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infinite1

Bemoaning the movies on demand market

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Sounds like you may need to change your screen name to StreamingPhreak. :)

 

Absolutely, I second that!  Or at least "BlurayPhreak".  The DVD format is almost 2 decades old and is no longer optimal for showing video on modern TV systems, which need progressive, high-resolution, and efficiently compressed video that DVDs inherently can't offer.

 

As some of you may have heard, Walmart is able to convert your DVDs into streaming HD video with a fee.  They just put out a "do it at home" version of the service, so you don't need to go to Walmart to do it.  You put your DVD in your computer's DVD drive, pay $5, and you automatically get an HD cloud streaming version of the movie, which you can either stream online or download to be watched offline.  If you convert 10 movies at once, you get 50% discount.  This is an important service, because a lot of their HD movies are not available on Blu-ray at all.  I've already converted "Paper Moon", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", "Duck Soup", and "A Night at the Opera", films that you currently have no way to watch in HD otherwise because no Blu-rays have been made for them yet.

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Absolutely, I second that!  Or at least "BlurayPhreak".  The DVD format is almost 2 decades old and is no longer optimal for showing video on modern TV systems, which need progressive, high-resolution, and efficiently compressed video that DVDs inherently can't offer.

 

As some of you may have heard, Walmart is able to convert your DVDs into streaming HD video with a fee.  They just put out a "do it at home" version of the service, so you don't need to go to Walmart to do it.  You put your DVD in your computer's DVD drive, pay $5, and you automatically get an HD cloud streaming version of the movie, which you can either stream online or download to be watched offline.  If you convert 10 movies at once, you get 50% discount.  This is an important service, because a lot of their HD movies are not available on Blu-ray at all.  I've already converted "Paper Moon", "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?", "Duck Soup", and "A Night at the Opera", films that you currently have no way to watch in HD otherwise because no Blu-rays have been made for them yet.

Some of this sounds a little advanced for me...but thanks for telling us about it. At least we have options...right? :)

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Some of this sounds a little advanced for me...but thanks for telling us about it. At least we have options...right? :)

 

For TCM fans, the most natural streaming service to try out would be Warner Archive Instant.  It doesn't have a lot of movies yet, and most movies don't have subtitles.  But it is a good way to see old movies in HD that probably won't be available in HD otherwise.  Some will probably not even be on DVD.  Another way to see them in HD is to just watch the TCM channel, which seems to be showing HD broadcasts more and more frequently.  As I said, studios are not going to keep making DVDs and Blu-rays.  They will disappear just as VHS tapes have disappeared, because DVDs are already costly to make, and Blu-rays even more so.

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     I'm sorry, but I don't buy that DVD's are "costly" to make.  Costly compared to what?  It's just a little disc that's coated with bits and bytes so it can be 'read' by a laser.  And what would make the Blu-Ray disc itself cost more?  And I don't believe what passes for 'artwork' these days costs much, either.  That Warner Archive disc I bought for the 1974 Tv movie "Killdozer" looks like it cost 5¢ along with the cheap-looking insert artwork stuffed in to the jewel case . . . another 5¢ piece of 'material'.  The alleged artwork isn't even clear; it's fuzzy-looking.  I don't believe it cost much to put together at all.  Cheap bought-in-bulk DVD recordable disc + cheapo artwork + plastic jewel case couldn't possibly be an expensive endeavor compared to the early 1980s when Warner Home Video was releasing loads of movies in BIG clamshell cases with heavy videocassettes and large-sized, colorful insert artwork.  I have an old clamshell release from 1983 of 'PIRANHA' on Warner and no way would I believe a modern DVD release of "Piranha" would cost more to put together than the '83 big clamshell release.  ► I do think a company like Criterion would spend more $dosh$ for their DVD releases overall, but I don't think they'd spend a lot of money just to obtain the discs used.      

    

   Also, if VHS tapes have 'disappeared' how come I still have so many of them?  :lol:

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For TCM fans, the most natural streaming service to try out would be Warner Archive Instant.  It doesn't have a lot of movies yet, and most movies don't have subtitles.  But it is a good way to see old movies in HD that probably won't be available in HD otherwise.  Some will probably not even be on DVD.  Another way to see them in HD is to just watch the TCM channel, which seems to be showing HD broadcasts more and more frequently.  As I said, studios are not going to keep making DVDs and Blu-rays.  They will disappear just as VHS tapes have disappeared, because DVDs are already costly to make, and Blu-rays even more so.

