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Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

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Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Old 10-25-22, 11:29 AM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
What do people go there to buy these days?
There's a good chance I'd buy a major appliance there in-person and maybe a TV, but that'd probably be about it. I was more gung-ho about Best Buy before they messed up their rewards program and dropped no-minimum free shipping.
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Old 10-25-22, 12:21 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

I still don't really understand the point of the Rewards changes. It seemed very short sighted and turned off a lot of customers. I had no problem paying the B&M premium to get something immediately, or getting the free expedited shipping with the bonus of rewards points. But I've barely shopped there since the changes. It has to be something I need immediately. I was top tier rewards for probably a decade straight due to how much I was spending there, but now there's no incentive to go there over Newegg, Amazon, Target, or a local small business. I used to always keep my Best Buy card maxed out with 0% interest purchases but all those promotional purchases are almost expired and my balance is the lowest it's been since I opened the account in 2004.
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Old 10-25-22, 12:54 PM
  #128  
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

I only go there these days so they can recycle my broken and unwanted electronics/cables.
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Old 10-25-22, 03:51 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by TheBang View Post
Streaming revenue dwarves physical media revenue. Here's the 2021 report from the RIAA:

https://www.riaa.com/wp-content/uplo...nue-Report.pdf

Streaming revenue was $10 billion, and all physical media was $1.1 billion.

CD units sold actually went up last year, but that's only because 2020 was so horrible because of COVID. Vinyl units sold almost matched CDs last year, and almost doubled CD's revenues (due to higher per-unit pricing). And as a point of comparison, CDs shipped 97 million units in 2016, compared to 46 million units last year. In that same period, streaming revenue went from $3.9 billion to $10 billion.
I'm still not so sure streaming revenue for artists and record labels is really that lucrative. Taylor Swift's "Midnight" album broke all the records with 185 million streams worldwide but I bet she would have rather sold 32 million CDs as far as revenue is concerned.

CD revenue was at its highest in 2000 with $14.3 billion in sales across the US. With the nature of the "all-you-can-eat" subscription streaming model, I'm sure the $10 billion in revenue is also spread very thin among many more artists worldwide contributing to the library of content available.

Not that any of these number and dollar amount comparisons really matter as the streaming model is here to stay for now.
Old 10-25-22, 04:06 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
My CD buying actually slowed down before the “majority”, it was a combination of the greedy labels raising prices and not being much into the new music that came along.
My CD buying petered-out around 1998 when I was 25 years old. I think once I was older than the band members of the new bands, music didn't really have the same impact on me as a fan.

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
But if people aren’t going into Best Buy for music or movies anymore, what ARE they going in for? What else do they have that changes every week? Maybe our Virgin Megastore would still be around if Best Buy had never opened right next to them and killed them on pricing.
I think you touched on a good point in that physical media, which was a relatively low-priced item in the store, did have that constant rotation of new inventory week-after-week that brought-in repeat customers and kept the B&M stores lively and relevant. Think of them as what the Slurpee machine and arcade games were to the American convenience store.

The nature of streaming is that with all of its convenience, is a very solitary way of enjoying movies and music. That might be key as to why there seems to be less sense of joy and collective excitement about movies and music these days.
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Old 10-25-22, 05:53 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Yeah, I was just remembering the hype of the 1991 Metallica album. They somehow pushed that as a ďmust-haveĒ for everyone- metal isnít even my favorite genre but I bought it right away. Record stores had posters and stuff up for it. Compare that with Metallica putting a new album on Apple Music- they can put up some fancy graphics and stuff, but all youíre really doing is hitting Play and there isnít even much incentive to listen to all of it, if the first track sucks you skip to the next one and then if it still sucks you play something you like better. Metallica or their label canít be making much money from that either. (On the other hand the music could really blow you away and make you want to buy an actual copy of it, provided one is available of course. If they do an Atmos mix on Apple Music but all there is to buy is a 2-channel CD, thatís not helping matters.)
Old 10-25-22, 06:01 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by orangerunner View Post
My CD buying petered-out around 1998 when I was 25 years old. I think once I was older than the band members of the new bands, music didn't really have the same impact on me as a fan.



