Adrenochrome | Mike Myers | Utilitaires

I’m trying not to purchase anymore movies on Blu-ray BUT….

3 Stars

As streaming become so convenient and with the unlimited streaming options now available we aren’t buying as many titles on Blu-ray. The problem is that it seems like all the streaming sources we use only offer 5.1 and not the DTS Master Audio (7.1) which really makes the most of our system since that is how we are configured. We still purchase action movies on Blu-ray but just about everything else is streamed now. Are there any streaming services that offer the 7.1 surround sound? I hope I’m just missing something since we would prefer to just stream movies we want to watch instead of buying them on DVD.

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Kevin Collins

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187 Comments

  1. I find there is a place for both buying discs and using streaming in my life. I will buy a film on disc if it's a favorite film, if it makes financial sense, or it's the only way to view that particular film — so it could be a 4K/UHD, BD or SD-DVD. However, there are some instances where streaming makes more sense — whether it's a 4K/UHD streaming version for about a third of the price of the UHD disc, converting an old SD-DVD to an HDX streaming version, renting a film instead of making a blind disc purchase, watching a film through the TCM app, etc.

    I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't make sense for me to own everything I watch on disc. Many films that I used to purchase on disc would only get watched once. I have some DVDs that I haven't watched in close to 20 years sitting on shelves, taking up space. I have purged a lot of those from my collection, but still have some. I see no reason to keep repeating that pattern.

    I don't understand the hatred some people have towards streaming. It doesn't have to be an "either / or" situation where you can no longer buy discs if you begin to use streaming. Technology changes, and part of this hobby is adapting those changes into our home theater systems. If we didn't, we would all still be only watching VHS tapes or laser discs of a restricted number of old releases.

  2. Michel_Hafner

    Just say no to streaming. Worse quality, no real ownership, at the mercy of the net and the servers/copyright holders/suppliers, no privacy (what you watch and when can be logged). No thanks.

    after the apolocalyse i'll be watchin Apocalypse now! er WHEN tht happens on my blu! lol

  3. Scott Merryfield

    I don't understand the hatred some people have towards streaming. It doesn't have to be an "either / or" situation where you can no longer buy discs if you begin to use streaming. Technology changes, and part of this hobby is adapting those changes into our home theater systems. If we didn't, we would all still be only watching VHS tapes or laser discs of a restricted number of old releases.

    I have no hatred for streaming. I just don't do it. Many posters who have tried it say the picture quality is not so good. For me, that's a deciding factor. I certainly have no objection to other people doing it.

  4. Streaming's good for first-time viewings and films you don't want to own. And the quality's fine on my set. I watch a lot of movies on Cablevision's On Demand channel. That's a form of streaming. And I'm a subscriber of Amazon Prime. I've seen 22 movies On Demand this year, only a few of which I wish I owned. I watched three westerns On Demand this month, all three of which I'd seen before on VHS taped off TV with commercials. Two of them were quite good, but I don't need to own them. I'm grateful I had the opportunity to finally see them uncut and uninterrupted in High Def. I just watched YELLOW SUBMARINE on Amazon Prime. The print quality was great. I don't particularly want to own the film, though. My 16-year-old self was a lot more responsive to it 48 years ago when I first saw it than my senior citizen self today. Amazon Prime has tons of great stuff, including lots of previously unseen Italian westerns and Japanese yakuza movies. If I like something a lot and it's available on disc, I'll buy it.

    All of this competes, of course, with the hundreds (thousands?) of movies and TV shows I own on DVD, Blu-ray and VHS pre-record I still haven't watched.

  5. Robin9

    I have no hatred for streaming. I just don't do it. Many posters who have tried it say the picture quality is not so good. For me, that's a deciding factor. I certainly have no objection to other people doing it.

    In my setup, a UHD/4K stream looks better than a BD and is pretty close to a UHD disc. HDX streams look better than DVD, and are very close to BD quality. I do have a fairly high speed Internet connection (175Mbps), which helps. Until you try it yourself, you'll never know how good or bad streaming will look in your particular environment.

  6. Streaming options are much more limited here in Canada. We use Netflix for anything that we only want to try or watch once, but we find the choices rather limited there as well.

    We PVR all our shows, and if it screws up, watch what we miss “on demand” but I find the lack of the ability to go through commercials annoying. I tend to record “on demand” shows on my DVDr machine, which of course allows you to ff.

    Again, here is utopia. If ever all movies and TV shows including classics were streamed, with extras and 3D, from one central source and one price, by by discs. The quality is just too good as is the convenience.

  7. As our current budget simply won't allow for much (If any!) video purchasing, we'll be relying more on TV on demand/Pvr options, along with our existing physical collection. The much higher speeds with our current fibe setup should also be helpful.

    There's also the massive London Central Library just a few blocks from where we now live, so physical video borrowing might also prove a viable option, at least.

    CHEERS! 🙂

  8. Scott Merryfield

    In my setup, a UHD/4K stream looks better than a BD and is pretty close to a UHD disc. HDX streams look better than DVD, and are very close to BD quality. I do have a fairly high speed Internet connection (175Mbps), which helps. Until you try it yourself, you'll never know how good or bad streaming will look in your particular environment.

    The same here! If you don't want to stream, that's fine and it's your right as a consumer. However, I think too many people on this forum are pushing a false narrative regarding streaming quality that's not true for some us. There are those of us with subpar internet connections that affects the quality of streaming. But, there are many of us in which we have "good to great" internet connections in which we can enjoy UHD/4K streams without any quality issues. Again, if you don't want to stream that's your prerogative, but I wish people stop painting with a wide brush that streaming has to be inferior in all cases. That's not entirely true and hasn't been for me in a very long time.

  9. Streaming doesn't work for me because I like the absolute immediacy of DVD/blu ray. For example, if a guest says they've never seen 7 Brides For 7 Brothers, I can immediately pull it off the shelf and zip forward to the barn raising dance to show them what they're missing. Can't do that with streaming. If I have insomnia at 2AM, I can just pull some obscure piece of 1950s sci-fi not offered on streaming off the shelf to keep me occupied until Morpheus arrives. I can see what I want to see, not what they are offering me to see.

  10. Thomas T

    For example, if a guest says they've never seen 7 Brides For 7 Brothers, I can immediately pull it off the shelf and zip forward to the barn raising dance to show them what they're missing. Can't do that with streaming.

    Why not? I do that all the time.

    I was watching a TV show with my wife one day, and she commented on one of the character's outfits: "That's the worst suit I've ever seen!" I replied that I had seen a worse suit in "2001: A Space Odyssey". In less time than it would take for me to get up, grab the Blu-ray off the shelf, load it into the player, get past the unskippable FBI warnings, and then to the chapter menu page, etc., etc., I was able to pull it up on my AppleTV, quickly jump to that section, and show her the ugly suit that I was thinking about. It probably took 30 seconds.

    Thomas T

    If I have insomnia at 2AM, I can just pull some obscure piece of 1950s sci-fi not offered on streaming off the shelf to keep me occupied until Morpheus arrives. I can see what I want to see, not what they are offering me to see.

    I think we might be talking about different things here – if you own a movie digitally, you own it and can pull it up at any time. You choose what you want to see. Once you purchase it, you own it forever.

    if you're talking about Netflix, Netflix is not meant to be the equivalent of ownership. Netflix is the equivalent of an HBO subscription – you get a mix of original and licensed content that's constantly rotating in and out of the service.

    Netflix is not a suitable replacement for people who want to own specific titles and to have access to them whenever they want. But renting and/or purchasing on services like iTunes and Vudu is exactly that.

  11. Thomas T

    Streaming doesn't work for me because I like the absolute immediacy of DVD/blu ray. For example, if a guest says they've never seen 7 Brides For 7 Brothers, I can immediately pull it off the shelf and zip forward to the barn raising dance to show them what they're missing. Can't do that with streaming. If I have insomnia at 2AM, I can just pull some obscure piece of 1950s sci-fi not offered on streaming off the shelf to keep me occupied until Morpheus arrives. I can see what I want to see, not what they are offering me to see.

    You are confusing streaming subscription services such as Netflix and Hulu, whose content can change every few months, with having a digital copy of a film in your online "digital library". I have Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in my Vudu library (converted my DVD long before the BD was released) and can bring it up quicker than finding and loading the disc (not that I would now that I own the BD disc). Also, I can watch it while we are at our 2nd home in South Carolina and the BD disc is sitting on a shelf back home in Michigan. That digital copy will not go away.

    Services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime are more like the old days of subscribing to HBO, Cinemax, etc through your cable service, except now every program in each service is offered on demand instead of requiring you to tune in at a certain time to see Smokey and the Bandit on HBO (that film was playing constantly when I first got cable TV around 1980).

    You can actually buy digital copies of films, though, from places such as iTunes, Vudu, Google, Amazon, etc. which stay in your online library all the time. I've bought several 4K/UHD versions of films for $5 on iTunes, and numerous others for $10 or less. Thanks to the Movies Anywhere service, many of those automatically show up in my online libraries at Vudu, Amazon, Fandango and Google, too (and now even Microsoft). I can watch those films at home in Michigan, at our South Carolina condo, or while we are traveling — as long as I have a decent Internet connection.

  12. I currently buy discs for movies, but anticipate going to online / streaming in the next year or two.

    What I want is a digital library for all my movies, with on-screen browsing of my library and the instant playback of digital; and of course whole-home viewing. Additionally, I no longer use media-shelves filled with discs as living room decorations; they're banished to a side room or storage boxes. My current solution is an HTPC. But this is a time-consuming hobby and it's teetering on being unacceptable for 4K and also due to SAF.

    When I upgrade to 4K, to achieve all my key goals, I may have to abandon the HTPC and switch to Movies Anywhere. I'm now paying attention to those digital codes, redeeming them with all current purchases (when possible) with a view towards this transition.

  13. DaveF

    Having trouble sleeping? Why get out of bed and exacerbate the problem. Turn on bedroom TV, browse your library of movies and play what you and the Sandman want. 🙂

    That's exactly what I do and why I love streaming and my digital film library.

  14. DaveF

    I currently buy discs for movies, but anticipate going to online / streaming in the next year or two.

    What I want is a digital library for all my movies, with on-screen browsing of my library and the instant playback of digital; and of course whole-home viewing. Additionally, I no longer use media-shelves filled with discs as living room decorations; they're banished to a side room or storage boxes. My current solution is an HTPC. But this is a time-consuming hobby and it's teetering on being unacceptable for 4K and also due to SAF.

    When I upgrade to 4K, to achieve all my key goals, I may have to abandon the HTPC and switch to Movies Anywhere. I'm now paying attention to those digital codes, redeeming them with all current purchases (when possible) with a view towards this transition.

    I'm pretty much in the same boat as Dave is, redeeming the codes now that Movies Anywhere is available. Not sure when I will make the shift, as I do enjoy having the physical media and not worrying about loss of internet, censorship, etc.

  15. Rodney

    I'm pretty much in the same boat as Dave is, redeeming the codes now that Movies Anywhere is available. Not sure when I will make the shift, as I do enjoy having the physical media and not worrying about loss of internet, censorship, etc.

    I watched two Blu-rays today "Never So Few" and "Home from the Hill". I'll probably watch another film later today by pulling up my digital film library or streaming some movie off the TCM or Filmstruck apps on iTunes.

  16. DaveF

    My current solution is an HTPC. But this is a time-consuming hobby and it's teetering on being unacceptable for 4K and also due to SAF.

    This ^ is the primary reason why I have been resisting any and all temptation to jump onto the 4Kbluray bandwagon. (As hard as it is for a person with extreme OCD compulsive collecting/buying habits with cd, dvd, and conventional blurays).

