What is holding back UHD and what can be done to fix it?

3 Stars

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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Kevin Collins

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163 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. revgen

    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.

  3. revgen

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. Robert Crawford

    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…;)

  6. 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…

  7. Bryan^H

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Bryan^H

    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.

  11. Josh Steinberg

    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.;)

  12. Robert Crawford

    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." 😀

  13. Bryan^H

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. Josh Steinberg

    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.

  16. Josh Steinberg

    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." 😀

    TBH, I've grown lazy in my online forum reading as I lose interest in long posts.

  17. Robert Crawford

    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.

    I generally agree but might make an exception for that particular title.

  18. Bought my first 4K player two weeks ago and played Planet Earth II & Bridge on the River Kwai and loved the picture quality. I can even see a improvement in playing blu-rays too so I am happy I went 4K. Will be selective in buying UHD since I have a lot of blu-rays, dvd's, and my laserdisc collection and running out of shelf space.

  19. Malcolm R

    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.

    I'm not sure I completely agree that they should have discontinued them. What I think should have happened was that when Blu-ray was introduced, it should have been priced the same as DVD, and they should have folded the DVD into the BD – just one SKU per title. I think they would have taken a short term hit on not being able to maximize profits on the brand new shiny kind of disc, but I think ultimately it would have encouraged people to slowly upgrade their equipment as circumstances allowed, and they would have been rewarded with already owning discs that would play in the new format. The combo packs with BD+DVD have been nice, but they cost enough extra compared to DVDs that I don't think the average consumer was enticed to spend the extra money on the chance that they might upgrade. If a BD+DVD pack had been the only physical media option, and was priced the same as just a DVD used to be, the transition could have been handled better.

    Robert Crawford

    TBH, I've grown lazy in my online forum reading as I lose interest in long posts.

    Fair enough! I wish I was better at brevity, to be honest. Was just trying to get it all into one post so I didn't have to keep adding to it, but the length does get away from me at times. 🙂 But I don't think I said anything that you didn't already know – you understand the technology and the marketplace as well, if not better, than I do.

    John Dirk

    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.

    I disagree – but I also don't think they'll make an announcement one day that the quality of streaming is improving, I think it'll just happen incrementally over time. Companies like Apple, which have invested in both the delivery systems (iTunes) and the physical hardware (Apple TV) will push for it.

    At this point, studios know that a brand new disc and a brand new stream will be pirated the very first day that it's released, without any loss of quality. That's already happening today and has been the case for years. The trick, I think, is to make paying for a movie more convenient than pirating it. I think most customers will be happier spending $4 a rental on something that just works instantly at the touch of a button, rather than having to keep up with the latest illegal downloading tricks.

    I think the big battle that we'll see intensifying in the coming years won't be about paying more for this format over that format, but between paying for something vs not paying at all.

  20. Robert Crawford

    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.

    As many here know, I am of a similar mind. After watching the pattern of home video releases for the past few years, prices on releases almost always drop dramatically months (or sometimes weeks) after initial release. I see no reason to buy something at a higher price when a little patience can result in a significant savings.

    If prices do not come down to my price point on a release (I am looking at you Disney and Warner) these days I am more inclined to just rent the film via streaming if it's a first time viewing. I am retired now and have a lot of other things competing with my discretionary spending, so I am more cautious on buying discs than when I was still working.

  21. Josh Steinberg

    I think the big battle that we'll see intensifying in the coming years won't be about paying more for this format over that format, but between paying for something vs not paying at all.

    This is one of those cases where I would absolutely love to be wrong.

  22. Josh Steinberg

    I'm not sure I completely agree that they should have discontinued them. What I think should have happened was that when Blu-ray was introduced, it should have been priced the same as DVD, and they should have folded the DVD into the BD – just one SKU per title. I think they would have taken a short term hit on not being able to maximize profits on the brand new shiny kind of disc, but I think ultimately it would have encouraged people to slowly upgrade their equipment as circumstances allowed, and they would have been rewarded with already owning discs that would play in the new format. The combo packs with BD+DVD have been nice, but they cost enough extra compared to DVDs that I don't think the average consumer was enticed to spend the extra money on the chance that they might upgrade. If a BD+DVD pack had been the only physical media option, and was priced the same as just a DVD used to be, the transition could have been handled better.

    Yeah, that's pretty much what I was getting at. Their mistake was continuing to have a separate DVD option, at a lower cost, instead of just offering the combo pack. They continue to do this, with the DVD-only release frequently $5-10 cheaper than the blu combo pack and $15-20 less than 4K. For most people, they're perfectly happy with DVD quality. So why would they ever spend the additional money on a combo pack when they can continue to purchase the DVD-only version for less money?

    And the studio still seems to insist that blu requires a premium price with the recent release of Black Panther at Walmart which was available in Blu-only or DVD-only packages (no combo pack), but the Blu was again at a higher price. IMO, they should have both been equal. They are doing the same thing as theaters with ever higher prices everytime there's some improved technology or presentation. Improvements should be a natural result of technological advancement and research, not always an opportunity for a larger money grab.

  23. Malcolm R

    Yeah, that's pretty much what I was getting at. Their mistake was continuing to have a separate DVD option, at a lower cost, instead of just offering the combo pack. They continue to do this, with the DVD-only release frequently $5-10 cheaper than the combo pack. For most people, they're perfectly happy with DVD quality. So why would they ever spend the additional money on a combo pack when they can continue to purchase the DVD-only version for less money?

    Yeah, that was a mistake, but people would have screamed bloody murder.

  24. Josh Steinberg

    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.

    As usual, a very good dissertation, Josh, but with one minor oversight. iTunes only upgrades HD purchases to 4K, not SD purchases. I think you are confusing that with Movies Anywhere which made most SD code redemptions get bumped up to HD, but SD purchases have and always will remain SD.

  25. Robert Crawford

    Yeah, that was a mistake, but people would have screamed bloody murder.

    Criterion tried to do this, to put out only combo backs – but they tried way too late, around 2014 or so. I think it might have been different had they tried just including a BD with the DVD, at the same package cost, when they first got into the BD game.

    Disney also experimented with this a little at the dawn of Blu-ray – I remember when Sleeping Beauty first came out on Blu-ray, which I believe was their first major BD release of an animated classic, the version that was packaged as a BD+DVD combo in BD packaging came out first, and then the DVD-only (or was it a DVD+BD combo in DVD packaging?) came out maybe six weeks later – the intent seemed to be to drive people to buying the BD combo first. But it was priced too high for customers who hadn't yet upgraded to BD to be interested in future-proofing.

    And at this point, it's probably impossible to convince media buyers to future proof, given that DVDs haven't gone away yet. You're not going to convince someone that it's essential to protect themselves for a changing media landscape when a twenty year old format is still outselling the ten year old format, which is outselling the one year old format.

  26. Josh Steinberg

    And at this point, it's probably impossible to convince media buyers to future proof, given that DVDs haven't gone away yet. You're not going to convince someone that it's essential to protect themselves for a changing media landscape when a twenty year old format is still outselling the ten year old format, which is outselling the one year old format.

    I agree.

    (On a tangent).

    Back in the day when it came to media formats in music, I was always skeptical of "futureproofing".

    I saw some older relatives giving away their large collections of old vinyl records, 8-tracks, cassette tapes, etc … and replacing everything with cds at twice the price. (They gave me some of their old vinyl records). It seemed like madness to me.

    By the time dvd was around, I didn't believe one bit any of the hype that alluded to "future proofing". (In my case, I only started buying a lot of dvds/blurays in 2011. Over the entire 2000s decade, I had very little to no interest in dvd/bluray).

  27. Early in my personal computer life I bought a 40 mb hard drive. All my friends kept asking "how will you ever fill it?" My first modem was a 300 baud acoustic coupled (put the landline phone in the cradle.) Earlier in my life my dad bought a TV. All the neighbors and friends came over to see it. It was a monster. 17 INCHES. Computer storage is in Terabytes or virtually unlimited on the cloud. My current wifi is 100 mps. Now a small home TV is typically 55" – with 65" rapidly becoming the de facto standard. Over time storage will grow – transmission speeds will increase and TV's will continue to grow in size – I don't know when or how large but I know it will happen. When it does people will go to a higher resolution picture because they will have to. I don't think it's a question of if but when. Maybe we are a bit early – satisfying a need that for the average guy does not yet exist, but will.

  28. Mysto

    Over time storage will grow – transmission speeds will increase and TV's will continue to grow in size – I don't know when or how large but I know it will happen. When it does people will go to a higher resolution picture because they will have to. I don't think it's a question of if but when. Maybe we are a bit early – satisfying a need that for the average guy does not yet exist but will.

    I want a holodeck !!!!

    🙂 🙂

  29. One point I want to make about streaming is that unless you're living in a major metropolitan area or are willing to spend more than top dollar on your internet connection, you will probably never have close to enough of a bitrate to stream 4k content for more than 10-15 seconds. At best it'll be 1080p with HDR applied.

    That's the dirty secret nobody at Netflix is willing to tell you.

  30. For several highly technical reasons (which I don't really want to get into at the moment), currently I'm holding off on buying any 4kbluray discs.

    This may become permanent possibly.

  31. One of the technical reasons, is that I'm waiting to see when the first reports of 4Kbluray "disc rot" start to appear.

    Going back to the late-2000s, the first widespread reports of bluray discs being non-functional and/or having "rot", were Lionsgate blurays released in 2007 which started having these "rot" problems in 2010. Primarily early Lionsgate blurays titles like American Psycho, Basic Instinct, etc ….

  32. I was in Best Buy a few weeks ago browsing the remnants of a once-vibrant disc section and saw two teenage girls looking at the UHD racks. One of them picked up the UHD Pitch Perfect and asked her friend "Why is this in 4K ?" and they both just laughed.

  33. Lord Dalek

    One point I want to make about streaming is that unless you're living in a major metropolitan area or are willing to spend more than top dollar on your internet connection, you will probably never have close to enough of a bitrate to stream 4k content for more than 10-15 seconds. At best it'll be 1080p with HDR applied.

    That's the dirty secret nobody at Netflix is willing to tell you.

    Isn’t that literally 60% of the US population? Lots of people can stream 4K. Not everyone, but many. (But this gets at America’s inadequate and overpriced internet providers.)

