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With Cinavia DRM, Is Blu-ray On a Path To Self-Destruction?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the push-play-watch-film dept.

DRM 429

suraj.sun tips an article at AnandTech about a Blu-ray DRM scheme called Cinavia. The author makes the case that software like Cinavia is hastening the death of a Blu-ray industry already struggling to compete with online media streaming. Quoting: "In our opinion, it is the studios and the Blu-ray system manufacturers who have had the say in deciding upon the suitability of a particular DRM scheme. Consumers have had to put up with whatever has been thrust upon them. The rise in popularity of streaming services (such as Netflix and Vudu) which provide instant gratification should make the Blu-ray industry realize its follies. The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection. Once such connections become ubiquitous, most of the titles owned by consumers would probably end up being stored in the cloud. ... The addition of new licensing requirements such as Cinavia are preventing the natural downward price progression of Blu-ray related technology. Instead of spending time, money and effort on new DRM measures that get circumvented within a few days of release, the industry would do well to lower the launch price of Blu-rays. There is really no justification for the current media pricing."

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429 comments

No justification for the current media pricing? (4, Insightful)

Panspechi (948400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450855)

I didn't know conglomerates were charities? Why would they lower their prices, unless forced to?

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39450875)

No, there is justification; it costs a lot of money to develop these new DRM schemes!

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39450891)

well. it may have something to do with making more money due to the # of sales outpacing the loss of revenue from current sales due to the lower price.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (5, Insightful)

boristdog (133725) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450907)

If blu-ray disks were $5 each I would have hundreds of them.

As it is, I have none.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (4, Interesting)

Technician (215283) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451037)

At $5 per disk, I would not have them because of the player cost, unless I find a great price on a used one somewhere.

I made the mistake of buying a Laserdisk player. The disks were supposed to be cheaper than videotape because they could be easly mass produced. Video tape prices fell and laserdisk remained expensive. DVD's filled the promise with many titles in the bins under $5.

Blue-ray started at a higher price and remain at a higher price for the player and content. No thanks.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451235)

Blue-ray started at a higher price and remain at a higher price for the player and content. No thanks.

Increasingly I'm seeing some older movies which have been re-released on Blu Ray coming down in price.

I've seen some movies at Wal Mart for $9.99, and even re-bought a couple of titles now that I've switched to Blu Ray. Many movies I don't care, but "The Dark Knight" for the $12.99 I saw it for last week is appealing.

I'm not looking to replace my entire library of DVD with Blu Ray, since I have literally hundreds of DVDs. But some movies which I really like I've re-invested in them because seeing them in full HD is worth it if I can find the disk on sale.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (0)

Sparrow1492 (1962256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451265)

How about a Sony Bravia for $18 on e-bay? [google.com]

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (3, Informative)

spxero (782496) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451453)

Did you follow the eBay link? The remote is $18, not the player.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (2)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451271)

I agree the media price is too high but the hardware?! The very fact that you talk about laser disk introduction makes it obvious you're no child so you really ought to know better! I see refurbed BD players on Amazon as low as $25 and new ones as low as $42 with $8 shipping.

Your strawman fails. I'm sorry but the industry isn't going to give this all away. When the movies aren't crazy priced I too buy them, otherwise I use NetFlix and RedBox. Personally I hate streaming and will not use it but it works well for others....

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (4, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451419)

Sorry but no. Blu-ray content is absent from my computer because it requires HDCP protected equipment and DRM-laden OS, which while now ubiquitous in the form of HDMI connectivity on graphics cards, TVs etc, is absent from my home setup. My monitor doesn't support HDMI despite being over 1080p in resolution, and I've no intention of "upgrading" it any time soon.

A Blu-ray player may well be $42, but the accompanying 1080p TV and speaker system are considerably more. I would expect a system which can actually make use of the improved video and sound quality of Blu-Ray to cost at least $1000, whereas my existing DVD playback system has no problems at all.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (2)

tgd (2822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451367)

The disks were supposed to be cheaper than videotape because they could be easly mass produced. Video tape prices fell and laserdisk remained expensive.

I have a LOT of laserdiscs going back to the early 80's, and I can't remember anyone EVER claiming they were supposed to be cheaper. And *any* modern technology like DVD or BluRay would do *very* well to last as long as LaserDiscs did -- they had a 22 year run in the US. DVD will hit that soon, but probably at its very trailing edge as well. BluRay will never hit 22 years.

LaserDiscs were always about quality and durability, not price.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451559)

I remember. It was when the CD first came out. The media companies were promising up and down that if we all adopted it and started repurchasing all our music, the price of CDs would quick fail to a few dollars.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451385)

At $5 per disk, I would not have them because of the player cost, unless I find a great price on a used one somewhere.

Seriously, $50 is too much for a BD player these days?

