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Warner Bros. to Close Down DVD and Blu-Ray Division; AT&T Screws Up Again


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27 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

No More classic films or TV shows on DVD or Blu-Ray from WB. I can't tell you how thoroughly p*i*s*s*e*d I am at the moment at AT&T.....

https://www.thevulcanreporter.com/exclusives/warner-bros-exit-home-video-production/?fbclid=IwAR1f57Bt3RTgF6H0lJQx0jEdb7y4VLXHpyhsxonPkyHsXUS_GXEYTi7QqBE

Not a surprise.   They're trying to get more people to subscribe to HBO Max, where revenue is easier to forecast.

According to the first paragraph of the article, titles (at least some of them) will still be available on physical media, but they won't be released by a WB in-house operation.   They'll license it to some other company.

Warner Bros. plans to shut down its physical media production department. A lot of Warner Bros-produced Films and Television series will still be getting Blu-Ray and DVD releases, though these releases will not be produced by Warner Bros themselves.

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

No More classic films or TV shows on DVD or Blu-Ray from WB. I can't tell you how thoroughly p*i*s*s*e*d I am at the moment at AT&T.....

https://www.thevulcanreporter.com/exclusives/warner-bros-exit-home-video-production/?fbclid=IwAR1f57Bt3RTgF6H0lJQx0jEdb7y4VLXHpyhsxonPkyHsXUS_GXEYTi7QqBE

As With txfilmfan..

 

...Unfortunately .. ...cant say im surprised at that..

.

Im .. actually genuinely surprised it took them that long..

. ...

As .. Sucky and Crummy As ThisIs ..

.... .i would Unfortunately also expect and look for other studios to follow suit .. 👎

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It does say that Warner Archive will be kept. That was the most important thing, anyway. They do beautiful work. This week they released Annie Get Your Gun and it's spectacular.

Just think, we were able to OWN great movies, cultivate our own libraries, never worry about something being withdrawn, if you wanted to have a collection--and we've opted for convenience and giving control of old treasures back to the suits.

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6 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

Not a surprise.   They're trying to get more people to subscribe to HBO Max, where revenue is easier to forecast.

According to the first paragraph of the article, titles (at least some of them) will still be available on physical media, but they won't be released by a WB in-house operation.   They'll license it to some other company.

Warner Bros. plans to shut down its physical media production department. A lot of Warner Bros-produced Films and Television series will still be getting Blu-Ray and DVD releases, though these releases will not be produced by Warner Bros themselves.

Warner Brothers also signed a 10-year distribution venture with Universal.  The two studios are combining their distribution efforts.  I think Warner Bros just isn't going to produce the dvd/blu ray themselves, I don't think they're ceasing all production. 

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Pretty sure it's just them finalizing the movement of their operations from Warner Home Entertainment to their Joint Venture. 

For reference, here's some old articles.  The first is the announcement of the venture (which was expected to be up and running in 2021Q1) and the second was the layoffs this summer that heavily impacted Home Entertainment.

https://deadline.com/2020/01/universal-warner-bros-form-home-entertainment-joint-venture-1202831261/

https://deadline.com/2020/08/jeffrey-schlesinger-ron-sanders-kim-williams-top-executive-departures-in-warnermedia-layoffs-1203009060/

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1 hour ago, speedracer5 said:

Warner Brothers also signed a 10-year distribution venture with Universal.  The two studios are combining their distribution efforts.  I think Warner Bros just isn't going to produce the dvd/blu ray themselves, I don't think they're ceasing all production. 

Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits busted this one already:

Quote

Finally today, a number of you have asked us about online rumors (over the last few days) that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is basically shutting down their in-house physical media production operation. This is essentially true, but it’s also lacking important context. The reason they’re doing this, is that Warner Bros. and Universal are essentially merging their home entertainment operations. That new joint entity—Studio Distribution Services, which is now up and running after a slow ramp-up period in 2020—will produce and distribute Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD titles for both studios. None of this should come as a surprise to anyone; Warner and Universal essentially announced their intention to do this back in January of 2020 (see our report at the time here). (You can also read this Deadline report from the time.) The pandemic just slowed the process of getting it going down a bit. This, in theory, will allow them to do the same quality and level of work (in terms of releasing titles on disc) more efficiently and cost-effectively, allowing both Warner Bros. and Universal to stay in the physical media business for as long as possible. Unfortunately, it means that a lot of good people at each studio have been laid off (for example the dedicated Warner Archive Collection team at WB and much of the restoration team at Universal) as they combine their resources. But it can also be seen as a positive sign of each studio’s commitment to physical media in the long term. I strongly encourage you all to read the Deadline piece here. You should also know that I’ve confirmed just today that Studio Distribution Services is now in place and operating as intended. And there is no intention by either studio to discontinue their disc releases anytime soon. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about how all this is meant to work in the days and weeks ahead.

(Basically, studios shut down much of their disk operations in the 10's, trying to convince everyone we liked Digital VOD, and while they substituted Streaming onto that new pedestal, the reality is that Physical disk for all purposes won the "war", and constitutes much of the hard sales.  Like Paramount, they're getting back into the Blu game SLOWLY and grudgingly, but they know they're over a barrel about abandoning it completely.)

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Seems the title and original post are misleading.  You have to read the article to find out that the movies and TV shows will still be available on DVD/Blue Ray, just not from Warner's per se.

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11 hours ago, EricJ said:

Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits busted this one already:

(Basically, studios shut down much of their disk operations in the 10's, trying to convince everyone we liked Digital VOD, and while they substituted Streaming onto that new pedestal, the reality is that Physical disk for all purposes won the "war", and constitutes much of the hard sales.  Like Paramount, they're getting back into the Blu game SLOWLY and grudgingly, but they know they're over a barrel about abandoning it completely.)

Yes Paramount is starting to release their own boutique label of sorts, with their Paramount Presents Blu Ray line.  They recently took back the distribution rights to some of their bigger titles (e.g. Rosemary's Baby and Harold and Maude) from Criterion, presumably in anticipation of releasing these titles on their own line. 

I don't care who does it or how these titles are released, as long as Classic Hollywood titles remain available on DVD/Blu Ray in some capacity.  It doesn't matter to me who distributes them.   Many of the boutique labels are far ahead of the studios in terms of quality, it's about time that Warner Bros, Paramount, Universal, etc. gets into the game. 

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21 hours ago, Leighcat said:

Just think, we were able to OWN great movies, cultivate our own libraries, never worry about something being withdrawn, if you wanted to have a collection--and we've opted for convenience and giving control of old treasures back to the suits.

The topic of 'ownership' has long been a prickly issue for the suits. They prefer to think in terms of license.

I worked for record labels in the 80s and at that time they were going to war with used record stores and radio stations that played entire albums. Some stores rented records and sold blank tape, the labels put a stop to that practice. If they had known eBay was going to come along they probably would have done more to end reselling.

 

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5 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Yes Paramount is starting to release their own boutique label of sorts, with their Paramount Presents Blu Ray line.  They recently took back the distribution rights to some of their bigger titles (e.g. Rosemary's Baby and Harold and Maude) from Criterion, presumably in anticipation of releasing these titles on their own line. 

I don't care who does it or how these titles are released, as long as Classic Hollywood titles remain available on DVD/Blu Ray in some capacity.  It doesn't matter to me who distributes them.   Many of the boutique labels are far ahead of the studios in terms of quality, it's about time that Warner Bros, Paramount, Universal, etc. gets into the game. 

The thing I don't like about what Paramount is doing is that they are clawing back the Criterion releases, and their idea of a re-release that is competitive is a bare bones Blu with no extras where Criterion usually is loaded. Am I wrong about Paramount doing  no extras on their Paramount presents line? 

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2 hours ago, Moe Howard said:

The topic of 'ownership' has long been a prickly issue for the suits. They prefer to think in terms of license.

I worked for record labels in the 80s and at that time they were going to war with used record stores and radio stations that played entire albums. Some stores rented records and sold blank tape, the labels put a stop to that practice. If they had known eBay was going to come along they probably would have done more to end reselling.

 

True re: licenses.  While you may possess a film on disc or tape, to the lawyers, what you've really purchased is a license to view it privately at home.

