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Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

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Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Old 03-07-13, 05:20 PM
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Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

My pal Stephen Bowie and I enjoyed a lively chat about streaming, physical media, and the future of home video. It's being run on both our blogs simultaneously (his is at classictvhistory-dot-wordpress-dot-com, a great site). We really want to know what YOU think. Join in the discussion. Let us know YOUR views on what's happening with all this runaway technology!

You can find it here.
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Old 03-07-13, 07:11 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

I briefly browsed your conversation, but hopefully will get around to reading the entire thing later tonight. One thing that grabbed my attention was this comment by you:

Stuart Galbraith IV: Well, to be honest, unless Iím reviewing the disc I doubt that I look or listen to even one-fifth the special feature content on the DVDs and Blu-rays anymore, even when itís obviously good stuff. If I watch, say, a really great Melville film, instead of spending four or five hours looking at supplements accompanying that disc, Iíd rather spend that time watching another Melville instead. Also, does the world really need to see deleted scenes and listen to an audio commentary to Barbershop 2?
I think the studios themselves devalued special features by doing exactly this, putting a bunch of special features on movies that didn't really need special features. I remember close to 10 years ago seeing special editions of movies and thinking "wow, the special edition isn't so special anymore because that's the only person it's available."

I've said this before someplace else, but I think it bears repeating here: special features to me were interesting when I first got into collecting DVDs in the early 2000s, but the only special features I paid attention to were on horror and sci-fi movies and were commentaries and documentaries. Eventually their novelty wore off and I stopped paying attention to a lot of them. If it's a movie I'm interested in, then yeah I will watch a commentary or a documentary, but for the most part, I don't give a damn if the movie has special features or not.
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Old 03-07-13, 09:44 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Stuart, *that* was a great read! You and Stephen echoed many of my thoughts and concerns. I'm a entertainment collector from way back having started in high school building large book, music, and now, movie/TV libraries.

IMHO streaming is most definitely *not* "ready for prime time" and for many of the reasons you two mention. I'm an IT professional for the largest network in the town in which I live. I have significant experience in streaming for the end user and can say without hesitation that it simply sucks. As the two of you have experienced the quality is abysmal and you can typically expect stutters, stalls, lags, etc. with just about every video over 4-5 minutes in length. I actually had trouble attempting to watch a 3 minute movie *trailer* a couple of days ago (stalled twice both times requiring a restart of the stream) and we're on a OC3 (rougly a 155 Mbit/s) connection. We are implementing Apple TV in many areas and while I was surprised to see the quality is typically much better than watching on a computer screen it still suffers from stutters and stalls. There's just not enough bandwidth *or* server capacity at the streaming service vendors to supply the demand from consumers. Cable internet with its "higher" bandwidth is a good example. It works *great* during the day when everyone is at work but as soon as people get home and get on their computers/TVs/ROKU/Apple TV/etc. systems all that shared bandwidth is rapidly eaten up and the stutters begin. That's what happens to NetFlix on Friday and Saturday nights. Too many people wanting to stream but not enough resources to serve the demand.

What I see developing with the streaming services is a gradual weening of the general public off "free" TV and "owning" of physical media onto a subscription only service where the studios/supplies have you by the short hairs. You'll either pay a monthly fee for entertainment or have none. This even goes for the digital "ownership" of product. If you don't pay that monthly storage fee you'll lose what you've "purchased".

I'm a film/TV fan. I grew up during the age of 3 channels, watching and loving movies on TV. I know the pains of missing a favorite film and having to wait *months* for it to appear again, if at all. I bemoned the use of bugs/crawls/etc. on the actual program video from the beginning. I worked in broadcasting during those years and fought tooth and nail for the practice to be dropped. I learned what TV does to films shot in anything other than academy standard and fought for broadcasts to be done in OAR. I tried in vain to make my friends understand that "those black bars" are OK if that's the OAR. Because of my love of film and TV I built a library of physical media to satisfy my wants and desires. I see no end to the collection at this point in spite of having enough unopened media to provide several years of heavy viewing. It's all because I want to watch *what* I want *when* I want and to introduce my grandkids to classic movies and TV programs the *right* way. The streaming media firms don't quite understand that concept. I do *not* trust some "cloud" service to be around forever (or at least until I'm gone) so do not buy into the "Ultraviolet" scheme of "ownership". What a crock! And people are actually jumping on these bandwagons with no idea of what they are truly getting *or* giving up!

