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From the FAQ: Are these DVDs the same as the ones I buy in the store?

DVD Clubs Discuss & Strategize about DVD Clubs like Columbia House

From the FAQ: Are these DVDs the same as the ones I buy in the store?

Old 07-22-04, 10:21 PM
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dxx
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From the FAQ: Are these DVDs the same as the ones I buy in the store?

# Are these DVDs the same as the ones I buy in the store?
Yes, exactly the same. You can even take them to the store, and they will scan in.
Well, are they? Really?

Looking at my enrollment titles, some of the cases look cheap and on some the UPC codes have stickers pasted over them with different UPC codes (I assume they're different ). What's the deal with that?

These UPC codes are still valid though, I checked them out.

I know that BMG and Columbia CD clubs press their own CDs. Do we know for sure that these DVDs are not the same? I'm not arguing that the quality is different between store brought CDs and theirs. I just want to know all the facts.

Edit:
I said above that I am assuming the UPC codes on the new stickers are different. I just realized that UPC codes for a specific release of a DVD cannot change, so the codes can't be different. Just new stickers... hmmm. Or can they change?

Last edited by dxx; 07-24-04 at 09:48 AM.
Old 07-22-04, 10:54 PM
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Yes, they are the same. As someone who has bought hundreds of DVDs from CH, I can assure you that these are the same ones that are avalible in the stores.
Old 07-23-04, 10:32 AM
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Re: From the FAQ: Are these DVDs the same as the ones I buy in the store?

Originally posted by dxx
.... on some the UPC codes have stickers pasted over them with different UPC codes (I assume they're different ). What's the deal with that?

These UPC codes are still valid though, I checked them out.

Quite often, a new UPC code will be issued when a title has a price reduction, and a sticker will be used to reflect the new price.
Old 07-23-04, 10:55 AM
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Re: Re: From the FAQ: Are these DVDs the same as the ones I buy in the store?

Originally posted by marty888
Quite often, a new UPC code will be issued when a title has a price reduction, and a sticker will be used to reflect the new price.
Marty,

The UPC codes aren't different on these new stickers. They are the original UPCs associated with the DVD as the UPC for a specific DVD cannot change. It's just that it's a new sticker. Also these stickers are on the DVD case itself, inside the shrink wrap. So they can't be taking the shrink wrap off and putting new stickers on and re-sealing it all the time due to price changes.

Anybody else got any ideas?
DXX
Old 07-23-04, 11:00 AM
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Originally posted by videophile
Yes, they are the same. As someone who has bought hundreds of DVDs from CH, I can assure you that these are the same ones that are avalible in the stores.
Hey John,

How do you know they are the same? Have you compared them with the store brought DVDs? I appreciate your input.

DXX
Old 07-23-04, 12:23 PM
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You might be satisfied by knowing that die hard DVD fanatics haven't been able to tell the difference between a store-bought and CH copy of a movie. Also, it has been mentioned by a former CH employee who posts here that CH buys their DVDs for around $3-4 each, and they don't manufacture their own DVDs.
Old 07-23-04, 12:36 PM
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I tested all the UPC codes on Ebay; they all come up the same movies. So I assume CH DVDs are the same as those in the market.
Old 07-23-04, 01:47 PM
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It would be virtually impossible for them to replicate all of the packaging variations if they were manufacturing them at CH (i.e. keep cases/snappers/special box sets/inserts/etc.).
Old 07-24-04, 09:45 AM
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Originally posted by viking99
It would be virtually impossible for them to replicate all of the packaging variations if they were manufacturing them at CH (i.e. keep cases/snappers/special box sets/inserts/etc.).
Actually they do this already for their CD club. They press their own CDs and print the inserts and use identical jewel cases (box sets/special cases/etc). So it wouldn't be too hard to do it for DVDs either.

Is there a way for us to find out for sure? I borrowed my friend's store bought copy of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and I'm gonna see whether the DVD rips from that compare favorabily with the disc I got from CH. Both have the same UPC, so theoretically, the files should be identical.

Am I missing something here? Do you have any particular suggestions on what I should try?

Mind you, I'm not trying to put down CH. I just want to know for sure that their discs are the same as store copies because I *want* to continue buying from them. Their prices are great.

DXX
Old 07-24-04, 11:00 AM
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Columbia House DVDs really are the same as the ones you buy in stores (except that DVDs from some studios, such as Dreamworks, don't come with the annoying little security seals). If you don't believe us there isn't much more we can say.
Old 07-24-04, 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by dxx
Am I missing something here? Do you have any particular suggestions on what I should try?
Yeah, didn't you read any of the previous posts? Everyone else claims they are the same as in the stores. Even one poster claimed a former CH employee stated they didn't manufacture their own (and I too remember reading that post).

Sometimes UPC's DO change. Sometimes they print the wrong UPC on the cover, and put stickers over them to correct it. Sometimes the UPC's don't change, but the contents will.

It's a wacky world out there!

The info in the FAQ is legit, you can trust it.