  34. UHD BD has been doing rather well. Better than I ever expected. I think the main reason is, there is a larger video enthusiast market than there used to be with larger, better performing displays and projectors – consumers who are demanding the very highest quality content. Anyone with good eyes and sitting close enough realizes the compromises associated with streaming. The fact I am seeing UHD BDs at grocery stores, Target, Meyer (for those in the midwest) I would have never believed it several years ago.

    https://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1505110408

  35. Lord Dalek

    One point I want to make about streaming is that unless you're living in a major metropolitan area or are willing to spend more than top dollar on your internet connection, you will probably never have close to enough of a bitrate to stream 4k content for more than 10-15 seconds. At best it'll be 1080p with HDR applied.

    That's the dirty secret nobody at Netflix is willing to tell you.

    I live in a suburb of Dallas and have 100m internet.

    Most of Netflix' original programming in Dolby Vision looks great, definitely better than 1080. But with a lot of their stuff that just says ultra hd 4k and doesn't have HDR, the difference is minimal. Earth 2 looks nice on Netflix, but not near as nice as the uhd bluray disc.

    Amazon is actually worse. I streamed the big sick in uhd and hd and couldn't tell the difference, and it did not look like uhd.

    As for what's holding UHD back? I don't think its being held back. Are people upset because there's not more content available? Not more catalog titles on disc? Not enough hardware household penetration?

    Right now I buy 4-6 discs per month. I recently bought Die Hard and the Matrix and they look spectacular. If the studios released any more titles I wouldn't be able to keep up, and low sales vs high expectations might doom uhd to a similar fate like 3d blu ray.

    TV manufacturers have ensured that 4k is here to stay. It currently is a high end niche product, but eventually, once broadcasting joins the 4k ranks, it will become more mainstream. Even if the average viewer, like my wife, can't see or appreciate the uptick in quality.

    Until that time, which is admittedly years away, I'm happy with the uhd status quo, slowly growing steam. (The digital bits is reporting a possible Predator 4k disc to coincide with the upcoming reboot.) I'd rather this path, then one of unrealistic expectations by studios killing it like it did 3d.

  36. Never say never, but Blu-ray is my last format. (I have an all-regions player and 3D.) If you lose veteran home theater enthusiasts like me, you're not going to get very far, as the younger generation adopts streaming. Nothing against the format, but in my Blu bubble there's still lots of activity in "dying" physical media with titles I've never owned, and I've got the credit card bills to prove it. 🙂 I don't need more to obtain films that have been done to death, greater resolution or not. But continue the revolution without me. (It's interesting to read about from the sidelines.)

  37. I think it would help if the smaller distributors (Criterion, TT, Eureka, Arrow etc) started putting out UHD. Otherwise the market will be DC, Marvel, Disney etc and most of these titles don't interest me as a disc collector.

  38. Looking at The Big Country thread, perhaps an opportunity has been missed in not releasing this on UHD. I will buy the new blu-ray but would prefer a UHD disc for this great film. How many people would want to buy it again in UHD.

  39. We at HTF live in a bubble, not the real world. What to do to "fix" UHD? Is it broken? No, it's just that nobody outside of home theater geeks want it. I'm actually the only one among my friends and family who -are you ready for this?- owns a blu ray player. The rest of them all own DVD players and in some cases (like my sister) don't even use their DVD player anymore. She's moved on to streaming, downloading, VOD etc. Am I misunderstanding your question or am I correct in assuming that by "fixing" UHD you mean more palatable to the masses. If that's your intention, the horse has already fled the barn.

  40. Yeah, totally agree with Thomas. I have some friends & family that do have Blu-ray players, but they don't seem to buy Blu-rays anymore. It's going to become more & more of a niche market (& UHD a niche within a niche), but there's some great & interesting catalogue titles still being released by some small & enthusiastic companies. I suppose I'm from a generation that likes owning stuff, & I get as big a kick out of actually owning these films as I do from watching them (& the same with CDs). I'm 68 this year & I get the impression that the younger generation have less of a hang-up about owning things, which is probably a good thing.

  41. At this point, the only scenario I can think of for making dvd/bluray discs "relevant again" for the joe sixpack mass market, would be to build a time machine and travel back to the early/mid 2000s.

    Once you've traveled back in time, do everything possible so that Netflix never introduces online streaming to the market (nor anybody else).

    😉

  42. Thomas T

    Am I misunderstanding your question or am I correct in assuming that by "fixing" UHD you mean more palatable to the masses. If that's your intention, the horse has already fled the barn.

    You're more likely right about that. I will say that it probably would have helped if Sony had implemented full support for the format on one of their video game consoles out of the gate like the PS2 and 3. If just to get hardware into more people's houses.

  43. Another big technical reason why I haven't purchased any 4Kbluray discs yet, is that Sonopress/Arvato is purportedly a big player in manufacturing 4Kbluray discs. (Allegedly Warner and Universal have manufactured their 4Kbluray discs at Sonopress).

    Apparently I do not trust anything manufactured by Sonopress.

    Some folks here might remember back in 2014, when there were widespread reports of defective Criterion and WellGo bluray discs which went bad due to premature "bronzing". Apparently all these defective bluray discs which suffered premature "bronzing", were traced to Sonopress/Arvato manufacturing them.

    The first time I heard Sonopress was a big manufacturer of 4Kbluray discs, it immediately "unsold" me on 4Kbluray (at the moment).

  44. Also back in January 2018, Sony closed down the cd/dvd/bluray production lines at their giant Terre Haute, Indiana optical disc manufacturing plant. (SonyDADC outsourced their remaining disc manufacturing clients to Technicolor).

    It is not clear whether Sony is still manufacturing their own 4Kbluray discs, whether in Indiana or somewhere overseas (such as Japan or Austria).

    (Allegedly Sony is still manufacturing their own PS4 discs at the Indiana plant).

  45. If Sony is still manufacturing their own 4Kbluray discs at their Indiana plant, most likely it will have IFPI QW** stamped into the first inner ring of the disc. (** are alphanumeric wildcards).

  46. John Dirk

    How so? As long as a 4K TV can still play 1080P, 480P, etc I don't see them really helping the sales of 4K discs.

    I think he's referring to the 3840×2160 resolution in general.

    I do think Atmos is going to go the way of Dolby EX though.

  47. Sam Posten

    Outsourcing this stuff hasn't hurt Sony none. Their disks have been almost universally fantastic IMO.

    So far I have only seen one of Sony's current clients' dvd/bluray discs being outsourced. This particular movie company was a long time client of Sony's Terre Haute, Indiana dvd/bluray manufacturing plant, where their recent dvd/bluray releases appear to be manufactured at Technicolor's giant mexico cd/dvd/bluray manufacturing plant. (Stuff made by Technicolor's mexico cd/dvd/bluray manufacturing plant, will typically have "made in mexico" printed on the plastic wrap over the back cover of the dvd/bluray package).

    (Disney, Universal, Paramount, and Warner have been manufacturing their dvd/bluray discs at Technicolor's mexico plant for many years).

  48. Lord Dalek

    I do think Atmos is going to go the way of Dolby EX though.

    Not a chance in hell. Atmos is the present and the foreseeable future. Are you set up for true 7.1.4 Atmos? If not you haven't heard a fraction of what the format can do! It's in games now too.

  49. jcroy

    So far I have only seen one of Sony's current clients' dvd/bluray discs being outsourced.

    I don't have any personal insight into any of this. I'm just saying I know when I get a sony disk it's going to be great. Regardless of their silly decision not to put UHD in PS4.

  50. Josh Steinberg

    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.

    This posting is the most informative take on the subject on this thread though others have been helpful as well. I see no need to repeat the whole thing but I do feel that the current marketing strategy of starting out UHD Blu-ray with a multi-pack offering a UHD Blu/HD Blu is the best way to ensure market penetration of UHD Blu-ray discs. And the "megatrend" march of 4K in general ensures that there will be a decent, if niche market run for UHD Blu-ray. I don't see UHD Blu-ray ever matching the volume done by HD Blu, much less DVD, but I could (happily) be wrong.

    As for streaming, I have my own reasons for not embracing Netflix (or NetPrix as I call it) but I do on occasion buy the rights to a title on Amazon Prime or Vudu, mostly when there is no HD Blu available for a title.

    Godspeed And Happy Movie Viewing.

  51. my local Wal Mart sells out nearly every UHD title they get on release week. I'm usually pretty puzzled. Are these average consumers(I'm assuming) equipped to go UHD with player, HDMI, and Tv? Or are they future proofing?

    At any rate the $24.99-$29.99 slots for UHD are empty for so many new titles that I have stopped looking there for new releases.

  52. Bryan^H

    my local Wal Mart sells out nearly every UHD title they get on release week. I'm usually pretty puzzled. Are these average consumers(I'm assuming) equipped to go UHD with player, HDMI, and Tv? Or are they future proofing?

    At any rate the $24.99-$29.99 slots for UHD are empty for so many new titles that I have stopped looking there for new releases.

    Recently I dropped by a nearby Wallyworld at 8 in the morning to buy a coffee at the MickyDees inside the store. It just happened to be on a tuesday when they would put up all the new dvd/bluray releases.

    I noticed for each 4Kbluray specific new releases, they only kept 2 copies on the shelf. (IIRC, a Star Wars or Marvel 4Kbluray title had 3 copies on the shelf).

  53. I mentioned this before in another thread, but I have been collecting physical media starting back in the 80s with VHS, then laserdisc, then DVD, then Blu-Ray and now 4K UHD, but those days are numbered. I'm finding that the 4K video on my Apple TV is pretty darn close to the disc image. The sound isn't quite up to par with the disc, but it's almost there. And I'm viewing all of this on a 4K HDR 75" Sony TV with a good 5.1 audio set up. I have almost stopped purchasing discs altogether, which is sad, but I'm actually ok with moving on and embracing streaming.

    Edit – just heard that Apple TV will soon be updated with Atmos, so that should take care of the sub-par sound and pretty much end my physical media buying. Still sad, but one must move with the times, I guess.

  54. Yeah, I don't think there's any way to increase the amount of people purchasing physical media. It's really a question of how many of those who already purchase discs are willing to keep re-purchasing the same movies again and again in newer formats.

    Personally, I think I've reached my end with blu-ray, barring any new format beyond 4K that dazzles me.

