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Reverenddave
01-15-2008, 08:11 PM
The Format War might end up being for nothing. HD movie downloads are here. All major studios are on board. While the specs currently aren't up to par (no 1080i/p and only 5.1 audio), I imagine those will improve in the future.

Apple TV, take 2 brings HD movie rentals to the living room

After waiting for what seems like ages, Apple has finally admitted that the Apple TV wasn't exactly a hit. Better yet, it's hitting back with the Apple TV, take 2 (same box, new firmware), which enables users to rent movies directly on their HDTVs in high-definition with full 5.1-channel Dolby surround sound (but only on "select" films). Announced today at Macworld, owners will be able to rent HD movies (still no 1080i/p, from what we can tell) for $3.99 and $4.99, and there are reportedly 100 HD titles to choose from starting today. So, what's the admission price? $229 and shipping in two weeks, but best of all, existing Apple TV owners will be entitled to all the fancy extras as well courtesy of a free update that'll be available as a free automatic download in a fortnight.

EngadgetHD (http://www.engadgethd.com/2008/01/15/apple-tv-take-2-brings-hd-movie-rentals-to-the-living-room/)

And for people that think downloads will never take hold, apparently Apple has sold more movies online through iTunes than HD-DVD & Blu-Ray combined.

Apple has sold more movies online than HD DVD and Blu-ray combined

Apple CEO announced at Mac World that their company had sold more than 7 million movies online. An estimate puts HD DVD and Blu-ray disc sales combined close to six million. Blu-ray, HD DVD and iTunes Movie Store were all introduced in 2006.

DVDTown (http://www.dvdtown.com/news/apple-has-sold-more-movies-online-than-hd-dvd-and-blu-ray-combined/5127)

Dave
01-15-2008, 08:17 PM
You can't compare iTunes downloads, which are clearly not HD, versus full HD movie downloads.

Until something like Fios is available for everyone, HD movie downloads don't have a chance at taking over Blu or even HD-DVD for that matter.

I mean, a single-layer barebones DVD is 4gb. Imagine trying to download that? Now multiply that by 2 or 3x, which I imagine would be the minimum for an HD movie unless they compress the hell out of it.

Reverenddave
01-15-2008, 08:35 PM
Single-layer HD-DVDs are only 15GB. And those hold a 1080p movie with multiple audio tracks. If the video is only 720p and 5.1 audio, you can probably fit a whole HD movie in a 10GB file. With cable internet, you can download that in a couple hours.

While you couldn't stream the film, you can easily download the file in the morning and watch the movie that night.

Dave
01-15-2008, 08:47 PM
Who the hell wants 720p?

And what cable provider are you using? Cuz I was using this big one called Comcast that would shut off my connection after downloading several gigs in a few days, nevermind 10+ gb in the same day. Do a google search and you will find many similar experiences. Because of them I switch to Verizon DSL (wish I could get FIOS; I had it before I moved), which is better in regards to not being shut off, but the speed is slower. Cable is also a shared pipe, so if everyone and their Mom does get this, it's going to crawl.

Enthusiasts will have no interests in this, and that is where the HD market is right now. Perhaps if it goes more mainstream, but J6P would be just as happy with a Divx file.

For this to work, the world needs to be on fiber optic Internet connections (Fios, for one).

dwatts
01-15-2008, 08:52 PM
Here's something to put this in perspective. If the industry went to a download model then even *I* would start pirating films.

I fail to see any benefit at all for the consumer here, just lots of money saved by studios, which doubtless won't be passed on to people like me. The value proposition is very poor indeed.

Today I spend, say, $10 to buy and own a DVD. I can copy it to my computer, I can play it on any one of several players in my house, I can take it on the road while travelling and watch it on DVD players in hotel rooms or on my laptop. However, they're going to want me to download a file, which doubtless will be encrypted up the wazoo, with digital signatures which'll stop me doing what I want with it, and I'll own nothing more than a file.

NOT ATTRACTIVE.

Seriously, if this became the norm I'd just start copy from torrents. The film companies will have taken a step too far in crapping over the consumer.

AndiOne
01-15-2008, 08:58 PM
Fiber is quite common here in Sweden.
I have an 100Mbit connection. Takes me ~20 minutes to download 10gb.

But who want´s to pay for downloading movies?
I prefer buying them on DVD`s or LD`s or HD-DVD, BD`s.

Dave
01-15-2008, 08:59 PM
I just don't see it ever taking off.

MP3s are one thing; they are small.

HD movie downloads is a whole 'nother ball game. Can't blame them for trying, but this will never replace the disc medium.

dwatts
01-15-2008, 09:23 PM
I actually believe it will one day - a day a long way away.

I don't/won't pay for MP3's either. If CD's ever went away, then I'd join the file share crowd. I simply feel it shows contempt for the audience as they reduce the value of their product to that of a word doc. We know prices won't fall, so it's just more profit for the labels.....

Shannafey
01-15-2008, 09:28 PM
Here's something to put this in perspective. If the industry went to a download model then even *I* would start pirating films.

