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Physical Media: Down, But Maybe Not Out

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the my-collection-of-AOL-CDs-will-appreciate-nicely dept.

DRM 116

jfruh writes: "For many tech-savvy folks, it may come as surprise that physical media like DVD and Blu-Ray still generate more movie revenue than streaming services. But PriceWaterhouse Coopers is predicting that the the lines will cross in 2017 as physical media sales and rentals decline; already, fully half of those revenues come from supermarket Redbox kiosks. Still, there are signs that physical media won't vanish entirely, including the obsessive needs of collectors and the music industry's increasing suspicions of digital sales."

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Sure, let me know (2)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 5 months ago | (#47217109)

When someone starts making new 456 1/4" tape again.

Re:Sure, let me know (1)

Tapewolf (1639955) | about 5 months ago | (#47217209)

How about SM911? It's bias-compatible.

Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217127)

I'm spontaneous enough that I almost always stream. I can't imagine others are far behind.

Re:Meh. (4, Insightful)

Black LED (1957016) | about 5 months ago | (#47218473)

I don't have a problem with digital distribution, so long as companies cannot remove access to paid for content, hold it hostage and/or prevent me from making my own backups. gog.com is the only service which has done this correctly, in that I can download what I buy and write it to whatever media I want, ensuring that I can keep copies for as long as I please.

It's unfortunate that there are no video services that allow people to do the same. I suppose you could vidcap your purchases and burn those, but you shouldn't have to do that.

Re:Meh. (3, Interesting)

The Snowman (116231) | about 5 months ago | (#47218995)

I'm spontaneous enough that I almost always stream. I can't imagine others are far behind.

I buy Blu-rays using Amazon Prime for less than $10 each. It gets here in two days, and if it costs $10 or more, it is not a good value and I do not watch it. Plus, I have physical media that stick around in case the cloud blows away in a breeze. Internet is down? I can still watch it. Cloud provider goes out of business due to lousy sales or MPAA greed or malfeasance? I still have the media. Sure, this means I do not get new releases right away, but why should I care?

Re:Meh. (3, Interesting)

segedunum (883035) | about 5 months ago | (#47220307)

That's the problem I have with watching movies online. As soon as online movie services feel they have reached a critical mass they'll be pulling all kinds of stunts to squeeze more money. Ever more draconian licensing (we all know it's coming), movies withdrawn without explanation and pricing based on pathetic attempts at trying to find your screen size. Disney thinks the latter revenue method is viable.

stupid premise (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 5 months ago | (#47217135)

Tech-savvy folks rip physical media and ffmpeg it into whatever format their device prefers. Fools spend money on DRM'ed downloads.

Re:stupid premise (4, Informative)

lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#47217289)

Exactly this. Cheap bastards torrent (understandable if you're broke), but if you have money? You rip the physical media. Personally, I rip it into a "visually lossless" format since I'm sure players and disk capacity will catch up to file sizes and formats over time, but that's obsession not convenience. There's just no beating the convenience of a normal filesystem with normal media files.

But then, I tend to watch stuff more than once. DRMed streams are fine, really, if you never plan to watch something again.

Re:stupid premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217475)

What "visually lossless" format are you using? Does it have any actual benefits over re-encoding with a recent build of x264, given that quite a lot of DVDs available were apparently encoded with some shitty h262 codec from 1998, given the artifacts all over them? Genuine question, I tend to rip my DVDs to 1000kbs video, which is approximately half the bitrate and on a recent x264 no discernible loss of video quality.

It also means I can deinterlace the fuckers at the same time. I utterly loathe interlacing and it's all over UK DVDs, particularly TV shows from the early 00s and before.

Re: stupid premise (1)

dickplaus (2461402) | about 5 months ago | (#47217793)

I rip to iso. Meh get the full quality from the disk and allows me to rip it to any format down the line.

Re:stupid premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218001)

Visually lossless gives me the ability to re-encode to any device as I see fit, if not future stuff. If I use a mezzanine format, and I decide to encode for my iDevice, I may end up with artifacts, or some generational loss.

Yes, this takes up space, but I want to minimize the re-encodings as much as possible. I can't do this with video because it is already compressed, so i store it in its native format. However, audio, I use uncompressed formats, so I have a choice of compressed, if any, to use.

Re:stupid premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218499)

Why do you have to specially encode for your iDevice? I can playback original sources on my Android devices, why can't you do the same?

Re:stupid premise (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about 5 months ago | (#47218733)

You can play 'original source' high-def disc rips on your Android? I can't even copy the files to mine - they're too big for the internal storage, and they can't go on the FAT32 formatted SD card.

Re:stupid premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218807)

Why would I not be able to? I plug my Android device into my PC or connect via wifi, copy the video over and play it. Nothing more complicated than that.

And why are you using FAT32? I use ext4 on my SD cards.

Re:stupid premise (1)

Narcocide (102829) | about 5 months ago | (#47219259)

If you use ext4 on your SD cards, you should really consider disabling the journal. Journaling eats SD cards, especially the cheap ones.

Re:stupid premise (3, Informative)

SeaFox (739806) | about 5 months ago | (#47219541)

What "visually lossless" format are you using? Does it have any actual benefits over re-encoding with a recent build of x264, given that quite a lot of DVDs available were apparently encoded with some shitty h262 codec from 1998, given the artifacts all over them?