  55. Apple today confirmed Dolby Atmos (lossy) support in the upcoming TViOS update and will upgrade any of your previously purchased titles with the Atmos version if available.
    My Apple TV 4K streaming signal is scary good ; Atmos support was one of the last things tipping the scales towards physical discs despite their significantly higher cost.

  56. Let's see… new TV, new disc player, new receiver. About 10 grand right there. Is 10 grand worth the difference I'll see? Maybe. But I can wait for the right time, which is not now, to find out.

  57. dpippel

    10 grand?!? You can buy into 4K, and have a great setup, for half that.

    Yeah maybe if you're buying an 80" curved Samsung and rewiring your ceiling for full Atmos. For the rest of us you can get 50" for less than 350.

  58. Lord Dalek

    Yeah maybe if you're buying an 80" curved Samsung and rewiring your ceiling for full Atmos. For the rest of us you can get 50" for less than 350.

    Well you have to understand that it would have to be a step up from what I have. I currently have a 65" Panny vt50 that works flawlessly. New TV would have to be bigger to best take advantage of 4K. Sorry, but a 50" is not going to cut it. So a minimum is 75". A projector at this point would make sense but a good one costs several thousand. Next, the receiver. At least a couple of grand to get the necessary power. Finally, the disc player, which I am waiting on Oppo for August… 1200 bucks.

    It adds up.

    BTW, to add Atmos, I'll need four speakers and an external amplifier to further add to the cost ( I currently have 7.1).

  59. dpippel

    10 grand?!? You can buy into 4K, and have a great setup, for half that.

    It's been over a year since I upgraded my equipment, and I spent less than $3K to upgrade to a 70-inch Vizio 4K display ($1,900), new Denon AVR ($750) and Sony UHD player ($270). My existing Samsung 67-inch LED DLP display developed a dead pixel issue that got me started down the upgrade path, or I probably would not have bought a new display at that time. I have not added any height speakers for Atmos to my existing 7.1 setup, and probably will not (unless I buy some that sit on top of my front towers and reflect upwards), as I do not want to permanently mount anything in or near the ceiling in our family room where the HT resides.

  60. Gary Seven

    Well you have to understand that it would have to be a step up from what I have. I currently have a 65" Panny vt50 that works flawlessly. New TV would have to be bigger to best take advantage of 4K. Sorry, but a 50" is not going to cut it. So a minimum is 75". A projector at this point would make sense but a good one costs several thousand. Next, the receiver. At least a couple of grand to get the necessary power. Finally, the disc player, which I am waiting on Oppo for August… 1200 bucks.

    It adds up.

    BTW, to add Atmos, I'll need four speakers and an external amplifier to further add to the cost ( I currently have 7.1).

    This is my issue as well. I have a projection setup and the entry level Sony projector to match what I have is $5K. I'd have to also upgrade my Oppo and Denon 5803 receiver to equivalents that I estimate would be around $2.5 more (total of $7.5K). Adding the additional speakers for Atmos could come later. Buying into UHD/HDR by going to a 65" flat panel to me is taking one step back to go one step forward. Why would I want to do that? Plus, I'm getting ever closer to retirement age. Eventually, through the progression of replacing dying equipment and UHD/HDR being the norm/standard, I will most likely get to that next stage, but not for several years still. Standard blu-ray works great for me and between TV and Film releases I have amassed a collection to last for decades of viewing. Lastly, most of my viewing these days is older TV and films less likely to make the UHD/HDR jump. Why go through all the upgrades now for what could amount to less than 10% of my content that could really benefit? Even if I had the $7.5K to spend, I can see other more worthwhile ways to spend it.

    I'm happy for those excited about UHD/HDR and hope it succeeds for your benefit, but this is one consumer content with what they have and happy to stay on the sidelines this go around.

  61. Here's a question for home theater enthusiasts: What do you make of projectors that are UHD capable? If a 50" TV screen is overkill, what about a 108" projected image? Any recommendations (that won't break the bank)?

  62. I only recently upgraded to 4K. While I don't regret it, I don't see much resolution difference on a 65 inch OLED set. HDR/Dolby Vision with better color gamut was the real draw for me, plus the prospect of finally getting films mastered to look like fim, not digital video. Unfortunately both have been relatively disappointing. HDR is very inconsistent and usually geared towards being a gimmick, not towards replicating the dynamic range of film. Material shot on film is often still getting scrubbed of grain and digitally tweaked instead of replicating what a high quality print would have looked liked. Since this is likely the last time many movies will be remastered, these 4K masters will be the permanent version of many classic titles, so that is a disappointment.

    As for average consumers, they absolutely don't care. They can barely perceive the difference when given a demo and definitely don't want to bother with discs. They are perfectly happy with the limited and mostly inferior streaming options. Millennials watch on phones and tablets, not TVs. Now that 4K TVs are basically the norm, people will watch 4K content, but from Netflix and with 120Hz motion flow and noise reduction turned on by default in nearly all TVs. it takes some work to make a TV properly display 24fps content and most people don't bother. They are content with the soap opera look.

    So the disc market is for us, not for average consumers. But the studios still are scrubbing and digitally messing with films with an aim to please the average consumer, which is mystifying to me. Why not leave the grain and detail in for those that appreciate it. Most TVs are already set to scrub it out by default anyway.

    I agree that Criterion and some of the other specialty labels will give the market a shot in the arm if they produce some high quality, film like 4K presentations for the collector's market. But I don't see the masses ever returning to buying discs.

  63. The issue isn't UHD as much as the issue is that consumers are moving away from physical media. And when they move away from physical media, they're watching on small screens in which UHD (and even BD) doesn't provide any advantages. The fact is that overall, DVD still outsells Blu-ray, although DVD is declining far faster than Blu-ray is. Blu-ray (Year to date) has a 44.1% share of physical media in dollars, but still only 28.6% in units. That's absurd after all these years. (Yes, I know more titles are released on DVD than BD, but that's the point.)

    Year to date, DVD is down 18.3% in dollars and 15.96% in units. BD is down just 0.71% in dollars and 3.58% in units.

    For a high-end format UHD is actually not doing all that badly, although the numbers vary drastically from week to week:

    5/19: #1 title overall: Black Panther
    UHD with the largest share: Deadpool 17.76%
    Average share of the top 20 UHD titles with the largest UHD shares: 9.58%

    5/12: Fifth Shades Freed
    Saving Private Ryan (95.91% UHD share)
    Average: 13.02% UHD share

    5/5: Peter Rabbit
    Spider-Man Homecoming (13.43% UHD share)
    Average: 7.9% UHD share

    4/28: Maze Runner: The Death Cure
    Grease (37.24% UHD share)
    Average: 9.69% UHD share

    Note that the average share for 3D among the top titles with largest 3D share has only exceeded 2% once so far this year.

    Think of DVD as 8-tracks and cassettes, Blu-ray as LP's in the cassette era and UHD as reel-to-reel tape or audiophile LP's. There's a reason why OPPO is getting out of the business and why there's been so much consolidation in the hi-fi business (Pioneer to Onkyo). The masses don't really care about quality. There's niche sales at the esoteric high end and there's big sales at the very low end (DVD) and middle end (smart speakers). I've posted this before but I can't tell you the number of times that I've helped out people in my apartment building with their TV's and half of them are watching the SD version of the cable channel instead of the HD and when I show them how much better the HD looks, half of those people don't care.

  64. In my opinion, the lack of 4K ultraHd adaption by the general population is a combination of many failed factors. The format left behind the PC market when it was introduced, inability to backup the 4K disc, better quality streaming services, lazy 4K upgrades by distributors, slow distributor adaption to 4K (Disney), no uniformity in hdr and audio formats (dts or dolby rather than including both), expensive, constantly changing hdmi standards, lack of 3D support (early adapters) etc. the list goes on.

  65. Benjie324

    In my opinion, the lack of 4K ultraHd adaption by the general population is a combination of many failed factors. The format left behind the PC market when it was introduced, inability to backup the 4K disc, better quality streaming services, lazy 4K upgrades by distributors, slow distributor adaption to 4K (Disney), no uniformity in hdr and audio formats (dts or dolby rather than including both), expensive, constantly changing hdmi standards, lack of 3D support (early adapters) etc. the list goes on.

    Couldn't the same be said for when blu-ray was first released? Yet, they all seemed to catch up or be worked through eventually.

  66. A big difference between Blu-ray and 4K UHD is this: When the first Blu-ray discs were released in 2006, streaming video services were JUST coming into being. They were clunky, had limited catalogs, suffered from poor quality, and there was very little market penetration. Blu-ray didn't have to compete with the sophisticated, high-quality, ubiquitous streaming that's available now. 4K UHD disc-based media is at much more of a disadvantage with mainstream consumers because of this. Blu-ray's biggest competition in its early years was another disc-based HD content delivery system – HD-DVD.

  67. I plan on going to 4K, but not until around Christmas. The problem with relying on streaming is that not everything they play stays there.

    It would be one thing if Netflix kept every movie/TV show they've ever acquired, and it stayed with them in perpetuity. But they don't. Every few months there's a list of programs leaving the service, and a list of what's coming.

    Well, what if I'm in the mode for a movie I saw on Netflix a year ago, pull up Netflix, search, and find they ain't got it no more?

    I could wait another year, and they may bring it back, but I want to see it now. So much for the idea of watching something whenever I want.

    Oh, but if I had the physical disc, I could watch it whenever I wanted.

    I have no problem with Netflix, we have it, along with Hulu and Amazon. But I'd never give up my physical collection and continue to add to it. I cannot imagine living without the ability to get something physically in my hands – whether it's a Blu-ray, DVD, LD, CD, or LP.

    I'm much more selective now than I used to be, but I still want that option. Because, as ubiquitous as streaming has become, I don't ever want to have to solely rely on it for something I want.

  68. Joel Fontenot

    It would be one thing if Netflix kept every movie/TV show they've ever acquired, and it stayed with them in perpetuity. But they don't. Every few months there's a list of programs leaving the service, and a list of what's coming.

    Well, what if I'm in the mode for a movie I saw on Netflix a year ago, pull up Netflix, search, and find they ain't got it no more?