I think you touched on a good point in that physical media, which was a relatively low-priced item in the store, did have that constant rotation of new inventory week-after-week that brought-in repeat customers and kept the B&M stores lively and relevant. Think of them as what the Slurpee machine and arcade games were to the American convenience store.

The nature of streaming is that with all of its convenience, is a very solitary way of enjoying movies and music. That might be key as to why there seems to be less sense of joy and collective excitement about movies and music these days.


Physical media may have been considered loss leaders, so folks could browse and potentially buy a high priced item like a new TV or an appliance of some kind. Now they just seemed to have gotten rid of the loss leaders altogether.
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Old 10-25-22, 06:37 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Those loss leaders put other stores out of business- ones that would not have dropped these items so easily as that was what they mainly sold.
Old 10-25-22, 07:41 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by orangerunner View Post
I'm still not so sure streaming revenue for artists and record labels is really that lucrative. Taylor Swift's "Midnight" album broke all the records with 185 million streams worldwide but I bet she would have rather sold 32 million CDs as far as revenue is concerned.

CD revenue was at its highest in 2000 with $14.3 billion in sales across the US. With the nature of the "all-you-can-eat" subscription streaming model, I'm sure the $10 billion in revenue is also spread very thin among many more artists worldwide contributing to the library of content available.

Not that any of these number and dollar amount comparisons really matter as the streaming model is here to stay for now.
Probably better suited for another thread, but the streaming "albums sold" metrics are really skewed against physical media. Taylor Swift probably doesn't even notice the royalty deposit when it hits her bank account. It is very beneficial to new/independent artists though as it removes a huge barrier to entry to get their music out there. No more renting a studio, getting a record deal, making master recordings, pressing CDs, shipping, getting shelf space, etc. Just look at someone like Zach Bryan who recorded his first album with his iPhone in an AirBNB and was able to get his songs up on Apple and Youtube and managed to make millions in the process.
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Old 10-25-22, 07:56 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by Adam Tyner View Post
There's a good chance I'd buy a major appliance there in-person and maybe a TV, but that'd probably be about it. I was more gung-ho about Best Buy before they messed up their rewards program and dropped no-minimum free shipping.
What a total shit show. They have some $199 a year plan now and no "rewards" if you finance with no interest. I went from spending 10-15k a year (bought stuff for work) to next to nothing. I'm not no longer an "elite" member because they dumped that, so there goes free shipping and extended return policy (which I never used, but it was a definite plus as opposed to ordering elsewhere).

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Old 10-25-22, 08:51 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
It is very beneficial to new/independent artists though as it removes a huge barrier to entry to get their music out there. No more renting a studio, getting a record deal, making master recordings, pressing CDs, shipping, getting shelf space, etc. Just look at someone like Zach Bryan who recorded his first album with his iPhone in an AirBNB and was able to get his songs up on Apple and Youtube and managed to make millions in the process.
I get the new-found freedom of removing the "gatekeeper" record companies preventing independent artists from getting their foot in the door but they're competing with every talented (and not-so-talented) artist on the planet who all have access to the same technology and promotional tools. The breakout success stories keep everyone going but they are few and far between. The artists with the big record company support have a difficult enough time breaking through the sheer volume of content out there right now.
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Old 10-25-22, 09:14 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
But if people arenít going into Best Buy for music or movies anymore, what ARE they going in for? What else do they have that changes every week? Maybe our Virgin Megastore would still be around if Best Buy had never opened right next to them and killed them on pricing.
Go into a Best Buy store and walk around. What you see on the shelves and displays is, presumably, what people are buying. Appliances. Cell phones and accessories. Laptops/PCs. Tablets. Gaming accessories.