    Without going into details, ripping 4Kbluray discs to the computer is a PITA and very time consuming in and of itself. Basically one has to be very hardcore into the technical details of computer 4Kbluray drives, and have a lot of time on their hands in order to even keep up the with all that is going on in that niche. (To me, it would be another extreme OCD treadmill).

    Basically NOT ripping 4Kbluray discs, is NOT an option at all for me if I were to ever jump onto the 4Kbluray treadmill. (Go through my posting history on here to understand why this is the case for me).

  17. DaveF

    I currently buy discs for movies, but anticipate going to online / streaming in the next year or two.

    What I want is a digital library for all my movies, with on-screen browsing of my library and the instant playback of digital; and of course whole-home viewing. Additionally, I no longer use media-shelves filled with discs as living room decorations; they're banished to a side room or storage boxes. My current solution is an HTPC. But this is a time-consuming hobby and it's teetering on being unacceptable for 4K and also due to SAF.

    When I upgrade to 4K, to achieve all my key goals, I may have to abandon the HTPC and switch to Movies Anywhere. I'm now paying attention to those digital codes, redeeming them with all current purchases (when possible) with a view towards this transition.

    Again we're in similar predicaments, @DaveF, but I see my HTPC surviving in perpetuity, although [for the moment anyway] I've already given up on it for 4K UHD. The dirty truth in my case is that the majority of the time in my theater room these days is spent either listening to music while I write posts like this one or research other things. When I watch movies I generally watch older titles that entertain me just fine without Atmos or 4K. When I have guests or just want a spectacular theatrical experience with great content such as [for me] the Marvel films I turn to my Oppo 203. I love the convenience, power and flexibility of my HTPC but I'm accepting the likely fact that it will not continue to be the Swiss Army solution it has been in the past. Notwithstanding, I will always prefer it and use it as much as practically possible.

    Not to derail the thread but this is part of my struggle with 4K projectors. My Panny 8000 still looks amazing with Blu Ray and does a decent job with my older catalog titles which represent the majority of my viewing. Like the Oppo, I do want that shiny 4K toy but I know my actual return on investment would be low for the foreseeable future.

  18. (More rambling).

    A year ago or so, the only dvd/bluray titles I was still buying which had a high rewatch value for me, were primarily newer Star Wars movies and some scifi stuff. Otherwise most stuff I only really watched once (or twice). Not much point anymore in buying dvd/blurays of stuff I only watch once or twice. Easier to watch such titles when they eventually show up on basic cable channels, around two years or so after the original theatrical release date.

    I did pick up The Force Awakens and Rogue One blurays during their original then-first week releases. Since then, I couldn't be bothered anymore with buying Star Wars blurays. (ie. I haven't picked up The Last Jedi bluray yet, and most likely will not pick up the Solo bluray next month).

    At this point I might actually be more inclined to read the novelization books of newer Star Wars movies, than watching the movie again. Easy to borrow the book from the nearby public library, several months after the movie has already left the theaters and the hoopla has already died down, or just wait for the paperback version to be published. (I did this for the first two Star Trek reboot movies, where I read the novelizations before I ever watched the actual movies. Though the third Star Trek reboot movie "Beyond" did not have any official novelizations).

  19. John Dirk

    Again we're in similar predicaments, @DaveF, but I see my HTPC surviving in perpetuity, although [for the moment anyway] I've already given up on it for 4K UHD.

    My HTPCs may very well survive for the rest of my years on this earth, though for very different reasons.

    The only thing I've been using my HTPC for, is obsessively watching the original Dynasty episodes. For reasons I don't quite understand, the original Dynasty is one of the few shows which has a very high rewatch value for me. Too annoying to swap out dvd discs after every four or five episodes. (Dynasty was not a show that I really watched back in the day, other than with various then-gfs at the time).

    If the original Dynasty is ever released on bluray (or 4Kbluray), at this point I strongly suspect I probably won't bother buying them again. The annoyance factor of swapping out discs after four or five episodes would be the biggest factor for me. Being able to watch more than a dozen episodes one after another on the HTPC in the background when I'm at a home, there is simply no going back to swapping out discs on the standalone dvd player for me now.

  20. John Dirk

    Not to derail the thread but this is part of my struggle with 4K projectors. My Panny 8000 still looks amazing with Blu Ray and does a decent job with my older catalog titles which represent the majority of my viewing. Like the Oppo, I do want that shiny 4K toy but I know my actual return on investment would be low for the foreseeable future.

    I think UHD is going to be something that I ultimately upgrade to not because I'm seeking to overhaul my system, but because an HD component stopped working and needed to be replaced. It's not that I would avoid UHD at all costs, but that it's more of an incremental improvement to me than something that would drive my upgrades. So, if my Epson 5030 HD projector goes, I'll replace it with something UHD compatible because "why not?" (and UHD might be the only option at that point anyway), but I'm not looking for reasons to get rid of my Epson either.

    I've said this before but at the risk of sounding like a broken record – IMAX regularly shows films from 2K masters on their screens. IMAX has the biggest and best screens in the world. If a 2K master was good enough for the multi-billion grossing "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" to be released on 100 foot screens, surely a 2K disc (which is basically what Blu-ray and HD are) is good enough for my home screen which is less than 10 feet. That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, but it also means that there's nothing wrong with me being satisfied by what I already have. I'm happy to keep my current setup until it's no longer practical to do so.

  21. jcroy

    The discs sit on the bookshelf collecting dust, after being watched once (or twice). 😉

    I may have worded the question incorrectly. Let me try again… When you're not watching "Dynasty" [full disclosure – I was more of a Dallas guy 🙂 ] what do you you do with your HT?

  22. I still use a cheapo $50 Sony bluray player for watching bluray discs. I have largely lost any and all interest in ripping bluray discs to the computer for viewing purposes.

    My computer bluray drives are currently only used for checkly newly purchased bluray discs for manufacturing defects.

  23. John Dirk

    I may have worded the question incorrectly. Let me try again… When you're not watching "Dynasty" [full disclosure – I was more of a Dallas guy 🙂 ] what do you you do with your HT?

    My HTPC machines are largely inactive and off when I'm not using them to watch Dynasty or something else. They are my older computers which haven't died yet. I mentioned this in another thread on here recently.

    http://cplt20official.com/co…uilt-from-best-buy.358244/page-3#post-4640222

  24. jcroy

    I still use a cheapo $50 Sony bluray player for watching bluray discs. I have largely lost any and all interest in ripping bluray discs to the computer for viewing purposes.

    My computer bluray drives are currently only used for checkly newly purchased bluray discs for manufacturing defects.

    I "think" I understand where you're coming from. I'm reluctantly coming to a similar conclusion but [for me] 4K seems to be the breaking point.

  25. I ran through my collection of 250 Blu-rays (and another 200 rentals), so I turned to streaming. I found very little I wanted to see on Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, etc., as I only watch films, and mostly classic films.

    Fortunately, I found Filmstruck, which has been a godsend. For $11 a month, almost the entire Criterion Collection is available (with excellent transfers and streaming quality), as well as many TCM Select and 600 Warner's Archives titles. The quality of the non-Criterion titles is variable, but still mostly watchable.

    I will still buy Blu-rays occasionally (including a few 4K discs), but I plan to prioritize Filmstruck going forward. Despite having watched about 25 titles on Filmstruck over the past 3 months, I still have over 200 titles in my watchlist.

  26. jcroy

    My HTPCs may very well survive for the rest of my years on this earth, though for very different reasons.

    The only thing I've been using my HTPC for, is obsessively watching the original Dynasty episodes. For reasons I don't quite understand, the original Dynasty is one of the few shows which has a very high rewatch value for me. Too annoying to swap out dvd discs after every four or five episodes. (Dynasty was not a show that I really watched back in the day, other than with various then-gfs at the time).

    If the original Dynasty is ever released on bluray (or 4Kbluray), at this point I strongly suspect I probably won't bother buying them again. The annoyance factor of swapping out discs after four or five episodes would be the biggest factor for me. Being able to watch more than a dozen episodes one after another on the HTPC in the background when I'm at a home, there is simply no going back to swapping out discs on the standalone dvd player for me now.

    You are kidding aren’t you? It is that annoying to change discs every 4 hours!? What would you have done in the era of 45 rpm records which had to be changed every 3 minutes? or even Laser discs every 20 minutes? Talk about first world problems!

  27. TJPC

    You are kidding aren’t you? It is that annoying to change discs every 4 hours!? What would you have done in the era of 45 rpm records which had to be changed every 3 minutes? or even Laser discs every 20 minutes? Talk about first world problems!

    (Pouring more fuel onto the fire).

    Furthermore, I'm even worse today in this regard.

    These days I can't even be bothered anymore with searching for an audio cd from my collection to listen to. I just search for the song or album on youtube, and listen to it there. 😉

  28. DaveF

    Having trouble sleeping? Why get out of bed and exacerbate the problem. Turn on bedroom TV, browse your library of movies and play what you and the Sandman want. 🙂

    The ONLY thing I do in my bedroom is sleep. I would no more have a TV in my bedroom than I would a toaster oven!

  29. Thomas T

    The ONLY thing I do in my bedroom is sleep. I would no more have a TV in my bedroom than I would a toaster oven!

    There are other fun activities that can happen in a bedroom, but we won't go there.

  30. Matt Hough

    I have one, but it hasn't been turned on in probably ten years.

    In our previous home this was basically our situation too because the room only allowed a TV to be located adjacent to the head of our bed, which created an uncomfortable viewing angle. In the new home there is a pedestal specifically designed for a TV to the front left of the room. It makes all of the difference. We ended up purchasing a new 50 inch set and use it regularly now.

  31. Robert Crawford

    I know a few people that don't have a TV in their bedroom.

    Not only don't I have a TV in my bedroom, I didn't even have a TV (by choice) at all between 1967 when I left home to go to college and 1983.

  32. We have no TV in our bedroom. Most TV watching is done in the basement room that has the reclining sofa facing the 65” TV. Unfortunately as we get older we find a lot of sleeping is taking place there too, often 30 minutes into what we are “watching”.

  33. We do have a TV in our bedroom — upgraded to a Samsung 49-inch 4K set last Christmas. There is no sound system, but it does have a Roku Premiere and an old Sony BD player connected. Mostly my wife watches it — we have very different viewing tastes, so she will watch programs she enjoys upstairs in the bedroom while I watch something else downstairs on the main system in our family room. We do watch films together on the HT, but our TV viewing habits are very different.

    We also have TV's in a couple of the other upstairs bedrooms (one is an exercise room and the other is my wife's office / craft room). She's the only one who watches TV in those rooms. I plan on adding a small TV in our basement recreation room near the bar so we can turn on a football game if we are entertaining. I have the TV — I just need to get motivated and buy a mounting bracket, and move around some of the Roku streaming boxes that run the Comcast Xfinity app for TV service.

  34. Josh Steinberg

    if you own a movie digitally, you own it and can pull it up at any time.

    This is true and it's not true. If I buy a movie on demand, sure I can pull it up anytime I want it ASSUMING the following conditions:

    1) the Internet is working;

    2) the streaming service is currently working;

    3) I'm continuing to pay a monthly or annual fee to maintain the overall service to access the movie I bought;

    and, just as importantly if not more so: 4) the streaming service I bought it from is still in business.

    Just because certain companies seem impervious to decline right now doesn't mean that won't change.

    I have never bought anything on demand and never will. I will either buy the physical media or take my chances with a subscription. Buying on demand just isn't for me. Because it's an illusion of ownership I am not willing to live with.

