Wired Press Release: Blu-rays are back; Streaming Isn’t Everything

3 Stars

Well folks, looks like we’re not the only ones who feel Blu-ray is alive & well. Brian Rafferty penned this interesting article on wired.com.

Excerpt:

STREAMING ISN’T EVERYTHING, AND BLU-RAYS ARE BACK TO PROVE IT
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Some are drawn to Blu-ray because of the unsatisfying video quality of streaming films; for others, it’s the sheer joy of tactile pop-culture paraphernalia, as some small-label discs come with elaborate packaging and hours of extras. But one of the main driving forces behind the format’s renaissance is the simple fact that the mainstreamers all have sizable gaps in their movie libraries.
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LATE LAST MONTH, while most Black Friday shoppers were looking for deals on high-definition televisions or new computers, Zach Killebrew was searching for Ingmar Bergman. Killebrew, a 24-year-old software developer, is the creator and moderator of Boutique Blu-Ray, a subreddit for obsessive collectors of high-end (and often pricey) movies. They’re the sort of fans who post photos of their latest Blu-ray scoresdocument their growing collections, and eagerly share updates on new “boutique” releases, which range from obscure ’80s horror flicks like Maniac to the 30-disc Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema collection.

It was that hefty Bergman box (which lists for nearly $300) that had Killebrew up late the night before its release scouring websites, calling local stores, and even contemplating driving to a mall about an hour away from his home in Smithton, Illinois, just to secure his copy. He eventually landed one right before the collection’s first printing sold out.

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Kevin Collins

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161 Comments

  1. Seems he's more focused on the fringe collectors. Most of the movies he references are very niche and I can see why the niche collectors get excited to find those discs. But for most folks, streaming is becoming much more mainstream and most folks aren't collectors and, like me, aren't bothered if a movie isn't available to stream one particular month, usually it will show up eventually on some other streaming service. I can live with waiting, I just don't have the time to sit for hours a week watching movies.

    He mentions the demise of the Criterion streaming service but fails to mention that a new service opened to help bring back those movies.

    We are once again evolving, just like we did from the days of film only, to video tape, to discs, it's now streaming's turn at it and it's much handier and easier to adopt than spending $25 on a disc I may watch once and it goes to the dead disc bin.

    I am all in with streaming now as is my family. We haven't purchased or rented a disc in at least a year if not more.

  2. I don't think of it as an either/or proposition, I just feel that the days of owning discs to watch a movie are fading away and we will at some point sooner rather than later will be watching movies and older TV shows online only.

  3. Streaming is just too fiddly for me. It’s not bad for disposable crap that you treat like Kleenex, but for my permanent collection of treasured film what could be easier than inserting a disc? They are always available and at your fingertips.

  4. While true, they can rot out and become unwatchable at any time and you'd never know until that day you're dying to watch the movie and you can't anymore. They could be destroyed in a fire or other disaster and you'd be out $1000's of dollars and no movies to watch.

    Streaming has been made too easy now, no getting up, no storing piles of plastic around the house, not fiddling around with "where is that darn disc?!". I just press the Netflix button on Roku remote and search through a huge library of movies all at my fingertips.

    Now let's note that I'm FAR from being a hardcore film buff so my needs are few when it comes to selections of movies so for me streaming is perfect, and I would say that 98% of home movie watchers are just like me. And the number of us will be growing when Santa delivers even more smart TV's this Christmas all over America,

    Yes it's all sounding very Wall-E like and sadly it is to an extent, but for me I much prefer streaming vs. when I was hooked on blowing my hard earned cash on $20+ discs thinking I just HAD to own it only to discover I watched it once in 5 years and even had some discs I HAD to have still shrink wrapped unwatched.

  5. For what it's worth, I know a number of people in their thirties and younger who have no disc players of any kind – not blu-ray, not DVD, not even CD. And that includes people who work in the film and television industry.

  6. Worth

    For what it's worth, I know a number of people in their thirties and younger who have no disc players of any kind – not blu-ray, not DVD, not even CD. And that includes people who work in the film and television industry.

    I believe it. The younger generation has pretty much ditched discs hence the reason stores are slowly depleting their selections. Must be the diehards and old timers keeping it on life support this long.

  7. Robert Crawford

    Aren’t we just rehashing the same argument we’ve had in prior threads? It seems like we’re just repeating our past comments on this subject matter.

    As has been going on here ever since I joined (1999). New members come aboard, old members lose track of what has been covered. At least we're here and posting and showing an interest in film.

  8. I'm okay with streaming for modern throwaway films and the one out of a hundred "good" Netflix or Amazon original. The classics though are sorely lacking particularly on Netflix. Streaming is not the future until there are under two or three services that can provide you access to just about everything. Otherwise you are spending a lot of money per month on multiple services for just a handful of films.

  9. Robert Crawford

    So, who cares as their opinion is just that, their opinion.

    So, are you saying you don't care about other people's opinions? Do all opinions have equal weight. Does my Aunt Emily's opinion on a movie count the same as Manohla Dargis' opinion? Just askin'? 🙂 Speaking only for myself, I value some people/friend/critic's opinion more than others and only use the "Who cares?" when I don't value someone's opinion. But hey, that's just me!

  10. Thomas T

    So, are you saying you don't care about other people's opinions? Do all opinions have equal weight. Does my Aunt Emily's opinion on a movie count the same as Manohla Dargis' opinion? Just askin'? 🙂 Speaking only for myself, I value some people/friend/critic's opinion more than others and only use the "Who cares?" when I don't value someone's opinion. But hey, that's just me!

    I don’t value that person’s opinion because he doesn’t have any data to back up his opinion in that article. It’s a lazy article. Did any of us learn anything new from that article? Many of us shop the boutique labels for many of our disc titles. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

  11. Streaming is great right up until a favorite film or series is pulled, never to be seen again.

    If a blu-ray has been released in the meantime then losing the film or series is no big deal; however, if streaming becomes the only avenue for home release then having something pulled is a big deal, especially if it is a property that appeals to a niche audience.

  12. A couple random thoughts:

    1) I dislike the way this article (and many before it) lump in all kinds of streaming as if they're all equal, and intended to fulfill the same role, when that just isn't the case. Just as there's a difference with physical media between buying a disc and renting a disc, there's a difference between making a purchase at a digital retailer like iTunes and joining a curated subscription service like Netflix. I don't think it's reasonable to expect a service like Netflix to offer everything ever made in perpetuity for all of time – that was never their goal and never their business model. On the other hand, it is reasonable to expect that a purchase you make in iTunes will remain valid in perpetuity. While there have been occasional examples of things not working out properly (examples which are usually overblown), in general, digital purchases have worked as advertised.

    2) When all of these different services, which aim to do different things and attract different segments of the market, are all lumped in together as "streaming," it doesn't really help with having an honest conversation about where the future of our hobby – home theater – is going.

  13. Worth

    For what it's worth, I know a number of people in their thirties and younger who have no disc players of any kind – not blu-ray, not DVD, not even CD. And that includes people who work in the film and television industry.

    They prolly aren't aware that they can play most disks on their XBox (XBox One will play 4K UHD with a 4K monitor) or PlayStation X with a software app download

  14. Not gonna lie, it's a bit disheartening to see members of this forum—- a haven for film collectors/hobbyists—- proudly proclaiming that they aren't even buying discs anymore, and touting the Age of Streaming like it's some sort of evolutionary step up. This is a Home Theater Forum, not a compressed-to-hell-convenience forum. Streaming will need to improve a GREAT deal before it comes close to competing with the quality of Blu-ray (and UHD) media, and even then—- I'll keep buying discs, because I'll own them no matter what. If the internet permanently crashes or comes under some Draconian-type government control— I'll still have my collection. It's a tangible, demonstrable manifestation of my love of cinema.

    And I do stream stuff, but mostly to weed out films I'm on the fence about buying on disc. And yes, I collect music on vinyl too. Christ, maybe I'm too old to keep up with the kids anymore.

  15. I have room in my heart for both.

    Streaming has been perfect for me for shows and movies I only want to see once; it’s a lot better than having to go to a store to pick up a physical object and then having to bring that object back to the store a day later. It’s better than Netflix-by-mail where the wait to get a title could be days or weeks.

    I still like having the physical disc for favorites of mine. And due to the collapse of the physical market, I’ve picked up a lot of discs I would have otherwise just rented, because it was actually cheaper to buy the disc than to rent the movie digitally.

    But on the flip side to that – I’m revisiting my Star Trek: The Next Generation Blu-rays. I bought each season the day it came out and have taken care of them. And yet, at least one disc in every season has at least one skip or freeze on it that it didn’t have when they were newly purchased five years ago. They’re by no means unwatchable – but I don’t feel as secure about my physical purchases as I once did. I think the sad truth is that while many of the discs will be mostly fine for a long time to come, that it’s possible that some may not be, through no fault of my own. And I know that it’ll be next to impossible to get a studio to issue a replacement copy so long after the original purchase. As a result, im starting to get a little wary about purchasing discs if my only reason is because it’s onsale at a good price. If it’s something I want to watch immediately, I won’t hesitate to buy. But I’m substantially cutting back on purchases where the thought process had been, “That’s a good price for this disc, I’ll buy it now but probably won’t watch it for a year.”

    I think there are valid reasons to prefer discs and valid reasons to prefer streaming. I think both can co-exist for enthusiasts. But I also don’t see any evidence in this article to suggest what its title implies, that streaming is losing popularity and that disc sales are rebounding.

  16. I just read an article about Netflix testing a feature called “watch that scene again.” You literally see a prompt over the movie that lets you… watch that scene again. Yes, it’s optional. But it’s claptrap, unnecessary horseshit like this that continually thwarts any interest I may develop for streaming.

