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HD Talk The place to discuss HD DVD, Blu-ray and all other forms and formats of HD and HDTV.

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Old 12-15-16, 03:00 AM   #1
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Is Ultra HD Blu-ray really worth the upgrade? (split from the DVD/BD sales thread)

Mod note -- I moved the back and forth about the merits of Ultra HD Blu-ray from the DVD/Blu-ray sales thread into its own topic. Below is the post that started this off.
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Originally Posted by orangerunner View Post
It may be more apparent next year but I think Blu-ray will find itself in a "no-man's-land" as more collector-minded buyers may hold-off and wait for 4K Blu-ray to mature and others will, if not already, just go the streaming route.
There's zero evidence of this other than the wild prognostications of a minority in the online community who desperately want it to be true. Hell, surfing through the forums I am reading about steel book collectors actually selling off the 4K discs in their "Suicide Squad" steelbooks. The vast majority of people continue to buy DVDs rather than Blu-rays—the whole notion of UHD supplanting Blu-ray is hilarious. They are forcing the format down people's throats and many resent it. If anything, more people are dumping their collections. Every time I go to local haunts for used discs there are more and more DVDs and Blu-rays to sift through—and yes, even a growing presence of UHD discs! I do own two UHD discs—"Labyrinth" and "Ghostbusters." The only reason they are in my collection is that I wanted the steelbooks. Sorry, but I don't see any evidence of a groundswell of support for UHD Not even the studios seem to give a damn! The lack of true 4K content will be its demise as many sitting the proper distance from their displays say to themselves, "Hmm I don't see much of a difference." For people with modest displays, DVD is enough. Those of us with 55"-65" displays are more than pleased with Blu-ray. Beyond that you have early adopters with such deep pockets that they'll buy something just because it is the newest thing—they get a woody over the bragging rights. It's destined to be nothing more than a niche. You guys kill me...Give it up.

Last edited by AaronSch; 12-16-16 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 12-15-16, 08:18 AM   #2
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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Originally Posted by AaronSch View Post
They are forcing the format down people's throats and many resent it.
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Originally Posted by AaronSch View Post
Sorry, but I don't see any evidence of a groundswell of support for UHD Not even the studios seem to give a damn!
Who are "they" that are forcing the format down people's throats? You've ruled out the studios who actually release these discs. Are you that up in arms about Best Buy putting out a tiny handful of steelbooks that include UHD BDs? Since those steelbooks include a Blu-ray disc anyway and the UHD version can be resold/ignored/tossed in the garbage, does that really qualify as the format being forced down your throat? If it's wholly related to Best Buy and steelbooks, saying that "many" people resent it would seem to be a bit of an overstatement.

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Those of us with 55"-65" displays are more than pleased with Blu-ray. Beyond that you have early adopters with such deep pockets that they'll buy something just because it is the newest thing—they get a woody over the bragging rights. It's destined to be nothing more than a niche. You guys kill me...Give it up.
That sounds exactly like the arguments ten years ago about why HD DVD and Blu-ray shouldn't exist. DVD is more than good enough. If you want anything beyond DVD, you're a technophile with more money than sense. You've convinced yourself you're seeing something DVD can't deliver, but it's just an illusion borne out of your need to justify your irrational, e-peen expenditures.

Like those people a decade ago, it seems like you've invested so much of yourself in your collection that a newer, improved format coming along is practically a threat to your very identity. The existence of Ultra HD Blu-ray does not reflect anything one way or the other on you as a person. It doesn't invalidate your collection. Everything you own now will continue to be there on your shelves. Your Blu-ray discs won't look any different tomorrow than they do today.

There are a lot of very legitimate reasons to not be terribly interested in UHD BD. FWIW, my hope is that it'll succeed enough to stay around, but I have no real expectations that it'll ever really take off. I'm not optimistic about meaningful catalog support or from smaller labels being onboard. Still, there's obviously going to be some overlap between UHD BD's release slate and my taste in movies, so why not enjoy what improvement is to be had? At the end of the day, watching movies I love in the highest quality possible is what it's really all about for me.