 I'm sure if the technology were cheaply available in the 1970s, they would have put in a maximum number of plays on media or an expiration date.  There were a couple of attempts at time-limited discs for DVDs for the rental market (DIVX, which was an electronic solution) and Flexplay and DVD-D  (which used a chemical reaction to discolor the disc over time, rendering it unreadable).   These discs were generally playable for 48 hours.  For DIVX, you could pay various add-on fees to extend the life of the disc.  DIVX seemed to bank on the convenience of never needing to return a disc. 

Both of these failed, for obvious reasons: consumers hated the idea, and in the case of DIVX, it required a special DVD player that was more expensive than a regular player.

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7 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Yes Paramount is starting to release their own boutique label of sorts, with their Paramount Presents Blu Ray line.  They recently took back the distribution rights to some of their bigger titles (e.g. Rosemary's Baby and Harold and Maude) from Criterion, presumably in anticipation of releasing these titles on their own line. 

I don't care who does it or how these titles are released, as long as Classic Hollywood titles remain available on DVD/Blu Ray in some capacity.  It doesn't matter to me who distributes them.   Many of the boutique labels are far ahead of the studios in terms of quality, it's about time that Warner Bros, Paramount, Universal, etc. gets into the game. 

Paramount sent a load of their 80's-90's catalog titles (Airplane, Clue, the Tom Clancys, etc.) over to Warner to release for them, just before Warner lost interest in catalog disks.

Those ended up falling between the cracks--which is why they're all over Cheap Streaming--but the house studio-system 50's-70's titles, like Elvis, Martin & Lewis or wartime-Cary Grant, are still Paramount titles; they're the ones playing the "Paramount Classics" channel on Viacom's PlutoTV, and, not coincidentally, they're also the exact same ones getting Paramount Select Blu disks. 

At the moment, the third party labels seem to be picking up ALL the Blu-catalog slack:  Criterion has been dipping into the free post-bankruptcy 60's-80's MGM titles, Twilight Time got most of the United Artists (including most all of Woody Allen) before they went under, Shout Factory's got just about every cult title of the 80's, and Kino Lorber seems determined to release every single other title that's not snapped up.

2 hours ago, LsDoorMat said:

The thing I don't like about what Paramount is doing is that they are clawing back the Criterion releases, and their idea of a re-release that is competitive is a bare bones Blu with no extras where Criterion usually is loaded. Am I wrong about Paramount doing  no extras on their Paramount presents line? 

There's a nice Leonard Maltin intro segment on The Court Jester, that's the only one of theirs I've gotten so far.  If Criterion gets a Paramount, it's usually one of the ones not nailed down.

48 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

I'm sure if the technology were cheaply available in the 1970s, they would have put in a maximum number of plays on media or an expiration date.  There were a couple of attempts at time-limited discs for DVDs for the rental market (DIVX, which was an electronic solution) and Flexplay and DVD-D  (which used a chemical reaction to discolor the disc over time, rendering it unreadable).   These discs were generally playable for 48 hours.  For DIVX, you could pay various add-on fees to extend the life of the disc.  DIVX seemed to bank on the convenience of never needing to return a disc. 

Both of these failed, for obvious reasons: consumers hated the idea, and in the case of DIVX, it required a special DVD player that was more expensive than a regular player.

That's one thing we tried to warn people about back during the Digital Wars (you'll notice I'm using past-tense when referring to it... 😁 )

In almost every single case of a "Format war" of competing technology--right down to Disney's attempt to sue Beta for letting people tape shows--the studios have always backed the "rental" option that lets them retain control of the movie, leaving the viewer to come to them with their hat in their hand:

The rise of VHS vs. Cable PPV....DVD vs. DiVX...Blu-ray vs. Digital VOD...Even the rise of Flexplay, which was promoted as "An alternative to Blockbuster rental!"  (Keep in mind, Blockbuster was the only rental chain sharing income with studios, which's why they kept pushing New Releases over old titles.)  EVERY.  SINGLE.  TIME.  

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2 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

True re: licenses.  While you may possess a film on disc or tape, to the lawyers, what you've really purchased is a license to view it privately at home.