  17. Craig Beam

    Not gonna lie, it's a bit disheartening to see members of this forum—- a haven for film collectors/hobbyists—- proudly proclaiming that they aren't even buying discs anymore, and touting the Age of Streaming like it's some sort of evolutionary step up. This is a Home Theater Forum, not a compressed-to-hell-convenience forum. Streaming will need to improve a GREAT deal before it comes close to competing with the quality of Blu-ray (and UHD) media, and even then—- I'll keep buying discs, because I'll own them no matter what. If the internet permanently crashes or comes under some Draconian-type government control— I'll still have my collection. It's a tangible, demonstrable manifestation of my love of cinema.

    And I do stream stuff, but mostly to weed out films I'm on the fence about buying on disc. And yes, I collect music on vinyl too. Christ, maybe I'm too old to keep up with the kids anymore.

    The Kids are apparently the ones buying the vinyl now … apparently some of the recording artists are requiring their product to be released on Vinyl
    https://www.thenational.ae/arts-cul…vinyl-is-starting-to-make-a-comeback-1.718196

  18. But realistically speaking, how is that any different from DVDs and BDs having chapter stops that allow you to go back and forward as you please?

    I find fast forwarding and rewinding on a stream to be somewhat obnoxious to use. If Netflix is testing out a feature that’ll make those functions work better, that sounds like a nice little bit of tech work on their end.

  19. From the digital bits:

    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two-cents/121218-1130

    There’s also a great story over at Wired about dedicated supporters of physical media and their passion for Blu-ray. You can read that here.

    First, let me just say this: Attaboy, guys! Second, let me give you a sense of how far the home video industry has fallen, at least in terms of the major studios, and where we currently are: Hollywood juggernaut Disney has just released the crown jewel of their classic animated catalog The Lion King on 4K Ultra HD. And they did it with no fanfare, no official press release (at least not that we’ve seen), no real promotion, no marketing support, and barely a blip even on social media. And the quality of the release is superb. I’ll be reviewing it likely next week. Ten years ago, even five years ago, the studio would have made this a HUGE deal. TV commercials, hype, the whole nine yards. This is their animated JEWEL. But now, in 2018, they just quietly dump it out on 4K disc as if it’s just nothing special.

    And THAT ladies and gentlemen, is the real shame of this push to digital streaming and the quiet dismissal of physical media: Hollywood is devaluing their own content. They’re sending the message to consumers that none of this is special. It’s just channel filler. Once you’ve burned that bridge… once you’ve basically convinced your customers of it… you can never go back. There is nothing special about a stream.

  20. Chapter stops are invisible. This is an on-screen pop up.

    Netflix said people are getting used to seeing overlays, like the litany of moving garbage you see on news broadcasts, station bugs, and digital aids for sports like football to show down markers and baseball to show strike zones. So they’re testing this out to see if people dig it.

    I, for one, hate all that stuff.

  21. Craig Beam

    Not gonna lie, it's a bit disheartening to see members of this forum—- a haven for film collectors/hobbyists—- proudly proclaiming that they aren't even buying discs anymore, and touting the Age of Streaming like it's some sort of evolutionary step up. This is a Home Theater Forum, not a compressed-to-hell-convenience forum. Streaming will need to improve a GREAT deal before it comes close to competing with the quality of Blu-ray (and UHD) media, and even then—- I'll keep buying discs, because I'll own them no matter what. If the internet permanently crashes or comes under some Draconian-type government control— I'll still have my collection. It's a tangible, demonstrable manifestation of my love of cinema.

    I have more or less stopped buying current/recent movies on bluray. I largely wait two or three years to watch them, when they start to show up on basic cable channels (such as big budget superhero and scifi movies).

    The stuff I still buy on disc, are mostly television shows and really horrible D-list scifi movies released by bottom feeder companies (such as The Asylum, Cinedigm, etc …). The latter stuff is so terrible, that the scifi channel (on basic cable) doesn't even play them. Basically in either case this stuff is rarely (or never) released on bluray, and mostly dvd-only.

    I usually just copy a dozen or so movies/episodes from the dvd discs onto the computer, and watch them one after another on the computer on a loop in the background when I'm at home.

  22. Osato

    From the digital bits:

    http://www.thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two-cents/121218-1130

    There’s also a great story over at Wired about dedicated supporters of physical media and their passion for Blu-ray. You can read that here.

    First, let me just say this: Attaboy, guys! Second, let me give you a sense of how far the home video industry has fallen, at least in terms of the major studios, and where we currently are: Hollywood juggernaut Disney has just released the crown jewel of their classic animated catalog The Lion King on 4K Ultra HD. And they did it with no fanfare, no official press release (at least not that we’ve seen), no real promotion, no marketing support, and barely a blip even on social media. And the quality of the release is superb. I’ll be reviewing it likely next week. Ten years ago, even five years ago, the studio would have made this a HUGE deal. TV commercials, hype, the whole nine yards. This is their animated JEWEL. But now, in 2018, they just quietly dump it out on 4K disc as if it’s just nothing special.

    And THAT ladies and gentlemen, is the real shame of this push to digital streaming and the quiet dismissal of physical media: Hollywood is devaluing their own content. They’re sending the message to consumers that none of this is special. It’s just channel filler. Once you’ve burned that bridge… once you’ve basically convinced your customers of it… you can never go back. There is nothing special about a stream.

    Good point about devaluation. We already live in a world where someone will lay out a grand for a smartphone, yet balk at paying more than 99 cents for an app. Hard to put a cap on that particular genie.

  23. Jonathan Perregaux

    Good point about devaluation. We already live in a world where someone will lay out a grand for a smartphone, yet balk at paying more than 99 cents for an app. Hard to put a cap on that particular genie.

    Agreed. It’s hard to stop now.
    I know that if I wait longer a title is cheaper.
    So now digital copies are $10 instead of the $14.99 blu ray new releases that used to be common.

    It seems all disc releases are $20-30 typically now.

  24. Craig Beam

    Streaming will need to improve a GREAT deal before it comes close to competing with the quality of Blu-ray (and UHD)

    It already has in my opinion. My Apple 4K streams look and sound as good as the physical discs. But I still buy both.

  25. Streaming can't replace discs IMO. I've lived with both for years now and there's no comparison. The discs – blu-rays, primarily – offer the best visuals and sound by far, and they're available when I want them, unlike streaming which is at the whim of the streaming service (Netflix, Amazon, etc.). It will always be that way. Also, very rarely have I had to stop a disc from playing to clear a smudge off of it which was impairing its ability to play. Nearly every day, streaming is interrupting by buffering, a lost connection, etc. I roll my eyes at the spinning wheel we get when buffering starts.

    Also, I don't know about you, but for decades I have given and got movies and TV shows as gifts, from VHS to CED to laser disc to DVD to blu-ray and UHD. I have never gotten a gift of a streaming film, nor have I given one. It's not the same. Even if and when bandwidth in the United States becomes something that can really support 4k films (a long way off, IMO), the disc-as-gift thing is something that cannot be rectified.

  26. Tino

    It already has in my opinion. My Apple 4K streams look and sound as good as the physical discs. But I still buy both.

    The problem with discussing streaming quality is that different people are seeing very different things depending on their connections and set ups. Having recently upgraded to fibre-optic gigabit internet, I can honestly say there's a barely perceptible difference between iTunes titles and blu-ray on an Apple TV 4 connected directly to the modem via ethernet. No buffering and maybe once or twice in a two-hour movie, I might notice a compression artifact or bit of banding that I think wouldn't be visible on disc. Netflix also looks excellent, maybe just a notch below that. But watching the same Netflix stream through the cable box, also connected directly to the modem, looks significantly worse – softer and with much more noticeable compression issues.

  27. B-ROLL

    They prolly aren't aware that they can play most disks on their XBox (XBox One will play 4K UHD with a 4K monitor) or PlayStation X with a software app download

    Odds are they don't really care about that feature.

  28. Tino

    It already has in my opinion. My Apple 4K streams look and sound as good as the physical discs. But I still buy both.

    Now that I have my replacement 4K TV which now has HDR I've been browsing the Netflix 4K UHD stuff and it looks fantastic. I still have zero desire to buy anything on disc at this point. 20 years ago, I would have been total opposite, I'd buy everything that hit the streets day one, of course most were still $20 a pop. I learned my lesson slowly but surely to stop the madness and thanks to 100mb internet, Google Wifi, my Roku 4K TV and Firestick, I am all set to be entertained for years to come and never have to store another dino disc again. I'm close to jut pulling my BD player from the entertainment center to free up space and have two less wires snaked around back of the TV stand.

  29. Sam Favate

    Streaming can't replace discs IMO. I've lived with both for years now and there's no comparison. The discs – blu-rays, primarily – offer the best visuals and sound by far, and they're available when I want them, unlike streaming which is at the whim of the streaming service (Netflix, Amazon, etc.). It will always be that way. Also, very rarely have I had to stop a disc from playing to clear a smudge off of it which was impairing its ability to play. Nearly every day, streaming is interrupting by buffering, a lost connection, etc. I roll my eyes at the spinning wheel we get when buffering starts.

    Also, I don't know about you, but for decades I have given and got movies and TV shows as gifts, from VHS to CED to laser disc to DVD to blu-ray and UHD. I have never gotten a gift of a streaming film, nor have I given one. It's not the same. Even if and when bandwidth in the United States becomes something that can really support 4k films (a long way off, IMO), the disc-as-gift thing is something that cannot be rectified.

    How many friends and family members have been asking for movies on discs as presents from you in the past 1-2 years? My count to date is still at "0". We give Google Play gift cards to use to rent or buy streaming movies and Netflix gift cards are welcomed as well.

  30. Sam Favate

    Nearly every day, streaming is interrupting by buffering, a lost connection, etc. I roll my eyes at the spinning wheel we get when buffering starts.

    Which is a result of your equipment not the streaming service. I too have a Verizon gigabyte connection and I never experience those issues.

