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View Full Version : Question concerning the wave of make to order DVD-R's


jimdc58
03-23-12, 08:28 AM
It appears the movie studios have decided that they are no longer going to release classic movies on pressed DVD's. It appears that Warner started this downturn, and Columbia, Universal, and MGM have followed suit. As a big fan of the classics, I find this most disappointing.

They are now releasing "make-to-order" DVD-R's, and at a much higher price. While this is going to cut down on my purchasing of movies substantially, there are a handful of movies being made this way which I would like to own. However, I am very reluctant to invest money in an inferior product.

What are the issues with these DVD-R's as they relate to playability and deterioration?

I must say that the studios continue to make it as difficult as they can on the movie collector. First they give us classic movies on defective DVD-18's. Now this.

critterdvd
03-23-12, 10:21 AM
I've ordered a couple of these discs from Amazon ("Gold Diggers," "The Legend of Billie Jean," "My Super Psycho Sweet 16," "Akward Season 1" to name a few) and I've never had a problem with them. They do arrive on DVD-R's, but they still feel sturdier than the ones you would buy from you local best buy.

As far as quality is concerned it's about equivalent to a "good enough" DVD. The picture/sound quality won't blow you away but it won't look like a VHS or Laserdisc either.

reverie
03-23-12, 12:43 PM
As far as quality is concerned it's about equivalent to a "good enough" DVD. The picture/sound quality won't blow you away but it won't look like a VHS or Laserdisc either.

Of the two from WB I've ordered, I'm not impressed with the quality personally. "Terminal Man" looks like a fairly bad VHS copy to me.

dvdshonna
03-23-12, 01:15 PM
When you say DVD-R, is the disc labeled and does it come in a
standard DVD case with artwork?

--
Trading DVDs (https://sites.google.com/site/buzzhonna/)

d2cheer
03-23-12, 01:37 PM
I would never purchase one even though there are some movies I do want and currently it is the only way.

Netflix has been good enough to have Burt Reynolds "Stick" streaming so no need to buy that one.

LJG765
03-23-12, 01:45 PM
When you say DVD-R, is the disc labeled and does it come in a
standard DVD case with artwork?

I've bought 6 or 7. So far they have all come in a keep case with artwork. The discs have something on them, but nothing amazing. For instance, I have Legends of the Super Heroes and it's mostly blue with the title on it. So no picture, but the whole disc is covered with "artwork."

As for quality, out of the 6 I've bought, I've had 2 bad copies right out of the box that I've had to send back and get replacements. Bad transfers where the picture skipped and jumped and they were unwatchable. But both times, I very easily was able to get replacements. No hassle other than the waiting time involved. I do recommend watching immediately though, as the longer you wait, the less likely they will be wanting to help you.

I've waited for some good sales from Warner and have been able to get most of these for about 10 dollars each, if not a little less, but agree that even that price is pretty high for me. But, I look at this way, at least I have a copy that otherwise I wouldn't. Transfers have been been than mine from VHS days, so I'm satisfied with that. Just don't expect crystal clear images and you won't be disappointed.

The Lizard King
03-23-12, 01:48 PM
When you say DVD-R, is the disc labeled and does it come in a
standard DVD case with artwork?
Yes. Here is my copy of Burn, Witch, Burn!:

http://imagehost.epier.com/31910/burnwitchburnwarner.jpg

It even comes with CSS encryption! :)

TLK :cool:

dvdshonna
03-23-12, 03:17 PM
Thanks
As long as they have artwork and a full size case I wouldn't
have any complaints.

I was picturing something like the public domain collections
from mill creek, that have little or no labeling/artwork on the disc.

I'm not super picky on picture quality. Which goes without saying
if you buy mill creek collections.

