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Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

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Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Old 08-15-09, 06:36 PM
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Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

I know this question has been brought in not so many words on this board numerous times, but I still feel there hasn't been a resolution to it that has put me at ease.

I understand studios want to push the Blu Ray format, and It is very understandable that they would promote it very heavily, but what I don't understand is why would they insult and discriminate on the DVD consumers, since we are their bread and butter.

I believe that the features that can be on both formats should be available for both consumers instead of trying to manipulate the non blu ray consumers into getting the format if they choose not to.

I personally have put lots of money, time and effort my DVD collection, I have no interest in converting to the Blu Ray format, now I am not saying the Blu Ray format is not good, better or worse, but I am very comfortable with the DVD format and not willing to convert a 4 thousand plus DVD collection to Blu Ray just because its a fad or do to manipulation of Studios. I did that already with VHS.

It is very possible withing the next 6 to 10 years another format would come along that would have more advance technology than Blu Ray and then the whole cycle will begin again.

I honestly feel studios should be held responsible for not providing the extra features and not telling or singling out consumers for their race, creed, income or because they are DVD consumers that they cannot have these features.

What are your thoughts regarding this issue guys, let the hazing begin!!!

Old 08-15-09, 06:44 PM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Thank you for your continued support of DVD and while I agree with your post I must answer sadly no to your main question. If breaks my heart when they pull Blu-ray exclusives and sneaky tactics of the like.
I also am a dvd guy and have no real interest in going Blu.
Old 08-15-09, 07:11 PM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

well not that people are taking others to court constantly in this country
anyhow, but i think the studios can do what they want in this case
even if you took these corporations to court, i think they have much deeper
pockets and busloads full of lawyers to sit it out
unfortunately the only tactic that would work is if no one purchased their
products anymore, which unfortunately won`t work either, as (following dvdtalk threads) few people seem to care that dvd customers are second
rate buyers nowadays!
Old 08-15-09, 07:45 PM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

This is how I thought in the early 90s when tons of movies showed up letterboxed on laserdisc, but only pan and scan on VHS. I thought "Just because I have VHS doesn't mean I'm stupid" and sent letters to most of the studios complaining about this, but kept getting the standard response that the general public didn't like letterboxing and the people who did had laserdisc players so that's just how it was. I finally broke down and got a laserdisc player and never looked back.

Switching to Blu-Ray doesn't mean you have to re-buy all your movies on it- you can play regular DVDs on the same player and decide for yourself if they look good enough or not. (You don't even have to replace your VHS tapes for that matter, though they usually don't play on the same machine.)
Old 08-15-09, 08:40 PM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Sadly, no. I can’t imagine any legal recourse unless they started to do something very different and blatantly illegal.

It ticks me off to no end to see stuff like this. Between Blu Ray “exclusives“ and digital copies, I have finally pretty much given up on buying SEs. For the past decade, I’ve always wanted to buy the “best” version possible of a movie on DVD but with a second disc occupied solely by a digital copy I don’t want or basic bonus features needlessly withheld to force collectors to buy their blu ray crap, why bother? This past summer I reluctantly bought my first non-SE version of a title, Watchmen. With most other titles I probably would have purchased in the past, I find myself skipping them altogether.

Frankly I think that most studios got fat and spoiled on DVD revenue during the golden days and are trying to force us into a repeat. Since video and sound quality are apparently not enough alone, they feel the need to rip off their consumers in this manner.
Old 08-15-09, 08:41 PM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Sadly, no. I can’t imagine any legal recourse unless they started to do something very different and blatantly illegal.

It ticks me off to no end to see stuff like this. Between Blu Ray “exclusives“ and digital copies, I have finally pretty much given up on buying SEs. For the past decade, I’ve always wanted to buy the “best” version possible of a movie on DVD but with a second disc occupied solely by a digital copy I don’t want or basic bonus features needlessly withheld to force collectors to buy their blu ray crap, why bother? This past summer I reluctantly bought my first non-SE version of a title, Watchmen. With most other titles I probably would have purchased in the past, I find myself skipping them altogether.

