Samsung Announces It Will No Longer Make 4K UHD or Blu-ray Players

4 Stars

There will be no new models coming from Samsung:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnarcher/2019/02/15/samsung-quits-4k-blu-ray-player-market/#4d7de42b1577

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Kevin Collins

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136 Comments

  1. Studios are killing 4K discs like they killed 3D discs…..with ridiculous pricing. The average retail price for a 4K disc (new release) in Canada is 35 bucks before sales tax. I used to buy a lot of discs, but my appetite to spend 40 bucks on a movie is long gone.

    Thanks to greed and stupidity 4K discs are going to be as dead as 3D discs in a few years. Samsung dropping 4K players is just the first hint of where 4K discs are going to end up: as unplayable as 3D discs will be when legacy 3D sets give up the ghost.

  2. Wow

    So first Oppo, now Samsung. Who's gonna be next to fall?

    And the article mentions some new releases won't be on 4K discs.

    It's smelling like more folks may indeed leaning to the streaming side for all their 4K offerings due to ease of use and the flood of smart TV's that can easily access their catalogs online.

  3. JQuintana

    Wow

    So first Oppo, now Samsung. Who's gonna be next to fall?

    And the article mentions some new releases won't be on 4K discs.

    It's smelling like more folks may indeed leaning to the streaming side for all their 4K offerings due to ease of use and the flood of smart TV's that can easily access their catalogs online.

    Relax.. Disc sales still dwarf digital purchases. It isn't even close really.

  4. Where are those numbers? I've tried looking for recent breakdowns of digital vs. physical but didn't have any luck, perhaps you have better data you can post link to.

    Now the article did point this out:

    Also, while the film industry still claims to be happy with 4K Blu-ray's rate of uptake, the latest disc sales stats for the US show 4K Blu-rays accounting for just 5.3% of sales, while DVD – yes, DVD – still claims 57.9%.

  5. JQuintana

    Thanks for the info (and nice jab).

    So NON disc watching of movies and TV shows is at $17Billion (est) and physical accounts for a bit over $5 billion? Am I reading that correctly

    Sorry about that. But I am sick of hearing how disc is in danger. It is but as said elsewhere…it is a slow death.

  6. No problem.

    I've stated that it's a slow death in other threads so I get that. But we all have to admit that the tides are turning and seeing Samsung jump ship this early on is not great news for physical media.

  7. As clearly shown subscription services like Netflix are king. But for consumers wishing to "own" a movie still prefer BD, and DVD over digital purchases generally. but as the graph indicates that too is slowly changing.

  8. JQuintana

    So NON disc watching of movies and TV shows is at $17Billion (est) and physical accounts for a bit over $5 billion? Am I reading that correctly

    Yeah you are if you mistaking lump together the subscription services with the electronic sell though. It isn't rocket science, disc is still the leader by a wide margin over the electronic sell through(digital purchase). What do you not understand about this?

  9. Yes I see that disc sales are currently at about $4 billion in sales and the digital version sales are at almost $3 billion. By end of 2019 I'm guessing they will close to being equal. But also, not as many people want to actually BUY a movie like we did 10+ years ago. As you can see many folks are more than happy just "renting" be it via Redbox or rental stores or Netflix or Hulu. The trend is obviously heading more and more digital.

  10. Bryan^H

    As clearly shown subscription services like Netflix are king. But for consumers wishing to "own" a movie still prefer BD, and DVD over digital purchases generally. but as the graph indicates that too is slowly changing.

    It's changing for me as I do prefer physical discs, but the digital purchasing pricing deals on iTunes and Vudu is causing me to slowly change my purchasing decisions. This is especially true for blind purchases. If I've seen a movie in a movie theater and really like it then I'm probably going to buy the physical disc.

    One more thing, there are several titles that are 4K/HDR/Dolby Vision on digital platforms, but only have Blu-ray disc releases. If I noticed that then chances are I might make a digital purchase.

  11. Over the holidays I bought a couple of Christmas movie classics in 4K for the exact reason Robert did. They were SO cheap and now I have access to them with one push of my remote and all in one MA account. Works out great for me.

    I even see many movies go up for sale well before their disc counterparts hit the streets and at times "on sale".

  12. JQuintana

    Over the holidays I bought a couple of Christmas movie classics in 4K for the exact reason Robert did. They were SO cheap and now I have access to them with one push of my remote and all in one MA account. Works out great for me.

    I even see many movies go up for sale well before their disc counterparts hit the streets and at times "on sale".

    Yeah, we all heard that beforehand from you in other threads. We get it, digital works for you.

  13. JQuintana

    It's still "almost" $3 billion. 🙂

    Not in my estimation. Saying it's "almost $3 billion" is like saying that 46 cents is almost a dollar. Clearly, it isn't.

    I'd also like to know if that "electronic sell-through" figure includes people who have purchased a physical disc and then redeemed the digital copy. If it does, then the dollar figure is not accurate.

  14. dpippel

    Not in my estimation. Saying it's "almost $3 billion" is like saying that 46 cents is almost a dollar.

    I'd also like to know if that "electronic sell-through" figure includes people who have purchased a physical disc and then redeemed the digital copy. If it does, then the dollar figure is not accurate.

    IMO, I don't think those numbers are separated, but I could be wrong.

  15. I think they're different situations. Oppo made expensive, high-end players specifically aimed at the audiophile/videophile market, and they do a LOT more than play discs. Samsung manufactures cheap mass-market electronics. Two companies at opposite ends of the spectrum.

  16. But at the heart of it, the products were relying on physical discs.

    Samsung stuff wasn't "cheap" btw.

    $300 to $500 per unit. Top end one selling at Magnolia, the higher end portion of BB. So not like say a Sanyo $75 toss away device.

  17. JQuintana

    But at the heart of it, the products were relying on physical discs.

    Samsung stuff wasn't "cheap" btw.

    $300 to $500 per unit. Top end one selling at Magnolia, the higher end portion of BB. So not like say a Sanyo $75 toss away device.

    That's my point. Samsung makes mass-market electronics. Their 4K players are way overpriced for mass-market consumers, and videophiles have far better choices available at those price points. No one was buying.

  18. dpippel

    That's my point. Samsung makes mass-market electronics. Their 4K players are way overpriced for mass-market consumers, and videophiles have far better choices available at those price points. No one was buying.

    It's not just Samsung. Just browsing Best Buy and every single true 4K player they offer is $200 to $500. LG, Sony, etc. 4K players are just priced too darn high for the masses, regardless of brand.

    Sure they have the fake 4K players and sadly many probably buy those thinking "Hey honey, we have a 4K TV and this 4K DVD player is only $75!!"

  19. I got a Samsung 4K player at Costco last year for well under $200. I don't have a 4K display, but figured it was a good time to upgrade my player so I just jumped to 4K.

    The studios have never made a good enough case for why the masses need to go beyond DVD. If they wanted people to move on to the next format, they needed to stop making DVD's available years ago. People are still purchasing DVD-only players rather than buying a blu-ray player which would play both formats, let alone a 4K player.

    I presume Samsung will continue to produce blu-ray and DVD players? Or are they quitting the disc player business altogether?

  20. JQuintana

    Oh I have no doubt you can find a cheapo depot player that may hold up for up for a couple of years, but overall any decent full featured player is near the $200 mark. Higher if you are a hardcore 4K person.

    Mass-market consumers don't care about features. They want cheap, and that's basically it.

  21. One other thing that has hindered 4K and to and extent DVD and Blu is that most towns don't have multiple B&M stores around anymore to rent the discs. Sure Red Box is around but selections are limited as far as 4K goes. So if they buy a 4K player, they sit and wonder where am I gonna rent these discs? So the incentive isn't there anymore like when DVD was booming and rental stores were everywhere.

    Now they can just flip on their Roku or phone and cast a 4K movie for about same fee as physical rentals.

  22. Just to be clear, I'm not happy to see any disc format fail. I'm certainly not happy that the 3D discs that I purchased will be unviewable in a few years. However, I still blame the studios for making physical discs uncompetitive in the present market. They have blown every major new physical format intro with their asinine mentality that they can price any new format as if it is still 1997.

    As far as downloads and streaming goes, it remains to be seen if the inroads they have made will continue. Streaming is popular right now because there is a lot of content available for cheap in one or two places such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. It will be interesting to see what happens to that market penetration when a person has to have six streaming services to gain access to the same level of content.

  23. I think there are certain realities to cost that the studios can’t avoid. It costs money to author the content into a disc-based format. It costs money to replicate discs. It costs money to print the packaging. It costs money to assemble all of the components. It costs money to distribute them to different retailers and wholesalers around the country. It costs money to deal with returns when titles don’t sell as anticipated.

    When you see boutique labels like Twilight Time and Kino running sales, I don’t believe those sales are about profitability. I believe those sales are about trying to break even or cut their losses on titles that aren’t selling. If you’re seeing disc releases priced at $10 or less, I think that’s the studio or retailer just trying to limit the damage.

    It’s so much easier to discount a digital release to $5 or $10 because they’re not losing money on the physical manufacturing and distribution costs when they do that.