UHD BD deserves its share of criticism. Poke holes in arguments you disagree with about UHD BD's future prospects. It's just that you go beyond legitimate criticism and into "well, if I don't want it, that must mean no rational person possibly could!", and that's really just silly.
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Old 12-15-16, 09:09 AM   #3
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner View Post

Golly, that sounds exactly like the arguments ten years ago about why HD DVD and Blu-ray shouldn't exist. DVD is more than good enough. If you want anything beyond DVD ...
Unfortunately dvd is still "more than good enough" in some cases, such as various television shows which were shot and/or edited on videotape, and never had a proper hd restoration yet.

For example, such as many tv shows from the late-1980s -> early-mid 2000s which have a "hard telecine" (ie. the "comb" effect) on the dvd versions, and various sitcoms from the 1970s which appear to be shot entirely as 60 interlaced frames per second on sd videotape.
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Old 12-15-16, 09:33 AM   #4
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner View Post
That sounds exactly like the arguments ten years ago about why HD DVD and Blu-ray shouldn't exist. DVD is more than good enough.
Well comparing DVD to BD sales we're seeing that most people actually feel that DVD is more than good enough even in 2016 when almost every single TV sold is capable of High Definition. His argument is that UHD-BD will be a niche market (even more niche than BD) - and based on BD sales in comparison to DVD, it seems like a very likely scenario. You can chalk it up to the law of diminishing returns.
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Old 12-15-16, 09:58 AM   #5
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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Originally Posted by Coral View Post
His argument is that UHD-BD will be a niche market (even more niche than BD) - and based on BD sales in comparison to DVD, it seems like a very likely scenario.
That would be a valid argument and one I'd agree with.

His actual argument is that UHD BD has nothing to offer, and that only technology fetishists are interested in UHD BD -- not because of whatever improvement it offers but because they want to show off that they have the money to throw around on shiny, new gear. That's not my interpretation; that's literally what he said:

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Originally Posted by AaronSch View Post
For people with modest displays, DVD is enough. Those of us with 55"-65" displays are more than pleased with Blu-ray. Beyond that you have early adopters with such deep pockets that they'll buy something just because it is the newest thing—they get a woody over the bragging rights.
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Old 12-15-16, 10:09 AM   #6
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner View Post
That would be a valid argument and one I'd agree with.

His actual argument is that UHD BD has nothing to offer, and that only technology fetishists are interested in UHD BD -- not because of whatever improvement it offers but because they want to show off that they have the money to throw around on shiny, new gear. That's not my interpretation; that's literally what he said:
Wonder if our future counterparts (or even our older selves) will be using the same arguments again, when holodecks become a mass market product.

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Old 12-15-16, 10:59 AM   #7
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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That would be a valid argument and one I'd agree with.

His actual argument is that UHD BD has nothing to offer, and that only technology fetishists are interested in UHD BD -- not because of whatever improvement it offers but because they want to show off that they have the money to throw around on shiny, new gear. That's not my interpretation; that's literally what he said:
Don't put words in my mouth, Adam. And please don't take my words out of context. I clearly stated, and to quote myself, "The lack of true 4K content will be its demise as many sitting the proper distance from their displays say to themselves, "Hmm I don't see much of a difference." The emphasis here is on "true 4K content." Most won't see a difference because many of the movies being released are not really 4K in the first place. It's a joke being foisted on the public much like the "Superbit" b.s. of the DVD era. Sitting the proper distance from the screen you are not likely to see a discernible difference between most current UHD releases and good old Blu-ray. You can debate me but don't twist my words. I never said that UHD (in real 4K with HDR) wouldn't add to the experience for some. But as Coral stated, You can chalk it up to the law of diminishing returns. The technological leap just isn't all that impressive. And to deny that there is a niche market of tech junkies that just want the newest gadgets is being a bit disengenuous, no? My argument was simply a rebuttal to the notion that UHD would ever or could ever supplant Blu-ray. I stand by my assertion that it's ludicrous to believe that will ever happen. I don't want to rehash all the reasons why because they have been debated ad nauseum. DVD will continue to reign, Blu-ray isn't going anywhere and UHD will be on life support unless true 4K content can demonstrate a compelling reason to switch for the masses. Logic tells us that's never going to happen. The best proof of future behavior is past behavior. Alas, UHD will remain a niche within a niche.market.

