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Old 04-22-12, 03:07 PM   #1
PatD
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I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

I do. Now, first and foremost I need to point out that I mainly collected (and still do) catalog titles, and I'm a major special features fanatic.

I remember the fall of 1999: the first time I saw a movie on DVD ("Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me"). I rented a DVD player and some DVDs from a supermarket video rental area (which is gone now). In the first 30 seconds of the movie--I was muttering out loud--"I'm getting one of these!"
And for that moment on my love affair with not just DVDs but the art of film was forged.

Collecting DVDs was an expensive passion, but being of low means it meant I could only accumulate 5-600 titles by the end of the decade.

I miss that almost kid-at-Christmas level of excitement when an old favorite from the VHS days would make its auspicious debut on that shiny little disc. It was glorious! Finally--seeing "fill in the blank here" in its proper aspect ratio; with deleted scenes; audio commentaries; original promotional materials; new documentaries and featurettes. And of course the far more detailed and vivid picture than it's VHS counterpart. Or if it was a whole TV season--"Holy Moley! A WHOLE TV season that I can hold in my hands!" *Or* A a WHOLE TV *SERIES* in a container no bigger than a bread box (like "Angel: The Complete Series") VIDEOGASM!

"But, now there's no action anymore" as Ray Liotta said in "Goodfellas". Everything that's big or semi-big has been released (sometimes 4-5 times). Sure every-so-often they'll something like "Wings" or "The African Queen", but really what part of the archives haven't they used yet?

Collecting BluRays? It's nowhere near the same. I've collected my share. I've got a 32" full hi def TV and an upconverting BluRay player. And...it's not the same. Nowhere near as much fun. A big portion of these films have 15-25% of the special features missing from their DVD counterparts. It's a buzzkill. And frankly (with some exceptions) I can barely tell the difference on my TV--and yes, it's properly set to it's full hi def capacity.

*sigh* It was one of the most pleasant part of my 2000s. I'll always have the memories. What are yours?
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Old 04-22-12, 03:38 PM   #2
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

If you can barely tell the difference between DVD and Blu-ray, there's something wrong with the setup or you're only watching things like The Deadly Spawn to compare between the two.
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Old 04-22-12, 03:42 PM   #3
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

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And frankly (with some exceptions) I can barely tell the difference on my TV
What difference? Between the same movie (DVD vs Blu-ray) or just the difference in HD in general? I see big differences in catalog movies when compared to their DVD counterpart and, sometimes, it's pretty amazing. I still feel like a kid at Christmas when I view a very well-transferred catalog movie.

Quote:
and yes, it's properly set to it's full hi def capacity.
What does this mean? You're using HDMI and the set has been properly adjusted?
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Old 04-22-12, 03:43 PM   #4
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

^^
Well, I at least *thought* I had. I was watching "Superman: The Movie" on DVD and the watching the same title on BluRay--I could barely see the difference. My screen is set to 1080p with the HDMI cable. What's the deal?
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Old 04-22-12, 03:57 PM   #5
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

You need glasses.
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Old 04-22-12, 04:08 PM   #6
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

Does it make any difference that it's a 32" hdtv? I can't afford a 60".
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Old 04-22-12, 04:11 PM   #7
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

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Does it make any difference that it's a 32" hdtv? I can't afford a 60".
Size does matter
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Old 04-22-12, 04:16 PM   #8
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

But 32" is large enough to still see the difference. You can still tell the difference on something like a 27" CRT, which is what I had in my bedroom until a few months ago. Animation is one that really shines through what the differences are.

The first time I watched Thor, my kid put the disc in. Thor is packaged so the DVD is in the right hand spot instead of the blu-ray, with the blu-ray on the left which was covered by an insert. She did what she normally does and grabbed the disc from the right side. The entire time we watched it, it just didn't look right to me. Especially the small details. After it was over, I put the disc back in and saw it was the DVD and not the BR. I'm not someone that fine tunes their TV with calibration discs. Hell, I haven't even done it on the TV in the living room but it was still obvious enough that something wasn't right.

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Old 04-22-12, 04:33 PM   #9
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

We all miss the heyday of DVD. It was the most exciting time since the introduction of home video itself.

