The following was sent as a letter to Keith Le Goy, President, Distribution & Networks, Sony Pictures Entertainment on October 5, 2022. It was sent as a consumer, and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Home Theater Forum.
As of December 6, 2022, I have yet to receive a response.
Keith Le Goy
President, Distribution & Networks
Sony Pictures Entertainment
10202 West Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232
Dear Mr. Le Goy:
As a consumer, I can understand the reason for studios pushing for us to transition to digital platforms from physical media – less overhead, little to no shipping costs, etc. However, what I find frustrating is how inconsistent the same movie will be available across various digital retailers in terms of audio and video formats, and then to further frustrate matters, when those inconsistencies are brought up to both the studio and the retailer, the retailer claims that they are at the mercy of what the studio delivered to them, and the studio claims that it is up to the retailer as to what video and audio specifications are made available on a title by title basis on their platform.
So, which is it? Both the retailer and the studio cannot be correct. I have attempted to contact your Customer Care department at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on several occasions, only to receive the following answer: “We have forwarded your concern and unfortunately, as a studio we cannot control what versions of our titles digital platforms offer to their consumers. Our content gets sent over to the retailers and they choose what version of the movie that platform will carry.” If that is the case, then why are all Sony movies on the Movies Anywhere application and website only available in, at best, 4K HDR10 and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 when Movies Anywhere supports both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio? When I contact Movies Anywhere customer service, I am simply told “Unfortunately, that is what the studio sent to us” which contradicts the statement provided by your Customer Care department.
Let’s go one step further and look at some various movies from my Movies Anywhere library, both on Movies Anywhere itself and on retail partners iTunes/Apple TV and Vudu on the attached spreadsheet. Several titles have no consistency across retailers with no rhyme or reason. Some are missing Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos (or both) on one retailer, but not the other. Some redeemed as HD on one retailer even though 4K HDR was available on that retailer at the time of redemption. This lack of consistency, plus the complete lack of both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on Movies Anywhere even though the service supports those formats, has really put me off from digital. And I really hate to say this, but your studio appears to be the worst with this lack of consistency.
Why is the classic Lawrence of Arabia missing a Dolby Atmos track on iTunes/Apple TV, yet Vudu has it in both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos? Why is 1776 missing any version of HDR and Dolby Atmos on all digital platforms when it was remastered and released on UHD Blu-ray with HDR and Dolby Atmos on May 31, 2022 (the same can be asked regarding The Guns of Navarone)? Why was Real Genius recently upgraded to 4K HDR on Movies Anywhere, but only has a STEREO soundtrack when both Vudu and Apple TV include a Dolby Atmos track? These are just a few examples, but I have a attached a spreadsheet detailing the various audio and video formats my Movies Anywhere library of Sony movies are available in across the three major digital platforms I use (do not even get me started on Prime Video).
When can a customer expect these issues to get resolved, or at least receive a more coherent answer to why these issues even exist?
P.S.: What’s the deal with the scratchy audio on the stereo track included on both the 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray discs of Real Genius (UPC: 043396579859)?
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