I fail to see any benefit at all for the consumer here, just lots of money saved by studios, which doubtless won't be passed on to people like me. The value proposition is very poor indeed.

Today I spend, say, $10 to buy and own a DVD. I can copy it to my computer, I can play it on any one of several players in my house, I can take it on the road while travelling and watch it on DVD players in hotel rooms or on my laptop. However, they're going to want me to download a file, which doubtless will be encrypted up the wazoo, with digital signatures which'll stop me doing what I want with it, and I'll own nothing more than a file.

NOT ATTRACTIVE.

Seriously, if this became the norm I'd just start copy from torrents. The film companies will have taken a step too far in crapping over the consumer.

I am so with you on this, Dwatts!!

Reverenddave
01-15-2008, 09:35 PM
If you'd asked me 10 years ago, I never would have believed that I'd prefer a computer file over a compact disc. But in the past 10 years, I've only bought maybe 4-5 CDs. These days, if I want music I get an MP3.

Now, you're talking to someone that owns over 2,500 DVDs and 350 HD/BR discs. I buy them because I love collecting movies and I like having them on hand to watch whenever I want.

My initial feelings have always been against movie downloads. I love my DVD collection. And the thought of owning or renting a computer file instead of a disc is unappealing.

But when I look at my collection, I see a lot of movies and shows that I haven't gotten around to watching. Of those that I've watched, about 95% have only been watched once. And maybe 1%-2% have been watched more than twice. It would be nice to only pay for what I actually watch.

And in addition to the thousands of dollars I've spent on this collection, there's also the matter of storage. My movie collection takes up an entire room with specially built shelves to hold everything.

If I could choose between thousands of movies. Watch it immediately when I wanted. Store movies on a couple tiny hard drives. And watch them on any device. Then I'd be willing to switch over to computer files.

So a couple things would need to happen.

First, they need to have a huge selection of films available. And those downloaded films need to be the same quality as on the physical media.

Second, the movie would need to start streaming within a few minutes. I don't want to wait all day. That would require either smaller files (with new compression methods) or faster internet connections.

Third, there needs to be affordable rentals with an option to buy. Some movies require multiple viewings, and many only need to be watched once.

Fourth, the file usage has to be flexible. I don't have a problem with copy protection but it needs to be reasonable. Don't tie the consumer's hands. I need the ability to watch files in the living room, bedroom and on my laptop.

If they can do these things, then I'm willing to switch to downloads. Obviously, it's not at that stage yet. But I think it's only a matter of time.

X-human
01-15-2008, 10:08 PM
Digital Downloading in general will take off, in five to ten years, but it'll take off.

But looking at AppleTV this really is only rental competition. You have to wait an extra 30-days from release date before you can download it, and once you start playing it it'll only last 24-hours. We watch one of my Pirate BD's once a month. I'm not going to spend $5 to watch Pirates again and again. So this doesn't take away from BD's main use.

Comcast Cable is already doing "OnDemand," I can watch a selected a movie in HD instantly. It streams at first so I can instantly start and watch it but copies the video too, so once it's finished downloading it's still on my DVR for the remainder of the rental. Eventually I'm sure it'll mature to the state that HDi/BD-J can provide with interactive features.

To me cable providers are probably the best method. It uses the same hardware, my cable box, which I'd have anyways for HD cable and HD DVR. This is the future of HD cable providers, so where does AppleTV fit in? Nowhere that I can see, that's why I won't buy it.

dwatts
01-15-2008, 10:47 PM
It would be nice to only pay for what I actually watch.

Erm, you can do that today, it's called RENTING.

Reverenddave
01-15-2008, 10:54 PM
Erm, you can do that today, it's called RENTING.

Except the rental store doesn't always have what you want. And you either have to go to the store or wait a couple days for them to mail it to you. That's why I currently buy all my movies instead of renting. I'm willing to pay for the convenience.

Ideally, you wouldn't have those problems with downloads. The outlet's entire catalog would be available at any time of the day or night from anywhere in the world. And the movie would be ready for watching with a few clicks of the mouse.

dwatts
01-15-2008, 11:56 PM
The outlet's entire catalog would be available at any time of the day or night from anywhere in the world.

Not going to happen though mate, is it. Different censorship requiremnets, different ratings requirements, rights issues (which vary country to country) etc. Worldwide? Not a chance.

Reverenddave
01-16-2008, 12:12 AM
Not going to happen though mate, is it. Different censorship requiremnets, different ratings requirements, rights issues (which vary country to country) etc. Worldwide? Not a chance.

Fine, not anywhere in the world. But anywhere in the USA. Say I go visit family in California. Can't get rentals from Netflix. And would you really want to hassle with renting a disc at Blockbuster in a strange town?

Once the download services get all the kinks worked out, the rental services will start going out of business. That's why Netflix is putting so much work into their download service. They can see the writing on the wall.

dwatts
01-16-2008, 12:19 AM
And would you really want to hassle with renting a disc at Blockbuster in a strange town?