I love Blu-Rays though and they seem to be underappreciated by a lot of people. Getting into 3D soon too which for me has always been the holy grail of home video (even though the exact movies I'd like on it aren't available yet.)
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Old 04-22-12, 04:54 PM   #10
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

I know what you mean PatD, I feel the same way. I was really excited to replace all my VHS with DVDs, the difference in picture quality was phenomenal! When my wife & I ditched cable, I decided I'd build up my DVD library with what we'd saved each month in cable bills, and relatively quickly I had quite a collection (from my perspective anyway). Each new DVD I bought was like "kid at christmas" for me as well. I was excited to open them, excited to add them into DVD Profiler, iTrackMine, and my handwritten list, then make a spot for them on my shelves. It still is exciting for me when I find something I'd been wanting for awhile, from the process of unwrapping, cataloging, and finally watching it/them, I hope I never lose that excitement. The advent of blu-ray is trying to dampen the exhilaration for me but I just can't get excited about blu-ray like I did with DVD. The blu-ray addicts here think I'm nuts but I don't care, I'm happy with my DVDs. -kd5-
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Old 04-22-12, 06:49 PM   #11
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

DVD's were very exciting in the beginning. There was just something seductive about that little disc that held so much. And the packaging! I used to just open up Fight Club and be in awe. For me though, it was the adoption of HDTV that waned my interest. What seemed like a perfect picture on my standard def CRT was actually pretty icky on my new HD set. TV shows looked better than my DVD movies.

But just the opposite of PatD, Blu Ray's renewed my interest in collecting films again. At first, I was one of those 'blah blah.....not gonna re-buy my whole collection...etc' people. Then I conceded for one of my favorite films, Poltergeist. I compared it to the DVD and the difference was astonishing. The film grain on the DVD was just video noise, the Blu Ray actually looked like a copy of a 35mm film. The colors were brighter and the sound was better, and I could OWN a pristine copy of my favorite movies for the first time. Now I can't wait for a favorite catalog title to come out. It really is like seeing them for the first time.

DVD's were perfect for the time, place & equipment we had at the time. But the amazing quality of Blu Ray keeps me buying shiny 5" discs.
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Old 04-22-12, 06:57 PM   #12
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

I have found my DVD Purchasing significantly down from previous years, but not because I don't have the money. (Remember I stopped paying for a TV Subscription in January of 2007 because I grew FED UP with what they were showing, and shifted that spending on DVDs) For the last five years I SCOURED every source I could find to get the programming I wanted to watch. From B&M Stores such as Best Buy, Circuit City (Defunct), FYE, Target and Wal-Mart to on-line Retailers such as Amazon, Deep Discount and Rightstuf and "Trading Sites such as Ebay, ioffer and sell.com (Yes I know, some of these "Traders" sell stuff that isn't exactly "Official Releases" ). I left no stone unturned. Now I find the racks pretty much picked clean, and there isn't much out there that I want. But that's OK AFAIC, because in those five years I have accumulated a HUGE Collection. It's going to take some time to watch all the TV Shows, Movies and Other Programming I've amassed. I probably have enough to last the remainder of my life. In my house there is no such thing as "Nothing to watch tonight". I don't regret it one bit. I consider myself a pathfinder, and I've blazed one heck of a Trail. As for the reason I abandoned Pay TV, I've seen no improvement in what they are offering. Commercials run Rampant (including those that shouldn't be aired when Children are watching), and more often than not whenever a new Show is announced five gets you ten its just another "Reality" Show. 60% of what I watch is from 1955 to 1985, and there are more fingers on my hands than there are programs from the last 12 years in my DVD Collection. I don't miss any of it at all. Well, it's time for me to have Supper, afterwards, I'm going to watch a little TV, MY WAY!
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Old 04-23-12, 08:15 AM   #13
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

How shocking that a DVD appreciation thread gets some Blu folks' undies in a twist.