--
Trading DVDs (https://sites.google.com/site/buzzhonna/)

Norm de Plume
03-23-12, 04:02 PM
You're more concerned with the artwork than the picture quality?-screwy-

Regulus
03-23-12, 04:59 PM
I have one of those MOD Disks. The Picture Quality is Good IMO. What strikes me is their "Copy Protection" IS A JOKE. My Primary DVD Player "Rejected" the disk, because it had the capacity to record DVDs, on a Whim I inserted the disk in my Computer, which has a DVD Burner in it. I expected a simular "Rejection", instead my Disk Copy Program came on and asked me if I wanted this disk copied! The Copy that came out WORKS on my DVD PLayer! (Don't Worry Studio, I put the copy in my Drawer, just in case something happens to the Primary)!

The Man with the Golden Doujinshi
03-23-12, 05:30 PM
Thanks
As long as they have artwork and a full size case I wouldn't
have any complaints.

I was picturing something like the public domain collections
from mill creek, that have little or no labeling/artwork on the disc.

I'm not super picky on picture quality. Which goes without saying
if you buy mill creek collections.



Depending on the title, Mill Creek has some of the better transfers available. One of the Christmas slashers comes to mind. They had an uncut version along with much better video quality than other releases.

Alan Smithee
03-23-12, 08:35 PM
And those cheap companies selling pressed discs are why I wonder about the cost savings of major studios selling burned discs. Does it really cost them that much less? I do wonder how many units they have ready to go of any title, I assume they keep them low so they don't have a lot of excess stock if a title doesn't sell well. That's the only sane reason I can think of for doing it that way.

The Man with the Golden Doujinshi
03-23-12, 09:52 PM
Most of them say they burn on demand, so I imagine they don't do much in terms of stockpiling. It has to cost them much less since it's just doing a burn to a disc from files instead of having to make a master that all the others are going to be pressed from.

And if anyone is buying them at full price, they have to be making some crazy profit off that.

zyzzle
03-23-12, 11:19 PM
MOD is an unfortunate reality of today and the greedy studios. I have to say that the fact that classic catalog titles *are* still being released is wonderful compared to the alternative (no releases, or, worse "streaming"-only releases).

The quality, in my experience has been quite good. MUCH, much better than the VHS-transfered. bug-ridden (ie, logo in bottom rt corner of screen) crap transfers that companies like Mill Creek have released in the past. To the person who said Mill Creek's transfers are good, get your eyes examined, please. Their releases are mostly garbage, bitrate only in the 2 to 3 Mbit/sec range.

Bitrate on MOD titles is usually good for Warner and MGM (5 to 7 mbit/sec) and poor for Sony (around 4 Mbits). Subjective picture quality on the few Sony's I've purchased (R.P.M and Nightwing) has been better than the low bitrates would lead you to believe.

dvdshonna
03-24-12, 12:34 AM
MOD is an unfortunate reality of today.............

The quality, in my experience has been quite good. MUCH, much better than the VHS-transfered. bug-ridden (ie, logo in bottom rt corner of screen) crap transfers that companies like Mill Creek have released in the past. To the person who said Mill Creek's transfers are good, get your eyes examined, please. Their releases are mostly garbage, bitrate only in the 2 to 3 Mbit/sec range.


What he actually said was, "Depending on the title, Mill Creek has some of
the better transfers available".

If Mill Creek has the best source material, (for a given title) their
2 to 3 Mbit/sec range would still be producing a better transfer.

There are "Metropolis" DVDs on Amazon for $20 & up. I would expect
one of the best transfers available for $20 (even for a MOD).
But not pristine because it's from the 1920s and in the public domain.

You can also purchase "Metropolis" on Mill Creek's 50 Movie Pack
Horror Classics for $10 used. At 20 cents per movie, I'm not so picky.

--
Trading DVDs (https://sites.google.com/site/buzzhonna/)

zyzzle
03-24-12, 01:13 AM
I'll grant you that. but would you pay 50 cents per movie, if the bitrate were doubled, and the quality of the existing prints was thereby maximized? Mill creek could easilly do this (what's a few more DVDs per 'movie pack'? A few cents for them!). The problem is, they don't care, and keep shoveling it on with the low-bitrate transfers.