Frankly I think that most studios got fat and spoiled on DVD revenue during the golden days and are trying to force us into a repeat. Since video and sound quality are apparently not enough alone, they feel the need to rip off their consumers in this manner.
Old 08-15-09, 08:51 PM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Originally Posted by Willo007 View Post
What are your thoughts regarding this issue guys, let the hazing begin!!!
I don't think that DVD consumers are a legally protected class the way racial minorities are, so no.
Old 08-15-09, 09:07 PM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

I still don't get why don't people understand that now Blu-ray is the premium product for the studios. To entice customers to get Blu-ray, they add extra content and features not available on DVD. It is their prerogative and no, there is no discrimination at all because studios are not making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.

Laserdisc had more features than VHS. DVDs had more features than most laserdisc and certainly VHS. Now Blu-ray is the next step. It is called progress. It is completely ridiculous that someone would think of suing a studio because a DVD they buy has less features than the Blu-ray disc. And yes, it is most likely that there will be a better product in the next 5 years and consumers will have to adjust accordingly.
Old 08-15-09, 09:25 PM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Originally Posted by dx23 View Post
I still don't get why don't people understand that now Blu-ray is the premium product for the studios. To entice customers to get Blu-ray, they add extra content and features not available on DVD. It is their prerogative and no, there is no discrimination at all because studios are not making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.

Laserdisc had more features than VHS. DVDs had more features than most laserdisc and certainly VHS. Now Blu-ray is the next step. It is called progress. It is completely ridiculous that someone would think of suing a studio because a DVD they buy has less features than the Blu-ray disc. And yes, it is most likely that there will be a better product in the next 5 years and consumers will have to adjust accordingly.
I understand studios would like for Blu-ray to be the premium product for the them. But what I dont understand or feel like they are playing nice its that even though Blu Ray might sound better and look better (depending on the film or taste) , why do they feel the need to only have features like Commentaries and documentaries exclusively to Blu Ray. The way I see it is they are not selling as good as they wanted so they are forcing the DVD collectors to up grade for only those features whether or not they want be up grated , and that is what I find to be wrong.
Old 08-15-09, 09:35 PM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

I agree that special features shouldn't be held back from DVD. I think the format should sell itself on its own qualities, without tactics like this. However, in no way is this "discrimination" that merits legal action.

BTW, there are quite a few BDs that are missing features from the DVDs. Hey, there's another lawsuit! Can we sue over DNR, EE, and double dipping too?

And, I doubt we'll see a better format within 5 years. The next step is probably 4k, and that will be a VERY tough sell to mainstream consumers, most of which really won't be able to see the difference (and I mean really, not like how some people today say they don't see much of a difference between DVD and BD).
Old 08-15-09, 10:07 PM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Originally Posted by dx23 View Post
I still don't get why don't people understand that now Blu-ray is the premium product for the studios. To entice customers to get Blu-ray, they add extra content and features not available on DVD. It is their prerogative and no, there is no discrimination at all because studios are not making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.

Laserdisc had more features than VHS. DVDs had more features than most laserdisc and certainly VHS. Now Blu-ray is the next step. It is called progress. It is completely ridiculous that someone would think of suing a studio because a DVD they buy has less features than the Blu-ray disc. And yes, it is most likely that there will be a better product in the next 5 years and consumers will have to adjust accordingly.
Totally agree. Buck up, guys. Let it go. WTF were you doing when DVD came out? Did you shit your pants when you couldn't get extra features on the tape? Sure some tapes had features after the credits but c'mon...just stop bitching. It's getting old for sure...kind of like the discussion of ratings and lengths for certain films.

I'm a DVD guy for sure right now. I buy some BR when it's a film I really like and I hear it's features are great or for some other reasons. For ex. I got There Will Be Blood on BR cuz it didn't have the crap case and it was cheaper. TDK I own on standard DVD and on BR (mostly cuz of the IMAX scenes which were great to see at IMAX).