    Edit: Sorry, I hit “post” accidentally before I finished. But my last thought was this – if physical is going to have a future, it’s going to be as more of a niche format, maybe not as extremely niche as laserdisc but not as widely used as DVD. Maybe the VHS model will come back somewhat, where your mass market Disney-type films are $20 and still in retail stores, and then everything else is a little more and generally more of a mail order business. I think we can keep this hobby going, but that if we really want these titles in these formats, we’re gonna have to pay for them.

  24. Not everyone has the data headroom and speed to do digital downloads. I' m not saying they can make discs exactly 1 for 1 competitive but charging 40 bucks is ridiculous. It is not like they have to build replication and authoring facilities from scratch. A lot of that infrastructure exists and would only require upgrading, not totally new facilities.

  25. Edwin-S

    Not everyone has the data headroom and speed to do digital downloads. I' m not saying they can make discs exactly 1 for 1 competitive but charging 40 bucks is ridiculous. It is not like they have to build replication and authoring facilities from scratch. A lot of that infrastructure exists and would only require upgrading, not totally new facilities.

    Unfortunately a lot of the infrastructure has been lost/shut down due to declining demand. There’s one plant left in Mexico, down from about a dozen in North America a decade ago.

    If it’s becoming a more specialty product, they won’t be able to make it all up in volume. If fewer units are sold overall, those units will have to go for more. I don’t think discs are moving enough numbers for retailers to be as willing to use them as loss leaders like they were a decade ago.

    Maybe $40 is high for a single title, but the Criterion model where the retail price is $40, but most vendors sell them for $30, and occasionally you can buy them for $20, is probably not that crazy (at least in my book). It’s not cheap, I wouldn’t argue otherwise, but it might be sustainable.

  26. I'm not trying to be funny here but Are we coming to a point where Studios might start selling Season sets of stuff on Thumb drives ? I mean I prefer discs but I also subscribe to digital services (which Id like to do less of )

  27. What quality DVD-only players are being made these days? All I see now are the sub-$50 units that hardly last a year or so.

    I'm actually hoping Samsung's exit leads to fewer to no el-cheapo players on the market. (It looks like Samsung's 4k player doesn't even have any sort of display on the front, which would drive me absolutely nuts. I want to be able to look over and see the playing time without bringing it up on the screen!) If the masses are going with streaming, the people still buying discs are the ones who care about quality and are willing to pay for it.

  28. Jesse Skeen

    What quality DVD-only players are being made these days? All I see now are the sub-$50 units that hardly last a year or so.

    I'm actually hoping Samsung's exit leads to fewer to no el-cheapo players on the market. (It looks like Samsung's 4k player doesn't even have any sort of display on the front, which would drive me absolutely nuts. I want to be able to look over and see the playing time without bringing it up on the screen!) If the masses are going with streaming, the people still buying discs are the ones who care about quality and are willing to pay for it.

    I agree about no display on the front of many players. It makes it look cheap.

  29. Well I got my Samsung UBD-M7500 for 135 NEW from WALMART so I'm not sure why the complaint is they're too expensive. The software definitely is and I blame that on studios chaining these discs to multiformat releases to gouge prices.

  30. Perhaps this shouldn't be too surprising, if Samsung doesn't consider optical disc players/drives to be a priority.

    Back in 2016, Samsung's computer dvdr/bluray-r drive manufacturing business filed for bankruptcy. (The last batch of Samsung TSST made computer dvdr drives were manufactured in March 2016. Nothing since).

    No signs that anybody purchased the Samsung TSST factory. Most likely it was liquidated, with everything auctioned off and/or thrown out to the garbage dump.

  31. John*Wells

    I'm not trying to be funny here but Are we coming to a point where Studios might start selling Season sets of stuff on Thumb drives ? I mean I prefer discs but I also subscribe to digital services (which Id like to do less of )

    If they were to sell physical flash drives with movies/episodes, most likely it would have heavy drm. At minimum using a public-key encryption type of system which would require an active internet connection, and a custom player.

  32. John*Wells

    I'm not trying to be funny here but Are we coming to a point where Studios might start selling Season sets of stuff on Thumb drives ? I mean I prefer discs but I also subscribe to digital services (which Id like to do less of )

    Never. Unless Nintendo inexplicably takes over the media content world. They're the only ones that think SD cards are a good idea for content distribution. Otherwise, it's hard to imagine introducing a new physical media that's more expensive than stamped plastic discs along the road to online distribution.

  33. This is a bummer but I'm not as freaked out by it as some. They didn't do Dolby Vision, and they have a very mass-market focus. This is yet another sign discs are quickly becoming niche, and that we're heading to a laserdisc style future alongside the mainstream streaming platforms, but I don't think it's some kind of "death is right around the corner!" thing like some on the internet are saying.

    If Sony, LG or Panasonic stop though, that would be a little worse.

  34. I am a die-hard disc buyer but streaming has changed my behaviour. For example, I was intending to buy The House with a Clock in its Walls on 4k blu-ray, not having seen it. But, because I can now stream it, I didn't like it enough to buy the 4k disc. The discs are too expensive for speculative purchase.

  35. Keith Cobby

    I am a die-hard disc buyer but streaming has changed my behaviour. For example, I was intending to buy The House with a Clock in its Walls on 4k blu-ray, not having seen it. But, because I can now stream it, I didn't like it enough to buy the 4k disc. The discs are too expensive for speculative purchase.

    Not for me. I do blind buys on 4K UHD titles all the time. If I end up not liking the film, I either sell it here or on eBay and typically recover 50%-75% of my cost, depending on the title, making the whole experience about the same price as a rental or just a little bit more.

  36. Samsung was apparently first to the consumer market with a not-ready-for-prime-time player. I think (at least for me) they lost a lot of bleeding edge adopters who were the goto gurus for people who were looking for a "good" player. Word of mouth with a "soft" disc market sealed the deal … Nuon anyone … 😉

  37. Edwin-S

    Just to be clear, I'm not happy to see any disc format fail. I'm certainly not happy that the 3D discs that I purchased will be unviewable in a few years. However, I still blame the studios for making physical discs uncompetitive in the present market. They have blown every major new physical format intro with their asinine mentality that they can price any new format as if it is still 1997.

    As far as downloads and streaming goes, it remains to be seen if the inroads they have made will continue. Streaming is popular right now because there is a lot of content available for cheap in one or two places such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. It will be interesting to see what happens to that market penetration when a person has to have six streaming services to gain access to the same level of content.

    I think the streaming wars are going to keep the physical media alive.

    1) Networks aren't going to renew rights with Netflix. In there pathetic attempts to become the next Netflix they will keep their titles to themselves for their streaming services. I am really curious what Netflix content will be then.

    2) People are going to start rebelling against having to sign up for so many services. We see that now, here, amongst the early adopters who don't want to maintain more than a couple streaming services. If we don't like that with higher income levels what will that mean for the masses.

    3) People are going to slowly want better quality. The handwriting is out there. If you assume $300+ 4K sets in 5 years, then people are going to see just how atrocious lower quality video looks on those screens.
    They will want to see better media on better screens.

    4) Digital can't support that at current levels/pricing/service levels. What happens 5 years from now when the parents come home and the kids have killed the data cap by the middle of the month?
    What will happen with streaming services when they needs to support millions of 1K/2K/4K level streams simultaneously?

    5) The utter lack of owning with streams is going to bite back. When people can't watch their favorite show 4 years later some lights will start to go on.

    As per Samsung…. well, great and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. They doubled down on a content war and lost. They also had a reputation for making crappy Blu-Ray players.

  38. Malcolm R

    The studios have never made a good enough case for why the masses need to go beyond DVD. If they wanted people to move on to the next format, they needed to stop making DVD's available years ago. People are still purchasing DVD-only players rather than buying a blu-ray player which would play both formats, let alone a 4K player.

    Except 4K doesn't really matter outside of the world of large screens. Portable or vehicle systems on small screens provide a good enough display for the screaming kids. SpongeBob can only look so good.

  39. 1. This is why Netflix has been spending so much on original content and producing so many films, series and comedy/concert specials. Netflix has been excelling at creating cultural moments that make their content “must see,” whether that’s Stranger Things or Bird Box or anything else they produce. I think they’ll be fine. They’re a 21st century HBO.

    2. I do think subscription fatigue will be a problem and that there are too many services being announced. Much like superfluous cable channels, the ones that can’t find an audience will disappear, and others will consolidate. I think we’ll also see an increase in people who sign up to a service for one month, binge the content, and then cancel and move on to the next one. I already do that with HBO Now; I keep it active when the shows I watch are in season, and then cancel as soon as the season ends.

    3. I’m not convinced that a general/wise audience cares that much about quality. We’re long into the HDTV era, and yet, standard definition DVD still outsells BD and UHD discs. If quality was so important to a mass audience, why do budget TVs outsell mid- and high-end models? Most people’s “good enough” is below what enthusiasts like us find acceptable.

    4. The streaming services will be able to handle the demand from their end. If net neutrality isn’t reinstated though, ISPs could start charging more for streaming video content and that could raise prices for customers. In the past, before net neutrality had been instituted, Netflix paid service providers directly for better quality service. The most successful services, like Netflix, would probably resume doing that, and the lesser services would probably lose some market share.

