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Sony Begins Selling HD Movies On Its PSN

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the pants-and-cheeseburgers-to-follow dept.

Movies 153

itwbennett writes "Sony on Tuesday 'rolled out the ability to buy HD movies from the PlayStation Network,' writes blogger Peter Smith. Sony claims they're the first service to offer HD titles to own from all six major movie studios. Smith runs the numbers on 'standard' pricing for titles ($19.99 for new releases; $17.99 for older movies), file sizes (ranging from 4 GB for Zombieland to 7.5 GB for 2012), and resolution (720P as far as he can tell)."

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153 comments

Titles to "own" (4, Insightful)

SoapBox17 (1020345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450296)

To "own"? Let's not kid ourselves here... there's no real ownership involved unless there is a way to get DRM-free files in 720p off the device using anything other than your eyeballs. I seriously doubt there is, which makes this just a really expensive rental service. I'm sure there are already lots of services which feature renting movies from all 6 major studios while taking your money and laughing about it.

Re:Titles to "own" (2, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450352)

Yes, but do any of the others give you the benefit of having your wallet and your ass both brutally violated directly by Sony at the same time?

would that be a new ROOTKIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31452548)

/.

Re:Titles to "own" (3, Insightful)

drcln (98574) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450410)

To "own"? Let's not kid ourselves here... there's no real ownership involved . . ..

"To watch as many times as you like but only on your PS3 and only for as long as you keep your PS3 and don't erase the file or the hard drive fails or something else goes wrong" does not sound as snappy as "to own." But, I don't mind the idea of paying for content with limitations and that won't necessarily last forever, as long as the pricing is in line with the limitations. This pricing scheme provides no reason to buy from PSN.

Re:Titles to "own" (2, Insightful)

rworne (538610) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450998)

You can "back up" the file using the PS3's backup utility and restore it on a new drive. That will protect against a failed drive but not a failed PS3 since a replacement PS3 will refuse to restore any DRM'd content.

Also note: it won't protect you against false leap years as well.

Re:Titles to "own" (0)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451074)

Riiiight ....

And then have to download it again. More time lost, more bandwidth (and with the way ISPs are introducing bandwidth caps, forget it).

And 720p? Are you kidding? The difference between 720 and 1080 is enormous!

Re:Titles to "own" (0, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450440)

Any title older than 6 months, can be had for $8 or less off Amazon Used. Sure that's the DVD and not Blu-ray, but you also have to factor in that a decent upsampling DVD player versus "blu-ray" isn't noticeably different on anything less than a 72" tv at couch distance.

But hey, Sony doesn't care I suppose. If you were dumb enough to shell out the cash for the PS3, you're probably dumb enough to pay those prices for movies you don't even get to really own.

Re:Titles to "own" (4, Informative)

Splab (574204) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450478)

Pure and complete utter bullshit.

I have a 40" TV and you have to be close to blind not to see the difference between 1080p and an upscaled DVD from couch distance.

That being said, no chance I'm paying for a BR when I can get DVD for 1/3 the price.

Re:Titles to "own" (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450622)

Likewise for quality.

I tend to wait til the blu-rays are about £10-15 which is usually around twice the price of the DVD. It's well worth it for any movie that is 3D rendered, panoramic outdoor scenes or even just a nice soundtrack (as long as you have a decent 5.1 system). There are a few blu-ray bargains to be had on Amazon too. If a blu-ray drops under £10 I often just snap up immediately.

Re:Titles to "own" (-1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450646)

You are spending way too much time trying to convince yourself of things that aren't true [amazon.com].

A common thing for people who don't want to admit they were ripped off.

Re:Titles to "own" (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450968)

A common thing for people who don't want to admit they were ripped off.

Of course. If that were true I am not being forced to buy any more blu-rays, yet I keep doing so. I'll also point out that after being a devout Christian my whole life I recently changed my beliefs and no longer believe in any god. I'm now quite capable of letting things go in life if needs be.

The first two films I ever watched on blu-ray were Independence Day and Ratatouille (bought at the same time when I got my PS3).

Independence Day didn't look much cop at all. I was slightly disappointed.

