier. I looked up the complete series on disc and saw it priced at $90, which I thought was very reasonably for eleven seasons of a show. Then I realized that Frasier was already on multiple streaming services that I already have subscriptions to. So we didn’t buy the disc. There was no point to spending $90 to wait for something to come in the mail when all I had to do was press a button on my remote to watch it for free right at that very moment. And that is what many people have already figured out.

    Rather than trying to return disc to being a mass market consumer preference, which will never happen, the best way forward for the remaining disc producers is to target smaller sales goals and direct marketing towards consumers who are still interested in the product.

    But again, I personally can’t see this as being all bad when I can press a button on my remote and watch nearly any movie that’s in print. I don’t want to go back to the days of having to go to a specialty store to find something outside of the top hundred titles and then have something special ordered and delivered a month later. In the 1980s, it was a week or months long project if someone said “You should see…”. Now, it’s a button push. On the whole, this is a tremendous benefit.

    I think you're overselling the "push the button and see everything you want" advantage. For people who are hooked on popular series like Friends, Frasier or Married… with Children or mainstream cinema, it's a godsend! But if you're looking a 1940s Ann Blyth western or a 1960s Czech film, you just may find out that pushing that button won't help you. I have friend who's signed up with streaming services and he's constantly asking me if I have such and such a movie in my film library because he can't find it on Netflix or his other streaming services. And guess what? I usually do!

  81. Absolutely, but if you’re looking for one of those titles, you’re already falling far outside of what the average consumer wants. That’s not to say that those titles don’t have artist merit or value. But they’re not driving the market today, or yesterday. That’s an area where physical media can still appeal to collectors because it provides a niche product to a niche audience. But these major paradigm shifts are always going to be driven by what the majority of people are doing.

  82. I think it’s sad that the average “Joe” today is not interested in picture or sound quality. Low bit rate compressed audio blaring from cheap speakers has replaced “Hi Fidelity”. Like, who’s interested in Hi Fi sound reproduction today or even knows what it is?

    Although everyone is buying and watching high definition TVs, have a look at the pictures being displayed on their screens (with apparent complete satisfaction). Sadly, most people wouldn’t know (or care) if they were watching standard def, or fuzzy pictures off YouTube.

    As I see it, discerning people who prefer physical media over streaming do it for (mainly) two reasons. They want to be able to re-visit their favorite movie (or sound recording) when they choose, or they prefer the best in picture and sound quality. While these people (us!) exist in any numbers, I believe that physical media will continue to be produced. (I’m also an optimist!)

  83. OLDTIMER

    I think it’s sad that the average “Joe” today is not interested in picture or sound quality.

    I don’t think that’s true at all.

    To give just one example, Disney+ just debuted with 4K versions of Star Wars movies that are only 1080p on disc. They look better than they’ve ever looked before for home viewing.

    Digital storefronts like iTunes and Vudu, and subscription services like Netflix, often offer HD and 4K versions of movies that are only on DVD on physical media – so what streams is what’s better than what’s on disc in those cases.

    Separately, I’m excited that Kino has announced a new Universal deal.

    It seems like a best of both worlds scenario to me. The general public/average consumer has access to high quality streaming that meets their needs, and the smaller group of enthusiasts gets physical releases that are targeted to their passions.

    For the past few years we’ve been in this in between space where studios didn’t want to release something if it would only sell a couple hundred or couple thousand copies, but didn’t want to let anyone else release them either or wanted more for licensing than the titles could reasonably be expected to generate. I think we’re now possibly over that hump, and that’s good. I’d rather a studio like Universal say, “Go ahead Small Label, license this and put it out on disc and if it makes anything, share it with us” than “It’s not worth enough to do on our own and you’re not offering enough to make it worth licensing.”

  84. Jesse Skeen

    If they were smart, they'd start promoting awareness of the advantages of discs over digital. I bought a Blu-Ray in Mexico that actually has an insert about that, will have to post it here.

    forgive me if this has already been addressed, but i truly believe that Millennials (and many others) don’t “get” physical media and even in more extreme forms think PM is “stupid”. You can’t really change their minds.

    However I couldn’t resist feeling some mirth when “Friends” disappeared from Netflix (The Office to follow next year) on Jan 1 to go to WBs upcoming service and seeing all the ape shit reactions. All I could think was “uhhhh you could own the series on PM”, but many millennials don’t even own a DVD player. Probably never seriously occurred to them that it was possible to own “Friends” on PM.

  85. It’s not that they don’t “get” physical media. It’s that access is more important than ownership for most people, and now that the two are no longer intertwined, having the access without the rest of the package meets their needs.

    It doesn’t seem reasonable to me for some collectors to be upset at other people for feeling that their needs are being met.

    Most people – not just younger people – are finding that a combination of subscription streaming with the occasional rental or purchase meets those needs. Most people are in a similar situation to the one I found myself in with Frasier – they want to see a thing, the thing is already included as part of a package they already have, so there’s just no need to take any extra steps or acquire anything further.

  86. Josh, you're even more optimistic than me.
    I was only relating what I see about me. No more crowds browsing DVDs and Blu-rays in shops, the dreadful TV displays I see in the homes of friends and acquaintances, etc. Ask a young person what "Hi Fi" is. How many average "Joes" own Blu-ray or 4K discs?

  87. Josh Steinberg

    It’s not that they don’t “get” physical media. It’s that access is more important than ownership for most people, and now that the two are no longer intertwined, having the access without the rest of the package meets their needs.

    It doesn’t seem reasonable to me for some collectors to be upset at other people for feeling that their needs are being met.

    Most people – not just younger people – are finding that a combination of subscription streaming with the occasional rental or purchase meets those needs. Most people are in a similar situation to the one I found myself in with Frasier – they want to see a thing, the thing is already included as part of a package they already have, so there’s just no need to take any extra steps or acquire anything further.

    it’s not everybody, but believe me, from personal experience, there are plenty that don’t “get” why people collect PM.

    I heard the, “you’ll never watch them all and even the ones you do watch, you’ll watch only once (admittedly some truth to this)”, “they don’t appreciate in value (some OOP titles have and we’ll see further once we’re largely at the mercy of the studios and streaming services)” etc. several times. no one questions someone who has a big bookshelf in their house with a lot of books. And people forget or never realized there was a time where if you knew where to look, you could buy DVDs for the same price, or sometimes even cheaper than a blockbuster rental.

  88. WillG

    it’s not everybody, but believe me, from personal experience, there are plenty that don’t “get” why people collect PM.

    I heard the, “you’ll never watch them all and even the ones you do watch, you’ll watch only once (admittedly some truth to this)”, “they don’t appreciate in value (some OOP titles have and we’ll see further once we’re largely at the mercy of the studios and streaming services)” etc. several times. no one questions someone who has a big bookshelf in their house with a lot of books.

    In most of my social circles, seeing a house full of movies was typically seen as someone who is a "low brow" bumpkin type..

    In contrast, seeing a house full of books was typically seen as someone who was a refined intellectual well-read type.

    Both are very unfair stereotypes, which unfortunately persist in my local social circles and numerous other ones I run/ran in over the years.

  89. In my immediate social circles, most of them don't know what to think of me whenever I invite them over to my home for company.

    They see large bookcases filled with books on highly technical subjects like engineering, advanced mathematics, etc … and many history books. On the next bookcase, it is full of dvds and blurays.

  90. Will, I totally understand that and am related to a few of those people.

    I meant what I was saying in a more technical sense of the word – that most average consumer people understand just fine how discs work, they just don’t feel the need to have them.

    There’s really no longer an argument to be made for why an average consumer (not an enthusiast like those of us who post here are), the type that generally watches a thing once, will pick a different choice without thinking twice if the first option isn’t available, doesn’t care about bonus material, and doesn’t want any of the hassles associated with procuring and storing a physical object, should still consider discs. Streaming also solves some old supply chain problems that made renting and owning tapes and then discs a hassle – you don’t have to leave the house to get it and then leave again to return it and you don’t have to worry about iTunes or Netflix being out of stock on a title.

    So while I’m not unhappy that I bought the latest Avengers movie on disc, I can also understand why other people who want to watch the movie still wouldn’t see the need to buy the disc.

  91. Josh Steinberg

    Will, I totally understand that and am related to a few of those people.

    I meant what I was saying in a more technical sense of the word – that most average consumer people understand just fine how discs work, they just don’t feel the need to have them.

    There’s really no longer an argument to be made for why an average consumer (not an enthusiast like those of us who post here are), the type that generally watches a thing once, will pick a different choice without thinking twice if the first option isn’t available, doesn’t care about bonus material, and doesn’t want any of the hassles associated with procuring and storing a physical object, should still consider discs. Streaming also solves some old supply chain problems that made renting and owning tapes and then discs a hassle – you don’t have to leave the house to get it and then leave again to return it and you don’t have to worry about iTunes or Netflix being out of stock on a title.

    So while I’m not unhappy that I bought the latest Avengers movie on disc, I can also understand why other people who want to watch the movie still wouldn’t see the need to buy the disc.

    I hear you, and to be clear, it’s not the people who are indifferent to PM and like the convenience of streaming (I stream too) that I’m talking about, it’s the people who are actually critical of it and refuse to understand why a person would prefer it, and they do exist.

    I like PM because it can’t be taken away from me, it looks the same every time I play it (a lot of streaming still looks like shit to me and even with a 4K OLED with a LAN connection, I still get blockiness, resolution drops and even load hangs from time to time)

  92. I think Bryan and I had previously talked about this, might have been more in reference to video game collecting but I think the point stands – there are hobbyists and generalists in this world and I think the generalists have a hard time understanding why the hobbyists do what they do. And then there are the hobbyists who understand their own hobby but don’t see how anyone could derive pleasure from any other kind of hobby. Tough as it is (and it took me years to get this), you just have to tune those people out. If you have a hobby and it brings you joy and gives you an activity to fill your days with and isn’t causing harm to you or anyone else, who cares what other people think? I don’t understand why my mom and stepdad have a plethora of bicycles but who cares what I think? They probably don’t get why I don’t even have one.

    I think because most people have a more casual relationship with the media they consume, they genuinely don’t get that other people get something deeper from it. And since movies or discs are disposable, one time use only trifles to them, they just don’t understand other people having different perceptions about it.

    And then some people are just jerks. 🙂

  93. There's one advantage of the falling sales of PM that hasn't been mentioned. At sales you can now pick up Blue-rays for a song. Even 4Ks too. CDs? Well, they give them away!
    Strangely however, new vinyl LPs are more expensive than ever!

  94. Worth

    I don't see why it would be any different. At this point, it's all digital data anyway, whether it's on a disc or out there in the ether. There are still things to say about the quality of transfers and sound mixes, and of course, the films themselves.

    Exactly. We discuss the content here, not the container.

  95. OLDTIMER

    There's one advantage of the falling sales of PM that hasn't been mentioned. At sales you can now pick up Blue-rays for a song. Even 4Ks too. CDs? Well, they give them away!
    Strangely however, new vinyl LPs are more expensive than ever!

    because Millennials are into it too for some reason (and possibly because vinyl is lower volume). Believe me, unless you’re selling life alert necklaces, marketing is millennials, millennials, millennials!

  96. BobO’Link

    Until I can sell the rights to the copies of digital titles I've purchased or will my digital collection to my heirs, digital is *not* ownership but long term renting. I'm happy to stream some things but not "own" digital copies for which I've spent real money.

    None of my heirs will want my disc collection. It will be just one more thing for them to get rid of.

  97. I just thought of a more foreboding reason why LPs are dearer than ever. The medium becomes obsolete, then someone restores it for a small niche market. Hence the low-production high price. It'll probably happen to today's 12cm discs in the long run.

  98. Scott Merryfield

    Exactly. We discuss the content here, not the container.

    This may sound very sad and pitiful, but my primary dvd/bluray interest nowadays is in figuring out how the "container" functions.

    As mentioned in another thread yesterday, I've been attempting to figure out for myself how the extra BD+ drm functions on bluray discs. (Fox was the only widely known movie company which used BD+ on almost all their bluray discs from late-2007 to the end of 2017. Since December 2017, Fox has largely dropped BD+ from their bluray releases).

  99. Scott Merryfield

    None of my heirs will want my disc collection. It will be just one more thing for them to get rid of.

    We should have an “adopt an HTF member” sub forum 😀

    I don’t get the argument that if something is non-transferable, it has no value. If I buy a plane ticket, that’s also non-transferable but it presents a certain value; it got me where I wanted to go.

    The other thing is – on the whole, I’m finding digital purchases to be cheaper than physical media. And physical media isn’t guaranteed to retain value or use. A first run VHS copy of a movie in the 80s or 90s was about $100 (it was generally only kids movies that were affordable at first release, other movies would cost more at first and then later be “priced to own”). The pan and scan VHS copy of GoldenEye that was $100 then has no practical value today and is by any objective standard a ludicrously poor way to view the film. I really don’t care that I won’t be passing that down. The 4K digital copy of the movie I bought recently was only $5. At that price, I really don’t care that I won’t be passing that down either.

  100. Sam Posten

    How did you go bankrupt? Slowly…. then all at once.

    From the video games side Gamestop is nearly dead. It will be a major net positive for the gaming industry as a whole for Gamestop to go away and BestBuy and Walmart to stop selling games at all. But it’s going to be a miserable epoch until we go fully digital. And the gnashing of teeth from those who have shitty internet service will be unbearable.

    Death by a thousand cuts? 😉

  101. At this point, I'm straddling the fence. Favourites I still buy on disc, because I like the feel of having a physical object, and it (usually) provides the absolute best image and sound quality. But I've also become more comfortable with digital purchases, especially when titles are available for about the price of a rental, versus $20 or more on disc. And things I'm fairly certain I'll only want to watch once, I'll happily rent on iTunes or stream on Netflix or Amazon, or record from one of the movie channels. I feel like there are more options now than there have ever been.

  102. I recently asked my sister and her husband if they wanted to take a Blu-Ray of a movie they wanted to see. I have the 4K disc, so they could keep the BD as I will never watch it. They hem-hawed, and eventually (kindly) begrudgingly took it. They really enjoyed the movie, and thanked me later on. But this is the same couple that used to borrow movies, and ask about certain titles all the time on DVD, and well into the BD years. They haven't asked to borrow anything form me in years, and between Netflix, and Amazon Prime they have told me they just don't have time to keep up with all the content to watch.

    This is where we are at. Streaming has indeed killed off interest in disc based media for the average consumer. At least that is what I am seeing.

  103. How much time do people actually have to sit in front of TV? We still have a regular cable package, and with that and access to my daughters Netflix account, we have far more available than we could ever watch.

  104. After someone hacked into my Amazon account, thus limiting my access to all aspects of it, as well as having to deal with authorized use of my Hulu account, my opinion of streaming media has not increased but decreased. It's physical media OR NOTHING from now on. That is non-negotiable. I'm not signing up for any more services just so I can have my pocket picked by someone who's thousands of miles away! This has never happened to me at any physical location I ever bought or sold any video or audio format at.

    jcroy

    Death by a thousand cuts? 😉

    And not one of them accidental.

    jcroy

    In most of my social circles, seeing a house full of movies was typically seen as someone who is a "low brow" bumpkin type..

    In contrast, seeing a house full of books was typically seen as someone who was a refined intellectual well-read type.

    Both are very unfair stereotypes, which unfortunately persist in my local social circles and numerous other ones I run/ran in over the years.

    They'll be sorry if books meet the same fate. Printed media isn't doing too hot if MAD Magazine went under.

  105. MatthewA

    It's physical media OR NOTHING from now on. That is non-negotiable. I'm not signing up for any more services just so I can have my pocket picked by someone who's thousands of miles away! This has never happened to me at any physical location I ever bought or sold any video or audio format at.

    (On a tangent).

    I would highly agree in the case of cd and dvd, where all (or almost all) of the patents have expired already.

    I disagree in the case of bluray, where the most of the patents won't expire until after 2030. Bluray has an insidous revocation system which can deliberately "brick" any bluray player that the aacs folks want to. Less likely to happen for standalone players, but not zero probability.

  106. Maybe that's part of their motivation: circumventing the Blu-ray Association's fees. Someone mentioned that in another thread as being a cost factor that automatically makes it more expensive to master than DVD, not just increased resolution and more sophisticated compression codecs.

  107. It’s not to save money on fees.

    Its because physical media sales were just over $3 billion last year, while subscription streaming revenue was nearly $16 billion. $3 billion, down from $20 billion a few short years ago. It’s because that disparity shows no signs of slowing. It’s because it doesn’t make sense for every company to continuously spend money on an infrastructure meant to handle ten times more demand than there actually is.

    Ten years ago, it was basically the other way around.

    I don’t understand why this has been so hard to convey. When you have a business that used to gross $20 billion a year that now only grosses $3 billion a year, something has changed dramatically. And when you have a new business that is eclipsing the old one so clearly, it demonstrates where the market is.

    The numbers aren’t this way because people don’t understand what discs offer or because they’ve been swindled into streaming. The numbers are this way because the average consumer is demonstrating a stronger preference for watching a program than they are for having a physical copy of it. And it’s not even close at this point.

    If you like movies enough to post on an Internet forum, you’re not an average consumer. If you like movies enough to collect discs, you’re not an average consumer. That doesn’t mean that it’s an invalid preference or a bad hobby. But you’re not in the mainstream for how most people are choosing to spend their entertainment dollars.

    I don’t mean to direct this at any one person in particular but over the past 24 hours, I’ve been flabbergasted at some of the commentary I’ve read here, on digital bits, on social media, where a small minority of disc supporters are loudly talking about streaming as if it’s a cult to rescue people from. This minority talks about streaming as if it simply doesn’t work and could never work and seem determined to ignore the reality that for most people, the transition from physical to digital has already begun (if it’s not already finished). It’s all a version of “Well I still buy discs, my shelves are full, so sales can’t possibly be down.” I’m stunned by how many people in this group want the perfect to be the enemy of the good. I’m stunned by how many people think it’s bad to have access to more content than ever before for less money than ever before. I just do not understand the hostility and the denial that these things actually do work as advertised more often than not. I’m not saying go streaming if you don’t want to. I am saying don’t tell me that streaming doesn’t work just because it’s not your preference.

  108. I just had my privacy violated, so under the circumstances, I couldn't care less about the greed and short-sightedness of the companies pushing streaming on us. And I also couldn't care less about the opinions of anyone who dismisses the collecting of physical media altogether. Maybe if there were more interesting titles being released on disc, there would be more sales. Also, not to sweve into un-permitted territory, but we just got out of a recession, even though home video itself came into existence during one. Movies are a luxury item. You can't eat them, you can't live in them, you can't wear them. They are a want, not a need. Nevertheless, if they do not continue provide what I want, I will not continue to give them my business. It is that simple. And having to go through the same rigamarole twice and still have to wait to gain access to my account is irritating. Even Blockbuster was never that bad.

    I get the sense that some people actively want physical media to cease to exist at all independently of consumer demand. If that's their attitude, then I will stop watching new movies and TV shows altogether. Remember DivX, that rent-only disc that Circuit City tried to pawn off on us? The mentality behind this is the same.

    For everyone saying "disc sales are down," even if that is technically true, that still is only half the story. I'd like to see a studio-by-studio breakdown inclusive of independent distributors such as Shout! and Criterion.

  109. A) It’s not greed.
    B) It’s not shortsightedness
    C) No one is pushing anything
    D) Customers have spoken with their wallets that in general they prefer low cost subscriptions over individual purchases.
    E) It’s really that simple.

  110. MatthewA

    …And I also couldn't care less about the opinions of anyone who dismisses the collecting of physical media altogether. Maybe if there were more interesting titles being released on disc, there would be more sales…

    What do you mean by more interesting titles? Every major release gets at least a blu-ray, if not a UHD disc, and even minor ones receive at least a DVD release. Or are you talking about catalogue titles, which barely register on sales charts anyway?

  111. The last new movie I saw in a theater was Judy. That's only getting a Blu-ray, not a UHD. I would have gladly sprung for a UHD now that I actually have it.

    I agree with Bill Hunt's assessment. Disc may be down, but it's not out. If it were, then Playstation 5 wouldn't have disc capability at all (and Sony, who invented CDs, dropped the capability to play them on the PS4). And how do you account for vinyl coming back from the dead? I actually see vinyl at Best Buy. They were declared dead when that chain first opened. If that format can still get new releases now, then it's still likely we'll see discs still get released for years to come. For what discs get released, you're also more likely to see more titles get farmed out to indies than released in-house because studios are going to want to focus on releasing newer titles themselves.

  112. I think while we debate merits of physical vs. digital, the real issue is sneaking in the back, which is the way things are going we might not actually have a choice.

    Try purchasing Netflix’s The Irishman, Disney’s live action Lady and the Tramp, a season of Amazon’s Bosch, or anything on Apple on either physical or digital. Movies are going to become something to keep people subscribing to a service.

    This week Variety ran a story with the producers of the James Bond movies where they said they wouldn’t rule out a future James Bond movie going straight to a streaming service. Want to watch Gone with the Wind? Subscribe to HBO Max. That’s what we are heading towards.

  113. I see the streaming services almost as a return to the day when studios owned both the moviemaking business and the movie theaters. And because they had to keep fresh product on the screen 365 days a year, they made tons of stuff and didn’t obsess over everything being a giant hit. They concerned themselves with keeping things running.

    In the end, this might be great for viewers. When content producers can make things without needing them to make back all of their money in about two weekends, we get more interesting and varied content. When having a variety of options is the best way to keep your platform going, we get more options.

    A movie like The Irishman only got made because being a streaming exclusive means that the company can earn back its money over the course of years as part of a long term investment on building a varied content library. A movie like that couldn’t be paid for by the conventional strategy of releasing it on 4000 screens and having a $200 million opening weekend. By the old way of doing things, that just means the movie doesn’t get made. By the new way, it does get made, and as a bonus, it winds up being cheaper and easier to access than if it played in theaters.

    That doesn’t sound so bad to me.

  114. Incidentally a large part of these changes has to do with consumers themselves placing less value on the media they consume. The biggest hurdle all content producers face these days isn’t getting people interested. It’s getting people pay for the stuff they’re watching. Over half of all internet traffic has been observed as being pirated video. I can open up a web browser and illegally download any current show, any current movie, any streaming exclusive at the touch of a button. Most people don’t think of this as stealing. Amazon and Walmart will sell you hacked devices which let you steam that pirated content without having to download first. It takes all of five minutes to master these skills.

    The music industry meltdown after Napster showed that once consumers don’t think your product is worth what you’re asking, they’ll simply steal it.

    That’s the reality studios are living in. Their choices are to either make legal streaming so easy to use and so inexpensive that it’s less of a hassle for the average person to do that, or to watch as the entirety of their business is swallowed by piracy.

  115. MatthewA

    Maybe if there were more interesting titles being released on disc, there would be more sales.

    This brings to mind two frequently overlooked aspects of this very common topic (it happens with CD fans too): the interesting titles are already out. I'm one who is neither a collector – not compared to some of you guys at least – nor a casual consumer, and the titles I felt I needed to own without a doubt were mostly all released on DVD, and purchased by me, before Blu-ray won the format war. And I'm sure there's people less dedicated who still have their discs. If you have what you want and don't care for much else being released, you can contribute to this economic problem yet still be a physical media lover.

    The second aspect: what happens when no one makes DVD/BD players anymore? That's when discs become obsolete. Not before then.

  116. Josh Steinberg

    That’s the reality studios are living in. Their choices are to either make legal streaming so easy to use and so inexpensive that it’s less of a hassle for the average person to do that, or to watch as the entirety of their business is swallowed by piracy.

    Of course their most current reality is a bit more complicated than that. Now that everyone is charging $10/month for their streaming service, recreating the cable bill in a different form, many are returning to piracy.

  117. Traveling Matt

    The second aspect: what happens when no one makes DVD/BD players anymore? That's when discs become obsolete. Not before then.

    With almost all of the dvd-video patents expired, in principle it is possible to make a patent-free computer dvd-rom drive.

    Most of the remaining unexpired dvd patents, are related to reading/burning dvdr, dvdrw, dvdram, etc … discs.

    There is nothing to stop anybody from manufacturing a dvd drive/player, once all the patents have expired in a few years. The only barrier is the costs of running such a manufacturing operation.

  118. Traveling Matt

    Of course their most current reality is a bit more complicated than that. Now that everyone is charging $10/month for their streaming service, recreating the cable bill in a different form, many are returning to piracy.

    And this is why you’re seeing Disney+ debuting at just $7 or $70 for the year or free if you have certain internet or cellular providers. Or why Netflix doesn’t crack down on password sharing and actually encourages multiple users to be on the same account, and why HBO’s digital president said in an interview that they don’t care about password sharing either. Because they’re getting some form of payment and they’re keeping people in the legal ecosystem.

    But ultimately, this all may look radically different depending on how much business is lost to piracy.

  119. MatthewA

    After someone hacked into my Amazon account, thus limiting my access to all aspects of it, as well as having to deal with authorized use of my Hulu account, my opinion of streaming media has not increased but decreased. It's physical media OR NOTHING from now on. That is non-negotiable. I'm not signing up for any more services just so I can have my pocket picked by someone who's thousands of miles away! This has never happened to me at any physical location I ever bought or sold any video or audio format at.

    And not one of them accidental.

    They'll be sorry if books meet the same fate. Printed media isn't doing too hot if MAD Magazine went under.

    To be fair, Mad Magazine going under is because WBDCAT&T has been notoriously short sighted regarding the magazine (and all of DC Comics, actually) and brand over the years, treating it as little more than an afterthought when MAD should've been doing what Cracked eventually did as a website, only years earlier.

  120. Josh Steinberg

    C) No one is pushing anything
    D) Customers have spoken with their wallets that in general they prefer low cost subscriptions over individual purchases.

    I agree with D, but I don't agree with C. I do think consumer interest was always trending toward streaming, especially for Millennials and Gen Z.

    But studios have certainly worked to nudge consumers along: The digital streaming version is almost always available for sale weeks before the physical media release. Movies that are only available to buy on DVD and/or Blu-ray increasingly have a 4K streaming version available. TV shows that are only available on DVD are available in HD through the digital copies.

  121. I doubt this is a "tail wagging the dog" type of evil genius thing going on.

    More likely the movie companies are just a symptom of the "problem". Basically a delayed feedback reaction loop.

  122. Adam Lenhardt

    I agree with D, but I don't agree with C. I do think consumer interest was always trending toward streaming, especially for Millennials and Gen Z.

    But studios have certainly worked to nudge consumers along: The digital streaming version is almost always available for sale weeks before the physical media release. Movies that are only available to buy on DVD and/or Blu-ray increasingly have a 4K streaming version available. TV shows that are only available on DVD are available in HD through the digital copies.

    I don’t disagree with any of that but I think there’s also some market forces at play there. It turns out that, in terms of sales, TV on Blu-ray was never a good seller. I think what happened was that TV on DVD had exaggerated sales because now you could catch up and binge things like “24” all at once, but that it turned out that most consumers didn’t rewatch a lot of those purchases. That’s an area where Netflix streaming was an instant hit with people, and I think the TV on DVD audience largely migrated to streaming, maybe even ahead of the movie crowd. So in the case of that product category, I think we don’t get a lot of TV shows on BD cause the sales numbers have been abysmal. (When a big hit like Star Trek The Next Generation only sells a couple thousand copies on BD, that says something.) There’s a little bit of a market for DVD versions still because of the shrinking crowd of people who can’t/won’t stream and who never really embraced HD, and therefore aren’t being served by streaming or BD, but it’s not an infinite group.

    I think we’re seeing a similar thing play out with 4K and movies. There are fewer 4K replication lines than BD and DVD, and mastering and replication costs are higher. Sales potentials are lower. It’s probably a combination of factors from replicators giving availability priority to the largest clients for the largest print runs to studios exercising caution in the face of reduced demand.

    Speaking from experience, it can be catastrophic to the bottom line to produce copies of a title on physical media, go through the hassle of distributing them around the country, and then have to accept significant returns and/or authorize significant discounting if the sales don’t materialize. I think that’s caused some decision makers to be over cautious in deciding that the risk isn’t worth it.

  123. Josh Steinberg

    I think we’re seeing a similar thing play out with 4K and movies. There are fewer 4K replication lines than BD and DVD, and mastering and replication costs are higher. Sales potentials are lower. It’s probably a combination of factors from replicators giving availability priority to the largest clients for the largest print runs to studios exercising caution in the face of reduced demand.

    (On an aside).

    The primary reason why I didn't jump onto the 4Kbluray bandwagon back in 2016, was when I first heard that Sonopress was a big manufacturer of 4Kbluray discs. This was a huge non-starter for me.

    Going slightly back further in time, Sonopress had a lousy reputation for pressing bluray discs which "bronzed" prematurely very quickly. A large batch of Criterion bluray discs manfuactured around 2010 suffered this extreme indignity.

  124. Josh Steinberg

    The music industry meltdown after Napster showed that once consumers don’t think your product is worth what you’re asking, they’ll simply steal it.

    More than 20 years ago when I first visited Hong Kong and China, I then "saw" the future of the music business in america/europe. (My ex-wife was originally from HK, where we visited her old stomping grounds).

    Basically there wasn't much of a record business at all, other than tons of pirated discs eveywhere. I don't think I ever saw one legitimate non-pirated disc.

    Bascially rockstars had to play tons of concerts all year round, for a middle class income.