Well, I don't rent discs. If I need movies on the road I would either a) take the disc, b) I'd copy the movie to the hard disc, or c) - the option I actually take, I just go buy something locally. You always find different bargains as you move around.

Bandwidth is the issue here - I know my puny 2mb connection isn't anywhere near enough.

There is talk of ISP's selling specific traffic rather than a flat fee for a simple pipe. So for instance, you want to download movies and watch them? You'll need a movie package from your ISP to prioritize your traffic and guarantee throughput. Some ISP's are already doing this for gaming. So this won't be the end of it....

You know, we could all do this now with our collections - just copy your collection to a hard disc.... Not that I'm going to.... I also think total cost here will actually be greater than I have now. I bet you have to pay more for premium content, with premium content being applied to niche product etc.

Dave
01-16-2008, 12:23 AM
Ideally, you wouldn't have those problems with downloads. The outlet's entire catalog would be available at any time of the day or night from anywhere in the world. And the movie would be ready for watching with a few clicks of the mouse.

Be consistent now. "And the movie would be ready for watching with a few clicks of the mouse....and coming back a day later."

You said it yourself: Start in the morning and coming back at the end of the day is quite a bit longer than a "few clicks of a mouse". In 10 years, maybe everyone will have fiber optic net connections, but in the near future, you're right - click a few buttons and come back in a day. How is that better than going to a video store? Shit, even Netflix only takes a day to get to me.

Once the download services get all the kinks worked out, the rental services will start going out of business. That's why Netflix is putting so much work into their download service. They can see the writing on the wall.

Yeah, I love the Netflix commercial where they pimp downloading a movie, only to show a guy on the couch with his face pressed against a tiny laptop screen. Sad advertising, really.

I have no doubt there will be a market for downloading movies, but I don't think it will ever overtake the disc medium. This just isn't the same as CD and MP3. The mass public isn't going to be carrying around portable video players. Yes, there are portable DVD players, portable media players, and laptops, but those are niche markets. There isn't as great of a demand to have movies on the go. So really, we're talking about movies at home. I get that. And I get J6P might find it more convenient than buying/renting on disc. But until fiber optic is the norm, it just isn't going to happen.

Now, the Netflix service is a different ball of wax because it's not HD and not even DVD. I imagine it's just divx or some variation, which looks fine enough on a computer screen. I can see that gaining some ground in the coming years, but it's not even going to put a dent in the home video market.

Netflix has tons of competition out there. Of course they'll be getting their feet wet in any possible rental market.

dwatts
01-16-2008, 12:29 AM
You think that's the case in the US, Dave - what do you think Europe is like? :lol:

Reverenddave
01-16-2008, 12:44 AM
Bandwidth is the issue here - I know my puny 2mb connection isn't anywhere near enough.

Over time, bandwidth is going to improve. In the past couple years I've gone from 2mb to 6mb. I wouldn't be surprised if fiber optic lines are available here in the next 2-3 years.

And with internet access being involved in more aspects of peoples lives, ISPs are going to adapt to meet those needs. The same way ISPs changed from per-hour charges to unlimited. As time goes on, people are going to require more and more bandwidth. ISPs will find ways to provide it.

There will also be improvement in compression algorithms. You'll be able to get HD movies in a much smaller file. Which will require less bandwidth and hard drive space.

Livingdead102
01-16-2008, 12:50 AM
I look forward to more robust download services. I've already gone mostly digital with music, with DRM-free 256kbps MP3s from Amazon that are usually several dollars cheaper by the album than their CD counterparts (the last album I bought--Killswitch Engage's "As Daylight Dies"--was around $4 cheaper than if I had bought it at Best Buy). If every major label can do that with music, I certainly think it's possible that movie studios could do the same. I also tend to rent more movies from XBox Live than any rental store, and have always had good experiences with it. Eventually I'll take a crack at purchasing movie downloads rather than renting them, but for right now I don't have the extra storage space. Which is ironic, because lack of actual shelf space is what has driven me away from collecting and towards renting in the first place.

I doubt I'll use this service, but I'm glad to see another player in the HD download game. Maybe I'll have to start saving my pennies for a new tv sooner than I thought.

For those of you complaining about not having fiber available, I'd trade with you if I could--in my area, Verizon has stopped offering full-speed DSL, so now your only choices are the budget DSL (768kb) which I have and would like to upgrade from, or FIOS which is way more than I need at the moment. Go figure.

Reverenddave
01-16-2008, 01:03 AM
Be consistent now. "And the movie would be ready for watching with a few clicks of the mouse....and coming back a day later."

You said it yourself: Start in the morning and coming back at the end of the day is quite a bit longer than a "few clicks of a mouse". In 10 years, maybe everyone will have fiber optic net connections, but in the near future, you're right - click a few buttons and come back in a day. How is that better than going to a video store? Shit, even Netflix only takes a day to get to me.

That's why I said "ideally". And that's why I wouldn't use movie download services today.

But someday, files will be smaller and bandwidth will be bigger. And when you can start watching an HD movie with a few quick clicks of the mouse, I might be willing to trade in my collection for downloads.