Then I watched Ratatouille and it was truly stunning.

I have since realised that Independence Day was either a poor conversion or simply shot on very grainy film (it does have a lot of dark scenes so it probably did need a high ISO film).

I don't see how someone with a /. UID under 1000000 could not understand how having a higher resolution picture and uncompressed audio would not make a difference for a video recording. Obviously there will be a point where we are unable to make out extra detail and quality, but we have not yet arrived at that point. Go watch a Pixar or Disney 3D animation on blu-ray on a HDTV and you will definitely notice how fantastic it looks even without the DVD playing alongside.

Re:Titles to "own" (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451622)

I agree that the medium is overpriced, but buying it also sends the message that people will tolerate increasingly locked-down DRM until there's no such thing as "personal ownership".

Re:Titles to "own" (2, Interesting)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451212)

I have a 40" TV and you have to be close to blind not to see the difference between 1080p and an upscaled DVD from couch distance.

I'd like to point out that "couch distance" varies for everyone. I have a 61" 1080p set and a long living room. While the difference between DVD and Bluray is noticeable to a small degree, there really doesn't seem to be that much of a difference to me. Both DVD and Bluray are miles ahead of the over-compressed and artifact-riddled "1080p" offered by Time Warner or Dish Network, but the difference between the two disc formats appears minimal to my 20/20 eyes.

Re:Titles to "own" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31452222)

There's no doubt the OP never watched a blu-ray, he's just trying to convince himself is not missing anything.

I'm sure some VHS lover somewhere thinks those new fangled "DVDs" are just some scam to get money from those stupid enough to buy a PS2...

Re:Titles to "own" (2, Insightful)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450518)

There is a massive difference between DVD and blu ray on TVs a lot smaller than 72". On my 65" it's night and day, on a 50" (which is very common for HDTV) it's unquestionably noticable, hell even on a 42" you can definitely tell the difference assuming its 1080p. However, this service is most definitely not blu ray, and the difference between compressed 720p and an upscaled DVD is probably pretty minimal.

Re:Titles to "own" (1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450612)

Sigh.

Trying to convince yourself you didn't get ripped off? Don't let me stop you with those inconvenient facts [soundandvisionmag.com].

Inverse Square Law [gsu.edu] applies.

A good upsampling DVD player - functionally, giving you 720p quality on a "50 1080p" screen - at a normal couch distance of 10 feet will be nearly indistinguishable from putting the blu-ray disc in. That's reality.

Add on to that the crappy "own but don't really own" DRM attached to this, and the fact that it will only play on your PS3 and can't be traded/gifted/loaned to anyone else? Fuck it, just buy the goddamn movie on a real disc.

Re:Titles to "own" (2, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450670)

I always love those graphs. For our "reasonable sized" TV (26" in a ~12'-14' room, which is fairly standard in a UK terrace and includes a 2' extension) we need to be sat stupidly close to hit the "visibile difference" distance.

I do sometimes watch things like House on standard-def Sky and wonder why, when I can already see enough apparent individual hairs, I'd need to go high-def. It always just seems like overkill.

Re:Titles to "own" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451458)

Inverse square law or not... the fact is a blu-ray contains more pixels and more information. An upscaling dvd player just tries to guess this information. So maybe the difference on a small tv isn't "noticeable" to some people... fine...

Well, I only a bunch of DVDs collected over the last decade plus some and now I'm re-buying my favorite movies on blu-ray slowly. I only have a 32 inch tv and you can tell the difference. That doesn't really mean the DVD looks "BAD" depending how you define "bad" but you can tell the difference.

If you honestly think there is no difference, it's you being unwilling to embrace new technology. It has nothing to do with someone else trying to justify getting "ripped off".

And also, if you buy blu-rays on amazon or used which I ALWAYS do, Blu-rays are no more expensive than dvds were before blu-ray was out. Unless you only shop from the bargin bin at wal-mart new movies will always cost more...

You religious nuts and your magic (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31452212)

A good upsampling DVD player - functionally, giving you 720p quality on a "50 1080p" screen - at a normal couch distance of 10 feet will be nearly indistinguishable from putting the blu-ray disc in. That's reality.