    Fastforward to today, this seems to be the case in america/europe. Discs or no discs, rockstars have to play tons of concerts for a middle class income, when nobody is paying for any recorded music.

  125. jcroy

    More than 20 years ago when I first visited Hong Kong and China, I then "saw" the future of the music business in america/europe. (My ex-wife was originally from HK, where we visited her old stomping grounds).

    Basically there wasn't much of a record business at all, other than tons of pirated discs eveywhere. I don't think I ever saw one legitimate non-pirated disc.

    Bascially rockstars had to play tons of concerts all year round, for a middle class income.

    Fastforward to today, this seems to be the case in america/europe. Discs or no discs, rockstars have to play tons of concerts for a middle class income, when nobody is paying for any recorded music.

    That's not entirely true, at least in the U.S. Part of that income, ironically, comes from selling CDs for full profit at concerts. When they sell digital downloads they get only a fraction of that same sale due to e-tailers and overhead on EST. It can be a significant part of their tour income.

  126. Traveling Matt

    That's not entirely true, at least in the U.S. Part of that income, ironically, comes from selling CDs for full profit at concerts. When they sell digital downloads they get only a fraction of that same sale due to e-tailers and overhead on EST. It can be a significant part of their tour income.

    At times I wonder if rockstars make more $$$ from selling t-shirts than cds, at the merchandise table at their concerts.

  127. Back in the day when I use to go to rock concerts or nighclub gigs and checked out the merchandise table, I usually purchased the cds which were frequently not widely released. Mainly because the cds usually cost a lot less than the price of t-shirts.

    The t-shirt prices were usually very sky high, while the cds were only around $10 a pop. (I assume all that $10 went straight to the band).

  128. Josh Steinberg

    It’s not to save money on fees.

    Its because physical media sales were just over $3 billion last year, while subscription streaming revenue was nearly $16 billion. $3 billion, down from $20 billion a few short years ago. It’s because that disparity shows no signs of slowing. It’s because it doesn’t make sense for every company to continuously spend money on an infrastructure meant to handle ten times more demand than there actually is.

    Ten years ago, it was basically the other way around.

    I don’t understand why this has been so hard to convey. When you have a business that used to gross $20 billion a year that now only grosses $3 billion a year, something has changed dramatically. And when you have a new business that is eclipsing the old one so clearly, it demonstrates where the market is.

    The numbers aren’t this way because people don’t understand what discs offer or because they’ve been swindled into streaming. The numbers are this way because the average consumer is demonstrating a stronger preference for watching a program than they are for having a physical copy of it. And it’s not even close at this point.

    If you like movies enough to post on an Internet forum, you’re not an average consumer. If you like movies enough to collect discs, you’re not an average consumer. That doesn’t mean that it’s an invalid preference or a bad hobby. But you’re not in the mainstream for how most people are choosing to spend their entertainment dollars.

    I don’t mean to direct this at any one person in particular but over the past 24 hours, I’ve been flabbergasted at some of the commentary I’ve read here, on digital bits, on social media, where a small minority of disc supporters are loudly talking about streaming as if it’s a cult to rescue people from. This minority talks about streaming as if it simply doesn’t work and could never work and seem determined to ignore the reality that for most people, the transition from physical to digital has already begun (if it’s not already finished). It’s all a version of “Well I still buy discs, my shelves are full, so sales can’t possibly be down.” I’m stunned by how many people in this group want the perfect to be the enemy of the good. I’m stunned by how many people think it’s bad to have access to more content than ever before for less money than ever before. I just do not understand the hostility and the denial that these things actually do work as advertised more often than not. I’m not saying go streaming if you don’t want to. I am saying don’t tell me that streaming doesn’t work just because it’s not your preference.

    Josh, I agree with you completely on this.

    The industry has drastically changed. You can see it when you walk into a store and see the diminished aisles dedicated to discs compared to what was there 10 years ago.

    We, the collector, are dinosaurs.

  129. MatthewA

    I get the sense that some people actively want physical media to cease to exist at all independently of consumer demand.

    Yeah, there's a lot of this on this forum. It seems like a personal affront to some that physical discs still exist when their own interest in discs has waned.

  130. Optical media is very useful for archiving. The 'M' disk is more archival than film. Nothing beats it for digital archiving. Only drawback is limited storage. I like MP3 files instead of CD's, but still have a large collection of CD's from back in the day. With movies I like discs. But I'm old old cruster, so maybe that splains it.

  131. Malcolm R

    Yeah, there's a lot of this on this forum. It seems like a personal affront to some that physical discs still exist when their own interest in discs has waned.

    You really think that? I see more of that type of attitude towards streaming from people that want nothing, but physical discs.

  132. Ronald Epstein

    Josh, I agree with you completely on this.

    The industry has drastically changed. You can see it when you walk into a store and see the diminished aisles dedicated to discs compared to what was there 10 years ago.

    We, the collector, are dinosaurs.

    Dinosaurs?

    I archive / collect reel to reel tapes and small gauge movie film 8mm – 16mm. They are the real dinosaurs.

  133. Robert Crawford

    You really think that? I see more of that type of attitude towards streaming from people that want nothing, but physical discs.

    I'm sure there are extremes on both sides, as with any issue, anywhere.

  134. Malcolm R

    I'm sure there are extremes on both sides, as with any issue, anywhere.

    Sure in our current climate of the soft civil war America is in we got the 2 extremes, really just the 2 opposing views. No problem with viewpoints. But with 'cancel culture,' they only allow for one viewpoint.

  135. Malcolm R

    I'm sure there are extremes on both sides, as with any issue, anywhere.

    Malcolm,

    For the life of me, I don't see what you have stated from any current HTF member. Granted, there were a couple of former HTF members that might have been that way, but currently, I'm not seeing what you stated in your previous post. However, I've seen recent posts from "physical disc only" members that have been very critical of streaming and continue to downplay the benefits of streaming.

  136. I hope my posts aren’t being misconstrued. I’ve never been anti-disc. When I write about why things are happening, I’m just trying to bring context to the discussion. My discussion points for why the business is moving in this direction should not be taken as an endorsement of any one path.

    I’ve pointed out for a long time that streaming meets the needs of the average consumer, and that by virtue of us caring enough to post here that means we’re not average customers. I’ve also long stated that there’s an opportunity for physical to continue as a collector’s niche (just as laserdisc was a niche during the days of VHS), but that in order to keep it going, it means that with the number of units being made going down, we’re going to have to step up and vote with our dollars if we want it to continue as a viable niche.

    I think doing so will allow physical media to survive a bit longer, but will also cost more than perhaps the average enthusiast wants to pay. In this business right now, a sale is not a good sign. When companies like Twilight Time or Kino have a sale, it’s not out of the goodness of their hearts. It’s because they’ve invested in a title, it didn’t meet sales goals, and now there’s more inventory than they need costing money to store until it sells. The TT business model was viable based on selling all 3000 copies at full price; if it’s on sale, it’s not good. When Kino does a going out of print sale, it’s more often that the title isn’t selling, not that the license has expired. When Amazon sells new discs for $5, it often means that their stock of the title isn’t moving and that the studio has agreed to take a loss and let them liquidate their stock rather than initiate a wholesale return for units that have little or no value. When we see a new release we want and then say, “I’ll wait for the sale,” the message being received is “the demand isn’t there for this title.” When we see product specs and say, “this doesn’t include everything I want, I won’t buy until they redo it,” the studio doesn’t think that there’s something wrong with the product, they think that there’s no market for it.

    If we want this thing to continue on, we’re going to be asked to pay full price more often and those prices might have to go up. We’ve been very lucky for a long time because the general public has subsidized our hobby by buying the quantities needed to keep the prices down. That subsidy is vanishing.

    Try to look at the situation from the perspective of the studios and boutique labels. For years, they’ve announced titles and had both prior experience and sales surveys saying that people are interested in certain titles. They monitor social media and sites like this and see people say that those titles are day one purchases. And then they go out and do the disc and the numbers just aren’t there, they just don’t match what people say they’re going to buy. I’ve seen that side of it and it’s not a fun place to be. It’s like hosting a party that people RSVP to and then don’t show up for. Eventually you’ll go bankrupt pouring your money into catering that no one shows up to eat.

    But I see encouraging signs because releases can happen when people put their money where their mouths are. I’m heartened by Bob Furmanek’s recent fundraiser to save African Screams. That movie has fallen into the public domain meaning that it’s harder to protect a restoration from theft but this could work for titles under copyright. Bob explained what it would take to restore the film, how much it would cost, and used Kickstarter to presell copies at $35 – basically an undiscounted retail price. If enough people preordered and paid up front, he’d be able to afford to do the work; if they didn’t, he wouldn’t be able to. And with that transparency of “this is what it will take” along with a deadline of “we need to do this now before the film itself decomposes,” people showed interest and paid up front. I think he raised four times the minimum amount he needed, and with every extra dollar was able to commit to creating bonus features. It’s going to be a phenomenal release. And in the end, it didn’t require anything unreasonable from anyone. It just required people who said they wanted it to commit to it up front. And, being informed of those conditions, the audience showed up.

    So I’m not against disc and I’m not wishing for any one particular outcome. But it just naturally stands to reason that if far fewer people are gonna care about discs, the few that do remain are going to have to care more and show that support with their wallets for the format to remain viable.

  137. As long as they don't reach the ridiculous levels of laserdisc prices, that's fine with me. $5 discs have been around a while though, I never thought Blu-Rays would drop that low but they have for non-clearance titles. Laserdisc prices never dropped until the end of the format, but a few years into DVD the studios started dropping prices on those after they'd been out a while- and I thought the original prices from most labels were already reasonable as they were. If they didn't want people to "wait for the price drop" then they shouldn't have done those in the first place.

  138. I think it will be very interesting to see how this physical media v digital media dynamic develops.

    In my opinion what will happen is if the streaming avenue becomes very lucrative (Netflix still deep in the red) is the studios will just refuse to licence their films to streaming services and just do it themselves once it becomes cost effective (Like Disney now). The longer they wait the cheaper it will become to implement this. At the moment all the streaming businesses including the new companies are growing this new market at their own expense with Netflix seemingly investing the most cash in this service so far to the best of my knowledge.

    Does anyone think the studios are stupid?

    We can argue that they are philistines but poor businessman they are certainly not.

    Therefore, what I think will eventually happen is perhaps all the major studios streaming their own content with a few independent streaming service companies competing in the market which will probably result in:

    1. Significantly increased prices for downloads and streaming content due to monopoly/lack of competition
    2. Exclusive content with each company (no option of everything from one provider)
    3. Limited time content such as 30 days to purchase before film expires/no longer available and other such scams etc.

    I personally think Netflix will survive despite their current astronomical debts as they are starting to make/produce their own movies which will obviously give them the power to stream their own movies without licensing to anyone else exclusively. As long as they are run by top mangement and avoid some huge mistakes they have a good chance of surviving and flourishing.

    It may turn out that one of the major studios buys out Netflix or they buy out some of/if not all of the smaller streaming services out there.

    This brings us to physical media.

    In my opinion it will be cheaper or similar cost to buy physical content as opposed to digital in the future which I think will help physical media to continue to have a market for a while yet. It will get cheaper to press discs and manufacture them over time as with any other technology. UHD will come down in price over time once the technology is more widely adopted etc.

    However, I do feel that we have been or are currently in the golden age of physical home media particularly Blu Ray/DVD with a lot of competing businesses trying to get their decent share of the market offering a plethora of content including a lot of obscure films. I'm not sure if 4k UHD will hit the same heights as its predecessors.

    I personally feel in a few years that many blu ray/physical media firms will simply go out of business as the market will probably continue to decline year on year as it has been doing for many years now. I fully expect to see at least 50% of the current companies offering physical blu ray films to close leaving only the major players such as Criterion who have been going a longtime and have a huge fan base developed all these years to compete with the major studios. It might be possible that the studios will not even bother with physical media eventually and just Criterion and a few others having a large slice of a small market.

    This is my view trying to look at it from a neutral perspective. I personally collect physical media (Blu Ray) obsessively and would obviously like the market including UHD to flourish but obviously the world does not have the same interests as I have and so you need to be objective with looking at the market.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to both physical and digital media so unless some streaming company can offer a vast library of all the major films made since the beginning of cinema and at a reasonable price/subscription monthly fee then I think both will survive and keep each other in check.

    We will see.

  139. UHD has nowhere to go but up simply because it's new. If it does go up, its sales will hurt DVD more than Blu-ray. After that, there'll have to actually be 8k content before you can even think about a format on which to put it.

  140. MatthewA

    UHD has nowhere to go but up simply because it's new. If it does go up, its sales will hurt DVD more than Blu-ray. After that, there'll have to actually be 8k content before you can even think about a format on which to put it.

    What is your logic for that conclusion? Those that are going to buy UHD have already forsaken DVD, unless a film title is only available in the DVD format.

  141. I actually think DVD is more likely to be the last physical format that survives. The numbers aren’t trending in a great direction for any disc format long term. DVD still has the largest consumer install base. For circumstances where streaming isn’t used, it’s more likely to be because someone never moved past DVD.

    There is a small but relatively robust specialty market for DVD coming from places where picture quality isn’t a consideration and where streaming is not yet practical. For example, schools. It’s still easier in a lot of schools to wheel in a cart with a TV and DVD player to show something than it is to install WiFi and streaming boxes. People who check out physical media at public libraries statistically are much more likely to be watching on DVD.

    DVD has value as a lowest common denominator and that’s what will likely keep it afloat as the last physical format. By the time we get there, they won’t be moving many units, but I think that’ll be the last one to go.

  142. Josh Steinberg

    I actually think DVD is more likely to be the last physical format that survives. The numbers aren’t trending in a great direction for any disc format long term. DVD still has the largest consumer install base. For circumstances where streaming isn’t used, it’s more likely to be because someone never moved past DVD.

    There is a small but relatively robust specialty market for DVD coming from places where picture quality isn’t a consideration and where streaming is not yet practical. For example, schools. It’s still easier in a lot of schools to wheel in a cart with a TV and DVD player to show something than it is to install WiFi and streaming boxes. People who check out physical media at public libraries statistically are much more likely to be watching on DVD.

    DVD has value as a lowest common denominator and that’s what will likely keep it afloat as the last physical format. By the time we get there, they won’t be moving many units, but I think that’ll be the last one to go.

    There you go with another anti-disc post.;):laugh:

  143. While I won't buy anything on DVD unless I absolutely must, I tend to agree that DVD could survive.

    I know a few people that have older televisions, are not into the home theater experience, have not adopted to Blu-ray and still buy DVDs.

  144. If DVD survives well into this decade, it will likely be as a "court of last resort" for obscure movies and unreleased 1980s sitcoms shot on tape. Meanwhile, who's going to buy a DVD of a show you can already stream in HD or purchase in HD from iTunes?

    Robert Crawford

    What is your logic for that conclusion? Those that are going to buy UHD have already forsaken DVD, unless a film title is only available in the DVD format.

    And future adopters of UHD will likely do the same. Meanwhile, the only way Blu-ray will grow from here on in is if it replaces DVD in the places Josh mentioned. DVD has survived 10+ years of Blu-ray competition, but when it launched, streaming was still nothing then compared to what it is now and 4k was something only movie theaters had. People forget how quickly they stopped making laserdiscs after DVD came along, yet in this case they haven't abandoned the old format for the new one. Blu-ray also has more independent, foreign, and classic movies available than 4k, so that will probably be the format of choice for those for the foreseeable future.

  145. WillG

    Probably never seriously occurred to them that it was possible to own “Friends” on PM.

    And without all the commercials that chew up more and more time lately (or servers that can go down at any time)!

  146. The situation is comparable with Super Audio CD's. A correctly mastered SACD can provide a listening experience far superior to listening to the same album on vinyl or regular compact disc, akin to listening the original master studio tapes. Sony made an effort 20 years ago to launch the format but only a small fraction of music listeners had playback equipment that could play SACDs. They were often considerably more expensive than regular CDs and needed a dedicated SACD player. So after five years Sony pulled the plug. Today there are two or three manufacturers making limited runs of SACDs and they sell like hot cakes to collectors. Just last month I purchased two Bill Evans SACDs that were only released on SACD in Japan. 99% of the population listens to music via streaming services but there is a small niche of serious audiophile collectors, who are still buying SACDs. Even blu-ray audio discs are still being released, to those with deep pockets and large amounts of shelf space!

    In a couple of years, only boutique blu-ray labels will remain and will be selling to collectors. Everyone else will be happy with streaming. And that's fine by me.

  147. View attachment 67427

    Ronald Epstein

    While I won't buy anything on DVD unless I absolutely must, I tend to agree that DVD could survive.

    I know a few people that have older televisions, are not into the home theater experience, have not adopted to Blu-ray and still buy DVDs.

    Colorized I Love Lucy episodes for example.
    I just got that DVD set.

  148. MatthewA

    They'll be sorry if books meet the same fate. Printed media isn't doing too hot if MAD Magazine went under.

    I'll guess that the most problematic case of this happening, is when extensively researched history books are no longer being published.

    A lot easier to "manipulate history" when there are no stable hardcopy records.

  149. Josh Steinberg

    I actually think DVD is more likely to be the last physical format that survives. The numbers aren’t trending in a great direction for any disc format long term. DVD still has the largest consumer install base. For circumstances where streaming isn’t used, it’s more likely to be because someone never moved past DVD.

    Unfortunately I would agree with this. The DVD-video and redbook audio CD formats becoming the "energizer bunny" and/or "cockroach" of the packaged media market.

    By sheer coincidence, they both also have no effective drm security at all and have no "revocation" mechanism (other than the disc rotting away).

  150. bmasters9

    And without all the commercials that chew up more and more time lately (or servers that can go down at any time)!

    Definitely have noticed that Hulu commercials have grown in length.

  151. MatthewA

    If DVD survives well into this decade, it will likely be as a "court of last resort" for obscure movies and unreleased 1980s sitcoms shot on tape. Meanwhile, who's going to buy a DVD of a show you can already stream in HD or purchase in HD from iTunes?

    Me !!!! 😉

    As a current real world example, so far I have not purchased The Big Bang Theory (TBBT) complete series in any format (neither discs nor digital). Currently I still watch the daily reruns on the tv in the background, when I get home every day.

    With that being said. In the hypothetical scenario were I to buy The Big Bang Theory complete series, most likely I would buy the dvd version and not the bluray nor digital versions.

    The primary reason for this, is that I do not want to spend 12+ hours checking and ripping all the 24+ bluray discs in the bluray complete series set of TBBT. For a two-layer bluray disc (up to 50 gigabytes per bluray disc), it takes around 30 minutes to rip the entire disc's iso to the computer. In contrast, a two-layer dvd disc (up to 9 gigabytes per disc) only takes around 11 minutes to rip an entire disc's iso to the computer.

    In addition, I'm not as critical in regard to picture quality when it comes to goofy sitcoms and generic dramas which are not scifi / superhero type stuff. (Scifi and other genre stuff is an entirely different matter when it comes to picture quality and writing quality).

  152. In the case of scfi and other genre type shows, I have largely exited the tv on bluray market for many reasons completely unrelated to picture quality. I wrote about this six months ago in another thread on here:

    https://www.hometheaterforum.com/co…v-shows-do-you-still-buy-on-dvd.362179/page-3

    My main issue with scifi / fantasy / superhero etc … type shows, is writing quality and execution. When the latter two factors fall by the wayside and/or flushed down the toilet completely, it drastically affects how I think about the show. No point in wasting cash on the blurays, when the show turned to shit in later seasons.

  153. I've been following a thread on Hi Def Forum for years that tracks Blu-ray/DVD sales. The numbers for 2019 are in this post:

    https://www.highdefforum.com/1425447-post5396.html

    From the post by Bruce Ames:

    Last week's numbers are in, so the 2019 totals are (in millions):
    OD: $3393.39 -17.6% YoY (last year YoY was -12.9%)
    DVD: $1792.13 -20.4% YoY (last year was -20.7%)
    Blu-ray $1601.28 -14.1% YoY (last year was -1.2%)
    Blu-ray share vs. DVD: 47.2% (last year was 45.3%)
    Box office power: -9.7% (last year was +15.2%)

    Main thread:

    https://www.highdefforum.com/high-d…-ray-dvd-digital-est-uv-sales-thread-361.html

  154. jcroy

    Me !!!! 😉

    The primary reason for this, is that I do not want to spend 12+ hours checking and ripping all the 24+ bluray discs in the bluray complete series set of TBBT. For a two-layer bluray disc (up to 50 gigabytes per bluray disc), it takes around 30 minutes to rip the entire disc's iso to the computer.

    As a concrete example of this, back in the day I purchased the three original Star Trek TOS bluray sets and the Stargate Universe season 1 bluray on the same day. As excited as I was at the time of purchase that day, my excitement was short lived when I got down to ripping all these bluray discs to the computer.

    It took me almost two days over several sessions to rip all 20+ discs to the computer, and to copy all the isos to an external hard drive. For the most part, it was a rather unpleasant experience overall.

    To add insult to injury, the external hard drive I copied all these ripped TOS and SGU iso files to, ended up abruptly dying two years later. Since then, I have not bothered ripping all these Star Trek bluray discs again. (In practice, I end up watching the semi-daily Star Trek reruns on various basic cable channels whenever I'm working from home).

    Never again. This is why I am very reluctant to buy bluray sets with a very large number of discs.

  155. TJPC

    And you don’t just play the discs because?….

    Pure laziness. Plain and simple. 😉

    Easier to just watch the semi-daily Star Trek reruns on a basic cable channel.

    This is the exact same reason why I listen to music on youtube, instead of playing the actual audio cd disc from my collection.

  156. Thanks for bringing up the question Terry. Now that I think about it more, this is a very excellent point regardless of whether your original intention was sarcasm or something else. 🙂

    In a more general sense, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the shift away from discs to flat-rate streaming has a lot to do with pure laziness.

    If this type of laziness can happen very easily to a hardcore disc collector person such as myself, then it can certainly happen for a lot of other people who have very little to no interest in cd/dvd/bluray discs.

  157. What you’re calling laziness is what another person might simply call “meeting their needs.”

    Just as you’re finding that you’re content with whatever TV show happens to be on when you turn on the box, or that you’re satisfied typing the name of a piece of music into the computer and having it just play, that’s where the average consumer is with streaming. They either have streaming built directly into their Smart TV or have a box attached, they have a service to a subscription like Netflix or Amazon Prime, they see a list of what’s available and pick from that and move on.

    I know you weren’t meaning anything negative by calling this “laziness” but I’m just not sure I’d do the same. To return to my earlier example of how I wanted to rewatch Frasier, almost bought the show on disc, and then realized it was being offered on three different services I already had… it’s just a better use of resources, including money and time. What’s the smarter move? “Spend money to buy something, wait for it to arrive, then watch”? Or, “turn on TV right now, press button, watch immediately for free”?

    That’s why you’re not going to win the general public back to physical media as the default or first choice viewing method. From their perspective, their smart TV and subscriptions already give them what they want. Why should they go out and buy a disc of something that’s already right there on their TV? Is “Frasier” more real on disc than on streaming? Of course not.

    That’ll leave discs for people like us who are enthusiasts who care about specific details of the experience that just aren’t important to most viewers. I’m okay with this. I think it’s great that the general public’s needs are being met with services and technology that offer them a good product at a reasonable cost, and I’m glad to have access to those resources while also being able to use discs when I want.

  158. Josh Steinberg

    What you’re calling laziness is what another person might simply call “meeting their needs.”

    That, exactly.

    I was talking with a coworker who was complaining about Apple and co shoving streaming down everyone's throats. I pointed out that it's the opposite: streaming content has started from smaller players, and the mass market — huge numbers of non-technophile people — actively chose streaming over discs. (And Apple per se was late to the game, reacting to the shifting market damaging their digital sales).

    People are choosing streaming over physical media because they prefer it, for whatever reasons.

    Probably, in part, because physical media sucks. Blu-ray in particular was designed first to protect the content; the user's experience was obviously an afterthought. As such, blu-ray is pretty user hostile. Endless forced trailers. That sometimes download in real time making it both slower and lower quality. Bloated javascript code running the disc that took years before players weren't painfully slow to load discs. Still the tedium of FBI warnings telling people who bought discs they really should buy discs on penalty of prosecution. Unending artificial price premiums on the media. And you don't own the media, you merely license it (legally) — up until the disc gets scratched and it won't play and then you own it because a licensor would merit a free new copy of the licensed content.

    And that's without even getting to the $$$ advantages of streaming over $30+ discs.

    So yeah. Streaming. I get it. The blood of physical media's demise is from the studios slitting their own throats over making expensive, user-hostile formats.

    (But, I still buy somewhat because it's at present higher quality, all the special features, and I can rip to a media center. But streaming is the future.)

  159. DaveF

    Probably, in part, because physical media sucks. Blu-ray in particular was designed first to protect the content; the user's experience was obviously an afterthought. As such, blu-ray is pretty user hostile. Endless forced trailers. That sometimes download in real time making it both slower and lower quality. Bloated javascript code running the disc that took years before players weren't painfully slow to load discs. Still the tedium of FBI warnings telling people who bought discs they really should buy discs on penalty of prosecution. Unending artificial price premiums on the media. And you don't own the media, you merely license it (legally) — up until the disc gets scratched and it won't play and then you own it because a licensor would merit a free new copy of the licensed content.

    DVD would have been like this too, if the css encryption system was not completely cracked entirely.

    When css was cracked entirely in 1999, all the other junk was easily nullified in one fell swoop.

    https://www.afterdawn.com/glossary/term.cfm/puo

  160. And maybe UHD is more user friendly than BD. I don’t have a player so don’t know. But it appears to be too late, against the simplicity of streaming and its cost and selection benefits.

    Physical media isn’t truly dead — not just yet. As many point out, 25+ Mbps home service isn’t universal. My BIL lives just outside of Indy, surrounded by Comcast. But he can only get 3Mbps. So he keeps buying discs, and just bought into 4K. There’s a lot of people with money to spend on movies but who can’t get streaming-quality internet service.

  161. TJPC

    And you don’t just play the discs because?….

    In the case of the Star Trek and Stargate Universe bluray sets, I watched through all 4 sets at the time when I first purchased them.

    Since then, I have only watched through the Stargate Universe bluray set another 3 times. I haven't watched through the StarTrek ones a third time (yet).

  162. Streaming is actually becoming an environmental concern due to the massive energy soaking, heat producing, server farms that are required to sustain the services. The streaming industry may eventually die if they cannot do something about the ridiculous amounts of energy required for air conditioning and servers.

  163. jcroy

    Set up servers in Siberia or Antarctica ?

    :banana:

    That is actually what they are doing. Not so much as Siberia or Antarctica, but they actually have located server farms in perceived cooler climate areas because cooling loads are reduced. Canada is one of them. However, it will not be a sustainable solution if streaming demand keeps increasing. if the energy sucking load of streaming servers cannot be managed or solved, discs may make a comeback in the future.

  164. Edwin-S

    if the energy sucking load of streaming servers cannot be managed or solved, discs may make a comeback in the future.

    I would be somewhat skeptical of it happening in this exact manner. It sounds too much like the wishful thinking fantasies of a hardcore disc collector. 😉

  165. jcroy

    I would be somewhat skeptical of it happening in this exact manner. It sounds too much like the wishful thinking fantasies of a hardcore disc collector. 😉

    :laugh: Not me. My purchasing of discs has fallen precipitously. For example, I see zero reason to purchase any of Disney's overpriced product with the advent of their streaming service. However, who knows what the future holds if streaming cannot manage its energy requirements and the cost of internet service keeps going up.

  166. Edwin-S

    :laugh: Not me. My purchasing of discs has fallen precipitously. For example, I see zero reason to purchase any of Disney's overpriced product with the advent of their streaming service. However, who knows what the future holds if streaming cannot manage its energy requirements and the cost of internet service keeps going up.

    It might not even be discs. It could be something else.

    For example as a hypothetical scenario, it could be an app on a cellphone or usb flash drive which one downloads an encrypted movie file to from an offline kiosk at wallyworld or target.

  167. jcroy

    It might not even be discs. It could be something else.

    For example as a hypothetical scenario, it could be an app on a cellphone or usb flash drive which one downloads an encrypted movie file to from an offline kiosk at wallyworld or target.

    Possible, but I doubt any kiosk with downloadable content would be offline. Using an online server to update the available content files would be just too tempting to do cost-wise which sort of makes kiosks pointless when content could be downloaded directly to a cell phone app from a company's server.

  168. "Meanwhile, who's going to buy a DVD of a show you can already stream in HD or purchase in HD from iTunes?"

    That's a real conundrum for me, because for practical (and political) reasons I'd choose the DVD, but quality-wise the itunes would be better though not quite as good as a Blu-Ray. In most cases, I'll just choose neither.

    DaveF

    As such, blu-ray is pretty user hostile. Endless forced trailers. That sometimes download in real time making it both slower and lower quality. Bloated javascript code running the disc that took years before players weren't painfully slow to load discs. Still the tedium of FBI warnings telling people who bought discs they really should buy discs on penalty of prosecution.

    The first Blu-Rays were pretty bad with loading time, but that hasn't seemed to be much of an issue lately. It seems only advanced features require loading, and then the discs load only when you actually access those features. The forced warnings and trailers are user-hostile; Paramount still forces you to play their opening logo (which is separate from the movie, but you'll usually see it again there) before you can do anything which is ridiculous. Still, there's nothing I hate more than streaming kicking you out of the movie early or suggesting you skip the intros (the option to do that is fine, but I usually watch them anyways and I don't want to see that silly "Skip Intro" prompt appear.) Ironically they will probably also force more trailers and ads before you can start a show in the future.