I would never use Warner Archive Instant...simply because those titles cycle through on a regular basis on TCM. Amazon Prime is my streaming service of choice, because they have many classics from Paramount, Universal and Republic that do not air on TCM.

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     I'm sorry, but I don't buy that DVD's are "costly" to make.  Costly compared to what?  It's just a little disc that's coated with bits and bytes so it can be 'read' by a laser.  And what would make the Blu-Ray disc itself cost more?  And I don't believe what passes for 'artwork' these days costs much, either.  That Warner Archive disc I bought for the 1974 Tv movie "Killdozer" looks like it cost 5¢ along with the cheap-looking insert artwork stuffed in to the jewel case . . . another 5¢ piece of 'material',  The alleged artwork isn't even clear; it's fuzzy-looking.  I don't believe it cost much to put together at all.  Cheap bought-in-bulk DVD recordable disc + cheapo artwork + plastic jewel case couldn't possibly be an expensive endeavor compared to the early 1980s when Warner Home Video was releasing loads of movies in BIG clamshell cases with heavy videocassettes and large-sized, colorful insert artwork.  I have an old clamshell release from 1983 of 'PIRANHA' on Warner and no way would I believe a modern DVD release of "Piranha" would cost more to put together than the '83 big clamshell release.  ► I do think a company like Criterion would spend more $dosh$ for their DVD releases overall, but I don't think they'd spend a lot of money just to obtain the discs used.      

    

 

Who pays for the design of the DVD artwork, menu screens, etc.?  Who pays the technicians to author the disc, which comprises of such tasks as video encoding, audio encoding, etc.?  Who pays the guy who writes the jacket essay?  Who pays for the guy who writes the subtltles: for French, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Japanese, etc.?  Who pays for the DVD supplements such as making-of featurettes, interviews, etc.?   Not to mention, the cost of the plastic case.  DVDs and Blu-rays cost a lot more than just the cost of the plastic disc alone.  That is why we have these crappy MOD discs that have no subtitles, no supplements,  minimal features and artwork, and are only made "on demand", meaning it is not produced wholesale.  Wholesale production of DVDs and Blu-rays nowadays are only reserved for blockbuster or "prestige" titles.  Even Criterion has a "low budget" line of products called the "Eclipse" collection that comprises of barebone discs of lesser-known films that don't sell as well.  Those who sell low-budget discs like Warner Archive are doing us a favor, so we shouldn't really bemoan them.  They don't get rich making them; and if they didn't make them, nobody else would do it at all.

 

 

  (Also, if VHS tapes have 'disappeared' how come I still have so many of them?  :lol:  )

 

So where is that VHS version of "Gravity" that I've been waiting for?  If VHS tapes haven't disappeared, where are the VHS versions of "Argo", "Life of Pi", the latest restoration of "Lawrence of Arabia", etc.?  I hope you see my point by now.

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I reckon what you're referring to, DVDPhreak, are the fact there are no new VHS releases of big-budget studio movies being released nowadays.  I think the major studios stopped releasing their new titles on VHS in 2005.  I recall David Cronenberg's 2005 movie "A History of Violence" being one of the last -- if not THE last big-budget studio movie released on VHS in the U.S.  However, I don't care about obtaining movies like 'Gravity' or 'Life of Pi' or the most-recent restoration of 'Lawrence of Arabia' on any homevideo format.  I have no interest in those.  What else can I tells ya?  I have somewhere around 4,000 VHS tapes, btw.  Even a angry genie in a lamp couldn't make them all disappear at once.  :P

 

     I do appreciate the fact the Warner Archive collection made available 'THE THIRD DAY' (1965) with George Peppard.  It never came out on tape; if it had I'd have bought it.  However, even if it was released on video the chances are it would have been a 'full frame' presentation and the MOD disc has it in  W I D E S C R E E N  at a ratio of 2.40:1 so I was glad to snag it a while back from Amazon.   

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I would never use Warner Archive Instant...simply because those titles cycle through on a regular basis on TCM. Amazon Prime is my streaming service of choice, because they have many classics from Paramount, Universal and Republic that do not air on TCM.

I have access to Warner Archives streaming, but chose not to subscribe pretty much for what you said, but I think it would be a great service for people who can't get TCM. We've only had Amazon Prime, since December, so maybe I'm missing something, but considering that they have something like 10,000 titles available, I haven't been that impressed with the number of classic films they have or what they consider classics.

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I have access to Warner Archives streaming, but chose not to subscribe pretty much for what you said, but I think it would be a great service for people who can't get TCM. We've only had Amazon Prime, since December, so maybe I'm missing something, but considering that they have something like 10,000 titles available, I haven't been that impressed with the number of classic films they have or what they consider classics.