Putting that aside, I understand exactly where the OP is coming from. Half the thrill was seeing much wanted titles appear on the little shiny disc for the first time. Given that, it's understandable that everything else has been underwhelming since most of the desired titles have already made their appearance on little shiny discs. The fact that they're being regurgitated on Blu doesn't generate quite the same level of enthusiasm for many of us. Add in the fact that new catalog titles are being offered as high priced, bare bones, burn on demand deals, and it's easy to appreciate the good old days.
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Old 04-23-12, 10:42 AM   #14
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

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Add in the fact that new catalog titles are being offered as high priced, bare bones, burn on demand deals, and it's easy to appreciate the good old days.
Minus the burn on demand option, this is similar to how a lot of titles on DVD first arrived. Can't forget special features like "Interactive Menu".
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Old 04-23-12, 12:22 PM   #15
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

from my perspective, there are just way too many DVDs/BRs coming out each month. I remember getting Image's Laser Disc catalog where it just started to list DVDs. If 10 were released in a month, that was something. It was easy to track, plan and create (and act on) a want list.

Now, it's what? 200 releases a month? how many different versions of the same movie being released?

Just to keep up with the various releases of the SAME FILM, research which ones are 'screwed up', missing key features from other releases, which one is better off getting an import.

my head hurts just thinking about this stuff.

DVDs are now a cheap commodity at my local grocery store. Pick up a newspaper, pack of gum and, oh yeah- here is a DVD for $5 that looks interesting.

Just completely different from 1997 when I got excited paying $20 for Evil Dead 2! And I thought that was a deal (I even pre-ordered it to get my discount!).

Too many releases to keep track of.

Too many discs to watch.

Overload.

Right now, I am going through my unwatched pile (only 15 to go!), then will wait until I get a BR player and VERY selectively upgrade existing DVDs, but will probably be buying new releases on BR.

Every once in a while, I get excited about a release... but yes, it is not the same.

For me, BR has really dampened things. Not the cost (They really aren't that much more expensive), but I got tired of reading about lost supplements, wrong color saturation, darkened image, too much EE, DNR, "waxy looking", audio issues, etc. It is as almost if the studios really didn't want BR to succeed.

Without a BR player, I only buy pre-1960 films...that helps control new stuff coming in..

I am building a new house and will be getting a 110" screen and front projection system, with blu ray. I think that could bring back some fun and excitement back into this hobby... we will see.
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Old 04-23-12, 01:15 PM   #16
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

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then will wait until I get a BR player and VERY selectively upgrade existing DVDs, but will probably be buying new releases on BR.
Yeah, that was my plan too. But sometimes a good sale makes it hard to pass up something you might've been on the fence about. Now I have 2 copies of Evil Dead 2 on Blu-ray
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Old 04-23-12, 01:25 PM   #17
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

Man I couldn't say that any better. That is EXACTLY how I felt from 1999 until whenever it wore off. I even got the same DVD as my first as you did. There was so much excitement around new release Tuesday and getting new movies. But it's over now. I still collect movies (mostly BD now) but there's no fun around it anymore and I mostly watch TV shows (on DVD/BD) now.
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Old 04-23-12, 01:33 PM   #18
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

I initially bought a DVD player (code-free) because all the Hong Kong movies I was clamoring for were coming out on DVD instead of VHS and at pretty cheap prices, too, at least in the Chinatown stores.

Lately, my purchases tend to be classic movies and obscure Japanese/Hong Kong movies in box sets that I can get cheaply at Entertainment Outlet, Book Off or FYE. If the price is too high, I pass, unless it's something rare and hard to find like some of the Warner Archive titles. Just the other day, I bought a film noir set for $15 that had eight films on it, three of which I'd never seen and five of which I'd only seen on broadcast TV decades ago and have always wanted to see again. And, at Entertainment Outlet, I got a Bad Girls of Film Noir set with 4 films for $19.99, including one I was eager to find on DVD so I could get screen grabs for a blog entry. The only things I'll pay more for are Eclipse box sets featuring Japanese filmmakers from Criterion.

I have a Blu-ray player, but have only purchased about a dozen classic films in the format and a handful of Japanese pop music concerts. I recently watched BROTHERS FIVE, a Shaw Bros. swordplay classic on Blu-ray and thought it looked magnificent. But I have hundreds of Shaw Bros. movies on DVD and feel no need to upgrade most of them. BROTHERS FIVE just happened to look spectacular in Blu-ray for a variety of reasons, related to production design, settings, cinematography and fight staging. Not all such films have such a happy confluence of elements to make them worth upgrading.
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Old 04-23-12, 03:06 PM   #19
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

I've come around to a more reasonable approach to the hobby. Far too often I would indulge in those sales at places like Gamestop where they had "buy two used DVDS and get four free", and I'd be picking up really marginal stuff just to fill out the order. Or when Hollywood video was going under I would grab a bunch of stuff just because it was cheap. I ended up with a lot of crap that I've since purged.