  169. Jesse Skeen

    "Meanwhile, who's going to buy a DVD of a show you can already stream in HD or purchase in HD from iTunes?"

    That's a real conundrum for me, because for practical (and political) reasons I'd choose the DVD …

    Can you elaborate more on these "practical / political" reasons ? (ie. Without going into current realworld politics).

  170. Intro skip and credit skip can be helpful when bingeing a series. I’ve not seen skip intro for a (streaming) movie. Credit end on movies isn’t awesome and should at least be an option to disable. But I don’t think most people care. (I’m mixed , but I did sit through full credits today rewatching Kung Fu Panda 2 & 3.)

    This is why, right now, I like having an HTPC. All the benefits of discs. All the benefits of streaming. (The cost is my time ripping and managing content.)

  171. I don’t think most people care about the credits – and certainly not the point of building an HTPC to get out of them. HTPC is wonderful for enthusiasts but I don’t see the average consumer adopting it. It presents some of the same obstacles present in physical media that streaming solved for them – I don’t think the average consumer wants to buy physical content and have to digitize it, and I don’t think they want the added hassle of buying and maintaining hard drives and computer server software, and then still being responsible for storing the discs and the drives. The average consumer likes that they can press a button on their remote and find something to watch instantly, usually at a flat rate subscription price. HTPC brings back physical media hassles, storage hassles, and a la carte pricing, all things that the average consumer left behind (maybe even years ago) by switching to a subscription.

    What concerns me about HTPC is how easy it makes it to organize and access pirated content. Does anyone have statistics on whether more Plex/Emby/whatever users are using their own legal backups of discs they own and still possess, or whether most users are using the system for pirated content, or selling their discs after ripping them?

  172. Josh Steinberg

    What concerns me about HTPC is how easy it makes it to organize and access pirated content. Does anyone have statistics on whether more Plex/Emby/whatever users are using their own legal backups of discs they own and still possess, or whether most users are using the system for pirated content, or selling their discs after ripping them?

    I have talked with people that use PCs for content and, frankly, the few I have talked to download content off the web. They certainly were not ripping their own discs. "Free" is a big temptation to a lot of people. Personally, I wouldn't do it, because of concern with getting a load of malware along with the supposedly "free" content.

  173. DaveF

    Intro skip and credit skip can be helpful when bingeing a series.

    But discs also let you do that, yet they don't prompt you to skip anything if you actually want to watch the entire thing straight through. Believe it or not I often watch some series one episode per day, and even watching multiples it doesn't feel complete if the end credits are cut off (many shows have different music playing over the end) and skipping the intro just feels rushed. Sometimes I actually like to hear the theme music repeatedly, that's why I have an awesome sound system! When I first saw that "Skip Intro" pop up on "Stranger Things" I immediately said "No, just no."

    jcroy

    Can you elaborate more on these "practical / political" reasons ? (ie. Without going into current realworld politics).

    Practically, it's still easiest for me to play a disc. It's just the way I've always done it for decades. While connection problems are increasingly rare they do still happen where I am and I have to reboot the router to get it working. Politically, I own the discs and barring any defects can watch them at any time- they can't be pulled offline or have any content change, and nobody can insert any onscreen prompts telling me to skip parts (but yes, it is pretty annoying when you have to sit through a warning screen or whatever- but being forced to choose one or the other I'll still take that.) Overall discs are still a much better value- I've seen TV seasons for sale on Vudu for about what a disc would cost; I just don't see as much value in that. I did buy a Showtime series for $5 on sale which wasn't available on disc at all, which was a decent deal.

    Another shortcoming of streaming that nobody seems to notice is the frame rate on video-based material is usually wrong. Every old videotaped sitcom I've seen online is at a jerky frame rate when it should look like a live broadcast, and does on discs (except in cases like "Laugh-In" where they screwed it up.) It's possible now to do high frame rate via streaming but I've never seen it used when sampling shows online. I flip through the Xumo channels on my LG TV once per week and a lot of the news channels look awful with the lower frame rate.

  174. I have fast broadband and stream Prime and Netflix with no problems, in fact we often stream 3 or 4 devices at the same time. I had intended to buy Phantom Thread which i would have watched and added to my library but watched it on Netflix and didn't enjoy it enough to buy the disc. Streaming has changed the behaviour of this disc fan and disc sales have slipped by one. My young son streams a film that he owns on disc because it is more convenient. I wouldn't watch a film on phone or tablet but want to see it on the biggest screen possible. The world has changed and discs will eventually die. Friends of mine own discs (none have 4k) but none are collectors.

  175. Jesse Skeen

    But discs also let you do that, yet they don't prompt you to skip anything if you actually want to watch the entire thing straight through.

    Sure. It's about what annoyances you personally accept or reject most. I've watched seasons on disc, on TiVo (with and without ad-skip), and on streaming (with and without ads). All are fine, none are perfect. I'll take the skip intro graphic over the relatively higher hassle of discs. If it's a new release show, I'll typically prefer TiVo (esp. with ad skip) over streaming, because that's even more responsive. But sometimes a secondary channel is even more compressed than a streaming source, so I have to consider whether to watch a show I'm recording instead by streaming. Folks gonna pick their preferred approach.

    Jesse Skeen

    Practically, it's still easiest for me to play a disc. It's just the way I've always done it for decades.

    Watching my 10 year old nieces navigate my dad's (their grandfather) new Roku to bring up Disney+ to watch specific episodes selected from four seasons of "Jessie", it's clear that streaming is the future. These young girls will never say "it's still easiest to play a disc". I'm not sure they even know how to play a DVD or Blu-ray, but they're champs with creating profiles in a streaming service and finding the content they care about at home and away. They understand that streaming is streaming, and if grandpa gets a Roku, they can watch their shows at his house now too. 🙂

    As I tell a coworker, in good humor but seriously, when he's ranting about streaming music services: You're getting old. We who grew up with physical media I estimate are more prone to stay with it longer, hang on to it, to be the ones keep the product alive. It what we know and are most comfortable with.

    But also: talking with coworkers in their 30s and younger, broadly speaking they don't do physical media. Cable subs are decreasing for them too. It's streaming. Offering to lend them the Blu-ray Discs for a show that they're interested in is met with blank eyes as they slowly back away from the crazy old man. 🙂

    Physical media might be here to stay, but it's not a growth industry.

  176. DaveF

    Physical media might be here to stay, but it's not a growth industry.

    Yes, and expect disc prices to start rising. As fewer and fewer people stick with discs, distributors are going to have to increase prices to remain profitable. It's heading back to the days of laserdisc.

  177. DaveF

    . Still the tedium of FBI warnings telling people who bought discs they really should buy discs on penalty of prosecution.

    And it is ironic that digital is much easier to steal and distribute than a clunky disc any day of the week.

    Where are the FBI warnings on easy as pie digital platforms? It really seems like physical collectors are dealt an unfair hand.

  178. DaveF

    I'm not sure they even know how to play a DVD or Blu-ray, but they're champs with creating profiles in a streaming service and finding the content they care about at home and away.

    Just wait til the content they care about goes off the streaming services for one reason or another. And if it was never issued on disc, they'll likely just not get to see it again, ever.

    Bryan^H

    And it is ironic that digital is much easier to steal and distribute than a clunky disc any day of the week.

    I haven't found that to be the case personally (and I know this is a largely verboten topic here so I won't say too much about it) but I have found places to see "stolen" Netflix content online for free- the quality isn't as good, but at least it's free of the annoyances inserted by the current Netflix interface. They may be stealing the content but at least people get properly credited there! And speaking of stealing, that's one reason studios should be eager to get rid of regular DVDs, Blu-Rays aren't as easy or cheap to crack and I wouldn't even be able to try with a 4K disc.

    I liked the linked article- even disregarding the annoyances from some streaming services you have to subscribe to more of them to get exclusive content, and overall it's cheaper for me in the long run to pay just for the specific shows or movies that I want be it on disc or digital. I wish services like Vudu had a cheaper way to get current shows, like subscribing to them but not "owning" them forever- maybe just get access to the past few weeks' episodes, which would let you see them faster than waiting for a season set on disc to come out a few months later if at all.

  179. Jesse Skeen

    Just wait til the content they care about goes off the streaming services for one reason or another. And if it was never issued on disc, they'll likely just not get to see it again, ever.

    Then it will be like it was back when my grandparents were young. Once something was gone from the theaters, you generally never saw it again until tv became a widespread reality in the 1950s.

  180. DaveF

    But also: talking with coworkers in their 30s and younger, broadly speaking they don't do physical media. Cable subs are decreasing for them too. It's streaming. Offering to lend them the Blu-ray Discs for a show that they're interested in is met with blank eyes as they slowly back away from the crazy old man. 🙂

    I think there are specific reasons beyond streaming’s pricing and convenience advantages for why that is. The economy has changed, and the goals and opportunities for people in their 30s and younger have changed from what was available to previous generations.

    In a previous generation, the “standard” was that most people would find stable work at a long term employer and then be able to set down roots in a specific place, perhaps buying a house, which encourages the collecting of physical items of any sort.

    In today’s so-called “gig economy,” a lot of younger people aren’t finding opportunities for permanent, full time work with a single employer. They’re working for a fixed period and hoping to get a contract renewed after that, or juggling several jobs to make ends meet, or doing work for companies that treat them as independent contractors with no benefits rather than as employees. Under those conditions, it’s much harder to lay down roots. It’s hard to even consider buying a house if you don’t know where the next paycheck comes from, or if you’re doing fine now but have no job security to back it up. A lot of younger people are living at home longer and/or renting out rooms and/or choosing apartments with shorter lease periods. There are a lot of people that need to stay nimble and flexible to stay afloat, and having a large collection of physical objects of any kind becomes a hindrance to that.

    My last peer who collected physical media just gave it up. He met someone he wanted to share his life with and got an apartment with her in a place they had both always wanted to live, and that simply wasn’t going to be possible with a collection of thousands of discs. I’m in a similar boat myself where I’ve ripped a large percentage of my collection to a home theater PC in part because my collection was growing larger than my ability to afford housing in my city large enough to hold it. But we were the outliers; most people aren’t even trying to cram this stuff and carry it with them.

    I remember way back around 2013 when the Blu-rays of Star Trek The Next Generation were coming out and I had a coworker a little younger than me who was a big fan of the show, and I was telling me that he had to buy these. He asked me why. I said because he was such a fan of the show, that the discs looked and sounded amazing, surely he’d like to have them. And he said that he didn’t need to buy them, he had all the episodes already. I asked what he meant, and he said that they were all on Netflix, and all on Amazon Prime, that they were adding the remastered versions as they were being released on disc. He could already watch them whenever he wanted at no cost, and why should he spend extra money for something he already had? At the time, I argued that he didn’t have them, as if streaming wasn’t real or didn’t count somehow. In hindsight, it’s my position that didn’t age well. I was actually trying to argue with a guy that streaming didn’t count. Meanwhile, flash forward a few years and its me that looks silly. At least one disc in every single season set of that show I own has gone bad. My ownership of a physical object did not grant me unlimited access. And it’s still streaming on those same services working just fine.

    I see echos of that conversation rippling across HTF and among physical media collectors across the internet. Some of the biggest collectors are making argument after argument that streaming isn’t real, doesn’t work and doesn’t count and in dismay that no one else is recognizing that, while the people who have moved on to include streaming in their arsenal of tools are starting to get frustrated that collectors are telling them that they’re not watching the movie that they have on right in front of their eyes.

    From my perspective, I’m having a hard time understanding why so many collectors refuse to see that streaming does meet the needs of most average consumers. Acknowledging that doesn’t make disc collecting any less valid as a hobby. Recognizing someone else had a good reason to make a different choice for themselves doesn’t mean that your choice was a bad one for you.

    To bring it back to the thread title: it’s not that physical media has no place in the 21st century. It’s that physical media is returning to its original position as a niche market for hobbyists rather than a mass produced consumer product for the general public.

  181. Sam Posten

    Time for Lionsgate, Paramount, Criterion and all TV shows to get on the Movies Anywhere bandwagon.

    I'd like to add MGM and STX to that list. To have Universal distribute for both studios and only offer ATV (formerly iTunes) codes is confusing for the average consumer.

  182. Bryan^H

    And it is ironic that digital is much easier to steal and distribute than a clunky disc any day of the week.

    Not to my understanding. Discs are easy to copy by enthusiasts. Streaming is hard and not readily done by enthusiasts. Both are equally easy to pirate once someone has illicitly posted it online.

    Jesse Skeen

    Just wait til the content they care about goes off the streaming services for one reason or another. And if it was never issued on disc, they'll likely just not get to see it again, ever.

    Sure. And just wait until discs die of bit rot or are scratched or otherwise stop playing for one reason or another. <shrug>

    I think the handwringing over streaming services removing content is much ado about nothing. And at present obviously not happening. There’s no money in it.

    Content may change services as contracts settle out. But that’s a matter of canceling one service and subscribing to a different one. Tedious perhaps. But people haven’t lost The Office or Friends, it’s just in different places. And this will presumably stabilize in the coming years as companies stabilize and become entrenched.

  183. Worth

    Yes, and expect disc prices to start rising. As fewer and fewer people stick with discs, distributors are going to have to increase prices to remain profitable. It's heading back to the days of laserdisc.

    That’s an interesting speculation. Could be, could be. <strokes chin thoughtfully>

  184. DaveF

    That’s an interesting speculation. Could be, could be. <strokes chin thoughtfully>

    They're already staying fairly high compared to years prior. New Blu-ray releases that would typically sell for $20 or less the first week are routinely selling for $23-25, with 4K Blu-rays selling for $30 when they used to debut at $20-25.

  185. Josh Steinberg

    I think there are specific reasons beyond streaming’s pricing and convenience advantages for why that is. The economy has changed, and the goals and opportunities for people in their 30s and younger have changed from what was available to previous generations.

    In a previous generation, the “standard” was that most people would find stable work at a long term employer and then be able to set down roots in a specific place, perhaps buying a house, which encourages the collecting of physical items of any sort.

    I’m not disagreeing on the profound impact the Great Recession made to the millennials in general.

    But anecdotally, I’m talking with young professionals with stable, long-term careers and aren’t in a “gig” job. And they’re moving away from physical media too. Now, they do have jobs with relocations every two to eight years, and that might motivate against accumulating discs and cds.

    As you say, even setting aside jobs and career issues, streaming has appeal per se to people. Your STTNG anecdote is spot on. It’s all there online and it’s basically free.

  186. Sam Favate

    It’s 2022. I don’t know if I’ll ever own a house, but I can own my favorite television shows in their entirety.

    Yeah, your favorites, maybe. That's no comfort to anyone whose favorite show stalled at season 1 or 2 and is only available on streaming with some of the episodes missing a few minutes. That is, if they are even on streaming at all.

    Here's a link for non-NYT subscribers.

    Though to be honest, at this point, it's hard to sympathize with anyone who didn't know these shows were available. A simple Internet search could have told you so.

  187. MatthewA

    Yeah, your favorites, maybe. That's no comfort to anyone whose favorite show stalled at season 1 or 2 and is only available on streaming with some of the episodes missing a few minutes. That is, if they are even on streaming at all.

    Here's a link for non-NYT subscribers.

    Even worse are shows which didn't release any seasons on dvd in america, but is/was availabe on reruns + streaming.

    For example, such as Cold Case which had tons of music over its seven seasons.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_Case

  188. One current tv show which I strongly suspect will never see the light of day on dvd / bluray is Stumptown.

    It has tons of music so far. The previews before the pilot had "Heartbreaker" by Pat Benatar.

    It appears to be owned by ABC and will most likely live on Disney's streaming services.

  189. I kinda wonder if the first generation which widely eschewed cd/dvd discs, is the demographic which was the first to embrace easy p2p file sharing programs back when they were in high school. Programs like Kazaa, Morpheus, Limewire, etc … back in the early->mid 2000s.

    The only such discs these folks might have had, was stuff like NSync, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Britney Spears, etc … Basically cds which were given to them by well-intentioned but misguided parents.

  190. DaveF

    Your STTNG anecdote is spot on. It’s all there online and it’s basically free.

    For now it is- and no subscription is really "free" and the prices will inevitably go up. I'm not a big Star Trek fan but if I were I would've bought the discs anyways, not only to get them in the best possible quality but also to truly have my own copies, which it seems "the kids these days" don't care about. I have a lot of my all-time favorite shows on disc to watch whenever I want, and if I were depending on streaming for them instead I'd already have paid a lot more for that than what I paid for the discs. I have a huge collection but I still gather I've paid less for them over 20 years than I would have for 20 years of cable TV, which I gave up on LONG ago.

    Streaming has its place (as long as it's free from the annoyances I've mentioned at least) but if you truly want to always have access to whatever your favorites are, you can't depend on it for that. (And as we've seen in some cases like The Simpsons, past episodes can be retroactively withdrawn.)

  191. Traveling Matt

    Discs = ownership.
    Streaming = access.

    This has always been the case, and this has always been the promise.

    I’m not sure that’s actually true, though I’ll totally concede that that’s what we’ve long thought. It also depends on whether you’re saying “streaming” as a catch-all for anything digital or only specifically for digital purchases. It is not fair to compare an a la carte disc purchase to a subscription service.

    I have a disc collection that includes well over a thousand titles. I’ve been slowly building a home theater PC and adding each disc to it. And, as I’ve done so, I’ve discovered that a not insignificant number of discs will no longer play. So what exactly do I own? A piece of plastic that’s no longer good? The retailers I’ve purchased them can’t replace them. The studios that put them out won’t replace them. Owning the physical object didn’t guarantee ownership.

    Meanwhile, TV episodes I purchased on iTunes back in 2006 play just fine. And when I’ve had trouble with iTunes purchases in the past (a very rare occurrence) Apple has stepped in to help regardless of when I purchased.

    Again, and I don’t know why I have to keep saying this lest I be labeled anti-disc, that doesn’t mean that discs are without merit or that digital is perfect. But I just don’t accept the premise that purchasing a physical items equals having permanent access to the content in a way that no other delivery method can provide.

    I think the bigger long term change, that’s getting obscured somewhat in the conversation about physical and digital, more important perhaps, is that it’s not just that the average consumer who drives market forces is moving away from discs… it’s that they’re moving away from purchasing single titles a la carte in favor of subscribing to a broad array of content for a low flat rate. That trend started back when disc was king, when Netflix pioneered the a la carte approach, and when subscription services displaced disc sales in the music industry. It’s now entering the realm of movie theaters where this country’s three major chains now offer subscription pricing in addition to individual ticket sales (and the subscription is often about or only slightly more than the same price as one regular ticket). Even sports teams are offering flat rate discount subscriptions in addition to traditional a la carte and season tickets, where you can pay a small monthly or yearly fee and then show up at the ballpark and have any open seat as part of that package.

    The larger trend that perhaps we’re missing or not paying as much attention to is that the general public is moving away from one time transactions for individual experiences. And in that context, it’s extremely unlikely that a la carte sales (whether on physical media or through digital storefronts like iTunes) will regain their footing and topple subscription sales. For the general public, the whole “physical vs digital” argument is beside the point. For them, the point is that they’re paying less for unlimited access to more, and that’s the better value for them. Most people don’t obsess over movies or TV. Most people can’t name individual episode titles or names of supporting actors. Most people going to watch a movie or show aren’t looking for a lifetime commitment to that one thing. And in that context, it seems pretty understandable why things are unfolding as they are, and why arguments (which may or may not be true) like “X format offers better quality than Y” or “this format is less likely to go bad than that format” aren’t of interest to the general consumer. They have a thing that works for them that they like. And while that may be different from what our preferences are, I think we need to respect that they have something that works for them or we’ll never get any further in this conversation.

    And to me, further is this: disc sales could either become like laserdisc, an expensive niche for serious enthusiasts where the product by necessity must be at a very high level to both appease that small group and justify the price, or they could disappear entirely if the remaining enthusiasts aren’t willing to pay more up front and show their support for the physical formats that do remain. I think it could go either way. Personally, of those options, I’d prefer discs remain as a niche rather than not at all.

  192. Malcolm R

    Top 25 best-selling discs in the US for 2019 (info from the-numbers.com). Units is combination of Blu-ray and DVD copies sold. Combined numbers on most titles generally comprise roughly 65% Blu-ray, and 35% DVD. I presume 4K is rolled into the Blu-ray numbers. https://www.the-numbers.com/home-market/packaged-media-sales/2019

    For catalog titles (The Goonies, Hocus Pocus), the numbers below seem to represent 2019 sales only. Interesting that some catalog titles are still selling a good number of copies. Probably somewhat due to re-release on 4K and/or blu-ray.

    View attachment 66875

    I only own 10 of those 25 titles.

    Mark

  193. Josh Steinberg

    I’m not sure that’s actually true, though I’ll totally concede that that’s what we’ve long thought. It also depends on whether you’re saying “streaming” as a catch-all for anything digital or only specifically for digital purchases. It is not fair to compare an a la carte disc purchase to a subscription service.

    I have a disc collection that includes well over a thousand titles. I’ve been slowly building a home theater PC and adding each disc to it. And, as I’ve done so, I’ve discovered that a not insignificant number of discs will no longer play. So what exactly do I own? A piece of plastic that’s no longer good? The retailers I’ve purchased them can’t replace them. The studios that put them out won’t replace them. Owning the physical object didn’t guarantee ownership.

    Meanwhile, TV episodes I purchased on iTunes back in 2006 play just fine. And when I’ve had trouble with iTunes purchases in the past (a very rare occurrence) Apple has stepped in to help regardless of when I purchased.

    Again, and I don’t know why I have to keep saying this lest I be labeled anti-disc, that doesn’t mean that discs are without merit or that digital is perfect. But I just don’t accept the premise that purchasing a physical items equals having permanent access to the content in a way that no other delivery method can provide.

    I think the bigger long term change, that’s getting obscured somewhat in the conversation about physical and digital, more important perhaps, is that it’s not just that the average consumer who drives market forces is moving away from discs… it’s that they’re moving away from purchasing single titles a la carte in favor of subscribing to a broad array of content for a low flat rate. That trend started back when disc was king, when Netflix pioneered the a la carte approach, and when subscription services displaced disc sales in the music industry. It’s now entering the realm of movie theaters where this country’s three major chains now offer subscription pricing in addition to individual ticket sales (and the subscription is often about or only slightly more than the same price as one regular ticket). Even sports teams are offering flat rate discount subscriptions in addition to traditional a la carte and season tickets, where you can pay a small monthly or yearly fee and then show up at the ballpark and have any open seat as part of that package.

    The larger trend that perhaps we’re missing or not paying as much attention to is that the general public is moving away from one time transactions for individual experiences. And in that context, it’s extremely unlikely that a la carte sales (whether on physical media or through digital storefronts like iTunes) will regain their footing and topple subscription sales. For the general public, the whole “physical vs digital” argument is beside the point. For them, the point is that they’re paying less for unlimited access to more, and that’s the better value for them. Most people don’t obsess over movies or TV. Most people can’t name individual episode titles or names of supporting actors. Most people going to watch a movie or show aren’t looking for a lifetime commitment to that one thing. And in that context, it seems pretty understandable why things are unfolding as they are, and why arguments (which may or may not be true) like “X format offers better quality than Y” or “this format is less likely to go bad than that format” aren’t of interest to the general consumer. They have a thing that works for them that they like. And while that may be different from what our preferences are, I think we need to respect that they have something that works for them or we’ll never get any further in this conversation.

    And to me, further is this: disc sales could either become like laserdisc, an expensive niche for serious enthusiasts where the product by necessity must be at a very high level to both appease that small group and justify the price, or they could disappear entirely if the remaining enthusiasts aren’t willing to pay more up front and show their support for the physical formats that do remain. I think it could go either way. Personally, of those options, I’d prefer discs remain as a niche rather than not at all.

    Well, nothing is forever of course. But there are optical media such as audio CDs that date back to the beginning of the format (ca 1982) and play just fine today. DVD hasn't had the same luck unfortunately and it's perhaps too early to tell with Blu-ray, but the tech is essentially the same and so should be the expectation generally. Some DVDs will probably still read thirty years from now, and amazingly I have no read issues with any of my discs AFAIK (but I have relatives who do so I know it's real).

    I wasn't using streaming as a catch-all, but since we're talking digital purchases (downloads) too, I'll compare. I too am working on a HTPC, and for me disc ownership has come to mean some new things. A, a hard copy that doesn't vaporize. B, a disc I can rip. C, data I can optimize as I see fit (export settings). D, the ability to do it all again if I need. E, doing it as soon as I purchase to avoid read issues later.

    Downloads are technically "ownership," yes, but severely compromised ownership compared to the above. And if I had some downloads (I don't) I'd have no idea where they might be in thirty years.

    Streaming, of course not being ownership in any way, doesn't even have a seat at the table. But I am not anti-streaming by any means. I'm pro-streaming. I love it. 95%+ of the content out there I don't care to own, but accessing it like regular folks who don't care to own 100% of the content works perfectly fine for me. And I agree it's not a physical vs. digital debate for regular folks. It's indeed more a matter of convenience for them, as it is for me with shows I don't care about.

    For shows I do care about, however, streaming isn't good enough.

  194. Traveling Matt

    Discs = ownership.
    Streaming = access.

    This has always been the case, and this has always been the promise.

    No it has not been. Before vhs/beta machines were on the market, it mind as well been only access semi-live and no ownership.

    The only viable "ownership" before vhs/beta, was if you had access to a film projector and stuff which was available on 8mm or 16mm film reels.

  195. I have a massive collection of CDs/DVDs/Blu rays. It would take the rest of my life to “rip them” to hard drives. I don’t mind streaming for shows that I intend to watch once on Netflix, etc. but until there is some sort of world library/data base that includes every classic movie and TV show, I intend to hang on to my discs. I’ll just have to put up with the occasional rotten one (none so far :wacko:!) as a risk I’ll have to take for the benefits of ownership. I’ve been collecting for 65+ years, and through CDrs have most of that collection in tact.

    Now, ask me in another life in a parallel world where streaming was available before I bought my first record!

  196. TJPC

    Now, ask me in another life in a parallel world where streaming was available before I bought my first record!

    Good point.

    If I was 20 years younger, during high school I would have grown up with easy downloading / streaming (both legal and illegal) for music and tv/movies.

    I don't know if I would have ever latched onto cd/dvd discs at all, if music and movies are "disposable" commodities (whether real or perceived).

  197. Josh Steinberg

    I think the bigger long term change, that’s getting obscured somewhat in the conversation about physical and digital, more important perhaps, is that it’s not just that the average consumer who drives market forces is moving away from discs… it’s that they’re moving away from purchasing single titles a la carte in favor of subscribing to a broad array of content for a low flat rate. That trend started back when disc was king, when Netflix pioneered the a la carte approach, and when subscription services displaced disc sales in the music industry. It’s now entering the realm of movie theaters where this country’s three major chains now offer subscription pricing in addition to individual ticket sales (and the subscription is often about or only slightly more than the same price as one regular ticket). Even sports teams are offering flat rate discount subscriptions in addition to traditional a la carte and season tickets, where you can pay a small monthly or yearly fee and then show up at the ballpark and have any open seat as part of that package.

    The larger trend that perhaps we’re missing or not paying as much attention to is that the general public is moving away from one time transactions for individual experiences. And in that context, it’s extremely unlikely that a la carte sales (whether on physical media or through digital storefronts like iTunes) will regain their footing and topple subscription sales.

    The only way this type of "bundling" can be stopped in its tracks and go back to a la carte, is if the government makes it illegal.

    Though I suspect even if this practice becomes legally banned, it would probably be "too little too late" for cd/dvd/bluray.

  198. Josh Steinberg

    I have a disc collection that includes well over a thousand titles. I’ve been slowly building a home theater PC and adding each disc to it. And, as I’ve done so, I’ve discovered that a not insignificant number of discs will no longer play. So what exactly do I own? A piece of plastic that’s no longer good? The retailers I’ve purchased them can’t replace them. The studios that put them out won’t replace them. Owning the physical object didn’t guarantee ownership.

    I suspect the only reason a movie company will replace a defective dvd or bluray disc, is semi-goodwill and a way of dumping old inventory they have piling up in their warehouses without having to send it all to a landfill garbage dump. (Probably also a tax writeoff).

    It appears Warner is willing to do this, judging by the thread on here about defective Warner discs from a decade ago. Don't know about other companies.

  199. Josh Steinberg

    … or they could disappear entirely if the remaining enthusiasts aren’t willing to pay more up front and show their support for the physical formats that do remain.

    8-track tapes ?

    😉

  200. jcroy

    The only way this type of "bundling" can be stopped in its tracks and go back to a la carte, is if the government makes it illegal.

    Though I suspect even if this practice becomes legally banned, it would probably be "too little too late" for cd/dvd/bluray.

    I don’t see how that genie gets put back in the bottle.

    Right now, if the average consumer wants to see a movie, they grab their remote control, select it, and press a button – takes all of five seconds.

    How do you tell someone who has been happily doing that for years now that they should put down their remote, get in their car, leave their house, go to a store, and pay at least an entire month’s streaming subscription price for one title? Or tell them instead of the remote, to turn on their computer, go to an online store, buy a disc, and then wait a week for it to be delivered?