Like I said, a couple years ago I couldn't imagine giving up physical media for downloads. But technology keeps changing and it's becoming more of a possibility.

KamuiX
01-16-2008, 01:27 AM
And what cable provider are you using? Cuz I was using this big one called Comcast that would shut off my connection after downloading several gigs in a few days, nevermind 10+ gb in the same day. Do a google search and you will find many similar experiences. Because of them I switch to Verizon DSL (wish I could get FIOS; I had it before I moved), which is better in regards to not being shut off, but the speed is slower. Cable is also a shared pipe, so if everyone and their Mom does get this, it's going to crawl.

I must have the only good Comcast connection...I pay for the higher tier, and I get up to 1000kB/s down on torrents and other things, and 2000kB/s down from Usenet consistently, I can download a full DVD-5 in 35-40 minutes. I also have a 200kB/s upstream. I never have a problem with slow-downs, and I download and upload at least 150+ GB a month, and I've never had one letter of complaint from Comcast. And everyone always has horror stories about them. For once in my life, it seems I didn't get the short end of the stick :p

X-human
01-16-2008, 02:25 AM
If anything digital downloads still need to play catch up with pirating. I regularly go out and download almost any movie I want, more and more of which is coming out in HD. Just yesterday I got a source for a Turkish Dracula movie from the 50's. We're not only far away from that kind of select from any kind of a service provider, it's doubtful such selection will ever become available at all. Illegal MP3's killed music CD's, not legal ones. I can see illegal downloads killing off anything like AppleTV too.

Something Weird has made some inroads with Comcast OnDemand but who knows when the likes of Synapse Films or Blue Underground will cross over.

Livingdead102
01-16-2008, 02:46 AM
Illegal MP3's killed music CD's, not legal ones. I can see illegal downloads killing off anything like AppleTV too.

Are you sure about that? Check out this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/04/business/media/04music.html?_r=1&ex=1357189200&en=34b0a80eceebd3df&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&oref=slogin

Album sales (digital or otherwise) dropped 10% over the last year, but digital tracks jumped up 45%. Even more, overall music sales (albums, singles, digital tracks and music videos) are up 14%! You can't blame illegal MP3s for killing CDs while the legal music industry is growing. For too long, albums have been pushed on the strength of one or two hit singles, and more and more people are discovering they can obtain those hit singles legally without having to buy the rest of the filler. Albums are dying because for many popular musicians, albums aren't the best way to showcase their art. Personally, I would rather listen to a coherent, well-crafted album than a collection of hit singles, and luckily, I still have that choice.

I don't know what that says about the pirating of movies, but to be honest, I don't think film pirating is having the same effect on the film industry that music pirating had on the music industry eight years ago. I could be wrong, though. In any case, it seems that illegal downloading hurts sales of physical media than it does sales of legal downloads, as demonstrated by the current dynamic in the music industry. All in all, I think the music industry is building a pretty good template for success, should the film industry choose to follow in a year or two.

A bit off topic, sorry. Continue.

KR~!
01-16-2008, 12:24 PM
people complain about having to buy $265 Blu-Ray players to watch 1080p with true high end sound, but yet they are all going to get $5,000 home servers to watch 720p movies?!? Whhhaaaaaaaaat?

Again perhaps in 15 to 20 years when we can all download gigs a second and hard drives in the 100's of TB are common place.

Most people have the cheapest DSL, rather than the high priced faster cable modems, which are still too slow for this.

The future? Of course, everything will be downloaded in the future, but we are not there yet.

_pi_
01-16-2008, 02:02 PM
HD movie downloads is a whole 'nother ball game. Can't blame them for trying, but this will never replace the disc medium.

Steve Jobs disagrees. Witness the new MacBook Air, which has no optical drive whatsoever. It's designed to be completely WiFi. According to Apple, this is the future. And although I wouldn't have agreed yesterday, watching Job's Keynote (http://www.apple.com/quicktime/qtv/keynote/) address last night did a pretty good job of convincing me. For the first time ever I saw CDs/DVDs/BluRays etc - all disc media - as old, boarderline obsolete things.

It makes sense. A disc can easily be scratched and destroyed while a computer file is a lot harder to destroy by accident. And if you want hard copies, you can make them yourselves (yeah yeah, I know these files are encrypted, but when has that stopped anyone?). Rumors have it that Apple models later in the year will feature BluRay-drives (although I could have sworn that Jobs's attitude last night was more "down-with-all-optical-drives" than "lets-embrace-Blu") which means you could burn HD-quality movies on those discs yourself.

Mind you, I don't think consumers will rush out tomorrow to get all of Apple's products, but when you think about it - their solutions are hassle-free, simple and look damn good. I don't think we should be talking 5-10 years in the future, more like 3-5. The future is upon us ;)

dwatts
01-16-2008, 03:40 PM
Witness the new MacBook Air, which has no optical drive whatsoever. It's designed to be completely WiFi. According to Apple, this is the future.