    But Netflix's streaming service was never intended to be a complete library of everything ever made. It's more the 21st century equivalent of HBO – a curated selection of existing movies and shows, along with a selection of original content, that is constantly being rotated in and out. Just the way a movie might have shown up in heavy rotation on HBO for three months and then disappeared off the channel, so it goes with Netflix. It's just a different, more modern, version of the same subscription concept. What would you have done if you saw a movie on HBO that you liked back in the day, and then a few months later, HBO stopped playing that movie?

    If you're looking to replace physical media with streaming content, the better analogy would be digital purchases at stores like iTunes and Vudu. When you purchase a title on there, you keep the title. Even if it becomes unavailable for new purchases later on, your existing purchase is still valid and remains.

  69. dpippel

    A big difference between Blu-ray and 4K UHD is this: When the first Blu-ray discs were released in 2006, streaming video services were JUST coming into being. They were clunky, had limited catalogs, suffered from poor quality, and there was very little market penetration. Blu-ray didn't have to compete with the sophisticated, high-quality, ubiquitous streaming that's available now. 4K UHD disc-based media is at much more of a disadvantage with mainstream consumers because of this. Blu-ray's biggest competition in its early years was another disc-based HD content delivery system – HD-DVD.

    Agreed about streaming, I should have referenced that as a caveat even though previously stated in the thread. I was more responding to the broad laundry lists of factors that seem quite similar.

  70. smithbrad

    Couldn't the same be said for when blu-ray was first released? Yet, they all seemed to catch up or be worked through eventually.

    I wish but no, when the first Blu-rays and hd-dvd disc began flowing from distributors, the pc market had BD-ROMS that could read them within the first months including next generation consoles. From my perspective, PC gamers and consoles drove quick adaption of the Blu-ray Disc and the ill fated hd-dvd disc. When 4K disc came out, they left all early adapters behind. No PC’s were able to support the strict security requirements of 4K disc and no console had support. At least back then consoles and PCs supported one or both formats on top of streaming. Blu-ray had a rough start that includes competition from hd-dvd but they at least had several hardware suppliers where people can choose where they wanted to watch their movies. On the other hand; 4K had no competing formats when it was released and its introduction was sloppy considering it was suppose to be the next generation in entertainment. Two years later and we still have distributors making hdr and audio in one format or another and TV makers only supporting one format or another not both. Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Apple, and Walmart took advantage of the industries flaws with digital distribution and streaming.

  71. I have a 2017 65" UHD LG TV that I have tuned to the nth degree. I have to say that the image generated by 4K Blu-ray is just too eye-poppingly sharp to enjoy. Drop back slightly to 1080p and the picture is more like what I see in the real world. Perhaps some anomaly in my vision is responsible for this 4K-effect. 1080p and even 720p is easier to watch. Good riddance to the old SD formats, however

  72. Benjie324

    I wish but no, when the first Blu-rays and hd-dvd disc began flowing from distributors, the pc market had BD-ROMS that could read them within the first months including next generation consoles. From my perspective, PC gamers and consoles drove quick adaption of the Blu-ray Disc and the ill fated hd-dvd disc. When 4K disc came out, they left all early adapters behind. No PC’s were able to support the strict security requirements of 4K disc and no console had support.

    Technically computer bd-r drives which could read 4kbluray discs were already on the market, when the 4kbluray movie discs were first released. (Mostly made by LG).

    The problem was that it took several months for software 4Kbluray players to become available. Powerdvd also enforced very high end computer hardware to be mandatory to even play 4Kbluray discs, which only really hardcore pc gamers and first adopters would buy at the time.

  73. Overall with Microsoft giving the middle finger to Sony by NOT writing a default software bluray player for Windows, essentially bluray, hddvd, and now 4Kbluray playback has been an expensive nightmare and headache to deal with.

    Much easier and less expensive to just buy a standalone bluray or 4Kbluray player, than setting up a computer to play bluray/4Kbluray movie discs.

    In contrast, computer playback of movie dvd discs was much more straightforward and viable on Microsoft windows pcs.

  74. I’m not sure where I fit into this 4K thing.
    Ihhave a player an Atmos and 4K capable receiver and
    I buy new movies on 4K now.

    Don’t have a tv yet.
    My 80” Vizio is no 5 yrs old and does 3D and works perfectly so it’s going to be hard to buy a new tv.
    Going to be hard to go smaller.
    The money just isn’t there for a new tv and may not be for a while.

    We have a 50” 4K tv in the bedroom but it’s not a great tv and is too small to be the main room tv.

    Btw I think I can see a very clear improvement on the 50 when I watch 4K programs compared to stnadard hd, in response to those who have said a tv that size isn’t worth getting for 4K(UHD).

  75. jcroy

    Technically computer bd-r drives which could read 4kbluray discs were already on the market, when the 4kbluray movie discs were first released. (Mostly made by LG).

    The problem was that it took several months for software 4Kbluray players to become available. Powerdvd also enforced very high end computer hardware to be mandatory to even play 4Kbluray discs, which only really hardcore pc gamers and first adopters would buy at the time.

    Technically not true, PowerDVD did not enforce high end hardware and no 4K BD-R were available to playback 4K disc during the launch of 4K media. According Cyberlink’s own website, to support Ultra HD Blu-ray movie disc playback on the PC, several new technologies were required. These new technologies needed to be incorporated into the software, optical drives (ODD), CPUs, and graphics processors. None were available at the time and PowerDVD, CPUs and graphics cards were incapable of playing back AAC 2.0. Those standards were controlled by the BDA not Cyberlink.

  76. When folks finally figured out how to crack the encryption keys on 4Kblurays discs and actually played the 4K video on a free player using madVR, folks finally saw that all the powerdvd mandatory hardware requirements was largely imposed by the decree by powerdvd's designers. (No word if it was imposed by anybody else above them).

  77. jcroy

    Through a fluke, the LG bd-r drives could read 4Kbluray discs using only an AACS 1.0 credentials for almost two years.

    Do you have a reference/source regarding the LG drives? As far as I remember, the Pioneers were the first 4K compatible PC drives capable of playing 4K disc.

  78. Benjie324

    Do you have a reference/source regarding the LG drives? As far as I remember, the Pioneers were the first 4K compatible PC drives capable of playing 4K disc.

    I shouldn't post any direct links on here.

    Google up on 4Kbluray discs being cracked and the grey market programs involved. The list of "friendly" drives + firmwares are the ones which can be used to unofficially decrypt and play 4Kbluray discs.

  79. The Pioneer bd-r drives which can read 4Kbluray discs, are ones which require AACS 2.0 credentials from the start. So far it has not been bypassed/cracked yet, so that it operates on AACS 1.0 credentials (or none).

  80. jcroy

    I shouldn't post any direct links on here.

    Google up on 4Kbluray discs being cracked and the grey market programs involved. The list of "friendly" drives + firmwares are the ones which can be used to unofficially decrypt and play 4Kbluray discs.

    I tried but couldn’t find anything regarding any LG drives. I don’t think AAC 2.0 has ever been cracked to allow unofficial decrypt. The closest I got was the unofficial release of AACS keys that allowed disc to be copied for a few movies but the encryption itself has never been decrypted. Manufacturers released a patch to restrict those keys to prevent the movies from being copied. This is why I find it hard to believe LG drives were ever used to playback videos unofficially.

  81. Benjie324

    I tried but couldn’t find anything regarding any LG drives.

    You haven't googled using the right keywords.

    Here's an article which is informative, but is not revealing anything blatantly verboten. It is from a website where hardcore optical disc drive folks seem to hang out.

    https://www.myce.com/news/aacs-2-0-…-ray-discs-actively-exploited-loophole-83221/

  82. Benjie324

    Manufacturers released a patch to restrict those keys to prevent the movies from being copied.

    The firmware update doesn't have to be applied.

    There's already a procedure to "downgrade" this firmware update.

  83. Benjie324

    This is why I find it hard to believe LG drives were ever used to playback videos unofficially.

    In all likelihood, such LG drives were probably mostly used for ripping 4Kbluray discs using grey market ripping programs which do the unsanctioned decryption.

    Personally I wouldn't use computer bd-r drives for actually watching bluray or 4Kbluray discs.

  84. Josh Steinberg

    But Netflix's streaming service was never intended to be a complete library of everything ever made. It's more the 21st century equivalent of HBO – a curated selection of existing movies and shows, along with a selection of original content, that is constantly being rotated in and out. Just the way a movie might have shown up in heavy rotation on HBO for three months and then disappeared off the channel, so it goes with Netflix. It's just a different, more modern, version of the same subscription concept. What would you have done if you saw a movie on HBO that you liked back in the day, and then a few months later, HBO stopped playing that movie?

    If you're looking to replace physical media with streaming content, the better analogy would be digital purchases at stores like iTunes and Vudu. When you purchase a title on there, you keep the title. Even if it becomes unavailable for new purchases later on, your existing purchase is still valid and remains.

    I understand that. It's just that some people are going around saying that streaming will replace physical media. Unless it becomes a permanent repository, it can't ever replace physical media. At least, not to me. And, I don't trust stores like iTunes (which I'll never use anyway) or Vudu.

  85. Joel Fontenot

    Well, what if I'm in the mode for a movie I saw on Netflix a year ago, pull up Netflix, search, and find they ain't got it no more?

    You’ll watch something else from their list of “movies like…” suggestions. <shrug>

    Well, maybe not you, but all the people not buying discs? The ones that flip channels and find themselves watching whatever random movie is playing on FX or HBO? That’s what they would do.

  86. I don't really think that HDR10 vs. Dolby Vision is a format war in the same sense that different physical formats were. It's more akin to the Dolby Digital versus DTS audio format "wars" we had in the early days of SD-DVD, and that really didn't slow down the adoption of DVDs. So I really don't think the HDR formats have anything to do with the pace of adoption of UHD. Personally, I waited to adopt BD until I saw that it was going to be the clear winner over HD-DVD, as I did not want to buy into the wrong physical format. However, I jumped into 4K UHD over a year ago, and DV vs. HDR10 hasn't been an issue at all. I still do not have a complete setup to support DV — have the display and AVR, but need a different UHD player — so my only Dolby Vision experiences to date have been via streaming. Once I add a DV-capable player, though, those UHD discs I already own will play back fine, just as they do currently.

  87. Stipulating UHD is being held back: does it matter? Can it thrive as a niche format? Inexplicably, against all reason, vinyl has made a comeback. If nostalgic Gen X’ers and hipster Millennials can keep antediluvian music media alive, can home theater enthusiasts keep UHD going?