    Once you have “right now” as your default option, how can you be persuaded to wait longer for something when there’s no reason to do so?

    Subscription services will not be made illegal by the government. If anything, the government’s decision to abandon the Paramount consent decree all but signals government approval of the current system. Practically speaking, Netflix/HBO/Disney/etc making their own content and distributing it on their own service direct to the consumer is the 21st century version of studios making their own movies and owning their own theaters.

  201. Obviously as long time member of this forum, and the owner of thousands of CDs, DVDs, BDs, 4Ks, LPs, etc. my feelings on streaming vs. physical media should be clear…although I also do have HBO Go, Prime and Netflix.

    However, I think what we're seeing here is a change in how films are taken in by the younger generation and it's akin to the shift that happened when CDs gave way to iTunes.

    Back in the LP days, music was something that was closely listened to. People lined up at records stores, came home, and spun the album, listening to their favorite artists' creation.

    But in the 80s and later, home video games came out, VHS became ubiquitous, cable service proliferated. Suddenly kids and young adults had a lot more to do, and by the time Napster upended the music world, I had noticed that for a lot of kids then (I was in my mid twenties) music became less of a "listening event" and more of something you just had playing in the background while you did something else. So while many of my peers then bemoaned the lossy quality of MP3 vs. CD, I realized quickly that many of the college kids then just didn't care about the sound quality because they didn't consume music the same way previous generations did.

    Fast forward to now. I still work in a major university and my department employs hundreds of students. I see how they consume digital media (including movies). Almost none of them have acquiring "home theater" on their radar. They watch everything through their phone, or tablet/notebook. They have smaller screens on while watching other screens.

    Movies, and streaming shows, are not being consumed the way we did it back in the day, where we paid attention to story, dialogue, plot, structure, etc. It's almost becoming background music, a distraction, something to have on while they're updating their social media platform of choice (usually the 'gram).

    So to me now the question isn't "is streaming a good replacement for physical". It clearly is inferior–though A/V quality has made pretty good strides recently, there's still the lack of permanent ownership.

    But the question is: do current Generation Z (and subsequent generations) even care for physical ownership since the vast majority of them don't consume movies the same way we do. I'm in my forties now, and still have a few friends that collect physical media of some kind. But very few of my friends and acquaintances in their 30s or earlier have any interest whatsoever in doing so. And every so often I do have some of the students over for a movie night/team building event, and they all marvel at the number of discs, but no one expresses anything remotely near any interest in creating their own library.

  202. (On a slight tangent to what Carlo has been discussing).

    When I was younger, I remember being an actor or musician was frequently considered an "alpha male" type of activity. (This was in the era of stuff like Rambo, Die Hard, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, etc …).

    Fast foward to the present, I get the impression that amongst young people today that being an actor or musician/rockstar is considered the domain of a "nerd" or "artist" type. (ie. Not in the domain of an "alpha male").

  203. The quality of online media used to be pretty substandard compared to what it is now. Remember how bad the audio for RealPlayer was compared to a CD? You can now hear that same music in much better quality on YouTube!

  204. MatthewA

    The quality of online media used to be pretty substandard compared to what it is now. Remember how bad the audio for RealPlayer was compared to a CD? You can now hear that same music in much better quality on YouTube!

    I can only tell the difference when I connect my computer to my standalone stereo setup.

    When I'm listening to music on the computer's speakers or earbuds, the differences between youtube and cd rips are not obvious most of the time. (That is unless the cd rips were encoded deliberately at really low bitrates).

  205. For older YouTube music videos, perhaps, but that is changing now. I think cable is going to get hurt even worse than physical media. Where does it have to go from where it is now? That’s even less likely to start growing again.

  206. I think what many movie collectors can't comprehend is that the majority of people that watch films do so casually. A lot of them will watch a film and stop watching it halfway through or with 20 minutes left until the end or whilst they are doing some other task etc.

    They are not concerned or even aware of cinematrography, mise en scene & quality of screenplay or who directed it etc.

    A lot of people will watch/stream a film because a relative or friend recommended it or someone on the TV recommended it etc. It is more like a fad type of event where they feel they are missing out if they do not watch it like a new TV show that everyone just has to watch. They will literally watch it on their laptops and smartphones too which is obviously not the way the filmakers intended for its use.

    It's a similar mentality to people going to fast food restaurants like Mcdonalds to eat. They do so because it is convenient & cheap which is why streaming is doing well and will continue to do so. The majority of people that are streaming are people that want to watch the next, new great thing. They are not subscribing because they wish to watch Nosferatu by F.W. Murnau or The Birth Of A Nation in 4k completely remastered.

    Generally, people who collect physical media are perhaps more creative type personalities or possibly more cultured. For better or worse society in general does not possess these positive traits. They are a product of mass education aimed at creating a producer/consumer society with no consideration for artisitic beauty or self expression. Generally, they are only interested in what is sold down their throats through the media.

    This is why you have people like Martin Scorsese and Francis Coppola commenting on the fact that these comic book type movies that are prevalent in Hollywood of not being cinematic. The audiences are not being exposed to anything that might perhaps develop their taste and help them watch different types of the many varied and broad varieties of cinema that it has to offer.

    They are complaining because not only is it endangering home physical media but it is threatening cinema itself.

    I personally can see the day coming soon where audiences will have the option to stream a movie at the same time as it is released in theaters. They will pay a premium for viewing it early but the option will be eventually there as I feel this will be potentially a very lucrative market for Hollywood. They will be streaming it on their smartphones in a coffee shop as opposed to going to the cinema to experience the magic of cinema.

    Maybe the cinema itself will be just as limited as physical media where they are only available in major cities. I can forsee a lot closing down in the next decade or so.

    I hope I am wrong on everything I have said for the sake of cinema and the art of making movies but to me the writing is on the wall.

    If anything, it is important for people that do have impressive home theaters to invite friends and relatives to watch some classic films which hopefully incites more people to appreciate this dying art.

  207. BobO’Link

    Very few people – ever – have had a desire to own a large collection of anything. Age is not a factor. Some people like to have a favorite book/CD/movie or two, maybe even a couple of dozen, but rarely more. Most people I've known didn't have, or want, any at all – even in the pre-digital age. A *serious* collector of any of those has always been a rather rare thing. When it comes right down to it, collectors of *anything* are a very small percentage of the population.

    Not sure I agree with that. Many women collect clothes/shoes and men have a lot of hobbies including the collecting of stamps, comic books, antique furniture, coins, war mmemorabila, wine and fine art etc.

  208. BobO’Link

    Very few people – ever – have had a desire to own a large collection of anything. Age is not a factor. Some people like to have a favorite book/CD/movie or two, maybe even a couple of dozen, but rarely more. Most people I've known didn't have, or want, any at all – even in the pre-digital age. A *serious* collector of any of those has always been a rather rare thing. When it comes right down to it, collectors of *anything* are a very small percentage of the population.

    Not sure I agree with that. Many women collect clothes/shoes and men have a lot of hobbies including the collecting of stamps, comic books, antique furniture, coins, war mmemorabila, wine and fine art etc.

  209. BobO’Link

    Very few people – ever – have had a desire to own a large collection of anything. Age is not a factor. Some people like to have a favorite book/CD/movie or two, maybe even a couple of dozen, but rarely more. Most people I've known didn't have, or want, any at all – even in the pre-digital age. A *serious* collector of any of those has always been a rather rare thing. When it comes right down to it, collectors of *anything* are a very small percentage of the population.

    I semi-agree and semi-disagree.

    I agree that a "collector's mentality" has always been a minority viewpoint. Otherwise we wouldn't be "collectors" we'd just be the norm.

    But I will say this: I knew far, far more people in the 1980s who had large CD, VHS and/or vinyl collections, and in the 1990s I knew quite a few who had large CD, LD and/or DVD collections. As I've grown older, I now know more people now than I did back in my youth. And within that larger group, I know very few who have large libraries of anything (and most are some of the same people from the 1980s and 1990s groups I mentioned). And just about none of those people are Generation Z or younger.

    So while I agree collecting has never been mainstream, I believe it's happening at a much lower pace than ever now in the streaming age. Don't forget what a wildly popular and high-selling medium DVDs and CDs were.

  210. I don’t think it’s fair to say that people who don’t collect physical media aren’t cultured, artistic or anything else of the sort.

    Streaming is just a delivery method. It can be used to watch the lowest of lowbrow or the highest of highbrow. A disc is just a container for a data file. When movie discs were invented, they were the most efficient delivery system for the amount of data needed to show a movie. Now streaming can accomplish the same goal.

    Our forum’s founder wrote in a thread that he just purchased West Side Story digitally in 4K for $5. It’s not available in 4K on disc at all, and the Blu-ray version costs twice that. I don’t think you could accuse Ron of not being cultured or not caring about film. He’s got a collection that would give mine an inferiority complex. Streaming was a low-cost way for him to access the highest quality version of that critically acclaimed, culturally important film.

    Let’s stop making value judgments on people’s tastes based on the delivery method they’re choosing. It sounds about as ridiculous to me as saying the person who goes to the store to buy office supplies is morally superior to the person who mail ordered. It’s two different ways of achieving the same goal.

  211. Carlo Medina

    Don't forget what a wildly popular and high-selling medium DVDs and CDs were.

    Here’s the key question, though: would those mediums have been as high selling if they had had to compete with subscription services that allowed you unlimited access to an astronomical amount of content for the price of a single purchase?

    Once Napster divorced the act of listening to songs you liked from needing to possess a physical object, CD sales took a dive off a cliff they’ve never recovered from. And once subscription streaming for music came out, digital purchases of music also plummeted.

    I remember when I was a kid growing up with Star Trek, one of the coolest ideas buried in the show was that the Enterprise computer had all recorded media on file. You didn’t need to have a hardcover copy to read a book. Anything you could want was available at the touch of a button. That is essentially where we’re at now. Can it really be a surprise that most people are satisfied with that?

  212. Josh Steinberg

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that people who don’t collect physical media aren’t cultured, artistic or anything else of the sort.

    Streaming is just a delivery method. It can be used to watch the lowest of lowbrow or the highest of highbrow. A disc is just a container for a data file. When movie discs were invented, they were the most efficient delivery system for the amount of data needed to show a movie. Now streaming can accomplish the same goal.

    Our forum’s founder wrote in a thread that he just purchased West Side Story digitally in 4K for $5. It’s not available in 4K on disc at all, and the Blu-ray version costs twice that. I don’t think you could accuse Ron of not being cultured or not caring about film. He’s got a collection that would give mine an inferiority complex. Streaming was a low-cost way for him to access the highest quality version of that critically acclaimed, culturally important film.

    Let’s stop making value judgments on people’s tastes based on the delivery method they’re choosing. It sounds about as ridiculous to me as saying the person who goes to the store to buy office supplies is morally superior to the person who mail ordered. It’s two different ways of achieving the same goal.

    Josh Steinberg

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that people who don’t collect physical media aren’t cultured, artistic or anything else of the sort.

    Streaming is just a delivery method. It can be used to watch the lowest of lowbrow or the highest of highbrow. A disc is just a container for a data file. When movie discs were invented, they were the most efficient delivery system for the amount of data needed to show a movie. Now streaming can accomplish the same goal.

    Our forum’s founder wrote in a thread that he just purchased West Side Story digitally in 4K for $5. It’s not available in 4K on disc at all, and the Blu-ray version costs twice that. I don’t think you could accuse Ron of not being cultured or not caring about film. He’s got a collection that would give mine an inferiority complex. Streaming was a low-cost way for him to access the highest quality version of that critically acclaimed, culturally important film.

    Let’s stop making value judgments on people’s tastes based on the delivery method they’re choosing. It sounds about as ridiculous to me as saying the person who goes to the store to buy office supplies is morally superior to the person who mail ordered. It’s two different ways of achieving the same goal.

    Not sure you understood what I wrote and that was probably my fault as I was not specific enough. I highlighted that collectors were perhaps more cultured in cinema. Maybe I should have used the word knowledgable. I was referring to the serious collector who frequent forums such as these. My intention was to highlight that the majority of people watch movies in a casual manner similar to flicking the channels on cable TV to pass the time. It was not a criticism (Judgment) but an observation.

    That type of film watcher will not be a serious collector of physical media nor someone who will have a lot of knowledge of film in general. This is what I was trying to explain for collectors to comprehend who seem to me do not understand this casual mentality in the average consumer/watcher of films. Maybe I used the wrong word for creative type of personality too. Perhaps eccentric is more apt for people who seem to collect films on a wide scale.

    Serious collectors seem to appreciate the art behind making/creating a movie as opposed to people who stream movies. They will conciously choose a specific type of film in their catalogue from all ages/genres to watch as opposed to the latest release on a sudden whim without too much thought. My guess is the average streamer is someone that bought the odd DVD here or there prior to streaming becoming commercially available. Perhaps while shopping through Walmart. It's more of an impulse buy situation.

    Conversely, the avid collector will probably purchase a film via many channels and seek out particular films by a given director etc. They will also make a purchase of a specific realease of a title whether old or new via online and through other channels.

    It goes without saying that some people steeped in the history of cinema stream and download movies but as far as I am aware the majority of streamers are casual viewers. There is no right or wrong way but if cinema is to survive in the 21st century I feel there needs to be more education/encouragement on watching older and more diverse films as well as trying to help create more varied movies coming from Hollywood.

  213. Again, I reject the notion that serious cinephiles only collect physical media, and that streaming viewers are less cultured in their choices.

    They’re merely delivery platforms. Each with advantages and disadvantages.

    I know people who know more about film history than most of us have forgotten who have never purchased a disc. I know people with tons of discs whose tastes are entirely comprised of pop culture phenomenons. I know people who use streaming to access services like the Criterion Channel, which offers a variety of films so wide that some have never even been on physical media. I know other people who stream to catch up on the latest Netflix show.

    In some areas, streaming availability has outpaced physical media. There are a lot of lesser known or less popular films available for streaming in HD or 4K quality that on physical are DVD only, VHS only, or never came out at all.

    I just don’t think you can make a wholesale generalization about interests or taste based on what delivery method is utilized by the viewer.

  214. FWIW, there may have been a point in time when a collector was more likely to know more about film but I think that’s changed with the wide availability of DVD. If you were to argue that cinephiles used laserdisc and the general public rented VHS, I think that’s easier to accept.

    But nowadays there are countless instances of rare stuff making it to streaming that isn’t making it to disc. Disc sales are down so dramatically because viewers of all walks are embracing streaming as part of their viewing ecosystem.

  215. Josh Steinberg

    Again, I reject the notion that serious cinephiles only collect physical media, and that streaming viewers are less cultured in their choices.

    They’re merely delivery platforms. Each with advantages and disadvantages.

    I know people who know more about film history than most of us have forgotten who have never purchased a disc. I know people with tons of discs whose tastes are entirely comprised of pop culture phenomenons. I know people who use streaming to access services like the Criterion Channel, which offers a variety of films so wide that some have never even been on physical media. I know other people who stream to catch up on the latest Netflix show.

    In some areas, streaming availability has outpaced physical media. There are a lot of lesser known or less popular films available for streaming in HD or 4K quality that on physical are DVD only, VHS only, or never came out at all.

    I just don’t think you can make a wholesale generalization about interests or taste based on what delivery method is utilized by the viewer.

    It's entirely possible that my observation does not reflect the reality of the markets and one can only speculate I suppose unless surveys are done on the matter.

    What streaming companies do you recommend for movies not yet released on physical media or DVD/VHS only releases?

    I wasn't aware of any company doing this and so would appreciate where that type of content is available.

  216. The wonderful but slightly frustrating part about streaming is that there are multiple places to look for a thing, which is less convenient than, say, going to Amazon to buy a disc.

    At streaming stores like iTunes and Vudu, where you can rent and/or purchase individual titles, there are lots of movies offered there in HD and/or 4K that are in lessor editions on physical media. Unfortunately as far as I know there isn’t a single catchphrase to search for to see those results – you end up having to search title by title and have to do your homework. (There have been some good discussions on the streaming sub forum of this site that might be of use.) One easy, quick example: the original War Of The Worlds movie is only on DVD in physical media. iTunes has a 4K version from a new restoration that Paramount hasn’t put on disc. And it comes with bonus features if you buy it. There are a lot of upgrades like that when you search iTunes. There’s an app called CheapCharts that can help you track when things go on sale there too.

    On the subscription side, I’m not currently a member, but the Criterion Channel has an amazing selection both of stuff that Criterion has on disc and other stuff they don’t. It’s about $10 a month and has a rotating selection and you can cancel and resubscribe any time.

    You’re not wrong that there’s some amazing stuff that’s only a disc but that’s also true of streaming. If you’re a big movie guy, it really is awesome to have both methods at your disposal. I love my discs but I love my AppleTV too 🙂

  217. **** Raises Hand ****

    I'm not a cinephile. Movies and tv shows are largely "background noise" for me when I am at home.

    With that being said. My primary viewing interests where I devote my full attention to watching, are documentaries.

    Of the types of documentaries I watch and take notes (with pencil and paper), rarely any of it was released on dvd/bluray. (Nor vhs for that matter). The few which were released on dvd/bluray, I found them in local dump bins for $2 a pop which I purchased most of the ones of interest to me. (They were released during the peak era of the 2000s decade).

    The primary source of documentaries (and semi-documentaries) of interest to me, turns out to be youtube since the late-2000s and to a lesser extent ota broadcast channels like PBS. (Also the occasional basic cable channel).

    It is unfortunate that youtube is my primary source of documentary viewing material, though not surprising in the end.

  218. Josh Steinberg

    The wonderful but slightly frustrating part about streaming is that there are multiple places to look for a thing, which is less convenient than, say, going to Amazon to buy a disc.

    At streaming stores like iTunes and Vudu, where you can rent and/or purchase individual titles, there are lots of movies offered there in HD and/or 4K that are in lessor editions on physical media. Unfortunately as far as I know there isn’t a single catchphrase to search for to see those results – you end up having to search title by title and have to do your homework. (There have been some good discussions on the streaming sub forum of this site that might be of use.) One easy, quick example: the original War Of The Worlds movie is only on DVD in physical media. iTunes has a 4K version from a new restoration that Paramount hasn’t put on disc. And it comes with bonus features if you buy it. There are a lot of upgrades like that when you search iTunes. There’s an app called CheapCharts that can help you track when things go on sale there too.

    On the subscription side, I’m not currently a member, but the Criterion Channel has an amazing selection both of stuff that Criterion has on disc and other stuff they don’t. It’s about $10 a month and has a rotating selection and you can cancel and resubscribe any time.

    You’re not wrong that there’s some amazing stuff that’s only a disc but that’s also true of streaming. If you’re a big movie guy, it really is awesome to have both methods at your disposal. I love my discs but I love my AppleTV too 🙂

    Great! I will have a look. That's why I have not yet gone into streaming. The sites I have checked they do not seem to have a simple A to Z list of all the films they have so trying to find the films you are looking to watch is difficult.

    Why are they not making a better job of this?

    I will see if I can find what I am looking for

  219. Blu Eye

    They are not concerned or even aware of cinematrography, mise en scene & quality of screenplay or who directed it etc.

    When it comes to film analysis whether conscious or unconscious, most of my "analysis" is guessing what generic tropes are being used in a particular film or episode. Figure out if the generic tropes lead to generic outcomes/conclusions by the end of the film/episode.

    I use to read web sites like tvtropes a lot. Almost like an encyclopedic documentation of deconstructing what tv/movie writers are thinking.

  220. jcroy

    **** Raises Hand ****

    I'm not a cinephile. Movies and tv shows are largely "background noise" for me when I am at home.

    With that being said. My primary viewing interests where I devote my full attention to watching, are documentaries.

    Of the types of documentaries I watch and take notes (with pencil and paper), rarely any of it was released on dvd/bluray. (Nor vhs for that matter). The few which were released on dvd/bluray, I found them in local dump bins for $2 a pop which I purchased most of the ones of interest to me. (They were released during the peak era of the 2000s decade).

    The primary source of documentaries (and semi-documentaries) of interest to me, turns out to be youtube since the late-2000s and to a lesser extent ota broadcast channels like PBS. (Also the occasional basic cable channel).

    It is unfortunate that youtube is my primary source of documentary viewing material, though not surprising in the end.

    Sounds like you have an interesting hobby and a frustrating one at the same time.

    I personally think the hobby of watching films is almost insatiable. I am constantly writing down films on my ever growing list that I want to watch/purchase on Blu Ray/4K after trying to no longer add any films to it.

    At this rate when I eventually die I will have a list of thousands of films to watch that I did not manage to comlplete. 🙂

  221. jcroy

    When it comes to film analysis whether conscious or unconscious, most of my "analysis" is guessing what generic tropes are being used in a particular film or episode. Figure out if the generic tropes lead to generic outcomes/conclusions by the end of the film/episode.

    I use to read web sites like tvtropes a lot. Almost like an encyclopedic documentation of deconstructing what tv/movie writers are thinking.

    I think there are many things to look for in film analysis. It's dependent on the personality of the viewer on what they personally like, I suppose.

    There are many directors that have admitted to putting hidden themes in their films and many people have fun trying to find them.

    Some people might appreciate the sound more and look for effects to that end.

    Let's face it, there are many layers to creating a film and this is what makes the hobby interesting even if it is just appreciating the film for its entertainment value.

  222. jcroy

    When it comes to film analysis whether conscious or unconscious, most of my "analysis" is guessing what generic tropes are being used in a particular film or episode. Figure out if the generic tropes lead to generic outcomes/conclusions by the end of the film/episode.

    I use to read web sites like tvtropes a lot. Almost like an encyclopedic documentation of deconstructing what tv/movie writers are thinking.

    I think there are many things to look for in film analysis. It's dependent on the personality of the viewer on what they personally like, I suppose.

    There are many directors that have admitted to putting hidden themes in their films and many people have fun trying to find them.

    Some people might appreciate the sound more and look for effects to that end.

    Let's face it, there are many layers to creating a film and this is what makes the hobby interesting even if it is just appreciating the film for its entertainment value.

  223. It would have to be a film which captures my interest deeply, in order for me to do any further analysis beyond just guessing the generic tropes. I can only count on one hand the few films which this would indeed be the case for me.

  224. It would have to be a film which captures my interest deeply, in order for me to do any further analysis beyond just guessing the generic tropes. I can only count on one hand the few films which this would indeed be the case for me.

  225. If I really wanted to look more in depth into "hidden themes" in a more general sense, I would be reading more books on subjects like philosophy or well researched history books.

    Watching movies over and over again, would seem like an inefficient way of understanding.

  226. If I really wanted to look more in depth into "hidden themes" in a more general sense, I would be reading more books on subjects like philosophy or well researched history books.

    Watching movies over and over again, would seem like an inefficient way of understanding.

  227. jcroy

    It would have to be a film which captures my interest deeply, in order for me to do any further analysis beyond just guessing the generic tropes. I can only count on one hand the few films which this would indeed be the case for me.

    I think the problem with it is you can probably over analyse a film too. If you are looking for things to fit then you can make them fit one way or another which totally detracts from the story of the film.

    It's also a subject that is difficult to prove and unless you can get agreement from the people involved in the making the film it can look very silly indeed.

  228. jcroy

    It would have to be a film which captures my interest deeply, in order for me to do any further analysis beyond just guessing the generic tropes. I can only count on one hand the few films which this would indeed be the case for me.

    I think the problem with it is you can probably over analyse a film too. If you are looking for things to fit then you can make them fit one way or another which totally detracts from the story of the film.

    It's also a subject that is difficult to prove and unless you can get agreement from the people involved in the making the film it can look very silly indeed.

  229. jcroy

    If I really wanted to look more in depth into "hidden themes" in a more general sense, I would be reading more books on subjects like philosophy or well researched history books.

    Watching movies over and over again, would seem like an inefficient way of understanding.

    I would agree with that. One of Stanley Kubrick's favourite books was "Codebrakers the story of secret Writing". A book I have been meaning to read for a long time but have not acquired yet but must do sooner or later.

  230. jcroy

    If I really wanted to look more in depth into "hidden themes" in a more general sense, I would be reading more books on subjects like philosophy or well researched history books.

    Watching movies over and over again, would seem like an inefficient way of understanding.

    I would agree with that. One of Stanley Kubrick's favourite books was "Codebrakers the story of secret Writing". A book I have been meaning to read for a long time but have not acquired yet but must do sooner or later.

  231. Josh Steinberg

    Once Napster divorced the act of listening to songs you liked from needing to possess a physical object …

    I came to this realization slightly before napster.

    The first time I wrote a program to read the sectors from a redbook audio cd, and dump the raw data into a file on the computer's hard drive, it dawned on me that this is the ultimate "cheapening" of the cd disc format which completely decoupled recorded music from needing to have the physical disc.

    Even in those days circa mid-1990s, it only took around 15-20 minutes to rip an entire audio cd disc to a raw data file. (On Linux, all you had to do to play the file was dump it into /dev/audio to activate the soundcard.)

  232. Josh Steinberg

    Once Napster divorced the act of listening to songs you liked from needing to possess a physical object …

    I came to this realization slightly before napster.

    The first time I wrote a program to read the sectors from a redbook audio cd, and dump the raw data into a file on the computer's hard drive, it dawned on me that this is the ultimate "cheapening" of the cd disc format which completely decoupled recorded music from needing to have the physical disc.

    Even in those days circa mid-1990s, it only took around 15-20 minutes to rip an entire audio cd disc to a raw data file. (On Linux, all you had to do to play the file was dump it into /dev/audio to activate the soundcard.)

  233. Blu Eye

    I would agree with that. One of Stanley Kubrick's favourite books was "Codebrakers the story of secret Writing". A book I have been meaning to read for a long time but have not acquired yet but must do sooner or later.

    I have several books on classical codebreaking including that one by Kahn. It can make for interesting plots in a tv show or movie. Unfortunately it would look completely foolish with modern digital encryption. (Such as at the beginning of the first Matrix movie).

    Modern encryption simply doesn't work in the same manner.

  234. Blu Eye

    I think the problem with it is you can probably over analyse a film too. If you are looking for things to fit then you can make them fit one way or another which totally detracts from the story of the film.

    I was thinking more along the lines of Phillip K Dick type movies, like Blade Runner or Total Recall. Some of these themes seems to be stuff that some philosophers were thinking about.

  235. jcroy

    I came to this realization slightly before napster.

    The first time I wrote a program to read the sectors from a redbook audio cd, and dump the raw data into a file on the computer's hard drive, it dawned on me that this is the ultimate "cheapening" of the cd disc format which completely decoupled recorded music from needing to have the physical disc.

    Even in those days circa mid-1990s, it only took around 15-20 minutes to rip an entire audio cd disc to a raw data file. (On Linux, all you had to do to play the file was dump it into /dev/audio to activate the soundcard.)

    Thinking about this more.

    In a completely subjective manner, I think the ultimate "cheapening" of the dvd format for me, was when I first saw how easy it was to copy an entire dvd with the "dd" command (on Linux) in 20 minutes. The first disc I did this on, was The Matrix dvd.

    (In those days circa y2k, one had to run another program to crack the encryption keys on a dvd disc. After that, it was running a second program to remove the encryption from the vob files from that Matrix dvd iso).

    Nowadays this can all be done with the press of a button in 11 minutes or less. 😉

    Nevertheless at the time back in y2k with this "rip now, watch later" mentality I had for dvd discs, it dawned on me that it completely divorced vewing from owning any dvd discs or tapes. I imagined there would be a time in the then-future, where giant hard drives can store hundreds of movies all ripped from dvd discs (whether legal or illegal).

  236. BobO’Link

    I've considered subscribing to various streaming services on occasion. The *one* thing that always stops me is the inability to find out exactly what movies and/or TV shows they offer. If I can't search your database and/or get a comprehensive list *before* I give you money for a subscription then it just isn't going to happen. Most seem to hide what's leaving their service as well…

    There are third-party sites that do list everything available on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu etc. But it's important to keep in mind that titles are going to cycle in and out fairly regularly. They're not permanent databases of content.

  237. BobO’Link

    The *one* thing that always stops me is the inability to find out exactly what movies and/or TV shows they offer. If I can't search your database and/or get a comprehensive list *before* I give you money for a subscription then it just isn't going to happen. Most seem to hide what's leaving their service as well.

    This. I have never understood why the streaming industry would want this to be the de facto model, but I guess it works for them somehow. It seriously dampens my enthusiasm though, and I often don't bother.

  238. BobO’Link

    Yes, I know that. The big issue is searchability. You shouldn't have to use a 3rd party just to find out a site offerings. That screams poor interface and customer support.

    Agreed, but it also tells me that they haven't yet hit an internal tipping point of complaints (and resulting cancelations, because "money talks" in this industry) that have resulted in improving the interface.

  239. Josh Steinberg

    That’s why you’re not going to win the general public back to physical media as the default or first choice viewing method. From their perspective, their smart TV and subscriptions already give them what they want. Why should they go out and buy a disc of something that’s already right there on their TV? Is “Frasier” more real on disc than on streaming? Of course not.

    That is true, but what if commercials take over the streaming services to such an extent where there are more commercials than show, as it is with regular television (satellite, cable, everything)?

  240. bmasters9

    That is true, but what if commercials take over the streaming services to such an extent where there are more commercials than show, as it is with regular television (satellite, cable, everything)?

    Probably nothing if the particular streaming service in question is either free or $1 per month (or less).