Yes, DVDs are in MPEG2... because DVD discs have to maintain compatibility with DVD players, even older ones, and back in 1998 MPEG2 was the type of video playback hardware chips could handle. Btw, digital cable streams in the U.S. are still generally done in MPEG2 as well. There are some newer models of converters the last couple years that can handle h264, but to maintain compatibility with all the already deployed equipment providers are still feeding them the older, less efficient format.

Genuine question, I tend to rip my DVDs to 1000kbs video...

If you're encoding at a constant bitrate you're doing it like it's still 2005. Should be using a constant quality (variable bitrate) encoding setting to get more bandwidth when it's needed in high-action shots or grainy footage, and less in stark black/white screens and low movement footage.

which is approximately half the bitrate...

No, DVD's go quite a bit higher than 2000 kbps. Try 6-9000 kbps.

It also means I can deinterlace the fuckers at the same time. I utterly loathe interlacing and it's all over UK DVDs, particularly TV shows from the early 00s and before.

Most DVDs I see nowadays are progressively encoded, but okay.

Re:stupid premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47220155)

Thank you for your passive aggressive reply!

"Yes, DVDs are in MPEG2... because DVD discs have to maintain compatibility with DVD players, even older ones, and back in 1998 MPEG2 was the type of video playback hardware chips could handle. "

No shit. My problem was with crappy encoding and low bitrates on recent DVD encodes, not that DVDs are themselves using h262. I know they're using h262.

"If you're encoding at a constant bitrate you're doing it like it's still 2005."

I guess I should have noted that I'm coding to average bit rate of 1000kbs just in case some nerd had a rubbish day!

"No, DVD's go quite a bit higher than 2000 kbps. Try 6-9000 kbps."

I guess I should have made my numbers factually correct instead of rhetorical in case some nerd had a rubbish day!

"Most DVDs I see nowadays are progressively encoded, but okay."

You evidently don't buy "UK DVDs, particularly TV shows from the early 00s and before", or you'd notice that there are still a number of DVDs being sold which are interlaced.

Thank you, you're one of the reasons Slashdot is such a *joy* to post on these days.

Re:stupid premise (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 months ago | (#47217935)

Exactly this. Cheap bastards torrent (understandable if you're broke), but if you have money? You rip the physical media.

For $DIETY's sake why? I've already paid for the disk, I've already paid for the player. I have the money, but it makes no dammed sense whatsoever to pay a third time for more (potential failure points) storage media and the electricity to run it. You and the OP ("Tech-savvy folks rip physical media") should speak for yourselves.
 

There's just no beating the convenience of a normal filesystem with normal media files.

If you're watching 3-4-5 movies a night, and your player and media is in some inaccessible location... Otherwise, it only takes a minute to swap disks and the time the player spends playing all the copyright threat crap is the time you'd spend hitting the head, getting another beverage, more snacks, etc.. anyhow.
 

obsession

This, I suspect, is a large component of the real reason - hipster geeks rip, and so you rip.

Re:stupid premise (3, Interesting)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 5 months ago | (#47218273)

Exactly this. Cheap bastards torrent (understandable if you're broke), but if you have money? You rip the physical media.

For $DIETY's sake why? I've already paid for the disk, I've already paid for the player. I have the money, but it makes no dammed sense whatsoever to pay a third time for more (potential failure points) storage media and the electricity to run it. You and the OP ("Tech-savvy folks rip physical media") should speak for yourselves.

Because disks get scratched when you play them and destroyed once people other then you start using them. Because I have to store them in some accessible part of my house and can't just scroll down the list on XBMC and pick what I want to watch that night. Because my rips are backups for my disks, and my disks backups for my rips.

I don't want physical media. What I want is Blu-Ray quality video. I would be perfectly happy to download this, but you can't download Blu-Ray quality video from anywhere, and you can't easily break the encryption on downloaded streams anyway and they cost as much as the physical disk a lot of the time.

And thanks to XBMC, I only need the one Blu-Ray drive. Everything else can be a thin-client which boots from my server, or one of those Android boxes (don't like those though - driver support is spotty and Android is not a great HTPC OS - plus having all my XBMCs share the same preferences and extensions automagically is wonderful).

Re: stupid premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218841)

1) rent movie from red box for $1.50.
2) rip said movie using MakeMKV.
3) ????
4) profit!

Re: stupid premise (1)

eWarz (610883) | about 5 months ago | (#47218843)

1) rent movie from red box for $1.50. 2) rip said movie using MakeMKV. 3) ???? 4) profit!

Re:stupid premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218283)

If you're watching 3-4-5 movies a night, and your player and media is in some inaccessible location... Otherwise, it only takes a minute to swap disks and the time the player spends playing all the copyright threat crap is the time you'd spend hitting the head, getting another beverage, more snacks, etc..

You've obviously never heard of Network Attached Storage (NAS), nor (UPnP), or even Network-enabled televisions.

I can watch a movie in the lounge room whilst my roommate watches another on his laptop or his phone whilst in his room. My girlfriend sometimes prefers to watch something else so will either take over the lounge room, or borrow my laptop and do the same thing.

I don't even own a DVD player, unless you count the original Xbox for which I need a crummy remote to use as such.

Your files are as accessible as you want to make them.

Re:stupid premise (0)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47217685)

Tech-savvy folks rip physical media and ffmpeg it into whatever format their device prefers. Fools spend money on DRM'ed downloads.

Tech Savvy folks haven't touched Physical media in 10yrs.