Ok, if we accept the science fictiony idea that 480 lines of information can be turned into 720 lines of more information, then -- wait, I just realized, this isn't really science fiction, because science fiction tends to just talk about technology changing, not mathematics changing (e.g. in the future pi is 4.2 and information can be created from nothing). So.. as I was saying, if we accept the magical fantasy where elves inside a box can watch 480 lines of information and interpret the scenes and redraw them in real time as 720 lines of information, then what you're saying is nearly correct. The differences between the elves' drawing in 720p vs 1080p at 10 feet, will be very small.

So I guess you're right. But your premise contains elves. In the real world, the differences between DVDs and even 720p files, is staggeringly obvious, even on my 27" 720p TV. On a 50" 1080p screen, the difference between a DVD and a 1080p, would be at worst no less staggering, and actually, pretty goddamn noticable.

Re:Titles to "own" (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450690)

72"? 65"? 50"? 42"? They're not "televisions" they're "room dominating behemoths equivalent to a home cinema screen"! Sizes in the 20s and low 30s are TVs ;)

Re:Titles to "own" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31452478)

Luddite ;P

Re:Titles to "own" (2, Interesting)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450774)

I have a 46" TV, and there's a noticable difference between an upscaled DVD and a bluray at 1080p.

Maybe you have a crap TV that only goes to 720p, or is 50hz or something, I don't know.

I'm also not sure what is dumb about buying a PS3; I've been very happy with mine. A combo bluray player, game console, media player, browser, etc. Its been well worth it.

Re:Titles to "own" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31452338)

Any title older than 6 minutes can be had for zero or less on the P2P network of your choice. I didn't check recently, but I'd be very surprised if it wasn't in the highest possible resolution...

Re:Titles to "own" (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450624)

I seriously doubt there is, which makes this just a really expensive rental service.

Absolutely. There is absolutely 0 difference between this service and a movie-rental service. None.

Re:Titles to "own" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451766)

and I wouldn't count on being able to watch them around the end of February either

Sony is being very carful not to undercut themself (4, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450298)

Let's see:

-Lengthy download instead of a trip to the store.
-Price comparable to a Bluray off of Amazon.
-Quality less than Bluray.
-Limited to watching it on my PS3.

Sounds like a real winner, Sony!

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450374)

Lengthy download instead of a trip to the store.

A trip to the store can take more than a day if you happen to want a movie on a day when the city buses are not running. In some cities, buses don't run on Sundays or about six major holidays.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450390)

Lengthy download instead of a trip to the store.

A trip to the store can take more than a day if you happen to want a movie on a day when the city buses are not running. In some cities, buses don't run on Sundays or about six major holidays.

That's nothing. A trip to the store could take weeks if you get taken hostage by an arm gang on the way and released later after lengthy negotiations by Jimmy Carter. Of course we always take this sort of scenario into account when deciding whether to download or buy from the store.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450524)

Ha! That's nothing. My dad went out to buy cigarettes 20 years ago and still hasn't comeback... At least, that taught me not to smoke.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (4, Funny)

yorugua (697900) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450954)

Lengthy download instead of a trip to the store.

A trip to the store can take more than a day if you happen to want a movie on a day when the city buses are not running. In some cities, buses don't run on Sundays or about six major holidays.

That's nothing. A trip to the store could take weeks if you get taken hostage by an arm gang on the way and released later after lengthy negotiations by Jimmy Carter. Of course we always take this sort of scenario into account when deciding whether to download or buy from the store.

That's nothing. It could take months if you have your PS3 in your boat and you are traveling near the cost of Africa while testing your new satellite Internet link. While you might think that a short trip to the coast to take some pictures, meet some people, sightseeing and buying that new BluRay you heard about in some store could be interesting, you can also get kidnapped by one of those pirates gangs and spend months while someone put (a lot of) money on the table to take you back. This could specially apply also if you ship oil for a work on a large boat, or move large amounts of people around, or you do some high level fishing.

Of course we always take this sort of scenario into account when deciding whether to download or buy from the store at the shore.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450392)

If public transport is such a mess in your town, you should invest in some form of personal transportation. I suggest a bicycle.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450510)

I have a bike, but its practicality depends on the weather.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450904)

The only weather that stops a bicycle is hail*, and even then just invest in a suit of plate armor and that won't even matter.