When I looked on Amazon Prime recently, I found they had a good selection of Republic and Paramount films from the 50s. Obviously, some of the many titles you reference include B westerns and other lower grade productions-- but I still find what they're offering to warrant subscription/membership (especially because TCM does not play those).

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When I looked on Amazon Prime recently, I found they had a good selection of Republic and Paramount films from the 50s. Obviously, some of the many titles you reference include B westerns and other lower grade productions-- but I still find what they're offering to warrant subscription/membership (especially because TCM does not play those).

Is there a trick to finding them?  I've stumbled acrossed a few like SUNSET BLVD. while going through a catagory of maybe 300 titles, but when I tried doing a seach for "classic movies" or "classic films" all I came up with was a few dozen public domain titles that can be had for free on a lot of other channels.  I think Netflix has a better selection of classics and it's easier to find them.

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Is there a trick to finding them?  I've stumbled acrossed a few like SUNSET BLVD. while going through a catagory of maybe 300 titles, but when I tried doing a seach for "classic movies" or "classic films" all I came up with was a few dozen public domain titles that can be had for free on a lot of other channels.  I think Netflix has a better selection of classics and it's easier to find them.

I think the easiest way is to look up stars or directors most associated with those other studios. Like I would type 'Mitchell Leisen Amazon Prime' (he directed almost all his films at Paramount); or 'Alan Ladd Amazon Prime;' or 'Yvonne de Carlo Amazon Prime'-- you get the idea, and then build your lists from there. 

 

Some good titles TCM never plays came up on the Mitchell Leisen search I just did.

 

If you are not sure which stars were under long-term contracts at Universal, Paramount or Republic-- you can look that up on wiki.

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I think the easiest way is to look up stars or directors most associated with those other studios. Like I would type 'Mitchell Leisen Amazon Prime' (he directed almost all his films at Paramount); or 'Alan Ladd Amazon Prime;' or 'Yvonne de Carlo Amazon Prime'-- you get the idea, and then build your lists from there. 

 

Some good titles TCM never plays came up on the Mitchell Leisen search I just did.

 

If you are not sure which stars were under long-term contracts at Universal, Paramount or Republic-- you can look that up on wiki.

Thanks. I'll try that.

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Good. Let us know how that works for you.

I discovered where I went  wrong. I went to amazon and logged into my Prime account on my computer and found far more then I did before. I had been going to Prime through my Roku and TV (too lazy to log on the computer) which is more limiting unless you really know what you're seaching for. Now I can just put things on my watch list and then access them through the Roku.

 

Actually, it's not that much different than the way Netflix works. I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

 

Thanks again.

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I discovered where I went  wrong. I went to amazon and logged into my Prime account on my computer and found far more then I did before. I had been going to Prime through my Roku and TV (too lazy to log on the computer) which is more limiting unless you really know what you're seaching for. Now I can just put things on my watch list and then access them through the Roku.

 

Actually, it's not that much different than the way Netflix works. I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

 

Thanks again.

Does Amazon Prime let you know when titles will be removed? Netflix does not-- but on Yahoo, occasionally there are bloggers/columnists who are aware of such things and note when titles are being removed and added on Netflix...but I never see that information for Amazon Prime titles anywhere.

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The sign of things to come...? Are stores clearing out their inventories of blank DVDs and DVD cases...?

 

 

ABSOLUTELY!  I've noticed that happening at least a year and a half ago. I buy all my in 100 packs from online sources like amazon, Stock up while you can.

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I still have some 'new-old-stock' blank VHS tapes I bought years ago (probably about 15 yrs.) and have never used.  I figure they're still good to go; they're not mouldy. 

 

         

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I still have some 'new-old-stock' blank VHS tapes I bought years ago (probably about 15 yrs.) and have never used.  I figure they're still good to go; they're not mouldy. 

As long as you are storing them in a place that is not too hot or too cold. Temperature affects those things, right..? As does moisture.

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ABSOLUTELY!  I've noticed that happening at least a year and a half ago. I buy all my in 100 packs from online sources like amazon, Stock up while you can.

Yes. The photo I posted is one I took last Friday, when I went into my local Target store. Those 25 blank DVD packs were marked down to $5.89 in U.S. dollars. That is the cheapest I have ever seen Sony DVD-R or DVD+R. I had a 5% discount, then with the tax they climbed back up to $6.00 exactly. 

 

I wonder how long I will be able to find them...? Seriously.

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