Living Deadpan
03-24-12, 06:49 PM
What do you folks think about outfits like Sinister Cinema, who release decent unauthorized DVD-r's of mostly unavailable films at half the price of the studio archive discs? I've bought of a few SC's British horror DVD-r's (Twisted Nerve, The Stone Tape) and was pleased enough with them. They all go for $9 if you buy them on demand through Amazon.

I do wish more studio archive MOD discs would come with some bonuses, like the commentary track for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. A lot of these studio DVD-r's strike me as an attempted gateway to streaming video (you can find many of the MOD titles as streaming rentals or downloads on Amazon/Itunes). Paramount can't even bother to make this minimal effort, their new slogan should be "Fuck our back catalog, Transformers Blu-rays will be our legacy."

Boba Fett
03-24-12, 09:16 PM
What drives me nuts is they're too cheap to use Dual Layer DVD-Rs, so they're back to the late 90s trend of cramming things on a single layer disc.

The Man with the Golden Doujinshi
03-24-12, 09:36 PM
What do you folks think about outfits like Sinister Cinema, who release decent unauthorized DVD-r's of mostly unavailable films at half the price of the studio archive discs? I've bought of a few SC's British horror DVD-r's (Twisted Nerve, The Stone Tape) and was pleased enough with them. They all go for $9 if you buy them on demand through Amazon.

I do wish more studio archive MOD discs would come with some bonuses, like the commentary track for Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. A lot of these studio DVD-r's strike me as an attempted gateway to streaming video (you can find many of the MOD titles as streaming rentals or downloads on Amazon/Itunes). Paramount can't even bother to make this minimal effort, their new slogan should be "Fuck our back catalog, Transformers Blu-rays will be our legacy."

Sinister is in the next town over from me. From what I know, they use 35mm when they do their discs, so that's good. They did Invasion of the Blood Farmers which was a better transfer than Retromedia. Retromedia turned a fullscreen movie into a widescreen by chopping the top and bottom off.

rw2516
03-25-12, 05:56 AM
What drives me nuts is they're too cheap to use Dual Layer DVD-Rs, so they're back to the late 90s trend of cramming things on a single layer disc.

More deep catalog pressed titles than not are on single layer discs. Even some of the biggest recent movie titles are the same quality as if they were on a single layer disc because of language tracks, commentaries, special features, etc.

rw2516
03-25-12, 05:58 AM
Sinister is in the next town over from me. From what I know, they use 35mm when they do their discs, so that's good. They did Invasion of the Blood Farmers which was a better transfer than Retromedia. Retromedia turned a fullscreen movie into a widescreen by chopping the top and bottom off.

I have a couple hundred Sinister titles on dvd and vhs. They use faded, scratched 16mm prints on a lot of their titles.

BillWatkins
03-25-12, 08:21 AM
What drives me nuts is they're too cheap to use Dual Layer DVD-Rs, so they're back to the late 90s trend of cramming things on a single layer disc.

Warner Archive switched to Dual Layer DVD-R's nearly a year ago now.

Alan Smithee
03-25-12, 01:58 PM
I've been using them longer than that ;)

The Man with the Golden Doujinshi
03-25-12, 04:12 PM
I've been using them longer than that ;)

That's what she said.

The Lizard King
03-25-12, 08:29 PM
That's what she said.
:lol:

TLK :cool:

JerryKILL
03-26-12, 02:28 AM
I've been renting MOD's from ClassicFlix for about a year now. They have most everything pre-1970 available to rent from all of the studios. At $26.99/month, I've been getting about 12 per month, which works out to just over $2 each. Compared to the price of buying, this is a good deal. I do not work for ClassicFlix, just passing along my experience, all positive. :)