My collection is a lot more focused now, and more enjoyable. I've learned to accept walking out of the used DVD store empty handed. And when I do find something I've been looking for, it feels so much better getting that one disc that I was really looking for, than a half dozen that will simply fill up space on the shelf.

Most recent used find: Terminator Salvation, 2 disc director's cut. The DVD was a Target exclusive and I didn't want to pay full price. Yes, I could have gotten the Bluray, but I had all the other Terminator films on DVD, and I figured Target would eventually drop the price. Well, they never did and this disc refused to show up in the used DVD stores. I could have bought it online, but that seemed to easy.

I finally found it yesterday at a used shop. Very good condition, still had the slipcover and all that. I was more pleased at finding that one title than I ever was walking out with a stack of sub-par junk.

Another aspect to this is, as more people trade their DVDs for Blurays, that's going to be more used DVDs for me to buy where I'm not overly concerned with the picture and audio quality. That's right, you guys keep dumping your Criterion DVDs for the Blus, as long as they're 16x9 (if needed), I'll be right behind you to pick them up.


As for the Bluray comparision: is there a difference in quality? Of course. But I don't think that's the point that needs to be discussed, the point is does the difference matter? I've got things like the Godzilla and Gamera films that are just now coming to DVD in decent form (16x9 with Japanese audio) and are likely not going to be hitting Bluray anytime soon. I watched the original Mothra (1964) not long ago on my 46" LCD, and it didn't jump off the screen, but it still looked very good, and I'm damn glad to have it as it is.
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Old 04-23-12, 03:54 PM   #20
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

hong kong classics? sigh. I remember buy SO many low quality R3 DVDs - legit, just not that good. But I was so excited to get Drunken Master and those Tsui Hark films uncut in its original language, who cares about PQ? My, has time has changed.

Don't think I could ever get rid of these now. Most have been remastered on DVD and many now on BR. That is probably one part of my collection that I will look forward to getting on BR and re-enjoying. So if anybody knows how to get rid of a bunch or R0 and R3 HK discs (universe, etc) let me know!
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Old 04-23-12, 05:56 PM   #21
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

Everything old is better and everything new is stupid.
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Old 04-24-12, 12:58 AM   #22
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

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Just to keep up with the various releases of the SAME FILM, research which ones are 'screwed up', missing key features from other releases, which one is better off getting an import.

my head hurts just thinking about this stuff.
This. Truer words were never spoken on this message board. Ever.

That's been a headache for me as someone who collects Blurays. (I've got a 110 titles so far).

Look, I don't hate Bluray, I like it okay--when it's done right like "The Back to the Future Trilogy" or "The Superman Movie Anthology" or "The Alien Anthology"--it rocks the house as a format. And in certain titles the difference in picture quality is noticable.

And so nobody accuses me of having rose-colored glasses pasted to my face: even DVD back in the day had some sucktitude.
Remember the crappy picture on the "Reservoir Dogs: 10th Anniversary Edition"? Or the first "Austin Powers" having the wrong aspect ratio?
Or "The Abyss" or "True Lies" *to this day* still not appearing in anamorphic widescreen?
Remember when they released the theatrical edition of "Amadeus" as a flipper with the movie split over a flipper disc--and then never releasing it with the Director's Cut?
Or packaging that was needlessly bulky or had hubs that made it damned near impossible to remove the disc from the case without breaking it?
Or the abso-fricking-lutely SHAMELESS double/triple/quadruple dipping of certain titles?

I just wish studios would treat their home video output with consistent quality: then and now. I'm not sold on streaming/cable/downloads. I just want my hard earned cash to buy me an copy of a movie/TV series made with a modicum of craftsmanship and care on a factory-pressed disc. I don't want to have to download a sub-par copy off the internet and have to agree to heavily worded service contract for the privilege of its use (hi iTunes!) *or* risk legal troubles downloading something illegally.