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (3, Interesting)

dwillden (521345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451521)

Player cost? Really, that's your issue. When Wal-mart and other retailers are selling 1080p players for $89 or even less some times? Granted you can get a DVD player that upscales quite decently for $29 at Walmart. But if $90 is too expensive for you to handle I doubt you are buying many DVDs either.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (1)

ragsss9_ (1995608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451115)

I used to have hundreds of DVD's. Now I own just 3 Blu-rays. I watch movies on Netflix and VUDU. I no longer use optical players. I no longer care about "release dates" of movies onto "disc". VUDU sends me e mail when new movies are available. Also, I used to copy movies to hard drive. I have no need to do that anymore. Now I just pay 6 dollars and watch a movie in 1080-P whenever I like.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451257)

THIS SO MUCH.

These idiots in charge really don't understand very simple concepts like this.
It has already been proved countless times in other industries throughout the decades.
The lower the price, the more people will buy, when you reach certain prices, impulse-buys considerably increase to the point that it offsets potential losses from a much larger price.

Not to mention that so many people buy 2nd-hand goods, which they get none of the profit from, simply because the price of the originals are so much higher.
If they were to lower the price to typical prices you see 2nd hand goods at, the sales increase from that alone would more than make up for that lower price.
People buy 2nd hand for a reason, it is more in their price range. Bring the initial releases down already!
Piracy isn't even on the scale of how much they lose to 2nd hand sales due to their own greed.

Whether it is films, games, music or whatever else, lower price points have already proven worthy causes in various different attempts throughout the media industry.
A very good example of this is Humble Indie Bundle. Those things are absolute goldmines for indie devs, sales that indie devs could only dream of most of the time unless they hit it lucky like Angry Birds or Minecraft.
I think from the last one alone, each group involved got around $90k+ from it. All from people donating on average around $6. That was barely 100k sales if I remember correct. Imagine if that was those millions from the rest of the games industry.
$20-40 seems like the absolute sweet spot where most people can afford it and the best amount of profit gained, varying depending on the type of game it is. (popularity, basically)

If you start to treat your customers as pirates, you make them pay a large price for said content when it is in fact your own mess you created by pissing off the stores and in turn forcing them to significantly increase the 2nd hand market size, of course you are going to lose sales.
Adapt or die. Locking people out isn't adapting, it is dying.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (1)

msheekhah (903443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450943)

let's see... pay $40 for a bluray disc, or just watch it on Netflix, cable, or Hulu? Hmm...

Stuck on satellite (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451029)

Netflix BDs by mail? That's still using the same BD DRM. Netflix and Hulu video on demand? Those are available only where you can get cable TV. If your home isn't served by a cable TV provider, and the DSLAM isn't close enough to you either, then you're stuck with satellite and 3G, whose monthly data transfer caps aren't near enough for streaming feature-length video.

Re:Stuck on satellite (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451105)

Netflix BDs by mail? That's still using the same BD DRM. Netflix and Hulu video on demand? Those are available only where you can get cable TV. If your home isn't served by a cable TV provider, and the DSLAM isn't close enough to you either, then you're stuck with satellite and 3G, whose monthly data transfer caps aren't near enough for streaming feature-length video.

SO WHAT? If you live far away from a cable internet provider or DSL provider, then you get satellite, 3g, or dialup. Guess what, if you live far away from wal-mart and big supermarkets, then you don't get to use them either. Move, or don't move. Up to you, but who cares if you are far away. You chose that.

Re:Stuck on satellite (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451323)

So then everyone should move to cities? Do you know where food comes from?

Re:Stuck on satellite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451475)

Robotic farms?

Oh wait this is 2012 right?

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451039)

Yeah, but the $40 disc you can watch many times over. Even though watching a movie even just two times is unlikely.

I wanna watch Sin-duh-weh-wuh again (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451103)

Even though watching a movie even just two times is unlikely.

Unless you have single-digit-year-old kids who "wanna watch Sin-duh-weh-wuh again, Daddy." There are some films suitable for a repeat viewing, and a lot of those are G-rated animated films. For me when I was growing up, it was The Care Bears Movie.

Re:I wanna watch Sin-duh-weh-wuh again (1)

ZiggieTheGreat (934388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451259)

Yes, but those hardly require the expense of Blu Ray. I know my kids don't care about the quality of the films they watch.

Re:I wanna watch Sin-duh-weh-wuh again (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451449)

If you have a single-digit-kid, I have 3 of them, you also know that the CD/DVD/BluRay-
medium doesn't last very long. My kids trashes a disc in a couple of minutes.