  31. Robert Crawford

    I don’t value that person’s opinion because he doesn’t have any data to back up his opinion in that article. It’s a lazy article. Did any of us learn anything new from that article? Many of us shop the boutique labels for many of our disc titles. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

    Not to gang up on you here, Robert, but regardless of how much/little hard data there is here, if taken as opinion, it is as valid as anyone else's. Personally, I grew really angry when articles very much like this kept hammering away about physical discs going away and leaving only streaming, or that 3D is dead long before it was. There is an element of self-fulfilling prophecy involved here. If enough people read such articles, they might begin backing off these formats themselves, fearful it won't be supported the next time they turn around. Nonetheless, those articles were also largely opinion, and as such were also valid.

    Conversely, might not an article such as the one posted in this thread by the OP perhaps lead some of us to have a little hope that their collecting has not yet become obsolete (and I do not believe it has)? Yes, of course, your opinion is fine, too, but you sounded openly hostile about this article, almost as though you resented the fact that some of us might take it to be a (finally) optimistic take on the future of physical media. It might well be as ineffectual as you think it is, but it's nice to read something by a writer with a glass-half-full attitude once in a while.

    🙂

  32. I don't think discs are going away anytime soon, but they're no longer the way the mainstream consumes media. They're a niche for film lovers and collectors – laserdisc v2.

    I certainly don't want physical media to die out. If there's a film that I really like and know I'll want to watch repeatedly, I'll buy it on disc. If it's something that I'm only likely to watch once – which is the vast majority of titles – I'm perfectly content to stream it.

  33. It will be interesting to see the results for Streaming vs. disc sales in 2018, which should be available in January.
    For 2017, digital sales(to own) were less than half of disc sales overall. Whereas Digital subscription services(Netflix I assume) dwarfed any of the buy to own formats with nearly $10 billion in revenue:eek:


    [​IMG]

  34. Bryan^H
    For 2017, digital sales(to own) were less than half of disc sales overall. Whereas Digital subscription services(Netflix I assume) dwarfed any of the buy to own formats with nearly $10 billion in revenue:eek:

    This would make sense for stuff that people only watch once or twice. Somewhat pointless to buy a download/disc if one has no intentions to watch it more than once or twice.

  35. I wonder how it compares to movie rentals a decade ago. I know the vast majority of people in the VHS days were “Blockbuster” members. I remember friends saying to me “who would want to own a movie?”
    We also rented the vast majority of movies we watched then. They were just not downloaded.

  36. Main reason I jumped all in with streaming. I learned years and years ago when I started to look at the boxes of "must have" DVD's and Blu discs thinking to myself what a waste of money it ended up being since I rarely if ever re-watched the "must have" movies.

    I'm now content with browsing the huge catalogs of movies on my streaming services and if something strikes my fancy, I play it. I have also found that I'm watching more obscure movies and documentaries using streaming than I ever would have buying discs.

  37. I'm embarrassed to say that most movies I buy on disc (mainly boutique label titles) I have only watched one time. I would like to re-visit a lot of them but work, and family life suck the time from me. Maybe If I'm lucky enough to live well into my retirement I will finally have that time.

  38. JQuintana

    I have also found that I'm watching more obscure movies and documentaries using streaming than I ever would have buying discs.

    I have notice this too when I'm watching network tv and basic cable, despite sounding "paradoxical".

    I find that I am more likely to watch something as live broadcasts or recorded to the dvr, than watching the same thing on dvd/bluray. For example, I am more likely to watch Star Trek franchise daily reruns on a scifi channel than watching my Star Trek dvds/blurays.

  39. Bryan^H

    I'm embarrassed to say that most movies I buy on disc (mainly boutique label titles) I have only watched one time. I would like to re-visit a lot of them but work, and family life suck the time from me. Maybe If I'm lucky enough to live well into my retirement I will finally have that time.

    Welcome to my world. When DVD hit, I had no kids, lots of free time, extra$$$ to waste on every disc that caught my eye. Life I thought was grand. The as kiddos came on the scene and life got more hectic and money went to real world things like new AC units, cars, school, I pretty much ended the movie madness and now we mainly stream kid friendly stuff for now.

  40. Bryan^H

    Maybe If I'm lucky enough to live well into my retirement I will finally have that time.

    (This is strictly anecdotal).

    I have noticed with my older relatives who are retired, they rarely ever went through their life long collections of music and movies (ie. cds, dvds/blurays, vhs tapes, vinyl, etc ….).

    After they retired, they all ended up watching tv all day tuned to a 24 hours news channel (such as CNN, BBC, etc …) or a sports channel on basic cable.

  41. jcroy

    (This is strictly anecdotal).

    I have noticed with my older relatives who are retired, they rarely ever went through their life long collections of music and movies (ie. cds, dvds/blurays, vhs tapes, vinyl, etc ….).

    After they retired, they all ended up watching tv all day tuned to a 24 hours news channel (such as CNN, BBC, etc …) or a sports channel on basic cable.

    This is my mom. I set up a Roku and Netflix for her, got her Harmony remote set for one button viewing, not to mention hand written notes "How to watch Netflix" and she still has watched at most 1 stand up comedian show and the rest of day is Fox News. When dad passed she gave away all his CD's and vinyl stuff since she doesn't listen to music other than in the car.

  42. jcroy

    After they retired, they all ended up watching tv all day tuned to a 24 hours news channel (such as CNN, BBC, etc …) or a sports channel on basic cable.

    Oh my gosh, that is what my parents do:D

  43. Well, this is what the entire Criterion Collection on blu-ray looks like so far. Every release since they started 10 years ago. When people come over to my place to watch a movie, they spend loads of time looking through all the discs and discussing the various films, genres and directors. And this is only the Criterion section. Sometimes difficult to get folks to sit down and actually watch something, because they just love pulling out stuff and looking at it. Or arguing about my way of curating and cataloguing my collection. Can't recall we ever had that situation when we streamed something from Netflix.View attachment 53299

  44. Lately, I've been turning on my iMac when I get home from work and watch something on Netflix. They have some really good "made for Netflix" documentaries and series, especially crime shows. I prefer to be able to start TV shows on my schedule and pause them if I need to. Netflix is perfect for that. I have regular TV too, but I watch that primarily for the news- live event stuff. My home theater serves a different purpose. It's like going to the movies. I put on a disc, turn off the lights and focus on the movie for a couple of hours. That is concentrated time. I don't like binge watching like that.

    Broadcast TV, Netflix and watching blu-rays for me are three totally separate things. None of them could replace the other ones at all.

  45. I've found that I'm more interested in seeing something new and there just isn't that much stuff I want to rewatch, and most of it is favourites that I grew up with. I'm also lucky in that a lot of those films show up theatrically fairly regularly – in the last couple of months I've seen Ghostbusters, Alien, Aliens and Blade Runner on an IMAX screen in 4K laser projection.

  46. Worth

    I'm also lucky in that a lot of those films show up theatrically fairly regularly – in the last couple of months I've seen Ghostbusters, Alien, Aliens and Blade Runner on an IMAX screen in 4K laser projection.

    Back in the day in the various towns, I use to check out midnight screenings at some local indie theaters where they would play famous/cult films of yesteryear. For example, stuff like the original Total Recall, Blade Runner, Rocky Horror Show, Terminator 1 and 2, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, etc …

  47. With so many new movies coming out, to buy, I rarely watch one twice. I buy it, watch it without commentary — in 3D if possible, then watch it with commentary, then watch all the extras, then put it on the shelf, then dust it.

    For instance: I see all the Marvels in the theatre, go through the above process and never have time to watch them again, and I have been retired for 10 years.

    I always plan to say re-watch “Lord of The Rings”, but a new Blu ray arrives and I consider it a top priority to watch it in case I have a problem and it has to be returned. The only time I see an old movie twice is when I replace the DVD with a Blu ray.

    I just picked up a 2 3D set (Clash of The Titans” and it’s sequel — dirt cheep @ &16.99) from Amazon US at my US postal box, and just before we left “The Orville” box set was delivered from Amazon Canada. These will be my top watch, along with our regular TV shows.

  48. Dick

    Not to gang up on you here, Robert, but regardless of how much/little hard data there is here, if taken as opinion, it is as valid as anyone else's. Personally, I grew really angry when articles very much like this kept hammering away about physical discs going away and leaving only streaming, or that 3D is dead long before it was. There is an element of self-fulfilling prophecy involved here. If enough people read such articles, they might begin backing off these formats themselves, fearful it won't be supported the next time they turn around. Nonetheless, those articles were also largely opinion, and as such were also valid.
    Conversely, might not an article such as the one posted in this thread by the OP perhaps lead some of us to have a little hope that their collecting has not yet become obsolete (and I do not believe it has)? Yes, of course, your opinion is fine, too, but you sounded openly hostile about this article, almost as though you resented the fact that some of us might take it to be a (finally) optimistic take on the future of physical media. It might well be as ineffectual as you think it is, but it's nice to read something by a writer with a glass-half-full attitude once in a while.

    🙂

    Dick,

    I'm just expressing my opinion that this article doesn't do anything for me. That's it! If people want to read it and absorbed what's in it then that's their prerogative. I just think we're again debating streaming versus discs in a continuing cycle of threads created by Dr. Strange. If some of us want to debate that issue then feel free to do so. However, I'm not going to partake in that debate this time because I've already expressed my opinion ad nauseam regarding that subject matter in so many prior threads.

    As to me being hostile towards this article. All of my life, people have taken my penchant for not mincing words and being very direct as being hostile towards one thing or another. I simply don't value that article and I think it is a crappy article for this membership because this membership is well aware of the boutique labels and their effect on increasing many of our disc collections. We promote three of these boutique labels on this forum and have done so for years.

    By the way, if I resented this article giving out an optimistic take on the future of physical media then something must be wrong with me as I bought over 40 DVD/BD/4K releases in just the last 30 days alone including the Mission: Impossible and Jack Ryan 4K/UHD collections. Furthermore, I already owned those Mission: Impossible and Jack Ryan films digitally in 4K/UHD prior to buying these disc collections. Why waste my monies on making those disc purchases if I'm pessimistic about the future of physical media? I'm surprise you even brought that up in your comments as I thought you knew that my 10,000+ disc collection is among the largest on this forum.