Re:stupid premise (2)

mythosaz (572040) | about 5 months ago | (#47217719)

SNAP! You and your Unnecessary Capitals sure showed him.

Re:stupid premise (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 months ago | (#47218257)

Physical media is the one usable fallback you can count on when all of the empty promises of techno-hipsters fail you.

Unless you want to pirate everything and use protocols that announce your actions to the world, the most reliable method of data acquisition is still physical media. It's also the most reliable way to ensure that you have access to your stuff wherever you happen to be.

The "lets-force-you-to-download-this-each-and-every-single-time sttreaming services go to crap as soon as there is the slightest network hiccup.

Re:stupid premise (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 5 months ago | (#47218115)

Tech-savvy folks rip physical media and ffmpeg it into whatever format their device prefers. Fools spend money on DRM'ed downloads.

So we're all either "tech-savvy" or "fools" with nothing in between?

Re:stupid premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218553)

Yes, because the world is black and white. Now pick a side or STFU.

not just obsessive collectors (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 months ago | (#47217139)

There is definitely an aspect of obsessive collectors liking physical media, yes: they're more tangible, sometimes look nice (especially in fancy limited editions), etc.. But even people who are not really that big into collecting have a pretty big reason to still prefer physical media: you have some chance of actually keeping it. Your purchase of a book or CD will probably not be remotely "revoked" by the manufacturer, which is more than can be said for the currently popular methods of digital delivery.

not just obsessive collectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217285)

Not true. Virtually ALL current common forms of physical media degrade in 10 or 15 years. It seems to get even worse as bit density increases too. Physical media has an expiration date, and is fragile.

Way, way way way way better to have non-DRM digital files with proper backups. That's what I do. Screw both DRM and physical media I boycott both. As soon as content producers decide to sell a product in a format worth buying, they get my money. Otherwise it's The Pirate Bay.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217329)

For optical devices I agree, for books, well, I have a library mostly filled by my grandparents between 1930 and 1960 and most books are still in good shape.
Some high quality editions from just after WWII look almost new. Granted that they are kept in a fresh and dry area.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217453)

Or if you don't want to simply sound like you're justifying "piracy", you could buy the digital media, rip it, and store as many DRM-free backups as you chose to. Sure, it's almost certainly still illegal to hack the DRM on a DVD or Blu-Ray wherever you are, but personally I think you're on far safer moral ground if you hack the protection on your own disc to store a backup for your own use than you are simply downloading willy-nilly off the internet.

The disclaimer is that I still buy CDs and DVDs, and immediately rip them and store them on my drives, which are hooked up to my WDTV Live box. This means that I don't have to worry about DRM, nor about dodgy torrents, low bitrates on legal streams, or even getting off my fat arse and changing the disc. Technically I do have to worry about having ripped the DVDs in the first place, particularly as quite a few were ripped in Germany where it's long been specifically illegal to circumvent DRM, but I think the chances of being hunted down for that are absolutely zero. (Unless I start distributing the files myself, of course.)

Re:not just obsessive collectors (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 5 months ago | (#47217955)

Not true. ALL my CDs and DVDs still work, including almost all the ones I burned. Over the weekend I found a burned disc from 20 years ago that was pretty severely discolored, but I tried it and it read just fine.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about 5 months ago | (#47218279)

Older burned CDs are actually much more stable then newer ones. Dye quality.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218565)

Really? Because when the conversation inevitably pops up, the nerdlings say exactly the opposite.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217291)

Don't delude yourself. Most consumers don't care (or know) about having their digital things revoked. When they're done reading a book they don't look at it again. If they want to read it again in the future they'll buy another copy. Even a lot of tech people buy multiple copies of games and movies instead of keeping their originals. Don't confuse the vocal minority with the massive, yet quiet, majority.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (2)

MoldyZero (177246) | about 5 months ago | (#47218163)

So, you're saying that the quiet, massive majority has tons of disposable income to purchase the same thing multiple times? I must say, I have a hard time believing that.

I don't know where you live, but where I live, people don't have tons of money to throw around. When they purchase something, they purchase the tangible goods, because they want to know that the item(s) they have purchased is *theirs*. As an example, one of my neighbors is a huge bookworm, but she will only purchase physical books. She torrents the ebook versions to store on her Nook for when she goes on vacation and doesn't have the luggage space for the physical books.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (1)

rizole (666389) | about 5 months ago | (#47217335)

OTOH I stopped collecting physical media several years ago and started collecting digital media. Being able to keep it is definately an important part of collecting but I'm not sure whether the physical/digital distinction is more than a preference, whereas the act of collecting is probably a fundamental human trait.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 months ago | (#47217549)

That's probably true for me as well, to be honest. My MP3 and FLAC collection is much more extensive and lovingly curated/tagged/sorted/etc. than my physical music collection is. But I get the impression that's a pretty niche hobby.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218313)

I too collect digital media. It just happens to be stored on physical media...

media is for kids! (1)

duranaki (776224) | about 5 months ago | (#47217387)

Almost all of my purchased media these days is because of my daughter. She goes over to friends houses and grandmas and other grandmas and brings with her movies to watch. Streaming is still so locked down in the draconian, paranoid past that they've only barely made it convenient for me to do in my own home/network/devices. It's no where near convenient enough to "take with you". Also, there's little to no cost savings for all the downsides.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217463)

To insinuate that if the greater powers revoke your access you will never see that media again is absurd. Today it makes less and less sense to "own" media. Quality levels are improving, formats change, and if you are in it for the long haul (or have been in it for the long haul) you will be stuck with a variety of media formats from Tape, DVD, Blue Ray, etc. If you want physical media, fine, but it often becomes expensive paper weights after 15 - 20 years and you can always go get media somewhere else if you lose access. You would also have mountains of extra money if you don't buy physical media. One or two TV series box sets can cost as much as a streaming service for a year that contains those and 100 other box sets and continues to rotate media so a) you don't need to go buy anything and b) you don't have to be certain you like the media before purchase.