A while back Best Buy also did this thing where they sub-leased their floor space to various manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, and HP, so it's kind of like a mall in some respects. The move seems to have worked for them because they survived the market forces that killed competitors like Circuit City, Ultimate, and Fry's.
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Old 10-25-22, 09:27 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
But if people arenít going into Best Buy for music or movies anymore, what ARE they going in for? What else do they have that changes every week? Maybe our Virgin Megastore would still be around if Best Buy had never opened right next to them and killed them on pricing.
Originally Posted by TomOpus View Post
You need to accept that what brought you joy is gone. Long gone. Blame consumers. Blame streaming and online buying.
Yup.

We're all getting old and the world is moving beyond us. DVDs and blu-rays have gone the way of laserdiscs, CEDs, and VHS. They'll hang around for a while longer, but, like we've seen with music, streaming is taking over tv and movie watching. Their heyday is over.

So it goes.
Old 10-26-22, 12:51 AM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

At the risk of going off-topic, why didnít cable TV hurt media sales this much? That still brought you entertainment you didnít have to go out for. Granted the quality of cable was never good enough for me (I only had it a few months when an idiot roommate wanted it, and a few months again when I moved into a place where the last tenant hadnít had it shut off and it took the cable company a while to realize they werenít being paid and shut it off) but apparently the masses never cared about quality at all.

Granted streaming has many advantages over cable, the quality has improved a lot and Iíve even found workarounds for most of the annoying interfaces, but I still donít consider it a replacement for what I had before which was physical media. Itís cut down on many blind buys but there have still been movies I cared enough about to buy on disc, and the quality is STILL better. You definitely wonít be getting lossless audio on streaming anytime soon. Might as well take those decoders out of receivers if you arenít using discs.
Old 10-26-22, 01:39 AM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
At the risk of going off-topic, why didnít cable TV hurt media sales this much? That still brought you entertainment you didnít have to go out for.
Because you couldn't watch what you wanted, whenever you wanted, on whatever device you wanted, wherever you happened to be. There were far, far, far fewer options, the lineups on the premium channels were often very limited (replaying the same few movies over and over and over and over), there was no way to timeshift for much of cable's lifespan, and then there were edits and commercials to deal with. I did watch a ton of movies on cable growing up, but that didn't stop me from hitting up video stores extremely regularly to rent something on VHS.
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Old 10-27-22, 03:18 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by Adam Tyner View Post
Because you couldn't watch what you wanted, whenever you wanted, on whatever device you wanted, wherever you happened to be. There were far, far, far fewer options, the lineups on the premium channels were often very limited (replaying the same few movies over and over and over and over), there was no way to timeshift for much of cable's lifespan, and then there were edits and commercials to deal with. I did watch a ton of movies on cable growing up, but that didn't stop me from hitting up video stores extremely regularly to rent something on VHS.
Pay TV channels such as HBO (or Superchannel in Canada) were a very different from owning a VCR. In the 1980s, very few could afford both.

I seem to recall Pay TV movies usually took almost 1 year from their theatrical release to debut on the service whereas the VHS tape would be available for rent usually within 6 months. The VHS rental gave you the flexibility of stopping, rewinding and watching whenever you wanted. Pay-TV of course had a set schedule that the viewer had to adhere to. Of course, as a kid it was always cool when they would schedule something like "Porky's" at 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon after school!
Old 10-27-22, 10:57 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by Alan Smithee View Post
At the risk of going off-topic, why didnít cable TV hurt media sales this much? That still brought you entertainment you didnít have to go out for.
Who says it didn't? The issue is that home videotape came out just as cable TV was gaining in popularity (Betamax was released in 1975, VHS 1976, HBO launched in 1972), so their markets grew concurrently, so it's hard to judge how much impact one had on the other. However, they both had advantages and disadvantages. Cable TV gave a wealth of content delivered straight to your home, but viewers couldn't choose what to watch and when, they were at the mercy of the channels' schedules. Videotape recording mitigated this somewhat, but there's only so much one tape can hold, and especially with Cable TV often requiring a box to view a channel, you may have had to choose to record one thing over watching/recording something else.