  35. Carabimero

    This is true and it's not true. If I buy a movie on demand, sure I can pull it up anytime I want it ASSUMING the following conditions:

    1) the Internet is working

    and, just as importantly if not more so: 2) the streaming service I bought it from is still in business.

    Just because certain companies seem impervious to decline right now doesn't mean that won't change.

    I have never bought anything on demand and never will. I will either buy the physical media or take my chances with a subscription. Buying on demand just isn't for me.

    I have a hard time thinking Vudu or ITunes are going out of business any time soon. Walmart and Apple don't seem like they're going anywhere in what's left in my lifetime. Furthermore, my AT&T internet service is very reliable.

  36. Carabimero

    This is true and it's not true. If I buy a movie on demand, sure I can pull it up anytime I want it ASSUMING the following conditions:

    1) the Internet is working

    and, just as importantly if not more so: 2) the streaming service I bought it from is still in business.

    Just because certain companies seem impervious to decline right now doesn't mean that won't change.

    I have never bought anything on demand and never will. I will either buy the physical media or take my chances with a subscription. Buying on demand just isn't for me.

    The Movies Anywhere service helps to mitigate this issue. For the participating studios, when you purchase a digital copy (or claim a digital code) on one streaming service, it will automatically show up in the other participating services. There are still a few studios who do not participate, such as Lionsgate and Paramount, but most do. So buying a digital copy on iTunes also gets the film added at Vudu, Amazon, Fandango and Microsoft. That helps protect against a single service going out of business.

    I do not plan to stop buying discs, but it's hard to ignore some of the deals that can be had for digital copies. For example, I bought 4K/UHD streaming copies of the four Hunger Games films for $5 each. At that price, why would I bother considering renting those films? Also, the 4K/UHD discs were selling for three times that amount.

  37. Robert Crawford

    I have a hard time thinking Vudu or ITunes are going out of business any time soon. Walmart and Apple don't seem like they're going anywhere in what's left in my lifetime. Furthermore, my AT&T internet service is very reliable.

    “Blockbuster”? “Sears”? “K-Mart”? “Toys R Us”? “Titanic”?

  38. While any company can go out of business, it's hard to think that Wal-Mart, Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft will all go belly up anytime soon. But that is a risk, albeit small, with buying digital copies. There are risks with buying discs, though, too. Discs can go bad, get damaged, misplaced, stolen, etc.

  39. Carabimero

    This is true and it's not true. If I buy a movie on demand, sure I can pull it up anytime I want it ASSUMING the following conditions:

    1) the Internet is working

    and, just as importantly if not more so: 2) the streaming service I bought it from is still in business.

    Just because certain companies seem impervious to decline right now doesn't mean that won't change.

    Those are certainly valid points, and in the interest of full disclosure, I too am less interested in making a digital purchase without a corresponding physical item (though I have absolutely no trouble with making digital rentals). But to a certain extent, even if one has discs purchased, that doesn't guarantee eternal playability. The electricity could go out too; there have been times in my life when I wanted to watch a disc, but could not, because the power was out. Has that been a frequent occurrence? No, but it has happened. Ultimately, whether one purchases a physical disc or a stream, we're still dependent on some factors out of our control to watch them. And discs do occasionally go bad. There have been times when I thought I was purchasing something forever, only to find five years later that I needed to buy it again because the disc was no longer playable and the original manufacturer was unwilling or unable to offer a replacement. Again, not a frequent occurrence, but it does happen. And sometimes the physical format becomes obsolete; while I still have my VCR, for instance, most people don't anymore, and even if they did, would be uninterested in watching a VHS copy of a program when an HD version is now available.

    I think programs like Ultraviolet and now Movies Anywhere are the protection against a specific retailer going out of business, and the existence of those services makes me feel more comfortable about the longevity of those digital items that I do have. Ultimately the whole model collapses if people don't believe their purchases are safe, so the studios have a vested interest in making us feel comfortable about those purchases by backing UV and/or MA.

    I think it's definitely still a work in progress, but inching ever closer to where it should be. We're already much closer to the future I grew up watching on Star Trek than I ever imagined we'd be in my lifetime; I remember as a kid watching them ask the ship's computer to play a particular piece of music or call up a particular clip on demand, and it was just there, with the implication that centuries' worth of audio and video was available at the touch of a button. That's basically where we're at now, and it's quite astounding.

    I also think that I myself will be going through a paradigm shift of sorts as streaming continues to ascend. When I buy a disc, I might be doing so for any number of reasons, whether it's because the disc was put on sale at an absurdly low price, that it contains a wealth of bonus material (or alternate versions of the film) that aren't available elsewhere, or because it's something I think that I'll watch over and over again. With digital, we don't always get that clearance pricing that we can sometimes find on discs, and we don't always get access to all of the bonus features, though I think they're making improvements on both of those fronts – iTunes just had some great $4.99 sales, and all of the streaming services are upping their bonus features game. But I find that I'm also starting to make a mental calculation based on the general rule that most streaming rentals are about $5. So that's what I've started to value a single viewing as being worth. And when I look at certain titles, whether on disc or on digital, I start thinking, "If this costs $20 to buy, or $5 to rent, do I think I'm going to watch this more than four times in my life?" And that simple calculation, which is one that I didn't used to consider, is starting to enter my brain and slow down my purchases. Of course, I'm still watching as many movies and shows as I ever did. But I'm not buying as much this year as I had in previous years.

    I'm not in the UHD realm yet, but I noticed a very interesting thing Apple did when they started supporting UHD/4K – they upgraded everyone's previous purchases to 4K when a 4K version was available. If I buy a Blu-ray disc, it's always going to be a Blu-ray disc; the studio isn't going to give me a free UHD copy when the UHD version comes out; heck, they won't even offer a discount for upgrading the physical copy. I also just had a TV die, and noticing several other forum members in the same boat as me with a TV going sooner than expected. If that's going to be the way of consumer electronics at this point, where we're expected to upgrade our TVs every five or seven or ten years, with new formats coming out that frequently, eventually I'm going to wonder if it's worth staying on the physical side of things when that means I'll have to absorb all of the upgrade costs each and every time. If Apple, for instance, continues with this policy of automatically upgrading your purchases to the latest format, that's a huge game changer.

    I thought I would always be a physical media guy, no matter what, until the end of time — but if Apple (and if other companies follow suit) start thinking of purchases more as a license to view the best quality version of a particular title in perpetuity, with that best quality being upgraded at no extra charge as standards evolve and change, that's huge. While I don't know if that matters as much for vintage content (I can't imagine Star Trek: The Original Series looking any better than the current Blu-rays), it would make a difference for newer titles going forward.

    So I dunno… all of this is a very long winded way of saying that I'm finding I may need to re-evaluate some of my long-held notions about ownership and collecting as these things continue to evolve.

  40. Carabimero

    This is true and it's not true. If I buy a movie on demand, sure I can pull it up anytime I want it ASSUMING the following conditions:

    1) the Internet is working;

    2) the streaming service is currently working;

    and, just as importantly if not more so: 3) the streaming service I bought it from is still in business.

    Just because certain companies seem impervious to decline right now doesn't mean that won't change.

    "Microsoft Movies" circa 2006, I bought one WB movie, and 3 episdoes of Star Trek in HD from Paramount(when HD was still new, and exciting). My digital downloads through MM vanished, becuase the entire format of Microsoft Movies changed, or morphed into something else. I wasn't refunded the money I paid for them, and I can't watch them and they arent available anywhere to be found.

    I'm not one of those to scream "Digital downloads are just long term rentals" to people, but it has happened to me, and I was not at all happy about it.

  41. Bryan^H

    "Microsoft Movies" circa 2006, I bought one WB movie, and 3 episdoes of Star Trek in HD from Paramount(when HD was still new, and exciting). My digital downloads through MM vanished, becuase the entire format of Microsoft Movies changed, or morphed into something else. I wasn't refunded the money I paid for them, and I can't watch them and they arent available anywhere to be found.

    I'm not one of those to scream "Digital downloads are just long term rentals" to people, but it has happened to me, and I was not at all happy about it.

    That was 12 years ago. Things have changed dramatically with streaming since then. As said, streaming still has some issues, but so too do discs. Nothing is perfect.

  42. Scott Merryfield

    That was 12 years ago. Things have changed dramatically with streaming since then. As said, streaming still has some issues, but so too do discs. Nothing is perfect.

    I realize that. But do you think everything you buy digitally will be available to you 12 years from now?

  43. Robert Crawford

    I have a hard time thinking Vudu or ITunes are going out of business any time soon. Walmart and Apple don't seem like they're going anywhere in what's left in my lifetime. Furthermore, my AT&T internet service is very reliable.

    @Robert Crawford – What you, @Josh Steinberg and others are saying is probably the direction things will ultimately go whether we like it or not. I don't like it at all and am opting out. If I purchase something physical and have it stored in my home, I feel like it is truly mine and anyone trying to take it would have to go through me. On the other hand Vudu, iTunes and the like want to "sell" you access to something while the real "ownership" and controlling power stays with them. They may not go out of business but they could decide they want more money from you to access the content you supposedly "own." They could also sell the business unit and leave you at the mercy of a new owner you never even agreed to do business with. Just look at what Disney and Time Warner have done in recent years. On top of that there's the greedy [bundle hungry] ISP between you and the content you "own." Eventually they may [very likely IMO] come up with their own versions of iTunes and Vudu and place them in bundled packages, penalizing any subscriber who dares to go with a competing service. It's a VERY slippery slope.

    Maybe I'm becoming a dinosaur but I'm stockpiling physical media and hoping I can go off the grid with my collection when the new paradigm drops.

  44. Carabimero

    I have never bought anything on demand and never will. I will either buy the physical media or take my chances with a subscription. Buying on demand just isn't for me. Because it's an illusion of ownership I am not willing to live with.

    Just to clarify: You don't always have to pay for On Demand. I subscribe to Cable and my cable provider offers a channel where you can pick and choose from free movies and TV shows to watch. TCM, for instance, and Starz Encore, including the Western Channel, offer free movies on demand. Granted, they're up for limited times, but you have a choice of movies to watch when you want to and the choices change from time to time, but you're not paying extra for the service. Likewise, with Amazon Prime, once you subscribe, you can watch most of what they offer when you want to without paying extra (except for certain titles). And there's tons of stuff up there that I'm curious to see but don't know if I want to own. Or stuff I'm eager to see again–once–but don't necessarily want to own.

    In the old days, when we wanted to see a certain movie, we had to wait till a TV channel programmed it and then we had to learn about it from TV Guide in advance and we had to be in front of the set when it was on. Or else we couldn't see it. And there were no options to own back then.

  45. Josh Steinberg

    you own it and can pull it up at any time. You choose what you want to see. Once you purchase it, you own it forever.

    .

    What;s the legal going rate on the Used Market for it?
    Own a house — I have a market value
    Own a car — I have a asset valuation
    I own a disc — I know if/when/what I can get for it or how much I can deduct on may taxes if I donate it.
    I can put it in my will and send it down the next generation if necessary

    I lease a car —
    I rent an apartment
    I borrow a library book
    I subscribe to Cable TV/Hulu/Netflix

    I paid some amount of money to Disney for a digital right/license to watch something on Movies Anywhere as long as the service deems to carry it online. They could pull it, they could go out of business, they could certainly edit it at any time and give me a different version (different cut, censored version, change the audio stream to mono, etc), they could sell their business to someone else who decides they aren't getting enough return and institute a per month charge to use their streaming service
    I can download some digital content to my computer, but legally it has zero re-sale value — do I own that file or not?

    Can you legally put your digital collection/VUDU/Itune account and password in a will? Does someone have the right to pass that to their heirs? If they don't know the password, can they legally gain petition to get access to my VUDU/MA/Itunes account or does that right die with me? I've read some interesting legalese on the answer to the Digital after Death issue and I'm not 100% sure what the answer is.

