Blu-only Releases?

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Blood Pie
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:21 pm

Re: Blu-only Releases?

#176 Post by Blood Pie » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:03 pm

As a side note, sales figures have come in for Black Friday DVD and BD sales and DVD sales are down from last year ( I think almost 7%, I'll check and link when I get time later) and BD sales are up over 200% from last black Friday. Obviously, the sales for DVD still represent the majority but from a leading economic indicator viewpoint its quite obvious that BD is here to stay and that its going to grow exponentially over this holiday season...

The splits are already 50/50 on average according to Nick. I can only guess they will increase in BDs favor post holiday season. I would think the same, maybe even more so for Criterion.

HarryLong
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#177 Post by HarryLong » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:52 pm

Did you encounter any figures on Blu-Ray player sales? I spotted quite a few spectacularly low prices on some models for Black Friday & even beyond. Walmart, for instance, has a Magnavox model for a mere $78 & as I have a Magnavox DVD recorder with which I've been very happy, this is a very tempting purchase. I'm sorta speculating that the price drop on BR players over the past few months might be fueling the sales of the discs...

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Blood Pie
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#178 Post by Blood Pie » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:22 pm

I couldn't find anything on actual sales data concerning player sales but they have been listed in most news reports as one of the hot items this year that is seeing growth from last year. As you pointed out, Walmart has a Magnavox player for under $100 and I can confirm that the Walmarts in my area not only also have the Magnavox's for sale but one had a Sony model for $118 or so.

Here is the link to BD.com which links their information from home media magazine concerning year to year comparisons.
http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=3838" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

SO as not to be off topic, I'll echo what I said above. This only means the already high splits for Eureka and Criterion will be higher next year.

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Felix
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#179 Post by Felix » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:26 am

Oh well, as you are asking us for our opinions I will give my tuppence worth, even if it is worth less than that... I am disappointed that City Girl will not be on SD, but not too aggrieved as I have the Fox box (which I got partly because I gave up on BFI ever releasing their so long promised Borzage titles, though I would have preferred to buy from the UK. What an inept bunch). For all that, I probably would have double dipped, I did on Sunrise despite having both that and the Eureka version, so one sale lost. My collection currently includes 43 MoC releases which is 43 releases that would not have been bought on BD.

I am with those who do not think the change in quality merits upgrading, but if it were the stellar difference that BD afficianados make it out to be would I still enjoy my old DVDs, videos and boots? (I read an article in one of the UK DVD hardware mags a few months ago and the reviewer there said it was hard to tell the difference, and bear in mind that mags like these are there to sell you new hardware). I know some folk here will have done direct A/B comparisons, as one does with Hi-Fi, but has everybody, or are people basing it on screencaps (genuine question)? My one early adopter trainspotter friend is of the view that the significant difference is in sound not picture but he likes James Bond so perhaps that is why...

I dumped most of my videos for DVD and am not minded to do the same for another format upgrade, and some of us remember all the same things now said about BD being said about SD, including on the pre-MoC label website. I also agree with the comments about turning one's house into a techno den, and while I love film I love lots of other things as well.

Of all the comments though I think Gregory's is the most worthwhile because he actually seems to see beyond the rarified world of movies. The economy of the UK is fucked, completely and utterly, even if many people in the media are trying to pretend it isn't, and as such there is no certainty whatsoever that BD will become the standard, so I think (or believe, if you like) that Nick's projections may be off on that one (equally, they may not, we are swimming in uncharted waters economically. SD or BD doesn't matter much when the lights go out and I think the choice will be the least of many people's worries in the UK over the next few years, you can't eat either of them). Though TBH I would happily swap exclusive BD releases on all labels for being right that we are fucked...

I suspect the bootleggers will soon catch up with BD, but I may be wrong technically, I don't know enough about it. For a cinefile audience, I would have though that MoC's wonderful booklets were the best defence against that, I know I upgraded on a couple of titles from old US releases in part to get the booklets.