  241. bmasters9

    That is true, but what if commercials take over the streaming services to such an extent where there are more commercials than show, as it is with regular television (satellite, cable, everything)?

    Then some executive will come up with the radical idea of only having shows available at certain times, and we'll come full circle.

  242. Worth

    Then some executive will come up with the radical idea of only having shows available at certain times, and we'll come full circle.

    No. One has to think eventually radically.

    For example, such as something even more sinister than in-show advertising. Basically episodes/movies which resemble a 1 hour or 2 hour "infomercial" in disguise.

  243. jcroy

    No. One has to think eventually radically.

    For example, such as something even more sinister than in-show advertising. Basically episodes/movies which resemble a 1 hour or 2 hour "infomercial" in disguise.

    IOW, product placement out the wazoo, I take it?

  244. (Without getting into politics).

    Something along the lines of a modern day "Triumph Of The Will".

    I'm imagining something which is not obviously an "infomercial" or even a "pseudo documentary".

  245. (Without getting into politics).

    Something along the lines of a modern day "Triumph Of The Will".

    I'm imagining something which is not obviously an "infomercial" or even a "pseudo documentary".

  246. bmasters9

    That is true, but what if commercials take over the streaming services to such an extent where there are more commercials than show, as it is with regular television (satellite, cable, everything)?

    I don’t think that method of viewing is ever coming back as the only option. As Disney+ sets a new standard of $7 for the most premium of content, served without commercials, that’s going to make it hard for other services (particularly ones that cost more) to get customers to put up for it.

    I think you might see some services continue to offer tiered options but I find it hard to imagine a world where “with commercials” becomes the only choice. It’ll probably be as it now and as it was with cable – some services will be entirely commercial free across the board, and other services will offer options. CBS All Access is $7 with commercials or $10 without; Hulu follows a similar price structure; NBC’s service is expected to do the same. Some people will opt for the commercial tier but in my view they’re just not good values compared to the commercial free tier. Isn’t your free time worth an extra few bucks a month? Whether it’s my wife, myself or both of us, we watch at least one thing on Hulu a day on average – $3 or so extra over the course of the month to not watch commercials is worth it. Let’s assume 5 minutes of interruptions per program, one program a day, for thirty days – that’s 2 1/2 hours of commercials. Is $3 worth getting back nearly three hours of your life? I say yes.

    But I think this part of the discussion hints at something I was talking about much earlier. For years, our viewing habits have been subsidized by others. Disc prices were low because the volume of sales was inflated by average consumer interest that’s now waning. Watching TV used to be entirely free because advertisers paid for the whole thing in exchange for you sitting through 10-20 minutes of their ads per hour. We didn’t directly pay for TV, but we paid in the time we lost from our lives. But that meant our choices were also limited to what could draw audiences that were desirable to advertisers. Technology now makes it possible to avoid commercials and to watch programs when we want to, which makes commercials far less valuable than they used to be, which means less revenue, and that money has to be made up somewhere.

    It’s also an era where it’s easy to pirate content and where we’re basically on the honor system for paying for stuff. The reason to pay has to be that it’s even easier/faster/simpler to do that than to pirate. With the general public, they don’t accept the argument that pirating digital content counts as stealing so you don’t win their dollars on moral grounds. You win them by making it easier for them to pay a small fee than the slight hassle of having to look in illicit places for stuff.

    So we get back to the thing I’ve long believed: the greatest difficulty that content producers will face going forward won’t be in getting people interested in that content, it’ll be getting them to pay for what they’re interested in.

    This effects people’s viewing habits in different ways. Some people are content to find one or two providers like Netflix, pay the monthly fee, and watch primarily what those providers offer – for some people, having a large rotating selection is enough. For other people, and this is probably more the category I fall into, I subscribe to services to see specific things and pay for quality over quantity. I’d rather pay CBS All Access $10 a month specifically to support and enjoy new Star Trek than paying for cable and hoping that one of the included channels will sponsor something that I might like.

    Major paradigm shifts happening and what audiences vote for with their dollars now will have some big impacts in the coming years as all of this starts stabilizing.

  247. Josh Steinberg

    I think you might see some services continue to offer tiered options but I find it hard to imagine a world where “with commercials” becomes the only choice.

    Great point, and I don't think it'll be that way either– had it been, the streaming services would very likely bleed/be bleeding money, because disgusted viewers will feel they have nowhere to go (just hypothetical of course).

  248. bmasters9

    Great point, and I don't think it'll be that way either– of course, had it been, the streaming services would very likely bleed/be bleeding money, because disgusted viewers will feel they have nowhere to go (just hypothetical of course).

    I think many viewers would know exactly where to go – to hacked Kodi and Firestick devices which are readily sold at legitimate retailers like Walmart and Amazon and which promise unlimited content with no subscription fees ever and seem perfectly legal.

    The amount of money people spend yearly on prerecorded music is almost nonexistent compared to twenty years ago. Musicians now make the money they used to get from records by touring and charging more than ever for tickets and merch. The problem for the film and TV world is that episodes of TV shows can’t perform rock concerts, so if technology makes it possible for enough of the audience to avoid paying, I don’t know what happens. Nothing good.

  249. Carlo Medina

    Agreed, but it also tells me that they haven't yet hit an internal tipping point of complaints (and resulting cancelations, because "money talks" in this industry) that have resulted in improving the interface.

    Probably because as we keep hearing, younger generations are not treating streaming like a collection and hoping to find something "specific" they want to watch. They're using it more just to kill time, or have background noise, and don't really care very much what the content is. They just click something and let it play. They usually don't search.

  250. I got rid of my streaming services this month. (Except iTunes/appleTV where I have bought a ton of movies). Just bored with the selections on the streaming services…mostly worthless.

    I buy from Apple when it makes sense …$6 for a Warner pre code …which will likely never hit blu ray, is streaming in HD, and frankly a digital purchase feels safer than a pressed disk DVD from the Archive that may die in a year (and costs $20$.) In such cases…the digital purchase is a no brainer.

    Last night tho….the Apple TV store went down …and I couldn’t stream the movie I bought and wanted to watch. Sigh.

    anyway…I’ve been been buying more blu rays lately than I have in years. Especially all the good stuff from Kino and Criterion that are just not available online in such quality. And it’s rare that you can get any worthwhile supplementary materials streaming (just major classics If that).

    One last thing: I’m an interior designer and so I see a lot of high end AV installs and home theaters go in…and people laugh at me when I talk about blu rays …they don’t own the players and the AV guys don’t even push them. Just all streaming. I’m like “what?!? How will you watch Creature From The Black Lagoon in 3D on your 15’ screen???” [blank stares].

    I hope this forum/site sticks around a long time…I’m feeling quite obsolete.

  251. Discs may get scratched — a guarantee if you have children and/or animals around — but hard drives still crash and overheat.

    jcroy

    No. One has to think eventually radically.

    For example, such as something even more sinister than in-show advertising. Basically episodes/movies which resemble a 1 hour or 2 hour "infomercial" in disguise.

    We already got that with Mac & Me.

    A Fox-era Futurama episode suggested a future where product placement was actually something they gave out an Oscar for, including but not limited to Snow White and the 7Ups.

  252. I have not watched commercials since I purchased our first Beta in the early 1980s, and that is why we have 4 TVs connected to 4 PVRs. Unless I can record and ff through commercials streaming services are dead to me. Occasionally we miss a favorite show and must watch it “on demand”. I record it on my recordable DVD players and again ff through commercials.

  253. The overwhelming majority of subscription streaming services are either entirely commercial free or offer the subscriber the choice of a with commercials or commercial free plan.

    Streaming purchases from digital storefronts never have commercials.

    I don’t understand why we can’t mourn the slowdown in physical media without making straw man arguments against streaming.

  254. BobO’Link

    I've considered subscribing to various streaming services on occasion. The *one* thing that always stops me is the inability to find out exactly what movies and/or TV shows they offer. If I can't search your database and/or get a comprehensive list *before* I give you money for a subscription then it just isn't going to happen. Most seem to hide what's leaving their service as well. Add to that some of the worst examples of a user interface I've ever seen and streaming becomes a no-go for me.

    I have Amazon Prime – but that's mostly for the shipping. I *do* watch something that's "free" on Prime Streaming on occasion and have purchased hundreds of movies/TV shows using the digital credits for slow shipping, but it's quite rare with typically one or two movies/TV episodes per month. It's inconvenient, I tend to forget it's there, and their user interface is horrid.

    This is why I think streamers are casual film watchers. I have had a look at iTunes and they do seem to have a lot of choice. More than I thought they would have and it seems to be categorized fairly well by genre and then alphabetically.

    I would still prefer just alphabetically as some movies are different to pigeonhole so finding the movie you are looking for can be still troublesome. I could not find the movie I was looking for but don't know if they have it or not due to the way of listing their films.

    I can't even get the Vudu website open so do not know if their site is down or something but I cannot seem to access it.

    I will try again tomorrow with Vudu.

  255. Worth

    There are third-party sites that do list everything available on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu etc. But it's important to keep in mind that titles are going to cycle in and out fairly regularly. They're not permanent databases of content.

    This is what concerns me with streaming. They will change their content to current trends which leads me to think about how much content could end up not only being unavailable but lost forever. This could apply to new and old films especially with a lot of new films being shot digitally.

  256. Blu Eye

    This is why I think streamers are casual film watchers.

    I have been as hardcore a movie watcher as you can imagine for most of my 42 years and do not own a single disc. Streaming is a godsend for me.

    I pay one reasonable fee for something like The Criterion Channel and watch a new movie every night, most with wonderful extras. If I had to pay $25 for each of those movies on disc I wouldn't be able to watch as much as I do.

  257. Josh Steinberg

    The overwhelming majority of subscription streaming services are either entirely commercial free or offer the subscriber the choice of a with commercials or commercial free plan.

    Streaming purchases from digital storefronts never have commercials.

    I don’t understand why we can’t mourn the slowdown in physical media without making straw man arguments against streaming.

    How much of a premium are they going to charge in the future to watch without commercials?
    Especially if physical media almost dies out and is such a miniscule market and they have a lot more power over the user than they do now in relation to accessibility of watching films?

    My presumption is their business model is designed/planned on eventually getting most of their revenue from advertising.
    If nobody wants to watch the ads then the potential revenue goes away/declines if the customer opts out of watching them.

    To make up that loss of revenue they charge more for the content without ads and the range will be significant.

  258. Cranston37

    I have been as hardcore a movie watcher as you can imagine for most of my 42 years and do not own a single disc. Streaming is a godsend for me.

    I pay one reasonable fee for something like The Criterion Channel and watch a new movie every night, most with wonderful extras. If I had to pay $25 for each of those movies on disc I wouldn't be able to watch as much as I do.

    That seems reasonable. I was being general, however.

    Are you the exception or the norm?

  259. Marc Hampton

    I got rid of my streaming services this month. (Except iTunes/appleTV where I have bought a ton of movies). Just bored with the selections on the streaming services…mostly worthless.

    I buy from Apple when it makes sense …$6 for a Warner pre code …which will likely never hit blu ray, is streaming in HD, and frankly a digital purchase feels safer than a pressed disk DVD from the Archive that may die in a year (and costs $20$.) In such cases…the digital purchase is a no brainer.

    Last night tho….the Apple TV store went down …and I couldn’t stream the movie I bought and wanted to watch. Sigh.

    anyway…I’ve been been buying more blu rays lately than I have in years. Especially all the good stuff from Kino and Criterion that are just not available online in such quality. And it’s rare that you can get any worthwhile supplementary materials streaming (just major classics If that).

    One last thing: I’m an interior designer and so I see a lot of high end AV installs and home theaters go in…and people laugh at me when I talk about blu rays …they don’t own the players and the AV guys don’t even push them. Just all streaming. I’m like “what?!? How will you watch Creature From The Black Lagoon in 3D on your 15’ screen???” [blank stares].

    I hope this forum/site sticks around a long time…I’m feeling quite obsolete.

    This is my concern. At the moment it is probably more convenient (I think) for most people to stream than physical media and most if not all of the streaming customers do not even consider the thought of the consequences of this new market dynamic.

    I do not know for sure but my presumption is hardly any (maybe none) of the streaming businesses make any profit on the service.
    I am basing this on Netflix debt issues so it's a superficial observation. However, assuming I am wrong and the companies do make reasonably good profits I don't think it's a sustainable business model in its current form.

    I am convinced the prices will have to rise at some point or, as I have said previously they base their model on advertising and we get a plethora of commercials. The alternative will be to pay a premium for watching without ads.

  260. Blu Eye

    I highlighted that collectors were perhaps more cultured in cinema.

    Do you have a precise definition of "cultured" ?

    Blu Eye

    Maybe I should have used the word knowledgable.

    Is there a specific type of knowledge that you are distinguishing? Or is it more like "general knowledge" in the sense of someone who knows a lot of facts/trivia and can do well on a game show like Jeopardy?

  261. jcroy

    Do you have a precise definition of "cultured" ?

    Is there a specific type of knowledge that you are distinguishing? Or is it more like "general knowledge" in the sense of someone who knows a lot of facts/trivia and can do well on a game show like Jeopardy?

    I think I mentioned the type of knowledge in general. Information such as who directed a film or who wrote the screenplay etc. Things like that.

    My presumption is the majority of streamers do not decide to watch a film on these aspects. I must stress that I understand not all streamers possess these traits or lack thereof. Only that I think they are overwhelmingly the type of person that streams a movie.

    My opinion on the majority of physica media collectors is they will purchase a film based on some criterion such as a particular film studio, genre, or director they know or admire etc. They seek something specific out with this known information as opposed to casually selecting something on a whim.

    For example, I would think an average streamer when they have decided to watch a film will probably view through a list for a short period of time and then choose a film without too much thought behind it.

    I do not think the type of person that collects physical media obsessively would do this. I think if they streamed a movie they would have an idea in their head such as
    "I feel like watching a film by Steven Spielberg as I have not seen any of his films for a while"

    They would then probably go to the streaming site and look at what type of his films are available to watch and then pick one accordingly.

    Does that make any sense?

    Obviously it is very difficult to guess what they would do because from what I can tell most of them do not stream. Until they do (If) I can only speculate on what their beahviour would be.

    This is my observation.

    It was/is an attempt to highlight the difference in personality traits that differentiates physical media collectors and movie streamers. I think there is a profound difference in behaviour that seperates these two types of people (generally, not everyone) and I am referring more to the serious collector who has at least hundreds of physical media films in their library.

    I think we need a highly qualified psychologist to enter this thread to inject some more scientific, precise information who could perhaps elaborate more on the matter.

  262. Blu Eye

    That seems reasonable. I was being general, however.

    Are you the exception or the norm?

    I don't think he's the exception at all. Today, many movie buffs utilize streaming services to watch movies and then there are movie buffs like myself that has over 10,500 discs in his collection according to my DVD Profiler, but I also have an extensive digital library to enhance my huge collection of movies. I seldom stream movies using Hulu, Amazon or Netflix as I use those services for mainly series watching. However, I do stream movies on Disney+, The Criterion Channel, TCM app and utilize iTunes and Vudu to watch my 2000+ film title digital library. It was only 6-7 years ago when my entire movie collection was on disc. However, streaming made some serious improvements in which the streaming PQ has virtually caught up with Blu-ray and 4K discs. Thus, I've evolved with those technological advances they've made with streaming and improved internet bandwith and speed. I had to evolve because I was running out of storage space for my disc library. Furthermore, another advantage to streaming movies is it cost less to do so than strictly buying physical media. Granted, I still buy my share of physical media, but I enhance my collection of movies by utilizing the digital format too.

  263. Blu Eye

    I think I mentioned the type of knowledge in general. Information such as who directed a film or who wrote the screenplay etc. Things like that.

    My presumption is the majority of streamers do not decide to watch a film on these aspects. I must stress that I understand not all streamers possess these traits or lack thereof. Only that I think they are overwhelmingly the type of person that streams a movie.

    My opinion on the majority of physica media collectors is they will purchase a film based on some criterion such as a particular film studio, genre, or director they know or admire etc. They seek something specific out with this known information as opposed to casually selecting something on a whim.

    For example, I would think an average streamer when they have decided to watch a film will probably view through a list for a short period of time and then choose a film without too much thought behind it.

    I do not think the type of person that collects physical media obsessively would do this. I think if they streamed a movie they would have an idea in their head such as
    "I feel like watching a film by Steven Spielberg as I have not seen any of his films for a while"

    They would then probably go to the streaming site and look at what type of his films are available to watch and then pick one accordingly.

    Does that make any sense?

    Obviously it is very difficult to guess what they would do because from what I can tell most of them do not stream. Until they do (If) I can only speculate on what their beahviour would be.

    This is my observation.

    It was/is an attempt to highlight the difference in personality traits that differentiates physical media collectors and movie streamers. I think there is a profound difference in behaviour that seperates these two types of people (generally, not everyone) and I am referring more to the serious collector who has at least hundreds of physical media films in their library.

    I think we need a highly qualified psychologist to enter this thread to inject some more scientific, precise information who could perhaps elaborate more on the matter.

    Perhaps, it's just best to not label people at all as most of us are more complex than to fit under one simple label.

  264. Robert Crawford

    I don't think he's the exception at all. Today, many movie buffs utilize streaming services to watch movies and then there are movie buffs like myself that has over 10,500 discs in his collection according to my DVD Profiler, but I also have an extensive digital library to enhance my huge collection of movies. I seldom stream movies using Hulu, Amazon or Netflix as I use those services for mainly series watching. However, I do stream movies on Disney+, The Criterion Channel, TCM app and utilize iTunes and Vudu to watch my 2000+ film title digital library. It was only 6-7 years ago when my entire movie collection was on disc. However, streaming made some serious improvements in which the streaming PQ has virtually caught up with Blu-ray and 4K discs. Thus, I've evolved with those technological advances they've made with streaming and improved internet bandwith and speed. I had to evolve because I was running out of storage space for my disc library. Furthermore, another advantage to streaming movies is it cost less to do so than strictly buying physical media. Granted, I still buy my share of physical media, but I enhance my collection of movies by utilizing the digital format too.

    He must be. You don't count as you only have around 10,000 plus discs. 🙂

    I stand by my observation and will continue to do so until physical media completely vanishes. 😉

    In all seriousness, I am convinced there is some significant difference between both streamers and collectors as I feel that physical media would probably have already completely dissapeared (or nearly).

    I know it is in decline but this does not prove to me that it will die out.

  265. Robert Crawford

    Perhaps, it's just best to not label people at all as most of us are more complex than to fit under one simple label.

    Too true but businesses do not think that way. Trends, consumer behaviour & age demographics are just a few types of data that companies especially corporations will analyse to make forecasts and to profit from.

  266. Blu Eye

    Too true but businesses does not think that way. Trends, consumer behaviour & age demographics are just a few types of data that companies especially corporations will analyse to make forecasts and to profit from.

    Yeah, but we ain't businesses. We're home theater enthusiasts with a love for movies.

  267. Robert Crawford

    Yeah, but we ain't businesses. We're home theater enthusiasts with a love for movies.

    And trying to figure out if the streaming market is going to make obsolete the physical market in the 21st century.

  268. Blu Eye

    He must be. You don't count as you only have around 10,000 plus discs. 🙂

    I stand by my observation and will continue to do so until physical media completely vanishes. 😉

    In all seriousness, I am convinced there is some significant difference between both streamers and collectors as I feel that physical media would probably have already completely dissapeared (or nearly).

    I know it is in decline but this does not prove to me that it will die out.

    I don't understand that comment in bold.

  269. Blu Eye

    For example, I would think an average streamer when they have decided to watch a film will probably view through a list for a short period of time and then choose a film without too much thought behind it.

    This was always the case for me, though not for the reasons you mentioned.

    My genre of choice is scifi. Throughout the vhs era and into dvd/bluray (and probably streaming now), there's always been a shortage of scifi movies that were easily available and not completely garbage.

    So out of necessity, there wasn't much variety in choosing what to watch. (ie. Besides not watching anything).

  270. Blu Eye

    And trying to figure out if the streaming market is going to make obsolete the physical market in the 21st century.

    In the 21st century, there is little doubt that physical media will disappear at some point in the next 80 years.:)

  271. Robert Crawford

    In the 21st century, there is little doubt that physical media will disappear at some point in the next 80 years.:)

    Robert Crawford

    In the 21st century, there is little doubt that physical media will disappear at some point in the next 80 years.:)

    The companies have probably started losing money already now that you have stopped collecting.

    90% of their turnover already gone. 🙂

  272. jcroy

    This was always the case for me, though not for the reasons you mentioned.

    My genre of choice is scifi. Throughout the vhs era and into dvd/bluray (and probably streaming now), there's always been a shortage of scifi movies that were easily available and not completely garbage.

    So out of necessity, there wasn't much variety in choosing what to watch. (ie. Besides not watching anything).

    Is there still a shortage of Sci-Fi

    Robert Crawford

    I don't understand that comment in bold.

    I meant to say that I think there is a significant difference in behaviour/personalities between streamers and collectors. I personally think that people who are still collecting only and not yet streaming will remain that way (unless they have no choice) as I feel they would have already migrated across thus causing physical discs demise by now.

    Hope this makes a bit more sense than before 😉

  273. Blu Eye

    Is there still a shortage of Sci-Fi ?

    As in mediocre scifi tv shows, there's plenty of catalog and current stuff. My issue is frequently that the first season or two were excellent, while subsequent seasons were garbage.

    In terms of movies, there's tons of garbage such as the scifi movies produced by bottom feeder "mockbuster" studio The Asylum. (The Asylum were famous for producing the Sharknado franchise and other absurdities). In terms of decent quality scfi movies, there's hardly anything worth mentioning that isn't already a classic.

  274. Most of my dvd/bluray purchases over the past several years, were exactly these type of garbage scifi movies. They were largely $2 dump bin stuff. A lot of this stuff isn't even released on bluray anymore. Just dvd-only.

    This is the type of stuff I leave playing in the background when I'm at home during the day, and not watching something like Star Trek or The Big Bang Theory reruns.

  275. It seems to be fashionable in Hollywood (for directors?) to be doing sci-fi going by the last 10 years or so.

    I have not seen most of them as I have not had the opportunity to watch movies over the last 6 years or so but films such as Gravity, Prometheus, The Martian & Moon to name a few. I am sure there are many more you can mention.

    I have seen Prometheus and I have to say I did not like it too much. Maybe I had high expectations of it being directed by Ridley Scott.

    It seems to be well liked from what I can tell by other movie lovers that have seen it.

    I will probably watch it again at some point to see if my opinion changes on it.

    Don't know if many of the modern Sci-fi movies are worth viewing but I do plan on watching a few over the next year or so including those films I mentioned.

  276. jcroy

    Most of my dvd/bluray purchases over the past several years, were exactly these type of garbage scifi movies. They were largely $2 dump bin stuff. A lot of this stuff isn't even released on bluray anymore. Just dvd-only.

    This is the type of stuff I leave playing in the background when I'm at home during the day, and not watching something like Star Trek or The Big Bang Theory reruns.

    It sounds like you really go out of your way to find that undiscovered Sci-Fi masterpiece out there that nobody else has discovered yet. 🙂

    That's something I tend to do with films in general and I have to stop doing it because I have watched too many bad films out there.

    My problem is I don't have the capability to stop watching a movie before it is finished no matter how bad it is. I will torture myself just in case the ending changes my opinion of the film. 🙁

  277. jcroy

    Most of my dvd/bluray purchases over the past several years, were exactly these type of garbage scifi movies. They were largely $2 dump bin stuff. A lot of this stuff isn't even released on bluray anymore. Just dvd-only.

    This is the type of stuff I leave playing in the background when I'm at home during the day, and not watching something like Star Trek or The Big Bang Theory reruns.

    It sounds like you really go out of your way to find that undiscovered Sci-Fi masterpiece out there that nobody else has discovered yet. 🙂

    That's something I tend to do with films in general and I have to stop doing it because I have watched too many bad films out there.

    My problem is I don't have the capability to stop watching a movie before it is finished no matter how bad it is. I will torture myself just in case the ending changes my opinion of the film. 🙁

  278. Blu Eye

    My opinion on the majority of physica media collectors is they will purchase a film based on some criterion such as …

    They seek something specific out with this known information …

    I do buy/collect a lot of dvds and blurays, though for very different reasons that you would probably not expect at all.

    For almost a decade, a lot of my dvd/bluray purchases were for very sordid type reasons completely unrelated to watching any actual movies. One of my hobbies was figuring out how the drm and extra extensions functions on dvd discs. So every time I go through dvd/bluray bins, I search for titles which are known to have such extra basketcase drm. Over the years I spent way too much time reading the code in the *.ifo files on dvd discs, to decipher how the extra basketcase drm functions.

    Most of my dvd/bluray is a rogue's gallery of dvd/bluray discs which are infested with extra basketcase drm which attempt to trip up or deliberately crash dvd/bluray ripping programs.

  279. Blu Eye

    My opinion on the majority of physica media collectors is they will purchase a film based on some criterion such as …

    They seek something specific out with this known information …

    I do buy/collect a lot of dvds and blurays, though for very different reasons that you would probably not expect at all.

    For almost a decade, a lot of my dvd/bluray purchases were for very sordid type reasons completely unrelated to watching any actual movies. One of my hobbies was figuring out how the drm and extra extensions functions on dvd discs. So every time I go through dvd/bluray bins, I search for titles which are known to have such extra basketcase drm. Over the years I spent way too much time reading the code in the *.ifo files on dvd discs, to decipher how the extra basketcase drm functions.

    Most of my dvd/bluray is a rogue's gallery of dvd/bluray discs which are infested with extra basketcase drm which attempt to trip up or deliberately crash dvd/bluray ripping programs.

  280. Blu Eye

    It seems to be fashionable in Hollywood (for directors?) to be doing sci-fi going by the last 10 years or so.

    For that matter, scifi was always a ghetto that nobody reputable went into unless they were looking for career suicide and/or ridicule.

  281. Blu Eye

    It sounds like you really go out of your way to find that undiscovered Sci-Fi masterpiece out there that nobody else has discovered yet. 🙂

    I have yet to find any such "masterpieces".

  282. Blu Eye

    How much of a premium are they going to charge in the future to watch without commercials?
    Especially if physical media almost dies out and is such a miniscule market and they have a lot more power over the user than they do now in relation to accessibility of watching films?

    My presumption is their business model is designed/planned on eventually getting most of their revenue from advertising.
    If nobody wants to watch the ads then the potential revenue goes away/declines if the customer opts out of watching them.

    To make up that loss of revenue they charge more for the content without ads and the range will be significant.

    I don’t want to bore everyone with rehashing in full comments I’ve made before in this thread that have touched on this.

    I know that some people genuinely believe that studios are making digital cheap and nice now in the hopes of getting people to abandon discs, and then will up the prices and lower the quality of service later.

    I can’t disprove a theory that’s meant to predict what will happen. I can say that I genuinely do not believe it to be true. I’m a movie enthusiast that has collected since the day of VHS, so I’ve been at this some time. I also spent a good number of years working in the home video industry, including at the time that streaming and legal downloading was first being offered, so I’m aware of what that was like from both the consumer side and the business side.

    And my read is this: changes in technology were already driving people away from buying physical objects to enjoy the content contained on them. It happened in the music world with CDs first, and then it happened in the print world with books.

    The challenges that every content producer are facing now are complex and long, but to simplify (possibly oversimplify), there is more content available at the consumer’s fingertips than ever before. Wages have remained mostly stagnant since the recession, so the amount of money people have to spend on entertainment hasn’t risen to coincide with the additional availability of entertainment. And the proliferation of illegal downloading and hacked streaming devices means that anyone can simply choose not to pay, but still see everything as if they had. So if you’re a media company, your struggle is to get people to pay for what you’re offering. I agree that there are probably too many services rolling out for them all the survive long term. This is why companies like Netflix are betting big on original content and spending fortunes now: so that their libraries retain value for a long time that will entice people to keep those low cost subscriptions active. Netflix didn’t spend $200 million to make “The Irishman” in the hopes of getting it all back now. They spent it as part of a strategy meant to ensure that when people start having to choose which services to keep or let go, that Netflix has too big and too vital of a library with too many attractive offerings in the pipeline for most of their customers to let them go. When you see Disney+ offering a huge selection for just $7 a month, many things in better quality to the versions on disc, the long term plan isn’t to hike rates to unreasonable levels. The long term plan is to be so indispensable and so reasonably priced that they’ll just stay signed up.

    Long term, ad supported viewing is either going away entirely or at the least falling out of favor with people. Buying TV ads isn’t a great return on investment for companies anymore. When commercials were invented, there were only three channels and no way to record or time shift. Viewers had to watch them. Now between streaming and downloading and DVRing, skipping commercials is for everyone, not just that one family member who knows how to set the VCR. Ad companies know that the viewership isn’t what it once was. They just haven’t come up with something better to spend the money on yet.

  283. Blu Eye

    It was/is an attempt to highlight the difference in personality traits that differentiates physical media collectors and movie streamers. I think there is a profound difference in behaviour that seperates these two types of people (generally, not everyone) and I am referring more to the serious collector who has at least hundreds of physical media films in their library.

    This may not be what you want to hear, but my reasons for buying a lot of dvds/blurays probably does not fit into any of your assertions.

    At heart, I am not a tv/movie person at all. When I was younger back in the 1990s, I lived for long extended periods of time where I didn't even have a tv at home. (As long as 3 years without a tv at home, entirely of my own choice).