  49. JQuintana

    How many of those bad boys get re-watched each year?

    Looks like several $1000's investment. Hope they survive without dry rot or similar.

    (Going on an offtopic tangent).

    Of the cash I use to "invest" on dvds/blurays, most of it now goes into buying books instead. They're still readable even if there is "rot" problems (both dry and wet). 🙂

    The type of books I buy and read are non-fiction titles, which I frequently jump around between chapters and different books to get a clearer picture on a particular topic of interest.

  50. Robert Crawford

    I'm surprise you even brought that up in your comments as I thought you knew that my 10,000+ disc collection is among the largest on this forum.

    Not everyone on this message board is aware of this.

    Until a few minutes ago, I didn't know you owned more than 10 thousand discs. 😉

  51. I guess I am in the minority. I actually do watch my collection and have watched everything I own at least twice. Always watch Star Trek on disc rather than TV (they are edited on TV). But, I have slowed down in movie purchases and only purchase those I know I will re-watch). At least half of what I own is not available via streaming (I guess I would have to join a dozen services to even approach the diversity of my collection, which would cost quite a bit). Physical media, for me (and the time being), offers much more than streaming, but I do both.

  52. Robert Crawford

    Then I'm mistaken which I am quite often.:)

    I generally assume that hardly anybody knows anything about me, unless they either live with me (offline) or has been "stalking" me. 😉

  53. For me the article is foolish, because it jumped the gun. Why didn't they wait one more month, and have the numbers to back it up?
    Most likely disc sales will still be the winner for "owning" over electronic sell through for 2018, but I'm sure the gap will not be as wide as it was for 2017

  54. Tino

    It already has in my opinion. My Apple 4K streams look and sound as good as the physical discs. But I still buy both.

    Don't bother Tino. The guys bitching about streams obviously haven't actually watched any. Any and all doubters are welcome to come to central MD for an education, but they won't because they'd rather just whine about it on the internet.

    Never try to sell a meteor to a dinosaur.
    [​IMG]

  55. I’ve been collecting films since 1989 (laserdiscs were the pinnacle then). I still have a few dozen lasers, and have upgraded them into DVDs and BluRays. Now I have more than 300 BluRays and more than 1,000 DVDs. Having a film library is more of a kick for me than hitting a button or 2 for streaming. I have some films that I watch again and again for the show itself, or the commentaries. Most of my collection doesn’t get watched more than once in a blue moon. I enjoy my collection, even if I don’t really use some of it.

  56. Jeffrey D

    I’ve been collecting films since 1989 (laserdiscs were the pinnacle then). I still have a few dozen lasers, and have upgraded them into DVDs and BluRays. Now I have more than 300 BluRays and more than 1,000 DVDs. Having a film library is more of a kick for me than hitting a button or 2 for streaming. I have some films that I watch again and again for the show itself, or the commentaries. Most of my collection doesn’t get watched more than once in a blue moon. I enjoy my collection, even if I don’t really use some of it.

    As they say, whatever floats your boat. Glad you enjoy it.

  57. Robert Crawford

    Dick,

    I'm just expressing my opinion that this article doesn't do anything for me. That's it! If people want to read it and absorbed what's in it then that's their prerogative. I just think we're again debating streaming versus discs in a continuing cycle of threads created by Dr. Strange. If some of us want to debate that issue then feel free to do so. However, I'm not going to partake in that debate this time because I've already expressed my opinion ad nauseam regarding that subject matter in so many prior threads.

    As to me being hostile towards this article. All of my life, people have taken my penchant for not mincing words and being very direct as being hostile towards one thing or another. I simply don't value that article and I think it is a crappy article for this membership because this membership is well aware of the boutique labels and their effect on increasing many of our disc collections. We promote three of these boutique labels on this forum and have done so for years.

    By the way, if I resented this article giving out an optimistic take on the future of physical media then something must be wrong with me as I bought over 40 DVD/BD/4K releases in just the last 30 days alone including the Mission: Impossible and Jack Ryan 4K/UHD collections. Furthermore, I already owned those Mission: Impossible and Jack Ryan films digitally in 4K/UHD prior to buying these disc collections. Why waste my monies on making those disc purchases if I'm pessimistic about the future of physical media? I'm surprise you even brought that up in your comments as I thought you knew that my 10,000+ disc collection is among the largest on this forum.

    Fair enough, and I appreciate the reply.

  58. Robert Crawford

    Correct! It’s an opinion without any hard data to back it up.

    Shucks I've haven't yet said two words in response to the folks here. But now here I am.
    Anyway, this is a pretty acute observation and I mostly agree. Brian Rafferty's article is long on cheerleading but a bit short on actual data (no actual numbers, just observations on one segment of the Blu-ray market.

    I admit to being somewhat of a cheerleader for physical media myself but looking over my purchase patterns last year, not nearly as many Blu-rays as say 2014, 2015 or 2016.
    And I have been incorporating streaming into my home theater setup since I first got a WiFi enabled Blu-ray player back in 2012 though its not my primary means of entertainment acquisition by a long shot. I did purchase a few movies thru Vudu and Amazon Prime over the past 2-3 years or so, primarily classic titles that were available digitally but not on Blu-ray or in some cases even DVD. Some examples:

    Downloads still not available on Blu (though I would buy if ever released on Blu):
    Artists & Models (1955)
    Way Way Out (1966)
    The Black Hole (1979)
    Private School (1983)
    Eighth Man (late 1950s animated series)

    Downloads since released on Blu:
    Strategic Air Command (1954)
    Doc Hollywood (1991)
    Summer Of 42 (1971)
    Sleeping Beauty (2012, not the Disney fairy tale).

    Also I’ve taken a shine to some of those Star Trek fan productions on streaming. I know some folks have negative opinions of them but I like seeing some of those ST novels brought to live screen.
    The two part episode, Star Trek Continues: “To Boldly Go” detailing the last mission of the original TOS USS Enterprise was quite good. A somber feeling as the damaged Enterprise pulls into Space Dock for the massive rebuild.

    This year I took a further step toward more streaming by purchasing a Roku Ultra (I'll get it on Christmas day) and making plans to obtain a AppleTV module. I don't have much interest in purchasing any of today's TV shows, excepting maybe Star Trek, Discovery and Supergirl. Those I'd probably prefer to stream. Also noting the increasing storage requirements for my Blu/DVD library (even after selling 210 or so DVDs and uneeded Blus to Screen Archives) to the point where I started researching media servers and porting my library to a media server.
    More later.

  59. Kyrsten Brad

    This year I took a further step toward more streaming by purchasing a Roku Ulitra (I'll get it on Christmas day) and making plans to obtain a AppleTV module. I don't have much interest in purchasing any of today's TV shows, excepting maybe Star Trek, Discovery and Supergirl. Those I'd probably prefer to stream.

    (More generally).

    These days it seems pointles to buy recent/current tv shows which are only released as dvd-only, and/or the bluray version is discontinued. It feels like I'm being "cheated" that only a dvd version is released (whether real or perceived).

    (The only exceptions I might be willing to make, are current/recent shows which have a really crappy picture quality all along, such as NCIS deliberately "crappifying" the picture quality).

    Easier to just watch the intrinsic HD versions as first-run tv broadcasts or reruns (or streaming), than watching downscaled SD resolution dvd versions.

  60. Sam Posten

    Don't bother Tino. The guys bitching about streams obviously haven't actually watched any. Any and all doubters are welcome to come to central MD for an education, but they won't because they'd rather just whine about it on the internet.

    Never try to sell a meteor to a dinosaur.
    [​IMG]

    Must be nice to have broadband that isn't bound by the limitations of Wireless, specifically Verizon. Even NTSC buffers in VW. Forget Blu or UHD unless you have LOTS of time!

  61. A few things invariably get overlooked in these ongoing discussions. HTF is US-based and very US-centric, which is fair enough. However, the world is much bigger than the states and even from my privileged location, many options simply do not exist. I watch a significant proportion of older (pre-Star Wars!) films and TV, but there’s no TCM, Filmstruck or Warner Archive online viewing for me. The same goes for many other region-locked streams and purchases. If I want to see most of the material offered by just those outlets, physical media is my only choice. And that’s mainly US-originated content; let’s not get into non-US content from around the world, from all eras. I have a good, reliable broadband connection; most of the world doesn’t and won’t for a long time, if ever. Especially one that’s suitable for streaming and downloading high quality film files.

    My overall point is that the most vocal proponents here of “buying and streaming in HD and UHD works fine for me, so that must be the future”, are only looking at things from their own, specific and particularly privileged perspective. And many are missing out on a lot of good stuff, as are those who refuse to aquire multi-region set-ups.

  62. I prefer Physical, but still do streaming a lot(Amazon Prime). What I don't like is when studios nerf a 4K UHD disc. Dolby Vision on streaming only. We are talking 4 to 1 ratio for DV content in favor of streaming. That is bullshit.

  63. To Brent’s excellent points, I think the US market for physical media will dry up before the international one does. I’ve been saying this for ages, but anyone who’s passionate about collecting movies on physical media in 2018 needs to seriously consider going region free. The disparity between what gets released on disc internationally vs in the US is going to continue to grow.

  64. Bryan^H

    I prefer Physical, but still do streaming a lot(Amazon Prime). What I don't like is when studios nerf a 4K UHD disc. Dolby Vision on streaming only. We are talking 4 to 1 ratio for DV content in favor of streaming. That is bullshit.

    (More generally).

    Wonder if this nerfing is the bluray's "spiritual" equivalent of the music cd's "loudness wars", where a physical format is deliberately debased and turned into complete mediocrity. Basically like a junking of a once great format.

  65. Josh Steinberg

    To Brent’s excellent points, I think the US market for physical media will dry up before the international one does. I’ve been saying this for ages, but anyone who’s passionate about collecting movies on physical media in 2018 needs to seriously consider going region free. The disparity between what gets released on disc internationally vs in the US is going to continue to grow.