Last edited by Solid Snake; 08-15-09 at 10:13 PM.
Old 08-15-09, 10:47 PM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

i apologize if i am not in the loop on this, but why are some new sd dvd releases so poor in quality compared to their blu counterparts? ive seen numerous threads lately about how bad the sd dvd release is while the blu is near perfect. i recall comments about this on the dark knight.

if this is accurate, as a few posters in the past have suggested, are studios intentionally releasing subpar sd dvds in order to widen the difference when compared to blu? of course, this is not illegal or discriminatory in the sense of each word. but ill argue it is pretty sucky.
Old 08-15-09, 10:54 PM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

The tactics used to get people to switch to Blu-ray comes across as very desperate and manipulative.

When DVD came out, its quality, features and price spoke for themselves.

The studios didn't have to start recording pre-recorded VHS tapes in SLP speed or make VHS artificially seem inferior to make DVD look better. It simply was a superior technology that you could use with your current TV & really see the difference. When you add the small disc size, the extras, the chapter stops, languages, not having to rewind etc, VHS wasn't going to last long.

In order to sell Blu-ray, the studios feel they have to "dumb" down DVD in order to make BR appear so much better. They're not really offering more (other than marginally better picture and sound) with Blu-ray, they've just decided to give you less with DVD.

When you mention Blu-ray is too expensive, the argument is that DVD was expensive when it came out as well.

Well, yes and no. Sure, a DVD player was $500 in 1998 (one year on the market) but a comparable brand Hi-Fi Stereo VHS in 1998 was $275.

Today a brand name DVD player can be had for $50 and a Blu-ray is $249 after 3+ years on the market.

DVD movies were $29.95 for a new release whereas with VHS you either paid $89.95 for a new release or you had to wait for a six month long sell-through price which was usually $14.99-$19.99. Laser disc was also available at $34.95 and up as well.

Relatively speaking, DVD was not overly expensive. Relatively speaking, as of today Blu-ray is expensive and too similar to what it is trying to replace.

Last edited by orangerunner; 08-16-09 at 12:15 AM.
Old 08-16-09, 12:35 AM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

I don't understand this argument. Back in the mid to late 90's Before DVD, studios started putting bonus content on vhs. The first I remember was the Crow. In 1997 before DVD If I wanted to hear the commentary on Scream, I had to buy the widescreen giftset which came with two vhs tapes...one in widescreen, the second the movie with director and writer commentary. Then DVD comes along. Now the picture and audio is leaps and bounds better than vhs, and has a all new content delivery system(which turns out to be not so new if you had had a laserdisc player for tbhe previous 18-20 years). I worked in a video store from '96 to '00. The amount of bitchin I heard about the "new product" was hilarious. From "I don't notice any difference in picture quality" to "I will never get a DVD player because all the movies have black bars on them...I hate those." So then it became about content...i.e. extras. Studios started seeing that the most packed discs were their top sellers, and pretty soon everybody started releasing special editions, deluxe editions, etc. SO you see, that's were studios saw a pattern, so when they launch two new formats in 2006, people were stuck wondering what to do. The attitude was wait and see which one wins. Both offer backwards compatibility so your DVD collection was not going to be obsolete, but the big upgade is in the audio video dept. But like everything when there is competition between products and the studios can't decide on which one to support, consumer confusion abounds and DVD is still the people's choice. January 2008 a major studio goes from backing both formats to just one, and Blu-ray wins. Now studios start offering exclusive content on blu (just like they did for DVD eleven years ago).

So obviously studios are trying it again with Blu.
Personally, I still think there is a lot of confusion out there as to what HD really is. So if you can't tell a difference between 1080i or 1080p or so on, maybe you need to go to a Home theater dealer, and not Best Buy or any other big box store. Most will gladly show you a demonstration. You might even buy something while you are there.
Old 08-16-09, 12:48 AM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

While I clearly understand the frustration that more Blu-Ray titles are getting added features, what is happening now is really no different than when CDs first appeared on the market and when DVD first appeared on the market.

