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When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVDs?

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When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVDs?

Old 10-22-09, 01:08 PM
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When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVDs?

Does anybody remember the year when DVD companies started to rip off the consumer? And what DVDs were those?


- Extras that spread across two disks that could traditionally fit on one DVD (i.e., G.I. Joe)
- DVD companies that removed their usual DTS audio (i.e., Universal)
- Extras getting held back so that they would be added to future editions
- video was not remastered to perfection so that DVD companies could release versions with progressively better video quality

Wasn't there a time period when a DVD was reasonably priced ($20), had tons of extras, had great video off the bat, and had many audio options?
Old 10-22-09, 01:37 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

Originally Posted by toddly6666 View Post

Wasn't there a time period when a DVD was reasonably priced ($20), had tons of extras, had great video off the bat, and had many audio options?

I remember that time.... =) lol like it was 50 years ago or something. I think the biggest "rip off" nowadays is the farce that is the digital copy. Id like to find out the actual % of people who buy the dvd, then use the digital copy.... Probably less then 10%
Old 10-22-09, 01:47 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

I was tempted to buy a dvd with a "digital copy" of The Dark Knight. My computer didn't have internet and my disk drive could read cd/dvds but skipped when playing them. So I thought, "hmmm, maybe I'll buy this for the digital copy and download it to my computer and THEN watch!"

But you need the internet to get the digital copy. If I had internet back then I could just watch a movie or show on Hulu or FOX.

I have no interest in digital copies and I won't buy a bare bones only dvd. What was the point of upgrading from VHS if I'm just getting the movie only?
Old 10-22-09, 01:54 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

I remember The Crow 2-disc and The Others 2-disc in those fatty cases having a disc of pale extras which could probably have been squeezed into the first disc. I was dismayed at the bonus 4th disc in the Scream boxset. My first digital copy was in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix release.
Old 10-22-09, 01:56 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

When did DVD come out?
Old 10-22-09, 01:57 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
I was tempted to buy a dvd with a "digital copy" of The Dark Knight. My computer didn't have internet and my disk drive could read cd/dvds but skipped when playing them. So I thought, "hmmm, maybe I'll buy this for the digital copy and download it to my computer and THEN watch!"

But you need the internet to get the digital copy. If I had internet back then I could just watch a movie or show on Hulu or FOX.

I have no interest in digital copies and I won't buy a bare bones only dvd. What was the point of upgrading from VHS if I'm just getting the movie only?
Significantly better picture and audio without the media decay inherent in tape?

Back on topic. Not sure when the slide began but it certainly became blatant once digital copies became a chargable extra. And no, I don't have any use for them either. Ironically, if I already own the disc I can make my own digital copy pretty damn easily. Some feature.
Old 10-22-09, 02:29 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

If I remember correctly, Armageddon (Criterion) was one of the 1st 2 disc sets & had a pretty flimsy 2nd disc.

It was pretty early on that studios realized that bullet points on the back of the box increased the perceived value of the disc & sold more copies.

I don't think any of these examples constitute a rip off though. All they really have to include is the movie and a DD soundtrack. I'm always surprised how 'extras' quickly became a requirement.
Old 10-22-09, 02:57 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

Originally Posted by mdnitoil View Post
Ironically, if I already own the disc I can make my own digital copy pretty damn easily. Some feature.

No you can't.

A. I've tried, it's not that easy.

B. It's damned illegal.


The people that digital copies are aimed at do not know how to "easily" make their own from the DVD. I do agree that it's a bit of a farce that they sell it as an extra, but if they were to start including instructions on how to rip your DVD to a digital device "just this once", folks would figure out how to do it with every disc.
Old 10-22-09, 03:06 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

I don't think we were ripped off in the early days of DVD.

In the first few years the technology was still progressing. We didn't have anamorphic transfers or dual-layer discs which allowed for the extras without having to compress the film and degrading the quality.

The early transfers were rather grainy but still on par with the Laserdisc at the time.

I think the constant reissues of movies like T2 and Army of Darkness left a bad taste.

Re-issues of films that were originally filmed using 2 channel mono audio, then redone with 5.1 surround.

As of late it's certainly digital copies, bare-bones-only releases or a loaded version that is the same price as the Blu-ray.
Old 10-22-09, 04:31 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

One man's rip-off is another man's savvy marketing.
Old 10-22-09, 04:46 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

For me the glory days were 2003-2005, at that time it seemed that all DVDs were 2 Disc standard at, what is now, a one disc price. The instant I started feeling that I was being cheated was when the companies stop issuing chapter index pages. I also feel that in the beginning Commentaries were pretty standard on releases, and they suddenly stopped being so; I still consider it to the basic feature that all DVDs should have.
Old 10-22-09, 05:07 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

Originally Posted by orangerunner View Post
I don't think we were ripped off in the early days of DVD.

In the first few years the technology was still progressing. We didn't have anamorphic transfers or dual-layer discs which allowed for the extras without having to compress the film and degrading the quality.
I have to say something here, anamorphic transfers were certainly available as some of the first DVDs had them. The problem was they weren't required in the spec (they should been obligated for anything wider than 1.66:1), so studios either went on the cheap re-using old laserdisc transfers, thinking no one would really care, or they knew the widescreen HD revolution would come and they would be able to cash in down the road with 16x9 re-issues.

And the dual-layer technology was also in the spec, but this actually had problems on the physical manufacturing side at first. They knew how to, and could do 16x9 from day one.