    More and more of my purchases are multi-region. What originated as a "once in a while" thing has grown considerably.

  66. If it's a TV series or TV movie I buy a physical copy. If it's a cinema movie I don't buy a physical copy unless it's a TV based cinema movie eg M:I or The Equalizer or Serenity/Firefly or a 'must-have' eg MCU.

    A 2-hour film will I feel switch streaming services whereas a complete TV show if hundred or so hours may not or may be tied to certain streaming services eg Marvel TV on Netflix such as Daredevil will never appear on the new Disney streaming service.

    Even then as in the U.K. if it's a USA tv show or movie I tend to buy the USA discs as they don't have ratings on the cover, better extras and aren't usually cut eg The Walking Dead.

    I think it was telling for the last The Walking Deac blu-Ray there wasn't a Mcfarlane limited edition statue boxset released.

    Also Germany gets more USA tv on Blu-Ray than the USA does eg Hawaii 5-0, Ray Donovan, NCIS and The Librarians/The Quest etc…

  67. jcroy

    (More generally).

    Wonder if this nerfing is the bluray's "spiritual" equivalent of the music cd's "loudness wars", where a physical format is deliberately debased and turned into complete mediocrity. Basically like a junking of a once great format.


    That is what I don't understand. If the studio is going all in charging $30 for a Ultra High Definition disc — the best possible viewing experience, but deliberately leaving out a feature that makes that format certainly less than perfect…to be available to stream instead. Also the earlier release of movies to stream over physical street dates. It doesn't seem like a conspiracy.
    It seems the studios are slowly changing the minds of collectors from physical to streaming.
  68. Brent Reid

    A few things invariably get overlooked in these ongoing discussions. HTF is US-based and very US-centric, which is fair enough. However, the world is much bigger than the states and even from my privileged location, many options simply do not exist. I watch a significant proportion of older (pre-Star Wars!) films and TV, but there’s no TCM, Filmstruck or Warner Archive online viewing for me. The same goes for many other region-locked streams and purchases. If I want to see most of the material offered by just those outlets, physical media is my only choice. And that’s mainly US-originated content; let’s not get into non-US content from around the world, from all eras. I have a good, reliable broadband connection; most of the world doesn’t and won’t for a long time, if ever. Especially one that’s suitable for streaming and downloading high quality film files.

    My overall point is that the most vocal proponents here of “buying and streaming in HD and UHD works fine for me, so that must be the future”, are only looking at things from their own, specific and particularly privileged perspective. And many are missing out on a lot of good stuff, as are those who refuse to aquire multi-region set-ups.

    Living in Japan, I agree with the above. I enjoy streaming, have both Netflix and Amazon Prime, and my family watches a fair amount of content on those services. One good thing about living in Japan is that home internet speeds are very fast so streaming in HD works great 99% of the time. But the selections here on streaming services are VERY short on anything pre-2000, other than massively popular classics like Gone with the Wind, Roman Holiday, and a handful of others. NHK (Japan's equivalent to PBS) on regular TV shows far, FAR more more classics than any current streaming option. So for older or more esoteric titles, disc buying is it.

    Personally, I'm happy to have as many options for movie and TV watching as possible, and welcome them all. But I'll also ride this physical media train till it really does wind down.

  69. Josh Steinberg

    To Brent’s excellent points, I think the US market for physical media will dry up before the international one does. I’ve been saying this for ages, but anyone who’s passionate about collecting movies on physical media in 2018 needs to seriously consider going region free. The disparity between what gets released on disc internationally vs in the US is going to continue to grow.

    I went Region free back in 2016 with my Sony BDP-7200 and continued that with a Region free Sony UBP-X700. Paid extra for the mods but they’re worth it.

  70. There’s another reason not to stream everything. It’s called DSL lines. I live outside a city that supposedly has the highest transfere rate and goobs of fiberoptic cable running everywhere. However, it doesn’t run to me. It stops across the river, and none of the companies have any plans to run it my way. On some nights, and if more than one person is using the system, you get to watch the screen freeze and watch this circle thing spin in the screen for awhile-repeatedly.

    Blu-rays don’t do that.

  71. Bryan^H

    It doesn't seem like a conspiracy.
    It seems the studios are slowly changing the minds of collectors from physical to streaming.

    I think that's it, in a nutshell.

    I also think that the vast majority of movie watchers have little desire to be movie collectors, and we're seeing that reflected in both sales numbers for physical media, and the relative speed at which streaming had been adopted by the larger industry and culture.

    At the risk of repeating myself, I've said before that ownership of films was never the norm for the vast majority of movie history. For as long as film has been around, there have been private collectors, and then there have been secondary markets for 16mm and 8mm versions meant for home use, but only a small fraction of filmgoers were interested in owning those. When VHS came around, the rental market far exceeded the market for purchases. DVD was the perfect storm of easy availability, low prices and convenience that temporarily made purchasing a movie the best and easiest way to watch one. But with the advent of streaming services (both subscription services like Netflix and digital retailers like iTunes), buying a physical object was no longer the cheapest or most convenient way to watch a film for the average movie fan. And most casual movie fans are less interested in rewatching a specific version of a specific movie at a specific time; they're content to merely "watch a movie" when they feel like being entertained.

    That's not to say that there isn't value in physical releases; clearly there is, or we wouldn't be here on this forum talking about discs. But I think we're returning to the state of things as they've been for most of the history of the movies: most movie fans do not want or need to own a physical copy of each title they see or enjoy. For a brief period, when buying the DVD was the cheapest and most convenient way to watch many titles, it seemed like there were a lot more people who wanted to be collectors than it turned out.

    I don't see a conspiracy in any of this; I just see studios doing their best to follow the general audience to where they already are. The studios are also well aware that their greatest competition and threat isn't physical media; it's piracy. Studios are well aware that if they don't have the digital copies available legitimately available online, for a large portion of their audience, the next step isn't go order a disc version; it's to find a copy to download illegally. They're trying to hold on to a piece of an ever-shrinking pie where the choice for audience members isn't "Buy this version or buy that version" but rather "Stream it now if it's readily available on a service or download it illegally if its not."

  72. If true I am glad discs are making a comeback because the truth is streaming isn’t everything. I do not consider myself to be a hard core movie collector nor do I have an extensive library at home. My disc collection consists of the following: 101 4K UHD Blu-rays, 296 HD Blu-ray’s, 69 HD-DVD’s, aprox 167 DVD’s which I have gotten rid of most of my duplicate movies I upgraded to Blu-ray. And somewhere around 74 – 82 titles on laserdisc. And I have about 107 titles that I have registered my ultraviolet codes with Vudu streaming service. I would rather put the disc in than stream the digital version even with a 150mb/sec fiber optic internet connection!

    I have been into buying movies starting with VHS from format to format and I have enjoyed the improvements along the way from resolution to DTS to Dolby True HD, DTS-HD Master Audio and now also Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and even have Auro 3D surround capabilities. When I buy a movie I like knowing I am going to get the best playback for that resolution! Sure streaming has come a long way but what do you get for that money? You get something you do not own and something that can get pulled for a number of reasons or it’s quality can be effected by a number of problems along the line getting from a server to your display! Disc also still offers the best audio solutions like lossless Dolby and DTS. We are also seeing more and more immersive titles like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. So why should I stream a movie with lossy audio when I can put the disc in and get lossless audio? With a disc you own the content and you can leave your collection to a family member or friend. With a disc your going to get the same quality every time! With streaming maybe there is a licensing issue then what? Or maybe a lawsuit and then what? If your using cable internet and your local bandwidth goes down and you have issues then what? To many movies on streaming services are not in lossless audio even though more and more is being added right now I say so what. Maybe you want to take your movie to enjoy with a friend and sure you can log into your account and stream it as long as your friend or family member has internet or has a fast enough connection to stream it. I realize there are many here that are ok with or are happy with streaming. But at the end of the day you own nothing and are basically renting it! You spend money and have nothing physical to show for it! Physical disc can be pulled off the shelf and you can check out the artwork without having to power on or use a display of some kind to see the artwork. I just do not see value in digital versions and when I buy a movie I want the best reproduction of sound and picture I can get and I want consistent playback. Discs give me that and lets face it digital doesn’t. I for one am only interested in legal copies of the film and have no interest in illegal downloads. I know there are many out there that will buy counterfeit discs cheap or download low quality digital downloads off the internet but not interested personally! I want legal physical copies with high quality audio and video! I do not have and do not plan to have Apple TV, Roku or an Nvidia Shield. I have had Netflix and it was ok and the majority of audio seemed to be Dolby Digital which never impressed me. Sure every once in awhile I am ok with streaming a movie from Netflix or from the dish provider to check out the movie and if I like it I will buy it. Is there a place for streaming? Defiantly but I just don’t care about it and I find it hard to see value in something I do not own or something I can not pick up and see or have any control over that can be taken over licensing issues.

  73. Almost forgot and that is physical discs especially anything that is limited edition can be worth something down the line but digital version are not collectible and most likely never will be and will not have a value past the purchase price.

  74. For the person who said their 4K stream already looks and sounds as good as their physical discs, they absolutely do not. At least the 4K stream does not look or sound as good as a physical 4K Blu-ray. It’s really not even close.

  75. AcesHighStudios

    For the person who said their 4K stream already looks and sounds as good as their physical discs, they absolutely do not. At least the 4K stream does not look or sound as good as a physical 4K Blu-ray. It's really not even close.

    In your opinion.

    In my opinion they absolutely do.

  76. Josh Steinberg

    I don't see a conspiracy in any of this;

    I see this debasement of bluray, dvd, cd, etc …. has more to do with laziness and apathy, than anything to do with a conspiracy overseen by the moustache twirling evil executives. Why bother with putting a lot of effort and resources into something that hardly anybody is buying anymore?

  77. jcroy

    I see this debasement of bluray, dvd, cd, etc …. has more to do with laziness and apathy, than anything to do with a conspiracy overseen by the moustache twirling evil executives. Why bother with putting a lot of effort and resources into something that hardly anybody is buying anymore?