The video retail/rental market, on the other hand, offered the ability to pick what to watch and let you choose when to watch it, within limits. There's only so many tapes that physically fit in a retail/rental store, so were limited in the selection of titles & number of copies of each title. There was a solid chance that you may want to rent a specific title, only to get to the rental store to find it was rented out. And then you had a limited window to view it in before you had to return it. With a VHS purchase, you didn't have to worry about returning after you got it, but tapes were big and took up space, but didn't hold much content. Pre-recorded content was typically limited to 2 hours per tape, for image/sound quality purposes. This was ok for most movies, although some longer movies came on two tapes or more, but it meant TV shows with 24 "1 hour time slot" episodes would potentially fill a dozen tapes, which wasn't economical. Only certain select shows were even released on VHS, and often in only a "best of" collection. A select few got full seasons, but typically as separate 1-tape releases. I purchased a few X-Files episodes on VHS, and it was 2 episodes per tape. Likewise I bought MST3K, which was one episode per tape. And even if a show was available on VHS, it was almost exclusively to purchase, probably $20 per tape, with most rental places not offering them, since they took up so much space that could be used for a few dozen movies instead. Tapes were also expensive and time-consuming to create, needing to be dubbed end-to-end, instead of pressed like vinyl, Laserdisc or DVD.

DVD really changed the market though. The discs took up a LOT less space then a tape, and could store more content via variable compression. It was also more "permanent" than tape, since some reluctance to purchase tapes can be attributed to the knowledge that each time you watched it, you were wearing it out, until it'd likely not play anymore. This was a regular occurrence with rentals. So DVDs appealed to both rental and retail by being able to fit more on shelves, and it finally offered a viable consumer-friendly way to distribute full seasons of a show in one set, often in "thicker" DVD cases still less thick than a VHS. The addition of special features like commentary and making-of features, deleted scenes, etc. fueled the first big "collectors" surge. Before DVD, most people just rented instead of bought, but DVD brought on a lot more people purchasing a lot more content. Of course, if you didn't buy it on DVD, you could still rent, but while rental stores could cram in more DVDs than VHS, you still had to go to the store to rent it, have a limited window to watch, then go back to the store to return it. And you still had to hope they had it in stock.

Then came Netflix to resolve some of these issues. No, not Netflix the streaming service, Netflix the mail-order DVD rental service. DVD discs were so small, lightweight, and hardy enough they could be mailed out in thin mailers with cheap postage, something never possible with VHS. Suddenly, you didn't have to make trips to the rental store in the hopes you could find something you wanted to watch, that was in stock. You could create a list online and Netflix would send you them as you returned the previous one. If they didn't have a title available when it was time to ship you another, they'd just go down the list to the next one until they found one they had in stock and mailed it to you. And then, due to their subscription model, you could hold onto that disc for as long as you wanted. You didn't have the same pressure to watch within a day or so of getting it because you had to return it to avoid late fees or paying another rental window for it. And returning it was as simple as putting it back in the mailer it came in and putting it in your mailbox. So it solved a lot of issues people had with in-store renting. However, there were still some limitations with stock, and with the speed of getting content you chose, and the selection a person had on a given night. They could either watch broadcast/cable TV, or the specific title(s) Netflix had sent them on disc. If they were in the mood for something else on disc, they were out of luck. Netflix was basically a TV channel on-demand delivered by mail. It had some advantages over Cable TV and rental stores, but still had some of the drawbacks of both.

So then streaming came in and addressed a lot more issues with convenience and availability. Consumers were no longer at the whim of what was in stock, a streaming service basically never runs out of copies to show people. They were also no longer at the whim of the TV schedule, they could watch what they wanted, when they wanted to. And they could have that content instantly, as soon as they chose it to watch. Also, the subscription model meant that they didn't have to particularly decide if a movie or TV show was worthy of a "purchase" or even a "rental," since it was included in the subscription cost, so they could try out content without worrying about "wasting" their money, only potentially their time. So now you have most of the advantages of both cable TV and DVD purchase/rental, and almost none of the drawbacks.