Nah, I get all my movies from thepiratebay, works perfectly, no slow release-dates, and if the kids scratches the disc or accidentally bathes with the thumb-drive and smashes it; I'll just make a second copy. Beautiful.. Now, just think if the industry could make their shit work the same way; you but it and then it's YOURS, to do with whatever you want. No lame DRM or other dissadvantages.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451133)

Though rather importantly, once you have that $40 disk you can watch it any time. One of the downsides of the streaming services is content can disappear at any time, sometimes part way through watching a series (has happened to me twice now). Until such services deal with that problem, physical media will continue to have that edge.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (2)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451301)

You also have the option of selling it when you no longer want it. I prefer physical media, awesome sound and all. Streaming is fine for some folks but it leaves me cold. I rip all of my media to a server and have "on demand" viewing anytime I want and can stream it to my phone and other devices easily if I choose :-)

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (2)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451447)

Yeah, but the $40 disc you can watch many times over. Even though watching a movie even just two times is unlikely.

Well, owning movies is not for you then.

On the other hand, except for movies I disliked (in which case, I don't buy them), I can't think of anything that I've watched only once. Of the stuff I own, I'm thinking 5-10 times. Hell, I went through TNG in its entirety at least 4 times over my lifetime. Many of the episodes I must have seen 20 times.

Generally speaking, if I'm talking about a movie with a friend, and I hear him say that he hasn't seen it, I say, "let's watch it, right now." So I end up watching the same movies multiple times with different people. I'm not saying you should do that, it's fine if you never want to see a movie after you already know what happens, but there are people for whom the buying model makes sense.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (1)

dwillden (521345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451599)

Where do you shop? Most Blu-ray new releases can be found for about $25, and that is most commonly a 2 or 3 disc set with a Blu disc with the movie, a DVD with the movie and maybe a third disc with extra's. Wait a few weeks and the price start dropping as well.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450947)

I didn't know conglomerates were law enforcement agencies? Why would they stop harassing and assulting citizens unless forced to?

I'll buy your argument as soon as "conglomerates" stop getting special legal task forces and swat teams to enforce their copyright schemes.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (1)

Drew Sullivan (5357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451541)

Can we have the executives charged for impersonating a federal officer?

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (4, Insightful)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450959)

I believe the author means that there is no rational, economic justification. As in, the current prices are not maximizing return and spending money on DRM is not showing any return on investment.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450961)

The content providers would rather consumers pay a la carte like in iTunes or Amazon or Vudu rather than subscription like netflix.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451053)

If I can pay a la carte but pay Redbox prices ($1.28 per night), I might pay. But the studio-approved a la carte streaming services tend to want $2.99 or more a night.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451161)

There is a place for both. There are plenty of titles on Netflix I would NEVER have watched if I had to pay $$ to watch them singularly. I can eventually forgive myself, but I watched the complete ST:Voyager series on netflix. There is NFW I would pay $1 an episode for that garbage. Thankfully, DS9 set things straight in the world of Trek, but again, I"m not paying $1 a episode to watch it once or twice. If the content providers go totally a la carte, then I will have to describe the episodes to my kids, rather than pay several hundred dollars so they can watch them once.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451099)

They would lower their prices if it would increase profit through more sales. This is not totally far fetched.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451399)

Because that would increase their sales disproportionally, and would be the smart thing to do.

Mh... never mind.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451403)

There's no justification for me to take a slimy wet shit in your mouth, either, but I'm going to because I can.

Re:No justification for the current media pricing? (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451571)

Because the author is saying it's the only way they're going to compete with various video on demand solutions.

Proof (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39450923)

Proof bluray is dead, bought a laptop for 800 bucks last week, still no blu ray drive, only high end carry one....

Re:Proof (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451083)

I just built myself a new PC two weeks ago. $20 for a good quality DVD-RW drive vs $60 for the cheapest Blu-Ray drive (just a Blu-ray player w/ DVD burner, not even a Blu-ray burner). When DVD-R began to overtake CD-R, I made the switch because I needed the extra capacity. However, hard drives have plummeted in price, microSD/SD/flash media has plummeted in price and services like Dropbox means I don't need to use write-once media to backup or transport files anymore. I don't see any different between DVD and Blu-ray movie quality (especially since I can't afford a television to take advantage of that quality), so what does blu-ray have to offer me even if I did have the capability?

Re:Proof (2, Interesting)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451159)

What doesnt help is that there are maybe 3 media player programs that can run Blu-rays, all of them about 90-95 megabytes, all of them $100 or more. Thats more than I paid for the DRIVE.

Re:Proof (2)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451313)

AnyDVD-HD and VLC. Or AnyDVD-HD, eac3to, x.264, mkvmerge, and then VLC or my fave XBMC but not in a portable ;-)

Re:Proof (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451603)

AnyDVD-HD and VLC. Or AnyDVD-HD, eac3to, x.264, mkvmerge, and then VLC or my fave XBMC but not in a portable ;-)

That's my method, too. I don't own any certified Blu-Ray player (i.e. nothing that will directly play encrypted Blu-Ray discs), but still own nearly 200 Blu-Ray movies. All of them have been ripped to hard drive and are available for viewing in any room in my house.