Ah, the law of diminishing returns, so familiar from my HiFi days. I knew people with HiFi systems worth as much as their houses but very small piles of records to play on them as they were more interested in the hardware than the software, so to speak, and I see similar mindsets here sometimes. People got conned into CD because all they knew was crappy music centres and cassettes rather than Linn or Rega, they saw a major shift in quality as we all saw a major shift from video to DVD, though at least videos never pixillated... I don't see the major shift from SD to BD.

Good luck MoC, and I do understand where you are coming from, but at an advanced age, greatly reduced income, and with a very large collection, I am not for this move at all. If I were young it might be different. Fortunately, the collection is large enough for me not to bother too much, I gave up on seeing every film ever made a long time ago (well, a couple of months ago actually...) But I do look forward to forum members clearing out their DVDs in anticipation of BD releases and look forward to relieving you of them at knock-down prices.

(Just one pasing thought, for a left-leaning bunch, the forum, not the label, with your love of Chomsky and all the rest, you do seem to be pretty gung-ho for consumerism. But perhaps this is a different and more intelligent consumerism from the proles out there ...)

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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#180 Post by Caged Horse » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:51 am

Just one pasing thought, for a left-leaning bunch, the forum, not the label, with your love of Chomsky and all the rest...
Not all "left-leaners" worship at the church of Chomsky, I can assure you.

Is The Killing Fields out on Blu yet? 1080p would be a fitting way of detailing the genocide Chomsky spent a shameful amount of time attempting to diminish and deny.

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RossyG
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#181 Post by RossyG » Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:54 am

Felix wrote: (Just one pasing thought, for a left-leaning bunch, the forum, not the label, with your love of Chomsky and all the rest, you do seem to be pretty gung-ho for consumerism. But perhaps this is a different and more intelligent consumerism from the proles out there ...)
Nous sommes tous les enfants de Marx et de Coca-Cola. O:)

For me, I see Blu Ray as a complement to, rather than a replacement of, DVD.

When DVD appeared, I stopped buying VHS, threw most of my tape library away, and got everything on DVD without exception. That won't happen with BD as a lot of things I buy are SD anyway; most 60s-80s British TV, for example.

I'll be upgrading very few of my existing DVDs, but I love the chance of getting HD-suitable material in BD format. I hope to have a projector in the near future and BD will look significantly better on it. It'll be the closest I can get to having my own private arthouse cinema.

Britain's going HD, with people buying LCD TVs and getting BBC-HD among other TV stations. I wonder how many BD players Father Christmas will be bringing in a fortnight's time? There may be a recession, but they're only £130 and they'll be getting cheaper. And while I have no interest in James Cameron's Avatar, if it's the hit the studio are hoping for, it will help shift more units.

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Felix
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#182 Post by Felix » Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:15 pm

Caged Horse wrote:
Just one pasing thought, for a left-leaning bunch, the forum, not the label, with your love of Chomsky and all the rest...
Not all "left-leaners" worship at the church of Chomsky, I can assure you.

Is The Killing Fields out on Blu yet? 1080p would be a fitting way of detailing the genocide Chomsky spent a shameful amount of time attempting to diminish and deny.
I'm delighted to hear it, and apologies, it was a bit rude of me... And yes, good suggestion, but get your hard hat on.

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Felix
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#183 Post by Felix » Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:25 pm

RossyG wrote:
I'll be upgrading very few of my existing DVDs
,

Britain's going HD, with people buying LCD TVs and getting BBC-HD among other TV stations. I wonder how many BD players Father Christmas will be bringing in a fortnight's time? There may be a recession, but they're only £130 and they'll be getting cheaper. And while I have no interest in James Cameron's Avatar, if it's the hit the studio are hoping for, it will help shift more units.
[/quote]

Oh go on, please... (That was meant to go under your bit about not selling off your DVDs but I got the location worng. Bugger.)