    5) I don’t think ownership is nearly as important to most people as it is to enthusiasts like us. Subscription streaming services are successful in part because the general audience is rejecting a la carte pricing for content. They are speaking with their wallets and saying they’d rather have more access to a broader array of ever-changing content rather than buying fewer items individually and rewatching them again and again.

    Additionally, a streaming subscription service like Netflix isn’t meant to replace ownership. It’s the 21st century equivalent to having an HBO subscription. Digital ownership is still available – if you want to purchase a film or show, you use a service like iTunes or Vudu. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime… these things aren’t meant to replace physical media ownership. They’re meant to replace a cable subscription. iTunes purchase are meant to replace physical media ownership.

  40. I'm not surprised by the news that Samsung won't be making Blu players anymore; streaming has definitely gotten a lot more popular in the last 5-7 years, and yes – less people are buying players because of this.

    However, there are other companies that make these, and you can always buy Blu players from them.

    I myself watch both physical media (DVD's/Blu's) and also stream – there's nothing that says you can't do both.

    I still think physical media will still be around for a long time to come, in some capacity. However, it sounds like it may already becoming a "niche" product, to some extent.

    That all being said, note that DVD & Blu players are still a lot more popular & more utilized than LD players & LD's ever were. And, I still see Blu's/DVD's for sale @ brick & mortar stores like Wal-mart, Target, Big Lots, etc. So, there are people out there who still use these formats – though the shelf space for these has definitely shrunk in the past 5 years.

  41. Philip Verdieck

    …3) People are going to slowly want better quality. The handwriting is out there. If you assume $300+ 4K sets in 5 years, then people are going to see just how atrocious lower quality video looks on those screens.They will want to see better media on better screens…

    5) The utter lack of owning with streams is going to bite back. When people can't watch their favorite show 4 years later some lights will start to go on.

    I don't think the average viewer cares much about quality. DVD is more than good enough for most people, and streaming typically yields, at minimum, better-than-DVD quality. I can't imagine 4K will do anything to change that. People will still be sitting 10-12 feet away from their 55" 4K sets, barely able to discern 1080p, let alone 4K. And I know it's anecdotal, but I've been to a few people's homes – in the past year – who still watch SD stretched to fill their sets, even though the HD channels are readily available. Unless it's actually out of focus or so riddled with compression blockiness that the image can't be made out, people don't really care.

    The average person doesn't care about ownership and never has. During the VHS era, people rented. For a brief period during the height of DVD, people bought kids films and handful of favourites, but again, they mostly rented. Right now, between conventional television, cable and streaming, there's more content available than anyone could possibly watch in a lifetime. Most people aren't even going to notice when a movie or show disappears, let alone care. They're looking for something to entertain them for a few hours and have plenty of options to keep them occupied.

  42. This is gonna be long, but I wanted to put my thoughts down. These are just my opinions, and I give them with no anger or frustration, just my observations.

    As an owner of several thousand discs (CD, DVD, BD, UHD) I view this as movies going the way of music. To me, it's not a question of physical vs. digital. It's a question of audience investment in movies, as a result of many other available venues of entertainment for the under-40 crowd (to which I can sadly admit I no longer belong). Physical will always be better than digital download (at least until we get Gigabit for Everyone). Higher bit rates, no possibility of degradation through a download connection, instant pause, restart, easy scanning vs. download (the slower your connection the worse these features are), etc.

    But that's not the point anymore for the under-40s (and definitely not for the under-30s). These are the people who will be spending most of the money for the next 50 years. And yes I know there are exceptions. You can find the 18 year old budding Scorsese who loves film. But I'm talking about "the masses".

    Here's what I mean about movies going the way of music.

    Albums: LPs and even into the CD age. They used to be events. Albums were dropped, people lined up, took them home, immersed themselves in the music. Care was given to album creation. Then streaming hit, but that wasn't the end for physical media in and of itself. It was the fact that music became disposable. Less care went into artists and talent and songwriting. Image took over. And kids had more to do than just listen to albums. They had video games explode in the 80s and 90s. Then the internet. When I was in college in the 90s, when a new album dropped it was the buzz around the scene. I still work at the same college, but kids today (and I employ a lot of them) don't talk about albums anymore. If we're lucky, they talk about a "sick track" that was dropped. But it's streamed. And it's disposable. And here's the kicker: music is now something kids and young adults have going on in the background while doing something else. Most don't care about the demise of physical because music isn't as important to them as it was to generations growing up in the 60s-80s where music and movies were our primary form of entertainment. We listened intently to lyrics. We played albums on repeat. Not kids today.

    And now I fear movies are starting to go the same way. I live with people 10 years younger than me (early 30s). They often invite friends their age or younger over. When they watch movies, TV, etc. they're talking to each other. They're getting up to do things in the kitchen. They rarely go to the theater. Same with college kids today at my campus. The local on-campus theater closed years ago. The neighboring village which used to house many individual large single-screen theaters have been reduced to two big ones. Look at the high-grossing movies being made in 2018:

    • Ant-Man & The Wasp ($622.7 Million)
    • Deadpool 2 ($778.7 Million)
    • Mission: Impossible – Fallout ($791.1 Million)
    • Incredibles 2 ($1.24 Billion)
    • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom ($1.31 Billion)
    • Black Panther ($1.35 Billion)
    • Avengers: Infinity War ($2.05 Billion)

    These are all disposable movies. Don't get me wrong. I saw and liked all of them, and loved some of them (except Jurassic World, gave that one a pass). But nothing there that demands one's attention when watching it after the first time. The best films IMO merit repeat viewing and you learn something new each time, catch a different nuance. The moneymakers today aren't that. I'm guilty of this myself. When I'm cleaning my place, sometimes I'll just put on one of those movies above (or their equivalent from the past 5-10 years) and just do other things while they're playing. I would never have done that with Godfather, Shawshank, Dark City, OG Star Wars, Kurosawa, Scorsese films, etc. And I won't do it for select few modern releases (PT Anderson films, for example). But kids today do that. All the time. Movies are rarely if ever an event for them. They rarely drop everything to watch them in an idealized environment. Movies, like music in the early 2000s, are starting to become something they have going on in the background while doing something else. Or at least aren't so invested in it as to care about the quality of say bandwidth lag/stuttering issues. They don't care if it's 4K UHD or streaming at 1080p. It's not that they can't tell the difference, it's that most don't care.

    Now in my view the things that slows the death of physical media for movies vs. what happened to music are:

    • Movies still demand a bit more attention than music. While music can be 3-4 minute disposable tracks, movies still demand some attention especially on first viewing. Repeat viewings are what the under-40 crowd care less about, especially with modern blockbusters, and that's where the decline of media ownership takes a hit. If an average under-40 person has little to no interest in paying close attention to repeat viewings, why would they care to own vs. just stream it once?
    • There is no Spotify/Apple Music behemoth for movie streaming. Granted those two don't stream every piece of music ever created, but for 95%+ of what the "Average Person" would want to hear, chances are it's on one or both of those services. Movies are a totally fragmented streaming market. Netflix. Amazon Prime. Hulu. All have very incomplete libraries, and all can lose content at the drop of a hat. If there were a Spotify/Apple Music movie subscription service that had over 95% of the movies I would ever want to watch…I would be tempted to ditch my physical collection as well.

    And so it is my view that physical will slowly decline and give way to streaming, just like music did. There will always be a small segment of us who love movies and want to own them (just like vinyl made it's small comeback to a passionate minority), but alas I fear the halcyon days of movie ownership are soon to be behind us.

    Again, I relay all of this with no anger or malice. Just my viewpoint based on my own experiences and observations having studied at, and now working for, a large national university for nearly 3 decades. I've seen the change of how kids-to-young adults view physical and streaming media first-hand, on a large scale basis, and this are my observations. As I get older, I start to feel like a Watcher from the Marvel comics.

  43. Good points, Carlo. It sounds like you definitely have your finger on the pulse of what younger people like/don't like when it comes to media entertainment (music, movies). I still think physical media has some life in it yet (re: my last post), but you're right that younger people are just not investing the time & money into collecting/watching/listening to physical media vs. older folks like me (I'm in my late 40's), especially older folks who are film/home video/music aficionados.

    I had a recent conversation with a 20-something, and we were talking about films – they said they don't even own a DVD/Blu player, and just stream everything. This isn't really a surprise, but as someone who has been a physical media fan ever since I was a kid – it was interesting to hear this.

    Worth

    The average person doesn't care about ownership and never has. During the VHS era, people rented. For a brief period during the height of DVD, people bought kids films and handful of favourites, but again, they mostly rented. Right now, between conventional television, cable and streaming, there's more content available than anyone could possibly watch in a lifetime. Most people aren't even going to notice when a movie or show disappears, let alone care. They're looking for something to entertain them for a few hours and have plenty of options to keep them occupied.