Yep, the reason I'm still happy with dvds (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39450945)

Blu-ray is defective by design.
Discs are defective by design, Blu-ray players are defective by design.
All I can say is hail to the pirates of the high seas.

Self-destruction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39450955)

If "software like Cinavia is hastening the death of a Blu-ray industry already struggling" how is that a "path to self-destruction"?!

Re:Self-destruction (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450985)

If "software like Cinavia is hastening the death of a Blu-ray industry already struggling" how is that a "path to self-destruction"?!
  They voluntarily include it.

International service (5, Insightful)

rootnl (644552) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450965)

The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection.

Also the fact that Netflix and Vudu is only available in the USA. The rest of the world still rely on physical media.

Re:International service (4, Insightful)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451011)

And on TPB, thankyouverymuch.

Re:International service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451247)

Drones... drones everywhere!

Re:International service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451031)

"Also the fact that Netflix and Vudu is only available in the USA. The rest of the world still rely on physical media."

Also the fact that Netflix and Vudu is only available in the USA. The rest of the world still rely on The Pirate Bay.

There fixed it for you.

LoveFilm (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451063)

Also the fact that Netflix and Vudu is only available in the USA.

Doesn't LoveFilm pick up a few more countries?

Re:International service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451129)

Canada has Netflix© Lite®.

Re:International service (1)

andot (714926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451305)

I don't live in USA, not even in western europe and right now my cable provider uses IPTV. So all my TV programs are streamed. And we have movie rentals from provider server also.

Re:International service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451339)

Perhaps you should check your sources. Netflix is available in 43 countries and territories, according to Wikipedia.

Re:International service (1)

Taeolas (523275) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451549)

Available yes.

But with more limited libraries. Netflix.ca for example doesn't have Star Trek series; just the movies. Nor a pile of other things you might want to look up.

Until the Entertainment industry realizes the 'net is Global and packages their products appropriately (ie without Region locks), they're going to continue to be hurt by TPB and similar.

Re:International service (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451397)

I rent Blu-Rays and rip them if I can't find them for a price I consider fair.

Though most of the time I end up renting them, watching them once and not even bothering to rip them.

Sigh.

Re:International service (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451591)

I rent cars but steal them when I can't find a price I consider fair. Sorry, but theft is theft. Your irrational rationalization of the situation is not justification to steal. If you don't consider the price fair, you do without - not steal it. You're clearly part of the Entitled Generation.

Re:International service (2)

mapuche (41699) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451605)

Netflix exists here in Mexico, but their movie catalog is... old.

It's Sony again (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39450981)

They're the one pushing this audio watermark in their movies. Piracy has nothing to do with it, they want to license this crap to others and get a Sony tax on every audio track and device that supports this offensive DRM (playback will stop if the source is from an unregistered device, so forget legal rips).

There's a big leap of faith there (4, Interesting)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450983)

The author throws this premise and assumption in without giving it too much examination:

a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection. Once such connections become ubiquitous...

That's a big leap. Countries with high populations densities, such as those in Europe and the Far East, will have a much easier/cheaper time of building out the infrastructure for reliable high-speed internet to a vast majority of their population. Here in the US, however, it's a lot more expensive. Simply hand-waving the "once such connections become ubiquitous" ignores the cost of installing that infrastructure, and the time required to extend it to enough households.

Besides, a 1080p movie is going to suck a lot of bandwidth, and I'm guessing most people won't want to pay for a connection fast enough when they can save a few bucks with a slower connection. Not to mention the whole throttling/bandwidth cap issue.

Re:There's a big leap of faith there (3, Insightful)

qwe4rty (2599703) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451071)

Author also forgets to take into account that the number of options available for streaming generally suck. I gave up on Netflix for movies when 85% of what I wanted to watch wasn't available. I'll use it for TV shows, but that's it.

Re:There's a big leap of faith there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451179)

Maybe I'm spoiled, but my $50/month Fios connection can suck down a 9gig 1080p movie in ~25 minutes. Granted I live within 25 miles of a major metroplex, but we're not really talking about Billy Bob in the Ozarks now are we?

Re:There's a big leap of faith there (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451431)

Thing is, most streaming services seem to exist in places with poor net. Netflix and Hulu are US only, while the BBC iPlayer is UK only. Where are the good streaming services for say, mainland Europe?

Not that it matters much to me (I'm in Canada, land of the extortionate bandwidth caps), but I haven't really heard about serious streaming services in countries where bandwidth caps and/or speeds are not an issue.

Re:There's a big leap of faith there (5, Insightful)

IICV (652597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451477)

That's a big leap. Countries with high populations densities, such as those in Europe and the Far East, will have a much easier/cheaper time of building out the infrastructure for reliable high-speed internet to a vast majority of their population. Here in the US, however, it's a lot more expensive.