Time will tell but I note that several DVD companies seem desperate to get us to go BD with their big sales, like BFI had a while back (I don't know if this is what Black Friday refers to, I did not read the whole thread) and I also noticed a while back that certain BD titles were cheaper than SD on Amazon Marketplace, making me wonder if they were not shifting (Wong Kar Wai was the one I was looking at, can't remember which). I agree that the players are getting cheaper but I am still not sure. I do not see the stores giving lots more space to BD for one thing, and I see no signs of lots of SDs in the second hand outlets. All very anecdotal of course.

And yes, I used to fantasise about my own mini-art house cinema but even in a big flat where the fuck would I put it, and at the expense of my books and my HiFi and yet another piece of hardware under the telly and having to switch over cables when I went from one medium to another (I am probably wrong here). I may get there but see the comment below.

My comment about the "recession" relates to what is coming, not what is here at the moment. Like I say, I am so hoping I am wrong.

I must be a son of Coke as I am probably the only Scotsman who prefers it to Irn-Bru (Mind you I must be the only Scotsman who isn't left leaning. I was but I leant so far I fell over...)

If Avatar takes off it will all be 3D and then we'll have a new format. Will be good for porn, so, done deal... (Fucking hell, Russ Meyer in 3D, need a big house for that...)

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colinr0380
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#184 Post by colinr0380 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:41 am

Felix wrote:The economy of the UK is fucked, completely and utterly, even if many people in the media are trying to pretend it isn't...
Well, yes, there is that small matter! (though the economy was 'fucked' a long time before when the government put all its eggs in one basket and staked everything on London becoming the financial capital of the world while variously ignoring, dismantling, selling off and belittling the wider infrastructure of the rest of the country which the majority of the population depend on for day to day life and work. But everything was fine while the starry-eyed delusion of vast wealth, only in the hands of an important to cater to minority, was able to keep up the pretence of country wide prosperity. It is a situation that has been at least a couple of decades in the making)

But on a film-related note add to the Blu-ray upgrading the cost of the recent digital switchover (which has cost around £150 for sets for the various televisions around the house and that of my grandparents, especially when picking up the relatively rare aerial connecting boxes for some of the older TVs not equipped with Scart sockets). Then the eventual need to upgrade to HD to get the full potential out of the technology. It is extremely telling that with this uptick in technology that the manufacturers have gone out of their way to at least initially try and meet consumers one quarter of the way by allowing backwards compatability and adding other methods (similar price points to DVD and a 'transition' period from one format to another before ultimatums are given) - but that generosity could also be seen as hints of how deep the crisis really is that such measures are seen as appropriate.
(Just one pasing thought, for a left-leaning bunch, the forum, not the label, with your love of Chomsky and all the rest, you do seem to be pretty gung-ho for consumerism. But perhaps this is a different and more intelligent consumerism from the proles out there ...)
I agree with RossyG! It's all consumerism - that's all that's left (as power to change the world for better or worse, or to just affect the population's daily lives and standard of living remains restricted to the few with the ear of the media, or the access to the summit meetings...or anyone with the best heart-tugging story, from whatever political perspective)

For myself, I have kept my large VHS collection, some films of which I've upgraded and some I have not. Just as DVD will be the same. Especially with the high turnover of technology it is impossible to fully transition everything from one format to another as it is to expect everything to be fully available from one format to another. That's a perfect world scenario that sadly we don't live in - economics dictate access even in the 'developed' world.