Last edited by AaronSch; 12-15-16 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 12-15-16, 11:01 AM   #8
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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Don't put words in my mouth, Adam.
I don't have to; you said it yourself:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronSch View Post
For people with modest displays, DVD is enough. Those of us with 55"-65" displays are more than pleased with Blu-ray. Beyond that you have early adopters with such deep pockets that they'll buy something just because it is the newest thing—they get a woody over the bragging rights.
Show me where you allow for anyone sincerely being interested in UHD BD for the quality it provides.
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Old 12-15-16, 11:26 AM   #9
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

No Comment

Last edited by AaronSch; 12-16-16 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 12-15-16, 11:29 AM   #10
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

Niche, yet just about every studio is starting to release content for it. And Disney is about to enter it next year. As soon as studios stop supporting it, it will die. Doesn't seem to be the case right now. But I agree that UHD should be catered to stuff actually filmed in 4K, and for older films correctly mastered in it. But do we really need most older films released in 4K? I've said it before, but UHD should have really been released and promoted as the ultimate home theater experience.
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Old 12-15-16, 11:44 AM   #11
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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But do we really need most older films released in 4K?
We need more 4K porn on 4Kbluray !!!

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Old 12-15-16, 12:00 PM   #12
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

No comment

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Old 12-15-16, 12:01 PM   #13
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

It's just media, so it fits well with what we already have. But by all means, go for it.
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Old 12-15-16, 12:03 PM   #14
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

I certainly didn't buy UHD for bragging rights. I admit I bought early in part because I was curious, but I already had a UHD TV and it seemed like a no brainer to start buy UHD discs for my UHD TV. Especially since the launch player was very reasonably priced ($400). Most of the difference is in the improved color and dynamic range, but in most discs you can see more detail too and any grain (if present) is better resolved.

The opinions vary widely because it's so dependent on your equipment, but I'm very happy with the upgrade. If I come across as bragging then chalk it up to my excitement since I'm a videophile and it's always exciting to see a significant jump in quality. Sure most people will find DVD or Blu-ray good enough and if that's the only version a movie is available on, then it'll be good enough for me too. Call me anal but I just gotta have the best version available when I watch a movie and my pockets are not deep at all. Home video is a hobby to me and one that I enjoy a lot. I would think that many if not most people on a enthusiast forum would feel similarly, but I'm not sure anymore.
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Old 12-15-16, 12:08 PM   #15
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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Niche, yet just about every studio is starting to release content for it. And Disney is about to enter it next year.
It can still be a niche format even if all the studios support the format. It's all about how many titles each studio releases for the format.

A lot of labels have released SACDs, yet at it's most supported - it was still pretty damned niche.
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Old 12-15-16, 12:09 PM   #16
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

Adam took this discussion down a road that happens so often in public discourse. Focus on one statement like a laser beam to discount the overall argument I was making. It's disingenuous and intellectually dishonest.
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Old 12-15-16, 12:10 PM   #17
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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It can still be a niche format even if all the studios support the format. It's all about how many titles each studio releases for the format.

A lot of labels have released SACDs, yet at it's most supported - it was still pretty damned niche.
Actually it's about sales and market share. Laserdiscs released a ton of movies but total revenue was still very low compared with VHS that it's a classic example of a niche format.


However it's inevitable that UHD BD will see far fewer titles released than Blu-ray had, mostly because the highlight of the format is HDR and that's mainly new release. But since most revenue is from new release anyway, it's not a big deal, sales-wise.
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Old 12-15-16, 12:17 PM   #18
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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Adam took this discussion down a road that happens so often in public discourse. Focus on one statement like a laser beam to discount the overall argument I was making. It's disingenuous and intellectually dishonest.
I agree it's very unlikely that Ultra HD Blu-ray will ever be the dominant format or anywhere close to it. I think it's possible that UHD BD will be profitable enough to be worth keeping around for a while, even if its market share is small, but I wouldn't argue one way or the other predicting that. The format's only 9 months old at this point, and it seems to be doing reasonably well at this early stage.

