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Right now the UHD format isn’t doing so hot as far as I can tell. The rollout has been, to put it mildly, sluggish with low player and software market penetration in comparison to the sheer overwhelming number of affordably priced 4k displays currently saturating big box stores across the country. Furthermore, what discs are out there are wildly overpriced due to Ultra4k Blu-rays being chained to their predecessor format over incompatability with video featurettes or something like that. As I mentioned in another thread, I personally fear this is going to go the way of a reverse 3D where there’s plenty of displays out there but the industry failed to properly support ways of utilizing it to its fullest, as opposed to flooding the marketplace with useless Blu-ray3D editions of titles that just collected dust on Walmart shelves because the tvs were priced out of the market/not for sale period. Which is kind of a shame really. And for those who have adopted the format, at least around here, there is a growing level of discontent (YMMV) over the perceived technical benefits of the new format and whether or not stuff like HDR/Dolby Vision/etc. is a load of hot air or not (again, YMMV).

The question is, is it too late for Ultra4k? Are these self-inflicted wounds too much to overcome? Or can steps be taken to help shake off its current status as a third wheel? Thoughts?

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revgen

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4k resolution is overkill on 50 inch TVs, much less IPhones. I'm not surprised by the slow adoption rates. Sure there is HDR, which is nice if it's done well, but so many UHD's don't really take advantage of the format. Many also sport 4K upscales of 2k content.

I think it's too late for UHD to be accepted by the masses. I think it's success will be more similar to laserdisc. A format for videophiles.
 

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4k resolution is overkill on 50 inch TVs, much less IPhones. I'm not surprised by the slow adoption rates. Sure there is HDR, which is nice if it's done well, but so many UHD's don't really take advantage of the format. Many also sport 4K upscales of 2k content.
I doubt many people can tell the difference between the two nor is it the reason why market penetration might be slow. Besides streaming/downloads having a negative effect on disc sales, I think their pricing is too high. People are spoiled by the market place and don't want to spend those type of dollars any longer on discs. Sure, the launch was horrible and very confusing to the general public so that affected market penetration too. Yet, other factors also had their impact.
 

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Prices are also driven by demand. If the studios lower prices and discs are still sitting on shelves, they lose even more profit. Who blinks first?
 

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It seems fine to me. We are seeing triple packs launching sub $20 street and 90% of new releases are coming on UHD even when finished theatrically in 2k. It’s a marathon not a sprint
 

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Prices are also driven by demand. If the studios lower prices and discs are still sitting on shelves, they lose even more profit. Who blinks first?
From my perspective, they're going to blink first which is why I haven't bought Braveheart nor Gladiator on 4K/UHD disc. At $24.99 price point, it's too much, I'll wait and buy titles like The Patriot for under $20 when I purchased it.
 

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Try looking for a dedicated UHD player on Amazon. Notice whatever search under strictly "UHD player", or 4K player and you get dedicated UHD players bunched together with BD players that "upconvert" to 4K. That is a sure fire way to confuse the public. Add to that a specific type of HDMI cable to get the desired result for UHD, and the end result is confusion....for the average consumer(not for most of us at HTF).
So, in a way that public confusion over the format has never gone away.

It seems like an extremely niche format, which I am fine with. As long as some of my favorite movies are released in 4K.

I am surprised that there are so many UHD catalog titles being released lately to be perfectly honest.
Oppo pulling the plug has me a bit worried.
 

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From my perspective, they're going to blink first which is why I haven't bought Braveheart nor Gladiator on 4K/UHD disc. At $24.99 price point, it's too much, I'll wait and buy titles like The Patriot for under $20 when I purchased it.
I paid $25 for Braveheart. After watching it I think I would have paid double that. 20+ year old films should not look as good as this but yet...;)
 
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Sadly, I don't think 4K will ever appeal to the masses. In most cases, the improvement is just not drastic enough. My wife could care less about 1080P Blu Ray over standard 480P DVD, even when viewing on our 135" main screen. I'm buying into 4K, albeit gradually and cautiously, but I don't know if it will prove out to have been a wise decision. Only time will tell.