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Felix
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#185 Post by Felix » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:27 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
Felix wrote:The economy of the UK is fucked, completely and utterly, even if many people in the media are trying to pretend it isn't...
Well, yes, there is that small matter! It is a situation that has been at least a couple of decades in the making)
It is extremely telling that with this uptick in technology that the manufacturers have gone out of their way to at least initially try and meet consumers one quarter of the way by allowing backwards compatability and adding other methods (similar price points to DVD and a 'transition' period from one format to another before ultimatums are given) - but that generosity could also be seen as hints of how deep the crisis really is that such measures are seen as appropriate.
(I'll never get the hang of these quotes...) On the first point it is a lot longer than a couple of decades, we never adjusted to the aftermath of the war and continued to want to be seen as a big player at the big table. We still have not learnt... Jim Callaghan of all people tried to warn us of this in 1976 in his speech to the Labour Party Conference last time the IMF were waiting in the wings. I'm glad I am old, at least I have lived through what is coming once before. Folk under the age of 35 or so are in for a hell of shock. Fuck, I think I'll away and have some Bergman to cheer me up... (And as if I don't get enough of this on the Guardian and Telegraph sites...)

On the second point some companies always did this, my Linn Sondek turntable can be retrofitted with every improvement they have made to it since 1987 (and that retrofit goes back to 1977 or so).

And I don't think the creeps who use sites like the ones referred to would ever buy the discs they pirate anyway so I doubt there will be any increase in sales from that angle. But this conversation gives me an awful sense of deja-vu... deja-vu... deja-vu...

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MichaelB
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#186 Post by MichaelB » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:14 am

Felix wrote:On the first point it is a lot longer than a couple of decades, we never adjusted to the aftermath of the war and continued to want to be seen as a big player at the big table. We still have not learnt... Jim Callaghan of all people tried to warn us of this in 1976 in his speech to the Labour Party Conference last time the IMF were waiting in the wings. I'm glad I am old, at least I have lived through what is coming once before. Folk under the age of 35 or so are in for a hell of shock.
Indeed. Much though I want to see the back of the present government, the prospect of smirking wideboy George Osborne in charge of the economy is not one to make the heart sing, not least because it's now beyond doubt that his stated "do nothing" policy had he been in charge a year ago would certainly have led to the collapse of at least one major high street bank, with incalculable consequences for millions.

I find it strangely fascinating talking to people born in the late 1970s or 1980s who've reached the conclusion that Thatcher wasn't all bad - those of us who actually lived through the 1980s wholly or partially as adults were rather less sanguine about the experience.
colinr3080 wrote:For myself, I have kept my large VHS collection, some films of which I've upgraded and some I have not. Just as DVD will be the same. Especially with the high turnover of technology it is impossible to fully transition everything from one format to another as it is to expect everything to be fully available from one format to another.
It's also not even desirable. As I've argued elsewhere, Blu-ray offers no real advantage over DVD when it comes to the overwhelming majority of pre-2000s television, with the sole exception of convenience in terms of being able to cram more episodes on one disc. OK, granted, higher bitrates might offer a minuscule improvement in terms of wringing every last detail out of SD video broadcast masters, but for this to be a deal-breaker you'd have to be anal to the point of chiding Viz's Mr Logic for lack of attention to detail.

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Felix
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#187 Post by Felix » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:05 pm

MichaelB wrote:Indeed. Much though I want to see the back of the present government, the prospect of smirking wideboy George Osborne in charge of the economy is not one to make the heart sing, not least because it's now beyond doubt that his stated "do nothing" policy had he been in charge a year ago would certainly have led to the collapse of at least one major high street bank, with incalculable consequences for millions.

I find it strangely fascinating talking to people born in the late 1970s or 1980s who've reached the conclusion that Thatcher wasn't all bad - those of us who actually lived through the 1980s wholly or partially as adults were rather less sanguine about the experience.
I drafted a long response to this Michael but I don't want this to drag further on into politics, that's not why I am here (ouch, it was me who started it wasn't it?). I did live through the 70s, all of them, on the shop floor, as a Marxist for much of them, but I voted for Thatcher in 79 (and Blair in 97 for similar reasons). It was not the way you seem to think it was. Nobody listened to Callaghan, well they did, for a wee while, but as soon as things looked a little better they reverted to type. Inflation is an ugly beast, I remember 30% wage rises which were worth almost nothing by the time the negotiations had ended (and think what inflation at those levels did to pensioners and thier life savings) and I think we maybe need an odious little shit like Osborne to do the very painful things that need to be done to stop us becoming Argentina. Darling had my respect until the PBR when he bottled it and danced to HMV's tune. (Still, he was IMG in his youth and they always bottled it...) But it will have to happen after the election regardless of who is elected. I would almost wish it on Labour were it not for the fact that they are now deep into Stasi Land and goodness knows what power five more years of technological advances will give them in that realm...