    I agree with this. The sheer amount of great TV shows/movies out there is overwhelming, and it's all easily accessible via a touch of the fingertips – literally. I myself go back & forth between streaming & watching DVD's/Blu's, and even if I only streamed the amount of movies/TV shows that interest me I wouldn't have enough time to watch everything, so I always have to pick & choose. I don't even care anymore if a show I like gets cancelled or if I can't watch a movie right away, since there's always something else out there to watch.

  44. The sad (for me) thing is: I work at a top ranked university. We have the best and brightest. And they spend way more time on their mobile devices on social networks ("the gram", taking "instapretty" selfies, snapchat, etc.) than they do movies/music/etc combined. Probably more than in-person talk for some of them. It's the way things are going.

  45. Me neither. I have an Oppo 103 and 203, and Oppo builds them like tanks. And I also have a Sony UHD player, but I can't remember the model number. It's the previous generation to what's on the market right now. Like the Oppo it plays DVD-A and SACD as well. And I'm not able to watch as much as I used to before, so if they get 4 hours of use a week total that's a lot. I'm hoping they last a fair bit.

  46. I refuse to spend a lot of $ these days on a new Blu player. My first Blu player was a Samsung, which I bought in late 2012, and it lasted until Spring 2016 – and then the Laser?! that played the Blu's started to degrade. So, I got rid of this & then bought another player (can't remember the brand) which lasted about a year before it crapped out.

    Lastly, I bought a non-name brand player in Fall 2017 for a good price ($50), and that has been working OK for over a year. I feel most Blu players these days are disposable.

  47. Bryan^H

    Sorry about that. But I am sick of hearing how disc is in danger. It is but as said elsewhere…it is a slow death.

    Wish I could've pressed the "Likes" button for you over a dozen times. I'm sick of hearing it, too. It's not about our watching the shifting markets and it's not about being a realist; but a lot of the times, it feels as if some are reveling in it and nearly promoting its decline. As one of the articles wrote, the best way for us to keep the market strong is to buy the discs as soon as they come out at its full price; for this is the best way to send a message of our support for physical media. Sales are great, but waiting for all to go down to 50% off sends the wrong message from those of us who still want to enjoy this format.

  48. Carlo Medina

    The sad (for me) thing is: I work at a top ranked university. We have the best and brightest. And they spend way more time on their mobile devices on social networks ("the gram", taking "instapretty" selfies, snapchat, etc.) than they do movies/music/etc combined. Probably more than in-person talk for some of them. It's the way things are going.

    I know what you mean. As someone who doesn't even own an I-phone (and barely has a cell phone) it seems that everyone is glued to their devices these days. I can't imagine watching a film/TV show on an I-phone due to the screen being so small, but a lot of people apparently do.

    I suspect that if all of the I-phones in the world were to stop working at the same time, most people out there would have a collective nervous breakdown – LOL.

  49. The Drifter

    I refuse to spend a lot of $ these days on a new Blu player. My first Blu player was a Samsung, which I bought in late 2012, and it lasted until Spring 2016 – and then the Laser?! that played the Blu's started to degrade. So, I got rid of this & then bought another player (can't remember the brand) which lasted about a year before it crapped out.

    I have a Samsung BD player from 2009 that still plays just fine. I wonder how much longer it will last?

  50. PMF

    Wish I could've pressed the "Likes" button for you over a dozen times. I'm sick of hearing it, too. It's not about our watching the shifting markets and it's not about being a realist; but a lot of the times, it feels as if some are reveling in it and nearly promoting its decline. As one of the articles wrote, the best way for us to keep the market strong is to buy the discs as soon as they come out at its full price; for this is the best way to send a message of our support for physical media. Sales are great, but waiting for all to go down to 50% off sends the wrong message from those of us who still want to enjoy this format.

    I'm certainly not "rooting" for physical media's demise, I would love nothing but the opposite of it. I'm just reporting what I've seen.

    And remember, these films are made and released by corporations. What is the primary driver of a corporation? To increase and maximize profits and revenue. They will do what they will to achieve that, and right now given what most consumers are doing with their money, it's less and less "make discs".

    As many have said, it's a slow death/demise, but the writing is on the wall. It happened to the music industry in the early 00s and the movie business is now beginning to follow suit.

    But the good news is that LPs and CDs are still made, just a bit harder to find them, but often they are made with care (especially LPs). Perhaps the future of movie physical distribution will mirror that, catering to a small but passionate percentage of the population who still want to own.

  51. It is, what it is. I only hope that streaming expands the number of titles available to stream. I have too many disc titles that are not available to stream, but are available on disc. Also, there are some titles in which the situation is vice versa.

  52. Carlo Medina

    But the good news is that LPs and CDs are still made, just a bit harder to find them, but often they are made with care (especially LPs). Perhaps the future of movie physical distribution will mirror that, catering to a small but passionate percentage of the population who still want to own.

    While the ownership aspect is important to me, the main reason I buy physical media is A/V quality. There are FAR too many variables that can cause video and/or audio degradation in the streaming model. I know that, for the most part, if I own a movie on disc I'm getting the best quality I can possibly get at the time of the release. I don't have to worry about something wonky with my internet service impacting what I'm watching.

  53. I'm not going to run out and buy a new player based on the Samsung news, but I may hold on to my older Sony player that still worked fine (and I was considering giving away to a family member). The only Samsung player I've owned is my current 4K player, and that's had a couple of odd glitches over the past weeks.

    Had a couple instances where it seems to lose connection with the projector for a few seconds in the middle of a film. A couple weeks ago, the video froze but the audio kept playing. Not sure what was up with that. It took me a few tries to power the player off/on, which seemed to fix the problem.

    I probably would not buy another Samsung player, anyway.

  54. Carlo Medina

    But the good news is that LPs and CDs are still made, just a bit harder to find them, but often they are made with care (especially LPs). Perhaps the future of movie physical distribution will mirror that, catering to a small but passionate percentage of the population who still want to own.

    And that is something no one talks about. They talk about the death of music in physical form– yet everything I'm interested in I buy on disc, and have since the early 90's. CD's are still available. I think the same will happen with movies. They may be online only purchases, but they will be available. A true death of physical media….no not really. That wont happen.

  55. Bryan^H

    And that is something no one talks about. They talk about the death of music in physical form– yet everything I'm interested in I buy on disc, and have since the early 90's. CD's are still available. I think the same will happen with movies. They may be online only purchases, but they will be available. A true death of physical media….no not really. That wont happen.

    This!

  56. Josh Steinberg

    […]
    3. I’m not convinced that a general/wise audience cares that much about quality[…]

    Number #3 of Josh's message and post may be the truest rub of it all. Not only on this topic, but in damned near everything else. Quality. Well, at least I can find it here at HTF.:thumbs-up-smiley:

  57. To follow-up on those who mentioned that most people out there don't care that much about the best picture when watching TV shows/movies, I agree. For example – and as a follow-up to some of my recent posts on this site – I have been waiting for a decent print of Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977) and The Tenant (1976) – among numerous other films – for years. LFMG has never been available as a Region 1 (US) Blu/DVD; The Tenant has been OOP on DVD for years, and IIRC isn't even available in a decent Anamorphic print. However, they have both been out there digitally over the years, though the availability varies & the quality is just OK. Will we ever get a decent BD (or even decent DVD) release of these films & others like these?! As a film & HD aficionado, I would like to see something like this. However, for the majority of folks who just want to watch the film and that's it, they couldn't care less about a physical release – as long as the film/TV series was available via streaming.

    Re: Music: Up until about 5-6 years ago, there were numerous dedicated CD stores in my area – they typically sold some new & primarily used CD's (but only used CD's that were in good shape) & it was great to go there & browse, not knowing what you were going to find. These all closed in the past several years, so there's no good place to go to look for older CD's (other than Half Price Books). Amazon does carry some music, but they don't have a huge selection of older material – unless it's been reissued in the past several years, i.e. the 2014-2015 Led Zeppelin remasters, The Beatles albums (which never go OOP for long), etc.

    Carlo Medina

    When I was in college in the 90s, when a new album dropped it was the buzz around the scene. I still work at the same college, but kids today (and I employ a lot of them) don't talk about albums anymore.

    Agree with all of this. When I was in my 20's (the '90's) I remember new rock/pop albums being a big deal. I wasn't that much into grunge, but was really into bands like Smashing Pumpkins & Garbage. And, towards the latter '90's – new releases by those artists especially were big events, i.e. SP's Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness (1995) and to a much lesser extent Adore (1998), Garbage's Version 2.0 (1998), etc. And, from what I heard/read, when producing an album songs were placed in a specific order so that they could be heard in that way. Now, with everything going digital & people not listening to albums as much anymore (just specific tracks) – this is all lost.

  58. One of my fond college memories (early 90s when grunge broke out) was standing in line at Tower Records Sunset Blvd for the midnight sale of new releases by Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, etc.

    But now…
    [​IMG]

  59. The Drifter

    I had a recent conversation with a 20-something, and we were talking about films – they said they don't even own a DVD/Blu player, and just stream everything. This isn't really a surprise, but as someone who has been a physical media fan ever since I was a kid – it was interesting to hear this.

    I know a few people like this in their 30s – and they work in the film and television industry.