    Streaming, Digital Ownership seems to be a different version of owning something than I'm used to or comfortable with.
    I'm not saying good/bad/middling, but $20 for a Bluray/UHD vs $15/20/25 for a Digital Copy isn't equal in my mind even when/if every thing else is equal which so far has virtually never been the case (my computer/monitor.TV/Internet/HT System)
    Paying $20 for a Digital Copy vs $10-15 Disc+ Digital just baffles me beyond words.
    I don't know where the tipping price point is for me, but it's certainly no more than 10-20% of what the physical disc costs even if it doesn't contain a digital code.

  46. Josh Steinberg

    I think it's definitely still a work in progress, but inching ever closer to where it should be. We're already much closer to the future I grew up watching on Star Trek than I ever imagined we'd be in my lifetime; I remember as a kid watching them ask the ship's computer to play a particular piece of music or call up a particular clip on demand, and it was just there, with the implication that centuries' worth of audio and video was available at the touch of a button. .

    Especially also books and other forms of information (ie. databases, semi-public documents, etc …).

    archive.org and other similar websites already cover a lot of this ground for historical books + documents.

  47. Robert Crawford

    I still don't see Apple or Walmart going out of business in the next 20 years, if I'm lucky enough to live that long.

    Even if they do, I think the studios would still support those purchases being accessible in whatever company would supersede them; that's what Movies Anywhere and Ultraviolet are here to guarantee.

    Now, if the studios collapse entirely in 20 years, that's another matter — but at that point, we're talking about such an apocalyptic sea change for how entertainment is created and consumed that digital purchases would probably be the least of the problems.

  48. Josh Steinberg

    Even if they do, I think the studios would still support those purchases being accessible in whatever company would supersede them; that's what Movies Anywhere and Ultraviolet are here to guarantee.

    Now, if the studios collapse entirely in 20 years, that's another matter — but at that point, we're talking about such an apocalyptic sea change for how entertainment is created and consumed that digital purchases would probably be the least of the problems.

    Plus, what was it called, CinemaNow? Best Buy’s service went belly up but was absorbed and into existing services. M-Go became FandangoNow. I don’t expect to lose my digital rights if one of the services I use to stream my digital versions goes under. There’s value for other companies to continue to provide that service to me as a potential customer of theirs.

    Oh, and I try to pay as little as possible for movies in HD that are streaming only, perhaps the cost of a rental and a half, if there’s not a physical copy of like quality available to me.

  49. Neil Middlemiss

    Oh, and I try to pay as little as possible for movies in HD that are streaming only, perhaps the cost of a rental and a half, if there’s not a physical copy of like quality available to me.

    Same here. I have set a personal limit of spending no more than $10 on a single digital copy, just as I have set a personal limit of $20 for a UHD disc. If the film doesn't come down in price enough in either version (I'm looking at you, Di$ney) then I rent it. With those guidelines, I still get to see everything I desire.

  50. The vast majority of my digital purchases were $4.99

    Never more than $9.99

    And the vast majority overall are from digital copies included with my physical copy purchases.

    Up to about 2,000 films across all the platforms.

  51. Tino

    The vast majority of my digital purchases were $4.99

    Never more than $9.99

    And the vast majority overall are from digital copies included with my physical copy purchases.

    Up to about 2,000 films across all the platforms.

    I have approaching 3000 digital copies of some variety and virtually none of the Movies were 'bought' as Digital copies — so obviously I'm not religiously opposed to digital libraries as some people seem to be. I've honestly rarely used my own Dig Library though my wife is starting to use it a little more. I did most of them when the Vudu/UV sharing was allowed and started mainly when my kids went off to college (now live out of state) to allow them to watch 'my collection.' With the updates to VUDU/UV/MA that sort of sharing is grandfathered and no new folks can be added.

    Almost all are from codes from Physical copies or a LOT of them of from the old Disc to Digital conversions which cost mostly $1 ea and quite a bit of those were with VUDU credits.from stickers attached to disc so net price of 0.25 to 0.50 each. I've done maybe 20 of the D2D since they added the Mobile./Scan version and got rid of the 50% discount for 10+ at a time.

    I have directly bought more TV sets than movies, but less than 2 dozen at $5 for 10 episode season or up to $10 for a 20+ episode season — almost all of them for either series that weren't on BD or didn;t have dig copies attached.

  52. Bedroom TV for about ten years. It’s gets a fair bit of use, off and on. But just a basic 40” set….I’m kinda jealous of Crawdaddy’s full setup! 🙂

    (Ah, well, the conversation really moved past bedroom TV’s by the time I was able to post. 😳 :))

  53. DaveF

    Bedroom TV for about ten years. It’s gets a fair bit of use, off and on. But just a basic 40” set….I’m kinda jealous of Crawdaddy’s full setup! 🙂

    (Ah, well, the conversation really moved past bedroom TV’s by the time I was able to post. 😳 :))

    Unlike you, I have no wife that would object to such a large display.:)

  54. I didn't think I would use any sort of streaming service but it turns out that I found one that I use quite a bit. The fact is that most TV series and movies that I watch will only be watched once in most cases, so it doesn't make sense to spend money on disc sets that might never see more than one viewing. Also, some series would just be prohibitive to buy and store due to shear length. "One Piece", an anime that I have been watching on Crunchyroll is up to something like episode 893 and it isn't near to being finished. In fact, I'm not sure I'll ever live long enough to see the thing conclude at the pace it is going. Each of the episodes is around 25 minutes long. How many Blurays would it take for 893 episodes and, being Japanese, how expensive would such a set be? Streaming is the only practical way to watch it. And that isn't the only one. Another one, "Case Closed", also known as "Detective Conan", is presently at episode 910.

  55. Tony Bensley

    As our current budget simply won't allow for much (If any!) video purchasing, we'll be relying more on TV on demand/Pvr options, along with our existing physical collection. The much higher speeds with our current fibe setup should also be helpful.

    There's also the massive London Central Library just a few blocks from where we now live, so physical video borrowing might also prove a viable option, at least.

    CHEERS! 🙂

    My budget is also much more stretched then it was several years ago.
    I have become very selective about what I buy.
    I try and wait for sub $10 prices in titles or sales.
    I did preorder the last Jedi on UHd. I’ll pick up mission impossible fallout too.

    I still prefer discs to streaming. Many times because what I want to watch is not on our streaming services prime and Netflix.

    I have to say I also believe prices have increased in physical formats too. Especially on new releases. A title that was a new release would be $14.99 or even lower? Is now $19.99+ on release day. So I find myself waiting at times in new release titles.

  56. Edwin-S

    I didn't think I would use any sort of streaming service but it turns out that I found one that I use quite a bit. The fact is that most TV series and movies that I watch will only be watched once in most cases, so it doesn't make sense to spend money on disc sets that might never see more than one viewing. Also, some series would just be prohibitive to buy and store due to shear length. "One Piece", an anime that I have been watching on Crunchyroll is up to something like episode 893 and it isn't near to being finished. In fact, I'm not sure I'll ever live long enough to see the thing conclude at the pace it is going. Each of the episodes is around 25 minutes long. How many Blurays would it take for 893 episodes and, being Japanese, how expensive would such a set be? Streaming is the only practical way to watch it. And that isn't the only one. Another one, "Case Closed", also known as "Detective Conan", is presently at episode 910.

    For this type of content, I agree. That's why I have no problem with services such as Netflix where it is understood that you are basically paying for the right to view whatever content they have available at a given time. For feature films, however, I still prefer physical copies in most cases. There are exceptions where I will rent the title first and later decide if I want to own it.

  57. Our public library system gets virtually every DVD and blu ray of recent popular movies. Any movie we have missed theatrically is usually there. You just go to the website and reserve. It is then sent to our closest branch, where I pick it up and can keep it for a week.

  58. TJPC

    Our public library system gets virtually every DVD and blu ray of recent popular movies. Any movie we have missed theatrically is usually there. You just go to the website and reserve. It is then sent to our closest branch, where I pick it up and can keep it for a week.

    That's cool. Happy for you. The libraries where I live offer a very small sampling of what's out there and will usually not even bother with Blu Rays. That makes then essentially worthless for me but not a problem as I'm happy to pay for the titles I want as long as I truly own them afterwards.

  59. Dee Zee

    Streaming is great when the service and transfer is top notch. But too me Blu-ray has just a better picture and better sound.

    We use Netflix and Amazon Prime. I don't believe there is any difference in picture quality between streaming and Blu-ray although the transfer may not be the latest. The real difference is in sound, both my Roku and Samsung plasma TV only transmit downconverted PCM from the HDMI ports to the optical port. I believe this is due to licensing fees associated with DD and DTS. OTA transmissions provide DD through the optical port. My Blu-ray player has a direct coaxial connection to the receiver for DD or DTS.

    Of course if I routed all HDMI through the receiver rather than the TV there would be no problem but the Roku still only outputs PCM.

  60. Stream if you live in the city.
    Own physical media if you live in the country.
    18 mbps DSL divided between 4 people is nowhere near enough bandwidth.
    Owning hundreds of acres of land versus faster internet… 1st world problems, well really USA only problems because good luck getting that much land anywhere else unless you are very rich.

  61. Bartman

    We use Netflix and Amazon Prime. I don't believe there is any difference in picture quality between streaming and Blu-ray although the transfer may not be the latest. The real difference is in sound, both my Roku and Samsung plasma TV only transmit downconverted PCM from the HDMI ports to the optical port. I believe this is due to licensing fees associated with DD and DTS. OTA transmissions provide DD through the optical port. My Blu-ray player has a direct coaxial connection to the receiver for DD or DTS.

    Of course if I routed all HDMI through the receiver rather than the TV there would be no problem but the Roku still only outputs PCM.

    Rokus support Dolby Digital, DTS and Dolby Digital+ 5.1 sound.

  62. rykerabel

    Stream if you live in the city.
    Own physical media if you live in the country.
    18 mbps DSL divided between 4 people is nowhere near enough bandwidth.
    Owning hundreds of acres of land versus faster internet… 1st world problems, well really USA only problems because good luck getting that much land anywhere else unless you are very rich.

    Respectfully, I think there's a whole side to this discussion you're missing. Ability to access your streamed content is one thing. Truly owning it is another. Some of us feel strongly about truly owning what we purchase. Others are content with digital codes and streaming. My point here is simply, there are two sides.

  63. Tino

    Did I miss an update? I don’t see an option for outputting Atmos.

    Yes, you missed an update as Dolby Atmos in now available on iTunes. Early this morning I sampled and check at least 50-60 titles. Dolby Atmos was available on 4K HDR/Dolby Vision titles as well as several titles that didn't upgrade from HD to HDR/Dolby Vision, but still had Dolby Atmos soundtracks.

    http://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1505495519

  64. Robert Crawford

    Yes, you missed an update as Dolby Atmos in now available on iTunes. Early this morning I sampled and check at least 50-60 titles. Dolby Atmos was available on 4K HDR/Dolby Vision titles as well as several titles that didn't upgrade from HD to HDR/Dolby Vision, but still had Dolby Atmos soundtracks.

    Hmm. My software is up to date and I see no Atmos options.

  65. John Dirk

    Truly owning it is another. Some of us feel strongly about truly owning what we purchase.

    The only scenario where I truly "own" something both theoretically and in a practical sense when it comes to optical discs, would be for the cases of cd and dvd with the caveat that disc players are still available. With most of the dvd-video patents expiring by 2020 or so, in principle anybody can manufacture a license-free cd+dvd player without any permission from the dvd licensing folks once all the relevant patents expire.