If you want the full story of incompetence on both sides of the industrial divide try Martin J Weiner's English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit 1850-1980 (honest, it ain't half as bad or half as long as the awful title would suggest). Hennessy, Sandbrook, or Kynaston for the post war years or, if you're really brave, Corelli Barnett. That is where it really went wrong, albeit with the best intent.

Damn, it's still a long response. You can have the last word if you want, I've said enough.

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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#188 Post by Zot! » Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:37 am

peerpee wrote:There's a still a bunch of things we could only do DVD for. The plan is, if we can do BD for a particular title, we do BD only.
What does this mean for previous/current releases? Can we assume that the Pialats will remain DVD only for the foreseeable future?

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peerpee
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#189 Post by peerpee » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:30 am

All our seven Pialat titles will remain DVD only.

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NilbogSavant
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#190 Post by NilbogSavant » Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:40 am

peerpee wrote:All our seven Pialat titles will remain DVD only.
Sounds pretty definitive. Is this due to the low popularity of the titles or because Gaumont won't lease their HD transfers for BD yet? I can't remember if I've seen any yet. I own all the Pialat releases so far and would be more than willing to double-dip for them on BD.

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peerpee
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#191 Post by peerpee » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:27 am

It's because we've spent a huge amount of time on them, they don't sell like ice cream on a hot day, and we have many more things lined up that we'd rather focus our attention on than revisiting these seven titles which we've only just finished. We have very limited resources and have to make hard decisions about what we're spending our months working on. Putting all these out on BD just doesn't stack up - even though we'd love to do it.

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NilbogSavant
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#192 Post by NilbogSavant » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:52 am

peerpee wrote:It's because we've spent a huge amount of time on them, they don't sell like ice cream on a hot day, and we have many more things lined up that we'd rather focus our attention on than revisiting these seven titles which we've only just finished. We have very limited resources and have to make hard decisions about what we're spending our months working on. Putting all these out on BD just doesn't stack up - even though we'd love to do it.
I assumed this was the case. Working on films that have never seen an English-friendly release or hasn't been available in its full integrity is always more appreciated than re-releasing older catalog films. However, if any catalog titles were bumped up to BD, I would be incredibly pleased if they were the Pialats.

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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#193 Post by Zot! » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:41 am

NilbogSavant wrote: However, if any catalog titles were bumped up to BD, I would be incredibly pleased if they were the Pialats.
Seconded, but I also fully understand. Thanks for the definative and quick response peerpee. By the way I think an all Blu line-up is the way to go. Criterion threw the gauntlet down back in the day with the Laserdisc only releases, and that was a considerably more costly era. The people whining now about having do buy a cheapo blu-ray player don't realize how good they have it.

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peerpee
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#194 Post by peerpee » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:09 pm

Thanks Zot!

Things are changing fast. Criterion and the BFI have really pushed the boat out and been wonderfully brave with their Blu-ray releases. We're lucky that we're in a position where we can ditch dual releases for Blu-ray only (although we are doing dual for M and METROPOLIS). I think it will be a while before Criterion and the BFI can safely ditch DVD.