Here's hoping people haven't been fooled into thinking this is anything new. I swear Apple are some of the best spinners in the business. Laptops with no CD/DVD drive have been around for ages - and as for them being wireless..... that's not new at all.

It makes sense. A disc can easily be scratched and destroyed while a computer file is a lot harder to destroy by accident.

It's what they try to do - to convince us that what we've been using all along is somehow fragile, our content is vulnerable, it could just disapear! Yet the reality is, we've been using discs for 20+ years, and things are just fine.

And if you want hard copies, you can make them yourselves (yeah yeah, I know these files are encrypted, but when has that stopped anyone?). Rumors have it that Apple models later in the year will feature BluRay-drives (although I could have sworn that Jobs's attitude last night was more "down-with-all-optical-drives" than "lets-embrace-Blu") which means you could burn HD-quality movies on those discs yourself.

I think it best not to base acceptance on the off-chance some kid will hack the system and allow us the freedoms we have today. It'll be more difficult in the future because encryption is much easier on files on a server. Algorithms can be changed thousands of times a second, encryption keys altered per milli-second if they have to. To accept it because someone might do something to bypass security is a rather difficult view to support, imo.

Mind you, I don't think consumers will rush out tomorrow to get all of Apple's products, but when you think about it - their solutions are hassle-free, simple and look damn good. I don't think we should be talking 5-10 years in the future, more like 3-5


Why do you need anything for any of this? You think iTunes won't allow other OS's to download their content? That it'll only work on Apple equipment? The movie companies didn't sign an exclusive agreement with Apple, they'll be doing the same thing across multiple venues. Blockbuster, Amazon, Ebay, all will get in on the act. Expect others too. You don't need Apple for any of this unless you demand subpar hi-def files today. Talk about a niche of a niche.

_pi_
01-17-2008, 12:20 AM
You won't need any of this NOW, is what I'm saying, but wait a few years and these things will become standard. That's the direction Apple is taking, anyway. Who knows what will happen in the meantime.

Of course, nobody is ever going to need any of this. Even with the new standards, people are still going to own their large DVD collections and their players. These people also don't need Widescreen TVs, they don't need a BluRay player, they don't need a computer and they certainly don't need the internet either. You can live fine without all those things. It's been done before, believe me - I've seen it!

Jeremy
01-17-2008, 01:34 AM
I predict that the high definition download battle won't be decided in the United States. In yet another example of my country's decaying infrastructure, the U.S. now ranks pretty much dead last amongst developed countries in high-speed Internet access. Average download speeds here lag significantly compared to Europe and Japan.

X-human
01-17-2008, 02:58 AM
Are you sure about that?

Considering the music industry was running around like a chicken with its head chopped off BEFORE legal digital downloads were established I'm pretty damn sure. People didn't think legal downloads would take off simply because illegal downloading was running rampant. I mean, which do you think came first? The chicken or its egg? (Two chicken comparisons in a post, sweet)

Legal Digital Downloads was a reactionary move against illegal downloads which were already killing CD sales.

17thJuggalo
01-17-2008, 03:37 AM
Most American's are still on dial-up, don't even know what a terabyte is, don't have an HDTV (if they do it may not do 1080p), and are too damn stubborn to buy movies full time without having them in their hand. Not to mention, people don't back up their data.

Imagine your 500 movie collection vanishing because of a failed hard drive.

dwatts
01-17-2008, 07:23 AM
Actually that's not right. more than 50% of Internet users in the US have Broadband now (I think it's around 53%). With extraordinary growth going on, the vast majority should have it soon.

In Europe it's about 45% of homes as I recall.

Sam
01-17-2008, 02:00 PM
Given that I rarely even burn audio cds, I'm not looking forward to having do the same with movies. Looks like a 50GB Blu Ray-type download would take 13+ hours assuming conditions were ideal and the server wasn't jampacked with traffic. Ouch. If the huge download times out.. do you still get a chance to resume it without paying again? It'll probably be over $10 a movie, sadly, which isn't worth the hassle of second-guessing the download, burning, and finding a high-quality jacket scan.

geeare
01-17-2008, 03:05 PM
with Blu you get 1080p/24 True HD or uncompressed PCM sound. I'm still glad I got my PS3.

Reverenddave
01-17-2008, 03:44 PM
If the huge download times out.. do you still get a chance to resume it without paying again?

I imagine it'll work the same way PS3 does game downloads. Once you purchase an item, it's listed on your account. Then you can download it again if you need to. I don't know if there's a limit of times you can download a game. But I know that if you replace your hard drive or buy a new machine, you don't have to pay again for the redownload.

dwatts
01-17-2008, 03:50 PM
Apple are talking about rentals - so we can expect a system whereby it times out and can't be played anymore (whether that be by number of times played, or a timeframe). Recoverability of a failed download though, no doubt, will be taken care of.

Reverenddave
01-17-2008, 04:00 PM
Apple are talking about rentals - so we can expect a system whereby it times out and can't be played anymore (whether that be by number of times played, or a timeframe).