  60. It will be a slow death for disc, I think we are seeing now that smaller boutique labels, Arrow, Shout, Twilight a Time, Eureka, Kino are licensing titles that the studios would have released themselves in the past, this will continue for many years to come.

    I never rated Samsung players, forced noise reduction on some models even when it is switched off in the menu, I was not a fan of their players although I do still own one of the better Samsung plasma televisions.

    I believe I read at the digital bits that sales of discs are down 8.8% from last year, not that bad, sales of UHD discs are up and increasing so that is good, what we need is the boutique labels who are releasing BD editions sourced from 4K scans to put out actual 4K UHD discs, I am not that fussed about HDR on projection systems but wide colour is good, I suppose if you own a television you will want the HDR too.

    Although I want disc to continue I am not against buying a movie or two on iTunes and I do watch Netflix, I also hope 3D makes a comeback, there are still classics I would like to watch on 3D such as Hondo which Warner do not appear to want to release.

  61. dpippel

    While the ownership aspect is important to me, the main reason I buy physical media is A/V quality. There are FAR too many variables that can cause video and/or audio degradation in the streaming model. I know that, for the most part, if I own a movie on disc I'm getting the best quality I can possibly get at the time of the release. I don't have to worry about something wonky with my internet service impacting what I'm watching.

    I'd love to be able to do that, but there's simply no way I could afford to buy everything I'm interested in watching. It doesn't help that I'm in Canada, and disc prices here are pretty exorbitant. It's pretty much impossible to get 4K discs or Criterions for under $40, and importing something like a Twilight Time blu comes up to over $50, and that's not even factoring in the 25-30% exchange rate. There also aren't all that many places to buy or sell used discs.

  62. Something about Safari browser and iPad, I am having issues editing my post, when I mention 3D disc and films it should say Hondo, not Honda, that’s funny. I also agree, disc prices can be a bit high when they launch, I do tend to wait for lower pricing, it’s just a matter of money and what I can afford, I want disc but they have to price it more reasonably too or they will kill the market, and maybe studios like Disney would like that, more control of content with streaming and they can pull it at any time, you might think you own it but you are merely renting it from them, with disc you own it.

  63. FoxyMulder

    Something about Safari browser and iPad, I am having issues editing my post, when I mention 3D disc and films it should say Hondo, not Honda, that’s funny. I also agree, disc prices can be a bit high when they launch, I do tend to wait for lower pricing, it’s just a matter of money and what I can afford, I want disc but they have to price it more reasonably too or they will kill the market, and maybe studios like Disney would like that, more control of content with streaming and they can pull it at any time, you might think you own it but you are merely renting it from them.

    Taken care of.

  64. Bryan^H

    And that is something no one talks about. They talk about the death of music in physical form– yet everything I'm interested in I buy on disc, and have since the early 90's. CD's are still available. I think the same will happen with movies. They may be online only purchases, but they will be available. A true death of physical media….no not really. That wont happen.

    Right! I can only recall once when some new music I wanted wasn't available to purchase as a CD (the OST of Pixar's Up) but as a digital download. But that changed after a short while and a CD was eventually released (by Disney). I thought that was significant event in the timeline of the supposed "demise of physical media."

    One of the significant events during this growth in streaming and digital media has been the intense growth of Amazon in the retail world. Paired with the improvements in streaming technology the death of physical media for sale in B&M stores has made the "death of physical media" maybe seem a bit more advanced than it really is.

  65. Mike Frezon

    One of the significant events during this growth in streaming and digital media has been the intense growth of Amazon in the retail world. Paired with the improvements in streaming technology the death of physical media for sale in B&M stores has made the "death of physical media" maybe seem a bit more advanced than it really is.

    Exactly. Not being able to find much physical media in brick & mortar stores may give many non-home video fans/collectors the impression that these are very difficult to track down. But, you can still get most of these @ online retailers like Amazon, etc.

    For example, back in the '90's & through the mid-late 200X's, Best Buy had huge selections of movies & CD's. Now, their selection of physical media is extremely minimal.

  66. Mike Frezon

    Right! I can only recall once when some new music I wanted wasn't available to purchase as a CD (the OST of Pixar's Up) but as a digital download. But that changed after a short while and a CD was eventually released (by Disney).

    The Up CD was actually a co-release from Disney and Intrada, one of several boutique labels equivalent to Twilight Time or Criterion for film scores. As a big film score fan I can only buy new releases from one of them as only the disc comes out on release day, and they have the CD rights (but not download rights). As a result I actually buy more CDs now than I ever have.

  67. Edwin-S

    Studios are killing 4K discs like they killed 3D discs…..with ridiculous pricing. The average retail price for a 4K disc (new release) in Canada is 35 bucks before sales tax. I used to buy a lot of discs, but my appetite to spend 40 bucks on a movie is long gone.

    Here in the UK a new 4K release is £25 (about $32.69 US dollar or $43.12 Canadian dollar). Considering 3D discs are around £18, Blu at £15 and DVD at £10, you can see the considerable price hike for 4K. Surely it doesn't cost that much more to press a 4K disc?
    After about 6 months, many 4K titles become part of a '2 for £30' deal – a much more attractive proposition – as long as you're prepared to wait and hope the title you are after drops into that price deal….

  68. I find this very interesting because I still am a person that has physical media (Blu, 3DBlu,and DVD) and I’m in my 40s, however from what I gather talking with those in their 20’s and 30’s (that are not serious movie fanatics) is something almost so very left field…..they are NOT a house owner.
    I know that may sound strange to this conversation, but I used to have 400-500 movies, and 100’s of CDs but then I moved either from parents home (all those years ago) or from one apartment to another. Every time I moved I realized less and less was coming with me. Moving is a very huge pain in the rear and I would “trim” down to my essentials each move. Once that happened I realized I don’t need to re-buy that movie again, so being still in a apartment there is no reason to keep buying physical media until I buy my actual home to live in for ….20-40 years and not buy everything now and move everything into another temp place. If that makes sense LOL.
    What I have done is bought more “mobile” so yes, streaming makes more sense to me over physical. So going back to those 20 and 30 year old people that have not found their “lifetime” home feel the same way as I have become….one day when I buy that home, then I’ll buy the equipment and physical media I want.

  69. It makes total sense to me.

    A generation or two ago, speaking broadly about society, two important benchmarks for success were owning a home and working your career for a single employer. When you have both job security and housing security, any hobby that involves collecting physical items can be easily supported or enjoyed.

    In today’s world, the possibility of working for just one employer for the length of one’s career is a much rarer proposition. Lacking long term job security, or knowing that you may have to find a new job in a few years through no fault of your own, can make it harder to put down roots in one space by buying a home. If you don’t own a home, and moreover, are in a situation where moving every year or every few years is a likely possibility, collecting any kind of physical object can become a burden.

    I’m in my mis-30s and I live in a city, as a renter. Having a large physical collection can require an extra effort for me compared to a homeowner. I enjoy this as a hobby so much that I’m willing to put that effort in. At the same time, I’m moving away from physical objects in other areas. I rarely buy physical books anymore, since most books I only read once anyway – a Kindle version is cheaper, takes up less space and doesn’t have to be packed up when I move. And in these cases, if something I purchased disappears from my account in five or ten years, I don’t think I’d go crazy over it. I end up running out of space for physical books in shorter time anyhow. Most of my CD collection has been ripped to hard drives, with the physical discs in storage. Exceptions are made for select discs (mostly those with bonus DVDs or other physical content that can’t be ripped) but I just don’t have the room to keep every CD I’ve ever bought with me at all times.

    All that’s to say, I understand why things are moving in the direction they’re moving. When you watch an episode of Star Trek and a character wants to hear music or read something, they don’t grab a disc or a book – they ask the computer to bring it up. For better or worse, that’s where it’s going eventually.

  70. Josh Steinberg

    It makes total sense to me.

    A generation or two ago, speaking broadly about society, two important benchmarks for success were owning a home and working your career for a single employer. When you have both job security and housing security, any hobby that involves collecting physical items can be easily supported or enjoyed.

    In today’s world, the possibility of working for just one employer for the length of one’s career is a much rarer proposition. Lacking long term job security, or knowing that you may have to find a new job in a few years through no fault of your own, can make it harder to put down roots in one space by buying a home. If you don’t own a home, and moreover, are in a situation where moving every year or every few years is a likely possibility, collecting any kind of physical object can become a burden.

    I’m in my mis-30s and I live in a city, as a renter. Having a large physical collection can require an extra effort for me compared to a homeowner. I enjoy this as a hobby so much that I’m willing to put that effort in. At the same time, I’m moving away from physical objects in other areas. I rarely buy physical books anymore, since most books I only read once anyway – a Kindle version is cheaper, takes up less space and doesn’t have to be packed up when I move. And in these cases, if something I purchased disappears from my account in five or ten years, I don’t think I’d go crazy over it. I end up running out of space for physical books in shorter time anyhow. Most of my CD collection has been ripped to hard drives, with the physical discs in storage. Exceptions are made for select discs (mostly those with bonus DVDs or other physical content that can’t be ripped) but I just don’t have the room to keep every CD I’ve ever bought with me at all times.