I should also add something to refute this whole topic a bit, we're now getting to a point where big boxsets with tons of features are available, TV show season sets are cheap and plentiful, studios are getting into some of the obscure stuff a little more. There's positives and negatives, but something like the massive availability of cheap anime is a good one for me and the missus.

Last edited by milo bloom; 10-22-09 at 05:10 PM.
Old 10-22-09, 05:46 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

Originally Posted by orangerunner View Post
I don't think we were ripped off in the early days of DVD.
How many DVDs came out where the LaserDiscs had more features?
Old 10-22-09, 06:08 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
How many DVDs came out where the LaserDiscs had more features?
Most of the run-of-the-mill CLV $34.95 Laser disc releases didn't have much more than the trailer with, maybe, an audio commentary.

Most of the Laser Discs with the many extras were $69.95 and up.

Again, compression was an issue with the early DVDs as to how much info you could fit on there. Double-discs would have been too expensive at the time as they wanted to keep them around the $29.95 price point.

As it became much cheaper to replicate double discs, dual-layer and flippers, we saw more content in the package.
Old 10-22-09, 06:38 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

But studios still double-dipped us later on when those LD features were able to be put on the DVD. Space is the likely reason, but still a double-dip none the less.
Old 10-22-09, 06:40 PM
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I remember back in the old days every dvd had "Interactive Menus!" listed on the case. Are there any other kind of menus?
Old 10-22-09, 08:07 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

Here's a little "Dirty Trick" I saw on two occaisions.

Putting a "Collectable" in the DVD Case with the disk!

I saw it done with Volume 3 of Speed Racer(A Die-Cast Miniature of Speed's Mach 5 Race Car), and with the Disney/Pixar Movie Cars (Die-Cast Miniatures of Lightning McQueen and three other Charactures from the Movie).

Any Collector worth their salt knows a Collectable retains its value if it is left in the package unopened. Therefore, if you were a collector and wanted to see the Programming, you had to buy TWO of them, one to watch and the other to put away. Naturally, the Studio makes more MONEY by doing this!
Old 10-22-09, 08:14 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
When did DVD come out?

My thoughts exactly.....and 1997 is the correct answer to this question....
Old 10-22-09, 08:43 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

One that pops into my mind is $150 for a season of The X-files on dvd. Although there wasn't some government mandate that you had to buy them.
Old 10-22-09, 09:00 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

Originally Posted by Leechboy View Post
I remember back in the old days every dvd had "Interactive Menus!" listed on the case. Are there any other kind of menus?
Hell, in the early days, they listed "scene selection" as a special feature
Old 10-22-09, 10:05 PM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

OR

you could wait 2 - 4 months and pick up most any DVD at a lower price, typically under $10. Of course, by then, the Special Edition is slated for release. And a couple months later, the Ultimate Edition is sure to follow.

Considering how quickly films come out on DVD (compared to VHS) even with this delay, you would still be getting the movie fairly quickly. I remember the days when a new release VHS tape was 12-18 months after the theatrical release and if you shopped around could even get them under $100.

We have really become spoiled with the 'instant' gratification. But then, there was a time that movies would play in a theater for more than 3 weeks. Now, we have to catch it in the first couple of weeks or else we 'suffer' for 3 or 4 months for the DVD.

I know I'll pick up Inglourious Basterds when it's released, then gripe when the special editions are announced. But in general, I have conditioned myself to wait for new releases. With the backlog of unwatched movies that I have to work through, it's become pretty easy to do.
Old 10-23-09, 02:16 AM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

I'd probably have to say at some point within th past few years. Prices have gone up and special features have been reduced.

Now I have to deal with the indignity of paying for a "digital copy", which is pretty much just a shiny drink coaster to me, just so I can get extras I might actually want.



And I'd say the "good old days" were circa 1999-2005.
Old 10-23-09, 02:19 AM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

VHS tapes were once $100!?

I don't mind waiting at all for the DVD. To me when I see, say THE SPIRIT on dvd, I'm thinking, "damn, already?"

Didn't Mel Gibson say he wasn't going to do a Special Edition for a movie about Jesus?
Old 10-23-09, 04:50 AM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

Originally Posted by toddly6666 View Post
Does anybody remember the year when DVD companies started to rip off the consumer? And what DVDs were those?


-- Extras getting held back so that they would be added to future editions

Wasn't there a time period when a DVD was reasonably priced ($20), had tons of extras, had great video off the bat, and had many audio options?

It takes time and money to produce documentaries, featurettes, and commentaries. Unless the demand is there, it makes no sense for anyone to cut into their profit needlessly to produce "special editions" of ordinary movies that have little appeal.
Old 10-23-09, 09:43 AM
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Re: When did DVD companies start ripping off the consumer and what were those 1st DVD

Originally Posted by UAIOE View Post
I'd probably have to say at some point within th past few years. Prices have gone up and special features have been reduced.

Now I have to deal with the indignity of paying for a "digital copy", which is pretty much just a shiny drink coaster to me, just so I can get extras I might actually want.



And I'd say the "good old days" were circa 1999-2005.
Agreed on all points. It seems that dvd prices were high, then dropped, and now they are creepign up again. Discs that were getting tons of features and were reasonably priced are now featureless and more expensive.

The digital copies are indded useless. But if people will pay for something that one can easily do on any disc on their own, what can we do. They are uselss to me, but sometiems one has to put up with them.

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