I built a HTPC (before the days of Netflix Streaming) to "own" media but I rarely turn it on anymore since I can get just about everything I want through some streaming service. I don't download any series I am watching on Netflix just so I can "own" them for later - even if I really like the show or movie.

You can also go get media illegally if you feel you have been wronged.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (2)

Trepidity (597) | about 5 months ago | (#47217577)

If old stuff was always reissued in a new format, that might be viable (apart from paying for it over and over). But frequently it isn't. Most books are out of print, including many things I check out of libraries. A large number of VHS film releases were never released on DVD. Some were only released in certain DVD regions, due to licensing problems surrounding the reissue. Even some quite high-profile ones took many years to be released on DVD. When I first looked for La Jetée in the mid-2000s, I had to buy a VHS copy off eBay, because it was not available in DVD region 1 (only region 2).

Re:not just obsessive collectors (2)

Artifakt (700173) | about 5 months ago | (#47217531)

I think I'm pretty far from an obsessive collector (well maybe I do sometimes fall in that category and am just not seeing it), but it's not that relevant whether people are or not.
            I have some significant films and books that have been released in various censored editions. For example, I have the paperback Del Rey Gold Seal version of Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, which is both vetted by the author and has an afterword detailing some of the many bowderizings of that book (of all stories) and in what ways some other Bradbury stories were censored in various other editions. It's a rather nasty set of examples.
            I seem to recall there was a story covered here on Slashdot a few years ago about Blockbuster demanding changes to the copies of a gereat many videos they distributed from the theatre releases. In my classical music collection, I have a version of Copland's Lincoln Portrait that.was translated for a South American audience, and on the night It was first performed, the people leaving the auditorium went straight to the streets to conduct a revolution. It might be a good thing if the exact performance that served as a trigger was on physical media (and from some people's POV, it might be a very bad thing - quick, burn the tape!).
              It may be just "obsessive" fans who want to compare different releases of Star Trek TOS or Star Wars and argue over trivia, but when the changes involve more controversial works, THATS a real "pretty big reason to still prefer physical media". (And I'm not sure but what that applies to ST:TOS as well - that "First interracial kiss footage might still count as controversial in some circles - are their copies of what was actually broadcast in different southern US markets?). So, to your "you have some chance of actually keeping it", I'll add ", even if it makes the powers that be uncomfortable." Physical media let us see who is revising, amending, or deleting whose thoughts, and sometimes even make a pretty good guess why.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47220477)

In my classical music collection, I have a version of Copland's Lincoln Portrait that.was translated for a South American audience, and on the night It was first performed, the people leaving the auditorium went straight to the streets to conduct a revolution. It might be a good thing if the exact performance that served as a trigger was on physical media (and from some people's POV, it might be a very bad thing - quick, burn the tape!).

Requesting for more details. When, where and whys would be nice, perhaps some information for context. Google and Wiki, sadly, has failed me.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47217695)

There is definitely an aspect of obsessive collectors liking physical media, yes: they're more tangible, sometimes look nice (especially in fancy limited editions), etc.. But even people who are not really that big into collecting have a pretty big reason to still prefer physical media: you have some chance of actually keeping it. Your purchase of a book or CD will probably not be remotely "revoked" by the manufacturer, which is more than can be said for the currently popular methods of digital delivery.

Lucky for me, the PirateBay has never taken back any of the movies I've gotten from them. Those guys are great.

Re:not just obsessive collectors (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 5 months ago | (#47219505)

I bought everything worth buying. The rest isn't worth renting.

Transfer buying power to the generation that streams but doesn't buy.

Assume it it media preference instead of quality preference.

Reboot everything that wasn't made with the latest CGI.

Repeat until the shit sandwich you eat is your own. Then complain when people don't buy your shit. Give up and farm shit for a living. Get rich because no one farms for themselves.

An extended rental... (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 months ago | (#47217165)

The problem with digital "sales" is that they aren't really a sale. They are effectively an extended rental. That rental can be revoked at any time and your entire collection can be made to go away.

That said, what is going to kill physical media is the availability of cheap subscription options. If something can be had on Netflix for $8 it makes little sense to pay $20 or $60 for the DVDs.

The comparison between physical media and expensive pay per view services is another matter though. Streaming doesn't have an obvious price advantage.

Plus there's the question of whether or not what you want is on ANY streaming service.

Internet data overages (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47217203)

If something can be had on Netflix for $8 it makes little sense to pay $20 or $60 for the DVDs.

Unless the only Internet providers that serve your home charge $5 to $10 per GB. This is common for satellite and cellular ISPs.

Re:Internet data overages (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 5 months ago | (#47217321)

Well even then, the problem with Netflix is that they rotate their selection. Just because you can watch movie a today, doesn't mean you'll still have access to it in a month.