    Over the years I've come to the realization that most of my dvd/bluray purchases (or binges) were largely driven by obsessive compulsive (ocd) type behavior and/or hoarding, especially when it comes to $5 or less titles. The closest analogy would be similar to the behavior of a hardcore comic book collector who doesn't even read any of the comic books they have, in conjunction with the behavior of a degenerate gambler.

    Basically "collecting for the sake of collecting" and continually buying more and more, type of extreme behavior. Similar to an appetite which can never be satiated.

  284. Look at the chart included in the article for physical media sales for the first week of this year:
    UHD – 4.9%
    BD – 28.0%
    DVD – 67.1%

    For 2019, the industry took in $3 billion in physical media sales, $3 billion in digital medial sales, and about $16 billion in subscription streaming revenue. Ten years ago, physical was at $20 billion.

    There is no criteria available under which having your section of the industry transition from being a $20 billion a year business to becoming a $3 billion a year business could be considered healthy or desirable.

    People are consuming more content than ever before, but the vast majority are not using discs to do so.

  285. My wife is at her book club tonight so i am having a few friends over for a film night. Spent a happy hour going through my disc collection to make up a shortlist. Twiddling through a digital list just isn't the same.

  286. Josh Steinberg

    I know that some people genuinely believe that studios are making digital cheap and nice now in the hopes of getting people to abandon discs, and then will up the prices and lower the quality of service later.

    Why do some people believe in that possible bait and switch?

  287. Sam Posten

    https://sonyreconsidered.com/at-ces-2020-sony-focused-on-streaming-over-4k-blu-ray-169ce17264de

    The real problem with market share had little to do with the competing interests of DVD vs. streaming, vs. DVD and everything else on physical media. When DVD arrived VHS was still king and LaserDisc a niche market. With the exception of LD dying hard and fast, the industry refused to entirely abandon VHS, giving consumers the option which format they would prefer. As many consumers are not videophiles they stuck with VHS until it was no longer supported, giving DVD a slow but obvious climb in the industry. Fast forward to the war between DVD and Blu-ray. Same problem — worsened by the industry’s ineffectual stance that both formats ‘should’ co-exist. Instead of supporting the same ‘forced obsolescence’ to retire DVD and present Blu-ray as the only alternative to streaming, the market share has been fragmented, first — two, and now three (4K) ways, again, leaving consumers to choose where they put down their money.

    As Blu-ray remains the marginally more expensive alternative, DVD remains king. It makes no sense to have 3 competing physical media formats (DVD, Blu-ray, 4K). Now, we come to an even more insidious underlying plot regarding the ‘push’ to streaming by the industry at large; namely, that when VHS debuted back in the early 1980’s, the industry as a whole had a fit — worrying that they would be losing a major stream of revenue and control of their product to bootleggers and even legitimate renters/buyers, who could purchase the title once and then show it to all their friends, thus depriving them of the total copyright control they once held dominion over. Alas, when the numbers for rentals and sell-through came in, greed took over. The industry was willing to sacrifice control to reap the benefits of a new ‘fad’ that became a cottage industry all its own. The dawn of ‘home video’ was upon us.

    We are now well past that dawn and streaming has presented itself as a ‘better’ alternative to the industry because, not only does it allow them to share their wares with the public — and charge them for the privilege — but it also allows them total control over what is consumed, how it is consumed, and when it is consumed. When copyright elapses, the studio simply pulls the title off their on-line service, leaving consumers in the dark and pushing some other titles in their stead. The consumer has no say, and no ability to share their content with others. So, Hollywood has won the war over ‘home video’ at last.

    Let’s forget for a moment that true 4K content cannot be — as yet, streamed in its entirety as 4K content, as it can on an actual 4K Blu-ray, and that most streaming services still have an issue even delivering native 1080p signals that do not present themselves with various down-sampling algorithms to compress their content and make it download friendly to consumers, thereby completely belying the need for ANY non-disc-consuming collector to run out and buy a native 4K TV (let alone, an 8K one); the industry is more interested in control than quality here, and supporters of streaming over physical media are just giving them another reason to go whole hog by a show of numbers.

    However, it is still important to acknowledge that it isn’t the consumer who initially walked away from physical media. It’s the industry that began its forced obsolescence by introducing too many alternatives, thereby forcing the consumer to choose and then eventually get bored with the idea of re-tooling their private collections over and over again with a handful of titles that chronically continue to get released in various formats while the bulk of Hollywood’s vintage lore remains locked away to decay in climate-controlled vaults, likely never to be seen anywhere again.

    The silent era, as example, the very dawn of the industry has been severely overlooked on any disc format. In Kevin Brownlow’s magnificent documentary series: Hollywood, made back in the early 80’s, narrator James Mason makes an astute observation about the industry saying, “The Hollywood of today bears no earthly resemblance to its illustrious past — nor does it choose to acknowledge it ever existed.” That condition has only worsened in the interim, with movies from the 1930’s, 40’s and even 50’s being overlooked on disc media, so we are told by the industry, because they require considerable time, money and effort to ‘restore’ for the modern age. In the same breath, however, the industry quietly makes no comment about what steps are being taken — if any — to ensure that such restorations are taking place, to ensure that the past will not quietly evaporate into dust, as more than 80% of its past before the dawn of sound has already been destroyed through neglect for all time.

    Want to avert the crisis now and give disc media a fighting chance? The solution is simple. Immediately retire DVD. Make Blu-ray the standard and 4K an option to be included with certain Blu-ray titles. Consolidate Blu-ray and 4K into a single marketable commodity and promote it with all the vigor any format deserves, but virtually none of the disc formats have received by the industry. All but the die hard cinephiles are frankly fed up with constantly having to choose which format to support. Remember when 3D TV’s were all the rage. The industry pushed 3D hard for barely 2 years, then completely dropped 3D TV manufacturing from their line-up while continuing to support 3D disc content for another 3 years — offering the consumer NO viable hardware on which to screen their 3D discs.

    3D discs are still being marketed today — albeit, infrequently. But honestly, how successful do you think those sell-throughs are when the number of people owning older 3D sets continues to shrink and no new 3D hardware — except projectors (which are out of most people’s budgets) are MIA? It’s dumb, silly and thoroughly misguided executive marketing decisions like this that have helped artificially kill off formats faster than consumers can actually show an invested interest in them. A lot of consumers still cling to their DVD’s out of concern that Blu-ray is just a flash in the pan and won’t last, leaving them with yet another format to be used as a glorified doorstop; LaserDisc, Betamax, VHS, Divex…anyone?

  288. Keith Cobby

    My wife is at her book club tonight so i am having a few friends over for a film night. Spent a happy hour going through my disc collection to make up a shortlist. Twiddling through a digital list just isn't the same.

    Actually, I find doing it with my digital collection more satisfying than my physical collection. I'll pull up my digital collection on either iTunes or Vudu on my OLED and end up sampling possibilities without ever leaving my seating position because I don't have to go to different storage locations because I have so many discs nor do I have to change any discs out of my player.

  289. Nick*Z

    Want to avert the crisis now and give disc media a fighting chance? The solution is simple. Immediately retire DVD. Make Blu-ray the standard and 4K an option to be included with certain Blu-ray titles. Consolidate Blu-ray and 4K into a single marketable commodity and promote it with all the vigor any format deserves, but virtually none of the disc formats have received by the industry.

    This sounds the idle fantasies and wishful thinking of a Walter Mitty being a hardcore disc collector. 🙂

    The only way to achive this, is if the government passes a law which outlaws the manufacturing of dvd, with long prison sentences for the manufacturing and possession of dvds. 😉

    Joking aside. This will be almost impossible to do since just about all the dvd-video patents have expired already, or are about to expire. So patent law can't even be used to "retire dvd".

  290. (On a hypothetical tangent).

    @Nick*Z

    To turn the tables, how would you feel if the bluray/4Kbluray patent holders suddenly use patent law to "retire bluray/4kbluray" and completely remove bluray and 4Kbluray from the market in a sudden abrupt manner?

    (The earliest most of the bluray patents will expire is 2030).

  291. Nick*Z

    However, it is still important to acknowledge that it isn’t the consumer who initially walked away from physical media. It’s the industry that began its forced obsolescence by introducing too many alternatives, thereby forcing the consumer to choose and then eventually get bored with the idea of re-tooling their private collections over and over again with a handful of titles that chronically continue to get released in various formats …

    Do you really actually believe in this ^ assertion?

    This sounds like putting the cart before the horse. 🙂

  292. jcroy

    This may not be what you want to hear, but my reasons for buying a lot of dvds/blurays probably does not fit into any of your assertions.

    At heart, I am not a tv/movie person at all. When I was younger back in the 1990s, I lived for long extended periods of time where I didn't even have a tv at home. (As long as 3 years without a tv at home, entirely of my own choice).

    Over the years I've come to the realization that most of my dvd/bluray purchases (or binges) were largely driven by obsessive compulsive (ocd) type behavior and/or hoarding, especially when it comes to $5 or less titles. The closest analogy would be similar to the behavior of a hardcore comic book collector who doesn't even read any of the comic books they have, in conjunction with the behavior of a degenerate gambler.

    Basically "collecting for the sake of collecting" and continually buying more and more, type of extreme behavior. Similar to an appetite which can never be satiated.

    Actually, it is.

    I think most of the collectors who are still primarily collecting are doing so beyond just the sake of doing so for enjoying the movie.
    This is what I was trying to explain but not very well.

    I know someone who collects DVDs and he is a crazy hoarder too. He cannot throw anything away and has piles of worthless junk that he has no use for or ever will have but he will still keep it regardless. A very extreme hoarder.

    Now, if you go to bluray.com and look at the users uploaded pictures of their home theatres many of them show photos of their blu ray collection.

    I have noticed that some have steelbook versions of a film as well as the standard copy.
    Also, some have 3 or more copies of the same movie.

    Sure, they enjoy watching films but they are getting something more from collecting.
    Does that make any sense?

    I think the physical media sellers are aware of this in a crude form which is why they offer steelbook versions etc.

    In fact, I saw recently in this forum about some blu ray release of a horror film I think that includes something like a plastic replica axe from the film and other type gimmicks included.

    The company is obviously trying to cater to that collector type consumer.

    I do personally think hoarders and collectors are very closely related personality traits but not the same and possibly in some instances people have a hybrid version of both these things (illnesses?).

    From what I can gather hoarders cannot throw away any of their possessions regardless of how useless or worthless they are and don't seem to appreciate their stuff.

    Collectors seem to show pride and treasure their items and seem to know trivial things about their collection.

  293. Blu Eye

    In fact, I saw recently in this forum about some blu ray release of a horror film I think that includes something like a plastic replica axe from the film and other type gimmicks included.

    The company is obviously trying to cater to that collector type consumer.

    This is possibly the primary reason why so much horror, fantasy, superhero, scifi, etc … type genre stuff is released on bluray. It attracts the hardcore ocd compulsive collector types who buy EVERYTHING in a particular niche (ie. toys, comics, blurays, books, etc …).

  294. And those of us who like other genres find it irritating that the stuff we like gets pushed aside for that.

    jcroy

    Do you really actually believe in this ^ assertion?

    Why else would law-abiding consumers be treated as if we were potential criminals? Why else would we be subjected to all this rigamarole when none of it is actually necessary for a disc to function inside a player?

  295. jcroy

    This is possibly the primary reason why so much horror, fantasy, superhero, scifi, etc … type genre stuff is released on bluray. It attracts the hardcore ocd compulsive collector types who buy EVERYTHING in a particular niche (ie. toys, comics, blurays, books, etc …).

    Most likely. I see a lot of titles especially horror that I have never heard of and most of them no doubt ever played in cinemas.

    I wonder if the companies are making money putting these type of titles out but they must be as there is a plethora of films coming out where I scratch my head.

    They would not be releasing these titles if there was no demand.

    It is both fascinating and frustrating at the same time looking at the releases.

  296. MatthewA

    Why else would law-abiding consumers be treated as if we were potential criminals? Why else would we be subjected to all this rigamarole when none of it is actually necessary for a disc to function inside a player?

    I'll give you credit here for "reading my mind". 🙂

    Back when I was in the peak of my ocd compulsive completionist collecting of dvds/blurays, this ^^ was exactly one of several arguments I would keep on saying to myself repeatedly, largely to rationalize all the buying binges I was doing in those days.

  297. Josh Steinberg

    I don’t want to bore everyone with rehashing in full comments I’ve made before in this thread that have touched on this.

    I know that some people genuinely believe that studios are making digital cheap and nice now in the hopes of getting people to abandon discs, and then will up the prices and lower the quality of service later.

    I can’t disprove a theory that’s meant to predict what will happen. I can say that I genuinely do not believe it to be true. I’m a movie enthusiast that has collected since the day of VHS, so I’ve been at this some time. I also spent a good number of years working in the home video industry, including at the time that streaming and legal downloading was first being offered, so I’m aware of what that was like from both the consumer side and the business side.

    And my read is this: changes in technology were already driving people away from buying physical objects to enjoy the content contained on them. It happened in the music world with CDs first, and then it happened in the print world with books.

    The challenges that every content producer are facing now are complex and long, but to simplify (possibly oversimplify), there is more content available at the consumer’s fingertips than ever before. Wages have remained mostly stagnant since the recession, so the amount of money people have to spend on entertainment hasn’t risen to coincide with the additional availability of entertainment. And the proliferation of illegal downloading and hacked streaming devices means that anyone can simply choose not to pay, but still see everything as if they had. So if you’re a media company, your struggle is to get people to pay for what you’re offering. I agree that there are probably too many services rolling out for them all the survive long term. This is why companies like Netflix are betting big on original content and spending fortunes now: so that their libraries retain value for a long time that will entice people to keep those low cost subscriptions active. Netflix didn’t spend $200 million to make “The Irishman” in the hopes of getting it all back now. They spent it as part of a strategy meant to ensure that when people start having to choose which services to keep or let go, that Netflix has too big and too vital of a library with too many attractive offerings in the pipeline for most of their customers to let them go. When you see Disney+ offering a huge selection for just $7 a month, many things in better quality to the versions on disc, the long term plan isn’t to hike rates to unreasonable levels. The long term plan is to be so indispensable and so reasonably priced that they’ll just stay signed up.

    Long term, ad supported viewing is either going away entirely or at the least falling out of favor with people. Buying TV ads isn’t a great return on investment for companies anymore. When commercials were invented, there were only three channels and no way to record or time shift. Viewers had to watch them. Now between streaming and downloading and DVRing, skipping commercials is for everyone, not just that one family member who knows how to set the VCR. Ad companies know that the viewership isn’t what it once was. They just haven’t come up with something better to spend the money on yet.

    I hope you are right but I'm afraid I am very cynical by nature.
    Knowing how businesses will exploit any situation for maximum profit given the opportunity I am concerned about the monopoly over the content they have.

    Also, what would be the consequences if Internet Service Providers started charging via the amount of data you use?

    The mobile phone companies still do it.
    The ISPs did that in the beginning here in the UK.
    I know it is not utilised now but it is still possible in the future.
    Internet is not a human right. Only a privilege. I have always wondered why it is so cheap.

    Maybe the companies make huge profits at these prices but not sure.

    I do realise streaming could be a potential paradise but I am still very sceptical.

  298. I detest "background noise" and I only leave the TV on when I actually want to watch it. Otherwise, it's a waste of time and a waste of electricity, and therefore a waste of money. In my opinion, the only shows that are worth watching at all are shows that are worth giving your undivided attention to. If I want something to listen to while I am doing something, I'll listen to music. The lack of a visual component to the audio makes it easier to concentrate on two things at once.

    I'm starting to agree with Nick*Z's points about DVD's time essentially being over. It was good while it lasted, but binge-watching LA Law reminded me how bad the worst DVDs can be, and also why it was two years into the format's existence before I adopted it. It is at the same age now that laserdisc was when it gave up the ghost. For all its flaws, the best laserdisc has to offer is still better than the worst DVD has to offer. But all the things DVD can do that laserdisc can't, Blu-ray and UHD can also do and do better. If technology has reached the point where content shot on tape can look be made to better, or at least have its technical flaws made significantly less distracting, on Blu-ray than it did on DVD, then I'm not exactly sure what we're keeping DVD around for anymore other than the minority of films whose Blu-ray successors aren't improvements. That's not the format's fault, that's the studios' fault.

  299. Blu Eye

    Also, what would be the consequences if Internet Service Providers started charging via the amount of data you use?

    To get around this issue, I only use the cable provider's data pipes to my cable box dvr when watching anything on vod (whether a lot carte or flat-rate). As far as I can figure out, the cable connection to the dvr box is not metered at all. (ie. My cable bill is exactly the same every month, even when the dvr box is recording hd stuff 24 hours a day from various baisc cable channels).

    I don't use my actual internet connection to watch any streaming services.

  300. MatthewA

    I detest "background noise" …

    I guess you're very very different than me. 🙂

    I thrive in a noisy environment.

    Whenever I'm in non-noisy environments, I get anxious and paranoid very easily.

  301. Blu Eye

    I hope you are right but I'm afraid I am very cynical by nature.
    Knowing how businesses will exploit any situation for maximum profit given the opportunity I am concerned about the monopoly over the content they have.

    Also, what would be the consequences if Internet Service Providers started charging via the amount of data you use?

    The mobile phone companies still do it.
    The ISPs did that in the beginning here in the UK.
    I know it is not utilised now but it is still possible in the future.
    Internet is not a human right. Only a privilege. I have always wondered why it is so cheap.

    Maybe the companies make huge profits at these prices but not sure.

    I do realise streaming could be a potential paradise but I am still very sceptical.

    If Netflix or any other streaming service jacked up its prices, people would simply cancel their subscriptions. The younger generations don't seem particularly interested in film and television anyway – they'd just spend more time on social media and video games.

    And on top of that, there's also piracy to contend with. Most people will pay $8-10 per month, but hike it to $50, and they'll start illegally downloading instead.

    As far as service providers are concerned, prices have actually gone down in the last few years for all but the most basic of internet services – at least in Canada. A few years ago, almost no one offered unlimited data, but now it's fairly common.

  302. MatthewA

    And those of us who like other genres find it irritating that the stuff we like gets pushed aside for that.

    I would be in heaven if the documentaries of interest to me, were easily available on bluray. But alas, documentaries of interest to me are largely non-existent on vhs/dvd/bluray.

  303. Nick*Z

    Let’s forget for a moment that true 4K content cannot be — as yet, streamed in its entirety as 4K content, as it can on an actual 4K Blu-ray, and that most streaming services still have an issue even delivering native 1080p signals…

    Assuming the 4K Blu-ray holds genuine 4K content in the first place. The format did itself no favors by premiering its first 10 titles with 8 or 9 HD upscales. Honestly that kept me from taking it seriously. I certainly wasn't going to consider building a library with genuine and non-genuine 4K discs.

    Nick*Z

    Want to avert the crisis now and give disc media a fighting chance? The solution is simple. Immediately retire DVD. Make Blu-ray the standard and 4K an option to be included with certain Blu-ray titles.

    MatthewA

    I'm starting to agree with Nick*Z's points about DVD's time essentially being over. It was good while it lasted… if technology has reached the point where content shot on tape can look be made to better, or at least have its technical flaws made significantly less distracting, on Blu-ray than it did on DVD, then I'm not exactly sure what we're keeping DVD around for anymore other than the minority of films whose Blu-ray successors aren't improvements.

    Retiring DVDs means retiring DVD players (and eventually BD playback of DVDs). That would be an enormous inconvenience for those needing to play their existing libraries – not just new purchases – and if anything, due to cost, inconvenience and probably distrust, would facilitate a move from DVD to streaming rather than BD for many people.

    Existing DVD libraries are a thing, and many people are not going to rebuy content. It's not all about new purchases, but it is about the ability to play the discs you've already got and aren't replacing.

  304. DVD playback should of course always be supported, but it really makes no sense to keep releasing recent material on it. What exactly are all those people buying on DVD nowadays?

    I can play 4K discs but have been very lukewarm about the format since it can't also do 3D- and many of the first titles released were 2D presentations of 3D movies. I do buy all current 2D movies on it when it's available, but it hasn't wowed me enough to make it worth paying premium prices for it (if a title I want is priced too high I'll just do without it until the price comes down, I won't buy the cheaper format instead to save money but I might end up renting it on digital instead.)

  305. MatthewA

    If technology has reached the point where content shot on tape can look be made to better

    I think you might want to correct that to " be made to look better"– somewhat hard to understand for me.

  306. Worth

    If Netflix or any other streaming service jacked up its prices, people would simply cancel their subscriptions. The younger generations don't seem particularly interested in film and television anyway – they'd just spend more time on social media and video games.

    And on top of that, there's also piracy to contend with. Most people will pay $8-10 per month, but hike it to $50, and they'll start illegally downloading instead.

    As far as service providers are concerned, prices have actually gone down in the last few years for all but the most basic of internet services – at least in Canada. A few years ago, almost no one offered unlimited data, but now it's fairly common.

    That seems a logical outcome.

    I will throw you another one (I'm a nuisance, I know).

    What if the younger generations completely lose all enthusiasm for watching films?

    This seems a plausible outcome from what I observe.

    This could potentially lead to streaming companies going the way of physical media.

    Then where does that leave us?

  307. Jesse Skeen

    DVD playback should of course always be supported, but it really makes no sense to keep releasing recent material on it. What exactly are all those people buying on DVD nowadays?

    The same content we're buying on BD or 4K BD. It's good enough for them and so they haven't upgraded. Simple as that. These are no doubt many of the same people who don't recognize OTA 4:3 stretched to 16:9.

  308. Jesse Skeen

    DVD playback should of course always be supported, but it really makes no sense to keep releasing recent material on it…

    That makes sense from an enthusiast's perspective, but if you were a distributor, why would you get rid of it? DVD is cheaper to manufacture and still outsells blu-ray, which means greater profit.

  309. Jesse Skeen

    DVD playback should of course always be supported, but it really makes no sense to keep releasing recent material on it…

    That makes sense from an enthusiast's perspective, but if you were a distributor, why would you get rid of it? DVD is cheaper to manufacture and still outsells blu-ray, which means greater profit.

  310. Jesse Skeen

    DVD playback should of course always be supported, but it really makes no sense to keep releasing recent material on it…

    That makes sense from an enthusiast's perspective, but if you were a distributor, why would you get rid of it? DVD is cheaper to manufacture and still outsells blu-ray, which means greater profit.

  311. BobO’Link

    In a way they do.

    When I switched from DSL (3Mbps with a 1 Terrabyte(!) cap – no way to even come close at that speed) to Cable internet I had a 200Mbps connection – but a 250Gb data cap. It's just my wife and me and neither of us do much streaming (although I do quite a bit of dling – partly due to working on computers on the side on occasion). I kept a close eye on what we were using and would curtail my activities if it looked like we were close. It took 8 months before we finally went over (and that was when my son and his family were at the house for a week). The first month they just send a notice but warn that if you go over again you'll be charged an "overage fee." That fee is rather usurious when compared to the "regular" cost per Mb. A few months later when it was apparent we were about to go over again I just called and upped our speed to 400Mbps as it comes with unlimited data. The extra $$ for that is less than the overage fee (although it's monthly).

    The odd part is after upping our speed for the higher data cap our data usage seemed to drop significantly while I 100% know I was using much more than before (on purpose – partly to test that theory). I suspect they "fudge" the numbers to get people to do just what we did. Did we "need" the extra speed? Not at all.

    Right now my 16yo grandson is living with us, playing online games, watching videos, etc., and we still could "get by" with a 200Mbps connection – other than that artificially low data cap (we've hit 600Mb a few months with him here – far less than the 1 Terrabyte I had on DSL).

    I've argued that data caps should be speed caps instead. If I pay for 200Mbps then I should be able to pull that rate 24/7 with no added fees. If my needs outstrip the data rate then I simply pay for a faster connection.

    I could go to a 1Gbps connection but have no need for that much speed (few people truly do – even households with multiple "heavy" streamers – and it's quite rare to actually get that speed delivered due to the way ISPs allocate bandwidth).

    I think you are probably correct in your assumptions that the ISP did those shenanigans to coerce you into upgrading.

    Are the streaming companies assuming most users (especially younger generations) hardly watch any films on a monthly basis but will still continue to pay the fees?

    Are they predicting a trend for this market in relation to that?

    If so, the true movie buffs who watch new content almost on a daily basis are going to suffer as the companies will have no incentive to have a wide variety of selection with their content.

  312. BobO’Link

    In a way they do.

    When I switched from DSL (3Mbps with a 1 Terrabyte(!) cap – no way to even come close at that speed) to Cable internet I had a 200Mbps connection – but a 250Gb data cap. It's just my wife and me and neither of us do much streaming (although I do quite a bit of dling – partly due to working on computers on the side on occasion). I kept a close eye on what we were using and would curtail my activities if it looked like we were close. It took 8 months before we finally went over (and that was when my son and his family were at the house for a week). The first month they just send a notice but warn that if you go over again you'll be charged an "overage fee." That fee is rather usurious when compared to the "regular" cost per Mb. A few months later when it was apparent we were about to go over again I just called and upped our speed to 400Mbps as it comes with unlimited data. The extra $$ for that is less than the overage fee (although it's monthly).

    The odd part is after upping our speed for the higher data cap our data usage seemed to drop significantly while I 100% know I was using much more than before (on purpose – partly to test that theory). I suspect they "fudge" the numbers to get people to do just what we did. Did we "need" the extra speed? Not at all.

    Right now my 16yo grandson is living with us, playing online games, watching videos, etc., and we still could "get by" with a 200Mbps connection – other than that artificially low data cap (we've hit 600Mb a few months with him here – far less than the 1 Terrabyte I had on DSL).

    I've argued that data caps should be speed caps instead. If I pay for 200Mbps then I should be able to pull that rate 24/7 with no added fees. If my needs outstrip the data rate then I simply pay for a faster connection.

    I could go to a 1Gbps connection but have no need for that much speed (few people truly do – even households with multiple "heavy" streamers – and it's quite rare to actually get that speed delivered due to the way ISPs allocate bandwidth).

    I think you are probably correct in your assumptions that the ISP did those shenanigans to coerce you into upgrading.

    Are the streaming companies assuming most users (especially younger generations) hardly watch any films on a monthly basis but will still continue to pay the fees?

    Are they predicting a trend for this market in relation to that?

    If so, the true movie buffs who watch new content almost on a daily basis are going to suffer as the companies will have no incentive to have a wide variety of selection with their content.

  313. BobO’Link

    In a way they do.

    When I switched from DSL (3Mbps with a 1 Terrabyte(!) cap – no way to even come close at that speed) to Cable internet I had a 200Mbps connection – but a 250Gb data cap. It's just my wife and me and neither of us do much streaming (although I do quite a bit of dling – partly due to working on computers on the side on occasion). I kept a close eye on what we were using and would curtail my activities if it looked like we were close. It took 8 months before we finally went over (and that was when my son and his family were at the house for a week). The first month they just send a notice but warn that if you go over again you'll be charged an "overage fee." That fee is rather usurious when compared to the "regular" cost per Mb. A few months later when it was apparent we were about to go over again I just called and upped our speed to 400Mbps as it comes with unlimited data. The extra $$ for that is less than the overage fee (although it's monthly).

    The odd part is after upping our speed for the higher data cap our data usage seemed to drop significantly while I 100% know I was using much more than before (on purpose – partly to test that theory). I suspect they "fudge" the numbers to get people to do just what we did. Did we "need" the extra speed? Not at all.

    Right now my 16yo grandson is living with us, playing online games, watching videos, etc., and we still could "get by" with a 200Mbps connection – other than that artificially low data cap (we've hit 600Mb a few months with him here – far less than the 1 Terrabyte I had on DSL).

    I've argued that data caps should be speed caps instead. If I pay for 200Mbps then I should be able to pull that rate 24/7 with no added fees. If my needs outstrip the data rate then I simply pay for a faster connection.

    I could go to a 1Gbps connection but have no need for that much speed (few people truly do – even households with multiple "heavy" streamers – and it's quite rare to actually get that speed delivered due to the way ISPs allocate bandwidth).

    I think you are probably correct in your assumptions that the ISP did those shenanigans to coerce you into upgrading.

    Are the streaming companies assuming most users (especially younger generations) hardly watch any films on a monthly basis but will still continue to pay the fees?

    Are they predicting a trend for this market in relation to that?

    If so, the true movie buffs who watch new content almost on a daily basis are going to suffer as the companies will have no incentive to have a wide variety of selection with their content.

  314. Traveling Matt

    Retiring DVDs means retiring DVD players (and eventually BD playback of DVDs).

    "Retiring" dvd players in priniciple can only be done via patent law enforcement. Though once the dvd-video patents expire, there is nothing to stop anybody from manufacturing generic bog standard dvd players which only play dvd-video discs.

  315. Blu Eye

    That seems a logical outcome.

    I will throw you another one (I'm a nuisance, I know).

    What if the younger generations completely lose all enthusiasm for watching films?

    This seems a plausible outcome from what I observe.

    This could potentially lead to streaming companies going the way of physical media.

    Then where does that leave us?

    Television is definitely in a bubble right now. Streaming and conventional and cable networks aired 532 shows last year, and that's just the scripted stuff, not including documentaries and reality TV. There's no way that's sustainable. In a few years, Netflix is going to be in a position where its growth levels off, and it's not going to be able to throw billions into production the way it does now. People will pay for maybe 2 or 3 services, but that's about it – they're not going to spend hundreds of dollars a month to have everything.