Which is why we have such great Internet connectivity in our cities with high population density, like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston or Philadelphia?

Face it, the "population density" argument just doesn't work. The real reason the USA is fucked in terms of infrastructure is because for some reason we prefer spending money blowing up other people's roads and bridges and networks over maintaining our own.

Agreeded (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39450999)

You pick a movie on netflix, 5 seconds later your watching it. You download a pirated movie, open it and 2 seconds later your watching it. You put a blu ray in, you wait a minute for it to pass the security check, get notified you need to download a firmware update for your blu ray player, get that done, be forced to watch the fbi notice, non skippable studio notices, skip past the previews, get to the overly animated menu and have to wait 20 seconds before it get to the play / select chapters buttons.

I have always wondered how much money the studios have spent (wasted) on copy protection and huge legal teams over the years. Just lower the prices, when people walk by the 5$ dvd bin at walmart, they stop and grab a few. Bring down prices across the board and sales will go up. Also, start making better movies people want to watch more than 1 time.

Our house is rural, we can only get verizon 3G internet, with 5GB per month, we cant do any streaming. No cable, no dsl. We still need netflix (by mail) or download movies someplace else and being them home.
Redbox has shown people are more than willing to pay for physical movies,well, upto 1$ or a bit more for blu rays.

Re:Agreeded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451429)

This post has rekindled my frustration but I find myself lacking mod-points!

My frustration has been doubled!

Re:Agreeded (2)

a_mari_usque_ad_mare (1996182) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451529)

I recently picked up an lg bluray player to use as a netflix machine. I think netflix is a nice service, and I wanted a machine my mother (who is afraid of computers) could figure out. So far it has been a crappy experience, and I can see why people are not lining up for blu-ray:

-A few setup things were arcane, like having the aspect ratio stuck at 16:9 until I changed some other setting.
-The wifi throws a fit every so often, claiming there is no connection. I have told my mother to restart the player as this seems like the simplest solution. No other devices on my wireless network have issues like this.
-The updates system is completely braindead. You can't disable updates, netflix is disabled if it wants to update, updates over the wireless always fail, and there is no version checking. I installed the updates with a usb stick, but it still prompted me to install the exact same version number over the internet connection. I could even install the same version multiple times from USB, it always thought it was a new update. I ended up having to temporarily run a network cable across the living room floor.

By contrast, my mother has never had issues with our DVD players, you put the disc in and it works. No setup, no updates, no shit, it just works.

I have no plans to buy a single bluray disc, but I find myself wishing i had just got her a nintendo wii for netflix. This bluray player is ok when it works, but between the bad design issues I mentioned (assuming other players are similar), Bluray spec versioning, HDCP issues, and the like, I cant see non technical people putting up with crap like this.

Connection speeds (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451007)

The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection.

To be honest I don't see that changing very much in the next 5 years. ISPs will continue to throttle the crap out of a user's connection. Does Netflix etc. only stream movies, or can you download them to watch later?

Re:Connection speeds (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451113)

They only stream movies. You can pause it and let the buffer build up, but it will only buffer the next few minutes or so - nowhere near enough to leave it buffering, then come back that night and watch the movie from cache.

I'd watch Blu-Rays if I could get them... (4, Interesting)

rbrander (73222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451025)

All the video stores - I mean all but three in a city of 1.1M, none within many miles of my house - have closed. And I don't get streaming, in every sense of the word "get".

In Canada, at least, Netflix recently reduced it's bandwidth again, down below 1Mbps - sub DVD, much less Blu-Ray. Why bother having HDTV if you use it?

I've become a steady browser at the library, where they have more DVD titles than any video store - but for anything popular, put the disc on a hold and wait 3 months, and all Blu-Rays (about 5% of the collection) are out all the time. And, no, I'm not paying $29.99 for "Contagion" to watch it once, possibly twice ten years later.

The rental people had about the right number - $5 for an evening for something quite popular, a little less for the older ones. And there are few movies I'll watch twice, very, very few more than twice, so $10 as a purchase price is already high for most discs. For me.

So I do seem to be trapped in some kind of market failure here, where I've got the money, want the product, and the one market mechanism for meeting product with customer at an agreeable price has just collapsed, beaten out by "good enough"....and if 1Mbps is "good enough" (is it really that people are too damn lazy to go to the mall to browse instead of clicking from the sofa??), then maybe BR is doomed because nobody appreciates resolution. And not having freezes and artifacts and glitches.

Re:I'd watch Blu-Rays if I could get them... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451283)

I was under the impression that with NetFlix in Canada, they only reduced the default bandwidth due to the ISPs reducing bandwidth caps. I read when it first happened that you could change it back. This may no longer be true, but I remember it when the bandwidth drop was first implemented.