Realistically the best solution (for the consumer) is to get some kind of NAS and run something like Plex (or whatever HTPC setup you want) and download/rip what you're wanting to watch. An industry run without ethics honestly doesn't really deserve your ethical consideration.

Attempting to extract 20+ dollars for physically owning a bluray or dvd (that's truly an inferior product; encumbered with anti-piracy ads and DRM) for something which can be acquired for free with a minimum of effort is untenable and silly. Similarly attempting to cripple streaming providers to prop up those ridiculous margins is begging for "piracy".

If Hollywood would treat customers fairly (IE, non-DRM'd downloads at reasonable prices, say $2-3 dollars per movie) this would go away. Buut they won't. and every roadblock they attempt to throw in the way of "piracy" will just get ignored.

Re: Internet data overages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217855)

On the contrary, they DO deserve ethical consideration and that is exactly what they get: concientious, righteous piracy. Where we fail, is that we don't persuade and teach enough other people to do it, until drm-free files become for sale.

Re:An extended rental... (1)

westlake (615356) | about 5 months ago | (#47217353)

If something can be had on Netflix for $8 it makes little sense to pay $20 or $60 for the DVDs.

The DVD or Blu-Ray disc is yours to keep. It will never go out of rotation.

If you are serious about the home theater experience, the Netflix stream isn't going to cut it. While our kids can play their favorite 2K or 4K videos as often as they like --- with no need for the player to be online except for the rare firmware upgrade.

Re:An extended rental... (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 5 months ago | (#47217759)

The problem with Netflix (and others) is that movies are rarely available forever in the pool.

It's sure convenient, but old content is constantly shoved out for new content - and being a curmudgeon myself, I like having those old movies available to me.

I love the convenience that Netflix (and its ilk) provide. For ephemeral things, I just download or stream them, enjoy them, and move on.

...but I want to "own" my favorites, even if that ownership is just bits in a drive and a box in storage in the closet under the stairs.

Re:An extended rental... (1)

GreatDrok (684119) | about 5 months ago | (#47217827)

"The problem with digital "sales" is that they aren't really a sale. They are effectively an extended rental. That rental can be revoked at any time and your entire collection can be made to go away."

This is exactly my problem. I've always bought discs but sometimes I get a free iTunes voucher so I redeem that. I've recently had a case where a movie from iTunes was showing in reverse colours and they swore blind that it was my fault. I tested it on every device I had an the thing was always the same, a file I downloaded was fine, the one they were now serving via iCloud was inverted. In the end I had to give up because they kept to the story that the issue was with my Mac, PC, iPad and iPhone rather than the file being the problem. If this file had been a purchase I would have been stuck. Fortunately, I rip all my DVDs and Blu rays since they are then fine and I can archive the discs. Discs are still the way to go.

Re:An extended rental... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 months ago | (#47218061)

The comparison between physical media and expensive pay per view services is another matter though. Streaming doesn't have an obvious price advantage.

I don't know how much your streaming plan and high speed internet costs, but I can recoup most or all of the full cost (as compared to physical media) of both Netflix and my high speed internet by watching four or five movies a month.

Re:An extended rental... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 months ago | (#47218285)

> pay per view

> pay per view

Let me post that relevant bit again.

> pay per view

Your remarks about Netflix weren't relevant to my point.

Re:An extended rental... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218585)

- you're a douche

- you're a douche

Let me post that relevant bit again.

- you're a douche

Your remarks aren't relevant to anything.

Re:An extended rental... (0)

jedidiah (1196) | about 5 months ago | (#47219709)

It's better than being an idiot.

Same answer - you're a clueless idiot. (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 5 months ago | (#47219713)

Same answer. I don't know what you pay for pay for view movies, but they're typically only a couple of bucks most places.

Expensive PPV events are largely limited to live events, and are thus, irrelevant. Hence my bringing the discussion back to what *is* relevant, things directly comparable to physical media.

Now kindly fuck off, the adults are having a discussion.

Streaming still not an option in many places (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217175)

Steaming movies still is not an option in many rural areas of North American (not to mention developing nations). Until broadband connections are available in rural areas the only practical chocie for watching videos will be physical media.

Re:Streaming still not an option in many places (3, Informative)

Average (648) | about 5 months ago | (#47217947)

Yep. I can name numerous friends and family in rural spots where internet is either Excede, Hughes, or 4G stick. Without exception, they all have a physical-disc NetFlix subscription.

blu-ray for 4K / 8K download cap are to low for th (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 5 months ago | (#47217231)

blu-ray for 4K / 8K download cap are to low for that. Cable internet may be able to do that but with say 25% of people on the same node are all Streaming at the same time?

satellite and cable tv have more room but some cable systems like comcast are loaded with old MEPG 2 hardware that can't do it.

Re:blu-ray for 4K / 8K download cap are to low for (4, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47217723)

You know, if you have troubles with throughput there is this awsome website that lets you cache the movies you want to watch right to your hard drive. You just start it before you leave for work, and when you get home its there to watch with no chance of network congestion problems. Go here to find out all about it: http://thepiratebay.se/ [thepiratebay.se]

Re: blu-ray for 4K / 8K download cap are to low fo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218101)

Still eats up data cap

Re:blu-ray for 4K / 8K download cap are to low for (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 5 months ago | (#47218371)

Piratebay as a caching site, that's a first.

Re:blu-ray for 4K / 8K download cap are to low for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218605)

However, your haughty derision is not a first.