It's why streaming is eviscerating both Cable TV and physical media. After Blu-ray succeeded DVD and started trying to get people to rebuy things, I think a lot of people looked at their purchase collection and realized that they didn't really rewatch stuff as much as they thought they would, if at all. Likewise, special features just because "too much," and many didn't feel the need to have them for every movie/show they watched. Sometimes you just want to watch the movie/show and move on. So if they were going to rent content instead of purchase, streaming is more than adequate for that purpose, and has many advantages. Likewise, the on-demand nature of streaming is basically killing Cable TV. DVRs helped cable for a while, but then you still have to wait for an episode to air for it to record, which is maybe ok for a "first run" show you're keeping up with, but horrible for binging older shows.

So the advantages of streaming are much more than "entertainment you didnít have to go out for." Streaming managed to combine almost all the features most people like of both physical media and cable TV, and remove most of the drawbacks of both. Its reliance on an internet connection is less and less an issue every year, and the only tangible difference is maybe some quality compare to UHD/Blu-ray, but for most people it's "good enough," just like music streaming. Hell, I do most of my viewing via streaming nowadays. I mostly only play a Blu-ray if I'm watching something in 3D, since the streaming services have mostly given up on that format.
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Old 10-27-22, 11:06 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Cable and Home Video evolving concurrently was definitely an interesting dynamic. In the early '80s when we were ready to move on from just regular over the air TV my mom said we could either subscribe to cable or get a VCR. I chose Betamax, and never regretted it.
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Old 11-01-22, 04:53 AM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
DVD really changed the market though. The discs took up a LOT less space then a tape, and could store more content via variable compression. It was also more "permanent" than tape, since some reluctance to purchase tapes can be attributed to the knowledge that each time you watched it, you were wearing it out, until it'd likely not play anymore. This was a regular occurrence with rentals. So DVDs appealed to both rental and retail by being able to fit more on shelves, and it finally offered a viable consumer-friendly way to distribute full seasons of a show in one set, often in "thicker" DVD cases still less thick than a VHS. The addition of special features like commentary and making-of features, deleted scenes, etc. fueled the first big "collectors" surge. Before DVD, most people just rented instead of bought, but DVD brought on a lot more people purchasing a lot more content.
There are a couple things I'd add as to why DVD was so successful. The first was sell-through pricing only, as opposed to VHS's mix of rental and sell-through pricing. Now, everything was cheap enough for people to actually start reasonably building a video library, and once they started collecting, it often grew and grew because of the pricing and accessibility. Speaking of accessibility, surely the concurrent rise of e-commerce helped fuel DVD's growth. Besides the convenience of e-commerce, cutthroat online pricing helped drive down prices and increase sales even more. Finally, there were the clear, demonstrable advantages in both quality and convenience of DVD over VCR. The increase in video and audio quality were clear. And the convenience of a random access optical media (DVD) as opposed to linear tape access (VHS) was huge. Instant seek instead of fast forwarding and rewinding, and no rewinding when the movie is finished. And people already understood the advantages of this transition, having gone from compact cassettes to CDs.
Old 11-01-22, 06:13 AM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
So the advantages of streaming are much more than "entertainment you didnít have to go out for." Streaming managed to combine almost all the features most people like of both physical media and cable TV, and remove most of the drawbacks of both. Its reliance on an internet connection is less and less an issue every year, and the only tangible difference is maybe some quality compare to UHD/Blu-ray, but for most people it's "good enough," just like music streaming. Hell, I do most of my viewing via streaming nowadays. I mostly only play a Blu-ray if I'm watching something in 3D, since the streaming services have mostly given up on that format.
Most of this is admittedly very true. You've written an excellent summary of home video over a nearly 50-year timespan. My God, 50 years, hard to believe it's been that long. (I remember getting a VCR in 1976 and a laserdisc player in 1978).