What will fix it? Well, when dealing with the masses I think it always eventually boils down to price. If prices don't come down to at least "near Blu Ray" levels then it's a tough sell for most. Conversely, if the masses don't embrace 4K in large numbers then it is unlikely we'll ever realize the price drops typical once economy of scale is achieved. Chicken or the egg...
 

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Try looking for a dedicated UHD player on Amazon. Notice whatever search under strictly "UHD player", or 4K player and you get dedicated UHD players bunched together with BD players that "upconvert" to 4K. That is a sure fire way to confuse the public. Add to that a specific type of HDMI cable to get the desired result for UHD, and the end result is confusion....for the average consumer(not for most of us at HTF).

It seems like an extremely niche format, which I am fine with. As long as some of my favorite movies are released in 4K.

I am surprised that there are so many UHD catalog titles being released lately to be perfectly honest.
Oppo pulling the plug has me a bit worried.
I always thought this was going to be a niche market even before launch. It was never going to approach BD penetration as people would still buy Blu-ray and DVD even though they have a 4K/UHD display.
 
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I think the mass audience is also looking for a different experience than what UHD can provide. If you're a home theater junkie, there are incremental improvements from BD to UHD that make the decision to upgrade a no-brainer.

But if you're the average consumer, especially if you're watching on a television that's under 65" and has never been calibrated, what you're getting right now with HD broadcasts and streaming is already better than you could have conceived of ten or twenty years ago.

The biggest leap for most people was the jump from VHS to DVD. Besides the improvement in picture quality, for the first time, DVD allowed a mass audience the ability to watch a film without having to rewind it, in a format where the picture quality wouldn't degrade or get worn out after multiple viewings. A DVD looks just as good on its 100th time in the player as it did the first. DVDs were also entirely sell-through, and Netflix-by-mail was also super convenient. This allowed most consumers the opportunity to buy movies cheaper and easier than it used to be to rent VHS tapes. The mass consumer is looking for the perfect nexus of quality, convenience and affordability, and for a brief period, buying DVDs was often the cheapest and easiest way to watch the movie you wanted to watch when you wanted to watch it.

But it turns out that ownership of films wasn't the goal for a lot of people. The sales numbers might have made it look that way when those stars aligned, but if anything, I think the average consumer realized just how infrequently he would rewatch movies when a collection of viewed-once titles started stacking up.

Streaming changed that equation. Most people when they sit down to watch a movie aren't looking to analyze a film in depth for their seventeenth viewing, or even looking to view a specific movie and nothing else. They're looking for the experience of watching "a movie" - and that's something that streaming is perfectly equipped to handle. The problems that the home viewer had with VHS and that infrastructure, which led to DVD selling so well at the beginning, have largely been addressed by streaming. With streaming, you can see the movie you want, when you want it. With streaming, you don't have to leave the house to see something. With streaming, you can spend less than $10 a month to get a subscription service like Netflix, or you might already have Amazon Prime for shipping and use that for streaming as well, making it essentially free. If there's a specific movie you're looking to see that's not on a subscription service, you can usually rent it for $4. I think for most people, that's enough. Streaming is "good enough" for a mass audience. And the problems that disc lovers have with streaming are slowly but surely being addressed. Concepts like Movies Anywhere make it so that a purchase made in one digital store will be accessible in a different service. Bonus features are now being included with digital purchases. Movies are more compressed via streaming than on disc, but as broadband access continues to improve, we'll one day get to a point where a streaming versions is bit-for-bit identical to a copy on a disc. And there's probably a lifetime limit on how many times people can reasonably be expected to pay for the same content in a different format. There was a pretty good argument for rebuying your favorite movies on DVD after you had paid for the VHS. There was still a good argument for buying the same title for a third time when Blu-ray came out. It's a lot to ask people to go back to the well for a fourth time. The average consumer might feel that they're trapped in a never-ending game of whac-a-mole, where each time they modernize their collection, a new format takes over and they have to start all over again. Meanwhile, if you happened to be an AppleTV/iTunes user, you just got all of your SD and HD purchases upgraded to 4K versions for free. That's probably more attractive to people who are more casual purchasers.