  88. DaveF

    Stipulating UHD is being held back: does it matter? Can it thrive as a niche format? Inexplicably, against all reason, vinyl has made a comeback. If nostalgic Gen X’ers and hipster Millennials can keep antediluvian music media alive, can home theater enthusiasts keep UHD going?

    The answer to this question is whether third party movie companies like Criterion, considers the 4Kbluray market to be sustainable.

  89. DaveF

    Stipulating UHD is being held back: does it matter? Can it thrive as a niche format? Inexplicably, against all reason, vinyl has made a comeback. If nostalgic Gen X’ers and hipster Millennials can keep antediluvian music media alive, can home theater enthusiasts keep UHD going?

    I'll tell ya when laserdisc makes a comeback.

  90. jcroy

    The answer to this question is whether third party movie companies like Criterion, considers the 4Kbluray market to be sustainable.

    Two things. A: Criterion jumped on the blu-ray bandwagon several years after everyone else did so there's historical pretext for sitting this out. B: There isn't a whole lot of titles in the Criterion Collection that would make you go "OMG gotta have it in 4k!" without the inevitable disappointment several people seem to be struggling with over "Magic Button Syndrome".

  91. Lord Dalek

    Two things. A: Criterion jumped on the blu-ray bandwagon several years after everyone else did so there's historical pretext for sitting this out. B: There isn't a whole lot of titles in the Criterion Collection that would make you go "OMG gotta have it in 4k!" without the inevitable disappointment several people seem to be struggling with over "Magic Button Syndrome".

    Exactly! Is there a UHD market for the kind of movies Criterion releases. Are there UHD enthusiasts waiting to jump on UHD releases of The Seventh Seal, Andrei Rublev, Carnival Of Souls, Pygmalion, L'Avventura, Ali Fear Eats The Soul, Au Hasard Balthazar etc. I doubt it. Even Criterion releases that may benefit from a UHD transfer like The Red Shoes or All That Heaven Allows aren't exactly mainstream titles like Dunkirk or Black Panther.

  92. Just because a person starts purchasing UHD discs does not preclude that person from buying BDs (or DVDs, for that matter). While I now will only buy new releases in 4K (either via disc or digital copy), I still buy more BDs than 4K because I have a great interest in older films which will probably never be released on UHD, and I will still buy the occasional DVD if that's the only way to get something I'm interested in watching. My Sony 4K UHD player does a fine job playing and upconverting those BDs and DVDs, too, even though I still have a Panasonic BD player and Oppo DVD player in the equipment rack.

  93. Thomas T

    Exactly! Is there a UHD market for the kind of movies Criterion releases. Are there UHD enthusiasts waiting to jump on UHD releases of The Seventh Seal, Andrei Rublev, Carnival Of Souls, Pygmalion, L'Avventura, Ali Fear Eats The Soul, Au Hasard Balthazar etc. I doubt it. Even Criterion releases that may benefit from a UHD transfer like The Red Shoes or All That Heaven Allows aren't exactly mainstream titles like Dunkirk or Black Panther.

    As I mentioned in the Godfather Thread, I have at least 4 to 5 movies on Criterion blu that would probably have little to no increase in quality whatsoever from a 4k scan because the elements are completely borked. I stand by this claim.

  94. Lord Dalek

    <snip>

    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?

    Like many of us here, we care about getting the best image possible. But all of my friends think that is crazy. They are JUST now buying 1080p OLED screens and love what they see. Look how long that took. Even the few that got a 4K set, they never watch anything 4K! They could care less about an even better picture.

    That said, I have NOT bought a 4K screen either. I am seriously not interested in replacing my Blu-ray collection, which I bought to replace my DVD collection, which I bought to replace my video tape and laser disc collection, and there is no other place to get content really.

    Your average person watches content from Netflix, broadcast, and cable or satellite, and/or rents from RedBox or Netflix. I do not see much if any 4K content there at all. And lets be honest, none of these systems can really supply a reasonably decent 4K image without so much compression noise as to make them unwatchable on a screen larger than 32", in which case you don't need 4K. I tried to watch a 4K movie on Dish Network on a borrowed C8PUA 4K display, and could not watch it all the way through, the compression artifacts were horrible. And are there any broadcast 4K channels anywhere? And forget streaming 4K. That is just horrible.

    So without a lot of content, I do not expect to see 4K displays take off at all. We finally have reasonably good HD content, and are seeing a big uptick in sales of new TVs. I expect that what will increase 4K is when the manufacturers stop building HD displays, and a 4K is all you can buy. Maybe then we will see more content. I am not holding my breath.

  95. I’ll say this, I am tired of having to upgrade, buy a new system, and replace discs again. Blu Ray was suppose to be the one stop system for us film nerds. Whats coming after we upgrade to UHD 4K blu ray, Super Extreme Ultra HD 4K Blu Ray? Another issue is they are doing new 4K scans for UHD and not even putting those news scans blu.

  96. What's holding back UHD is pricing. An example being the Mission: Impossible films on 4K/UHD disc for $25.79 each at Amazon. Sorry Paramount, but that's not going to cut it with me. No way, I'm buying those titles again at that price point.

  97. Robert Crawford

    What's holding back UHD is pricing. An example being the Mission: Impossible films on 4K/UHD disc for $25.79 each at Amazon. Sorry Paramount, but that's not going to cut it with me. No way, I'm buying those titles again at that price point.

    Pricing is definitely holding back my UHD discs purchases. A couple of recent examples:

    1. I ended up buying the UHD streaming versions of The Post, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri on iTunes for $10 each instead of spending $25 each for the UHD discs. That's a huge difference in price.
    2. Three catalog releases I was interested in were all released around the same time — Gladiator, Braveheart, and The Patriot. I have listed them in the order I enjoy the films, so under normal circumstances Gladiator would be the one I would buy first if I could only purchase one. However, the only one of these titles I have purchased is The Patriot, as it was available for $15 while the other two were $25.

    Price a title attractively and it will sell. I took a chance on the UHD of John Wick last year as a blind buy because it was priced under $15. I never would have bought the disc at a $25 price point. That sale also got me to buy John Wick 2 when it was released on UHD (after the price dropped, of course).

  98. If we accept that UHD is for film aficionados primarily, then one thing I would like to see is a return to the great bonus materials and packaging of the DVD era. From 2002-2007 or so, DVDs would sometimes come in the most amazing packages and I'm not talking about boxes of swag either. Look at the DVDs of Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, the Wizard of Oz. (George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh is a great example.) They were crafted with a film historian's eye, and contained replicas of movie programs, lobby cards, essays, and the like. The disc extras were exhaustive, and contained everything you could ever want to know about the film. The blu-ray era got away from that, and most blu-rays (except for boxes of swag) were packaged in regular blue cases with minimal extras and no inserts. As such, I have hung on to my DVDs of Lawrence, Kwai, Oz, Roger Rabbit and others, even when I upgraded to blu-ray, because the blu-ray sets just didn't match up. UHD needs to match up.

  99. Sam Favate

    If we accept that UHD is for film aficionados primarily, then one thing I would like to see is a return to the great bonus materials and packaging of the DVD era. From 2002-2007 or so, DVDs would sometimes come in the most amazing packages and I'm not talking about boxes of swag either. Look at the DVDs of Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, the Wizard of Oz. (George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh is a great example.) They were crafted with a film historian's eye, and contained replicas of movie programs, lobby cards, essays, and the like. The disc extras were exhaustive, and contained everything you could ever want to know about the film. The blu-ray era got away from that, and most blu-rays (except for boxes of swag) were packaged in regular blue cases with minimal extras and no inserts. As such, I have hung on to my DVDs of Lawrence, Kwai, Oz, Roger Rabbit and others, even when I upgraded to blu-ray, because the blu-ray sets just didn't match up. UHD needs to match up.

    Was this ever done during the VHS (or laserdisc) era?

  100. Sam Favate

    If we accept that UHD is for film aficionados primarily, then one thing I would like to see is a return to the great bonus materials and packaging of the DVD era. From 2002-2007 or so, DVDs would sometimes come in the most amazing packages and I'm not talking about boxes of swag either. Look at the DVDs of Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, the Wizard of Oz. (George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh is a great example.) They were crafted with a film historian's eye, and contained replicas of movie programs, lobby cards, essays, and the like. The disc extras were exhaustive, and contained everything you could ever want to know about the film. The blu-ray era got away from that, and most blu-rays (except for boxes of swag) were packaged in regular blue cases with minimal extras and no inserts. As such, I have hung on to my DVDs of Lawrence, Kwai, Oz, Roger Rabbit and others, even when I upgraded to blu-ray, because the blu-ray sets just didn't match up. UHD needs to match up.

    TBH, I have so many movies in my film library I don't have time for such bonus material. Give me a good audio commentary and I'm good.

  101. Scott Merryfield

    Pricing is definitely holding back my UHD discs purchases. A couple of recent examples:

    1. I ended up buying the UHD streaming versions of The Post, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri on iTunes for $10 each instead of spending $25 each for the UHD discs. That's a huge difference in price.
    2. Three catalog releases I was interested in were all released around the same time — Gladiator, Braveheart, and The Patriot. I have listed them in the order I enjoy the films, so under normal circumstances Gladiator would be the one I would buy first if I could only purchase one. However, the only one of these titles I have purchased is The Patriot, as it was available for $15 while the other two were $25.

    Price a title attractively and it will sell. I took a chance on the UHD of John Wick last year as a blind buy because it was priced under $15. I never would have bought the disc at a $25 price point. That sale also got me to buy John Wick 2 when it was released on UHD (after the price dropped, of course).

    Scott,

    You and I have that common thought pattern when it comes to UHD pricing. However, with that said, I did violate my vow to not overpay on UHD titles this year. I'm kind of embarrassed to even mention the name of the film title. The Incredibles. There I said it, I feel a little better about overpaying by $10.00, what a maroon I can be with watching films at home.:)

  102. Robert Crawford

    TBH, I have so many movies in my film library I don't have time for such bonus material. Give me a good audio commentary and I'm good.