Re:I'd watch Blu-Rays if I could get them... (1)

doom (14564) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451341)

I've become a steady browser at the library, where they have more DVD titles than any video store

For a few years there, I was having some fun with my local library's DVD collection, but I was using the Mission District branch of San Francisco. Worked my way through the new Doctor Whos, and discovered "The Melancoly of Haruhi Suzimiya" and "Ouran Host Club" that way...

"but for anything popular, put the disc on a hold and wait 3 months"

s/popular/bad and overhyped/

Gave up on physical storage long ago (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451027)

Posting anonymously for obvious reasons.

I have a rather vast collection of DVD's. Several hundred, in fact. I don't actually watch a lot of films, but I do enjoy owning the ones I like.
When Blu-ray first came along, or rather when I first got a Blu-ray player (A PS3 I managed to grab on the cheap, back when they were still £350+), I started the transition to Blu-ray. If I bought a new film, I'd buy the Blu-ray version instead of the DVD. If I wanted to watch an old film, I'd see if I could find it on blu-ray before raiding my collection.
Then the irregularities hit - obviously being a collector, I'd want to get the "best" version of the films in question. Yet for the longest time, you could get a "vanilla" DVD, a "Special" DVD (which often came with a second disk full of "Features" and maybe some art cards) or THE blu-ray. Which came with only some, or none, of the special features. And it was still £5 more than the special DVD.

I stopped buying either. I found that I could just as easily spend £10 a month on a newsgroup subscription and download whatever film I wanted in whatever quality I wanted, whenever I wanted. Why rebuy my whole collection when I can just watch what I want, when I want? If I wanted the extras, I could have them as well - at no extra cost. What's more, I could play them wherever I wanted, including streaming them to various other non-bluray capable devices. Much how people preferred MP3's simply because anything could play them, I now prefer downloaded copies for the same reason. I'm sorry that "crooks" are getting my money instead of the people who made the films, but it all just got too much. I will switch to a streaming service as soon as one offers a decent catalogue of films without charging stupid amounts. I refuse to "rent" films for anything more than £1 a pop - particularly as brand new DVDs can be had for less than £5 and most streams are NOT actually HD quality (they're often about as good as DVD quality, maybe a bit better - certainly no 1080p). The content is the killer though - why does Netflix US have 10x the content than Netflix UK does? Oh yeah, because the Movie companies are plainly greedy. They want licensing rights done on a per-country basis so they can squeeze as much out of everyone. Well fuck you, how about you let anyone access all your content for a set price and let competition do the work.

Instant gratification (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451045)

This is a big thing - DVD and Blu-Ray have lengthy startup sequences that you are not allowed to skip (they kindly say "not available" if you try, but might as well say "neener neener"). Add that to the time it takes to locate a disk, insert it into the drive, let it spin up, etc..

Netflix lets me watch something *now*. No startup, just right into the movie. That's exactly what I want.

I don't think they get it ... (5, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451079)

The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection. Once such connections become ubiquitous, most of the titles owned by consumers would probably end up being stored in the cloud.

Some of us have no interest in streaming our media. And many of us have no interest in storing our stuff in the cloud.

I want my movies stored local, offline, and accessible when I want it and without asking permission. Streaming is just going to lead to 'monetizing' each view. Storing it in the cloud means I can't watch movies on the plane, in bed, or by the pool.

I'm probably old fashioned, but I still buy Blu Ray discs and CDs which I rip to MP3. With ISPs adding bandwidth caps and the like, I'm not going to pay to stream down a movie I've already bought, and then pay my ISP again for the bandwidth for re-watching the movie again. Everyone wants a piece of that action, and I'm not playing.

So, for many of us, the physical disk is going to remain as the way we play these movies for a long time yet.

Re:I don't think they get it ... (1)

doom (14564) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451263)

"Streaming is just going to lead to 'monetizing' each view"

Until you learn how to capture the stream, and burn it in DVD-ROM format.

Re:I don't think they get it ... (3, Interesting)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451291)

I'm probably old fashioned, but I still buy Blu Ray discs and CDs which I rip to MP3.

I download ripped copies and put the original in a box in my loft, often unopened.

If I'm ever sent a C&D letter from a protection racket^W^Wlaw firm, my response will more than likely be a photograph of the original disk and the receipt (also stored in the box), accompanying the words "I refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram."