I gave up on the theater experience years ago. Audiences are just too rude for me to tolerate considering the ticket prices. Even then insult is added to injury with the proliferation of pre-movie ads. The last showing I attended had 45 minutes(!) of ads before the film started! I purchase DVDs of my favorite TV shows to avoid ads so why would I want to pay half the cost of a typical TV season to watch a half hour of them prior to a 2 hour film? My theater money now goes to the purchase of the films I'd like to watch. Yes, I'm missing that communal experience but like Stephen I'm pretty much a solitary type viewer and have been most of my life. However, I *do* turn out the lights, turn off the phones, etc. to watch a movie. And don't even *think* about talking during the film unless you want a stern "hush". I tolerate *some* questions from the grandkids during viewings if they are confused about some of the plot details. Like your daughter they get regular injections of classic B/W films and TV programs. Because of this they don't care if a film or TV program is in color or B/W just as long as it's "good". My grandson once made the mistake of telling me "The Three Stooges would be funnier in color". He paid for that indiscretion by hearing a lecture about why being in color doesn't automatically make something "funnier".

Some of the younger people I work with are prime examples of what is becoming acceptable. They don't care about owning a copy of a film because they can just stream a copy (they've not yet experienced a film they want to watch becoming unavailable as all they watch is less than 10 years old). They would rather have portability than quality because "it's just a movie". They don't understand my collector mentality.
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Old 03-07-13, 09:58 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

BobO'Link, yours is EXACTLY the kind of feedback we hope to see evolve from our initial conversation. Any objections to my copying and pasting it in the comments section of the blog, so others can read your thoughts there, too?
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Old 03-08-13, 04:41 AM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

I'm a 22-year-old Brit, and I'm nowhere close to a film buff by you guys' standards (my favourite movies are Take This Waltz, Shawshank Redemption and Grave of the Fireflies - no Tarr or Tati quite yet, at least), but I do love movies and TV, and spend almost all of my 'disposable' income on DVDs and Blu-rays. I have around 4000 titles on disc - around 3/4 TV (TV-on-DVD was my first passion). I'm quite literally the only one of my peers/friends/co-workers who does this. They all find my love for owning movies odd, especially as a) I have an Unlimited card, so I see movies in the theatre ("why would you want to see it again in the next few years?") and b) I'm technologically literate ("why don't you stream, or bittorrent?"). They pretty much don't understand why anyone would want to own more than one or two movies a year. (Skyfall is the first title a lot of them have picked up in months.)

But I persist. I like to collect things, I like DVDs and Blus lined up nicely on a shelf - that's definitely part of it. But I also like the permanence of owning a title; I like to know that next time I want to dig out season one of The Simpsons, I'm not going to have to hope Fox haven't thrown a wobbly with Netflix, or that if I feel like watching that terrible Christmassy Olsen Twins TV movie in mid-July, I darn well can, and need not fear that some Warner exec has yoinked down that dodgy copy on YouTube.

I wrote an article about streaming in Britain, and it hasn't taken off here in quite the same way yet, but it's definitely already a "thing" here, especially among people my age. I take solace in the fact that niche TV titles in particular are experiencing a renaissance here (UK distribs have licensed a boatload of Fox shows that never made it to disc stateside - LA Law, Chicago Hope, Two Guys and a Girl, Malcolm in the Middle) and that the likes of Shout! and Warner Archive are still releasing a significant number of older titles.

re: features - now I have a nine-to-five job and freelance writing gigs, I have less time for them, but I still do my best to check out substantive docs, commetaries and deleted scenes, and I'll still happily pay a few pounds more for a truly good Special Edition. I'd miss them if they all disappeared.
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Old 03-08-13, 06:07 AM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Originally Posted by BobO'Link View Post
Stuart, *that* was a great read! You and Stephen echoed many of my thoughts and concerns. I'm a entertainment collector from way back having started in high school building large book, music, and now, movie/TV libraries.