    It's not laziness nor apathy, it's profit margins that are driving disc releases down. IMO, people have no idea how low some sales figures are for many titles, particularly, catalog titles. The studio executives make their marketing decisions based on those sales figures. I just listened to a Warner Archive Podcast in which George Feltenstein is pleading for people to buy "The Sea Hawk" on Blu-ray so he can justify the release of other Errol Flynn titles onto Blu-ray.

  78. Every time that a studio or small label announces a new title and people go “Yes! I want that! But I’ll wait for a sale” is basically another nail in the coffin. It’s not fair, but I think that’s the reality of it. I think we’ve been seeing more sales this year than in years prior because things aren’t selling anywhere near expected, and they’re just trying to cut their losses and at least break even. A lot of things that were once profitable no longer are.

  79. Josh Steinberg

    Every time that a studio or small label announces a new title and people go “Yes! I want that! But I’ll wait for a sale” is basically another nail in the coffin. It’s not fair, but I think that’s the reality of it. I think we’ve been seeing more sales this year than in years prior because things aren’t selling anywhere near expected, and they’re just trying to cut their losses and at least break even. A lot of things that were once profitable no longer are.

    That's it in a nutshell.

  80. Josh Steinberg

    Every time that a studio or small label announces a new title and people go “Yes! I want that! But I’ll wait for a sale” is basically another nail in the coffin. It’s not fair, but I think that’s the reality of it. I think we’ve been seeing more sales this year than in years prior because things aren’t selling anywhere near expected, and they’re just trying to cut their losses and at least break even. A lot of things that were once profitable no longer are.

    Would it help if the studio or label simply released the title at that “sale price” in the first place? Instead of a new release announced at $30, release it at $14.99 or something like that.
    Just my $2 million dollars worth…..in counterfeit $10s & $20s.

  81. I’m not sure that it would. The profit margins on a lot of these releases are razor thin – the difference between customers paying full price vs customers buying at a discount is probably the difference between a release that breaks even or makes a tiny profit to one that loses money.

    I think in the past, they could make up for lower prices by selling more copies, but the number of people interested in buying physical copies has dwindled so much that the few of us that are left are going to have to pay more if we want the releases to continue.

  82. Josh Steinberg

    Every time that a studio or small label announces a new title and people go “Yes! I want that! But I’ll wait for a sale” is basically another nail in the coffin. It’s not fair, but I think that’s the reality of it. I think we’ve been seeing more sales this year than in years prior because things aren’t selling anywhere near expected, and they’re just trying to cut their losses and at least break even. A lot of things that were once profitable no longer are.

    When titles have been offered at $15 or below and then they creep up to$20-$30 many people wait on purchasing. I honestly do this plus I have less time and resources now to purchase and watch.

    The market has been over saturated in a lot of ways too.

    Good discussion.

  83. I did order the world is not enough remastered soundtrack cd from la la land. I’ll pay more for a release like that. Plus the urgency is there too.

    I usually get a lot of gift cards for movies or titles as gifts this time if the year too.

  84. Anyone who believes a 4K stream looks as good as a 4K Blu-ray, there is something seriously wrong with your eyes or your TV. And a 3GB file is never going to look as good as a 60+ GB file. And for a person saying that to be a moderator is truly frightening.

  85. AcesHighStudios

    Anyone who believes a 4K stream looks as good as a 4K Blu-ray, there is something seriously wrong with your eyes or your TV. And a 3GB file is never going to look as good as a 60+ GB file. And for a person saying that to be a moderator is truly frightening.

    What can I say, I am a frightening person. As to the comparisons between the stream and disc, you have a valid point, but they're close enough on my OLED for those differences to be more difficult to distinguish than it used to be just years ago between a disc and stream. Streaming has come a long way than when I first started streaming on Amazon. It was so bad, I wouldn't stream very often as it was just bad. Today, it has improved greatly and have closed the gap. My 4K/Dolby Vision streams look superior to Blu-rays of the same title. They're not as good as 4K/Dolby Vision discs, but it's not a night and day difference in my opinion. You probably feel differently and that's fine, but it's only my humble opinion. Therefore, don't hold my moderator status against me as some kind strike against my personal opinion as I gladly acknowledge there are more knowledgeable people on this forum than I about the intricacies of Home Theater.

  86. AcesHighStudios

    Anyone who believes a 4K stream looks as good as a 4K Blu-ray, there is something seriously wrong with your eyes or your TV. And a 3GB file is never going to look as good as a 60+ GB file. And for a person saying that to be a moderator is truly frightening.

    You're easily frightened. 🙂 Stay away from horror movies!

  87. AcesHighStudios

    Anyone who believes a 4K stream looks as good as a 4K Blu-ray, there is something seriously wrong with your eyes or your TV. And a 3GB file is never going to look as good as a 60+ GB file. And for a person saying that to be a moderator is truly frightening.

    How silly.:lol: There is nothing wrong with my eyes or tv thank you.

    More likely your equipment is not up to par to what many of us are seeing.

    I’m curious which titles have you compared and on what kind of equipment to lead you to your opinion?

  88. AcesHighStudios

    Anyone who believes a 4K stream looks as good as a 4K Blu-ray, there is something seriously wrong with your eyes or your TV. And a 3GB file is never going to look as good as a 60+ GB file. And for a person saying that to be a moderator is truly frightening.

    Also, your numbers aren’t right. A 4K stream is going to add up to way more than 3 GB. Most 1080p downloads are in the 3-5 GB range, so 4K would likely be 3 to 4 times that amount, but no one can measure it because 4K downloads aren’t permitted.

  89. Robert Crawford

    What can I say, I am a frightening person. As to the comparisons between the stream and disc, you have a valid point, but they're close enough on my OLED for those differences to be more difficult to distinguish than it used to be just years ago between a disc and stream. Streaming has come a long way than when I first started streaming on Amazon. It was so bad, I wouldn't stream very often as it was just bad. Today, it has improved greatly and have closed the gap. My 4K/Dolby Vision streams look superior to Blu-rays of the same title. They're not as good as 4K/Dolby Vision discs, but it's not a night and day difference in my opinion. You probably feel differently and that's fine, but it's only my humble opinion. Therefore, don't hold my moderator status against me as some kind of strike against my personal opinion as I gladly acknowledge there are more knowledgeable people on this forum than I about the intricacies of Home Theater.

    Very good post, the gap has closed to a degree even though both sound and picture quality are not quite there yet. Especially picture quality has come closer than one would expect given the low average bitrates that are associated with streaming UHD.

  90. Mark-P

    Also, your numbers aren’t right. A 4K stream is going to add up to way more than 3 GB. Most 1080p downloads are in the 3-5 GB range, so 4K would likely be 3 to 4 times that amount, but no one can measure it because 4K downloads aren’t permitted.

    Bitrates of UHD movie streams are usually around 15 mbps. UHD discs have more of a 4 to 5 times higher average video bitrate so this is no 60 vs 3 GB comparison.

  91. Bitrate comparisons between physical media and streaming also isn't apple-to-apples comparison.

    Physical media has specs that are locked in place once the format debuts that cannot be changed or altered. There are more efficient ways to compress data than the codec that is used on Blu-ray, for instance. It's entirely possible to get the same master with the same quality in two different file sizes because the Blu-ray disc must compress it using only the codec and format that is allowed for Blu-ray, which streaming services are able to take advantage of improvements in compression technology and update their apps and services accordingly. In other words, larger file size in and of itself does not necessarily mean more data or better quality. It can simply mean that the same information was compressed in a less efficient manner.

  92. Josh Steinberg

    Bitrate comparisons between physical media and streaming also isn't apple-to-apples comparison.

    Physical media has specs that are locked in place once the format debuts that cannot be changed or altered. There are more efficient ways to compress data than the codec that is used on Blu-ray, for instance. It's entirely possible to get the same master with the same quality in two different file sizes because the Blu-ray disc must compress it using only the codec and format that is allowed for Blu-ray, which streaming services are able to take advantage of improvements in compression technology and update their apps and services accordingly. In other words, larger file size in and of itself does not necessarily mean more data or better quality. It can simply mean that the same information was compressed in a less efficient manner.

    Correct and I would assume that with intelligent optimization streaming could get away with lower bitrates and be virtually tranparent to what can be seen on UHD. Unfortunately the big streaming services instead chose to hit a certain average bitrate target at which they try to make movies as good as they can. I wish they instead would use some of that flexibility to allow even higher bitrates for people who can support them..

  93. I wouldn't be surprised to see that happening as technology continues to improve, as encoding becomes more efficient, and as bandwidth becomes more readily available. But at this point, the vast majority of their target audience seems to be satisfied with the quality being provided, which may limit the incentive to make those improvements immediately.

  94. Tino

    How silly.:lol: There is nothing wrong with my eyes or tv thank you.

    More likely your equipment is not up to par to what many of us are seeing.

    I’m curious which titles have you compared and on what kind of equipment to lead you to your opinion?

    I find this video the best demonstration of streaming vs. disc(always trust Vincent). Pretty much my experience when dealing with the two formats. Disc is better, but If you gave me a blind Coke vs. Pepsi comparison with me unaware of the format I was viewing, I could not tell you one was better than the other. And that is coming from someone with a trained eye. You think the general public is going to care:D

  95. AcesHighStudios

    Anyone who believes a 4K stream looks as good as a 4K Blu-ray, there is something seriously wrong with your eyes or your TV. And a 3GB file is never going to look as good as a 60+ GB file. And for a person saying that to be a moderator is truly frightening.