    I would also like Dolby or DTS trailers at the start of the movie like during Laserdisc days. THX no longer is a force, so no THX logos, but Lionsgate will have a Dolby Atmos trailer or DTS trailers on the standard blu rays, would be nice is every studio did that. And those boxes are the reason I won't rebuy certain films on Blu Ray. The Blu of River Kwai, one in 4K is a nice box, same with 2015's 4K Blu of Goodfellas. The packaging made these releases something special.

  103. OwenRubin

    I expect that what will increase 4K is when the manufacturers stop building HD displays, and a 4K is all you can buy.

    4K televisions are so prominent currently, that I don't even see standard HD televisions anymore. I'm know they are available, but when I look at displays in retail stores what I'm seeing is less than 10% for a normal HD television. 4K is dominating the market.

  104. Bryan^H

    I don't even see standard HD televisions anymore. I'm know they are available, but when I look at displays in retail stores what I'm seeing is less than 10% for a normal HD television. 4K is dominating the market.

    Same here.

    Even at nearby grocery stores which stock generic tv screens, the stuff they carry is 4K. (Typically made by LG). Almost never normal HD anymore.

  105. Bryan^H

    I don't even see standard HD televisions anymore. I'm know they are available, but when I look at displays in retail stores what I'm seeing is less than 10% for a normal HD television. 4K is dominating the market.

    Right, that's pretty much how it is right now. You really have to search to find a display that isn't a 4K display.

  106. Just my own personal observation, but to those that say more people buy DVDs over Blurays, i scratch my head just a little. At my local Best Buys, the Bluray and UHD discs for sale outnumber the DVDs at least 2 to 1, probably closer 3 to 1. If the demand for DVD over Bluray is that much greater, then why not have the ratios the other way around? Of course this is just relevant to physical media, not applicable to streaming/rental, etc.

  107. Robert Crawford

    Scott,

    You and I have that common thought pattern when it comes to UHD pricing. However, with that said, I did violate my vow to not overpay on UHD titles this year. I'm kind of embarrassed to even mention the name of the film title. The Incredibles. There I said it, I feel a little better about overpaying by $10.00, what a maroon I can be with watching films at home.:)

    Robert,

    The Incredibles UHD release would tempt me, too, as I'm a fan of Pixar's works and it would be my first Pixar film in 4K. However, I have set a hard limit of not spending over $20 out of pocket on any UHD film release, and I'm sticking to it. I already have that title on BD, so I'm not paying "Disney prices" for an upgrade. By setting a hard personal limit of $20, I take the decision of whether to upgrade out of my hands and put it on the studio and marketplace.

    So far, three titles at $19.99 each is the closest I've come to that $20 limit, and I've probably averaged under $15 for the approximately 60 UHD titles in my collection — if you include Amazon or Best Buy credits applied and free titles / gifts, I have actually averaged $10.90 spent per title based on what I have recorded in DVD Profiler.

  108. Richard V

    Just my own personal observation, but to those that say more people buy DVDs over Blurays, i scratch my head just a little. At my local Best Buys, the Bluray and UHD discs for sale outnumber the DVDs at least 2 to 1, probably closer 3 to 1. If the demand for DVD over Bluray is that much greater, then why not have the ratios the other way around?

    Good question.

    Is it possible several movie companies are paying BB, WM, etc … bribes (whether figuratively or literally) to keep certain titles on the sale rack ?

    ie. Are the movie companies doing "channel stuffing" when it comes to 4Kbluray?

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

  109. Richard V

    Just my own personal observation, but to those that say more people buy DVDs over Blurays, i scratch my head just a little. At my local Best Buys, the Bluray and UHD discs for sale outnumber the DVDs at least 2 to 1, probably closer 3 to 1. If the demand for DVD over Bluray is that much greater, then why not have the ratios the other way around? Of course this is just relevant to physical media, not applicable to streaming/rental, etc.

    While it's a little surprising, I think there are a lot of people out there who still own only a DVD player. I still get frustrated around the holidays when my sister gives me a list of movies she or her husband want for Christmas — it's DVDs only, as they still only have that type of player and really don't care to upgrade. It bugged me enough that I bought something I owned in DVD only on BD and gave my brother-in-law my old DVD, as the BD was less expensive to buy than the DVD (it was The Eagles concert in Melbourne).

    Whenever I end up upgrading my Sony UHD player to something with Dolby Vision support, I plan on giving my sister my old, original Sony BD player that's currently in our master bedroom. At least I'll put an end to one of those DVD player only homes.

  110. Bryan^H

    I don't even see standard HD televisions anymore. I'm know they are available, but when I look at displays in retail stores what I'm seeing is less than 10% for a normal HD television. 4K is dominating the market.

    I don't doubt that 4K is dominant in TV monitors and will continue to grow. It's 4K UHD discs that are D.O.A. Oh sure, they'll continue in a very niche market but never the mass penetration of DVD much less the smaller penetration of blu ray. I think that's what the original post was about. UHD discs as a viable format rather than 4K monitors.

  111. Thomas T

    I don't doubt that 4K is dominant in TV monitors and will continue to grow. It's 4K UHD discs that are D.O.A. Oh sure, they'll continue in a very niche market but never the mass penetration of DVD much less the smaller penetration of blu ray. I think that's what the original post was about. UHD discs as a viable format rather than 4K monitors.

    I don't think that was ever possible for 4K/UHD discs. Even before launch, most of us on this forum thought it was going to be a small niche market similar to LaserDisc back in the day.

  112. Robert Crawford

    I don't think that was ever possible for 4K/UHD discs. Even before launch, most of us on this forum thought it was going to be a small niche market similar to LaserDisc back in the day. Furthermore, this format isn't really for those that are only interested in classic films. It's meant for more recent films. Right now, I'm in the process of deciding which catalog titles I'm going to upgrade from Blu-ray to 4K/UHD. I think such purchases will slow down for me.

    Laser discs are a good comparison but even laser discs had a wealth of "classic" and foreign language films available. The first four laser discs I ever bought were Grease, Hello Dolly, Dr. No and The King And I and all four were among the first laser discs put on the market. As of yet, I believe Grease is the only title to have been given a 4K release. I can easily see Dr. No get a UHD release as it's a Bond film but I seriously doubt either The King And I and Hello Dolly will have a UHD release. We shall see ….. 🙂

  113. Thomas T

    Laser discs are a good comparison but even laser discs had a wealth of "classic" and foreign language films available eventually. The first four laser discs I ever bought were Grease, Hello Dolly, Dr. No and The King And I and all four were among the first laser discs put on the market. As of yet, I believe Grease is the only title to have been given a 4K release. I can easily see Dr. No get a UHD release as it's a Bond film but I seriously doubt either The King And I and Hello Dolly will have a UHD release. We shall see ….. 🙂

    I was only comparing LaserDiscs to 4K/UHD formats as it pertains to being a niche market. I doubt we will ever see a significant number of classic films released on 4K/UHD disc, especially at the current price point.

  114. Robert Crawford

    Furthermore, this format isn't really for those that are only interested in classic films. It's meant for more recent films. Right now, I'm in the process of deciding which catalog titles from the past 10-15 years or so that I'm going to upgrade from Blu-ray to 4K/UHD. I think such purchases will slow down for me.

    (From a very cynical/paradoxical perspective).

    Over the past few years I've been keeping a mental list of 4Kbluray titles, largely as a guide of "what NOT to buy" on ANY disc format. 🙂

    So far over the past few years since 4Kbluray was on the market, this has so far worked very well for me. It turns out for just about every then-recent movie which has been released on 4Kbluray, they all turned out to be titles which were either really horrible movies and/or they were movies which I only ended up watching once or twice (usually on a basic cable channel two years later). So far stuff which has very little to no rewatch value for me.

  115. Robert Crawford

    I was only comparing LaserDiscs to 4K/UHD formats as it pertains to being a niche market. I doubt we will ever see a significant number of classic films released on 4K/UHD disc, especially at the current price point.

    We will probably see the usual suspects released on UHD, such as Casablanca, Wizard of Oz, Lawrence of Arabia, etc. Beyond that, probably not a lot — especially if the boutique labels such as Criterion, Kino Lorber, Twilight Time and Arrow don't jump into the format. And as we've discussed, most of the films released by those companies probably will not benefit much from the UHD format anyway.

    According to DVD Profiler, right now my collection stands at 865 BDs, 474 DVDs, and 62 UHDs — and I have probably around 20 films in digital copy format that were not part of a BD or UHD disc purchase (I have 152 if you include those). In the future, my DVD number will probably decrease as my DVD upgrades to a better format will probably outpace future purchases. My BD number should continue to grow, as I purchase a lot of older films that will probably never be available in UHD. The tough one to predict is UHD versus digital copy for more recent films, since the latter continues to improve and quite often has much more attractive pricing (plus does not take up valuable shelf space). I have even used Vudu's "disc to digital" program to upgrade some DVD titles to HD streaming versions for older classic films, allowing me to clear some of those titles from the shelves.

  116. I feel 4K UHD is doing better than most think but it is not doing close to what it should be doing. One thing they should stop doing is comparing HD to UHD on blu-ray discs. Is it any wonder that the average consumer sees this and thinks to themselves I don’t see much of a difference? We need 4K broadcasts where 4K UHD adds can be run and where people can see the difference. Granted you will have a good number of people that flat out can not see the difference and some of those who do not even want blu-ray. I have a neighbor that flat out told me I don’t need blu-ray and he had a HD display. So I loaned him my blu-ray player a few movies and now he mostly buys blu-ray movies.

    There is a carryover problem from HD blu-ray that existed when that format came out and that is it looks good enough. And lets also not forget how many people will actually sit and watch HD video and SD video on there tiny smart phone screen. We are living in a time where in to many cases it is good enough to many and easily available with streaming. This doesn’t hold well for those who really care about quality and having a great movie experience at home. And the newer 4K UHD TV’s sure make those blu-rays pop! If 4K UHD media is having a hard time how many here think 8K media can be successful? I know we are hearing about 8K already but it is not ready and for the hardware industry to try and push another format would most likely have negative consequences for both 8K adoption and 4K UHD media. At todays screen sizes who would even be able to take advantage of 8K?