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TMDaines
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#195 Post by TMDaines » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:14 pm

Zot! wrote:
NilbogSavant wrote: However, if any catalog titles were bumped up to BD, I would be incredibly pleased if they were the Pialats.
Seconded, but I also fully understand. Thanks for the definative and quick response peerpee. By the way I think an all Blu line-up is the way to go. Criterion threw the gauntlet down back in the day with the Laserdisc only releases, and that was a considerably more costly era. The people whining now about having do buy a cheapo blu-ray player don't realize how good they have it.
Blu-ray is just overkill and totally unnecessary for a lot of MoC's releases though - I'm saying this a someone who is Blu enabled. I like their new policy as I'd rather not pay £5 more for Blu if the source materials aren't going to make it worth it. Needless to say they are also cutting out a large part of their market if someone is only on Blu. They aren't if it is on DVD.

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Peacock
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#196 Post by Peacock » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:22 pm

TMDaines wrote:Blu-ray is just overkill and totally unnecessary for a lot of MoC's releases though
Come on let's not exaggerate.
I think Criterion made the right decision releasing The War Trilogy on DVD-only due to the poor condition of the prints; but I hardly think the bulk of MoC's catalogue are of films in that condition.

You've had Blu as long as I, and you have to agree that if the price is going to end up the same, they may as well release Blu only for everything (unless it's in dire condition) because there is going to be a positive improvement if your working from a film master.

Full speed ahead Peerpee! I look forward to the increased number of titles released!

Also are you able to confirm yet if The Burmese Harp will be getting a Blu?

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TMDaines
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#197 Post by TMDaines » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:34 pm

Peacock wrote:
TMDaines wrote:Blu-ray is just overkill and totally unnecessary for a lot of MoC's releases though
Come on let's not exaggerate.
I think Criterion made the right decision releasing The War Trilogy on DVD-only due to the poor condition of the prints; but I hardly think the bulk of MoC's catalogue are of films in that condition.
Sorry I was guility of focusing on the releases I own and want in my head when I typed that, but still. I'm not arguing that Blu wouldn't make an audio/visual upgrade on most of their releases, I just question quite how much. Maybe I'm wrong and the releases of M and City Girl will sway me but I'll see.

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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#198 Post by Zot! » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:19 pm

TMDaines wrote:I like their new policy as I'd rather not pay £5 more for Blu if the source materials aren't going to make it worth it.
Ha! Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I am officially old because I remember the lunatic fringe that was willing to pay $100+ for individual CC laserdiscs. I think we all owe these guys a debt of graditude, as they made possible what at that point was a real niche, and we now take for granted. So next time you complain about £5 extra for a movie, think about the dude who spent the cost of your player on each piece of media.

You're probably right though that a good DVD of certain movies is certainly acceptable. This is also a relatively new development, as in the infancy of DVDs, transfers were often poor ports of LDs. Even now studios are releasing garbage, like PAL-NTSC transfers. So the way I see it, whatever extra we might pay for a blu-ray is a vote for quality and progress, kind of like a Criterion LD was in its day. Your kids will thank you, or maybe they'll be too busy pirating a copy of The Hangover III.

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John Edmond
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#199 Post by John Edmond » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:23 pm

I wonder how people would react to a company that returned to the $100+ per film model (say if MOC introduced a limited edition series). Say by enacting a narrative film version of the "Re:Voir" model: rare movies given great transfers and the solution to cost and lack of customers is to gouge (in a nice way) the few customers that do buy. Blu-ray of course.

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peerpee
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Re: Blu-only Releases?

#200 Post by peerpee » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:18 am

I could think of a number of exciting projects for that model. But someone with deep pockets has to pony up the money in the first place and a small team would have to work hard on it for a year just to be able to offer it to the 1,000 (?) people globally who'd bite. The problem then would be piracy, which would seriously devalue the limited edition originals, which would have to come with a ltd edition Taschen style book just to hold their value.

I do think the power of the internet, to pool interest and backers, could be tremendously important in the creation of such a project which would deliver a product so sexy and niche that it would never have a chance of being made normally.

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