I'm not surprised... (1, Interesting)

tompaulco (629533) | about 5 months ago | (#47217245)

I'm not surprised. I consider myself pretty tech savvy, but I don't stream anything. I used to buy lots of records, then CDs and DVDs. I haven't really bought much recently, but if I were to buy anything, it would be physical media. I don't do streaming for several reasons. If it is DRMed, I worry that the site will shut down. if it is not DRMed, I worry about not being able to save it for later viewing, interrupted transmissions, reduced quality, bandwidth, and other things as well.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

rizole (666389) | about 5 months ago | (#47217359)

And until the industry address the concerns you raise, piracy will always have the advantage of quality and convieniance.

Re:I'm not surprised... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47217749)

And until the industry address the concerns you raise, piracy will always have the advantage of quality and convieniance.

Right. Pandora fixed music for me. I do not pirate music. Pandora is just too damned easy. I listed to very weird music... very hard to find stuff. But I can always make up a channel that suits my needs. In the event I want a specific song I hop on over to groveshark.

Pandora should do a video channel. That would probably change everything.

Suspicious? (1)

JStyle (833234) | about 5 months ago | (#47217249)

Is the music industry still really suspicious about this? iTunes and Amazon offer thousands of albums/songs for a fair price and their files are DRM free. Not seeing any suspicion on their part...

Re:Suspicious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218627)

I suspect you're a shill.

Two things (2)

slapout (93640) | about 5 months ago | (#47217269)

1) There is isn't enough bandwidth for streaming everything.

2) I think Blockbuster might still be in business if they hadn't run all their customer off by trying to get them to purchase extra things. Redbox shows that there's a demand for DVD rentals.

Re:Two things (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217521)

$1 DVD rentals when you are already at the store for something else... yes. I don't think Blockbuster can compete with those prices and convenience with the overhead of their large stores. If you are saying they would be in business if they invented the vending machine format, then yes, I agree.

Re:Two things (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218049)

1) There is isn't enough bandwidth for streaming everything.

...for now (unless Comcast et al win).

Collector here (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#47217271)

I still enjoy the tangible aspect of owning a hard copy of a few hundred movies, in much the same nostalgic way a dead tree novel is sometimes preferable to my Kindle.

While not a consummate prepper, I can still lose cable, internet, and even electrical service... and bide the disaster with a semblance of civilized entertainment.

Re:Collector here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217337)

It's not only collecting; it's also control.

I was re-watching Babylon 5 episodes via Amazon Prime, watching an episode or two a week. I wasn't quite done with the first season, when Amazon deleted all the episodes from all seasons. I guess their license expired.

I haven't streamed anything (except old WWII documentaries) since. Having the physical media means I HAVE it, and don't have to rely on someone else 1) also having it, and 2) being willing to stream/send it to me.

What these industries want more than money, is control. Fuck them.

Re:Collector here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217397)

if you have a roku2 you can cache them for later viewing when it is convenient for you.

Re:Collector here (1)

Carcass666 (539381) | about 5 months ago | (#47218687)

if you have a roku2 you can cache them for later viewing when it is convenient for you.

Do they put a time limit on how long you can cache items?

Re:Collector here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218639)

I agree, you're not a prepper. You're just old. Can I have your Kindle when you die, gramps?

Re:Collector here (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 5 months ago | (#47219125)

I'm sure whatever you have to say can wait until you're smarter.

Re:Collector here (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 5 months ago | (#47219419)

While not a consummate prepper, I can still lose cable, internet, and even electrical service... and bide the disaster with a semblance of civilized entertainment.

Actually the first hour of a power outage is the best time to watch that new-fangled streaming video here. I've got a generator, but most of the neighbors are offline till the power comes back on. So none of that annoying buffering and glitching. But the honeymoon is over all too soon. After the first hour, the cable internet service goes dark. I assume they've got switching/routing equipment at the neighborhood level that has a battery backup for short blackouts.

Data Caps (3, Interesting)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 5 months ago | (#47217281)

The only reason I still rent movies is because broadband in my area comes with fairly low data caps. I'm stuck paying about $100 a month for 18Mbs, and 150 GB limit. Gotta love monopolies.

"Criterion" style downloads/streams? (2)

swb (14022) | about 5 months ago | (#47217357)

When will we see the "Criterion" version of movie streams or downloads?

Too often what's on consumer video of many films (and, maybe, all films in some way) is compromised intentionally or circumstantially, either in the making of the film or the home video release production.

Will we ever get "Criterion" editions of these films as streams or downloads? I imagine the jungle of licensing gets in the way not to mention the lowest common denominator thinking that goes with Netflix. But I would expect iTunes or Amazon to sell Criterion streams as downloads.

Re:"Criterion" style downloads/streams? (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | about 5 months ago | (#47217983)

A vast majority of the Criterion Collection comes as part of a Hulu Plus subscription, nearly worth the $8/m8nth just to have that.

Re:"Criterion" style downloads/streams? (1)

swb (14022) | about 5 months ago | (#47218891)

Good to know, thanks.

Re:"Criterion" style downloads/streams? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218657)

Could you please repost your post but use the word "Criterion" more. I only counted 4 instances. If you're gonna play smooth slick hipster movie douche, you'll have to use your new word, known only to you, a minimum of 12 times. Eh make it 13 for a good ol fashioned Baker's dozen since that is so retro.

Selection (1)

Jaime2 (824950) | about 5 months ago | (#47217371)

More than half of all movies currently can't be streamed. How can a delivery format go away if content providers won't move most of the content to alternate media?