And in general, I think the perceived value of pre-recorded entertainment is at an all time low. We're being trained by subscription services like Netflix that we should only spend about $8 a month to have access to a huge library of content. We're being trained by iTunes that renting a movie should only be $4. We're being trained by MoviePass that no one should spend more than $10 a month to go to the movies. We have an epidemic of people buying pirated content, as easily as using hacked Amazon Fire Sticks and other such devices, buying them at legitimate retailers like Amazon and Walmart, watching pirated content on interfaces that look completely legitimate, and coming to believe that not only are they not doing anything wrong, but that the content itself doesn't have that much value.

In the face of that, UHD isn't really competing with Blu-ray or paid digital purchases - it's competing with free or almost free. How do you tell an audience that's now getting used to only spending $10 a month to see unlimited movies in theaters, or $8 to watch unlimited movies at home on Netflix, that they're doing it wrong and should instead spend $30 on a new set of discs? And if studios can't sell enough discs, they'll lower the price, which will reduce revenue, which will make it harder to justify making more discs. It feels like a race to the bottom at times.

If Blu-ray is already a niche market, then UHD is a niche within a niche. I think it has the potential to do just fine among a smaller customer base that is more willing to spend money than a general audience, but I think it faces a more difficult road as a mainstream format.
 

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You also have to wonder if the studios are too concerned about starting a format war hence why they're demanding these UHD sets be hybrid and then forcing nearly all the extra content onto the FHD discs.

...which is what's driving the price up.
 

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I paid $25 for Braveheart. After watching it I think I would have paid double that. 20+ year old films should not looks as good as this but yet...;)
Well, each of us have our boundaries. I was never a big fan of Braveheart nor Gladiator.
 
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Robert Crawford

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I think the mass audience is also looking for a different experience than what UHD can provide. If you're a home theater junkie, there are incremental improvements from BD to UHD that make the decision to upgrade a no-brainer.

But if you're the average consumer, especially if you're watching on a television that's under 65" and has never been calibrated, what you're getting right now with HD broadcasts and streaming is already better than you could have conceived of ten or twenty years ago.

The biggest leap for most people was the jump from VHS to DVD. Besides the improvement in picture quality, for the first time, DVD allowed a mass audience the ability to watch a film without having to rewind it, in a format where the picture quality wouldn't degrade or get worn out after multiple viewings. A DVD looks just as good on its 100th time in the player as it did the first. DVDs were also entirely sell-through, and Netflix-by-mail was also super convenient. This allowed most consumers the opportunity to buy movies cheaper and easier than it used to be to rent VHS tapes. The mass consumer is looking for the perfect nexus of quality, convenience and affordability, and for a brief period, buying DVDs was often the cheapest and easiest way to watch the movie you wanted to watch when you wanted to watch it.

But it turns out that ownership of films wasn't the goal for a lot of people. The sales numbers might have made it look that way when those stars aligned, but if anything, I think the average consumer realized just how infrequently he would rewatch movies when a collection of viewed-once titles started stacking up.

Streaming changed that equation. Most people when they sit down to watch a movie aren't looking to analyze a film in depth for their seventeenth viewing, or even looking to view a specific movie and nothing else. They're looking for the experience of watching "a movie" - and that's something that streaming is perfectly equipped to handle. The problems that the home viewer had with VHS and that infrastructure, which led to DVD selling so well at the beginning, have largely been addressed by streaming. With streaming, you can see the movie you want, when you want it. With streaming, you don't have to leave the house to see something. With streaming, you can spend less than $10 a month to get a subscription service like Netflix, or you might already have Amazon Prime for shipping and use that for streaming as well, making it essentially free. If there's a specific movie you're looking to see that's not on a subscription service, you can usually rent it for $4. I think for most people, that's enough. Streaming is "good enough" for a mass audience. And the problems that disc lovers have with streaming are slowly but surely being addressed. Concepts like Movies Anywhere make it so that a purchase made in one digital store will be accessible in a different service. Bonus features are now being included with digital purchases. Movies are more compressed via streaming than on disc, but as broadband access continues to improve, we'll one day get to a point where a streaming versions is bit-for-bit identical to a copy on a disc. And there's probably a lifetime limit on how many times people can reasonably be expected to pay for the same content in a different format. There was a pretty good argument for rebuying your favorite movies on DVD after you had paid for the VHS. There was still a good argument for buying the same title for a third time when Blu-ray came out. It's a lot to ask people to go back to the well for a fourth time. The average consumer might feel that they're trapped in a never-ending game of whac-a-mole, where each time they modernize their collection, a new format takes over and they have to start all over again. Meanwhile, if you happened to be an AppleTV/iTunes user, you just got all of your SD and HD purchases upgraded to 4K versions for free. That's probably more attractive to people who are more casual purchasers.