For the Apple rental downloads, you have 30 days to start watching the movie and it expires 24 hours after you first hit Play. You can watch it as many times as you want in that 24 hour period.

dwatts
01-17-2008, 04:07 PM
There ya go, thanks for that.

Livingdead102
01-17-2008, 06:53 PM
Considering the music industry was running around like a chicken with its head chopped off BEFORE legal digital downloads were established I'm pretty damn sure. People didn't think legal downloads would take off simply because illegal downloading was running rampant. I mean, which do you think came first? The chicken or its egg? (Two chicken comparisons in a post, sweet)

Legal Digital Downloads was a reactionary move against illegal downloads which were already killing CD sales.

CD sales aren't dead--dying, maybe, but not dead--and anyway, it looks like it will be legal downloads that deliver the killing blow. My argument is that the ability to get the songs you want without getting the songs you don't is what is killing CDs, and I think the fact that legitimate music sales are increasing despite the decrease in album sales shows that people still want to legally buy music--they just don't want to buy the filler most pop stars put between their hits.

Similarly, I could see a film industry that allows you to customize the content you want to buy rather than selling you a movie surrounded by extra content you may not want, thus decreasing cost to the consumer and required storage space. I don't know that this will happen, but I can see it.

dwatts
01-17-2008, 09:03 PM
My argument is that the ability to get the songs you want without getting the songs you don't is what is killing CDs, and I think the fact that legitimate music sales are increasing despite the decrease in album sales shows that people still want to legally buy music--they just don't want to buy the filler most pop stars put between their hits.

I don't really want to get into this - and I know people don't really care, but it's worth noting the effect of this thinking. It's killing music that isn't "song" based, and that doesn't appeal to a younger audience. Jazz for instance. The vast majority of songs being bought are mainstream pop tunes. It's really sad that it's come at the expense of other types of music. Oh well.

X-human
01-17-2008, 10:01 PM
Legal will be the final nails, but the coffin was built and designed by illegal downloads. :D

I think true music fans stick to the albums, some of my music fan friends have quantities of CD's in the numbers I have DVD's. I know I never buy discs just for a song or two. When I like a band, I go out and buy the whole physical legal CD. It's the least I can do.

Similarly, I could see a film industry that allows you to customize the content you want to buy rather than selling you a movie surrounded by extra content you may not want, thus decreasing cost to the consumer and required storage space. I don't know that this will happen, but I can see it.

Well right now they don't seem to have extras at all, so the next step would be to add extra content at extra charge. I believe that will happen as well.

Even still it's hard to compare a pop single to a feature length movie, unless you intend to loop it for 90 minutes. There's a different value with the two.

dwatts
01-17-2008, 10:43 PM
I know I never buy discs just for a song or two.

Oh man, you have no idea what a pleasure it is to read this. Really.

I've made an unscientific observation about the MP3 generation. And yes, I'm an old man. Generally, it seems that music is just another part of the twitchy fingered MTV generations (a sub-generation, as it were), need to over-stimulate themselves. The number of people I see with MP3 players who are constantly switching between tracks, 30 seconds in. Flick flick flick. Over-active, never really listening to music, just experiencing bits of it. it's actually worse with people I know with huge collections of MP3 on their computers. At best they're skimming what they consider the cream of the songs, and never ever allowing themselves to grow into the music - like a sugar fix it's an instant hit, or not worthy - or they're twitching 30 seconds or so into a song and moving on to the next. Which has helped create a music industry that'll pander to that (I won't go into this desire for people to believe what they listen to is somehow niche, different, and not what people usual listen to - when in fact, even culty artists these days are listened to by huge numbers of people).

The MP3 twitch is just another sugar fix for the ears, it seems.

Well right now they don't seem to have extras at all, so the next step would be to add extra content at extra charge. I believe that will happen as well.

Hm - I somehow doubt this, to be honest. Business doesn't tend to work that way. We're already seeing it to a certain extent, look at hour lazy most DVD extras are for mainstream titles. You see, the extras aren't enough to swing most people. Once we get to downloads I think the lowest common denominator rule will apply. Most people just want the film? Good, just give them the film.

17thJuggalo
01-18-2008, 12:10 AM
Actually that's not right. more than 50% of Internet users in the US have Broadband now (I think it's around 53%). With extraordinary growth going on, the vast majority should have it soon.

This number stems from the huge number of people who have broadband access from work. I really don't think any employer (or network guy for that matter) would advise someone to download an HD movie at work.

Livingdead102
01-18-2008, 05:59 AM
I think true music fans stick to the albums, some of my music fan friends have quantities of CD's in the numbers I have DVD's. I know I never buy discs just for a song or two. When I like a band, I go out and buy the whole physical legal CD. It's the least I can do.

I'm the same way. I like buying music downloads, but I have never bought a single in my life. And I still buy physical albums, though not as much as I used to, and it annoys me to no end if there are more than one or two songs I would rather skip past. I guess I'm fortunate in that most of the bands in my favorite genres don't get enough radio play to have to generate a constant stream of hit singles. But ultimately, it's about choice. Just because some of us prefer art in large doses doesn't mean that those of us that prefer art in small doses aren't "true" :rolleyes: music fans.