If you want a suggestion you might believe, go to the store and compare them yourself. Try to find a difference! DVDs in the stores have upc stickers too.
But I say just order some more DVD's from CH and enjoy them.
Old 07-24-04, 12:47 PM
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I guess you guys aren't reading this part of my last post.

Mind you, I'm not trying to put down CH. I just want to know for sure that their discs are the same as store copies because I *want* to continue buying from them. Their prices are great.
It's not that I don't believe you or the FAQ. It's just that there isn't any evidence provided other than "somebody said so". I'm gonna do some actual comparisons (not just cases or cover art), but VOB file comparisons to see for myself.

The reason I'm anxious about this is because it's a fact that they manufacture audio CD's for their CD club rather than using the same ones available in stores. I need to know that it isn't the same for their DVD clubs. So Don't get offended, I'm only trying to find out. And I do appreciate your information.

Thanks,
DXX

Last edited by dxx; 07-24-04 at 12:51 PM.
Old 07-24-04, 12:53 PM
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Originally posted by dxx
Actually they do this already for their CD club. They press their own CDs and print the inserts and use identical jewel cases (box sets/special cases/etc). So it wouldn't be too hard to do it for DVDs either.
I'm not looking for a debate here. I do know a little bit about manufacturing, and have a hard time believing that CH could support the overhead necessary to independently set-up the tooling, processes etc. to redundantly produce DVD's in anything other than the most basic of packaging.
Old 07-24-04, 01:13 PM
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Originally posted by viking99
I'm not looking for a debate here. I do know a little bit about manufacturing, and have a hard time believing that CH could support the overhead necessary to independently set-up the tooling, processes etc. to redundantly produce DVD's in anything other than the most basic of packaging.
I'd agree with your logic, if I haven't read otherwise. Now mind you, I'm only repeating what I have read in various sites. All those quality issues are arguable and have no definite answer. But just for your information, take a look at the following sites.

http://www.blooberry.com/cdfaq/quality.htm
http://www.blooberry.com/cdfaq/remaster.htm
http://www.blooberry.com/cdfaq/resale.htm

I make no claims about accuracy or validy of the information they present. It's just another site, like DVDTalk. Though DVD Talk is zillion and one times better.

Hope you are enjoying the weekend,
DXX
Old 07-24-04, 02:10 PM
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Here is the thread where a CH employee states that they don't press their own dvds: http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...hreadid=282108

I'd state my own reasons why I know CH doesn't press their own discs, but I don't think you'd trust my statements.
Old 07-24-04, 02:34 PM
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I agree with everyone else. It may be possible for CH to press their own CDs, since all CDs share essentially the same physical format. But DVDs? There are so many different case styles, etc, that it would be much more expensive for them to be making their own version (and presumably the goal of doing so would be to save money, right?)

I still don't understand what difference it makes, though. The people who claim that the Columbia House-made CDs are of lower quality are nutjobs if you ask me. But even if that were true, and even if Columbia House did produce their own versions of DVDs, I don't think it could possibly affect the quality.
Old 07-24-04, 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by dxx
Hey John,

How do you know they are the same? Have you compared them with the store brought DVDs? I appreciate your input.

DXX
I've viewed store bought DVDs that I enjoyed and them picked the disc up from CH and couldn't tell the differance. I haven't gone through bit by bit and examined them but the looked identical to me.

I realise that you are trying to educate yourself, and I can understand your need to be careful since some book clubs DO make their own editions. I'm not sure I understand what you are looking for though. Is there really a differance between two DVDs if the only way you can tell is by ripping the DVD and comparing the file size?

Or to put it another way, is there any differance between the DVDs that Best Buy and Target sells? How do you know? If there was a significant differance (such as the size or paper quality differances in book club editions) I could understand worring about it, no one has ever claimed that a CH DVD is inferior in any way to a store bought DVD. I'm an anal collector type who has to have everything in perfect condition, and I don't worry about buying CH DVDs. Just join the club (pun intended) and enjoy!
Old 07-24-04, 10:20 PM
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Originally posted by videophile
I've viewed store bought DVDs that I enjoyed and them picked the disc up from CH and couldn't tell the differance. I haven't gone through bit by bit and examined them but the looked identical to me.

I realise that you are trying to educate yourself, and I can understand your need to be careful since some book clubs DO make their own editions. I'm not sure I understand what you are looking for though. Is there really a differance between two DVDs if the only way you can tell is by ripping the DVD and comparing the file size?

Or to put it another way, is there any differance between the DVDs that Best Buy and Target sells? How do you know? If there was a significant differance (such as the size or paper quality differances in book club editions) I could understand worring about it, no one has ever claimed that a CH DVD is inferior in any way to a store bought DVD. I'm an anal collector type who has to have everything in perfect condition, and I don't worry about buying CH DVDs. Just join the club (pun intended) and enjoy!
Thanks John for your very positive reply. I'm not arguing that those CDs are of bad quality. I'm only trying to learn as you mentioned, because I too am anal about quality.