And in general, I think the perceived value of pre-recorded entertainment is at an all time low. We're being trained by subscription services like Netflix that we should only spend about $8 a month to have access to a huge library of content. We're being trained by iTunes that renting a movie should only be $4. We're being trained by MoviePass that no one should spend more than $10 a month to go to the movies. We have an epidemic of people buying pirated content, as easily as using hacked Amazon Fire Sticks and other such devices, buying them at legitimate retailers like Amazon and Walmart, watching pirated content on interfaces that look completely legitimate, and coming to believe that not only are they not doing anything wrong, but that the content itself doesn't have that much value.

In the face of that, UHD isn't really competing with Blu-ray or paid digital purchases - it's competing with free or almost free. How do you tell an audience that's now getting used to only spending $10 a month to see unlimited movies in theaters, or $8 to watch unlimited movies at home on Netflix, that they're doing it wrong and should instead spend $30 on a new set of discs? And if studios can't sell enough discs, they'll lower the price, which will reduce revenue, which will make it harder to justify making more discs. It feels like a race to the bottom at times.

If Blu-ray is already a niche market, then UHD is a niche within a niche. I think it has the potential to do just fine among a smaller customer base that is more willing to spend money than a general audience, but I think it faces a more difficult road as a mainstream format.
Josh, I love your posts, but damn, I'm going to have to read this one when I have more time to do so.;)
 
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Josh, I love your posts, but damn, I'm going to have to read this one when I have more time to do so.;)
There's a great line in "Lincoln" that Daniel Day Lewis has that I think applies as well to me, probably too well... "Like the preacher said, once I get started, I get too lazy to stop." :D
 

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I love Braveheart, I hated Gladiator.
By the way, I love Forrest Gump, but I refuse to pay almost $26 dollars for it on 4K/UHD disc. The 2017 version of Robert Crawford might have, but not the 2018 version, who has sworn to be more discipline in my disc purchasing. So far this year, I'm doing well in that regard.
 
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The mass market still buys DVD's. For them, that is "good enough", especially since most don't usually watch a movie more than once. If they won't even upgrade to blu-ray, what's going to get them to the even more expensive 4K?

If the studios wanted people to upgrade, they'd discontinue the legacy formats. DVD should have been retired long ago (or at least as a stand-alone format). As long as single DVD releases are still available, and are considerably cheaper than blu and 4K, most are not inclined to upgrade.

The fact that blu-ray players (and 4K players) can play all legacy formats is also lost on many. I was at the checkout one time at Walmart behind someone buying a new DVD player because his had stopped working. I suggested it was a good time to upgrade to a blu-ray player for just a few dollars more, but he said he had a DVD collection and wouldn't be able to play them on a blu-ray player. I explained that a blu player could play both blu-ray and DVD, but he still wasn't swayed. My boss at work is also comfortable in sticking with DVD. I've offered to loan him movies on occasion, but they have to be DVD. I explained he could get a reasonably priced blu-ray player and be able to play both blu and DVD, but he's not interested.
 
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we'll one day get to a point where a streaming versions is bit-for-bit identical to a copy on a disc.
I would love to see this but I am doubtful. It won't be the network [bandwidth] that prevents it but I just don't think the studios will ever allow it. They already take draconian steps to prevent us from making a legitimate copy of the physical media we've already purchased.
 

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There's a great line in "Lincoln" that Daniel Day Lewis has that I think applies as well to me, probably too well... "Like the preacher said, once I get started, I get too lazy to stop." :D
TBH, I've grown lazy in my online forum reading as I lose interest in long posts.
 
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