    All that’s to say, I understand why things are moving in the direction they’re moving. When you watch an episode of Star Trek and a character wants to hear music or read something, they don’t grab a disc or a book – they ask the computer to bring it up. For better or worse, that’s where it’s going eventually.

    Very enlightening Josh.

  71. I think having DVD, Blu-ray, and UHD on the market simultaneously is part of the problem. None of the formats are going to have the market penetration you saw with DVD in the early days, because consumers are being split in three different directions.

    I think UHD has the possibility of filling the high-end niche that Laserdisc used to fill in the VHS days. It's overkill for a lot of titles, but it's still the best possible presentation. 4K streaming just isn't as good as 4K on disc, even with a really high quality internet connection.

    Blu-Ray is sort of in this weird intermediate position now: It's not the high-end format any more, but it's also not targeted to people with their $29 COBY DVD player hooked up to their 27" CRT television, either.

  72. I think having DVD, Blu-ray, and UHD on the market simultaneously is part of the problem. None of the formats are going to have the market penetration you saw with DVD in the early days, because consumers are being split in three different directions.

    I think UHD has the possibility of filling the high-end niche that Laserdisc used to fill in the VHS days. It's overkill for a lot of titles, but it's still the best possible presentation. 4K streaming just isn't as good as 4K on disc, even with a really high quality internet connection.

    Blu-Ray is sort of in this weird intermediate position now: It's not the high-end format any more, but it's also not targeted to people with their $29 COBY DVD player hooked up to their 27" CRT television, either.

  73. Adam Lenhardt

    I think having DVD, Blu-ray, and UHD on the market simultaneously is part of the problem. None of the formats are going to have the market penetration you saw with DVD in the early days, because consumers are being split in three different directions.

    I think UHD has the possibility of filling the high-end niche that Laserdisc used to fill in the VHS days. It's overkill for a lot of titles, but it's still the best possible presentation. 4K streaming just isn't as good as 4K on disc, even with a really high quality internet connection.

    Blu-Ray is sort of in this weird intermediate position now: It's not the high-end format any more, but it's also not targeted to people with their $29 COBY DVD player hooked up to their 27" CRT television, either.

    I don't think the layperson can tell the difference on screen sizes 65" or less, especially in their normal sitting position while the video is in motion.

  74. Adam Lenhardt

    I think having DVD, Blu-ray, and UHD on the market simultaneously is part of the problem. None of the formats are going to have the market penetration you saw with DVD in the early days, because consumers are being split in three different directions.

    I think UHD has the possibility of filling the high-end niche that Laserdisc used to fill in the VHS days. It's overkill for a lot of titles, but it's still the best possible presentation. 4K streaming just isn't as good as 4K on disc, even with a really high quality internet connection.

    Blu-Ray is sort of in this weird intermediate position now: It's not the high-end format any more, but it's also not targeted to people with their $29 COBY DVD player hooked up to their 27" CRT television, either.

    I don't think the layperson can tell the difference on screen sizes 65" or less, especially in their normal sitting position while the video is in motion.

  75. Robert Crawford

    I don't think the layperson can tell the difference on screen sizes 65" or less, especially in their normal sitting position while the video is in motion.

    I'm sure you're right. But there's something to be said for wanting the best possible presentation out of the best possible presentation.

    The bigger concern for me is: What if MoviesAnywhere someday goes the way of Ultraviolet? What if Vudu/iTunes etc. someday get out of the electronic sellthrough marketplace?

    I can watch a disc with a television and a player hooked up to a generator in the middle of nowhere during a power outage. Streaming depends on the provider still being there on the other end of the line.

    I'm a big fan of streaming on a subscription basis, where both parties operate under the understanding that the access period is limited. I don't have the same confidence in digital "purchases".

  76. Adam Lenhardt

    I'm sure you're right. But there's something to be said for wanting the best possible presentation out of the best possible presentation.

    The bigger concern for me is: What if MoviesAnywhere someday goes the way of Ultraviolet? What if Vudu/iTunes etc. someday get out of the electronic sellthrough marketplace?

    I can watch a disc with a television and a player hooked up to a generator in the middle of nowhere during a power outage. Streaming depends on the provider still being there on the other end of the line.

    I'm a big fan of streaming on a subscription basis, where both parties operate under the understanding that the access period is limited. I don't have the same confidence in digital "purchases".

    We all have choices to make so I'm not going to criticize your choice. I purchase movies all the time in 4K/UHD and I have no qualms in doing so. I can't live my life in "what if". Anyway, I'm going back to watch some more movies as your post is kind of bumming me out.:)

  77. Adam Lenhardt

    I think having DVD, Blu-ray, and UHD on the market simultaneously is part of the problem. None of the formats are going to have the market penetration you saw with DVD in the early days, because consumers are being split in three different directions.

    That's what I've thought for years. If they wanted blu-ray to take over the mass market, they needed to stop DVD-only releases. Release Blu/DVD combos for a limited amount of time, and eventually phase out DVD completely.

    But the studios never seem to learn a lesson about format wars or competing formats. And they've certainly never figured out how to transition cleanly from one to the next given that we currently have three competing physical formats.

    They needed to take a page from the likes of Microsoft and Apple about forced obsolescence. We have to keep upgrading to new versions of software and hardware as they eliminate support of older formats.

  78. Josh Steinberg

    I’m surprised that we still have BD+DVD combo packs as well as individual DVD SKUs. I thought it was a great way to roll out the new format but it’s shocking to me that it’s gone on this long.

    Its not shocking at all. Multiformat has just become another way to gouge prices past the point of necessity.

  79. It is probably a good thing that Slamsung is quitting the blu-ray player market, I have their 4K 8500 player and lately I have felt like ripping it out of my rack and throwing it against a wall. The remote is garbage. I had to buy a 6.00 coin cell when the battery went dead, instead of being able to use standard AAAs that I had on hand. The thing whines like crazy as it starts to read the disc and then goes quiet when the film actually starts. It never used to do that before. I have barely used it in months and it sounds like it is on its way out every time it starts reading a disc.

  80. Lord Dalek

    Its not shocking at all. Multiformat has just become another way to gouge prices past the point of necessity.

    Except I'm not seeing any gouging. If you look at a brand new titles on their first week of release, studios that don't include the DVD generally charge the same as studios that do. I think they're on autopilot; they're doing it simply because it's what they've always done since the beginning of Blu-ray. It's probably one of those things where when they survey media buyers, people say that they like having the extra disc, but they probably don't dig any deeper to see how much more people like it – I would guess at this point, most Blu-ray buyers shrug their shoulders at the extra disc but that it doesn't drive their purchase one way or the other.

    BobO’Link

    They're also on a star ship with limited storage options. Having everything digital in such situations is absolutely logical and necessary. I don't want that at home.

    For sure. I was simply trying to illustrate, as part of a larger post about the buying habits of people roughly my age, that a lot of us are living in similar situations – limited storage space combined with high probability of having to change jobs and/or living spaces frequently through no fault of our own – and that can make it difficult to invest in hobbies that require disposable income and space. I'm not saying that this is an ideal or desirable situation for many – but it is the situation that many of my generation find themselves in nonetheless. So, for people that are roughly in my age group and in similar life situations, streaming can address a lot of those concerns.

  81. Owned the Samsung 8500 4K player and sold it shortly afterwards due to the absolutely absurd remote control and bought a Sony. Sony and Panasonic 4K players will do me fine. Still, a bit surprised by this announcement- Samsungs 8K tvs do sound very promising tho.

  82. Blu-ray and physical media are not dead. At least not yet. Just because Samsung announced that they would not be manufacturing any new hardware does not mean that Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray discs will suddenly be going away. There are still several companies making hardware (Sony, LG, Panasonic, even Microsoft with XBOX One, Phillips/Magnavox/Sanyo, etc.). Studios are still releasing movies on disc. Will physical media go away? Very likely, eventually, but we are many years from that happening completely. I am tired of seeing posts in my feed (both on Facebook and on Google) declaring that disc is now dead because one manufacturer that didn't even make players that were all that exceptional threw in the towel.

  83. That is fine I am sure Sony will love to get my cash! Originally planned on an Oppo so that was very disappointing! And since I have a new Sony OLED I would rather have a nicer Sony anyway!

  84. Bryan^H

    Notice the electronic sell through(to own) vs disc sales.

    Come back in 2025 then you might be able to say "I told ya so"

    That's ridiculous. You have to compare all physical to all "digital" regardless of whether it's to own or to "rent" because if one streams a movie, chances are they're not buying it to own. And if you do that comparison you'll see that digital comprises 75% of revenue AND that between 2017 and 2018, digital grew 24% and physical declined 15%.

    Like many here, I still prefer owning a physical copy of any movie that I want to watch twice or more, but I'm not so biased by my own preferences not to recognize what's going on in the marketplace. And the marketplace is not choosing physical media for better or worse. The same Is happening in the music industry (in North America) where in the first half of 2018, streaming constituted 77.1% of industry revenue, digital downloads represented 12.6% and physical represented just 10.3% and it probably got worse in the second half (the RIAA hasn't released the full-year 2018 numbers yet.)