The reason I started this thread was because some of the DVD's cases I received looked cheap and crappy, and I was **wondering** whether the DVDs themselves were pressed on bad media/bad equipment/etc... Remember, I said wondering, I am not accusing.
Old 07-25-04, 12:12 AM
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I don't know for sure whether Columbia House has the same DVDs as everyone else.

That being said, they do.

I'm not going to disbelieve until I see the actual DVD invoice sheets. DVD Talk has been around for a few years, and members who have been around for a while have come across this question several times. There's no proof that they're made in-house, and much to disprove that. Even if the former CH employee was uninformed (or even lying about working at CH), it still makes no sense that they would be doing this without our knowledge.

dxx claims that the CD Club makes their own CDs, so you can't be sure about the DVDs. What he fails to take into account is that everyone knows about CH making their own CDs. I've known that for ages and I've never been a member of that club. This is a DVD website, and none of these DVD-info-gathering-machines has yet to come up with intelligence to support CH manufacturing it DVDs.

I'll just stick with the side which has all the proof.

I've probably been wasting my metaphorical breath. I won't try to persuade you about Santa or the shape of the Earth.

LJ, who has the feeling that dxx is winding us up, or is a bit thick. Maybe both.

Of course, I make no claims about his intentions or intellect. I mean, I *want* to help him out if I can. Remember, I'm not accusing, just **wondering** if it would make any difference.
Old 07-25-04, 08:24 PM
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Of course some dvds look cheap, these things are mass produced and like everthing else in the world manufacturing standards go down a little each year. Look at VHS tapes, the ones made in the early to mid 80's where much heavier and more durable than the chintzy junk that gets made these days, Same goes for Vinyl records, If you have an LP from the 50's or 60's it's nice and thick, while the LPs pressed in the 80's where flimsy and more apt to have defects.

Besides, if one could not tell the difference between a CH dvd and a store bought one, then why would it matter if they are not the same?

This thread reminds a little of the one in which someone refused to believe that Name of the Rose & Red Sonja where in keepcases.
Old 07-26-04, 02:27 AM
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Originally posted by dxx
The reason I started this thread was because some of the DVD's cases I received looked cheap and crappy, and I was **wondering** whether the DVDs themselves were pressed on bad media/bad equipment/etc... Remember, I said wondering, I am not accusing.
Go to a retail store and compare the packaging, case, insert, etc. You will see they are exactly the same. It's already been mentioned, but I'll say it again -- CH does not have the resources to re-produce all the different types of DVD packaging, accessories, and cases that come with the DVDs they sell (think digipaks, think boxsets, think limited edition tins, think LOTR statues, etc).

No, these DVDs come directly from the studios. Some studios (e.g. Buena Vista) go so far as to stamp the packaging of their CH-titles with a studio seal to ensure authenticity (in the absence of security stickers).

If the evidence stated thus far in this thread isn't proof enough, perhaps CH isn't the best choice for you. Receving returned DVDs, ordering/pricing mistakes, shipment delays -- this is all fair game when it comes to CH. For the "anal" folks (as you put it) out there, CH can be a huge hassle. I've read enough complaint threads to justify that statement.

But one thing is for sure, their DVDs are authentic and original factory copies. For concrete proof, please do perform a file comparison so that we can lay this issue to bed once and for all.
Old 07-26-04, 10:29 AM
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BMG presses their own CDs but Columbia House doesn't. Nor does Columbia House press their own DVDs.
Old 07-28-04, 01:00 PM
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CH makes some of their CDs, some they get from manufacturers. Check the back of your CH CD cases, near the barcode, if your disc says "CRC" then it was made by CH. If not, then they got it from the original manufacturer and is the exact same thing as is available in stores.

Doing a file comparison wouldn't prove anything, they are not going to re-author a DVD just to make another pressing. If you had a CAT A HK bootleg and an original R1 release, then you rip the vobs with the same program and the same settings (demacrovision, region free, etc) and do a file comparison, there won't be a difference (CAT A bootlegs are sourced from retail releases). The files will be exactly the same after you rip them since your ripping software will strip macrovision, region coding, puo's, etc the same way on both discs. If you can't even tell the difference between a bootleg and an original disc by ripping the vobs, then what good will it do you in this situation?
Old 07-28-04, 09:58 PM
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Yes they are the same, but even if they weren't, would it really matter?

If you have to try sooooo hard to find a difference, and after many hours you find that they aren't the same, are you going to go back to paying $17 for a "real" DVD that you would be in stores?
Old 07-29-04, 12:07 AM
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I rip trailers from every DVD I buy. Why? That's for another thread.

But I can tell you from ripping trailers off each DVD... Every movie studio masters their DVDs slightly differently. Some trailers are embedded within the same .vob file with menu items; other trailers are embedded withing the .vob file with the movie material and sometimes they are in their own .vob file with nothing else. If CH was manufacturing the DVDs then it would seem to reason that the technical encoding differences would not strictly differ by STUDIO.

That and the fact that these DVDs look as good even blown up to over 4 feet tall with my front projector. There is no difference.

Paul

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