IMHO streaming is most definitely *not* "ready for prime time" and for many of the reasons you two mention. I'm an IT professional for the largest network in the town in which I live. I have significant experience in streaming for the end user and can say without hesitation that it simply sucks. As the two of you have experienced the quality is abysmal and you can typically expect stutters, stalls, lags, etc. with just about every video over 4-5 minutes in length. I actually had trouble attempting to watch a 3 minute movie *trailer* a couple of days ago (stalled twice both times requiring a restart of the stream) and we're on a OC3 (rougly a 155 Mbit/s) connection. We are implementing Apple TV in many areas and while I was surprised to see the quality is typically much better than watching on a computer screen it still suffers from stutters and stalls. There's just not enough bandwidth *or* server capacity at the streaming service vendors to supply the demand from consumers. Cable internet with its "higher" bandwidth is a good example. It works *great* during the day when everyone is at work but as soon as people get home and get on their computers/TVs/ROKU/Apple TV/etc. systems all that shared bandwidth is rapidly eaten up and the stutters begin. That's what happens to NetFlix on Friday and Saturday nights. Too many people wanting to stream but not enough resources to serve the demand.

What I see developing with the streaming services is a gradual weening of the general public off "free" TV and "owning" of physical media onto a subscription only service where the studios/supplies have you by the short hairs. You'll either pay a monthly fee for entertainment or have none. This even goes for the digital "ownership" of product. If you don't pay that monthly storage fee you'll lose what you've "purchased".

I'm a film/TV fan. I grew up during the age of 3 channels, watching and loving movies on TV. I know the pains of missing a favorite film and having to wait *months* for it to appear again, if at all. I bemoned the use of bugs/crawls/etc. on the actual program video from the beginning. I worked in broadcasting during those years and fought tooth and nail for the practice to be dropped. I learned what TV does to films shot in anything other than academy standard and fought for broadcasts to be done in OAR. I tried in vain to make my friends understand that "those black bars" are OK if that's the OAR. Because of my love of film and TV I built a library of physical media to satisfy my wants and desires. I see no end to the collection at this point in spite of having enough unopened media to provide several years of heavy viewing. It's all because I want to watch *what* I want *when* I want and to introduce my grandkids to classic movies and TV programs the *right* way. The streaming media firms don't quite understand that concept. I do *not* trust some "cloud" service to be around forever (or at least until I'm gone) so do not buy into the "Ultraviolet" scheme of "ownership". What a crock! And people are actually jumping on these bandwagons with no idea of what they are truly getting *or* giving up!

I gave up on the theater experience years ago. Audiences are just too rude for me to tolerate considering the ticket prices. Even then insult is added to injury with the proliferation of pre-movie ads. The last showing I attended had 45 minutes(!) of ads before the film started! I purchase DVDs of my favorite TV shows to avoid ads so why would I want to pay half the cost of a typical TV season to watch a half hour of them prior to a 2 hour film? My theater money now goes to the purchase of the films I'd like to watch. Yes, I'm missing that communal experience but like Stephen I'm pretty much a solitary type viewer and have been most of my life. However, I *do* turn out the lights, turn off the phones, etc. to watch a movie. And don't even *think* about talking during the film unless you want a stern "hush". I tolerate *some* questions from the grandkids during viewings if they are confused about some of the plot details. Like your daughter they get regular injections of classic B/W films and TV programs. Because of this they don't care if a film or TV program is in color or B/W just as long as it's "good". My grandson once made the mistake of telling me "The Three Stooges would be funnier in color". He paid for that indiscretion by hearing a lecture about why being in color doesn't automatically make something "funnier".

Some of the younger people I work with are prime examples of what is becoming acceptable. They don't care about owning a copy of a film because they can just stream a copy (they've not yet experienced a film they want to watch becoming unavailable as all they watch is less than 10 years old). They would rather have portability than quality because "it's just a movie". They don't understand my collector mentality.
I'd put my 2 cents in, except BobO'Link just did it for me!

I will only add that I've bought extra machines (VHS, DVD players, Code-free players), in addition to the three working VHS players and three code-free DVD players already in my apartment, and put them in storage so I will have machines on which to play my physical media (thousands of films and TV episodes) as I hit my retirement years. And I still love VHS. I have hundreds of tapes older than members of this board (like Wezzo) and, for the most part, they play just fine. I trained in 16mm film libraries, so the concept of a film "unspooling" is still part of my DNA. Besides, as a human being, I'm analog and find I have a stronger "chemical" reaction to analog media than digital.
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Old 03-08-13, 06:19 AM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Originally Posted by S Galbraith IV View Post
BobO'Link, yours is EXACTLY the kind of feedback we hope to see evolve from our initial conversation. Any objections to my copying and pasting it in the comments section of the blog, so others can read your thoughts there, too?
None at all. Go for it!