    I suspect most of the new streamers are going to fall by the wayside within the next decade. A few like Apple and Amazon may continue to operate at a loss, if they feel it helps their core business somehow. I think we're going to see a huge contraction of the industry in a few years, until things level off and the volume of content is closer to what it was 15-20 years ago.

  316. Blu Eye

    That seems a logical outcome.

    I will throw you another one (I'm a nuisance, I know).

    What if the younger generations completely lose all enthusiasm for watching films?

    This seems a plausible outcome from what I observe.

    This could potentially lead to streaming companies going the way of physical media.

    Then where does that leave us?

    Television is definitely in a bubble right now. Streaming and conventional and cable networks aired 532 shows last year, and that's just the scripted stuff, not including documentaries and reality TV. There's no way that's sustainable. In a few years, Netflix is going to be in a position where its growth levels off, and it's not going to be able to throw billions into production the way it does now. People will pay for maybe 2 or 3 services, but that's about it – they're not going to spend hundreds of dollars a month to have everything.

    I suspect most of the new streamers are going to fall by the wayside within the next decade. A few like Apple and Amazon may continue to operate at a loss, if they feel it helps their core business somehow. I think we're going to see a huge contraction of the industry in a few years, until things level off and the volume of content is closer to what it was 15-20 years ago.

  317. Blu Eye

    That seems a logical outcome.

    I will throw you another one (I'm a nuisance, I know).

    What if the younger generations completely lose all enthusiasm for watching films?

    This seems a plausible outcome from what I observe.

    This could potentially lead to streaming companies going the way of physical media.

    Then where does that leave us?

    Television is definitely in a bubble right now. Streaming and conventional and cable networks aired 532 shows last year, and that's just the scripted stuff, not including documentaries and reality TV. There's no way that's sustainable. In a few years, Netflix is going to be in a position where its growth levels off, and it's not going to be able to throw billions into production the way it does now. People will pay for maybe 2 or 3 services, but that's about it – they're not going to spend hundreds of dollars a month to have everything.

    I suspect most of the new streamers are going to fall by the wayside within the next decade. A few like Apple and Amazon may continue to operate at a loss, if they feel it helps their core business somehow. I think we're going to see a huge contraction of the industry in a few years, until things level off and the volume of content is closer to what it was 15-20 years ago.

  318. MatthewA

    I'm starting to agree with Nick*Z's points about DVD's time essentially being over.

    From a strictly technical perspective, this is likely to be true.

    From a market perspective, this ain't happening. Regardless of who you want to blame for this sad state of affairs.

  319. MatthewA

    I'm starting to agree with Nick*Z's points about DVD's time essentially being over.

    From a strictly technical perspective, this is likely to be true.

    From a market perspective, this ain't happening. Regardless of who you want to blame for this sad state of affairs.

  320. Jesse Skeen

    DVD playback should of course always be supported, but it really makes no sense to keep releasing recent material on it. What exactly are all those people buying on DVD nowadays?

    If I had to guess, probably stuff like romcoms, dramas, etc … which do not attract a hardcore collector audience.

    Also some third tier (and lower) movie companies only release thir stuff as dvd-only with no bluray versions at all. For example, such as bottom feeders like The Asylum and other junk purveyors released through distributors like Cinedigm, Lionsgate, etc …

  321. Jesse Skeen

    DVD playback should of course always be supported, but it really makes no sense to keep releasing recent material on it. What exactly are all those people buying on DVD nowadays?

    If I had to guess, probably stuff like romcoms, dramas, etc … which do not attract a hardcore collector audience.

    Also some third tier (and lower) movie companies only release thir stuff as dvd-only with no bluray versions at all. For example, such as bottom feeders like The Asylum and other junk purveyors released through distributors like Cinedigm, Lionsgate, etc …

  322. Okay, retiring DVD as a format does not preclude being able to play your existing DVD's on a Blu-ray or 4K Blu-ray player. So, upgrade your player, not your library and from now on, buy Blu instead of DVD. Simple. So, yes – it's time to say goodbye to DVD.

    RE: your comment about those with existing libraries being inconvenienced. Did the industry take that into consideration for those who owned vast VHS or Betamax or LaserDisc libraries after DVD's debut? Did the industry say, hey, there's this guy – Ken Crane – who carries a ton of our content on LD. We need to keep him and his followers in large disc format?

    No. And since each was its own format, there was no 'backward' compatibility as there is between DVD, Blu-ray and 4K content. So, the argument is moot. The industry could save itself a lot of coin, and have minimal backlash by simply ending DVD and encouraging everyone to upgrade to a Blu-ray or 4K player.

  323. Nick*Z

    The industry could save itself a lot of coin, and have minimal backlash by simply ending DVD and encouraging everyone to upgrade to a Blu-ray or 4K player.

    How would the industry be saving money by eliminating its best selling format? And at this point, would those who haven't already bothered with blu-ray/4K really be likely to do so, or would most of them just switch to streaming instead?

  324. Worth

    How would the industry be saving money by eliminating its best selling format? And at this point, would those who haven't already bothered with blu-ray/4K really be likely to do so, or would most of them just switch to streaming instead?

    (On a tangent).

    I have to wonder if the dvd versions of non-genre titles (ie. not superhero, not scifi, not fantasy, not horror, etc ….), is subsidizing the bluray versions. (ie. Cushioning any potential or real losses from releasing the bluray version).

  325. Traveling Matt

    Assuming the 4K Blu-ray holds genuine 4K content in the first place. The format did itself no favors by premiering its first 10 titles with 8 or 9 HD upscales. Honestly that kept me from taking it seriously. I certainly wasn't going to consider building a library with genuine and non-genuine 4K discs.

    Retiring DVDs means retiring DVD players (and eventually BD playback of DVDs). That would be an enormous inconvenience for those needing to play their existing libraries – not just new purchases – and if anything, due to cost, inconvenience and probably distrust, would facilitate a move from DVD to streaming rather than BD for many people.

    Existing DVD libraries are a thing, and many people are not going to rebuy content. It's not all about new purchases, but it is about the ability to play the discs you've already got and aren't replacing.

    Go look at the tray in your Blu-ray player. I'll wait.

    Did you notice that 3" diameter indentation in the tray? That's for the 3" CD format. Pressed 3" CDs haven't existed since the early 90s, but the moulds haven't been changed. Your DVD and Blu-ray players will still play CDs, a format that is now nearly 40 years old. Economies of scale being what they are, DVD playback costs [at this point] maybe a few cents to include in even the most expensive UHD 4K player. Unlike a failed format like HD DVD [RIP] and BD 3D [don't @ me; I'm still collecting 3D discs], DVD has enough market penetration that discontinuing DVD playback isn't going to happen anytime soon, and CD compatibility will go first.

  326. Recordable DVDs seem to be more practical to record anything off TV than Blu-ray, even now.

    BobO’Link

    Movies and TV series. Historically, with only a couple of months exception, DVDs outsell BR every month.

    What percentage of those sales constitute DVD-only releases?

  327. Worth

    There are third-party sites that do list everything available on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu etc. But it's important to keep in mind that titles are going to cycle in and out fairly regularly. They're not permanent databases of content.

    Blu Eye

    This is what concerns me with streaming. They will change their content to current trends which leads me to think about how much content could end up not only being unavailable but lost forever. This could apply to new and old films especially with a lot of new films being shot digitally.

    There seems to be misapprehension of the state of streaming services. Content isn’t disappearing from services. Content is moving from one service to another. Currently, the major content owners are setting up their own service to compete with Netflix and/or try not to lose out in the streaming future. Accordingly, they’re all pulling their content back to their own services. Substantially, Netflix (and its customers) are the losers here, as Disney and Marvel and Star Wars movies are moving to Disney+ in the next serval years. Hulu is getting all shuffled up with NBC out and Disney owning it.

    This isn’t an absolute. And in the near term there are weirdnesses from all the legal manipulations of licenses for the services established years ago.
    https://www.polygon.com/disney-plus…me-alone-pirates-of-the-caribbean-dr-dolittle

    But the clear trend is for *more* content to be on streaming, not less. A watershed is Studio Ghibli is now streaming with HBO MAX. They’ve never been available digitally, much less streaming. Now they are (or soon will be).
    https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/17…way-kikis-delivery-service-my-neighbor-totoro

    Anything can happen, of course. Disney might decide they want a streaming vault and take content out of circulation for a decade. Who knows?

    But I think the fear that streaming services will just willy-nilly delete content doesn’t make sense. Where’s the profit, a good Ferengi would ask? Long tail. Deep libraries. Something for everyone. Not just Marvel movies on Disney+.

  328. The gain in the last week is obviously because of the Black Friday boost, but that's expected. There is a glimmer of hope if there were more post-Thanksgiving sales this year than last year.

    What those sales figures still don't say is whether DVD those sales are for movies released only on DVD or for movies on DVD who also have a Blu-ray version counted separately.

    I think in the long-term cable is going to be the biggest loser here. It's just a matter of time before everything that's now exclusive to cable moves over to streaming.

  329. BobO’Link

    Some of it is rather sobering. HBO's flagship Game of Thrones sold more on DVD than BR:

    NBC’s The Good Place is only sold on DVD. Which means we’re all living in The Bad Place!

    I’d consider buying TGP on blu-ray for the extended episodes and any bonus features not available on streaming. But I’m not buying DVDs.

  330. Stephen_J_H

    Go look at the tray in your Blu-ray player. I'll wait. Did you notice that 3" diameter indentation in the tray? That's for the 3" CD format.

    I burned 3” CDs, and printed on my inkjet printer custom labels, to create digital resumes to give away when I was job hunting after hard school. 🙂 good times.

  331. I’m going to guess the reason for Game Of Thrones selling more on DVD: the majority of those sales are coming from people who are not tech savvy and never upgraded from DVD to streaming, and either don’t have cable or elect not to pay for HBO.

    If you’re in any way tech savvy, you probably watched the show through a cable or app subscription in HD. You might have watched it on Amazon, as they have a deal to stream HBO content. Or, you might have pirated it since it’s the top pirated show worldwide. Compared to how many illegal downloads have been made of the show, it seems only a fraction of the people who have seen it did so legally.

    The DVD sales for this title probably represent the remaining audience that can’t or won’t do those other things.

    Anecdotally, my mom and stepdad watched all but the last season on DVD, choosing not to subscribe to HBO through cable and only knowing how the Netflix app worked. When it came time for the last season, my stepdad came to the conclusion that it was stupid to wait half a year for the DVD which they’d watch only once, and about five minutes after saying that my stepsister had them up and running with HBO Now on their Roku stick. Once he saw how easy that was and that it wasn’t the same messy commitment as ordering a new channel from cable, he dumped all of cable almost immediately. He had just thought streaming was basically like YouTube only messier and harder to navigate and for computers and not TVs (not connecting the dots that Netflix was the same kind of streaming) and that was that. So in the blink of an eye, a lifetime cable subscriber and DVD buyer turned into a streamer overnight. Any differences in quality between streaming and discs, perceived or actual, ended up being entirely irrelevant to someone who wanted to see a thing once in a 32” TV using the built in speakers.

  332. Josh Steinberg

    I’m going to guess the reason for Game Of Thrones selling more on DVD: the majority of those sales are coming from people who are not tech savvy and never upgraded from DVD to streaming, and either don’t have cable or elect not to pay for HBO.

    I never buy GOT but can you even find the Blu-rays at brick and mortar stores? I have trouble finding most Blu-ray TV shows at stores so that could be another reason that they sell more of the DVDs.

  333. BobO’Link

    I still purchase DVDs *if* the title can't be purchased on BR.

    <shudders> 🙂

    I’m thinking about upgrading my Futurama DVDs for blu-ray…if they’re on blu. I’m a bit confused on the state of affairs there. Rationally, I should just watch Futurama streaming. But, I love the commentaries, and I’ve started a rewatch of the series. I don’t think episode commentaries are on streaming services, so I gotta have physical media for that.

  334. BobO’Link

    There've been complaints about The Orville only being distributed on DVD. I purchased it because I like the show and found the DVD quality is quite acceptable – it looks just as good, if not a bit better, as the quality I got streaming it.

    Do you have slower internet? Or a great upscaling display? I’m finding streaming looks as good or better than HD cable broadcast. And both look better than DVD. I haven’t done rigorous comparisons, but I’m struggling to believe DVD looks better than nominal HD streaming?

  335. DaveF

    <shudders> 🙂

    I’m thinking about upgrading my Futurama DVDs for blu-ray…if they’re on blu. I’m a bit confused on the state of affairs there. Rationally, I should just watch Futurama streaming. But, I love the commentaries, and I’ve started a rewatch of the series. I don’t think episode commentaries are on streaming services, so I gotta have physical media for that.

    I’m like that with Star Trek. If the discs were barebones, I’d have to think long and hard about it, but the plethora of bonus features are what makes the purchase vital. I think the thing is, in the end, it’s all data – the data itself doesn’t care if it’s pressed on a disc or downloaded over the internet. Physical media in these cases isn’t necessarily intrinsically more valuable because the data is pressed on a disc; it’s more valuable because the disc version is including those bonuses that rarely come with subscription streaming and inconsistently with digital purchases. Include all the bonus features with the digital version and it becomes a harder choice again.

    Mike Frezon

    Dave: You really wouldn't buy a DVD of a desired film/TV show if it's not released any other way?

    I’m not Dave, but… I would say that I might just consider the streaming version the release. For a lot of things these days, I’m finding I have a choice between a DVD version as the only disc option, or an HD version that’s a digital exclusive. It’s harder for me to accept watching a DVD version when I know that it’s available in HD.

    I faced the same dilemma with The Orville. I decided not to buy the DVD, even though I love the show. My household is subscribed to the commercial-free version of Hulu, which is how we watched it (in HD) in the first place and where it resides in perpetuity. So for me, it was a question of, why spend $20 for a standard definition copy of something I already have access to an HD copy of? Since I’m already paying for Hulu no matter what, why buy the extra thing?

    Or, in the case of CSI. They put out some seasons on BD, but the later seasons are DVD only. I collected all the early seasons on disc back when DVD was the only format and got BD when they started coming out that way. But when they went to back DVD only for the last years, I stopped buying. Truth be told, that was just a coincidence on my part because I had lost interest in the show. Flash forward to last year, and I wanted to finish it. The DVDs have bonus features; the iTunes versions don’t but are in HD. And I had already started collecting the show on physical media. But I realized I had never watched the vast majority of those bonus features, so I went with the better quality version.

    I love when the physical media version of something is the best version out there. When it is, I buy without hesitation. I buy with utter delight. But… if what’s on disc is not the best version, it’s really hard for me to buy these days.

    Somebody give me a larger budget and a house and I’ll be glad to reconsider 😀

  336. Every time I enter this thread, I'm reminded of that Dylan Thomas poem: "Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

    Mike Frezon

    Dave: You really wouldn't buy a DVD of a desired film/TV show if it's not released any other way?

    I won't buy a DVD of a show that was originally broadcast in HD.

  337. Every time I enter this thread, I'm reminded of that Dylan Thomas poem: "Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

    Mike Frezon

    Dave: You really wouldn't buy a DVD of a desired film/TV show if it's not released any other way?

    I won't buy a DVD of a show that was originally broadcast in HD.

  338. Josh Steinberg

    I love when the physical media version of something is the best version out there. When it is, I buy without hesitation. I buy with utter delight. But… if what’s on disc is not the best version, it’s really hard for me to buy these days.

    Personally, I have reached the point that the above is not the case for me anymore. When the 4K + HDR streaming version of something can be purchased for under $10 (sometimes as low as $5), I have no issue going that way instead of spending maybe $25 for the corresponding disc-based version. Price has become a big consideration with me.

    Also, in my case digital versions offer another advantage — the ability to watch my purchases from multiple locations. Since retiring, we are away from our home more and more, so having more material available to watch "in the cloud" offers a lot of benefit. It also is solving another issue — running out of space for all those discs. These are the same reasons I have moved to digital purchases of books — I do not need a physical copy on my shelf.

  339. Josh Steinberg

    I love when the physical media version of something is the best version out there. When it is, I buy without hesitation. I buy with utter delight. But… if what’s on disc is not the best version, it’s really hard for me to buy these days.

    Personally, I have reached the point that the above is not the case for me anymore. When the 4K + HDR streaming version of something can be purchased for under $10 (sometimes as low as $5), I have no issue going that way instead of spending maybe $25 for the corresponding disc-based version. Price has become a big consideration with me.

    Also, in my case digital versions offer another advantage — the ability to watch my purchases from multiple locations. Since retiring, we are away from our home more and more, so having more material available to watch "in the cloud" offers a lot of benefit. It also is solving another issue — running out of space for all those discs. These are the same reasons I have moved to digital purchases of books — I do not need a physical copy on my shelf.

  340. Scott, I’m generally in agreement with you. I should clarify: when I said “best version” I’m not talking about whether a disc or streaming looks better. I’m talking about other things like, is this version a new restoration? Does it include bonus features that I actually want to watch? But I agree, it’s really hard to pass up a $5 digital version in 4K, especially when iTunes is throwing in all the same bonus features from the disc.

  341. $5 is the point where I'll cave and buy something on digital that I haven't seen, as it's about the same price as a rental so just getting to watch it once is good for the price. If the movie is really good I'll still buy the disc later.

    As I believe in voting with my dollars, I absolutely will not downgrade a series back to regular DVD when previous seasons were on Blu-Ray. If they want my money, they'll put out the format I want as they were before. Otherwise I'll stop watching further seasons or find some other way to see them.

    As far as retiring DVD, what if they quietly discontinued DVD-only players but kept selling those ultra-cheap $50 Blu-Ray players, clearly marked that they can also play DVDs? Someone needs a new player and doesn't want to spend a lot gets a cheap Blu-ray player since that's their only choice, keeps watching their DVDs on it but gets new stuff on Blu-Ray from then on? There's people out there who would still be buying VHS tapes if they were still being put out, but those are clearly obsolete.

  342. I am undecided on what to do about Game of Thrones. I don't subscribe to HBO, so I didn't see the series live. I'm considering whether it's worth watching, and if so do I do it streaming by a sub to HBO or buy the discs. The discs are more expensive but have the Atmos mix, and reports were that HBO's streaming quality was unwatchedly bad for at least one episode. So, maybe discs for GoT.

  343. Blu Eye

    That seems a logical outcome.

    Many years ago (probably at least 15), “my friend” bought a legal program that removed copy protection of “any DVD”. Blank DVDs are also readily available legally. He has used this program ever since. It does not work for Blu ray, but Any DVD bought by the public library that is not available in Blu ray is fair game.
    He exclusively buys Blu if available, but makes his own copy if it is not.

    I have gotten in the habit of burning my own DVDs from off the air broadcasts with recordable DVD players (DVD-RW), of favourite shows I am afraid someday may not be commercially available. These are erased when the sets come out.
    I have originally recorded and edited all seasons of the two “Walking Dead” series, “Krypton”, “Discovery” and the first episode of “Picard”. All these discs are erased when the Blu ray sets are available, but sit on my shelf if they for some reason are not. I guess I am a bit paranoid so far, but the way things are going …

  344. Jesse Skeen

    As far as retiring DVD, what if they quietly discontinued DVD-only players …

    How would this be done in practice? (ie. Excluding the case of the government banning dvd-only players by legal decree).

    How would you deal with manufacturers of dvd-only players where all of the dvd-video patents expired already (or soon will be) ? (ie. Excluding the case of the government banning all dvd-only players being imported from China).

    On a variation of the latter case, how would you deal with a factory located in the middle of the United States which manufactures dvd-only players which are patent-free ? (ie. Excluding activities such as arson, vandalism, changing land zoning laws, etc … or any other deliberate sabotage).

  345. MatthewA

    I'm starting to agree with Nick*Z's points about DVD's time essentially being over. It was good while it lasted, but binge-watching LA Law reminded me how bad the worst DVDs can be ….

    Compounding such awfulness are current tv shows like NCIS and Criminal Minds, where the image was put throught a "softening filter" which "crappy-fies" the video to look like 480i ntsc sd video quality. In spite of recent/current episodes being filmed with hd/4k (or higher) resolution digital cameras, the final post-production appears to have been made deliberately to look like crappy ntsc sd video.

    I was one of those fools which purchased that lone NCIS season 12 bluray set. Compared to the dvd version and the original cbs broadcasts, they all look really awful.

    Criminal Minds never had any bluray sets released in america. Though comparing the hd cbs broadcasts (or reruns) with the dvd versions, they both look really awful and almost indistingishable from one another.

  346. In contrast, I'll give credit to tv shows which keep up with current technology and don't deliberately "crap-ify" the image to look like a "retro ntsc" sd resolution. Even if they're never released on bluray in america, such as Law & Order Special Victims Unit (SVU) in their 21st season (exceeding Gunsmoke). If you watch the SVU reruns, it appears it was entirely done in HD since the early seasons. (I don't know which was the first season to be entirely shot with digital hd cameras, without using any actual film).

    Even daytime soap operas keep up with current technology, by shooting in hd (or higher) resolution at 60 frames per second (probably interlaced).

  347. I have exactly one instance of a new release movie I wanted not being available on BD (Bright Star) and that was years ago. I can't complain about the availability of titles, and as far as 4K discs go, none of the new release movies I want on the format have been unavailable to me (my friend complained about "Ready or Not", and I have heard some murmuring about the new Addams Family movie not on UHD disc) so far I guess I have just been lucky in that every movie I want has been released on BD, or 4K disc.

    If it ever gets to the point that I can't find a new movie I want on BD, or 4K then I will start to purchase exclusively digital.

  348. DaveF

    I am undecided on what to do about Game of Thrones. I don't subscribe to HBO, so I didn't see the series live. I'm considering whether it's worth watching, and if so do I do it streaming by a sub to HBO or buy the discs. The discs are more expensive but have the Atmos mix, and reports were that HBO's streaming quality was unwatchedly bad for at least one episode. So, maybe discs for GoT.

    The discs are quite expensive. I borrowed the BD's from a friend (except for the final season), and later watched the seasons a 2nd time via iTunes (my friend gave me the digital codes, as he didn't use them). Visually I thought they looked fine via the digital codes on iTunes, and sometimes Apple has the seasons on sale. I need to pick up the final season, and am waiting for a sale on iTunes. We watched the final season via a free trial on HBO Now, and it looked okay — but not as good as via iTunes, IMO. We were watching many months after the show ended, though, so HBO's servers probably were not nearly as taxed as during the initial run of the season.

  349. (Going offtopic somewhat, but on the topic of GoT).

    I have only skimmed through the first season of Game of Thrones, when it was in reruns on a basic cable channel a year or two after it first appeared on HBO. Since then I have not had the desire to continue watching anything further.

    At this point I would be more inclined to first read the original George RR Martin books, before I ever watch the show. If I ever get around to this, hopefully the bluray (or 4Kbluray) versions will still be on the market and not out-of-print at skyhigh ebay prices.

  350. Scott Merryfield

    The discs are quite expensive. I borrowed the BD's from a friend (except for the final season), and later watched the seasons a 2nd time via iTunes (my friend gave me the digital codes, as he didn't use them). Visually I thought they looked fine via the digital codes on iTunes, and sometimes Apple has the seasons on sale. I need to pick up the final season, and am waiting for a sale on iTunes. We watched the final season via a free trial on HBO Now, and it looked okay — but not as good as via iTunes, IMO. We were watching many months after the show ended, though, so HBO's servers probably were not nearly as taxed as during the initial run of the season.

    Good point, I hadn’t considered the middle option of buying digitally from iTunes.

  351. MatthewA

    In my opinion, the only shows that are worth watching at all are shows that are worth giving your undivided attention to. If I want something to listen to while I am doing something, I'll listen to music. The lack of a visual component to the audio makes it easier to concentrate on two things at once.

    Here is one counterexample which works in practice for me.

    I have found that for some really old tv shows, stripping out and listening to the audio only (without any video) is almost just like listening to an old radio show drama (before tv was easily available).

    I found this to be the case for stuff like the original Star Trek, Dragnet, the original Twilight Zone, etc … At times I wonder if some of these same actors were doing radio drama shows when they were younger.

  352. Well, one night I watched two old Hayley Mills movies: In Search of the Castaways and The Moon-Spinners. The former was on laserdisc, and the latter was a DVD whose transfer was obviously a laserdisc port. The laserdisc looked better and offered lossless sound, something the DVD could have theoretically offered but did not.

    And for the original Lion King, the picture improvements do not negate the alterations made to the film since then, especially the inferior replaced animation of one shot of "I Just Can't Wait to Be King." For that reason, I kept the CAV Laserdisc box set.

    Outside of Disney, who has always been inconsistent despite proving time and time again that they're capable of doing more, there were plenty of public domain labels just grinding out discs of public domain movies from age-old analog tape transfers. Some of them extrapolated their bad habits onto Blu-ray, trying to pass off ugly examples of overdone digital noise reductions as "restorations."

    Some of the early Fox DVDs were also not even 16×9 enhanced, just ports of the old laserdisc transfers. MGM cranked out a bunch of titles without remastering them, and some of them still have yet to be remastered; 1975's Smile is one such example.

  353. MatthewA

    Well, one night I watched two old Hayley Mills movies: In Search of the Castaways and The Moon-Spinners. The former was on laserdisc, and the latter was a DVD whose transfer was obviously a laserdisc port. The laserdisc looked better and offered lossless sound, something the DVD could have theoretically offered but did not.

    (On a slight variation of this).

    The worst case of something similar I ever came across in a different context, was the Spawn bluray which looked like they just used the old laserdisc transfer on the bluray.

  354. In a more direct apples-to-apples comparison, the case where I found the laserdisc version was superior to the then-current dvd version at the time, was Blade Runner.

    For many years, the Blade Runner dvd was a lousy bare bones disc with the director's cut version. The transfer didn't look very good.

    The Criterion laserdisc version of Blade Runner looked a lot better at the time, and had some special features such as an art/sketch gallery.

  355. Both of those transfers I mentioned seem to have been made around the same time, and Disney has only released the first one to Blu-ray at this time. For what it's worth, the guy who was running home video in the early DVD years now runs the parks.

    Criterion will often have different extras on the same title than the same release by a studio of the same movie. Even now, that is the case with the two Blu-rays of All About Eve. The same goes for MGM; they remastered and released some titles themselves, then some got deluxe upgrades and new extras from third-party licensees. In their case, their patchwork library seems to make more money for them than new movies simply because they own so many movies.

    Ghostbusters got a Criterion laserdisc with exclusive extras that RCA/Columbia never bothered to include in the pre-DVD days. Meanwhile, Annie, which the Torch Lady kept to herself for laserdisc, got treated better in Region 2 than Region 1 in the DVD era. It was then, the mid-2000s, that I finally went region-free.

  356. MatthewA

    … reminded me how bad the worst DVDs can be, and also why it was two years into the format's existence before I adopted it.

    (From a personal historical perspective).

    My dvd adoption journey turned out to be even more protracted than two years.

    Back in the day circa the late-1990s, my first dvd purchase was Terminator 2 (T2) which turned out to be a defective disc. 20 minutes into the movie, the dvd player + disc froze where I had pull the electrical plug and plug the player back in to take the defective disc out of the dvd player's tray. That defective T2 disc went back to the retailer for a return. (They had no more copies of that T2 dvd on the shelves that day, and just offered a straight refund).

    This very much abruptly ended any and all possible "dvd collecting hobby" for me at the time. In the end, I didn't formally accept dvd until over a decade later, where I only really started buying a lot of dvds/blurays in 2011. (Over the entire 2000s decade, I had very little to no interest in dvd and bluray).

  357. MatthewA

    From the time I was about 20 months old, I had never known a time without home video in the home, so each new format seemed like a natural progression from the other.

    (I don't know how old you are).

    I didn't have any home video at all, until I was in high school. My parents didn't buy a vhs machine, until it became inexpensive enough.

    In those days, the least expensive blank vhs tapes were $5 a pop in mid-1980s dollars. The better quality blank vhs tapes were easily $10 a pop.

  358. I'm in my mid-30s, so that was the mid-1980s when my family first got into it. I noticed in the 1990s, blank VHS tapes got longer — BASF made a T-200 that could hold 10 hours in EP mode — but not necessarily better in quality. The tapes just seemed flimsier and more easily breakable compared to the older ones. So children of the 1980s (and the late 1970s if you were lucky enough to be in a family of early adopters) are unique in this respect because we grew up with home video but not the Internet, whose explosion into people's homes was a decade away.

  359. Thinking about it more, I don't think I would have ever started collecting dvds/blurays if I had to watch through every dvd / bluray disc I own.

    Back in the laserdisc and vhs era, the few discs/tapes I purchased were primarily movies where I would sit down and devote my full attention to watching from start to finish. I never had any obvious ocd compulsive collecting/hoarding impulses when it came to laserdisc and vhs.

    Since 2011 when I first started buying a lot of dvds and blurays, I have largely substituted computer "disc ripping" in place of any actual viewing. (ie. Rip now, watch later if ever). This may sound extremely irrational, but this is exactly what is going through my mind when it comes to my frequent dvd/bluray buying binges.

    In contrast, there was no easy way to "rip" laserdiscs to the computer. Also dubbing vhs->vhs or laserdisc->vhs was so time consuming, that I'm essentially watching the entire movie at the same time while "ripping" a copy, which completely defeats the purpose of "rip now, watch later".