Streaming has basically done for watching movies what MP3 did for listening to music. In a very real sense, streaming (and MP3) marginalized quality for convenience. Your lossy MP3 is vastly inferior to the uncompressed PCM of a CD or, especially the warmth of the analogue LP, and your crappy-bitrate MP4 streamed movie is vastly inferior to everything except the DVD and VHS (sometimes it's even inferior to a well-produced, high-bitrate DVD).

But, for the vast majority, MP3s and MP4s of streaming movies is "good enough", especially when it's delivered straight to home, via internet connection.

What most of "the commons" don't understand is that they're playing right into the studios / content owners hands. They've been weaned on the convenience, and are being essentially exploited into a monthly-income residual payment by them, for vastly inferior quality-wise content. Streaming is essentially another cable monthy fee / bill. And, they also don't understand that the right to view any and all content may be taken away from them at any time. (They're roaming in a truly walled garden, like mice in a cage).

So, that's why those of us who are more enlightened and more interested in quality and actually owning movies in the best quality possible, are being marginalized by this "tragedy of the commons", the lowest-common demoninator who don't care about quality so much as convenience. Those who really, truly do, are being completely axed out of program. And that's also why scalpers on Ebay are having (or *going* to have) a heydey selling copies of particularly obscure horror / sci-fi and / or boxsets which had limited releases for huge sums in the future, because so few copies were originally pressed *in the higher-quality physical media format*! At least until internet connections are 10Gbps and the average stream is 200 mbps or higher for 4k content or 50 mbps or higher for 1080p content. The studios don't *want* to give us that quality over streaming, it costs them too much in bandwidth.
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Old 11-01-22, 06:27 AM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by Kurt D View Post
Cable and Home Video evolving concurrently was definitely an interesting dynamic. In the early '80s when we were ready to move on from just regular over the air TV my mom said we could either subscribe to cable or get a VCR. I chose Betamax, and never regretted it.
Yeah, there's a timeframe there, from the about late 1970s to about the mid-1980s where movies were available to watch at home, either on VHS (or LD if you were lucky) or pay cable like HBO.

Prior to that, your only options were to see them in a theater during their theatrical release, or hope they ended up as (a usually "edited for content") showing on broadcast tv.

I can remember when I was a kid, and it always a big event whenever a major movie made it to ABC, CBS, or NBC. Jaws, Halloween, Alien, Star Wars. Like, Oooh, I'm finally going to get to watch Jaws! And then there were some movies like Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, and The Ten Commandments that were shown regularly.I can also remember James Bond being sort of a staple on ABC.

By the mid-1980s, HBO and videotape became more ubiquitous in households, and those old Sunday Night Movies lost their appeal.

Where I grew up, I don't think HBO was available in my area until 1980 or so, and video rental stores didn't start opening up until about 1985. I grew up in a little town in Kansas, and remember the first commercials for Popingo Video airing on tv, and was interested in what it was all about. Didn't start renting movies until a year or so later when the local Dillons (Kroger) grocery stores opened video rental departments. We would to rent three or four tapes and a big bulky VHS player in a gray plastic suitcase for the weekend. Then, around 1987, we finally bought a VCR, making a pilgrimage to Silo in Wichita to buy one.
Old 11-01-22, 03:26 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

When you look at the big picture the whole notion of owning a movie was, for the majority of the population, a ten-year frenzy between 2000-2010. Prior to that, most folks rented VHS tapes, subscribed to cable TV and went to the movie theatre.

As those years become more of a distant memory, perhaps the new consumers just won't care to own and may not miss the ability to access certain movies in an instant. With the modern viewers being hit with a barrage of new programs, I can't blame them for not having any strong connection to the content.