Well right now they don't seem to have extras at all, so the next step would be to add extra content at extra charge. I believe that will happen as well.

Even still it's hard to compare a pop single to a feature length movie, unless you intend to loop it for 90 minutes. There's a different value with the two.

Eh. Well, yeah, you got me on the lack of extras with current downloads. But the comparison I was making between downloading a hit single and a film is that in an ideal system you could pay for only what you want, not for the extra material that someone else decided to package with the good stuff. I still think that (theoretically) purchasing a film download without extras that I don't want that I can do whatever I please with at a substantially cheaper rate than purchasing a DVD is, to me, a good deal. Whether that ever develops is beyond my psychic abilities, but if the music industry can do it, I have hope that the film industry can do it too.

KR~!
01-18-2008, 11:59 AM
Also please note that the movie rentals from the I-Store runs out after 24 hours, and you can't play the file anymore after that.

Dave
11-10-2008, 07:06 PM
I'm starting to rethink my earlier stance in this thread. I thought it would be a good time to revisit it.

What are your thoughts on downloads and digital distribution of movies? I think mine are starting to change...

My Mom gave me a $100 check for my b-day this week and I'm trying to decide if I'm going to spend it at the DD sale or on a new external hdd for my computer.

I've started to put a lot of my DVDs onto my computer, convert to high quality divx, and then stream to my Xbox 360. I'm really starting to enjoy it. Having access to S1-S9 of The Simpsons without having to leave the couch is pretty damn cool!

I love artwork, especially on laser, but I'm really only looking at the artwork when I pull the movie out to play it. Being able to access a vast library without ever having to put a disc in is pretty damn cool.

I still question how well HD streaming will work, but Xbox has it now, so I may give it a whirl with one of the Friday the 13th sequels that are on there.

I think the question/concern I'm left with is this: If I had the option to buy the DVD or not buy the DVD and download (and own) a digital copy, would I do that? Skip the physical media all together. I think the answer is yes, but it would depend on if I could access that download again should my hard drive crash. I would like to have 2-3 downloads per movie.

Wouldn't it be nice to move and have to carry one (or two, or three, or several) hard drives instead of several boxes of DVDs and lasers? Not to mention all the space you would save in your home. I know some people display their collection with pride. I do, too. I have a "media closet" as I call it, but I'm not certain if I would care too much about having to give it up.

Anaestheus
11-10-2008, 07:39 PM
Right now, my biggest complaint with Digital Distribution is how they define "ownership." Currently, if you download a song or movie, you don't really own it. You are limited in your ability to transport it (by copy protection) and you are completely unable to sell it. I do think that digital distribution is the future, but until these issues are worked out, I will continue to buy physical copies. I have a HUGE collection of CDs and DVDs. And while I do hate carting them around whenever I move. I do get some comfort knowing that if I ever needed cash, I can liquidate my purchases. And, to me, that is what property is all about.

Shannafey
11-10-2008, 08:00 PM
In going with what Anaestheus said, it would have to be a price point that makes it worthwhile. I am at the point where I'd rather have a ton of DIVX files at my instant access instead of DVDs. Most DIVX files I have, I've downloaded for free and this isn't because I didn't want to pay for them, it is because they are films/tv shows that aren't available on DVD or out of print. I would buy a DIVX file of a film if the price is right and it had no DRM. I would love to have a HD full of movies, but being the volatile nature of HDs, I would like them backed up on a more permanent media such as DVD or eventually Blu Ray when the price is reasonable for recordables. I don't want to lose that file if a hard drive crashes and I don't want to be told I can't copy it, when I paid for it. It already irks me when I put in a DVD and have the player frozen while I sit through every distribution/production company logo and the FBI warnings. I feel like I'm being screwed when I paid for the product. That's the way I'd feel if I downloaded it and couldn't back it up or keep it permanently.

There is going to be a huge problem getting a reasonable price point. You can rent DVDs for $5 a piece at Blockbuster or as many as you want for $20 a month at BB or Netflix. I usually pay $5 or less for used DVDs, so I refuse to rent them. On top of that, my local library loans them for free. Why would I pay over $4 or 5 for a movie that is a lesser quality Digital file??? With HD, Blu Rays are still at the $20+ price, though I find used ones for $15, even $10 (but this isn't the norm). If I could download an HD version of a film for $10 or under, that is an option I'd consider. Again, I don't think that they will be that cheap, and it should be, because they aren't providing packaging, art work, etc. If it is merely a rental it will have to be very cheap, being the price of mail order rental contracts and used product! I just don't see them ever being at a resonable price point, because most of us are spoiled by a cheap used market and very cheap rental fees with Netflix and / or free at public libraries.

killit
11-11-2008, 09:59 PM
they can be convienent and are obviously good for the enviornment. I generally only buy itunes plus records or i buy on amazon mp3 service which are all drm free. I will ocasionally breakdown if there are bonus tracks or if it's like a tv show on itunes.