When CDs first appeared, the big thing was to put bonus tracks on the discs. Either demos or outtakes or b-sides not on the regular LP/cassette release. Sure, you were paying more for the CD because of better audio quality, but you also were getting added value on a lot of titles with the added content.

When DVDs first came out, many of the titles were widescreen only. As a result, the widescreen section in video stores got smaller and smaller.

Now with Blu-Ray they are putting the bonus features on the Blu-Ray titles. But before Blu-Ray came about, we saw less and less features being put on DVDs and some titles split the two disc limited edition from the single disc edition. That's because a lot of customers don't watch the bonus features and don't care for them. From a business standpoint, would you continue throwing money at content for a format that most of your customers will ignore? Why bother?

DVDs featured widescreen presentations of movies from the beginning because studios knew that people who would embrace the technology early would want that, and would want the added bonus features. As DVDs became more mainstream, especially after VHS died off completely, it stood to reason that the format was going to become more mainstream and putting the added features on them that attracted the collectors and vidoephiles at the beginning wouldn't work so much any more.

The studios know that their main audience for Blu-Ray is going to be the same people who embraced DVDs early. They want the added features. And one of the added features on a Blu-Ray disc is more disc space. If you are trying to sell me on the idea that Blu-Ray is better and one of the reasons it is better is because it can hold 50 GB of information, there damn well better be added features on there the regular DVD doesn't have, or you lose my sale because DVDs will upconvert just fine, and thank you very much!

I am fine with DVDs as a format. But I will agree...Blu-Ray is better. And if you don't feel the need to sink a lot of money in a whole new set up, and don't feel the need to replace your whole collection, then don't. I don't plan to. I would feel just fine with a nice but inexpensive TV that may not get as good of a resolution as a Sony 1080p but my focus is on bonus features. And the players have gone down in price, and will continue to go down in price.

And it's not discrimination. It's studios trying to determine where to focus their money and attention to appeal to the main stream consumers. I think once VHS died out, the DVD format became the new VHS. Now Blu-Ray is the way to go to get the best product. If you feel you have to get the true 1080p and buy into the hype that's the ONLY way you can experience Blu-Ray and all that mess, then that's your decision. If you want extra features and want the best releases, it really doesn't cost too much more. And I think the minimal up cost on it is not much for the trade off.
Old 08-16-09, 12:52 AM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Originally Posted by TylerDurden_73 View Post
consumer confusion abounds and DVD is still the people's choice.
Tell me about it! The other day, I had somebody ask me if they make a Blu-Ray/DVD combo player. I was like...uh........

Originally Posted by TylerDurden_73 View Post
So obviously studios are trying it again with Blu.
Personally, I still think there is a lot of confusion out there as to what HD really is. So if you can't tell a difference between 1080i or 1080p or so on, maybe you need to go to a Home theater dealer, and not Best Buy or any other big box store. Most will gladly show you a demonstration. You might even buy something while you are there.
I can tell a difference. There is a clear difference to me, but I don't think the difference is all that huge of a jump in improvement for me. For some, I understand why it is, but for some people it's not the be all and end all of home entertainment. There are other reasons Blu-Ray appeals to me. And for those reasons, I will upgrade when I feel the price is fair and has gone down enough to justify it. I've seen upconverted DVDs in demonstrations and they look really good to me as well, so I am willing to wait for a time.

Last edited by calhoun07; 08-16-09 at 12:56 AM.
Old 08-16-09, 02:00 AM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Originally Posted by calhoun07 View Post
I can tell a difference. There is a clear difference to me, but I don't think the difference is all that huge of a jump in improvement for me. For some, I understand why it is, but for some people it's not the be all and end all of home entertainment. There are other reasons Blu-Ray appeals to me. And for those reasons, I will upgrade when I feel the price is fair and has gone down enough to justify it. I've seen upconverted DVDs in demonstrations and they look really good to me as well, so I am willing to wait for a time.
There was a clear difference between VHS and S-VHS as well. Market research told the studios it wasn't enough to make people drop their standard VHS tapes and buy into, essentially, the same product except the visuals were sharper and sound was cleaner.