    One thing that could be done is eliminating any dvd release that could be purchased on blu-ray. While my opinion is DVD has run its course I amend that believe to DVD should only stay around because of the number of titles that are only available on DVD. So I would say stop distributing titles on DVD that are available on blu-ray. Or at least stop the stand alone DVD release that is available on blu-ray and keep it a blu-ray/dvd combo release. Then for movies that are available in 4K discontinue the blu-ray as long as the 4K version still continues to offer the blu-ray as well. Studios need to better market there content in 4K to the masses and retailers should maybe start thinking of playing movies to show off 4K. I also feel that we as enthusiast can help in small ways to help promote 4K UHD media. I know we are not going to have a major impact on the industry but I feel we can have small effects on those we can reach. Things like posting on facebook, twitter and other sites about our experiences with 4K UHD and maybe invite friends, family and trusted neighbors over for movie night where you are showing a movie in 4K. We are now past the issues IMHO with compatibility as far as current hardware is concerned with maybe Dolby Vision being the only issue I can think of.

    Sure streaming is convenient and video quality has improved but disc is still king offering the best overall experience in the home. IMHO to many consumers do not realize with streaming your paying for a viewing license not for the actual movie and you do not own it. There are issues with having enough bandwidth in many areas and other issues along the chain that can effect the experience of watching a movie over the internet. Not only that but if there is a issue with your provider then no access to your virtual library. If there is a legal issue that comes up your digital movie could very well be pulled and not available till the court case is settled. Two issues that do not exist when you have the disc! And if you have a friend or family member that has a player it is not that hard to take your disc with you if you want to share it at movie night. On the audio side streaming is still behind and is not as good as what is available on disc. One however can not deny that there is something to be said about how digital movies do not require taking up physical space in our homes or apartments. The larger the collection obviously the more room physical discs take up compared to the room a computer takes up if you download or no extra space if your streaming to a player or direct to the display. And yes technology has improved and today’s digital content is so much better than what we got 10 years ago with video on demand. I do feel there are ways to get better adoption rates of 4K physical media but most of the heavy lifting is going to have to come from studios, hardware manufactures and retailers both brick and mortar and online. If not then 4K could very well end up being the last physical format! And maybe this has been the plan from day one? Maybe the plan has been to try and push streaming and downloading of content. I personally don’t care for this model but I also feel that we need both marketing models no matter what side of the fence you may sit. Another thing that dies along with any death of physical media is the death of collecting limited editions and having an investment in certain items that where not massed produced and available in every store that carries movies. Digital movie will not be collectible and will hold no value past the point of purchase and can not legally be left to anyone in a last will & testament.

    I do blame some of the adoption issues with the issues caused by incompatibility from copy protection to features like HDR and Dolby Vision. But I still have no doubt that 4K UHD has much to offer consumers and offers the best movie experience in the home. We are the point where equipment has caught up and where consumers can be shown the benefits of 4K disc media. I would also say that many people are getting burned out on upgrading movies over and over and for that reason especially 4K UHD needs to be around for a minimum of 14-18 years. And we need to see adoption of 4K UHD by broadcasters and other media providers like HBO, Starz and other channels that can be watched from satellite and cable providers and also including the internet. This has to be one of the things consumers see is the lack of 4K content outside of 4K content on disc and the limited amount through streaming. Granted there are to many consumers that have not even heard of 4K UHD blu-rays and I have actually run into them. I bet many consumers have the attitude of well why should I purchase movies if tv stations and other cable style channels are not even offering 4K broadcasts? So again yes there are many things that can be done to help improve the success of 4K physical media.

    I can only speak for myself and I know there are others that share my feelings on this and that is for me 4K UHD is my last supported format! I will be 54 years old this year and I can not keep going with the constant buying of movies and then repurchasing them all over again and again. At some point like everyone else our hearing goes south and so does our vision. I feel that 4K offers that more than good enough experience and there is no reason to go beyond to 8K or what ever takes it’s place. We need more content in 4K! Especially older catalog titles that are done correctly! Not all content out there has the source quality that will transfer to 4K so each title must be evaluated and the fact remains that there is content that was produced on lower resolution video tape that can not be used for the 4K format. And also for myself I want to do more than focus what cash flow I have on this hobby as much as I enjoy it. I want to be able to take some vacations and go places before I die. So yes 4K is the last supported format and because of streaming being pushed in many ways I would be very surprised if there is still physical media when 8K arrives in homes. Just imagine the nightmare of bringing 8K media to peoples homes. Not only if you still had physical media how would you get all that data on a cd size disc? Even with better more efficient codex imagine the bandwidth that would be required. Just think of how much more internet bandwidth there would need to be and could the hard drives in the near future in the server farms called cloud storage be able to deal with said bandwidth required by 8K content? Much of the country right now doesn’t have a fast enough internet connection to deal with 4K and I would not bet that companies will be shelling out billions of dollars to upgrade the infrastructure so most of the country can have the bandwidth to get future 8K content streamed to there homes. Just imagine the overall data requirements across networks to get 8k content from point a to point b! Another reason 4K UHD needs to be around as long as possible.

  117. Sam Favate

    If we accept that UHD is for film aficionados primarily, then one thing I would like to see is a return to the great bonus materials and packaging of the DVD era. From 2002-2007 or so, DVDs would sometimes come in the most amazing packages and I'm not talking about boxes of swag either. Look at the DVDs of Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, the Wizard of Oz. (George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh is a great example.) They were crafted with a film historian's eye, and contained replicas of movie programs, lobby cards, essays, and the like. The disc extras were exhaustive, and contained everything you could ever want to know about the film. The blu-ray era got away from that, and most blu-rays (except for boxes of swag) were packaged in regular blue cases with minimal extras and no inserts. As such, I have hung on to my DVDs of Lawrence, Kwai, Oz, Roger Rabbit and others, even when I upgraded to blu-ray, because the blu-ray sets just didn't match up. UHD needs to match up.

    I’d like packaging to be as minimal as possible to shave that cost off. And I now believe that media is not decor; discs belong in closets more than living rooms.

    I’d like to see higher quality, if lower quantity, special features. A high quality making-of documentary or a great commentary are the best. But I’m getting to really dislike fancy, complicated interactive bits with multitudes of tiny pieces, like Disney does. And the in-movie branching things are also a real pain, and I’m skipping those now.

    And movies should *always* come with their trailers! But so few do. I don’t understand. 🙁

  118. Those puzzled by people who still buy DVDs should note that some releases are still DVD only. I only buy the Blu ray version if it exist, but sometimes it doesn’t. I just ordered and watched a 2 DVD set of Charlie Chase talkies. There was no Blu ray version to pick.

  119. smithbrad

    This is my issue as well. I have a projection setup and the entry level Sony projector to match what I have is $5K. I'd have to also upgrade my Oppo and Denon 5803 receiver to equivalents that I estimate would be around $2.5 more (total of $7.5K). Adding the additional speakers for Atmos could come later. Buying into UHD/HDR by going to a 65" flat panel to me is taking one step back to go one step forward. Why would I want to do that? Plus, I'm getting ever closer to retirement age. Eventually, through the progression of replacing dying equipment and UHD/HDR being the norm/standard, I will most likely get to that next stage, but not for several years still. Standard blu-ray works great for me and between TV and Film releases I have amassed a collection to last for decades of viewing. Lastly, most of my viewing these days is older TV and films less likely to make the UHD/HDR jump. Why go through all the upgrades now for what could amount to less than 10% of my content that could really benefit? Even if I had the $7.5K to spend, I can see other more worthwhile ways to spend it.

    I'm happy for those excited about UHD/HDR and hope it succeeds for your benefit, but this is one consumer content with what they have and happy to stay on the sidelines this go around.

    We seem to have some commonalities yet I am of a different opinion.

    Commonalities:

    1. I am also approaching retirement [a few years if I'm lucky]
    2. I also use a projector

    My opinion differs for these basic reasons:

    1. You can't take it with you. I don't mind spending money on this hobby because I love it. So do you or you wouldn't be reading this.
    2. Concerning projectors – I'm not convinced Sony is the best way to go. At the moment, JVC looks better to me but LG has also recently presented a strong proposition and at a much more attractive price. http://www.lg.com/us/home-video/lg-HU80KA-projector
    3. I don't agree with your estimates for upgrading you receiver or Oppo player. Look around and you'll likely find better options.
    4. As you stated, Atmos speakers don't need to be added immediately and are completely unnecessary for a basic 4K experience.

    smithbrad

    Buying into UHD/HDR by going to a 65" flat panel to me is taking one step back to go one step forward. Why would I want to do that?

    Agreed. I would never downgrade screen size for a higher resolution format. The high res formats can only be truly appreciated with larger screens.

  120. TJPC

    Those puzzled by people who still buy DVDs should note that some releases are still DVD only. I only buy the Blu ray version if it exist, but sometimes it doesn’t. I just ordered and watched a 2 DVD set of Charlie Chase talkies. There was no Blu ray version to pick.

    A friend is still DVD only, no blu-ray. Not sure if they even have HD displays. His wife goes to the flea market not infrequently and buys handfuls of DVDs. They're solidly middle class; it's not that they can't afford blu-rays. (He then throws them all away because they're invariably pirated / bootlegs, and re-buys them from Amazon.) He rips them all and loads them into his whole-house Plex server.

    Other friends, also solidly middle/upper middle class, don't buy discs at all anymore except for maybe a Star Wars blu-ray every couple years. They're all streaming and digital codes, no bothering with physical media anymore.

  121. DaveF

    A friend is still DVD only, no blu-ray. Not sure if they even have HD displays. His wife goes to the flea market not infrequently and buys handfuls of DVDs. They're solidly middle class; it's not that they can't afford blu-rays. (He then throws them all away because they're invariably pirated / bootlegs, and re-buys them from Amazon.) He rips them all and loads them into his whole-house Plex server.

    Other friends, also solidly middle/upper middle class, don't buy discs at all anymore except for maybe a Star Wars blu-ray every couple years. They're all streaming and digital codes, no bothering with physical media anymore.

    My heart goes out to that husband. Sounds like a house, divided.

  122. ahollis

    What’s holding it back? Streaming.

    There are two main issues holding it back, pricing is one and the other is streaming. Even a disc hog like myself is streaming almost every day. There is a third issue too, it's called consumer confusion that I squarely blame on the industry for failing to market and educate their consumer base properly about the advantages of 4K.

  123. Robert Crawford

    There is a third issue too, it's called consumer confusion that I squarely blame on the industry for failing to market and educate their consumer base properly about the advantages of 4K.