And I didn't even discuss "Special Features". Like you guys I watched a few early on but now pretty much ignor them. I've found deleted/extended scenes are pretty much deleted/shortened for a reason. If they are so great create a extended version of your film *but* give me a choice as to which version to watch. Want to update your cut with better effects/timing/etc.? Fine. But, again, give *me* the choice of watching your alteration *or* the original theatrical release version. I purchase to watch what I saw on screen (theater or TV) the *first* time, *not* an edited version to please the whim of a director or cut because of music pigopolists who refuse to see the value of allowing a *snippet* of their music in a release for fear of losing a couple of pennies (do these guys *really* not understand that little snippet of music could actually result in increased sales from people of current generations who might otherwise be ignorant of the artist/performance thus generating far more revenue than a license agreement could?). I don't make a purchase decision based on "special features" and now reserve such purchases for *very* few and special films. I actually seek out less expensive, non special editions, since I'd rather spend that extra money on another film for the library than on content I'll likely never view.

Last edited by BobO'Link; 03-08-13 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 03-08-13, 07:09 AM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

As someone selling DVDs for a living, I wish I could criticize the performance of streaming, or it's ease or use. But I can't. Though my experience is very limited, my use of netflix streaming wireless to a fat PS3, has been not only easy but high quality. Rock solid HD signal 99% of the time and as easy as playing a game on the PS3. I am not what you would call tech saavy either. I realize it has it's issues; it just hasn't had many for me.

All the criticism of streaming seemingly ignore its pluses as well; the sheer amount of movies streaming over various services allows me to try many that I might otherwise NEVER have spent the money to get a physical copy of. I would not have plunked down 14$ for, say, Iron Sky sight unseen, but I streamed it on NF...and loved it. As a film fan or someone who really wants to spread the love of films...that really should be a a big +1.

It is an interesting point Stuart mentions about the Japanese still renting videos, but I also just read an article (as a company that still uses faxes in an email world it was brought up to me many times) about how frequently the Japanese still use faxes. It detailed how a lunch/breakfast delivery service lost about half it's biz when it went to email order as opposed to fax. As cutting edge as the Japanese can be, they are also...quirky on tradition let's say....I wouldn't say their video rental habits are much of an indicator of anything.

OTOH, I think the mention of the rest of the world, especially the parts of it with a far lower level of tech, was right on. DVD can remain a strong format as it serves as either a stopgap or a permanent solution to their media needs as they try to get a reliable data infrastructure up.

In the more advanced world proper, IMO there needs to be a realization by publishers of physical media that they can go two paths: present premium editions chock full of extras and charge accordingly, or deliver bargain versions.....with actual bargain prices. The former will never move an increasing number of unit, it lives off a hardcore cadre of fans who is only getting smaller. The latter will expand the user base, at least internationally, but they'll make less money on each piece doing it, and possibly "de-value" their product. Too many try to ride the middle IMO.

MOD could have a BIG role in this....but the studios would rather milk the minimum than expand the maximum--as growing DVD as a format is not longer a desirable thing to them. They don't WANT any competitors to streaming--where they control the content with an iron fist.

Lastly, I understand what Stuart says here:

I regret that audiences can never again experience Star Wars as I did, with an audience that had no idea what they were getting, who by the end was literally cheering at the end.