 I'm sure if the technology were cheaply available in the 1970s, they would have put in a maximum number of plays on media or an expiration date.  There were a couple of attempts at time-limited discs for DVDs for the rental market (DIVX, which was an electronic solution) and Flexplay and DVD-D  (which used a chemical reaction to discolor the disc over time, rendering it unreadable).   These discs were generally playable for 48 hours.  For DIVX, you could pay various add-on fees to extend the life of the disc.  DIVX seemed to bank on the convenience of never needing to return a disc. 

Both of these failed, for obvious reasons: consumers hated the idea, and in the case of DIVX, it required a special DVD player that was more expensive than a regular player.

 

I think my Sony BDP-S6700 / BDP-BX670 can play the format.  It supports most computer files MP4, Quick Time, FLV.  It's a multi region Blu-ray / DVD player and is unusually small in size. Even supports Super Audio CD!

Can finally watch the  converted Yortube videos no other player can do.

c9QFREiG6EANpNkGERVbFE-1200-80.jpg

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On 4/23/2021 at 8:06 PM, Leighcat said:

Just think, we were able to OWN great movies, cultivate our own libraries, never worry about something being withdrawn,

Some movies just need to be public domain. Why should a company profit 50 years after everyone who made the movie has been paid and long dead? 

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10 hours ago, hamradio said:

 

I think my Sony BDP-S6700 / BDP-BX670 can play the format.  It supports most computer files MP4, Quick Time, FLV.  It's a multi region Blu-ray / DVD player and is unusually small in size. Even supports Super Audio CD!

Can finally watch the  converted Yortube videos no other player can do.

c9QFREiG6EANpNkGERVbFE-1200-80.jpg

Got one of those about 4 months ago to pair with new Sony Smart TV.  Only have one Blue-ray discs and its a 1950's B movie we got for free.  Everything else is on DVD.  The few times I have watched Blu-rays, just never saw the difference.

One thing about the above unit is that it automatically turns on the Sony TV and selects the correct input.  And controls the TV volume which controls the sound bar volume.

For all the other functions, we use the remote for the TV.

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53 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

Some movies just need to be public domain. Why should a company profit 50 years after everyone who made the movie has been paid and long dead? 

Sort of like why should Chevrolet get a cut every time one of their vehicles changes hands.

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I recently got into actually using some of the features of my smart TV.  IMDb, Tubi and others that are FREE.  I now have enough movies and TV series in my "watchlists" to watch for about 4-5 years probably.  Tubi gets me to Shout and Blue moon movies and TV series and IMDb gets me to FilmRise.

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39 minutes ago, ElCid said:

Sort of like why should Chevrolet get a cut every time one of their vehicles changes hands.

Some carmakers (GM, primarily) were trying to make this assertion, that they held IP rights to the software running the car, and therefore, you licensed the capability for it to be driven.

1 hour ago, TikiSoo said:

Some movies just need to be public domain. Why should a company profit 50 years after everyone who made the movie has been paid and long dead? 

You can thank the founders for including copyrights and patents in the Constitution.

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I have a large physical media collection (DVD and Blu Ray), for access reasons. I can always watch what I want, when I want. I don’t care about special features so much, I just want the film. I haven’t purchased any of the Paramount titles because I already had the movies I wanted from their line. I didn’t even care about them pulling the rights from Criterion, because they’re still available in some capacity, regardless of who is distributing the film. 

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1 hour ago, speedracer5 said:

I have a large physical media collection (DVD and Blu Ray), for access reasons. I can always watch what I want, when I want. I don’t care about special features so much, I just want the film. I haven’t purchased any of the Paramount titles because I already had the movies I wanted from their line. I didn’t even care about them pulling the rights from Criterion, because they’re still available in some capacity, regardless of who is distributing the film. 

I also have a large media collection but only 4 Blu Rays.  The formats includes DVD, VHS and Laserdisc.  When I acquired factory made VHS , keep them in drawer cabinets, my oldest is "Casablanca" by CBS/FOX video, year 1984.  Still plays like new.  Some people think their well taken cared of tapes may have degraded but after watching DVD's for so long, forgot it's much sharper than tape. One must keep magnetic media away from strong electrical fields to preserve them.

 

Now for the SERIOUS movie collector..

CD-DVD-Storage-Cabinet-Drawers-Gemtrac.j

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