I disagree that it's being forced down consumers' throats and that there's widespread resentment about that. I find your sweeping characterizations about the target demo to be similarly unfounded.

What salient points of yours am I being intellectually dishonest about? What do you think I'm discounting of yours, exactly? I don't have blinders on and have repeatedly pointed out things about UHD BD that I'm not crazy about.
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Old 12-15-16, 12:21 PM   #19
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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I would think that many if not most people on a enthusiast forum would feel similarly, but I'm not sure anymore.
Back in the day that would be the case, but now this forum isn't centred around physical media any more. DVDTalk has more traffic in the TV, Movie and Other sub-forums.

The amount of traffic in the DVD sub-forum years ago was crazy. So many threads and posts made by so many members. Today there are only a fraction of threads/posts in the DVD/HD sub-forums generated by a much smaller amount of users. For instance, there are only 4 threads in HDTalk with posts made today (the same in the DVD sub-forum) - which was unheard of years ago.
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Old 12-15-16, 12:25 PM   #20
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

Is anyone debating that UHD will be anything more than a niche market?
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Old 12-15-16, 12:33 PM   #21
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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Back in the day that would be the case, but now this forum isn't centred around physical media any more. DVDTalk has more traffic in the TV, Movie and Other sub-forums.

The amount of traffic in the DVD sub-forum years ago was crazy. So many threads and posts made by so many members. Today there are only a fraction of threads/posts in the DVD/HD sub-forums generated by a much smaller amount of users. For instance, there are only 4 threads in HDTalk with posts made today (the same in the DVD sub-forum) - which was unheard of years ago.
Yeah the political sub-forum is crazy busy right now. How times have changed.
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Old 12-15-16, 01:34 PM   #22
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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It can still be a niche format even if all the studios support the format. It's all about how many titles each studio releases for the format.

A lot of labels have released SACDs, yet at it's most supported - it was still pretty damned niche.
SACD was niche on level with laserdisc, or perhaps even more exclusive. And studio's gain a lot more by supporting movies than music these days.

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Is anyone debating that UHD will be anything more than a niche market?
I'm not debating it, but barely one year in, it's starting to show traction. The problem is, most material that exists there is very little in 4K. As 4K continues to increase, so will good releases. Now will it survive long enough to have a good amount of native 4K material to sell? Time will tell. Not condemning it yet, but it's a steep hill to climb. One good thing it has going for UHD is that as of now, UHD discs look better than when streaming the same material. Not to mention the level of data needed to stream.
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Old 12-15-16, 03:59 PM   #23
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

DVD-Audio, as well.
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Old 12-15-16, 04:16 PM   #24
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

I expect about 50-60% of Blu-ray consumers will eventually migrate to UHD. The others will shift toward streaming platforms.

The BD/UHD market should hold steady in overall revenue for a couple of more years. There are just too many consumers that have grown up with physical media for it to see precipitous declines. People that have spent tens of thousands on their home theaters aren't going to give up on BD/UHD overnight.

The DVD market is a different story. The floor is caving in on DVD as casual consumers get sucked in by Netflix and streaming.
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Old 12-15-16, 04:27 PM   #25
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - um, okay, I guess the % doesn't keep going up

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I expect about 50-60% of Blu-ray consumers will eventually migrate to UHD...
And that assumption is based on what facts? You can surmise and prognosticate all you want but the evidence doesn't support that belief. That's twice the percentage that gravitated from DVD to Blu-ray. And I am sorry, but the improvement of image and sound is far less apparent between most UHD releases and their Blu-ray counterparts then there was between most DVDs and their Blu-ray counterparts. The only way that adoption rate has a prayer of happening is if studios stopped making Blu-rays in favor of UHD. Now, does anyone really see that happening, I mean, really?

I've bolded text for emphasis. The word "most" does not mean "all." That's for Adam.


Last edited by AaronSch; 12-15-16 at 04:47 PM.
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