Reverenddave
11-19-2008, 03:45 AM
Has anyone checked out Netflix on the 360? You can get a 1-out plan for $8.99 with unlimited streaming. They've got a nice selection of HD movies. Some really good titles.

2 Days in Paris
30 Rock: Season 1
30 Rock: Season 2
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
50 Cent: Refuse to Die
8 Seconds
A Very British Gangster
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Before the Rains
Blink
Blood Angels
Body of War
Broken English
Cashback
Chained Heat 2
Cheats
Closing Escrow
Color Me Kubrick
Comedians of Comedy: Live at the El Rey
Confessions of a Superhero
Cowboy del Amor
Crazy Love
CSNY Déjà Vu
Dandelion
Dead Man's Shoes
Delta of Venus
Diggers
Down to the Bone
Exiled
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
Eye of the Dolphin
Fall from Grace
Fay Grim
Festival Express
Friday Night Lights: Season 1
Girl 27
Graduation
Heroes: Season 1
Heroes: Season 2
Heroes: Season 3
Honeydripper
How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair
I'm Reed Fish
Interstate
Ira & Abby
Iron Eagle 3: Aces
John Waters: This Filthy World
Keane
Kids in America
Kiltro
Klimt
La Vie en Rose
Legacy of the Great Plains
Miracle at Sage Creek
Mister Foe
Mr. Untouchable
Never Say Die/Silent Hunter
Office Tigers
Only Human
Outsourced
Pan's Labyrinth
Perfect 10 Model Boxing: Vol. 1
Please Vote For Me
Puccini for Beginners
Puppy
Rain in the Mountains
Reprise
Running with Arnold
RX
Saint of 9/11
Samoan Wedding
Satan's Little Helper
Severance 2006
Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars
Steal a Pencil for Me
Steel City
Straight into Darkness
Strange Bedfellows
Succubus: Hell-Bent
Sunset Grill
Swimmers
Tears of the Black Tiger
The Air I Breathe
The Architect
The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania
The Boston Red Sox Movie
The Business of Being Born
The Devil Came on Horseback
The Great New Wonderful
The Host
The King of Kong
The Office: Season 1
The Office: Season 2
The Office: Season 3
The Office: Season 4
The Quiet Room
The Rape of Europa
The Red Balloon / White Mane
The Signal
The Story of the Weeping Camel
The Thing
The Viking Sagas
Throttle 2005
Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends
Two Days in April
Under Heavy Fire
Ushpizin
Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show
Weirdsville
Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?
Widows' Peak
Without the King

maybrick
11-19-2008, 12:03 PM
I have a ton of divx/avi files I've downloaded over the years only to never watch them. I don't really do it all that often anymore. The truth is, if given a choice, I almost always choose watching a DVD over divx. There's simply something more appealing and enjoyable about it, and yes, it's probably looking at the cover art. And as far as having the option to never have to get off the couch again: Well... I don't get enough exercise anyways. If it ever comes to the point where I become that lazy then I may as well roll over and die.

Ash28M
11-19-2008, 12:32 PM
I don't think I will ever go for this. I like having the physical medium in my hand. Part of the fun of Horror films has always been the artwork. Most of us have fond memories of going into Mom and Pop store and just staring at all those great covers. Now I may go for this instead of renting but that's about it,

spawningblue
11-19-2008, 10:42 PM
I'm a fan of owning the movie myself. Half the fun is trying to find that oop movie and then finally finding it. I love hitting up a used DVD store and coming home with a bag full of goodies, that I probably would have never gotten if i didn't see them in the store and their sweet price. That and I am all about big box sets that come with statues or steelcases, or busts, ect. I love buying and owning the cool limited sets that make all your friends awe!

Anaestheus
11-20-2008, 12:21 AM
In terms of overall distribution, I really liked the way Radiohead handled the initial release of "In Rainbows" and I wouldn't mind seeing something like that more prevalent. For those that didn't follow that album, Radiohead offered "pay what you want" for download or you could buy an admitedly expensive (but not overpriced) quality release called "Discbox" And the "Discbox" is really quite beautiful.

I like the baubles and bells and whistles that come with a spectacular physical release like "Blade Runner" But if all I get with my "Squirm" dvd is a nice Amray case, then do I really need the disc for anything other than the benefits that I mentioned in my previous post?

And, while I do agree that the fun of the hunt is irreplaceable, I also have to admit that they way they release things these days, I have come to accept that EVERYTHING will be released again. So the thrill of the OOP has declined significantly. I don't know how much time and money I spent hunting down "Forgotten Silver" and numerous Criterion discs that have since been released in decent enough re-issues.

What I would love to see are more is a series of subscription-based "channels." For example, a Giallo channel that has hundreds (if there are hundreds) of Giallo and for, say, $3 a month I can stream as many movies as I can watch. While I know that current philosophies on distribution rights would prevent this from becoming a reality, it's the only way that I would ever consider switching to digital format.