But at the same time, IMO there is always magic in the right theater with a good movie, that is by nature of watching as a group. When I saw the Star Wars re-releases (!) in the theater as a high school kid, we were all aware how COOL it was we were watching SW on the big screen. It was a BIG deal for us. Yeah, we knew what we were getting (NEW STUFF! BLAH!)...but it also had a character I bet the original showings did not have. Many places I went ( I saw each multiple times) were akin to what I have heard about Rocky Horror Picture show showings. People in costume, fans geeking out in the lobby with each other, people reciting and playacting lines in front before it started, and just the APPRECIATION of the film really struck me....people CLAPPED politely the first time each major character appeared, which sounds annoying, I know, but in the context of a bunch of geeks worshipping in their "church"...it was actually a very unifying experience. And when the death star goes boom...the cheers were still there.
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Old 03-08-13, 12:46 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Originally Posted by GoldenWheels View Post
Lastly, I understand what Stuart says here:

I regret that audiences can never again experience Star Wars as I did, with an audience that had no idea what they were getting, who by the end was literally cheering at the end.
I disagree. They can but one just has to remove the temptation to read all about a film before it comes out. I recently saw an article about surprises to Hangover III. I simply don't read stuff like that. The temptation isn't so great for me to find out what happens in a film before it's come out, ruining any chance of surprise and the associated enjoyment that comes with it.

It's the equivalent of the guy that ruins the ending of movies for people. Somehow that guy is a jerk when he does it, yet many of the same people that criticize him will also go online to find out the secrets before they've seen it.

That being said, it means I live in a bubble. I rarely watch live TV, so I skip through commercials and rarely watch any ads for films. I don't read up on movies that are out or coming out on forums unless it's something I've seen and even then, I usually don't care enough to read about it anyway.

I usually skip previews on DVD/Blu-ray unless it forces me to watch, which means I'm missing out on those. I don't go to a store to rent anything anymore and pretty much only track new releases in weekly ads. I also somewhat keep up with the lists at icheckmovies and the more popular films will show up on the imdb lists and hang around for awhile, eventually getting me to remember their names and then possibly renting them on Netflix or using a free Redbox code on them.

The only movies I ever really hear anything about are those that are really huge or really popular. That helps because I end up never hearing about the really bad ones and I don't deal with all the awful DTV films that I would frequently run across when I would go into a video rental store.

So while there's downsides to my system, I do have the great advantage of not hyping myself up over certain films and being disappointed it didn't meet some insanely high level of expectation. It's a tradeoff I've been happy to live with.
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Old 03-09-13, 05:02 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

I bemoned the use of bugs/crawls/etc. on the actual program video from the beginning. I worked in broadcasting during those years and fought tooth and nail for the practice to be dropped.
That's interesting- that's actually the main reason I decided NOT to work in TV after wanting to for a long time (that and the virtual death of independent TV stations, which was the kind of station I wanted to work at.) Bugs have completely ruined my enjoyment of TV and why I hardly watch it at all anymore- they seem to be the elephant in the room to most people however, with nobody commenting on them. I've always wondered why show producers don't object to them more? (I would not even allow any stupid video shot by me to appear on "America's Funniest Home Videos" with a network bug on it!) And most importantly, what has been GAINED in over 15 years of doing this?
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Old 03-09-13, 05:33 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
...Bugs have completely ruined my enjoyment of TV and why I hardly watch it at all anymore- they seem to be the elephant in the room to most people however, with nobody commenting on them. I've always wondered why show producers don't object to them more? (I would not even allow any stupid video shot by me to appear on "America's Funniest Home Videos" with a network bug on it!) And most importantly, what has been GAINED in over 15 years of doing this?
I don't think the younger generations really notice the stationary bugs any more. Of course the broadcasters are so worried you'll change the channel they feel it necessary to bastardize programs with lower third promos for upcoming programs. I'm also annoyed by the current practice of starting the next program in a reduction box while the credits for the previous program are still rolling in another. I typically watch 2-3 hours of "live" TV per week and those few annoyances are enough to keep me from watching more. I've gotten to where I watch "live" TV solely to sample a program or provide background noise when I'm doing something else and am too lazy to put on a CD.

I really need to ask my grandkids (ages 6 & 9) if they notice the bugs and animations and see what they think about their use. It could be interesting.