Re:I don't think they get it ... (5, Informative)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451615)

I had no idea what you meant in your "Arkell v Pressdram" comment, so I had to google it. Perhaps this is well-known in the UK, but I didn't know it. For the benefit it others, it's a reference to a British satirical and current affairs magazine called "Private Eye". From wikipedia:

An unlikely piece of British legal history occurred in what is now referred to as the "case" of Arkell v. Pressdram (1971). The plaintiff was the subject of an article relating to illicit payments, and the magazine had ample evidence to back up the article. Arkell's lawyers wrote a letter which concluded: "His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply." The magazine's response was, in full: "We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr J. Arkell. We note that Mr Arkell's attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: fuck off." In the years following, the magazine would refer to this exchange as a euphemism for a blunt and coarse dismissal: for example, "We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram".

high price if you have bad taste and can't wait (1)

ludwigmace (514661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451119)

I'm perfectly happy paying under $10 for a BluRay, because if I buy it I do so with the intention of watching it multiple times. But then again I rarely buy Hollywood blockbusters and I never buy the day they hit the shelves.

Fast and reliable? How about cost? (4, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451171)

that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection.

While certainly there are large portions of the U.S. who for various reasons do not have fast or reliable net connections, there is also the issue of costs.

In my area, to get 25/25 by itself costs $70/month. That's if you have a verizon phone line. Without the line you can add another $5/month.

If you want 50/20, that will cost you $140/month ($145 without phone).

Even 15/5 is expensive at $50/month with a phone line).

So people have to think: do I want to shell out $70/month just to have a high speed connection? Do I need that high speed connection?

Right now, there is a large portion of the population who says no, that is too high and not worth the money.

Until some form of TRUE competition is injected into the marketplace (2 providers is not competition), the cost/benefit ratio is not consumer friendly.

Not worth the price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451175)

My bluray player upsamples DVDs and downloaded content to the point where the difference in quality isn't worth the price of admission for a typical blueray purchase. Combined with the fall of Blockbuster and the general rental market, I find I purchase much less video content overall these days.

Sold my PS3 after Cinavia. (5, Interesting)

Zoson (300530) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451195)

After updating my PS3's firmware, I could no longer play my blu-ray backups that I had ripped with AC3 audio.
I didn't hesitate. I sold my PS3 and bought parts to build an HTPC - and never looked back.

I don't regret the decision at all. Neither will you.

Re:Should have kept it, Cinavia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451245)

on the PS3 has been cracked/removed. Of course, you need to be on firmware 3.55 or lower unless you are willing to downgrade (requires soldering).

Bluray vs streaming quality (5, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451197)

When will we be able to stream bluray quality to our homes over an affordable internet connection? Given that a bluray based 1080p movie is about 15GB in size, to stream that amount of data to your house in 2 hours would require an internet connection of about 17Mb/s.

I know, I know, most people can't tell when you're getting heavily compressed, downsampled whatever using H.264 ogg-something-or-other. But when someone invests a couple grand into their TV+stereo+speakers, we'd like to be able to get a high quality input into it and not a something that's sufficient for the 6 o'clock news.

I'm not a audiophile, but a believer in garbage-in = garbage-out. I hope the media companies or movie studios don't force us down the path of the lowest common denominator which would be low quality streams fit for an iphone. It's a shame that in order to get a high quality stream you need to pay a ton for the internet connection and then most likely pay a ton for a 1080p stream.

Re:Bluray vs streaming quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451487)

17Mb/s has been around for years in my area (Denver), and I have had 50mb in the past and decided to "turn it down" because even if my end of the network could receive that fast, typically the upstream networks/providers couldn't provide it that quickly. I think that my area can get above 100 Mb/sec if we're wiling to pay, and I know that 200 Mb isn't far off.

So are you saying that 17mB/sec is hard to come by?

Blue what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451207)

Nuff said. If something is not available electronically, then it's probably antiquated and only available on CDs anyway.

Consumers don't have to put up with it (5, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451209)

That's exactly the point. Yes, the vendor dictates the terms, but I decide whether I accept them. And I don't.

I don't quite get the idea why throwing more shit at my face is supposed to make me buy it.

Re:Consumers don't have to put up with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451337)

On one hand tonnes of shitty hw/sw, on the other tpb.se ... I don't really understand how these "experts" expect me to pay for shit.

a problem? (2)

doom (14564) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451253)

You mean, after they sell this crap to some clueless people with lame net connections, the format is going to die, and they get to sell something else?

And they're supposed to regard that as a problem?

Maybe it'll be dead, but it will be a while (1)

archen (447353) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451349)

The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection. Once such connections become ubiquitous, most of the titles owned by consumers would probably end up being stored in the cloud.

Aren't we already supposed to be in the time of "ubiquitous" high speed internet access? Besides which as much as they may claim that streaming is just as good, it's usually the case that most consumers don't have a good enough connection to receive bluray quality (even if they have high speed access). Assuming you care about that.