I just don't see a high level of fan dedication to anything released in the last 20 years. Comic book films might be an exception but they seem to have become much more like corporate-orchestrated one-time events than anything fans will really relish for many years.
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Old 11-01-22, 05:09 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

The MCU films move a lot of units but the other side of that is that I constantly see them at the used shops. There may be some folks building a library of them, but there's apparently plenty more that are buying some to watch a few times and then unloading them.
Old 11-02-22, 12:42 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

I've stopped buying pretty much any physical media. I don't have the space I used to for storage. I also don't have the time that I used to have to sit down and consume TV or movies. This means whatever shows up on the streaming services I have is sufficient. Down the road, as the kids get older, maybe this will change. I'll have to see what the offerings are at that point. As far as music, I still have a massive collection that I've put together over the decades, and there are a ton of places online to stream new stuff.

I kind of miss the excitement of putting together my collections, music starting in the 90s, movies in the early 2000s. Finding good deals, new releases, and the bonus features were awesome. Some of that was the new aspect of it all, as well as the freedom I had to do what I wanted since I had just graduated college. As time went on, I didn't rewatch things as much, special features were less interesting, and I was always on the look for something new to watch and then move on from.

So far, I don't really pine for the days of collecting. I'll see how I feel in 10, 20, or 30 years.
Old 11-02-22, 05:14 PM
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Re: Hard Talk - Letís discuss getting rid of physical media

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
What most of "the commons" don't understand is that they're playing right into the studios / content owners hands. They've been weaned on the convenience, and are being essentially exploited into a monthly-income residual payment by them, for vastly inferior quality-wise content. Streaming is essentially another cable monthy fee / bill. And, they also don't understand that the right to view any and all content may be taken away from them at any time.
You're not giving regular consumers enough credit, and are presuming your preferences are somehow the objectively best way to pay for and consume movies & TV.

A lot of the streaming market is people who were previously paying for cable. They're not being "conned" into a service that they don't ultimately own the content for, that's what they're used to, and prefer over having to pay to purchase/rent individual titles. The option to purchase/rent titles is still there with DVD/UHD/Blu-ray, and even in streaming with services like Vudu, Apple, Prime Video, etc., but it's not what people want. Most people are fine with picking from what's available on the services they're subscribed to, instead of seeking out a specific title and then trying to find how to view it. In fact, in this situation the fact that subscription services rotate their catalog selections, with titles being added and then later removed, is a good thing, since they get more selection, over time, without paying more to have a service that has much broader catalog all the time.

And regarding mp3/music streaming, keep in mind that while, yes, it's lower quality than a CD, a lot of people were listening to the radio before they came along. That had lower quality than a CD, interference issues, etc, plus you couldn't pick what music to listen to, and had to listen to ads as well (which some people still do on certain music streaming services to save money).

And honestly, while on an objective level I understand that the UHD Blu-rays I own have a higher video and audio bitrate and are thus higher "quality," I watch a ton of streaming content, and it looks and sound fine. 4K HDR streaming is pretty good. If it's something I only intend to watch once, streaming it is a lot easier than purchasing, or even renting, a physical disc, and is good enough for that single viewing.

This forum is filled with people that fit the collector's mindset of "I like that, so I want to own it." As orangerunner, for a brief moment with the advent of DVD, that became a much more mainstream trend, but I think most people were buying DVDs for the convenience factor of watching on-demand, for relatively low cost. If people truly wanted to own DVDs though, Netflix never would've taken off with its subscription DVD rental model, which many people were happy with. I think the higher quality of DVD maybe helped it get its foot in the door in terms of getting early adopters on board, but I think once the mainstream caught on, the convenience factors of DVD over VHS won them over, and the quality jump was almost incidental. Remember the plague of "Full Screen" DVD releases, either as a separate release or one one side of a, ugh, "flipper" DVD. Most people didn't care about accurately replicating the movie theater experience at home. How many people bothered setting up 5.1+ speaker setups?

Last edited by Jay G.; 11-03-22 at 12:35 PM.
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