    I predicted several years ago that we would see fewer releases, fewer boxed sets, fewer releases with extras or special packaging, etc. And that's what's happening. It's Business 101. Physical video media (in North America) was an $11 billion business in 2009 and it was a $4.1 billion business in 2018. What makes anyone think that the studios aren't going to cut back investment? They'd be insane not to invest elsewhere.

    The OPPO announcement probably didn't mean much to the studios because the OPPO wasn't a mass market product. But Samsung announcing no more UHD or Blu-ray players is going to send a message to the studios that the decline of the physical business is going to happen at an increased pace. And as far as UHD is concerned, in 2018, the market share of UHD for the top 20 titles with the highest UHD share, the average share was only 10.66%. That's not very good. And in 2018, Blu only had a 45% physical market revenue share and an incredibly awful 30% unit share.

  85. zoetmb

    That's ridiculous. You have to compare all physical to all "digital" regardless of whether it's to own or to "rent" because if one streams a movie, chances are they're not buying it to own. And if you do that comparison you'll see that digital comprises 75% of revenue AND that between 2017 and 2018, digital grew 24% and physical declined 15%.

    Like many here, I still prefer owning a physical copy of any movie that I want to watch twice or more, but I'm not so biased by my own preferences not to recognize what's going on in the marketplace. And the marketplace is not choosing physical media for better or worse. The same Is happening in the music industry (in North America) where in the first half of 2018, streaming constituted 77.1% of industry revenue, digital downloads represented 12.6% and physical represented just 10.3% and it probably got worse in the second half (the RIAA hasn't released the full-year 2018 numbers yet.)

    I predicted several years ago that we would see fewer releases, fewer boxed sets, fewer releases with extras or special packaging, etc. And that's what's happening. It's Business 101. Physical video media (in North America) was an $11 billion business in 2009 and it was a $4.1 billion business in 2018. What makes anyone think that the studios aren't going to cut back investment? They'd be insane not to invest elsewhere.

    The OPPO announcement probably didn't mean much to the studios because the OPPO wasn't a mass market product. But Samsung announcing no more UHD or Blu-ray players is going to send a message to the studios that the decline of the physical business is going to happen at an increased pace. And as far as UHD is concerned, in 2018, the market share of UHD for the top 20 titles with the highest UHD share, the average share was only 10.66%. That's not very good. And in 2018, Blu only had a 45% physical market revenue share and an incredibly awful 30% unit share.

    Sorry to say, you are wrong.

  86. zoetmb

    That's ridiculous. You have to compare all physical to all "digital" regardless of whether it's to own or to "rent" because if one streams a movie, chances are they're not buying it to own. And if you do that comparison you'll see that digital comprises 75% of revenue AND that between 2017 and 2018, digital grew 24% and physical declined 15%.

    Like many here, I still prefer owning a physical copy of any movie that I want to watch twice or more, but I'm not so biased by my own preferences not to recognize what's going on in the marketplace. And the marketplace is not choosing physical media for better or worse. The same Is happening in the music industry (in North America) where in the first half of 2018, streaming constituted 77.1% of industry revenue, digital downloads represented 12.6% and physical represented just 10.3% and it probably got worse in the second half (the RIAA hasn't released the full-year 2018 numbers yet.)

    I predicted several years ago that we would see fewer releases, fewer boxed sets, fewer releases with extras or special packaging, etc. And that's what's happening. It's Business 101. Physical video media (in North America) was an $11 billion business in 2009 and it was a $4.1 billion business in 2018. What makes anyone think that the studios aren't going to cut back investment? They'd be insane not to invest elsewhere.

    The OPPO announcement probably didn't mean much to the studios because the OPPO wasn't a mass market product. But Samsung announcing no more UHD or Blu-ray players is going to send a message to the studios that the decline of the physical business is going to happen at an increased pace. And as far as UHD is concerned, in 2018, the market share of UHD for the top 20 titles with the highest UHD share, the average share was only 10.66%. That's not very good. And in 2018, Blu only had a 45% physical market revenue share and an incredibly awful 30% unit share.

    Sorry to say, you are wrong.

  87. Todd Erwin

    Blu-ray and physical media are not dead. At least not yet. Just because Samsung announced that they would not be manufacturing any new hardware does not mean that Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray discs will suddenly be going away. There are still several companies making hardware (Sony, LG, Panasonic, even Microsoft with XBOX One, Phillips/Magnavox/Sanyo, etc.). Studios are still releasing movies on disc. Will physical media go away? Very likely, eventually, but we are many years from that happening completely. I am tired of seeing posts in my feed (both on Facebook and on Google) declaring that disc is now dead because one manufacturer that didn't even make players that were all that exceptional threw in the towel.

    Well said.

  88. Blu_rayfan66

    …why do you think this? I'd say Samsung's exit is more telling because they sold more units than Oppo at a fraction of the price to a more mainstream market…

    That's just it. Samsung was targeting the mass-market and we already know the average consumer is shifting away from physical media. Oppo was targeting a home theatre niche – the very people who populate this forum – and couldn't see a viable way forward. That's more disturbing to me. It would be like the difference between Sony deciding not to release discs anymore and Kino packing it in. When the speciality players start folding, the game is over.

  89. Worth

    That's just it. Samsung was targeting the mass-market and we already know the average consumer is shifting away from physical media. Oppo was targeting a home theatre niche – the very people who populate this forum – and couldn't see a viable way forward. That's more disturbing to me. It would be like the difference between Sony deciding not to release discs anymore and Kino packing it in. When the speciality players start folding, the game is over.

    Another is Panasonic. The extremely limited release of their UHD players through a few authorized electronic stores is worrisome.

    The launch of the next video game systems from Sony, and Microsoft will be very interesting. If neither system has UHD playback, let alone an optical drive it will be a nail in the coffin for physical media.

  90. Bryan^H

    Another is Panasonic. The extremely limited release of their UHD players through a few authorized electronic stores is worrisome.

    The launch of the next video game systems from Sony, and Microsoft will be very interesting. If neither system has UHD playback, let alone an optical drive it will be a nail in the coffin for physical media.

    Panasonic 4K players are widely available outside of the US. Good point about the next gen gaming consoles- if Sony include a UHD drive it could really kick start the format!

  91. Blu_rayfan66

    Panasonic 4K players are widely available outside of the US. Good point about the next gen gaming consoles- if Sony include a UHD drive it could really kick start the format!

    Those of us who are neck-deep in the gaming world can say this is looking less and less likely. Games are now going more towards the download and store on HDD route. Data access is just faster, especially those who use external HDDs or SSDs (games run multiple times faster on my external SSD than they do off the internal HDD). It's surprising that Sony, who makes UHD players, felt no need to put one in their PS4, nor their PS4 Pro which was the updated version released a couple of years ago. I don't think they'll be looking to change course in the PS5 or whatever comes next. The profit margin for console hardware is so slim (with rumors that initial release year is sold at loss) that manufacturers will do what they can to put all their money in CPU/GPU/HDD/Memory vs. putting a more expensive optical drive in there.

  92. I agree, Carlo. I have an interesting perspective on gaming because while I’m not a gamer myself, my wife and our mutual friends are, which keeps me current on what’s happening in that universe.

    This is purely anecdotal but I haven’t heard from anyone in that circle displaying any kind of enthusiasm for purchasing more games on disc, if a digital download version is available. From their point of view, it’s all data anyway. A physical disc might get damaged or loss. A physical disc has to be ordered for delivery or picked up a store. A physical disc might be out of stock, particularly for an in-demand new release.

    Downloading the game directly allows them to buy the games they want when they want them.

    I don’t know if downloading games is technically feasible in areas with slower download speeds. But to anyone who has already started purchasing games digitally, I don’t see a lot of interest in going back to being tethered to the physical item.

    I do not think the potential inclusion of a UHD drive in a next generation console will have a significant impact on the movie disc industry.

  93. Josh Steinberg

    I agree, Carlo. I have an interesting perspective on gaming because while I’m not a gamer myself, my wife and our mutual friends are, which keeps me current on what’s happening in that universe.

    This is purely anecdotal but I haven’t heard from anyone in that circle displaying any kind of enthusiasm for purchasing more games on disc, if a digital download version is available. From their point of view, it’s all data anyway. A physical disc might get damaged or loss. A physical disc has to be ordered for delivery or picked up a store. A physical disc might be out of stock, particularly for an in-demand new release.

    Downloading the game directly allows them to buy the games they want when they want them.

    I don’t know if downloading games is technically feasible in areas with slower download speeds. But to anyone who has already started purchasing games digitally, I don’t see a lot of interest in going back to being tethered to the physical item.

    I do not think the potential inclusion of a UHD drive in a next generation console will have a significant impact on the movie disc industry.