* OK, a hurricane or tornado might also make matters difficult.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451004)

(Context for moderators: comparison of sitting at home and buying movies on PSN to traveling to a retail store on a bicycle to buy the same movies on Blu-ray.)

The only weather that stops a bicycle is hail

Would you recommend cycling in a thunderstorm?

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451046)

I don't like walking in the rain either, but I still have to do it to get to my car and into the store. It sounds like buying movies is the least of your trouble.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

box4831 (1126771) | more than 4 years ago | (#31452188)

* OK, a hurricane or tornado might also make matters difficult.

Nonsense! those are bike express lanes! They are MUCH faster (provided you dont care where you end up and don't mind some self-reassembly upon arrival)

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450428)

So how did you manage to get hold of a PS3 then?

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450494)

So how did you manage to get hold of a PS3 then?

One buys a console far less often than games or movies for that console.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (3, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450536)

And your point is what precisely?

Surely the purchasing mechanism that you used for your PS3 is scaleable to the point where it can be used as a similar mechanism for the purchase of games and movies?

I also find it difficult to believe that anyone wakes up in the morning in their own bed and says "Oh shit! I just realised that public transport links to my home are not suitable for my lifestyle."

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450990)

We have similar bad transit in my city. I'd make a day trip to buy a Console because I only have to do it once. I wouldn't take the same day or half day to go rent a movie for a couple of reasons.

1) You never know if the movie you want is going to be at the store. Wasting a half a day, a few hours there and a few hours back, to go to the store just to find out the don't carry or don't have the movie you wanted in is a major frustration. Before I spent more time downloading then renting I'd try to call ahead to reserve movies. I'd be told, "sure we have that, I'll put it aside for you.", I'd get to the store and the movie I wanted was gone.

2) You have to return the rented movie. Meaning you have to make the same trip back to the store often the next day or the day after or pay the late fees. So if you want to rent a movie you better be sure you have the time to make the initial trip and you better not be doing anything the next day either.

I like Sony's idea, I'd pay the same prices to "own" (by Sony's definition) a movie that I'd pay to rent them from a store (up to $5). Seeing as how Sony is charging the same price I'd pay if I actually bought the movie; I don't think I'll be using their service. Fortunately for me I live in Canada so I don't think I even get the option to pay outrageous prices for their crap anyway.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451208)

Actually, I take back some of what I said - here in the UK there aren't that many places where you're truly "out in the wilds" and miles away from any civilisation; however, I hadn't considered a place like Canada where I guess it's still possible to be living many miles from anywhere.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451850)

Every place I have ever lived, there has been a movie rental place either closer than, or the same distance as the grocery store (and that's in Canada!). If you seriously have problems renting a movie, how do you buy your groceries?

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31452074)

Not even just being out in the wilds. I've been to London and their transit system is infinitely better then what we have here in Dartmouth, Nova Scota. Then again, I think you'd be hard pressed to find any place with worse transit.

Sure I can walk or take a bike, but if you've ever been to Halifax or Dartmouth, you'd know the cities are made up of hills, hills on hills and more hills.

The advantage is I'm in great shape. I was at a bachelor party for a friend of mine about a year ago. He had friends from Alberta visiting and we spent most of the night waiting for them to catch up to us as we moved from bar to bar.

The other issue with traveling without transit is the weather. This last winter was pretty good we only had a couple of snow storms, but normally from about mid January to about mid April there's snow on the ground. Sometimes well over a meter, but normally at least a half a meter. Summer's not too bad and I welcome a nice walk on a warm sunny day, but when it's warm I'm outside until it's time for bed and rarely spend time watching movies.

For more about Halifax/Dartmouth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oz88kJSdT6Y [youtube.com] This may NSFW unless you have headphones.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (3, Insightful)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451302)

You can't download snacks.