    I can't argue this is also the case for bluray/4Kbluray, due to the fact that bluray's encryption system is not entirely cracked. (This is why programs which crack bluray's encryption can be marketed viably as a subscription service business. This was not the case for dvd).

  66. I have recently ripped all my CDs to a hard drive and can now listen to every last one of them without getting up and down to hunt for a CD or to put it away afterwards. I’m completely spoiled!
    I absolutely love listening to my music the easy way. And there are many streaming services to subscribe to.

    Apparently, copying DVD can be done just as easily for video as for audio, though video takes up much more room on a hard drive. But I’m less interested in doing it for video. Unlike music we seldom watch a video more than once or twice.

    Our public library is wonderful for selection and I use various streaming services in addition, BUT I do come up empty often enough when looking for a movie to watch and it’s almost impossible to find a particular opera performance.

    For example, just try to find Last of the Dogmen or The Grey Fox or Andrea Chenier with Plácido Domingo and Anna Tomawa-Sintow or Fedora with Domingo and Freni in a streaming service, or even in the library. Won’t happen. If I like to rewatch them, like those just mentioned, then I like to own them.

  67. Robert Crawford

    My AppleTV 4K unit in my main HT is setup as a Beta user so I'm not sure if it's released to the general public.

    Edit: Just found this blurb. Dolby Atmos will be made available all owners of Apple TV 4K with tvOS 12 this fall but you can start exploring right now by installing the free public beta of tvOS 12.

    Second Edit: Listing of titles.
    http://www.flatpanelshd.com/news.php?subaction=showfull&id=1505495519

    Do you have your Apple 4K hooked up directly to your LG OLED or is it through your Yamaha receiver?

  68. As I stated beforehand, if you're happy with just watching discs then that's your business and I'm happy for you. I'm not trying to change anybody's mind on how they watch their favorite movies and such. However, from my personal perspective, I stream and watch digital copies to augment my huge disc library, which in turn gives me the best opportunity to enjoy my favorite movies, by giving me, more options to do so. I'm happy and if you're happy then that's all that matters in this hobby of ours.:cheers:

  69. ArnoldLayne

    My name is ArnoldLayne ,
    I'm 62 and I have 1200 un-watched discs.
    Do I have a problem?
    <I>

    Unless it is causing you imminent legal problems (ie. eviction, divorce, etc …), it is only a problem if you consider it to be a problem. 😉

    Otherwise it is not a problem.

  70. Tino

    Vudu which is part of Movies Anywhere streams in 7.1 and Dolby Atmos.

    I have yet to see a recent release on Vudu list 7.1 audio. At best, Vudu streams in Dolby Digital + for most titles, and their Atmos is an extension of DD+, not lossless Dolby TrueHD like we get on Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray.

  71. Robert Crawford

    The last two posts do a great job explaining the ownership issue regarding having digital copies of movies in your film library versus streaming stuff from Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

    Careful, with the rebranding going on recently, Amazon Prime Video is both a subscription service (titles with the Prime flag) and titles you actually own (either purchased on Amazon Prime Video or redeemed thru Movies Anywhere).

  72. Todd Erwin

    Careful, with the rebranding going on recently, Amazon Prime Video is both a subscription service (titles with the Prime flag) and titles you actually own (either purchased on Amazon Prime Video or redeemed thru Movies Anywhere).

    Why should I be careful? I know Amazon Prime has its fans, but I'm not one of them.

  73. Todd Erwin

    I have yet to see a recent release on Vudu list 7.1 audio. At best, Vudu streams in Dolby Digital + for most titles, and their Atmos is an extension of DD+, not lossless Dolby TrueHD like we get on Blu-ray and UHD Blu-ray.

    My receiver is showing Dolby Atmos on my Vudu streams. Can you distinguish any differences between such Vudu streams and actual discs? I tried to do the same with Vudu versus iTunes when it comes to Dolby Atmos and I can't tell a difference. My 4 Dolby Atmos speakers are kicking in like they suppose to when playing Dolby Atmos movies on Vudu. I tried to listen to any differences in the quality of the audio and I couldn't detect any differences.

  74. Robert Crawford

    My Yamaha receiver is showing Dolby Atmos on my Vudu streams. Can you distinguish any differences between such Vudu streams and actual discs? I tried to do the same with Vudu versus iTunes when it comes to Dolby Atmos and I couldn't tell a difference. My 4 Dolby Atmos speakers are kicking in like they suppose to when playing Dolby Atmos movies on Vudu. I tried to listen to any differences in the quality of the audio and I couldn't detect any differences. I ended up sampling over 20 different titles before I got tired of doing so.

    Is there a way you can turn off Atmos on your receiver? I know on my Denon, I can turn Atmos on or off, and when I turn it off, it displays DD+ when watching Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, or The Equalizer.

    View attachment 48918

  75. Todd Erwin

    My point being, these are becoming fewer and fewer, with ther HDX versions of titles available in UHD still only getting DD+ 5.1.

    And my point was that Vudu streams in 7.1 as I originally stated and you disputed.

  76. Todd Erwin

    Is there a way you can turn off Atmos on your receiver? I know on my Denon, I can turn Atmos on or off, and when I turn it off, it displays DD+ when watching Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, or The Equalizer.

    View attachment 48918

    If you turn Atmos off your receiver playing discs, it won't play Atmos either.

  77. jcroy

    The only scenario where I truly "own" something both theoretically and in a practical sense when it comes to optical discs, would be for the cases of cd and dvd with the caveat that disc players are still available. With most of the dvd-video patents expiring by 2020 or so, in principle anybody can manufacture a license-free cd+dvd player without any permission from the dvd licensing folks once all the relevant patents expire.

    I can't argue this is also the case for bluray/4Kbluray, due to the fact that bluray's encryption system is not entirely cracked. (This is why programs which crack bluray's encryption can be marketed viably as a subscription service business. This was not the case for dvd).

    Maybe I'm missing something but what does any of what you said above have to do with ownership? Of course you own a disc when you purchase it. DIVX was the only exception and it suffered a deserved and predictable death.

    I do understand that without DVD/Blu Ray players the discs are worthless but all products have lifespans and this is also an extremely unlikely scenario. Even in 2018, I would have no problem finding a VCR if I needed one.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fr…3.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.XVCR.TRS0&_nkw=VCR&_sacat=0

    Why is it that Apple and Samsung can intentionally obsolete their products within 2 – 5 year time frames and no one complains yet we're worried about optical discs?

  78. John Dirk

    Maybe I'm missing something but what does any of what you said above have to do with ownership? Of course you own a disc when you purchase it. DIVX was the only exception and it suffered a deserved and predictable death.

    I do understand that without DVD/Blu Ray players the discs are worthless but all products have lifespans and this is also an extremely unlikely scenario.

    I'm making the distinction between ownership of something that is playable, in comparison to ownership of something which is basically a coaster (ie. DIVX, etc … or any other disc which is unplayable for whatever reasons).

    For reasons I don't quite understand, I place a lot more value on cd and dvd discs than I do on bluray (or DIVX, dvd-audio, sacd, etc …).

    John Dirk

    Why is it that Apple and Samsung can intentionally obsolete their products within 2 – 5 year time frames and no one complains yet we're worried about optical discs?

    Good question.

    In spite of the amount of cash being spent on such products, I have no idea why some individuals (including myself) place significantly more value on optical discs than other electronic stuff. Maybe a psychologist/psychiatrist will have a semi-plausible explanation for it.

  79. More food for thought: all those huge companies are being cited as unlikely to go out of business anytime soon, meaning access to your digital content is assured. I assume we could count Disney in their number, right? Well, they don't have to go belly up, they can just change their minds. Remember Second Screen? All sold as yours, along with your disc purchase, but guess which of the two you can still play? And before anyone weighs in to say "But, but I've got a legally binding contract!" – good luck with enforcing that as an individual purchaser or subscriber. For all practical purposes, they hold the reins, not you.

    As for introducing the notion that even optical disc playback equipment could become obsolete or unavailable, don't hold your breath. Lots of companies are still developing and manufacturing traditional and electronic decks that will play 78rpm records. But then phonographs have only been around for 140-plus years, so they could still disappear any minute!

    What's more, I know this is a US-based forum, but don't forget that for most of the rest of even the developed world, most of the fancy options being discussed here aren't available, and don't look to be anytime soon. Hell, even us here in Europe don't have half of the US's options. But that's fine: DVDs and BDs will travel anywhere!

  80. ArnoldLayne

    My name is ArnoldLayne ,
    I'm 62 and I have 1200 un-watched discs.
    Do I have a problem?
    <I>

    I have that many just in plain sight on the shelves in the living room, never mind the stack behind the first rows on each shelf or the DVDs in boxes in the bedroom and in the closet. The only problem is finding the time to watch them all before I die and I'm older than you by three years–and retired!

  81. Brent Reid

    As for introducing the notion that even optical disc playback equipment could become obsolete or unavailable: don't hold your breath. Lots of companies are still developing and manufacturing traditional and laser-enabled decks that will play 78rpm records. But then phonographs have only been around for 140-plus years, so they could still disappear any minute!

    There's no barrier to this once all the patents expire. For cd, just about all the relevant patents have already expired. For dvd video, most of the patents will expire by 2020 or so. (The recordable dvd discs' patents will take slightly longer to expire).

    For bluray, the earliest many of the relevant patents expiring will be around 2028-2030.

  82. Brent Reid

    More food for thought: all those huge companies are being cited as unlikely to go out of business anytime soon, meaning access to your digital content is assured. I assume we can count Disney in their number, right? Well, they don't have to go belly up, they can just change their minds. Second Screen? All sold as yours, along with your disc purchase, but guess which of the two you can still play? To say nothing of BD-Live… And before anyone weighs in to say "But, but I've got a legally binding contract!" – good luck with enforcing that as an individual purchaser or subscriber. For all practical purposes, they hold the reins, not you.

    As for introducing the notion that even optical disc playback equipment could become obsolete or unavailable: don't hold your breath. Lots of companies are still developing and manufacturing traditional and laser-enabled decks that will play 78rpm records. But then phonographs have only been around for 140-plus years, so they could still disappear any minute!

    What's more, I know this is a US-based forum, but don't forget that for most of even the developed world, the fancy options being discussed here aren't available, and don't look to be anytime soon. Hell, even us here in Europe don't have half of the US's options. But that's fine: DVDs and BDs will travel anywhere!

    Disney is about to launch their own streaming service so I don't I think they're changing their mind any time soon.:)

  83. While we are finally seeing lossless audio, Dolby Atmos and video quality closing in on disc. For me even if it finally gets to the point where the quality matches that of disc and most titles have lossless audio or Atmos or maybe some start offering Auro 3D for example. For me it comes down to non ownership and nothing physical ownership of content and paying for something that requires internet to watch. I was against the possibility of having to have internet to be able to watch a disc when they tired to pull that stunt. I get the entire convince part of it not having to go to a retail store and just buying it online and having instant access to said content. But again maybe one day the provider goes out of business and poof your content gone! Or the internet goes down and poof no content till it is fixed. Or maybe your income is not bad and paying for internet is not a problem then one day something happens with your job and you end up with a job that barely covers the bills and internet is not one of them, there goes your library.

    That being said I am open to streaming at this point only for back up purposes registering ultraviolet codes in case something happens to the disc. Also for the purpose of renting a movie. But for me I see little value in long term rental of content and that is what I see digital purchase as. There is no one size fits all in our hobby and that is the beauty of it is that it doesn’t work for me but it works for others. Just like there is more than one way to configure a ht that works for different people and in the end it is about each individual enjoying this hobby. I just do not want digital to take the place of physical and I feel they can both coexist even if we end up in a situation where studios do not flood the market with physical copies to fill store shelves everywhere. Even if it gets to the point where we have to special order a physical copy I am ok with that as long as the physical copy remains available. And at some point do not be surprised if one of these video providers gets hacked and the customers database gets deleted. Can you imagine having to fight with the provider about what you paid for because a hacker broke in and wiped out customers purchase database. That is a very scary proposition.