    Come to MD and get an education

  96. Bryan^H

    I find this video the best demonstration of streaming vs. disc(always trust Vincent). Pretty much my experience when dealing with the two formats. Disc is better, but If you gave me a blind Coke vs. Pepsi comparison with me unaware of the format I was viewing, I could not tell you one was better than the other. And that is coming from someone with a trained eye. You think the general public is going to care:D

    Thanks for posting that video Bryan as he basically confirmed my below comments I made earlier today about the differences between my Oppo 203 and 4KATV while viewing on my LG OLED. He even uses the same term I did about it not being a "night and day" difference between the two units. Also, since the time that video was made, the 4KATV does output Dolby Atmos now.

    What can I say, I am a frightening person. As to the comparisons between the stream and disc, you have a valid point, but they're close enough on my OLED for those differences to be more difficult to distinguish than it used to be just years ago between a disc and stream. Streaming has come a long way than when I first started streaming on Amazon. It was so bad, I wouldn't stream very often as it was just bad. Today, it has improved greatly and has closed the gap. My 4K/Dolby Vision streams look superior to Blu-rays of the same title. They're not as good as 4K/Dolby Vision discs, but it's not a night and day difference in my opinion. You probably feel differently and that's fine, but it's only my humble opinion. Therefore, don't hold my moderator status against me as some kind of strike against my personal opinion as I gladly acknowledge there are more knowledgeable people on this forum than I about the intricacies of Home Theater.

  97. Tino

    How silly.:lol: There is nothing wrong with my eyes or tv thank you.

    More likely your equipment is not up to par to what many of us are seeing.

    I’m curious which titles have you compared and on what kind of equipment to lead you to your opinion?

    O… K… Because I can see a very clear difference between a 4K Blu-ray and a 4K stream and you can't means MY equipment isn't up to snuff and yours is. Because, of course, that makes perfect sense.

  98. AcesHighStudios

    O… K… Because I can see a very clear difference between a 4K Blu-ray and a 4K stream and you can't means MY equipment isn't up to snuff and yours is. Because, of course, that makes perfect sense.

    As much sense as you not understanding what an opinion is.

  99. AcesHighStudios

    O… K… Because I can see a very clear difference between a 4K Blu-ray and a 4K stream and you can't means MY equipment isn't up to snuff and yours is. Because, of course, that makes perfect sense.

    Hi, there is a difference that can be seen for the movies that I compared but I do not think that with both options (UHD disc and streaming) being maxed out in quality you could call it a very clear difference by most people's standards, even on the best available equipment.

    Let's hope that streaming will continue to get better and also include high rez sound and high quality 1080p and UHD download options in the future. Then at least we will not have any penalties in quality when we have to go the streaming route for more and more movies.

  100. David Weicker

    I watched the video, and the presenter appears to be blind. I can see a definite night and day difference between the two presentations. The UHD is definitely crisper and has more vibrant colors.

    I watched the video, but I can't see a night and day difference so I must be blind too watching this on my computer screen.

  101. Robert Crawford

    I watched the video, but I can't see a night and day difference so I must be blind too watching this on my computer screen.

    Look at Tyne Daly's scarf in the first comparison. Or Hopkins green lapel in the museum.

    to me it was like the Blu-Ray vs. DVD comparisons when BR was introduced.

    And he talked about the Apple version 'scrubbing away detail'. Isn't that a bad difference.

  102. OliverK

    That's not high rez (DTS HD MA / Dolby True HD up to 24 Bit 192 kHz) sound, it is "only" more channels. Obviously the best tradeoff with current bitrates.

    When using your 4KATV if you turn off Dolby Atmos on your receiver it does play Dolby True HD.

  103. I don't get the big deal about this. If one wants to stream then stream. If one wants to buy discs then buy discs. If one wants to do both then do both. It is one's money. Spend it (or save it) the way one wants. It is not like one is going to take it with them in the end.

    My biggest issue with streaming is losing access to a show or series that I may want to rewatch in the future. On the other hand, I doubt I could afford to buy an 860+ episode series such as One Piece and all of its various spin-off movies on BD or maybe even have the room to store it.

  104. Robert Crawford

    It's not laziness nor apathy, it's profit margins that are driving disc releases down. IMO, people have no idea how low some sales figures are for many titles, particularly, catalog titles. The studio executives make their marketing decisions based on those sales figures. I just listened to a Warner Archive Podcast in which George Feltenstein is pleading for people to buy "The Sea Hawk" on Blu-ray so he can justify the release of other Errol Flynn titles onto Blu-ray.

    Josh Steinberg

    Every time that a studio or small label announces a new title and people go “Yes! I want that! But I’ll wait for a sale” is basically another nail in the coffin. It’s not fair, but I think that’s the reality of it. I think we’ve been seeing more sales this year than in years prior because things aren’t selling anywhere near expected, and they’re just trying to cut their losses and at least break even. A lot of things that were once profitable no longer are.

    The studios are at fault for the loss of sales of hard media due to their insane pricing. In Canada, a new 4K release is generally in the 30+ range before taxes. After tax is taken into account, the cost of a 4k disc is closer to 40. I have little desire to spend 40 bucks on any film nowadays. The people in charge of these studios still think this it is 1997 when it comes to hard media. They think they can introduce a new format and then gouge and gouge on pricing because collectors will run out and re-buy the same films over and over.

    They had better wake up and realize that price gouging people for a format, new or old, is a practice that is over when people have so many cheaper alternatives to turn to.

  105. Edwin-S

    The studios are at fault for the loss of sales of hard media due to their insane pricing. In Canada, a new 4K release is generally in the 30+ range before taxes. After tax is taken into account, the cost of a 4k disc is closer to 40. I have little desire to spend 40 bucks on any film nowadays. The people in charge of these studios still think this it is 1997 when it comes to hard media. They think they can introduce a new format and then gouge and gouge on pricing because collectors will run out and re-buy the same films over and over.

    They had better wake up and realize that price gouging people for a format, new or old, is a practice that is over when people have so many cheaper alternatives to turn to.

    Well I can’t answer to what is going on in Canada and other foreign markets so I won’t attempt to debate your comments.

  106. Robert Crawford

    When using your 4KATV if you turn off Dolby Atmos on your receiver it does play Dolby True HD.

    Apple is sending Dolby Atmos via a special version of PCM called Dolby MAT 2.0 so if your receiver shows it as Dolby TrueHD this is very strange as it is still the same stream being delivered to your receiver. Does this happen with every Atmos stream?
    I have a few movies on itunes with atmos, maybe I will check them later, they always used to show up as DD+.

  107. Robert Crawford

    Well I can’t answer to what is going on in Canada and other foreign markets so I won’t attempt to debate your comments. I’m just not knowledgeable enough to make any type of argument except to say that the 4K market is a niche market and the studios are treating it as such.

    Definitely a niche market and it is hard to say how many more discs could be sold with lower prices.

    It may not be desirable to lower prices to for example make the same amount of money by selling let's say twice as many discs or perhaps even less money with a turnover that only increases by 50%.

  108. OliverK

    Apple is sending Dolby Atmos via a special version of PCM called Dolby MAT 2.0 so if your receiver shows it as Dolby TrueHD this is very strange as it is still the same stream being delivered to your receiver. Does this happen with every Atmos stream?
    I have a few movies on itunes with atmos, maybe I will check them later, they always used to show up as DD+.

    That is what Vudu is showing with their Dolby Atmos titles. As to iTunes, I have hundreds with Dolby Atmos tracks so I'm not going to check every title, but I did check several of them recently and Dolby True HD does display before switching over to Dolby Atmos.

  109. OliverK

    Apple is sending Dolby Atmos via a special version of PCM called Dolby MAT 2.0 so if your receiver shows it as Dolby TrueHD this is very strange as it is still the same stream being delivered to your receiver. Does this happen with every Atmos stream?
    I have a few movies on itunes with atmos, maybe I will check them later, they always used to show up as DD+.

    That is what Vudu is showing with their Dolby Atmos titles. As to iTunes, I have hundreds with Dolby Atmos tracks so I'm not going to check every title, but I did check several of them recently and Dolby True HD does display before switching over to Dolby Atmos.

  110. Robert Crawford

    That is what Vudu is showing with their Dolby Atmos titles. As to iTunes, I have hundreds with Dolby Atmos tracks so I'm not going to check every title, but I did check several of them recently and Dolby True HD does display before switching over to Dolby Atmos.

    Yup Same with my setup.

  111. dana martin

    View attachment 55050

    just thought i would share snapshot image sorry it had to be reduced to show a point, if physical media is dead then tell me why 11 or more catalog titles up for pre-order on the first page, it's a great time to be a fan,

    Has anyone in this thread said physical media is dead??

  112. JQuintana

    How long after the debut of DVD did laserdiscs hang on at stores, meaning you could readily buy them at several local stores? (since there was no Amazon or similar at the time to order from of course..)

    I don't think that's an apt comparison, though. Aside from packaging, and arguably sound quality, laserdisc had no advantages over DVD. Pretty much everyone who bought or rented laserdiscs was perfectly happy to switch to DVD instead.

    You can't say the same about streaming. Even some of those who would like to shift away from discs and towards streaming can't do so because the availability of high-speed internet is limited.

  113. Worth

    I don't think that's an apt comparison, though. Aside from packaging, and arguably sound quality, laserdisc had no advantages over DVD. Pretty much everyone who bought or rented laserdiscs was perfectly happy to switch to DVD instead.

    You can't say the same about streaming. Even some of those who would like to shift away from discs and towards streaming can't do so because the availability of high-speed internet is limited.

    Not only that, but laserdisc was always a small niche market item while the DVD ushered in an era in which physical discs became mass market items that were even located near grocery store cashier lanes just before checking out.

  114. JQuintana

    How long after the debut of DVD did laserdiscs hang on at stores, meaning you could readily buy them at several local stores? (since there was no Amazon or similar at the time to order from of course..)

    As previously stated not a fair comparison but to answer the question 3 and 1/2 years. DVD debuted in February, 1997. New releases for Laserdisc continued through 1999 and you could still buy Laserdisc in stores well into 2000.
    Streaming was never meant to be a replacement for disc sales. It was meant to replace cable/satellite and movie rentals which it is doing. Digital sales are meant to replace buying discs but they are not currently any higher than disc sales.