Snacks are more fungible than movies (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451408)

Snacks are more fungible than movies. If I'm out of ZonePerfect candy bars, for example, I can use whatever Sun Chips I have left. One movie doesn't substitute for another nearly as easily; otherwise, free movies would substitute for major-label movies just as Firefox has been substituting for IE. Besides, I can stock up on snacks for a month at a time during a normal scheduled trip to the grocery store. With a movie, on the other hand, I have to get in early before everyone starts spouting spoilers.

Re:Snacks are more fungible than movies (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31452412)

And even if you forget the snacks and only notice it after you slipped the DVD in, you can still go out and get them, and be back just in the nick of time after the unskippable ads have rolled.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (3, Insightful)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450406)

Don't forget download size, some of us have download quotas.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450488)

and others have 15mbit, so we can stream this after 2 mins of caching, and the whole process becomes much faster then physical renting/buying.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450668)

The Playstation network has been DOG SLOW lately... I don't think your fast connection is gonna help much.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450468)

I don't buy movies anymore - I rent them. I know it's a (slightly) different comparison to what you were complaining about, but renting HD movies from PSN makes a ton of sense. I hate going to the rental store to pick up a movie, only to have to drive back a day or two later to return it. My wife & I prefer to pick a movie on Thursday evening (when new stuff gets posted to PSN) and if anything looks interesting, we rent a movie to watch on the weekend. It's like $4 to rent an HD movie from PSN, about the same (or less) as going to the store.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451222)

Given a choice between a $4.50 "old release" HD "rental" and a $1 new release RedBox DVD (oh, and some RedBoxes have Blu-Ray), I'll take the $1 DVD for instant gratification.

Given a choice between two $4.50 "old release" HD "rentals" and a 2-disc Netflix plan - I'll take the Netflix plan, which will easily get a lower "rental" price per month, plus there's Netflix Instant Streaming.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450490)

Points 2,3 & 4 I completely agree with. I'd add that the potential for the DRM to self destruct at some arbitrary point in the future further devalues the purchase.

I disagree with your first point, though. If they sort out DRM issues and pricing I'd find downloads to be a very convenient way of purchasing movies. Even going on a 7.5GB file size and allowing for network congestion that's a 30 minute download on my connection, and 50Mbps is not that unusual any more. Even living in a big city you're doing well if you can manage a round trip to the shops in that time. Add to that the fact that downloads are available 24/7 and I think it's a definite winner in convenience terms.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (2, Insightful)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450820)

-Limited to watching it on my PS3.

Actually, for most of us, this is a limitation common to Bluray as well.

Comparable to Blu-Ray? (2, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451180)

At $17.99 for older movies, it's WORSE than buying a Blu-Ray.

Most older movies have gotten down to $10-15 at Wally World, and I managed to even find some 2-packs (admittedly of made-for-TV movies) for $10.

I worry that this might affect Netflix streaming to the PS3 though - Netflix's prices blow Sony's "rental" prices away. A 2-disc Netflix sub is only slightly more expensive than two "old release" HD "rentals".

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451334)

Uh, most of us are limited to watching blu-rays on our PS3s, anyway. Not that I'll do this, because I like owning the discs, but...
Plus, I can just download the 720p ripped version and play *that* on my PS3, if the movie isn't worth it or I haven't seen it yet.

So I agree there that their pricing is dubious.

Re:Sony is being very carful not to undercut thems (4, Insightful)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451546)

-Lengthy download instead of a trip to the store.
-Price comparable to a Bluray off of Amazon.
-Quality less than Bluray.
-Limited to watching it on my PS3.

But wait, there's more!

-Quickly fill up your PS3 hard drive.
-Wonder what happens if your hard drive crashes or if you want to switch to another console.
-No more saving money by selling a movie or by buying movies used.
-No more borrowing movies among friends.

Pricing (2, Insightful)

VisualD (1144679) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450308)

With a measly $2 reduction for "older titles", one wonders why they even bothered having a tiered pricing scheme.

Re:Pricing (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31452456)

So the old complaint works. You know, the "now we're already reducing the price of the movie and STILL nobody buys it, must be the pirates"

The pricing is way off... (5, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450314)

You can get Zombieland on blu-ray at Amazon for $23.49. It's yours, you can loan it, sell it, make backups (shhhh), etc. Plus it's in full 1080p. Who the frick would buy a "virtual" copy for nearly the same price?