  360. MatthewA

    So children of the 1980s (and the late 1970s if you were lucky enough to be in a family of early adopters) are unique in this respect because we grew up with home video but not the Internet, whose explosion into people's homes was a decade away.

    This time period ^ of "growing up with home video but not the internet" only lasted about 5 years or so for me. I first got onto the internet in 1990.

    By the time my parents purchased a vhs machine, I was more interested in hanging out with friends at the local pool hall or video arcades, than watching tv. The last tv show I followed regularly at time, was the first season of the original MacGyver. After that, I was hardly home during prime time evenings. I was mostly hanging out with friends at the local pool hall or nearby malls.

    So "home video" was largely peripheral and not a big thing at all in my youth. For all practical purposes, I largely grew up without much of any home video at all.

  361. Josh Steinberg

    I’m not Dave, but… I would say that I might just consider the streaming version the release. For a lot of things these days, I’m finding I have a choice between a DVD version as the only disc option, or an HD version that’s a digital exclusive. It’s harder for me to accept watching a DVD version when I know that it’s available in HD.

    I faced the same dilemma with The Orville. I decided not to buy the DVD, even though I love the show. My household is subscribed to the commercial-free version of Hulu, which is how we watched it (in HD) in the first place and where it resides in perpetuity. So for me, it was a question of, why spend $20 for a standard definition copy of something I already have access to an HD copy of? Since I’m already paying for Hulu no matter what, why buy the extra thing?

    Or, in the case of CSI. They put out some seasons on BD, but the later seasons are DVD only. I collected all the early seasons on disc back when DVD was the only format and got BD when they started coming out that way. But when they went to back DVD only for the last years, I stopped buying. Truth be told, that was just a coincidence on my part because I had lost interest in the show. Flash forward to last year, and I wanted to finish it. The DVDs have bonus features; the iTunes versions don’t but are in HD. And I had already started collecting the show on physical media. But I realized I had never watched the vast majority of those bonus features, so I went with the better quality version.

    I love when the physical media version of something is the best version out there. When it is, I buy without hesitation. I buy with utter delight. But… if what’s on disc is not the best version, it’s really hard for me to buy these days.

    Somebody give me a larger budget and a house and I’ll be glad to reconsider

    But that's not the question I asked, Josh. If the only option is a DVD, you guys wont buy it?

    Or is it–as Dave noted later–

    DaveF

    What they said. 🙂 I’m not buying HD shows downgraded to SD.

    I only ask because there are several DVDs I've purchased in recent months. Mostly, films that have been released on DVD only. So I guess I'm wondering if the "No DVD" policy would apply to that scenario for you if it was a film you really wanted to see/own. I guess I would be surprised if so.

  362. Mike Frezon

    But that's not the question I asked, Josh. If the only option is a DVD, you guys wont buy it?

    I'll chime in on a slight tangent, in a very different context.

    As a way of squelching my ocd compulsive collecting/hoarding behavior, I've been using a jedi mindfuck mantra of "no bluray = no sale" to trick myself into NOT buying a particular title which has not been released on bluray.

    For example, such as many tv show season sets and various less popular non-genre type movies (ie. lousy action movies, romcoms, generic dramas, etc …). Outside of genre stuff, my other big weakness is for lousy action movies which litter many dvd dump bins.

  363. Adam Lenhardt

    I won't buy a DVD of a show that was originally broadcast in HD.

    This is exactly ^ the type of thing that I've been using my jedi mindfuck "no bluray = no sale" mantra on, primarily to severely restrict my ocd compulsive impulse buying of tv show season sets.

  364. Mike Frezon

    But that's not the question I asked, Josh. If the only option is a DVD, you guys wont buy it?

    Or is it–as Dave noted later–

    I only ask because there are several DVDs I've purchased in recent months. Mostly, films that have been released on DVD only. So I guess I'm wondering if the "No DVD" policy would apply to that scenario for you if it was a film you really wanted to see/own. I guess I would be surprised if so.

    I'm not buying HD-native material downgraded to SD. The Good Place is HD streaming, so I'd subscribe to Hulu to rewatch if I wanted to over buying it on DVD.

    I'll consider buying SD-native material in SD, but it's got to be something I love (and in which case I probably already own it) or something I'm remiss in not yet having seen that I'll still consider it (e.g. The Wire).

    I can't think of any movies that I love that are only on VHS or DVD. There are some standard-def TV shows I'd consider buying on DVD to watch. But there's so much stuff to watch, that those are ever lower priority for me.

  365. (Further elaboration).

    Since one of my big non-genre weaknesses is for lousy action movies whether on bluray or dvd, another variation of the jedi mindfuck I've been using is "no 4Kbluray = no sale". Currently I don't even own a 4Kbluray UHD player.

    Action movies ranging from excellent to outright garbage, seems to be a mainstay of bluray releases since its inception in 2006. Over the years I've found that most of the action movie blurays I buy, were only watched once or twice. So I've been finding ways to severely restrict my impulse buying of such stuff.

    So these twin jedi mindfucks of "no bluray = no sale" and "no 4Kbluray = no sale", have been semi-effective at tricking myself into NOT buying many such dvds and blurays of lousy action movies and other genre stuff. 🙂

  366. Bryan^H

    Would you buy native 4K remastered material only available on standard BD? The case with many, many BD titles

    Does this include old film which was scanned again at 4K or higher resolutions? How about stuff that was digitally filmed originally at 4K/8K or even higher resolutions?

  367. Jesse Skeen

    As far as retiring DVD, what if they quietly discontinued DVD-only players but kept selling those ultra-cheap $50 Blu-Ray players, clearly marked that they can also play DVDs? Someone needs a new player and doesn't want to spend a lot gets a cheap Blu-ray player since that's their only choice, keeps watching their DVDs on it but gets new stuff on Blu-Ray from then on?

    Isn't there also the possibility that somebody will simply not buy a bluray player, after their old 10+ year old dvd-only player abruptly dies?

    Such a person might just move on to streaming, and give away their old dvds and/or donate it to a charity thrift shop (such as goodwill or the salvation army).

    Whether due to stupidity or ignorance (or both), such a person might not know (or even care) that a bluray player can also play dvds.

    It has already been seen that the bluray advocates have completely failed in their propaganda / advertising efforts in convincing the general public to buy their product. (ie. People who are not hardcore tech/av types). At this point I suspect any further efforts at advertising (or "education"), will be falling on deaf ears.

  368. Mike Frezon

    But that's not the question I asked, Josh. If the only option is a DVD, you guys wont buy it?

    Forgive me, I misunderstood. If there’s something I want to see and it’s truly DVD-only – not a choice of DVD or streaming but DVD or you don’t get to see the thing at all – I’ll do a DVD.

    Just bought the DVD of a 1950s sitcom called “Our Miss Brooks” – it doesn’t stream and there’s not gonna be a BD. There are a bunch of older movies that are DVD only and aren’t available streaming, I have those on DVD too.

  369. Bryan^H

    Would you buy native 4K remastered material only available on standard BD? The case with many, many BD titles

    Yes.

    I haven’t upgraded to 4K yet so I don’t feel strongly about that. SD is 11 years past, so I don’t mind putting it behind me at this point. And UHD in my limited experience is a much more modest improvement over HD than HD was to SD. So new materials are HD or UHD depending on pricing. But in five or ten years, I can imagine no longer buying HD material.

  370. jcroy

    I'll chime in on a slight tangent, in a very different context.

    As a way of squelching my ocd compulsive collecting/hoarding behavior, I've been using a jedi mindfuck mantra of "no bluray = no sale" to trick myself into NOT buying a particular title which has not been released on bluray.

    For example, such as many tv show season sets and various less popular non-genre type movies (ie. lousy action movies, romcoms, generic dramas, etc …). Outside of genre stuff, my other big weakness is for lousy action movies which litter many dvd dump bins.

    Wish I could do that. I buy films that are on DVD only as I worry they will never get released on Blu Ray.

    I fear these DVD titles will sell in the future for very high prices if they don't make it to Blu Ray and will be hard to buy so I bite the bullet.

    It's very annoying when you do this and not much later the Blu Ray gets released.

    This recently happened to me when I purchased Undertow and no more than 2 weeks later the Blu Ray came out :(.

    I now check online to ensure there is no pending Blu Ray release of a film that I wish to get on DVD.

  371. jcroy

    Does this include old film which was scanned again at 4K or higher resolutions? How about stuff that was digitally filmed originally at 4K/8K or even higher resolutions?

    There's nothing above 4K right now. Even if the cameras are capable of higher resolutions, post production is limited to 4K, or more likely, 2K.

  372. Worth

    There's nothing above 4K right now. Even if the cameras are capable of higher resolutions, post production is limited to 4K, or more likely, 2K.

    I want a holodeck !!!

    :dancing-banana-04:

  373. BobO’Link

    Blu-ray failed as much as anything because the average viewer just didn't see the improvement in the image like they did going from tape to DVD. It didn't help that the image quality of many early BR releases was only marginally better than the DVD they were replacing – heck there are still sub-standard releases being produced. At the same time those fancy new discs and players cost more – sometimes significantly more – and portable BR players never dropped to prices to make them attractive for the kids to use at home or in the car. It generally comes down to DVD being "good enough" for most people. If someone's not upgraded to BR by now it's very unlikely they will in the future.

    It's a lot of work to properly research a BR title to see if it's worthy of adding to a collection or just a quick money grab.

    I would be somewhat surprised if Joe Sixpack would be thinking about ANY research at all.

    My strong suspicion is Joe Q Public or Joe Sixpack would be thinking: "What a FUCKIN' RIPOFF !!!!!!"

    (Pass me another beer). 🙂

  374. A well authored DVD from a good master produces a very acceptable image – sometimes I'm surprised by how not-bad it looks. I don't know what the average screen size is, but I suspect it's below 55". Watching a DVD on a set that size or smaller, from a typical viewing distance of 10-12 feet, looks quite good. Especially given that most people have sets that are incorrectly set up to begin with.

  375. I have just been viewing a "Digital vs Physical & The Future Of Home Video" thread over at Bluray.com.

    I happened to stumble upon an interesting response from someone who goes by the user name "Vilya".

    He wrote as follows:

    "Same here I ditched pay TV in 2014 and now here in 2020 I use streaming and an over the air antenna in its place. The best part is that I'm only paying for Amazon Prime and that is for the two day shipping perk not for their poorest in quality streaming service. I have never watched a single one of my redeemed digital copies; I watch the blu-ray or 4K disc instead every time."

    "For the other streaming services, I do what so many people do: I share accounts and that means that I am paying nothing for all of the other services that interest me. Of the 12 people that are nearest to me that use streaming, only 4 of them are actually paying for it. Streaming really is cheap and convenient now!"

    Now, how are the streaming companies going to get around this?

    Many users sharing their login IDs and passwords with each other so they can use multiple streaming companies basically for free.

    It will not take long for this habit to spread especially between family members & friends who trust each other.

    My guess is the streaming companies will have to charge on a per film basis to get around this.

    It may be possible they could perhaps develop a system that can limit the service to a specific IP address.
    However, where would that leave the younger generations that probably use their devices at home to stream as well as their smartphone when they are away from home?

    We therefore now have an issue where you would have limited accessibility to either an individual smartphone/mobile contract or via your IP address at home.

    Is there any other means the companies can minimize/prevent this exploitation of their weak business model?

  376. Bryan^H

    Would you buy native 4K remastered material only available on standard BD? The case with many, many BD titles

    For me, yes. The difference is that 480i content on DVD looks obviously deficient, while 1080p content on Blu-Ray looks "good enough." I'd prefer a UHD release, but it's not a deal breaker.

  377. Blu Eye

    It may be possible they could perhaps develop a system that can limit the service to a specific IP address.

    When there is a change in ip, one strategy is to send a temporary time-limited pin code to your cellphone which you have to enter AFTER your login and password has been entered. Some banks already do this on online bank accounts, whenever there is a change in ip trying to access a particular account.

  378. Adam Lenhardt

    For me, yes. The difference is that 480i content on DVD looks obviously deficient, while 1080p content on Blu-Ray looks "good enough." I'd prefer a UHD release, but it's not a deal breaker.

    Once holodecks are common, do you believe 1080p or 4Kbluray will still look "good enough" ?

    🙂

  379. Worth

    A well authored DVD from a good master produces a very acceptable image – sometimes I'm surprised by how not-bad it looks. I don't know what the average screen size is, but I suspect it's below 55". Watching a DVD on a set that size or smaller, from a typical viewing distance of 10-12 feet, looks quite good. Especially given that most people have sets that are incorrectly set up to begin with.

    Don't forget the upscale if you're playing on a BD player. That can make a nice difference too.

  380. Traveling Matt

    Don't forget the upscale if you're playing on a BD player. That can make a nice difference too.

    I don't think I have ever come across a generic bluray player which does an excellent upscale (subjectively) from 480 ntsc to 1080p (or higher).

    The best looking upscales I have come across, were usually done on a computer with something like the MadVR renderer on a recent powerful graphics card which caters to hardcore gamer types. Such cutting edge graphics cards are just as expensive (or more) than the best Oppo bluray/4Kbluray players.

  381. Blu Eye

    I have just been viewing a "Digital vs Physical & The Future Of Home Video" thread over at Bluray.com.

    I happened to stumble upon an interesting response from someone who goes by the user name "Vilya".

    He wrote as follows:

    "Same here I ditched pay TV in 2014 and now here in 2020 I use streaming and an over the air antenna in its place. The best part is that I'm only paying for Amazon Prime and that is for the two day shipping perk not for their poorest in quality streaming service. I have never watched a single one of my redeemed digital copies; I watch the blu-ray or 4K disc instead every time."

    "For the other streaming services, I do what so many people do: I share accounts and that means that I am paying nothing for all of the other services that interest me. Of the 12 people that are nearest to me that use streaming, only 4 of them are actually paying for it. Streaming really is cheap and convenient now!"

    Now, how are the streaming companies going to get around this?

    Many users sharing their login IDs and passwords with each other so they can use multiple streaming companies basically for free.

    It will not take long for this habit to spread especially between family members & friends who trust each other.

    My guess is the streaming companies will have to charge on a per film basis to get around this.

    It may be possible they could perhaps develop a system that can limit the service to a specific IP address.
    However, where would that leave the younger generations that probably use their devices at home to stream as well as their smartphone when they are away from home?

    We therefore now have an issue where you would have limited accessibility to either an individual smartphone/mobile contract or via your IP address at home.

    Is there any other means the companies can minimize/prevent this exploitation of their weak business model?

    This is a feature, not a bug. The streaming companies are well aware of this. That’s why Netflix allows you to customize user profiles and offer different levels of service based on how many devices can be used simultaneously. The HBO folks have also commented positively about it. It means that they have your eyeballs in their ecosystem vs not. Streaming outlets like Netflix and premium services like HBO Now don’t think of physical media as their competition. They think of piracy as their competition. If you’re using a Netflix account that you’re sharing with four people, that means that someone is paying for the service and everyone is accessing it legitimately and being exposed to all of their offerings and messaging. They prefer that to piracy, where everyone in the group downloads it illegally and they don’t get any payment at all and don’t get any engagement with the users.

  382. Josh Steinberg

    This is a feature, not a bug. The streaming companies are well aware of this. That’s why Netflix allows you to customize user profiles and offer different levels of service based on how many devices can be used simultaneously. The HBO folks have also commented positively about it. It means that they have your eyeballs in their ecosystem vs not. Streaming outlets like Netflix and premium services like HBO Now don’t think of physical media as their competition. They think of piracy as their competition. If you’re using a Netflix account that you’re sharing with four people, that means that someone is paying for the service and everyone is accessing it legitimately and being exposed to all of their offerings and messaging. They prefer that to piracy, where everyone in the group downloads it illegally and they don’t get any payment at all and don’t get any engagement with the users.

    Inside their own ecosystems (Netflix, HBO, Disney, etc …), they can also track each individual user/profile and record all that viewership statistics for further analysis. Something which would be a goldmine for data analysts and algorithms.

    In contrast, it would be harder to track viewership statistics on bittorrents.

  383. And that’s ultimately what voting with our dollars and our eyeballs means. Enough people watch something, they make more of it. Enough people don’t, they stop. That’s how it’s worked forever in TV. The difference is, the streaming data is much more precise than the Neilson ratings ever were.

    I tend to like stuff that doesn’t immediately explode out the gate, gets canceled, gets discovered and loved in streaming or syndication, and then the network execs say “if we had only known this many people liked it, we would have kept it.”

    My hope is with better data, that maybe some of those types of things will get to do better because the metrics are measured differently and they can have different goals instead of everything needing to hit the same target.

  384. Even statistics which might look meaningless initially, may very well be telling something about a show.

    For example, stuff like how far into an episode does a person pause or hit the stop button altogether. Too many doing this in the middle of the first/pilot episode, might suggest it is either a really boring episode and/or viewers are simply not immediately connecting to any of the characters at all.

  385. Josh Steinberg

    My hope is with better data, that maybe some of those types of things will get to do better because the metrics are measured differently and they can have different goals instead of everything needing to hit the same target.

    I think if these data analysis / miners are able to figure out anything, it might be what exactly will immediately connect to the viewers such that the viewers are constantly jonesing for the next scene.

    Almost like doing better than the generic George Lucas + Joseph Campbell paradigm, but this time for execution.

  386. One of the first Netflix originals, House Of Cards, sorta came about that way. Netflix noticed that their viewers especially loved streaming political dramas, serialized shows, American versions of British properties, Kevin Spacey, and the work of David Fincher. So they hired a writer known for political plays to work with Fincher to develop an American version of the British series House of Cards, and it was a big hit for them.

  387. It may seem archaic by most here I think but I am going to remain a physical media only purchaser of films at the moment.

    My reasons for this are numerous.

    Firstly, this may seem quirky but I like the privilege of being able to physically view my films when deciding on which film to watch. The process of looking at the cover and the plot sypnosis on the back etc. This helps me to visualize/remember the film from when I last watched it and enable me to make a decision more clearly on whether I want to watch the film again or not in that particular moment.

    I don't know how other people's viewing habits are but I have to be in a particular type of mood to watch a certain type/genre of film depening on how I am feeling. Looking through my collection helps me to do this. Digitally, this option does not appeal to me as I feel I will probably spend longer looking through the titles before I make a decision. This could become problematic with hundreds to choose from. Physically, it is more effiicent as you can skim through your hundreds of titles very quickly and visually take in each movie etc. For someone like me I reckon I would probably take at least an hour to make a decision if I was looking online.

    Does this make sense?

    Secondly, I like to do things like have an 80's movie binge and watch 80s only films all week etc. I don't think this is practical through streaming as I have tried looking for some lately to see if I could do it with some titles I was interested to watch and a lot of them were not even available to stream, rent or download.

    However, I do have to also admit there was some titles online that I did not think were available and I was really surprised. Shy People being an example and this title is only on VHS. It has never been released on DVD or Blu Ray. I was impressed by that.

    Lastly, for any film in my collection I know I can watch at any time I want. Choose a title and play the disc. Online not so much.
    I may have watched a particular film through streaming one year and then decide a year later that I want to watch it again. No such luck. It has been removed so now I do not have an option to watch it. True, it may come back again only a month later and I can watch it then.
    My problem is I want to watch that film now. I am in the mood now to watch that film but I can't.

    This is a problem for me and in fact it would probably annoy me now that I know I do not have the option/privilege to watch it.

    I understand it is cheaper to stream and I applaud that but I am happy to spend more money building my own physical collection and having the freedom to watch any of them any time I want to suit my mood.
    However, having had a look at a few titles online I have noticed that there are some films that are not available to stream. Only for rental and download. These options are nearly the same as purchasing a Blu-Ray itself and in a way could be more expensive.

    For example, the films I saw where £3.50 for rental or £7.99 download (UK). Maybe someone can explain otherwise but if I rent the film for £3.50 (not sure the expiry time of it) and then decide to wach it a year later I am going to have to pay £3.50 again am I not?

    I don't know about anyone else but with some films I might want to watch them 3,4, 5 or more times in a year. If I do that I am better off buying the disc.

    I know many here will think I am trying to justify prolonging my collection of physical media but I think my reasons are more than justified in my stubbornness to succumb to the utopian lost horizon of what is streaming/digital movie watching.

  388. Josh Steinberg

    One of the first Netflix originals, House Of Cards, sorta came about that way. Netflix noticed that their viewers especially loved streaming political dramas, serialized shows, American versions of British properties, Kevin Spacey, and the work of David Fincher. So they hired a writer known for political plays to work with Fincher to develop an American version of the British series House of Cards, and it was a big hit for them.

    I was thinking more along the lines of an analogy to what makes a particular video game really "addictive" that many players are willing to spend many weeks/months to "finish" the game. That is without any major frustrations nor any boredom.

    For example, can film makers or tv writers come up with something equivalent ?

  389. jcroy

    I was thinking more along the lines of an analogy to what makes a particular video game really "addictive" that many players are willing to spend many weeks/months to "finish" the game. That is without any major frustrations nor any boredom.

    For example, can film makers or tv writers come up with something equivalent ?

    I don't know that they have to. In that sense, Netflix itself is the game — as long as you're watching their service, you're playing their game, and if they continue to invest in programming that you like, there is no "finish" and they keep getting revenue from you. Is Netflix automatically playing the next episode all that different from a video game advancing to the next level? So I think in the case of Netflix, all of that data isn't being collected with a goal towards creating the perfect singular addiction, but making the service itself indispensable. Does that make sense?

  390. Offhand I don't know. I haven't really been on Netflix for awhile, and not really familiar with their current newer stuff.

    More generally with really any tv show (or movie series), I've found that most of my frustrations are with shows which had excellent first few seasons, but turned to shit subsequently. I've always found that once something seems boring to me, I largely drop it and usually don't go back.

    In the "addiction" lingo, it basically like being injected with naltrexone in the middle of an opiate + cocaine speedball type high, in analogy to a show/episode/movie turning to shit or outright boring. In a different "addiction" analogy that doesn't involve illegal substances, it is like being in the middle of a "runner's high" while doing long distance running, and then abruptly falling asleep when I get home. I don't know if there's any other semi-obvious analogous descriptions.

  391. jcroy

    Even statistics which might look meaningless initially, may very well be telling something about a show.

    For example, stuff like how far into an episode does a person pause or hit the stop button altogether. Too many doing this in the middle of the first/pilot episode, might suggest it is either a really boring episode and/or viewers are simply not immediately connecting to any of the characters at all.

    Why would Netflix keep track of how many tuned out from the first or pilot episodes owing to finding them boring/not liking the characters?

  392. bmasters9

    Why would Netflix keep track of how many tuned out from the first or pilot episodes owing to finding them boring/not liking the characters?

    It would be very easy to record such statistics. For folks in the data analysis business, they look at everything which is available.

    In that particular example, they would know what NOT to do next time. Statistically it would suggest that type of episode/film and/or style of writing + execution, might not be attracting many viewers. If their intention is to keep people watching, tuning out due to boredom would be counterproductive.

  393. jcroy

    It would be very easy to record such statistics. For folks in the data analysis business, they look at everything which is available.

    In that particular example, they would know what NOT to do next time. Statistically it would suggest that type of episode/film and/or style of writing + execution, might not be attracting many viewers. If their intention is to keep people watching, tuning out due to boredom would be counterproductive.

    And hopefully Netflix would take that into account and try to make better shows w/better characters, writing and execution.

  394. For services like Netflix, etc …. I suspect they're primarily dependent on people subscribing every month and not on advertising.

    If they're producing new original content which too many people are tuning out or avoiding outright, such bored viewers might not subscribe the next month.

    So knowing exactly what keeps the viewer's attention glued to the screen, becomes a huge priority than ever before.

  395. Blu Eye

    I know many here will think I am trying to justify prolonging my collection of physical media but I think my reasons are more than justified in my stubbornness to succumb to the utopian lost horizon of what is streaming/digital movie watching.

    I would be somewhat surprised if many people would consider flat-rate streaming to be "utopian".

    You have to set your sights much higher, such as holodecks. 🙂

  396. Blu Eye

    Firstly, this may seem quirky but I like the privilege of being able to physically view my films when deciding on which film to watch. The process of looking at the cover and the plot sypnosis on the back etc. This helps me to visualize/remember the film from when I last watched it and enable me to make a decision more clearly on whether I want to watch the film again or not in that particular moment.

    I don't know how other people's viewing habits are but I have to be in a particular type of mood to watch a certain type/genre of film depening on how I am feeling. Looking through my collection helps me to do this. Digitally, this option does not appeal to me as I feel I will probably spend longer looking through the titles before I make a decision. This could become problematic with hundreds to choose from. Physically, it is more effiicent as you can skim through your hundreds of titles very quickly and visually take in each movie etc. For someone like me I reckon I would probably take at least an hour to make a decision if I was looking online.

    Does this make sense?

    (On a tangent).

    I know this mindset very well from first-hand experience, but not in context of dvd/bluray.

    This is exactly how I'm thinking and feeling when I'm going through my own personal book library, and finding some paper hardcover books to read.

    Unfortunately I do not think nor feel this way at all when it comes to my dvd/bluray collection. Not even during the peak time periods of my ocd compulsive impulse buying binges of dvds and blurays.

  397. Josh Steinberg

    I don't know that they have to.

    Does that make sense?

    To be more precise, I'm thinking of whether all that analysis of streaming tracking data will be able to find an elusive "BF Skinner Box" formula for producing tv episodes or films.

    Basically what is observed in casino slot machines to be extremely addictive, and how other entertainment activites puts one into a "trance zone" (such as certain video games, etc …).

    https://www.theverge.com/2015/5/6/8…ne-gambling-addiction-psychology-mobile-games

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/…11/did-you-know-these-7-surprises-about-slots

  398. Blu Eye

    I understand it is cheaper to stream and I applaud that but I am happy to spend more money building my own physical collection and having the freedom to watch any of them any time I want to suit my mood.

    This is the same thing I was always saying to myself, during my ocd compulsive impulse buying binges of dvds/blurays.

    In practice for me, it didn't really make much of a difference in the end. Especially when 99%+ of the episodes and movies I watch are only ever viewed once or twice.

    More generally, I see a similar behavior and patterns in my older relatives, where they spent an entire lifetime accumulating many tapes, discs, books, etc …. After they retired, they hardly ever used any of the stuff they had. For example after my father retired, he ended up just watching tv all day tuned to CNN (or another 24 hours news channel) and almost never used any of the cds, tapes, dvds, vinyl records, books, etc …. he had collected over the past 50+ years.

  399. Blu Eye

    Does this make sense?

    Sounds like someone needs to listen to Episode 3 =)
    https://www.hometheaterforum.com/co…video-buy-rent-or-stream.361272/#post-4717621

    The ultimate answer here: "you do you".

    Everyone is dealing with this issue differently. I personally Buy Rent AND stream (not so much rent, but not never). My cohost @Brian Dobbs remains buy only. Others have different strategies.

    We're railing against an incoming tide tho with physical. The future is plainly digital only. It's just a matter of time and we all get to decide how much we'll fight it, but that fight will inevitably be in vain, leaving only our pain in the meantime.

  400. For perspective, my father and several other uncles were early adopters of the audio cd format back in the mid 1980s. They were hardcore into classical music and some 1950s era rock of their youth (such as Elvis).

    I remember back in the day, my father and some uncles would get together and have "listening sessions" where they listened to various then-new cds they purchased on their expensive stereo systems. Basically devoting their full attention to listening to classical music pieces from start to finish, and talking about the sound quality and/or musicianship of the cd recordings.

    Fast forward to the present day, my father and uncles don't do this anymore. (These "listening sessions" more or less ended sometime around 20 years ago). My uncles pretty much do the same thing as my father does all day after they all retired: watching tv all day tuned to CNN (or BBC, Fox, etc …).

    Ever since, all their large cd collections have been collecting a lot of dust.

  401. Blu Eye

    I don't know about anyone else but with some films I might want to watch them 3,4, 5 or more times in a year. If I do that I am better off buying the disc.

    If I know I'm going to watch a movie several times, I'll buy the disc. But I think we tend to seriously overestimate how many times we're going to watch something. I have DVDs from 20 years ago that have only been watched once, if at all. There are really only a handful of films that I tend to watch over and over. There are also some that I know I won't watch much, but still like having – but in all honestly, that amounts to a few dozen titles.

  402. Around 2012, I got an app on my phone that let me scan the barcodes on my discs to create a listing of what I own, and I’ve kept track of what I’ve watched. It’s been really eye-opening to actually have the data on what gets watched and what doesn’t. There’s the handful of things that are in perpetual rotation, then the things watched less often but still revisited with relative frequency (maybe not every year but every other year or every three years), then the stuff that’s been watched once or twice and will either get seen again in ten years or not again at all, and then the stuff that seemed like a good buy at the time but that haven’t been touched at all.

  403. jcroy

    (On a tangent).

    I know this mindset very well from first-hand experience, but not in context of dvd/bluray.

    This is exactly how I'm thinking and feeling when I'm going through my own personal book library, and finding some paper hardcover books to read.

    Unfortunately I do not think nor feel this way at all when it comes to my dvd/bluray collection. Not even during the peak time periods of my ocd compulsive impulse buying binges of dvds and blurays.

    Interestingly I do not seem to have the same condition with relation to my book collection.

    I only ever read them once but I stil keep them (collect?). I have never read a book twice in my life I don't think.
    I still think it is important to