Re:Selection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217571)

Simple. Just like music, eventually people move on with or without them. Just ask my kid if he wants a CD. "What would I do with that?"

I already see people are skipping older titles because they can't stream them and they can't rent them from Redbox. Heck, even when the titles are available for rent, compared to streaming its both inconvenient and requires planning ahead.

Once the industry wakes up and realizes that they get more money streaming than they do from DVD sales, they will stream (or die a slow death).

it's price (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217381)

Digital rentals are still like $5 a pop, and the backlogs of the big movie companies aren't available.

The two conveniences of digital movie rentals - price and availability of everything - are suddenly gone. No wonder physical sticks around.

most people cannot get BRD-like bit rates online (2)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 5 months ago | (#47217497)

When streaming services can deliver 1080P at 25mbits/sec, sign me up. Most "HD" streaming services I have seen are fairly horrendous. Either they are streaming at reduced resolutions such as 720P or the data rate is poor enough that there are bad artifacts in high motion scenes and transitions. When you have a projector and a large screen, this is a major problem. You see it all. With Blu Ray, there are no artifacts it feels like you're in a theater.

Also, outside of big cities, most of us are on fairly slow 1.5 to 5mbit/sec connections. The local cable provider recently got a fiber backbone in town which greatly increased their offerings (pulling about 18mbits / sec at home right now) but I am moving and the new neighborhood is back to the slowboat offerings. The duopoly is slow to catch up, they need a concrete competitor before they will make any improvements to their infrastructure. It was only when the cable service started offering internet that the phone company (AT&T) finally started offering DSL in the area.

Anyone remember VHS, LaserDiscs, and HD DVDs? (1)

dont_jack_the_mac (2882103) | about 5 months ago | (#47217583)

The problem is that the physical media formats still are continuously changing with no guarantees of backwards compatibility. I don't know about everyone else, but I'm not buying Lion King on VHS, DVD and BluRay "remastered" or not. The average consumer doesn't have the money to keep up. It makes sense that PriceWaterhouse Cooper is predicting only a small segment of the population will be driving the sales.

Maybe gross, but true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47217605)

So at the risk of seeming gross: I've shelled out for porn sites in the past (before you get all judgy, so has my fiance, and we're fine. Deal with it or skip to another comment.) Convenient access to a selection of media that interests me, unlimited downloads and they seem happy enough to take my word for it that I'm not going to turn around and make their lives harder by copying their content all over the 'Net.

For other media types - I might use band-camp or something, but if I want a movie or mainstream music I'm buying a used DVD or CD. Sorry Hollywood, if you wanted my money there were a good ten or fifteen years during which you could have decided not to be complete a-holes about the arrival of the Internet. As it stands, I think you are an even bigger bag of pricks than the porn industry, and I hope your business model takes you down with it.

Archives (1)

Almonday (564768) | about 5 months ago | (#47217805)

Not all physical (optical) media is devoted to entertainment; there are plenty of folks who have yet to be sold on "the cloud" for whatever reason but who still worry about bitrot and the ability to access content relatively quickly. Case in point, one of my immediate family members is a photography buff who has a large library of scanned negatives dating back to the 30s and he's been eyeing M-Discs [mdisc.com] for a while now. Still too expensive for regular use but like many amateur archivists, he's playing a long game.

Streaming-only devices are still a poor choice, (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 5 months ago | (#47217915)

Even if streaming services eventually overtake physical media usage it still makes little sense to buy a streaming-only player (AppleTV or Roku) instead of a blu-ray player which can access streaming services as well. The difference in costs between the two is too small given the additional functionality of a blu-ray player for playing physical media, including the library of DVDs people may have already from "the good ol' days" before Netflix instant streaming.

Plus, it's a bit more convenient to take your DVD/BD to a friend's house than uncoupling a VUDU or Amazon-On-Demand account from a device to sign in as someone else and access a different library of content.

Streaming? ain't got time for that (or bandwidth) (1)

marxz (971164) | about 5 months ago | (#47218129)

despite living in a major city, in a suburb popular with young educated professionals, all we have access to in much of the area is 4G, which tends to be a washout at peak times (a youtube video at low quality is a "go away and read a book" while it caches is par for the course at 6am-7am and 6pm through to 10pm weekdays).
Given I can drive down to my local bricks and mortar store, buy a 1080 def blueray (for pocket change) drive home AND watch half the movie before a download of a 420 def movie has cached enough to not splutter, jerk and pause regularly (and that's on the services that allow significant caching) I think I'll be waiting a long, long time for broadband upgrade (or moving to some other geographical location) before streaming movies becomes my service of choice (and don't even get me started on regional licensing where the low level of any quality content (talking artistic quality not def this time) makes the locally available subscription models a bad joke.

Redbox and netflix (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218267)

One thing I like about myself is my skin color. I am "white". That is to say I'm a racially pure white person. How awesome is that !??!!

I really enjoy associating with others of my own race. I don't dislike other races, but simply prefer to pass my time among my own kind. Is there any harm in that? I think not. Freedom of association is a fundamental freedom, and I would not deny anyone the right to associate with anyone of their choosing. But in my case, I prefer my own kind, that is to say White People, the people whom I love.

God bless you all, and have a wonderful day!