IMHO, *nothing* has been gained. Management then, and now, seems to think people are too stupid to know what channel they are watching. Over-the-air broadcasters are worried that people with diaries will fill in the wrong channel and they'll not get credit for the viewing. The lower third promos are to keep you interested enough to not change the channel at the end of the program. I've often wondered if ratings would actually go *up* for a station that eliminated all those intrusions. The problem is no one is willing to take that chance.
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Old 03-09-13, 05:40 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
And most importantly, what has been GAINED in over 15 years of doing this?
It has kept the bootleggers from releasing perfect copies of TV shows on DVD-R.
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Old 03-09-13, 07:17 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Originally Posted by Texan26 View Post
It has kept the bootleggers from releasing perfect copies of TV shows on DVD-R.
I believe this was the original purpose of the "Bugs" Unfortunately it hasn't done anything to stop them.
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Old 03-09-13, 08:10 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Of course the broadcasters are so worried you'll change the channel they feel it necessary to bastardize programs with lower third promos for upcoming programs.
And that's precisely what MAKES me change the channel, rather than stay and watch.
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Old 03-09-13, 09:00 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

I haven't watched "Appointment TV", either broadcast or Pay, in over six years. From what I've seen, it's only gotten worse since I threw in the towel in 2007. DVDs are nothing less than a Godsend. No intrusions of any kind to interrupt my viewing. I read this last "Sweeps" period was one of the worst for the Networks, and Pay-TV has lost 3,000,000 customers since 2010. Prices have only gone up, while the quality of what's being shown has done nothing but head south. A house divided against itself cannot stand. I've never seen a business raise prices and lower the quality of what they produce stay in business for long. When people see this happen they do one of two things:

Find that product from another source.

Replace that product with something else.

Consequentially the company goes down the drain.
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Old 03-09-13, 09:02 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Just read the whole thing- my 2 cents; I've always thought Netflix was a great replacement for broadcast and cable TV, but not for physical media. While Netflix still can't match the quality of what cable is CAPABLE of providing (but rarely does), the fact that it shows you what you want, when you want, and with no intrusions (at least aside from that thing which breaks into the end credits, which thankfully isn't supported on my TV) makes it a great value. Blu-Ray quality of course is still much better, and more permanent. I don't expect everything on Netflix to always be there so I watch what I want as soon as I can, but if it's something I like I'll buy it on Blu-Ray so I can keep it forever.