Re:The pricing is way off... (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450376)

Indeed, it's strategies like this that made me stop working for Sony.

Oh, that and the regular shafting by management.

The irony is, management will email you and say "please tell us how to be a better company" and you tell them to try selling things that are a good value proposition and they don't want to know.

For instance, I emailed the head of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and told him that no-one would ever buy a UMD movie at that price/quality, but did he listen? Did he fuck.

Sony needs to get rid of the morons in upper management and start listening to the people making the products.

Re:The pricing is way off... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450838)

Sony needs to get rid of the morons in upper management and start listening to the people making the products.

Great suggestion! Why don't you just email that to upper management, and they'll get right on it!

Re:The pricing is way off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450444)

You can get Zombieland for free at tpb that will not get dusty ...

Re:The pricing is way off... (2, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450604)

What a clever little "Dick Whittington, highwayman of the Internet" you are - with the emphasis on "Dick"!

Unfortunately, your miniscule intellect fails to grasp the concept that you're only able to download the movie from "TPB" because lots of other people have actually gone out and bought it in the first place - thus subsidising your entertainment.

So close your fat mouth and go grow a backbone. If you think shit is overpriced then don't buy it and don't copy it. Then honest people like me don't get DRM restricting our fair usage because Dicks like you give them the excuses they need to do it.

Mod Parent Up (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450846)

Cruel, but ultimately fair.

Mod Parent Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31451052)

For being a dumbass

Re:Mod Parent Down (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451962)

Hey, he's a pirate. If he wants to continue doing what he's doing, he's going to have to deal with people getting pissed off at him.

And why shouldn't we be pissed? Piracy does no favours for us. It allows the pirate as much entertainment he can get his greedy little hands on, while honest customers have to sweat the higher prices and increasingly invasive copy protection measures. Fuck, it's gotten to the point where the DRM on Assassin's Creed 2 (which I wouldn't mind playing) has made it literally impossible for me to play the game where I'm living right now.

And that's not even mentioning the draconian laws being pushed through at the moment, on the backs of all these pirates.

Re:The pricing is way off... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450448)

The problem is that the movie cartels don't want to compete with themselves. They don't care which one you buy as long as you give them the money. Although considering the retailer markup it does seem strange that they're not able to offer these for a little less.

Re:The pricing is way off... (1)

1000101 (584896) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450516)

You can get Zombieland on blu-ray at Amazon for $23.49. It's yours, you can loan it, sell it, make backups (shhhh), etc. Plus it's in full 1080p. Who the frick would buy a "virtual" copy for nearly the same price?

Who the frick would pay $23.49 for Zombieland (or any other movie for that matter)?

Re:The pricing is way off... (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450708)

Indeed. I would put what they are offering, at under 5 bucks. Truthfully. Since I'm paying for the bandwidth, and the storage, and they will most likely still own it, and probably be able to delete the damn thing remotely or something... 5 bucks is about all it's worth.

Shipping and handling (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450732)

You can get [some movie] on blu-ray at Amazon for $23.49.

The disadvantage there is you wait a week for "super saver shipping".

Re:Shipping and handling (1)

OnlyJedi (709288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450942)

That depends on a lot of factors, especially where you live. I've found that super saver shipping takes around 2-4 days on average. Of course, I live right outside a major city, and I get just about everything shipped in half the promised time.

If you really must have it right away, chances are that a rental model (eg through your cable provider or Redbox) would be quicker than PS3 download as well as cheaper. As far as my experience (with movies at least) goes, when I'm looking to buy I'm not generally in a hurry to watch; having a physical package and the quality/dependability of physical media is more important. When I'm in a hurry to watch its usually just to watch once with a group of friends/family; I don't care as much about perfect quality or whether the media will last for years.

Re:The pricing is way off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31452084)

This is completely stupid, the idea here is not to sell movies, but to be able to say "you see we tried that internet thing, it doesn't work, let's sue our customers instead !"