But, for me: going from VHS to DVD was like going a growing up with buggy-drawn carriages to getting one's first car. Going from DVD to Bluray is like going from one's first car to a newer car with better mileage. Not as thrilling.
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Old 04-24-12, 02:23 AM   #23
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

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Look, I don't hate Bluray, I like it okay--when it's done right like "The Back to the Future Trilogy" or "The Superman Movie Anthology" or "The Alien Anthology"--it rocks the house as a format. And in certain titles the difference in picture quality is noticable.
That's just it. To people like me, these weren't "done right".
the original Alien may look sharper and more resolved, but it's also an example of Scotts recent infatuation with Michael Bay style teal and orange color grading (see Thelma & Louise for another horrid, inappropriate example of this). The film used to be a trend setter for showing off a naturalistic patina which contributed greatly to the verisimilitude. Now every scene is artificially tarted up with unnatural blue/teal and orange shades. The Nostromo which originally looked like a massive piece of cold, bloated, industrial machinery- now looks like a kiddie toy with it's unnatural, over the top, blue coloring. This classic film now has the visual signature of every other cheap ass sci-fi movie of the last 15 years. That's not a triumph, it's a tragedy to me.

And Superman (the original film) features two very indifferent encodes. Flipping back and forth between the 2001 cut and the original theatrical cut- one shot in one version will be finely resolved, while the same shot in the other version will be detectably softer- or show banding. Then the very next scene, the situation is reversed. Neither of those discs are truly up to the level they could be. they're adequate, nothing more and certainly not state of the art for the format.

There are some winners here and there. But they are overshadowed by so many examples of pandering to younger audiences (who think teal and orange is the way movies should naturally look) or tech fetishists who need demo material for their equipment. Very frustrating if all you want is a high quality, natural looking example of a film you love.

I collected laserdiscs twenty years ago, so I got hip to the pleasures of OAR years before DVD-but DVD was still far less frustrating an experience than Blu-ray has been. When a catalog title is done right, it's bliss. It seems far too often though it's compromised in some form or fashion- three steps forward and two steps back.
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Old 04-24-12, 03:11 AM   #24
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

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That's just it. To people like me, these weren't "done right".
the original Alien may look sharper and more resolved, but it's also an example of Scotts recent infatuation with Michael Bay style teal and orange color grading (see Thelma & Louise for another horrid, inappropriate example of this). The film used to be a trend setter for showing off a naturalistic patina which contributed greatly to the verisimilitude. Now every scene is artificially tarted up with unnatural blue/teal and orange shades. The Nostromo which originally looked like a massive piece of cold, bloated, industrial machinery- now looks like a kiddie toy with it's unnatural, over the top, blue coloring. This classic film now has the visual signature of every other cheap ass sci-fi movie of the last 15 years. That's not a triumph, it's a tragedy to me.
I didn't know that. I'm lagging behind you in noticing the depths of detail in individual releases. I collected widescreen VHS tapes back in the late 90s before I had a DVD player of my own. I was just grateful for getting (most) movies in their OAR. Aside from the 2002 "Reservoir Dogs" DVD, I never paid too much attention to the color palettes. I'm not putting you down, but I, and every "Star Wars" fan are sick to death of "tinkering" of the original product. I feel your pain as a videophile.
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Old 04-24-12, 07:52 AM   #25
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Re: I Miss the Heydey of DVD (*sigh*)

Here's a blog post from a couple years back on T&O- something I've come to equate as a huge dumbing down of the visuals. It may have been valid in certain situations in the past, but now every mother f#@%ing film out there has the same, sickly hyper exaggerated look. It's bad enough 90% of new movies have to look like this, but I get livid when I see a beloved classic yoked to this cheesy aesthetic.

Of course, if it's not T&O it's hyped up contrast and gamma curve tweaking (see: Ghostbusters), or the director needs to get creative and feel relevant again (see: the first release of The French Connection or most of Ridley Scott's oeuvre) or the studio wants everything to look clean and shiny and go in and scrub the grain out, and with it all the natural fine detail as well as the texture of the medium itself (see: too many releases to list).
On and On and On.

So far on this format, my favorite releases- the ones that strike me as the most natural and best representative of the films they were- have all slipped out without any fanfare. It's usually when they make a big production and hype the hell out of it, that we get maddening results.
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