View Full Version : what is a screener/promo dvd?
i saw an ad from a seller at amazon for a screener/promo dvd for American Splendor. but, not sure what that meant. what are the differences between a screener/promo vs a retail dvd?
10-04-04, 08:47 PM
Screeners/promos are DVDs that are released early by the studios to media outlets and retailers who are looking to preview the product, either for reviews and articles or to possibly place an order. They are not for resale are generally marked as such, or have their UPC scratched or blacked out. Alot of screeners sold on eBay and other auction sites are actually bootlegs.
10-04-04, 10:24 PM
Also, many (if not all) screeners will have a subtitle such as <i>property of XYZ Studios - not for sale</i> that will appear every ten minutes or so and stay on the screen for 5-10 seconds. Very annoying.
10-04-04, 11:44 PM
Not so many anymore Marty. Now they are marked so you could never really tell where it's marke. This presents pirates from just altering or blurring the numbers when dubbing it over.
So they phased a lot of that marking out but still have ways to tag it so they know which person they gave it to.
For the most part they are barebones. they don't come with the retail bonus features and are just a straight movie. That's for screeners. Promo dvd's can sometimes have all the items from the retail, but seldomly do.
Also they are not for resale.
10-05-04, 12:02 AM
Several months ago I was at the swap meet and someone had a bunch of promos on a table for $4 each. I picked up a couple that I was interested in. I liked 'em both enough to buy the real DVDs. I don't rent anymore and I probably would've eventually picked up the real one eventually, but seeing how nice the movies were it did speed up the process. I'm sorry if I did something bad :(
Oh, one of the promos would go black/white for about 20 seconds every 20 minutes or so. Sorta more arty than annoying :)
10-05-04, 09:37 AM
Back in the days of vinyl records, companies would issue promotional copies (to radio stations, newspapers, magazines, etc.) of singles and LPs (I don't know if the practice went back to the days of 78s or not) that would be marked in some special way, either with a custom label (usually white) or with a stamp that said "promotional copy - not for sale", "demonstration copy" or something similar. The cover (for LPs) would usually have a sticker or stamp with a similar message.
The big deal with this, from what I remember, is that the record company did not have to pay any royalties to the songwriters or performers on such promo copies and as such wanted to make sure they were kept segregated from ones that were the regular releases. These were the days of companies pressing perhaps a few thousand copies of some records without blockbuster sales, and a hundred or so promo copies that could be exempted from these payments could be a pretty significant part of the budget.
10-05-04, 10:16 AM
Most screeners of DVDs these days are exactly the same as the release version. They'll just scratch or mark through the UPC code. However, some come sans box on plain DVDs (no artwork), but the info on the DVD is the same as the final release. Haven't seen too many DVDs in the past year where the screener was missing bonus features or still had a time code or "For Screening Purposes Only" on the picture.
10-05-04, 10:31 AM
The OP must have read my mind - a couple days ago I was going to ask the same thing.
I bought a promo copy of "The 6th day" for $4 at a pawn shop a couple weeks back - as far as I can tell, the only difference is it says "Promotional use only" etc where the UPC should be, and there is a 6-digit code - I assume to identify it. All features of the regular release are there.
I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, so I hope there are no weird subs or colors fading in and out.
10-05-04, 04:47 PM
Oh, one of the promos would go black/white for about 20 seconds every 20 minutes or so. Sorta more arty than annoying
I was going to ask if some screeners still do that. Back in the VHS days, my parents had a video store, and that happened on some of the screeners they received (I think it was usually with Buena Vista titles). I found it annoying, but it didn't stop me from watching them.