    But I like purchasing physical copies and avoid buying the digital version especially since the disc still for now offers the best audio and video experience in the area of quality!

  84. Brent Reid

    More food for thought: all those huge companies are being cited as unlikely to go out of business anytime soon, meaning access to your digital content is assured. I assume we can count Disney in their number, right? Well, they don't have to go belly up, they can just change their minds. Second Screen? All sold as yours, along with your disc purchase, but guess which of the two you can still play? To say nothing of BD-Live… And before anyone weighs in to say "But, but I've got a legally binding contract!" – good luck with enforcing that as an individual purchaser or subscriber. For all practical purposes, they hold the reins, not you.

    As for introducing the notion that even optical disc playback equipment could become obsolete or unavailable: don't hold your breath. Lots of companies are still developing and manufacturing traditional and laser-enabled decks that will play 78rpm records. But then phonographs have only been around for 140-plus years, so they could still disappear any minute!

    What's more, I know this is a US-based forum, but don't forget that for most of even the developed world, the fancy options being discussed here aren't available, and don't look to be anytime soon. Hell, even us here in Europe don't have half of the US's options. But that's fine: DVDs and BDs will travel anywhere!

    I live less than an hour from the US, and unless I illegally disguise my computer to appear to be in the US, 90% of the streaming options mentioned on this website are totally unavailable here.

  85. I prefer the actual media as oppose to streaming for those movies I desire. I use Netflix, VUDU etc., but I think that having the disc produces a better picture and sound as said in a post previously. I think you still don’t get the absolute best picture through streaming and as for sound, depending on the streaming company, you can only get Dolby Digital Plus with Netflix or Prime Video. VUDU does do 7.1 and Dolby Atmos, but nothing like have a disc to produce the sound for you with out possible streaming hiccups.

  86. Jerome Grate

    I prefer the actual media as oppose to streaming for those movies I desire. I use Netflix, VUDU etc., but I think that having the disc produces a better picture and sound as said in a post previously. I think you still don't get the absolute best picture through streaming and as for sound, depending on the streaming company, you can only get Dolby Digital Plus with Netflix or Prime Video. VUDU does do 7.1 and Dolby Atmos, but nothing like have a disc to produce the sound for you with out possible streaming hiccups.

    I think most of us would prefer that, if price/budget and storage aren't a factor.

  87. Brent Reid

    More food for thought: all those huge companies are being cited as unlikely to go out of business anytime soon, meaning access to your digital content is assured. I assume we can count Disney in their number, right? Well, they don't have to go belly up, they can just change their minds. Second Screen? All sold as yours, along with your disc purchase, but guess which of the two you can still play?

    There’s a difference in scale that matters. Per your linked post there were about 10 Disney Live titles? And that content was bonus material, not the movies?

    Contrast to entire libraries of movies bought and owned by the great mass market of movie watchers.

    Disney deleting all their digital movies, and millions of parents wake up to find their kids’ can’t watch the movies they bought? That the hundreds or thousands of dollars spent deleted by The Mouse? There will be a huge reaction. Class action lawsuits.

    The studios could risk turning off explorative online bonus material that no on knew about much less watched.

    We’re nearing, maybe are in, the “too big to kill” online movie era.

    I’m currently a disc buyer. But online movies are the future. Those opposing are standing on the beach shouting at the ocean to turn back its waves.

  88. I want to go all digital disc-less. But I want the online product to be as good as the disc with all the same bonus features and commentaries.

    Blu-ray is a terrible format, user hostile, and should be reviled…were it not for its fantastic audio-video quality.

    Online streaming basically fixes the UX problems, at the cost of some quality.

  89. Tino

    Apple 4K and iTunes

    I'm out of date on the state of special features on streaming. I saw your earlier post about this. I need to check out the state of affairs, as I continue to contemplate the future of my HTPC and 4K upgrade prospects. 🙂

  90. DaveF

    I'm out of date on the state of special features on streaming. I saw your earlier post about this. I need to check out the state of affairs, as I continue to contemplate the future of my HTPC and 4K upgrade prospects. 🙂

    The majority of digital films on iTunes mirror the special feature of the physical discs that have them.

  91. Carabimero

    If I buy something, and somebody takes it away without my permission, that's stealing. Last time I checked, that's BS to everyone.

    Yup it is BS. Speaking first hand having a handful of movies/tv shows ripped away from me it is BS. For those never affected by disappearing movies or shows they paid full price to own, I guess it doesn't mean a hill of beans. But if it did happen to them, I'm sure they would think differently before they continued on purchasing digitally. Or not, what do I know? I'm speaking purely from my perspective, and the minute I lost my content that is when I lost faith in "owning" anything digitally.

  92. Carabimero

    I wasn't trying to be disagreeable. I was trying not to be disingenuous simply for the sake of arguing.

    Well, it is what it came off like.(feel free to tell me this is a poorly constructed sentence, you won’t hurt my feelings 🙂 )

    Regardless, my take on all this is to wait and see. I’d like to know more before rendering judgement. I can recall uproar a while ago about missing titles that turned out to just be a glitch and was quickly remedied. It just doesn’t feel like the whole story yet, so I’m tempering my outrage 🙂

  93. Neil Middlemiss

    Well, it is what it came off like

    In my opinion that is one of the problems with communicating over the Internet. It has a way of diminishing empathy. And I don't think that was a poorly constructed sentence at all. I prefer organic expressions over polished ones.

    Be that as it may, I don't want to come across as inauthentic just for the sake of bickering.

  94. I agree with Neil about waiting and seeing before making any judgments – we just don't have enough information about what exactly happened. We don't know which titles were removed or what the specific circumstances surrounding those titles are.

    It could be, for instance, that the customer's Movies Anywhere account temporarily glitched, making it appear that they no longer had the title when in fact they did. We've seen examples of that on this forum, where unlinking and relinking the iTunes account back to Movies Anywhere solves a problem.

    Or it could be, to give another example, a case where the movies were removed because they were acquired through fraudulent means – for instance, the person with the iTunes account could have redeemed digital copy codes acquired online and not through the purchase of a disc, and the studios and the online vendors all state pretty clearly that they reserve the right to remove movies from your account under those circumstances. (Whether or not that's the reason in this case, I suspect that at some point, something like that will happen for some people and some titles.)

    Or it could be that a studio made a mistake. Or that iTunes did. Or just some garden variety "left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing" temporary snafu.

    There are so many possible explanations ranging from an honest-to-goodness error to the person with the iTunes account not having proper authorization for those titles to a studio having a problem to iTunes being nefarious, and pretty much everything else in between.

    At this point, we just don't know, and I'm not prepared to panic without further information.

  95. I remember when Amazon removed at least one book from people's Kindles that they had bought and paid for. As far as I know that was egregious but a one-time thing. Still, I don't ever turn my Kindle's wifi on for just that reason. I don't trust Amazon not to take back books I bought. Warranted or not, there is precedence.

    Whether it's a glitch with iTunes or not, I think it's fair to say this person bought those movies so he or she wouldn't have to deal with them disappearing. The person wanted to watch them at his or her leisure, which they are now unable to do.

    And this is exactly the reason I don't "buy" digital property I can't really own.

  96. Carabimero

    I wasn't trying to be disagreeable. I was trying not to be disingenuous simply for the sake of arguing.

    I took your comment as being disagreeable, but I refrain from posting in kind. I understand your position as well as others that refuse to buy digital copies. Each of us have to make personal decisions and I will always respect that. My personal decision is to maintain a digital library and deal with any problems as they come to me.

  97. Josh Steinberg

    I agree with Neil about waiting and seeing before making any judgments – we just don't have enough information about what exactly happened. We don't know which titles were removed or what the specific circumstances surrounding those titles are.

    It could be, for instance, that the customer's Movies Anywhere account temporarily glitched, making it appear that they no longer had the title when in fact they did. We've seen examples of that on this forum, where unlinking and relinking the iTunes account back to Movies Anywhere solves a problem.

    Or it could be, to give another example, a case where the movies were removed because they were acquired through fraudulent means – for instance, the person with the iTunes account could have redeemed digital copy codes acquired online and not through the purchase of a disc, and the studios and the online vendors all state pretty clearly that they reserve the right to remove movies from your account under those circumstances. (Whether or not that's the reason in this case, I suspect that at some point, something like that will happen for some people and some titles.)

    Or it could be that a studio made a mistake. Or that iTunes did. Or just some garden variety "left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing" temporary snafu.

    There are so many possible explanations ranging from an honest-to-goodness error to the person with the iTunes account not having proper authorization for those titles to a studio having a problem to iTunes being nefarious, and pretty much everything else in between.

    At this point, we just don't know, and I'm not prepared to panic without further information.

    But Apple already responded to some of those affected to confirm that they did indeed lose those films(most got refunds) and told them they are simply a store front, and can only offer their customers what the studios provide them. If the studio loses the rights or no longer wants to offer their content on the iTunes format, then it appears the customer is out of luck.

    Although mine was not the same format as iTunes, the content I lost was enough to scare me away from owning digital(renting is fine, and what I do mostly with digital content). It seems I am the only person on this entire forum that it has happened to, and it is frustrating to keep saying over, and over again that "owning" digitally isn't a guarantee that you will have it forever, while others keep saying 'that doesn't really happen', or the 'I'll believe it when I see it' variety.

    Nothing is certain in life though, I have lost a half dozen movies on disc DVD, and BD I assumed would last forever. Just roll the dice and take your chance.

  98. Some movies are worth buying because they'll likely be viewed and enjoyed more than once. We purchase these on Blu ray. Then there are the movies we just want to watch once and will likely never bother to watch them again and these are the movies we like to stream. On a quality system we would rather watch all movies in 7.1.

    i appreciate the replies. We haven't used Vudu yet so maybe that's what we need to use for renting and streaming a movie so we can still watch in 7.1. I understand that a streamed movie will never match the quality of a movie on Blu ray.

  99. Carabimero

    Yes, I'm not sure what people are waiting to find out. The system is flawed. It's done. It's a fact. Just because you buy it digitally doesn't mean you ALWAYS own it.

    Technically, I don't think you ever "own" it. The copyright to the content is always held by the studio/label. Consumers only buy a license to listen/view (essentially renting the title long term). With physical media, that license was essentially infinite, but with digital media streaming, the studio/label can easily revoke that license at any time if they so desire.

    I'm sure there's something in the terms of service fine print at these digital providers that does not necessarily guarantee permanent access to all digital media.

    I still don't buy digital films, but whenever I buy digital music the first thing I usually do is download it to my hard drive and burn a physical disc … just in case.

  100. Malcolm R

    Technically, I don't think you ever "own" it. The copyright to the content is always held by the studio/label. Consumers only buy a license to listen/view (essentially renting the title long term). With physical media, that license was essentially infinite, but with digital media streaming, the studio/label can easily revoke that license at any time if they so desire.

    I'm sure there's something in the terms of service fine print at these digital providers that does not necessarily guarantee permanent access to all digital media.

    I still don't buy digital films, but whenever I buy digital music the first thing I usually do is download it to my hard drive and burn a physical disc … just in case.

    Yes, you are correct. You are allegedly buying a license to view it at home whenever you want. It's the "whenever you want" part that turned out to be BS for that buyer, and for others, as well. Bottom line: buying doesn't always mean owning in the digital wild west.