One limitation about streaming that nobody seems to notice is that it can't show video-based material at 30 frames per second! Don't tell me "I need a new video card", the apps built into my TV and Blu-Ray player STILL won't stream video material at the proper frame rate!
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Old 03-09-13, 09:11 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Wait...Two Guys And A Girl is out on dvd somewhere ?
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Old 03-09-13, 09:17 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Originally Posted by Spottedfeather View Post
Wait...Two Guys And A Girl is out on dvd somewhere ?
yes.
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Old 03-09-13, 09:27 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
if it's something I like I'll buy it on Blu-Ray so I can keep it forever.
That's one of the best things about purchasing something on Blu-Ray or DVD. After you've finished watching something, YOU GET TO KEEP IT!
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Old 03-09-13, 09:54 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Another issue with the industry going to all-streaming is that the studios have more control of the prices. For example, you can rent or buy a disc for whatever the store wants to charge for it. The prices for streaming rentals however have started to INCREASE- I've noticed the prices on Vudu, CinemaNow and Film Fresh (which my equipment supports, don't have Amazon on anything right now) have gone up a dollar for most new movies added in the past couple weeks. If you want an HD rental, you have to pay $5.99 on any of these services. If that's too much for you, it's not like you can shop around for a better price. I was appalled when Di$ney made "Wreck-it Ralph" available for purchase (only, you couldn't rent it) on these services a few weeks before the discs were available- you could "buy" it (meaning get access to watch it on your registered device, for as long as it's kept online at least) for $22.99- every service had it for the same price. I of course waited until the 3D Blu-Ray came out and got it at the store near me with the lowest price, which was less than that, and now I have it in both 3D and 2D, in better quality and with extras, to play on any compatible equipment.
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Old 03-10-13, 12:33 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Originally Posted by Regulus View Post
I believe this was the original purpose of the "Bugs" Unfortunately it hasn't done anything to stop them.
Bugs were around long before DVD-Rs, let alone people pirating on the net.
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Old 03-10-13, 01:04 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers View Post
Bugs were around long before DVD-Rs, let alone people pirating on the net.
I first noticed them in the early 1980s, when people were recording primarily on VHS. Of course the "Bugs' got bigger and bigger, especially in the last 10 years. Then came the "Pop-Ups" and other intrusions, some of which had sound effects. For example, you'd be watching a program where a pair of Police officers are stalking a suspect. One of them turns to his partner and says "Shhh, I thought I heard something". At that very moment, a loud ROWMMMMMMM Pierces the silence as a Squadron of Biplanes strafes the bottom of the screen, followed by a banner announcing a program about Aviation follows the movie. Or you are watching a movie that takes place in Siberia. To make it realistic the actors are speaking in Russian. What are they saying? The "Subtitle" reads "Severe Thunderstorm Watch Cancelled". As I mentioned before I just simply gave up.
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Old 03-10-13, 03:26 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
Another issue with the industry going to all-streaming is that the studios have more control of the prices. For example, you can rent or buy a disc for whatever the store wants to charge for it. The prices for streaming rentals however have started to INCREASE- I've noticed the prices on Vudu, CinemaNow and Film Fresh (which my equipment supports, don't have Amazon on anything right now) have gone up a dollar for most new movies added in the past couple weeks. If you want an HD rental, you have to pay $5.99 on any of these services. If that's too much for you, it's not like you can shop around for a better price. I was appalled when Di$ney made "Wreck-it Ralph" available for purchase (only, you couldn't rent it) on these services a few weeks before the discs were available- you could "buy" it (meaning get access to watch it on your registered device, for as long as it's kept online at least) for $22.99- every service had it for the same price. I of course waited until the 3D Blu-Ray came out and got it at the store near me with the lowest price, which was less than that, and now I have it in both 3D and 2D, in better quality and with extras, to play on any compatible equipment.
That really gets me on streaming. I just don't understand why anyone would "buy" and pay as much or *more* for a digital copy stored online when physical media is available. It's the same for music. Recently I've noticed digital online copies of movies and music are frequently higher priced than the physical version. Since there's *no* warehouse, plastic box, paper insert, shipping, etc. I would think a digital copy should cost no more than *half* that of a physical copy. Of course I'm the antithesis of what the media moguls want as I'm already on the fence with MOD and once physical copies go away (which I feel is what the industry would truly like to see occur), so will my money.
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Old 03-10-13, 03:44 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Originally Posted by Texan26 View Post
It has kept the bootleggers from releasing perfect copies of TV shows on DVD-R.
Originally Posted by Regulus View Post
I believe this was the original purpose of the "Bugs" Unfortunately it hasn't done anything to stop them.
That may have been a partial reason initially but the driving force was the proliferation and expansion of cable TV channels. The "big three" were becoming worried that people wouldn't know what channel they were watching and drift away from their offerings. After all, they were coming off decades of only 3 or 4 channels in most markets. In the brave new world of a dozen or more cable channels someone surfing for their favorite prime-time show might stumble across a syndicated re-run on a cable channel and think they were at the correct one for first run thus depriving the network/affiliate of those advertisment viewings. Or someone might stop on your channel because something looked interesting but not know what channel/network they were watching and never find you again. Basically the assumption that people are stupid and don't know one channel from another so something had to be done to fix that and keep viewership. The practice grew in spite of viewers not liking the practice simply because where else are they going to go? Viewers then, as now, have 2 choices: Put up with the practice or stop watching. Most people just put up with it because they feel complaining to the networks will simply fall on deaf ears. The reality is more and more viewers are going to streaming *or* just purchasing DVD/BR copies of their favorites to escape those annoyances.
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Old 03-10-13, 07:06 PM
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Re: Steaming, Physical Media, and the Future of Home Video

Or someone might stop on your channel because something looked interesting but not know what channel/network they were watching and never find you again.
Or in my case, stop because something looked interesting, but not stay and watch because the logo was too annoying. Ironically my "home" TV channel is currently the CW station, because even though that network stands for "Can't Watch", they only have 2 hours of programming on weeknights, the rest of the time the local station airs their syndicated shows bug-free!
And again, the "creative community" remains silent about it. Steven Speilberg requested some of his movies be shown bug-free, but even he seems to have caved on that recently. All it would take would be for someone like Joss Whedon to demand his next show be aired bug-free.

Seems those people would like us to see their movies in the best possible quality as well, which ISN'T through streaming! How about Michael Bay giving his latest crap-fest a Blu-Ray 3D exclusive release a month before it's available any other way, promoting it as seeing it the way he intended?
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