  115. dana martin

    …if physical media is dead then tell me why 11 or more catalog titles up for pre-order on the first page, it's a great time to be a fan,

    The cynical answer is that they're rushing to get them out now because it's dying.

  116. Robert Crawford

    Not only that, but laserdisc was always a small niche market item while the DVD ushered in an era in which physical discs became mass market items that were even located near grocery store cashier lanes just before checking out.

    Agree 100%. LD's were always only a niche home video format, and never caught on for various reasons:

    -Way too expensive; each LD was roughly $70 each, and I'm sure the players were expensive as well.
    – Awkward; the LD typically had to be flipped over half-way throughout a film.
    -Took up too much space; they were the size of a Vinyl record, and to me that's too large of a format if you want to collect a lot of these.

    I remember having some friends who liked LD's back in the '90's, but the format was way too expensive & awkward for me (and I'm sure many others) to buy into.

    Conversely, DVD's (and to a lesser extent, the superior Blu's) had mass market appeal. Small, compact, and light – these had typically great PQ (or at least better than VHS) and were relatively inexpensive – especially as time went on. Also, as they get more sophisticated they had TRUE Anamorphic Widescreen prints, whereas LD's – while supposedly "Widescreen" – still ended up having a cropped picture in many cases.

    I really wish DVD's had come out first, and that LD's had never existed.

  117. The Drifter

    …Way too expensive; each LD was roughly $70 each, and I'm sure the players were expensive as well.

    They were expensive, but not quite that expensive. I'd say the average price was in the $30-40 range, with some of the deluxe box sets going for well over $100. You were lucky to find a title priced under $25. By the early 90s, I think the players started around $400 and went upwards of $1500 for the high-end models.

  118. I only knew one person in my circle of friends and family that owned LD and he was a bitter kitty when DVD hit town. He kept swearing up and down that LD was "way better" than DVD. Yeah that mentality lasted for maybe a year or so after DVD was full steam ahead at which point he boxed up his LD stuff and switch to DVD.

  119. My school had a LD player, which I used to borrow, and rent discs for at a local video store. It was much clearer than VHS, but what a pain in the ass! We rented and watched “Lawrence of Arabia”. It had I don’t know how many discs, but they had to be changed or flipped every 20 minutes!

  120. The Drifter

    , and that LD's had never existed.

    What a bizarre statement. Why?

    There were many that collected LD’s. Myself included. At the time they offered the best picture and sound quality. Why the hate?

  121. Tino

    What a bizarre statement. Why? There were many that collected LD’s. Myself included. At the time they offered the best picture and sound quality. Why the hate?

    I stated all of the reasons I didn't like LD's in my previous post. DVD's were/are a far superior format from every stand-point.

  122. The Drifter

    I stated all of the reasons I didn't like LD's in my previous post. DVD's were/are a far superior format from every stand-point.

    Yeah. I get that. I don’t get the wishing LD’s never existed. That’s the bizarre statement.

  123. Also during Laser Disc’s heyday, they were the premier format to watch a film at home.

    Better resolution, sound, extras, and films in their correct aspect ratio. Sure they were a bit cumbersome and expensive but they were miles better than VHS.

    For over 10 years they were the BEST way to watch films at home. All subsequent video formats owe a debt to LD’s which led the way for home theater enthusiasts today.

  124. I had a friend who was VERY into movies and who had a BIG VHS tape collection. I was raving to him one day at lunch about the greatness of laserdisc, and he challenged me to put a laserdisc up against a tape of his choice. I took him on, and he chose North by Northwest as he considered it his best looking VHS transfer (it was also his favorite movie). When he came over, I synched up the Eva Marie/Cary meeting on the train sequence on both VHS and laserdisc, and then let him come into the room. I played them simultaneously but had the tape on first as he beamed in delight, and then I switched inputs to the laserdisc, and his face went gray: it was like a heavy veil had been lifted off the picture, and he had to admit that laserdisc was far, far superior in visual quality. I'll never forget that moment.

  125. The point I was trying to make (which may not have come across too clearly in my earlier post) was that I wished that DVD's had initially come out instead of LD's, due to their obvious superiority. That being said, it's possible the technology to make DVD's didn't exist in the late '70's (when LD's were first introduced).

    There's no doubt that the PQ on LD's was superior to VHS tape (I hated the VHS format even more than LD's, for reasons that should be obvious – but that I don't need to go over here).

    However, LD's were a lot less accessible that VHS tapes, for all the reasons I mentioned. I also resented the fact that LD's were so pricey – in order to invest in the format, you had to spent a lot of $ on not only the player, but each individual LD. And, IIRC you couldn't easily find these for rent at video rental stores, so if you wanted to see them you needed to buy them – unlike VHS tapes, which you could easily find to rent.

    I always felt LD's were a niche format, and that the only people who could afford them had a lot of disposable income.

    Note that I'm not the only one who never bought into the LD format – there were other people I talked to at the time (primarily in the '90's) who never invested in the format due to the price, bulkiness, etc.

    That being said, I guess movie aficionados were really into these at the time – I pulled up these statistics from Wikipedia – these are direct quotes from the site:'

    The first LaserDisc title marketed in North America was the MCA DiscoVision release of Jaws on December 15, 1978.[9] The last title released in North America was Paramount's Bringing Out the Dead on October 3, 2000.[10] A dozen or so more titles continued to be released in Japan until September 21, 2001, with the last Japanese released movie was the Hong Kong film Tokyo Raiders from Golden Harvest. Production of LaserDisc players continued until January 14, 2009, when Pioneer stopped making them.[11][12][13]

    It was estimated that in 1998, LaserDisc players were in approximately 2% of U.S. households (roughly two million).[14] By comparison, in 1999, players were in 10% of Japanese households.[15] LaserDisc was released on June 10, 1981 in Japan[clarification needed], and a total of 3.6 million LaserDisc players were sold there.[16] A total of 16.8 million LaserDisc players were sold worldwide, of which 9.5 million were sold by Pioneer.[11][12][13]

  126. A couple of points:

    1. While DVD is overall a vastly superior format for picture quality, size and lack of side breaks, my 2000 laserdiscs which I still have, take up LESS space than my DVDs because the packaging is so much thinner than DVDs. My laserdiscs are contained in a single floor to ceiling shelving unit. My DVD collection is all over the house. I need to repackage them and toss the original cases to more effectively store them. That day is nearly here.

    2. Laserdiscs' uncompressed sound was noticeably superior to the compressed sound on DVDs on many titles.

  127. I admired the LD format, but it had one great drawback at the time for me: it was not recordable. I had amassed a huge library of Beta tapes and later VHS tapes.

    At the beginning of home video, commercially recorded tapes were basically not available. All of my library was either of things I recorded off the air, or copied from rental tapes using two machines. The reduction in quality was of course terrible, but really the only way to get most movies. I also sometimes borrowed an LD machine and made a tape from that (Forbidden Planet).

    For example, when we finally got “into” VHS, in the late 1980s or early 1990s, I asked my parents, to buy us a copy of “Airplane” in the format for Christmas. We did not get it because the cheapest they could find it was over $100! The video stores were surprised I’d ever want to buy a pre-recorded movie and would have had to special order it.

  128. Rob_Ray

    A couple of points:

    1. While DVD is overall a vastly superior format for picture quality, size and lack of side breaks, my 2000 laserdiscs which I still have, take up LESS space than my DVDs because the packaging is so much thinner than DVDs. My laserdiscs are contained in a single floor to ceiling shelving unit. My DVD collection is all over the house. I need to repackage them and toss the original cases to more effectively store them. That day is nearly here.

    2. Laserdiscs' uncompressed sound was noticeably superior to the compressed sound on DVDs on many titles.

    Points taken, and interesting conversation about the differences between LD's & DVD's.

    To address #1 above, while I agree the regular DVD containers are thicker than LD packaging, if you take the DVD's out of their somewhat bulky containers, discard the packaging, & put them in thin CD cases (which I've done with some of mine) then they will take up less space than LD's – as you mentioned.

    Going along with this, LD packaging (which is identical or at least similar to Vinyl record packaging) is taller than a DVD "box", so you would need a higher cabinet/shelf space/area to store these in. Conversely, DVD packaging is much smaller & more compact.

    Also going along with this, DVD & Blu packaging is becoming more compact as the years go by. I remember getting TV shows on DVD back in the 200X's, and the packaging was very bulky in many cases. If you get these same (revised) boxed sets today, the packaging has visibly become less bulky. Also, Blu-ray packaging is considerably smaller/thinner/shorter than DVD packaging to begin with, so if you upgrade to Blu you'll already be ahead re: this taking up less room.

    As someone who doesn't want to have their DVD's/Blu's/CD's take up a lot of valuable space, I pay a lot of attention to ways I can reduce the room these take up in my residence.

    Re: #2 above, I had not idea this was the case – given that I never got into LD's. The last one I saw was an LD of Star Wars: A New Hope back in the mid-90's – on someone else's player.

  129. Laserdisc didn't really take off until the late-80s. There were a lot of problems with early pressings, and for the first several years, they used the same pan-and-scan masters as videotape, with marginally better picture and sound quality. Sometimes they were worse, because they'd use time compression to fit movies slightly over two hours on a single disc.

    Towards the end of the decade, they started releasing newer, letterboxed transfers with digital sound that really showed off what the format was capable of.

  130. Worth

    Laserdisc didn't really take off until the late-80s. There were a lot of problems with early pressings, and for the first several years, they used the same pan-and-scan masters as videotape, with marginally better picture and sound quality. Sometimes they were worse, because they'd use time compression to fit movies slightly over two hours on a single disc.

    Towards the end of the decade, they started releasing newer, letterboxed transfers with digital sound that really showed off what the format was capable of.

    That's coincides with what I remember. This is why I was surprised when I just read that the first LD came out in 1978 (per my Wikipedia quote above). I didn't actually know anyone that had an LD player until the very early '90's.

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