  101. BobO’Link

    Which Apple proved several years back when a family attempted to claim the digital purchases (all music via iTunes IIRC but it's applicable to any digital product) of a deceased family member only to be told essentially: "No. They can not be moved/assigned to another account. When the original purchaser is no longer living the rights go away." and I believe were told they couldn't legally access that account as the "owner" was deceased. That pretty much means making sure someone has record of the log in information to your digital library so it's not fully lost.

    Then the whole ownership thing is BS. You're just renting it for the duration of your lifetime or until the owner of the product decides to take it down.

    But let's go ahead and call it ownership if it makes people feel better about spending their money on unreliable renting.

  102. How is this any different, practically speaking, than collecting movies in a format that becomes obsolete, or physically damaged over time?

    I had a library of hundreds and hundreds of VHS tapes. It’s completely worthless now. There is no market whatsoever for viewing films in low resolution and 4×3. Yes, I still physically own some of those tapes. Yes, I still have a VCR. But practically speaking, I have no interest in watching Star Trek II on VHS in pan and scan, when I can view it digitally or on disc in HD. I would no longer consider that VHS to be an accurate or adaquate representation of the film for my viewing purposes.

    DVDs and BDs go bad. Not on any kind of predictable timetable, and not every single one will. But buying a disc today is no guarantee that you will have access to that title forever. And for the most part, if it goes bad, that’s that.

    Digital has issues too. They are constantly being worked on. The whole point of innovations like Movies Anywhere is to protect your purchases, and to tie a license to you specifically rather than a specific device or storefront, which is a major step in the right direction. There are advantages that come with that too. When Apple released their 4K AppleTV set top box, they upgraded everyone’s collection of movies to 4K versions for free. I think that’s a tremendously appealing idea. In the past, each time a new format would come out, you’d have to rebuy the same content. Apple seems to be attempting to bridge that gap and make it so that your purchase is a one-time event that works with whatever future formats come out. Imagine paying for Star Trek II once and always having it in whatever the newest format is at no extra cost or hassle, instead of having to buy a new physical object every 5-10 years. I think that’s going to be a game changer for many folks.

    Meanwhile, we still know nothing about this supposed case with Apple removing movies. For all we know, this guy bought digital copy codes online (which is a clear violation of the terms of service for iTunes and other digital retailers), and iTunes cracked down on that, as they’re within their right to do. It could be Apple being evil or it could be something else. I again say that we do not yet have enough information to draw any conclusion.

    So while we sit here not having that necessary information, I’m again reminded that physical media is no guarantee that we will forever have access to that particular title. Please don’t mistake that for me saying that discs are worthless. I’m a disc reviewer here at HTF. I wouldn’t be volunteering my time and putting my effort into that if I didn’t get any enjoyment out of discs. But it also seems to me (speaking generally) that people are far too quick to assume that a disc purchase equals having something forever, and too quick to assume that a digital purchase will automatically self destruct like a Mission: Impossible message.

  103. None of this talk has soured me in the least on “purchasing” films digitally ( in addition to physically). I “own” close to 2000.

    I absolutely love the convenience and relative inexpensiveness of digital films.

    $4.99 for a 4K HDR is a bargain even if I only”rent” it for a year.

    Ymmv. Of course.

  104. Josh Steinberg

    How is this any different, practically speaking, than collecting movies in a format that becomes obsolete, or physically damaged over time?

    It's completely different. When DVDs came out, I was able to transfer some of my VHS tapes to DVDs. I still have those transfers because those movies were never released on DVD.

    Why could I do this? Because I truly owned the movies on VHS.

    It's either true ownership or it's not. Buying it on iTunes is not. That's a demonstrated fact. My mind is kinda blown here that people are persisting in believing that it's really ownership.

    In transferring the movie from VHS to DVD, did I break a license? Maybe. But the spirit of the original license is still intact. I still own that license to watch the movie "contained in that cassette" at home. And that's what I'm doing.

  105. Josh Steinberg

    How is this any different, practically speaking, than collecting movies in a format that becomes obsolete, or physically damaged over time?

    Because obsolete formats can still be played for as long as you have working equipment. I have CED videodiscs and Beta tapes which I can still watch on 30+ year old equipment (hooked to my current system) that I've been able to keep maintained- and yes, they are in standard-def and not up to today's standards, but they don't look any worse than they did when they were new. I haven't gained anything over the years but I haven't lost anything either. Physical damage is easily preventable, just treat your stuff with common sense. If someone takes my digital movie off-line however, that's a deliberate act by them and there's NOTHING I can do about it- and of course if someone declares the entire ecosystem obsolete, then it's gone for good.

    I'm honestly a bit perplexed at some of the attitudes here towards digital, given how adamantly anti-DIVX this forum was when that was out. I remember the "Forum Rules" specifically stating: "This is an anti-DIVX forum. Any posting that preaches the virtues of DIVX will be removed." (I never used it myself; I'm sure there were at least SOME positive aspects of DIVX just as there are with digital but that simply wasn't allowed to be discussed here- and I think it's for the best that it failed rather quickly. As far as obsolescence goes, while you could pay to permanently 'unlock' some DIVX titles, it still required approval from the home computer which is now off-line, so all of those are now unplayable as nobody's come up with a way to get around that.) While digital is a bit more consumer-friendly than DIVX was, it still gives far more control to the studios than consumers and while I've used it sporadically I just can't get entirely behind it. I especially resent the trend of releasing new movies early on digital as a way of getting people to switch to that- it's one thing to have the CHOICE of buying digital over disc, but giving it that unfair advantage reminds me of when desirable titles were out on DIVX but not regular DVD. Thankfully I don't care about being the first to see or have new movies so much anymore.

  106. Jesse Skeen

    I'm honestly a bit perplexed at some of the attitudes here towards digital, given how adamantly anti-DIVX this forum was when that was out. I remember the "Forum Rules" specifically stating: "This is an anti-DIVX forum. Any posting that preaches the virtues of DIVX will be removed." (I never used it myself; I'm sure there were at least SOME positive aspects of DIVX just as there are with digital but that simply wasn't allowed to be discussed here- and I think it's for the best that it failed rather quickly. As far as obsolescence goes, while you could pay to permanently 'unlock' some DIVX titles, it still required approval from the home computer which is now off-line, so all of those are now unplayable as nobody's come up with a way to get around that.) While digital is a bit more consumer-friendly than DIVX was, it still gives far more control to the studios than consumers and while I've used it sporadically I just can't get entirely behind it. I especially resent the trend of releasing new movies early on digital as a way of getting people to switch to that- it's one thing to have the CHOICE of buying digital over disc, but giving it that unfair advantage reminds me of when desirable titles were out on DIVX but not regular DVD. Thankfully I don't care about being the first to see or have new movies so much anymore.

    That was 20 years ago and there were different circumstances. Times have changed, the world has evolved and so has the HTF membership, at least to some extent. Anyhow, below is an article talking about the demise of DIVX.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1999/jun/17/business/fi-47347

  107. Jesse Skeen

    Because obsolete formats can still be played for as long as you have working equipment.

    I remember thinking laserdisc would be my last stop in home video. That didn't work out so good, with laser rot, I recognized there were serious flaws in the software. I would say about 10% of my collection was ruined. And I have lost a lot of movies in every format from VHS to digital.

    There seems to be a discordant attitude from members when suggesting that owning digital is not without its problems. It seems to divide members Into some perfect format argument. I'm done posting about this issue never to bring it up again. Good luck to all who buy digitally, and physically.:)

  108. Bryan^H

    There seems to be a discordant attitude from members when suggesting that owning digital is not without its problems. It seems to divide members Into some perfect format argument. I'm done posting about this issue never to bring it up again. Good luck to all who buy digitally, and physically.:)

    I don't think that's true at all!. However, I do detect some hostility from some of the "only own physical media" folks towards those of us that have an open mind towards having a digital library. Another thing, even though I maintain a digital library, by the end of this month, since August 1st, I'm going to add another 30 titles to my physical media library.

  109. Robert Crawford

    Again, I wish we knew which three titles were dropped and under what specific circumstances.

    Here you go.

    It was Cars, Cars 2 and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

    No, Apple didn't delete that guy's movies. Here's what really happened

    Analysis: Digital purchases are more ephemeral than physical copies, but switching iTunes "regions" seems to be the culprit here.

    http://www.cnet.com/news/no-apple-didnt-delete-that-guys-movies-heres-what-really-happened/

  110. Tino

    Here you go.

    It was Cars, Cars 2 and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

    No, Apple didn't delete that guy's movies. Here's what really happened

    Analysis: Digital purchases are more ephemeral than physical copies, but switching iTunes "regions" seems to be the culprit here.

    http://www.cnet.com/news/no-apple-didnt-delete-that-guys-movies-heres-what-really-happened/

    I knew there had to be more to the story. Thank you for posting this information. However, I'm afraid those of us that are against purchasing digital copies will continue to do so which is fine by me. People ought to do what they feel is right for them. The same applies to those of us that enjoy purchasing digital copies and will continue to do so. To each his own as I just want both sides of this issue to respect each other. It's not an "us against them" issue.

  111. It has never been an "us against them" issue for me. My objection comes when someone suggests owning digitally is every bit as good as owning physically. What I wrote in a previous post about owning VHS tapes proves at the very least that there are advantages to physical ownership.

    My problem is lack of control over the cloud.

  112. Carabimero

    It has never been an "us against them" issue for me. My objection comes when someone suggests owning digitally is every bit as good as owning physically. What I wrote in a previous post about owning VHS tapes proves at the very least that there are advantages to physical ownership.

    My problem is lack of control over the cloud.

    Conversely, it is frustrating when people will not recognize that there are some benefits to buying digital versions instead of discs, just as there are advantages to buying discs. For example, (1) having access to your entire digital library when away from home, (2) digital files use no storage space, and (3) sometimes providers will upgrade the video or audio quality of titles in your library.

  113. Scott Merryfield

    (3) sometimes providers will upgrade the video or audio quality of titles in your library.

    I am not sure I would *always* appreciate an upgrade like that, especially if I was accustomed to a certain transfer and the upgrade might be sharper but the color palette was changed or it had black issues or something. It wouldn't be worth the trade off for me. Especially if I wasn't given a chance to decline the upgrade.

    This is the issue that seems hardest for me to communicate to digital buyers. It's the lack of control over something specific I bought and should *own.*

  114. Carabimero

    I am not sure I would *always* appreciate an upgrade like that, especially if I was accustomed to a certain transfer and the upgrade might be sharper but the color palette was changed or it had black issues or something. It wouldn't be worth the trade off for me. Especially if I wasn't given a chance to decline the upgrade.

    This is the issue that seems hardest for me to communicate to digital buyers. It's the lack of control over something specific I bought and should *own.*

    Come on, now. How many times have you spent money upgrading a title in your library for an improved transfer, higher resolution or improvement in audio format? You cannot even admit having that done at no cost for you isn't an advantage?

    I give up.

  115. Scott Merryfield

    Come on, now. How many times have you spent money upgrading a title in your library for an improved transfer, higher resolution or improvement in audio format? You cannot even admit having that done at no cost for you isn't an advantage?

    I give up.

    Wise move!

  116. Scott Merryfield

    I give up.

    That's the problem.

    Sure, I have upgraded a lot. But it was MY CHOICE. I absolutely believe a studio has no right to arbitrarily make that choice for me. Because there have been times when I have NOT upgraded.

    If the studio had replaced Mann's so-called 4K transfer of Heat with the one I had bought, I would have been livid.

    2001 anybody?

    That's the problem. One side gives up. And others who preach understanding applaud their choice.