Not everyone has internet at home (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47218667)

Drive north of Boston to Dartmouth College. Home of the 1st remote computer connection (from Bell Labs, 1947ish). Oh, and BASIC. There's a bit of tech in the area. Those living in most of the towns nearby can get comcast cable. Many roads don't have cable but there's a wireless internet provider.

But there are still local DVD rental stores. Remember those? Drive 20-30 minutes out, away from interstate 89 & 91 and you cannot get internet except by Satellite or dial up. Your cell phone will be intermittent. 4G? 3G isn't available out there. There are cell towers on the interstate, but there are still dead zones along the way. Heck, when the iPhone came out, some Dartmouth students found their contract canceled because they were always roaming, even on campus. And the iPhone is only 5-6 years old.

If you want to watch a movie, you drive 20-30 minutes back into town for the theatre or you get a DVD rental.

This is most of the US. The people in dense areas and on the coasts can stream, but for the rest, it's DVDs or VHS.

streaming is all good, but..... (1)

bn-7bc (909819) | about 5 months ago | (#47219927)

show mw a streaming service available to me(that is in Norway) that streams the restored StarTrek series (Tng, ENT) in 1080p with 7.1 lossless sound. I suspect you will find that a hard job, so at present the only way for me to get what i want legally is to get the blureays.

Physical Media (4, Interesting)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about 5 months ago | (#47220591)

Call me crazy but I prefer to have the physical copy. This way I can watch it anytime I want and I don't need to worry about the inevitable loss of Internet connectivity. It's the same with Cash, I prefer Cash as it's inevitable that via some Galactic event or War; Satellites will be disabled. People don't generally think about these events, but they are inevitable.

I still buy DVD also, I turn my nose up at Blu-ray due the ever-changing DRM and sorry quality of the players. Upscaling HDMI DVD Players are the best they have ever been and look just as good as HD Programming on TV. There is also a rumor among companies like Warner and Fox that they are currently taking a loss on Blu-ray sales by trying to match the DVD prices; you see it costs money to go back and do new transfers and add all that extra content. Not to mention all the angry people that will come when they realize they need to buy the Disk again when 4k/8k and whatever else arrives. And to be fair I tried to get into Blu-ray, the quality upgrade wasn't worth the constant lock-ups, slow menus and firmware nonsense.

Also for people like me, having to replace 1000+ DVDs is not financially possible since I own all the movies I ever wanted and have no real interest in "modern" films; they're all either remakes or reboots anyway and consist of 90% CGI. But if I were forced to choose, I would probably skip Blu-ray and go Digital Download, as if I wanted, I can record the stream and make my own DVD. For anyone who has done it, a DVD made from an HD source is very high quality, even better than the retail version.

In any case, I don't think Physical Media is going away anytime soon. I think you would have a better chance of dying in your own Bathroom.

And if you aren't in the US? (Check out YIFY) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47221235)

I live in Thailand, out in the boonies far away from Bangkok.

I can't legitimately obtain most media. Western TV shows are generally unavailable, and if they do show up on commercial TV they are weeks if not *seasons* late. Movies are readily available -- in the form of cheap pirated DVDs. If you buy one, there is a 50% chance or so that it will be a cam version (ie. recorded by small videocamera in a theater). I haven't seen any BluRay DVDs for sale, but if they were I imagine they would be poor quality pirated rips also. Software is generally installed by computer shops, who will always put on a pirated version of the OS (Windows) plus a software pack that suits the needs of the most customers (Office, Photoshop, etc. all pirated). Game software is available through DVDs with pirated .isos, or from the "I know a guy" type connections that I was used to in the US.

Streaming via Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. -- not available here unless you want to pay for a VPN and then pay for the service on top of that.

So, I pirate *everything*. And feel remarkably little remorse about it. I suppose that I could and probably should use Steam for games, to support developers. In the few instances where I have felt strongly about that, I order a physical copy and have it shipped to my old house in the US -- and then go about using the pirated copy.

A few others here have mentioned that pirated movies / TV aren't up to their standards in terms of visual quality. That used to be an issue -- most of the popular "scene" sources for movies used pretty aggressive compression to keep file sizes down, AND usually limited the resolution. The biggest names of the past that I used were aXXo and Jaybob. aXXo got (extremely) popular by having "good enough" video quality in very small filesize rips - usually 700MB for a movie. Jaybob came later (after aXXo got busted) and had a bit bigger files and a bit better quality. Still, with either source I had very noticeable issues with compression artifacts -- dark scenes with smoke or clouds etc. would look terrible. BUT, a fairly new source is a huge improvement over those. Check http://yts.re/home -- YIFY makes 720p or 1080p rips with still quite reasonable filesizes (1.5GB or so) that look great to me. Drastically higher res than the older sources, and I almost never see compression artifacts.

And if you're looking for TV, eztv.it has a nice usable layout and search.

The Day Culture Vanishes in 2017 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47221547)

Some day, researchers will find a trove of old CDs and DVDs, and reassemble the lost culture of the early computer era which vanished from the DRM servers in walled gardens after it became unprofitable. Researchers will puzzle over why Generation X kept entire albums of old songs which were no longer popular, and why they would ever listen to a song that wasn't a single and wasn't for sale on a DRM server. Was there once a culture that wasn't disposable, and cherished childhood and adolescent memories? Did people once look back on consumable media from their past, rather than streaming from the DRM servers? What did they do with all this music and other content? Did it mean something to them besides disposable entertainment?

I doubt anyone from the future will understand a world where culture wasn't simply consumed and discarded.

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