    Well said. UHD, Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR 10, HDR 10+, native 4K, faux 4K, nits, Dolby Atmos, DTS: X -all this released on consumers without any indication of what these terms, or words are, and why they should care about it. I still remember when Blu-Ray launched. There were in store videos, and kiosks explaining just what It was, and exactly why it was better than DVD. Pure, and simple.

    The UHD launch was mysterious. I still have questions.

  124. Nobody expects the UHD revolution! Our main holdup is pricing. Pricing and streaming. … Our two main holdups are pricing and streaming. Streaming and pricing and customer education…Our three main hold ups are streaming and pricing and customer education. And format fatigue. Our four main… Amongst our format challenges … are elements such as pricing and streaming and …

    (Apologies to Monty Python)

  125. John Dirk

    We seem to have some commonalities yet I am of a different opinion.

    Commonalities:

    1. I am also approaching retirement [a few years if I'm lucky]
    2. I also use a projector

    My opinion differs for these basic reasons:

    1. You can't take it with you. I don't mind spending money on this hobby because I love it. So do you or you wouldn't be reading this.
    2. Concerning projectors – I'm not convinced Sony is the best way to go. At the moment, JVC looks better to me but LG has also recently presented a strong proposition and at a much more attractive price. http://www.lg.com/us/home-video/lg-HU80KA-projector
    3. I don't agree with your estimates for upgrading you receiver or Oppo player. Look around and you'll likely find better options.
    4. As you stated, Atmos speakers don't need to be added immediately and are completely unnecessary for a basic 4K experience.

    Agreed. I would never downgrade screen size for a higher resolution format. The high res formats can only be truly appreciated with larger screens.

    While we can't take it with us, some have extra needs that require us to leave what we can to children. I am in such a scenario, so the bulk of my retirement is not going to be for me. That said, what allowance I do allow myself does primarily goes to this hobby, but I just choose to spend it differently. Instead of upgrading hardware, I've been adding more content. Recently, that has entailed sports (NFL 1960's through 1990's, NBA 1980's through 1990's). Collecting sports of this nature, is a far cry from HD quality.

    As for projectors, I could go with a JVC D-ILA, but not a DLP (of any brand/model), which still puts me in the same price range. My first projector was a Sharp Z10K DLP that I got an excellent discount on (in 2004) for $6800. It developed the color wheel squeak after 5 years. My replacement Sony (8+ years and going) cost $2500, and has been very solid. That's my price point from now on, no more than $2500 on a projector. So, price is a factor, as well as comfort level with the technology and brand for me.

    I'm still using the same receiver (Denon 5803) and speakers (M&K 150's) I originally purchased in 2004 when I built my HT. It's not just about the latest bells and whistles, but build quality and the amp section for a receiver. What I should have done was to buy a separate amp from the get go, then I could have more easily swapped out lesser receivers to maintain all the audio formats and connections. As for the Oppo, I still have the original BD-83. Again build quality and SD capability is very important to me, as has been the audio out (for my ancient receiver) and to a lesser extent DVD-A and SACD support. Now with Oppo out of the picture, i will have to seek something else when my BD-83 eventually gives out.

    So, while I could follow your example, it just doesn't fit my needs. Incremental updates to replace failed equipment to maintain the status quo, and adding what remaining content I seek is more important to me then using the same funds to upgrade to a newer technology that I would barely ever be able to take advantage of based on what I collect. Granted I will eventually have 4K/UHD support through gradual hardware updates, but I'm not going out of my way to support it.

    That obviously doesn't mean I think 4K/HDR is a wasted technology. I'm happy for those that want to continue pushing the envelope with their upgrades to get the best quality. I have no doubt I would to if younger and circumstances were different.

  126. smithbrad

    That obviously doesn't mean I think 4K/HDR is a wasted technology. I'm happy for those that want to continue pushing the envelope with their upgrades to get the best quality. I have no doubt I would to if younger and circumstances were different.

    (Speaking in terms of a hypotheticals).

    If I had never started buying a lot of dvds/blurays in 2011, and had started with a "blank slate" in 2016, then most likely I would have jumped onto the 4Kbluray treadmill.

    Over the entire 2000s decade, I had very little to no interest in dvd/bluray. I only started buying a lot of dvds/blurays in 2011.

  127. smithbrad

    While we can't take it with us, some have extra needs that require us to leave what we can to children. I am in such a scenario, so the bulk of my retirement is not going to be for me.

    (Thinking about it more).

    In my current scenario, I don't have any kids to pass on all my stuff to. (My kid passed away very young).

    I also have too many health problems, where I can croak suddenly at any time. After several strokes, I've come to the realization I have no use for a lot of "stuff". (I'm also nowhere near to retirement).

    For most stuff I no longer have much use for, I end up giving away a lot of it to local friends/family. If they don't want any of it, I'll drop it off to nearby charity thrift stores (such as goodwill, etc …).

    On both sides of my family, there is a long history of Alzheimers. Even if I do manage to live to old age, I don't know if I'll still remember anything. Having a large collection of music/movies and not being able to remember why I liked listening/watching them, would completely defeat the entire purpose of having a collection in the first place.

    I haven't went to a specialist doctor yet, but for several years I've been having early symptoms of not remembering much of my youth or young adulthood. (I don't know if it is alzheimer/dementia).

  128. Respectfully, this topic is for discussing the state of the consumer market for UHD. If you have broader personal topics, AHL might be a place for the topic. And for real medical concerns, consult your doctor. But let's keep this discussion more on UHD. 🙂

  129. DaveF

    Respectfully, this topic is for discussing the state of the consumer market for UHD. If you have broader personal topics, AHL might be a place for the topic. And for real medical concerns, consult your doctor. But let's keep this discussion more on UHD. 🙂

    Forked it to another thread on ahl.

    https://www.hometheaterforum.com/co…-in-outlook-on-life-via-health-issues.357669/

  130. I think the big thing with the UHD launch is that it doesn’t really offer the average consumer something they don’t already have, and may be a step backwards compared to what they’re currently enjoying.

    By that, I mean, when DVD launched, it was the first time the average consumer could, for a low price, view a film on a format that was non-linear (being able to skip around the movie, not having to rewind) that didn’t degrade after multiple viewings. Blu-ray added higher quality picture to that.

    Since then, streaming allows (in theory) for everything that BD has, with the added bonus of not having to leave the house to get it and not having to wait for a delivery in the mail.

    UHD is less convenient for people who enjoy the advantages of streaming. I think the uptick in video and audio quality isn’t enough to re-shackle an audience to a physical object after they’ve been removed from object-dependent viewing for several years. And since the rental industry for high end physical media has basically collapsed, it means that one must purchase a title on UHD if one wants to see it in that format.

    So, for the average consumer, who may already be streaming in 4K using equipment they already have at home, the incentive for going back to physical media just isn’t there. It reintroduces a problem that they’ve already solved and doesn’t offer a huge benefit.

    Enthusiasts here will feel differently and for us, our priorities are different and what we’re looking for out of our movie watching experiences are different, but for the average consumer, low cost streaming is where it’s at.

  131. Everything is against the UHD format these days except for the niche market of those looking for the absolute best audio and video for a given title and that is UHD BD right now.

    Even Kaleidescape which is bit for bit identical to the UHD BD in video doesn't always release as the highest quality audio.

  132. Josh Steinberg

    So, for the average consumer, who may already be streaming in 4K using equipment they already have at home, the incentive for going back to physical media just isn’t there. It reintroduces a problem that they’ve already solved and doesn’t offer a huge benefit.

    Josh. You sort of threw me with this remark. Although I understand your point,I doubt the average consumer is even aware of 4K.

    Josh Steinberg

    Enthusiasts here will feel differently and for us, our priorities are different and what we’re looking for out of our movie watching experiences are different, but for the average consumer, low cost streaming is where it’s at.

    That's how I see it too but it bodes poorly for us enthusiasts. The 4K standard will likely never reach the economy of scale necessary to drive prices down to reasonable levels for either hardware or software.

  133. smithbrad

    While we can't take it with us, some have extra needs that require us to leave what we can to children. I am in such a scenario, so the bulk of my retirement is not going to be for me.

    You're right. I don't have children and shouldn't have made such a broad statement. My apologies.

    smithbrad

    As for projectors, I could go with a JVC D-ILA, but not a DLP (of any brand/model), which still puts me in the same price range. My first projector was a Sharp Z10K DLP that I got an excellent discount on (in 2004) for $6800. It developed the color wheel squeak after 5 years.

    Thanks for the feedback! I've never owned a DLP projector and have been very happy with the 3-LCD models I have owned over the years. I'm not trying to introduce more risk [by going DLP] to save money, even if its substantial money.

    smithbrad

    What I should have done was to buy a separate amp from the get go, then I could have more easily swapped out lesser receivers to maintain all the audio formats and connections.

    I also learned this lesson the hard way but I bit the bullet and went to separates when my Onkyo TX SR 605 suffered the well known display issue a few years ago. It was also a bit under powered for my needs at the time.

    smithbrad

    So, while I could follow your example, it just doesn't fit my needs. Incremental updates to replace failed equipment to maintain the status quo, and adding what remaining content I seek is more important to me then using the same funds to upgrade to a newer technology that I would barely ever be able to take advantage of based on what I collect. Granted I will eventually have 4K/UHD support through gradual hardware updates, but I'm not going out of my way to support it.

    I think we're actually on similar paths. Most of my content is 480P DVD. I have maybe 50 – 60 Blu Rays and, at the moment, only a couple of 4K UHD titles. I'm not going to buy up-converted 4K in most cases. I did recently purchase the Oppo 203 but that was more due to Oppo's recent announcement than me being truly ready to embrace 4K. I just felt it was the best player available and wanted to snag one while the getting was good. UHD is almost certainly in my near future but, like you, there's no rush since I know it will be an extreme luxury.

  134. John Dirk

    That's how I see it too but it bodes poorly for us enthusiasts. The 4K standard will likely never reach the economy of scale necessary to drive prices down to reasonable levels for either hardware or software.

    If 4Kbluray never reaches the economies of scale that dvd + bluray have reached, then most likely I probably won't ever jump onto the 4Kbluray treadmill.

    (As mentioned in a previous post, the primary reason I ever jumped onto the bluray treadmill in 2011, was that bluray discs were already showing up in local dump bins at $5 a pop or less).

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