  117. Carabimero

    My mind is kinda blown here that people are persisting in believing that it's really ownership

    Part of the communication gap is people are making different cases, maybe talking past each other. People aren’t talking about whether digital is “really ownership”. They’re simply saying the benefits compared to the cost are good enough for their interests, and the real risks of the product failing are low.

    This is the same calculus you make for buying discs: the cost to quality is good; the lack of full ownership hindering you from making backups or using it on alternate devices is acceptable; and the real risks of the disc mechanically failing (requiring you to re-purchase) are low.

    We’re in a transition from physical media to online streaming media. It’s going to be confusing for a while longer. And the benefits of buying plastic discs vs streamed bits will be a matter of personal priorities and ongoing conversation for a bit longer, I’m sure. 🙂

  118. I define ownership as being in control of something I own.

    I do not own the cloud. Therefore I am not ALWAYS in control of something on the cloud.

    I owned my VHS copy of that movie. When the format disappeared, I transferred it to the new format, because I owned control of the VHS copy.

  119. Carabimero

    I define ownership as being in control of something I own.

    I do not own the cloud. Therefore I am not ALWAYS in control of anything on the cloud.

    That’s fine. You’ve got your priorities and buy accordingly. Other folks don’t share that priority of ownership as you define it. And that leads them to different buying choices. 🙂

  120. I am not arguing about someone's buying choices. That has never been my point and never will be.

    I'm talking about first actors. My VHS copy of that old movie is, in terms of my ownership, the first actor. I control it.

    But if I download a movie, I no longer control the first actor. Because the first actor is no longer the movie. For me it becomes the cloud.

    That's why I'm still scratching my head at an apparent persistent belief that in both examples the movie is still the first actor.

  121. I’m not sure that anyone’s missing that point, I just think that on a practical level, it’s not relevant to many of us.

    To go back to my earlier example with Star Trek II on VHS. (I just picked that one because it was the first tape I saw when I glanced around the room but any VHS will do.) To me, it doesn’t matter that I have permanent control over that physical object, that cassette tape. It’s completely irrelevant to my way of consuming entertainment in 2018. I no longer enjoy watching pan and scan, low resolution copies of movies. To put it bluntly, I will never watch that tape again. So it doesn’t matter to me that I have control of the tape because it’s an obsolete way of viewing that movie.

    Going off the top of my head, I bought Star Trek II several times:
    1) on VHS in the early 90s
    2) on DVD in the early 2000s
    3) on BD in 2008
    4) on BD again in 2016

    So it turns out not to matter much that the physical versions can last forever when practically speaking (for me at least), each version becomes obsolete in a decade or less. Even if I copy the VHS to DVD, that doesn’t change that the VHS version of the content is completely undesirable to me now. I no longer watch pan and scan low resolution copies of movies.

    So I think some of our disconnect is in the way we perceive the physical objects differently. We both see the VHS copy as something that will physically remain in our possession indefinitely. But where we differ is in the perceived value of that VHS copy. For me, it might still be “mine” forever but it has no value or use to me. Since I’m never going to watch that tape again, the point that it’ll last forever doesn’t matter as much to me.

  122. I appreciate your post. As far as I know, you're the first person to explicitly acknowledge the point I have been for several days now trying to make. The reason I didn't think anyone got it is because every time I make it, someone seems to want to make my argument personal.

    Josh Steinberg

    But where we differ is in the perceived value of that VHS copy. For me, it might still be “mine” forever but it has no value or use to me

    We do not disagree here. I only referenced the VHS because someone quoted my comment about scratching my head out of context. However, since my copy of that VHS movie has never been released in any other format, I still consider it a precious first actor.

    FYI: I consider my 4K copy of Spiderman Homecoming a first actor above any other iteration.

  123. I always enjoy a good conversation with you, sir.

    I think the next point I’d make, using your UHD copy of Spider-Man (I’m calling it UHD specifically for a point I’ll make later, bear with me), is just that I don’t see that as being completely foolproof.

    (Obviously I’m still a disc guy and I’m doubling down on that appreciation of discs by being a reviewer of discs here. So even though I don’t think my disc collection is infaliable, it still has value to me.)

    So UHD is a format which requires a specific type of HDMI connection and encryption to work, otherwise the disc won’t play. What if UHD discs (not 4K technology more generally) ends up being adandoned by manufacturers in a similar fashion to how 3D was abandoned. You can’t buy a TV today that can play a 3D disc. What if UHD winds up being a bust and in ten years, there’s no TV that can accept the encryption on your UHD copy of Spider-Man? You’ve got the disc, sure, but nothing you can watch it on.

    What if, more simply (and I sincerely hope this never happens), your house floods in five years and your disc collection is washed away? Or they melt in a fire? Or, you move and they get lost in transit? What if Spider-Man has some bad glue in it that causes the disc to stop working in a few years?

    Is all of that likely to happen? I certainly hope not. I don’t think it will. But there are any number of reasons why something you bought today isn’t accessible to you tomorrow.

    And for me, that’s all I’m trying to say. I don’t feel 100% secure about digital transactions, but I don’t feel 100% secure about my physical ones either.

    But I feel pretty confident that anything I buy on iTunes will work until the next format comes out. Just as I feel pretty confident that my BDs will work until the next format comes out.

    And I’m intrigued by a future where I pay for the license once and am always supplied with the most current version, rather than paying $20 every few years for a newer version of the same content.

    I agree that there are exceptions and concerns and caveats across the board with digital, but I will just posit that I think I felt that was true of physical media too.

  124. Carabimero

    We do not disagree here. I only referenced the VHS because someone quoted my comment about scratching my head out of context. However, since my copy of that VHS movie has never been released in any other format, I still consider it a precious first actor.

    I completely understand this. I still have my VHS copy of The Compleat Beatles, as that documentary has never been released on a newer format, and most likely never will. I have copied it to DVD and MP4 formats to hopefully extend its life, should the original VHS tape go bad. Watching the low resolution video on today's big screen displays can be painful, so I usually watch it on something smaller, such as a tablet, when the desire hits to see it again.

    However, that is a rare circumstance for me. I have purchased thousands of films, TV series, documentaries, etc. on home video formats, and 99% of them fall into the situation Josh discussed — buying the same film over and over again in different formats, because the older format no longer fits how I want to watch the film. As I said above, watching VHS on a 70-inch 4K display can be a painful experience.

    For much of what I buy, getting it on a convenient format such as a digital copy works out fine, and the low price makes it less of a concern if it does some day disappear. If it's a favorite film I will probably watch many times, then I prefer it on disc. But that doesn't mean there isn't a place in my collection for a $5 digital copy of something I've never seen before, as that's not much different than a rental price.

  125. Josh Steinberg

    I always enjoy a good conversation with you, sir.

    I love a discussion about ideas, as well.

    Looking at the actual number of actors involved in viewing a movie seems to help me get a grasp on my blood pressure. I simplified above to make my point. But I wanna get real.

    With a BD, it's the first actor. Electricity is next. The BD player is next. After that, the TV. At this point I'm confident I can repair or replace any actor in the network and watch my movie reasonably any time (I have a portable generator should the electric company disagree about that for too long).

    With digital, there's more actors. Electricity is first, then TV, then Internet, then cable provider, then movie provider, and then, finally, the movie. I realize that list might not always be ironclad but I think it's reasonable).

    Your point about UHD is spot on. I only referenced 4K in the face of VHS to show I appreciated the highest quality I can get (as long as the transfer is as good or better than the BD transfer). Every UHD I own also came with a BD, and I think BD technology–all the actors right across the line–is dependable over the long term. So it's not an issue for me.

    I sometimes have a hard time seeing much difference between a BD and a UHD from the same bundle. But then, of course, the dynamic range kicks in and, okay, it is better. But not constantly for me. Not "knock my socks off" constant, any way. Mostly, for movies shot on 35mm, I like the idea of 4K because it's owning the master, in a sense.

    But I'm content with my VHS, DVDs, BDs, and relatively small chain of actors.

  126. Scott, I’m with you on the $5 thing – for both digital and physical. Ironically, my physical collection ballooned over the past couple years because there were a bunch of movies I wanted to see and it cost about the same price to buy the disc as it did to rent the same title digitally for a one-time viewing.

    Those deals were only possible because the discs were on clearance due to the declining popularity of physical media and clearance sales. But man, I made out like a bandit.

    Alan, I get that about confidence in the whole chain. And your point about there being more actors is well taken. I feel much better about my digital purchases with the advent of Movies Anywhere than I did before, because now my money is backed by more than just one retailer. It’s reassuring for me to be able to see my list of digital movies on Vudu on my Oppo BD player’s app, and to see that same list on iTunes with my AppleTV. When it was one or the other, it felt more emphemeral to me. Seeing the same titles show up in different apps, that makes it a whole lot more real to me. But that only addresses one part of your concern.

    I bet for me, I’ll land somewhere in the middle when all is said and done. Right now, I buy music on disc when it’s a new release by one of my favorites; if it’s a newer act or someone I like but don’t love, I’ll go with iTunes. If the iTunes version includes songs not on the CD, I’ll buy iTunes instead. So I get U2’s new album on CD, but the latest Hans Zimmer score on iTunes.

    I bet I’ll always want a hard copy of Star Trek II, partly because it’s on the all time favorites list, and partly because of the nostalgia from having owned it in a physical form for most of my life. But as digital continues to improve, I’ll probably feel better about using it more frequently for more casual purchases.

  127. Mike2001

    Have your cake and eat it too. They package digital codes with most new releases these days.

    I think we all realize that, and I always claim those codes. However, there are times where buying just a digital version instead of the disc is too good of a deal to pass up. For example, I picked up the four Hunger Games films in 4K for $5 each. Those are not favorite films for me, but I do like to watch them, so digital was good enough for me.

    I probably have close to 200 titles in my digital library, and the majority are codes I claimed that came with a disc purchase. I probably have 25 – 30 titles that I actually spent money on – – most for $5, and never more than $10 (that's my self-imposed ceiling for buying a digital copy).

    I cannot afford to spend $25 for every title I am interested in viewing. Digital gives me the ability to stretch my entertainment dollar – – sometimes by renting, and other times by purchasing at a bargain price.

  128. Josh Steinberg

    I’m not sure that anyone’s missing that point, I just think that on a practical level, it’s not relevant to many of us.

    To go back to my earlier example with Star Trek II on VHS. (I just picked that one because it was the first tape I saw when I glanced around the room but any VHS will do.) To me, it doesn’t matter that I have permanent control over that physical object, that cassette tape. It’s completely irrelevant to my way of consuming entertainment in 2018. I no longer enjoy watching pan and scan, low resolution copies of movies. To put it bluntly, I will never watch that tape again. So it doesn’t matter to me that I have control of the tape because it’s an obsolete way of viewing that movie.

    Going off the top of my head, I bought Star Trek II several times:
    1) on VHS in the early 90s
    2) on DVD in the early 2000s
    3) on BD in 2008
    4) on BD again in 2016

    So it turns out not to matter much that the physical versions can last forever when practically speaking (for me at least), each version becomes obsolete in a decade or less. Even if I copy the VHS to DVD, that doesn’t change that the VHS version of the content is completely undesirable to me now. I no longer watch pan and scan low resolution copies of movies.

    So I think some of our disconnect is in the way we perceive the physical objects differently. We both see the VHS copy as something that will physically remain in our possession indefinitely. But where we differ is in the perceived value of that VHS copy. For me, it might still be “mine” forever but it has no value or use to me. Since I’m never going to watch that tape again, the point that it’ll last forever doesn’t matter as much to me.

    I still have all of my wrath of khan vhs, dvd and blu ray releases!

    I did give my bare bones khan dvd to a friend years ago.

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