    Hi Josh – it goes even deeper than that. For the AAA titles (think videogame equivalent of tentpole/MCU films), they're never "done". They get released and then regularly patched and updated. I have Destiny 1 on disc, purchased in 2014. But the final version of Destiny released in 2017 is like 3X larger. Plus you had to pay extras for "expansions" (nearly all AAA titles do this, not just Destiny) which gave you fresh content and extends the lifespan of the game for much longer than games of old. Gone are the days where you can beat Super Mario Bros. and then put it to bed. These games are constantly evolving until the studio developer end-of-life's it (and then it's frozen in its final form)…and in Bungie's case makes the sequel.

    As a die-hard physical media guy, it was hard for me to let go of games-on-disc. But it's happened. I haven't purchased a game on disc since around 2016. Last 2+ years it's been download only. Luckily I have 400mbps internet. I can't imagine what it would be like for those who have less than 100mbps, but luckily there are options to have games update while you're away.

  94. I can understand why especially those who move often can get tired of moving alot of physical things from place to place and I get that! I will be turning 55 this year so yes time is catching up to me as well and it will be tough hauling all my stuff to the next place I live! But I enjoy this hobby enough to deal with packing and moving and unpacking a ton of stuff. I am on the side of physical media which a number of you already know. I prefer my movies and music on disc! For music how ever I will go old school and try to from time to time pick up a vinyl record, yes i know many will say it is inferior to cd but I love the entire experience of vinyl records. But my movie collection is something I can see and pick up and a streaming service going under nor a lawsuit will take that content from me. That being said I understand the attraction of digital as it is much easier to just bring it up online and boom it is purchased. But for myself as time goes on more and more of my collection is 1080p blu-ray and 4K blu-ray. I have invested in a 4K switching Marantz flagship receiver with Dolby Atmos, DTS-X and Auro 3D surround decoding. So yes I want my movies on disc in 4K or at least 1080p and my receiver and Sony XBR55A9F OLED will upscale it to 4K. I do have a number of blu-ray titles that are registered via ultraviolet and movies anywhere purely as back up. I am very short on cash right now because every available dollar has been going for the new Marantz 11 channel receiver, Sony OLED 4K TV and now two pair of Klipsch RP-600M reference bookshelf speakers for my surrounds.

    Anyway soon the focus will be back on movies and yes your hearing this right I will end up getting a 4K apple tv this year. But not because I want to buy digital versions of movies but to have another option to rent digital. By that time I should have the cat6 cable replaced that was damaged and a new 8 port switch installed in the a/v rack. It is hard to get excited about something you can not hold, do not own and may not have lossless audio. But I get the entire convenience part of digital and that you can take it with you to watch where ever you want. It is amazing how far digital and on demand video has come over the years and it has improved so much. One day it will be bit for bit match to the disc and one day better as they limitations of discs are reached.

    But I have gone from my first Sony HDTV and Sony blu-ray to the previous Samsung 4K TV and Samsung 4K blu-ray that I still use. To the Sony 4K OLED TV and will purchase a matching 4K player as soon as Sony releases it on the market. I will have two rooms with 4K displays and 4K disc playback and 7.1.4 on the home theater and 7.1 in the bedroom. And while I was not happy to see Oppo leave the disc player market as that was actually my first choice in 4K disc players. But at the time money was not there to purchase that fine player! This time with Samsung leaving the disc player market while not a good sign, at the same time it doesn't bother me! I am sure Sony will love to have my money for the new UBP-X800M2 4K blu-ray! And I am sure Sony will love to see that money move from Samsung's pockets to theirs! Samsung is forgetting one thing and not everyone has fast enough internet to stream digital 1080p and especially 4K HDR content! If they do not have a disc player what are they going to feed to those beautiful 4K Samsung QLED's? Digital may be enjoying dominance in the market over disc but I do not spend money on digital I spend my money on discs! That being said the funny part is I am more than willing to buy software as digital downloads but then again pc software is different from movies and music. I am also willing to buy pc games as digital downloads as well but movie and music give me discs!

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    Supporter of disc formats, 1080p and 4K blu-ray discs, Dolby True HD, Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-X and Auro 3D!

  95. Carlo Medina

    As a die-hard physical media guy, it was hard for me to let go of games-on-disc. But it's happened. I haven't purchased a game on disc since around 2016. Last 2+ years it's been download only. Luckily I have 400mbps internet. I can't imagine what it would be like for those who have less than 100mbps, but luckily there are options to have games update while you're away.

    I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I have gone digital for gaming also. The reason mainly being that modern video games are disposable to me. I beat a game and I never look back, even the games I love, I will most likely never go back to play it again once I finish it. Digital is so much easier than physical, and the way I juggle my games, it is a great solution.

    I feel a sense of guilt because I know a few really cool people that live and breathe video games, and they will never go digital. They are die hard gamers/collectors. Every time I buy digital I feel like I'm stabbing them in the back by ensuring the future of gaming is something they won't be able to own physically.

  96. Bryan^H

    I'm almost ashamed to admit it, but I have gone digital for gaming also. The reason mainly being that modern video games are disposable to me. I beat a game and I never look back, even the games I love, I will most likely never go back to play it again once I finish it. Digital is so much easier than physical, and the way I juggle my games, it is a great solution.

    I feel a sense of guilt because I know a few really cool people that live and breathe video games, and they will never go digital. They are die hard gamers/collectors. Every time I buy digital I feel like I'm stabbing them in the back by helping to ensure the future of gaming is something they won't be able to own physically, and display in their game room.

    Similar sentiments here too, though I don't play any modern or recent video games. I can understand though the dilema.

    The few video games which had a VERY HIGH replay value for me, were fortunately ones which I purchased the pc version on disc back in the day. I liked to play grand theft auto: vice city a lot over and over again (and gta3 and gta:sa to a lesser extent). I even found a used copies at a charity thrift store for $2 a pop, which I purchased as a backup copies.

  97. Carlo Medina

    And then there’s this guy.

    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/02/meet-the-man-who-got-100000-for-a-copy-of-super-mario-bros/

    Heh.

    (On a similar tangent).

    This sounds almost like trying to find a sealed standalone copy of the Colecovision "Donkey Kong" cartridge. Even back in the day, this was an extreme rarity, due to the fact that Donkey Kong was the pack-in cartridge sold with just about every new Colecovision unit. (The pack-in version of Donkey Kong never came in an individual sealed cartridge box).

    Back in the day, I only ever saw once the standalone "Donkey Kong" cartridge in an individual sealed box.

  98. Contrary to some of the views expressed above re digital vs. discs (videogames) everyone I know still buys the discs because once you beat the game you can then sell or trade in the game disc which obviously you cannot do with a digital copy. Many of us too enjoy simply enjoy collecting videogames and I have many old videogames worth hundreds of dollars.

  99. Blu_rayfan66

    Contrary to some of the views expressed above re digital vs. discs (videogames) everyone I know still buys the discs because once you beat the game you can then sell or trade in the game disc which obviously you cannot do with a digital copy. Many of us too enjoy simply enjoy collecting videogames and I have many old videogames worth hundreds of dollars.

    This would probably still be the case for console game discs.

    I don't know if this is still the case for pc games Rumor has it that quite a few pc games released over the past decade or so only had a download program on the actual cdrom disc, with an authentication code on a sheet of paper enclosed in the physical package.

  100. Actually it depends on the game you play. If you play the type of game (console or PC) that is a standalone, finished product once it's released, it makes sense to buy physical media and then re-sell.

    If you play games like Destiny, Anthem, The Division, etc. where you buy at $60 but expansions quickly double, triple or quadruple the costs over the game's multi-year lifespan, your resale value is next to nothing, and you lose the ability to play the expansions if you sell your base disc.

  101. Carlo Medina

    Those of us who are neck-deep in the gaming world can say this is looking less and less likely. Games are now going more towards the download and store on HDD route. Data access is just faster, especially those who use external HDDs or SSDs (games run multiple times faster on my external SSD than they do off the internal HDD). It's surprising that Sony, who makes UHD players, felt no need to put one in their PS4, nor their PS4 Pro which was the updated version released a couple of years ago. I don't think they'll be looking to change course in the PS5 or whatever comes next. The profit margin for console hardware is so slim (with rumors that initial release year is sold at loss) that manufacturers will do what they can to put all their money in CPU/GPU/HDD/Memory vs. putting a more expensive optical drive in there.

    You were on the mark. 🙂

    The next iteration of XboxOne (rumored to available in April), will have no optical disc drive.

    https://games.slashdot.org/story/19…all-digital-xbox-one-s-next-month-report-says

  102. jcroy

    You were on the mark. 🙂

    The next iteration of XboxOne (rumored to available in April), will have no optical disc drive.

    https://games.slashdot.org/story/19…all-digital-xbox-one-s-next-month-report-says

    While that seems to be true, it's more a move to release an Xbox One at a lower price point ahead of the announcement of whatever their next console will be called. I do think it's very possible that their next console won't have a disc drive, though. Since it's increasingly rare for a new game to be released without several patches and whatever (mostly) useless add-ons they can charge you for later on, having a game on disc doesn't have any benefits. Twenty years from now, even if you still had a working console, the odds are that the version of the game you have on disc will have bugs that may possibly render it unplayable. Gone are the days when complete, usually bug-free, games are released on physical media. It's more important for the publishers to meet a street date and fix the problems with a patch after release.

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