There's a clear difference with Blu-ray if you put it on on a 52" HDTV screen and sit four feet away from the set. For most set-ups with a 40" or smaller TV the difference isn't going to make most people's socks roll up and down and start buying everything Blu-ray.

I still feel Blu-ray is going to be a stop-gap for something better coming up shortly.

Even within the Blu-ray format itself, if you buy a title now, in a few months a better version of the film comes out. No, "you don't have to double-dip", "no one's forcing you" is always the retort but most Blu-ray owners want the best, or they wouldn't have bothered with Blu-ray in the first place.

Will you really settle for an inferior Blu-ray version of your favorite movie? Jump on the treadmill & get ready to fork out more $$$ for the "best".

The recordable Blu-ray blank discs are at least six bucks a pop still don't have a very good track record of playing in the various machines. Creating & editing your own HD home videos on Blu-ray is very difficult and time consuming.

Add in firmware upgrades and it just feels like a format that hasn't matured enough yet.

Last edited by orangerunner; 08-16-09 at 02:11 AM.
Old 08-16-09, 02:29 AM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Originally Posted by orangerunner View Post
Even within the Blu-ray format itself, if you buy a title now, in a few months a better version of the film comes out. No, "you don't have to double-dip", "no one's forcing you" is always the retort but most Blu-ray owners want the best, or they wouldn't have bothered with Blu-ray in the first place.
Even now there are some double dips and in the future I'm sure it will get worse as Blu-Ray becomes widely adopted as TV/player/product prices decrease, but at the moment, double-dipping isn't too bad. I can only think of four titles that were double-dipped, two of which aren't out yet and two of which offer an alternate cut: Casino Royale, No Country For Old Men, Natural Born Killers and Harry Potter.
Old 08-16-09, 02:50 AM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

I can understand the push towards Blu-Ray, as that means profits on movies that people have already bought (much like VHS---->DVD) but (for me) the price of a 1080 HDTV is still not affordable.

I'm not going to buy a 720 TV just to turn around and get a 1080 later on. I'll just have to wait until the prices are more affordable for me.

Plus I can wait for the 1st/2nd gen "hurry and port this to Blu-Ray" junk gets passed over for better stuff.
Old 08-16-09, 02:56 AM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Originally Posted by droidguy1119 View Post
Even now there are some double dips and in the future I'm sure it will get worse as Blu-Ray becomes widely adopted as TV/player/product prices decrease, but at the moment, double-dipping isn't too bad. I can only think of four titles that were double-dipped, two of which aren't out yet and two of which offer an alternate cut: Casino Royale, No Country For Old Men, Natural Born Killers and Harry Potter.
I can think of a few more, but I only know of two cases where the transfer was remastered, and one of them even had a trade-in program (The Fifth Element). Full Metal Jacket was the other. But, of course double dipping is a big issue with DVD as well.

I would really like some ideas as to what better thing is coming shortly. A flash card format? Downloads?
Old 08-16-09, 03:19 AM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Holographic storage, that was the supposed "next" big tech beyond Blu-Ray.
Old 08-16-09, 05:36 AM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

If you buy a Cadillac, it has more features than a Chevy. If you buy a high end TV or dishwasher, it has more features than the standard model. Why should it be any different for DVD/Blu Ray?
Old 08-16-09, 06:04 AM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Because now dishwashers (SD) are being sold without the rinse cycle...
Old 08-16-09, 06:21 AM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Originally Posted by bigE View Post
Because now dishwashers (SD) are being sold without the rinse cycle...
I disagree. Extras are not essential for the overall enjoyment of the movie, like a rinse cycle is for a dishwasher. The movie is the most important thing.
Old 08-16-09, 06:30 AM
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Re: Are Studios legally liable for discrimination against DVD consumers?

Did VHS collectors feel this same sense of entitlement when DVD was released?

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