Bluray makes some things look great, but it's not that much better than DVD in many cases. Not even counting bluray releases that are crap transfers. The main reason I stick to disk for things (I like enough to purchase) is due to the fact that I can watch them whenever I want. In particular when my internet connection goes down I can at least still watch something if that's what I felt like doing. Considering my 1) router can break 2) cable modem stops working 3) comcast doesn't work 4) netflix is down, is a lot more to go wrong than player going into my TV. Not to mention that all those examples of internet related problems (comcast in particular) happen quite often, but my TV setup hasn't failed me.

"The cloud" isn't at the level of reliability I'd like, nor is it at a level of trust I believe in.

Not the only reason Blue-Ray hangs on (2)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451359)

The only reason that streaming services haven't completely phased out Blu-rays is the fact that a majority of the consumers don't have a fast and reliable Internet connection.

I can think of two other reasons:

* Consumers who for whatever reason aren't willing to go "grey market" or "black market" can't access titles that aren't licensed by streaming services.

* Many collectors and some other consumers like a factory-made, factory-authorized physical medium.

Maybe it's not as cheap as people want but... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451375)

... it has come down in prices since inception for sure. I have yet to own an BR machine but I just came across some recent release concert BR+CD combo is just $22. I'd prefer $5 but this is not too bad. I recall in the early days it's just stupidly expensive like upwards of $35-$40.

Streaming Iron Man on Netflix (4, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451377)

One slight problem .. Iron Man 2 is available for streaming, but Iron Man is not. No high speed streaming solution is going to help out when there is a legal roadblock to streaming movies.

Thank, Red Box and my public library (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451401)

I wouldn't have a problem buying five dollar DVD's, except for the fact that the MPAA is so obnoxious. Ergo, I check out movies from my local library just long enough to convert them to mp4's. i occasionally do the same thing with Red Box DVD's. Blu-Ray? Not even on my radar screen at this point. My high-quality mp4's look great on my hi-def, FWIW.

Bluray was a step backward in usability (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451441)

What I want to know is why Blurays take so long to load.

When I want to watch a movie, typically, I want to watch the movie, not wait sevefral minutes for the disk to load, then try to skip through 15 minutes of commercials (if it's possible to skip through them at all).

When I first got my Bluray play, I upgraded my Netflix membership to Bluray. 2 weeks later, I downgraded back to DVD because DVD's are more usable. I've bought a few movies on Bluray, but for the vast majority of what I watch, DVD quality is more than sufficient (even Netflix streaming quality is more than sufficient).

The operating system on my laptop boots up faster than the time it takes most Blurays to load on my bluray player.

And what's with the firmware updates that are needed for some disks to work!? My 8 year old DVD player has never needed a firmware update and it plays all of the DVDs I own but I've already run into a couple disks that refused to work without a bluray player firmware update.

I'm sure the Bluray gives content producers much more freedom to produce rich content, fancy menus and other features (which includes enhanced DRM), but all I want to do is watch my movie.

"Once such connections become ubiquitous" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451489)

Why do we always assume this is going to happen?

I'm not angry (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39451531)

I will just use the DRM to implement my magic hood of invisibility. Just some content signatures on it and i will be invisible for all surveillance equipment. Project Wulgaru proceeding nicely....

Entertainment value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451533)

These are all guesstimates feel free to make changes:

$8 Netflix subscription = Varies, lets say $0.13/hour if you watch 2 hours every night.
$30 cable package = Varies, lets say $0.50/hour if you watch 2 hours every night.
$60 Game = $2 - 4/hour
$8 DVD = $4/hour
$8 theatre ticket = $4/hour
$20 Blu-Ray = $10/hour

Seriously? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39451555)

Seriouslly? STFU.

There is no natural downward price progression on an item whose cost of production is not actually being reduced and which is not taken into account when deciding the cost to a viewer. People far too often think that the marginal cost of manufacture and distribution is a significant, or even relevant component to the price of a movie or Blu-Ray, whereas the primary component is actually the cost of production of the film, calculated against the target market for that film, and the only relevant measure is a max/min curve of what people are willing to pay versus how many copies you will sell balanced against the price of a ticket. A blu-ray experience should, and always will be at least the cost of admission for one person, maybe two. Personally, I think there is room for it to be higher to capture some of the revenue people save by not buying soda's and popcorn, but the market has spoken differently.

People seem to think that because it is cheap to replicate something, it should be cheap/free to view a replication of that item — but films have always been cheap to replicate. It costs the same amount of money to project a film to an empty theater, as it does to a full one, so the desire to apply the post-scarcity metrics of the internet to a product which has lived in a post-scarcity world for the entirety of its history is absurd and nonsensical.

Obviously, once there is broadband penetration there will be no market for DVDs or BluRays, this is simple fact, not some brilliant insight — but if you think there will EVER be a situation where you do not have to pay into the production/distribution system in order to get your content, and everything will be available for $7/month on a subscription service, you're an idiot. You're asking an entire industry to willingly decimate its revenue, and what's a lot more likely, is a shit ton of people going to jail.

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