The PSN service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450438)

The PSN service has an upper bitrate limitation of 20Mb/s and supports full 1080p content, the quality/bitrate will scale with time and connectivity. As far as devices/DRM are concerned, as long as you live in a Sony world you will be fine. Keep an eye out for BiVL announcements (google BIVL) and you will see some (but not all) of where it is all headed with direct device support (not PS3) and sharing between devices. It is not different than what apple is doing so put away the proprietary Sony hate and try to understand that Sony, like Apple, is just trying to be an alternative channel of content for your daily consumption of media.

HD? (0)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450442)

It may be 720p, but if the file is no larger than 7.5 GB, it'll be compressed all to hell, and no better than DVD.

Re:HD? (3, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450684)

Have you ever downloaded and watched HD movies off Usenet or torrent sites? These are typically 4-8GB for 720p, and 8-16GB for 1080p. The quality is in no way anywhere as bad or low-def as DVD, and most viewers will probably never notice the difference between these compressed files and the full Blu-ray versions, unless they watch them simultaneously side-by-side. If you have an HD set, these downloads are well worth it compared to plain DVD. Even when I have the chance to download the full Blu-ray, I opt for the compressed file.

The best thing of course would be to have a choice! I still think the old Russian AllOfMP3 site set the standard for media webshops in that regard: a choice of compression rates and file formats, or the raw uncompressed file, priced by the MB. I'd like online movie stores to offer downloads in formats suitable for portable players, DVD, HDTV (720p and 1080p), with or without compression, etc. And of course, no DRM and download to own. If they offer that, I'd stop bothering with Usenet or torrents, and I'd happily pay close to the full price for movies ($20-25).

Re:HD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450816)

I agree, since I really can't tell the difference in them, at least when I watch the movie. The standard pricing is bit of a sting, since but I expect that will change in time. One complaint I keep seeing though is about low download speed. From the USA, right?

Re:HD? (1)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450736)

I've converted a bunch of 1080p BR movies down to 720p at a bitrate of around 5000kbps. I've tested all sorts of different bitrates and I can't notice a difference between 5000kbps and 8000kbps - 9000kbps etc. (other than in a few specific scenes). At 5000kbps, all of the files that I've converted have been between 3.5 GB and 5 GB. I'd say that 7.5 GB will look fine and probably a lot better than DVD. I know all of my rips look much better than any DVD that I've compared them to.

H.264 vs. MPEG-2 (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450796)

DVD uses MPEG-2 video compression. This comparison [s2000.ws] shows that for standard-definition material, H.264 looks as good at 1 Mbps as MPEG-2 looks at 2 Mbps. This should compensate for the HD picture (1280x720) being over twice as big as DVD (704x480).

Post-PS3? (1)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450470)

So... what happens to the downloaded movies that you've "bought" once the inevitable PS4 comes out? Would you be able to redownload the films or simply move the old hard drive into the new device? For all we know, Sony's license to distribute the films may not cover successive devices.

Of course, then there's the matter of downloaded content on other systems like the Xbox 360...

Linked to PSN Account, Perhaps (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451278)

So... what happens to the downloaded movies that you've "bought" once the inevitable PS4 comes out?

I imagine these downloads are treated like all other content on the PSN, they are linked to your account. You are allowed to activate your downloadable content on up to 5 devices so I imagine you could simply sign into your new PS4 when it comes out and re-download your content.

On a similar note, two other friends and I have all activated our PSN accounts on all of our PS3s and we share DLC all the time. I'm saving my other two activations in case my PS3 goes bad or the day I say "Hey look at my new PS4!"

Re:Linked to PSN Account, Perhaps (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 4 years ago | (#31452570)

Not all content on PSN is like that. Warhawk for example can only be activated on 1 system. Movies may turn out to be the same way.

PhysicalDigital (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450538)

I will never understand why companies believe that we will pay the same price for an electronic download. When it cuts out the shipping and manufacturing cost for them vrs physical media...

Re:PhysicalDigital (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31450812)

When it cuts out the shipping and manufacturing cost for them

Internet bandwidth and server maintenance still cost money.

Re:PhysicalDigital (1)

OnlyJedi (709288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451184)

Yes, but server maintenance is a fixed cost, not a marginal cost, and bandwidth is cheap. How cheap? Will, according to some digging I've done, in San Francisco (near the center of many tech businesses in the US) bandwidth for large companies in 2008 was around $10-$14 per Mbps per month [gigaom.com] for a 1GigE connection. For a 10GigE connection, the price was around $4 per Mbps per month. Assuming they are always sending out at peak capacity, this comes out to a cost of about 3.7 cents per GB (with a 1 GigE) or 1.2 cents per GB (with a 10 GigE). Assuming Sony has a 10 GigE hookup, that's about 5 cents for a 4 GB file. Not zero, but pretty close.

Re:PhysicalDigital (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451314)

server maintenance is a fixed cost, not a marginal cost

Storing movies to be served costs per title, and encrypting each copy sent over the wire costs per concurrent user just like bandwidth does.

Assuming they are always sending out at peak capacity

I don't see the reason behind such an assumption unless Sony promises overnight delivery in the background. People don't tend to start a download going while at work or asleep.

Available internationally?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31450930)

Can someone let us know if its available internationally? Something like this would be a killer platform over Apple's offerings since they don't allow any legal downloads of music / video to places like Hong Kong.

Tried it, hate it (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451296)

I tried this on the xbox and hated it. First you have to download about 4gigs which takes time, that's 4 gigs coming off your own internet connection if you happen to have a monthly limit. For xbox once you start watching the movie you need to finish it in like 2 days or it auto-deletes. That's right you can just watch part of it, go do something else and be like "oh I have to finish that movie I paid $$$$" for only to find out it's disappeared.

The deal breaker is the price. at 17.99$ might as well just buy the dvd/blueray and own it.

How cute, Sony rents movies for full price (0, Flamebait)

TravisO (979545) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451518)

Welcome to Xbox 360 circa 2006, at least MS realized that DRM'd movies in a box was more of a rental than a purchase, charged you adequately and let you have the movie for 7 days. I wasn't very excited about a $5 digital 7 day rental, but it looks like a blessing compared to Sony's $20 fee, heck this makes BlockBuster look like a good investment. Let's also not forget consoles have a shelf life of 5yrs, and the PS3 came out in 2006 so how much longer will the majority of people will have their PS3 before they sell it. How much you want to bet you can't re-download your movie to your PS4 without purchasing a $4.95 transport fee? If they even allow that, remember Sony's promise that you could "upgrade" your PSP discs to digital downloads for $5, and at the last minute they pulled that and told you to pay full price. Wake up people, Sony _LOVES_ the idea that you have to re-purchase things every 5yrs, or sooner. They love the idea that you buy a $1 song on iTunes for your MP3 player, you pay $3 for it as a ring tone on your cell, you pay $2 per month to use a song as a ring back for people who call you, you pay another $5 for the music video. Also don't forget Sony is the same company who didn't want you to rip your CD, they wanted you to buy the CD now, and in a couple years buy the songs again for your iPod. Sony is drunk off of the "CD revolution" that made everybody replace their cassettes and vinyl, it blew their profits sky high, good for them. But now Sony is trying to artificially recreate this scenario in the digital world out of pure greed.

Excruciating download speeds on PSN (1)

Luchio (782557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31451810)

Each time I do PS3 firmware or game updates, it takes forever to download close to 200 MB; something like a FULL HOUR. So, if I download a full movie from those servers, I'm not going to be able to watch it before a few days?

Sony, upgrade your canadian server park!

Why the price premium? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 4 years ago | (#31452572)

Is any HD movie worth a 50% premium over SD? $2 more (to rent, $3.99 SD, $5.99HD)?

When I first saw the Matrix on a very low-quality rip, it was not substantially changed by the DVD version, or even my current Blu-Ray version (thanks WB for the HD/BluRay swap!) . It is rather appalling when Netflix is on the same system and you get streaming movies for $8/mo. That's what, 2 SD rentals? If Sony priced the HD rentals at SD rates, they might actually compete with the value proposition of Netflix.

Fucking ripoffs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31452698)

Seriously? They finally make this available, the service I've wanted for ages and they charge 19.99$ for a movie? Fuck that. 10USD is sufficient for a digital copy of a movie, they need to stop being ripoffs.

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