Film School Rejects: We Can't Let Physical Media Die

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#1 Posted by nintendoboy16 (36481 posts) -

Link

Samsung recently announced that they won’t be making any more Blu-ray players for the US market. Some of you may think that’s not a big deal. Other companies make Blu-ray players, after all. Why should we care if one focuses their resources on other products? And you are correct — other companies do churn out Blu-ray players and will continue to do so for years to come. Regardless of that, though, this development is yet another blow to the long-term survival of physical media.

It’s no secret that disc sales have been declining for years now. According to Statista, streaming and digital formats have been surpassing home media format sales since 2016. Furthermore, Blu-ray sales dropped a further 15% in 2018, which further proves that the warning signs of physical media potentially dying are there. As a pop culture enthusiast, this worries me.

Here’s the thing: I’m a big fan of streaming and digital platforms. They’re convenient, and the streaming services I subscribe to every month are giving me my money’s worth with their selection of original content and pre-existing favorites. There’s definitely a place for these online entities in today’s consumer climate. However, as the recent deaths of Filmstruck and Ultraviolet proved, streaming and digital services aren’t always reliable.

This unreliability was further confirmed last year when movies that people bought on iTunes just disappeared. This was due to some legal agreement that meant the service could no longer host certain movies. Of course, Apple’s user agreement states that if you buy a film on iTunes you might not be able to own it forever. But who even reads T&Cs when they just want to buy a movie? Perhaps we should, but most of us don’t.

The good thing about physical media is that it’s permanent. This means that we don’t have to rely on online services to see movies that we want to access at any given time. Streaming services and digital platforms tend to only host movies for a limited period anyway, which isn’t ideal for when you’re in the mood for something specific and can’t find it anywhere to watch on the internet.

Another thing that online services don’t regularly provide us with is a wide selection of special features. In recent times, discs have also been severely lacking in this department, especially when it comes to insightful commentaries and meaty making-of featurettes. Extras have been valuable tools for filmmakers and fans to gain the behind-the-scenes knowledge they crave. Commentaries also inspire one of the most popular ongoing features on this very website. I’d hate to live in a world where such features are a rarity.

Of course, some features are included exclusively with digital purchases. In the physical realm, the new trend is for different features to be included with discs that are sold at certain stores. For fans who want to see every feature included with a movie, they’d need to buy it several times — digitally and physically. That’s pricey, and special features aren’t as substantial as they were during the DVD boom, when you could buy one disc and have the full array of extras available to you, for the most part. If more people bought physical media, perhaps companies would be more inclined to stop striking exclusive deals with multiple outlets and give us everything in one package.

Buying physical media also supports the business that sell these products. In the UK recently, several HMV and Fopp stores were forced to close because keeping them open was no longer financially feasible. It’s only a matter of time before more stores experience a similar situation. People will lose their jobs, and movie fans will be deprived of the joy of spending hours scouring through shelves for treats. There’s a great social aspect to buying movies from shops that online entities can’t provide. One time I bought a copy of Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer at the behest of a random stranger I met in a DVD aisle and it was the best decision I ever made.

On top of keeping stores in business, physical media also supports specialist home media companies that go out of their way to ensure that their releases are deserving of our hard-earned money. Arrow, Scream Factory, 88 Films, Criterion, Vinegar Syndrome, and other like-minded labels stack their releases with groovy features that are entertaining and educational. Still, those companies target their releases towards niche audiences. But if physical media was thriving in general, everyone would win.

Blu-rays and DVDs aren’t going to disappear overnight. That said, if we want to keep physical around then we need to support it. Maybe you prefer streaming and purchasing digital copies for whatever reason, but movies and shows existing on these platforms relies on them sticking around and hosting them. Neither is guaranteed. But a tangible disc on your shelf will always be there, provided you take good care of it.

Basically saying what everyone in support of physical media has always said, but it can't be addressed enough IMO. And this goes for games and books too.

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#2 Posted by uninspiredcup (34401 posts) -

Not too worried, just another evolution as it was from VHS to DVD and DVD to BR.

If anything things will get better and better.

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#3 Posted by Master_Live (19666 posts) -

I prefer physical media, but this is the way it is moving toward to. We should move forward to prevent the dreaded "company goes puff in the air" and my collection goes down the drain with it. Be proactive, not reactive.

And that's that.

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#4 Posted by Randoggy (3473 posts) -
@uninspiredcup said:

Not too worried, just another evolution as it was from VHS to DVD and DVD to BR.

If anything things will get better and better.

Losing ownership is better?

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#5 Edited by uninspiredcup (34401 posts) -

@Randoggy said:
@uninspiredcup said:

Not too worried, just another evolution as it was from VHS to DVD and DVD to BR.

If anything things will get better and better.

Losing ownership is better?

Can now go onto Netflix and watch hundreds of movies at an instant click for the price of a 2 day dental of one movie.

Or instantly buy and watch movies on youtube in seconds, that I will probably "own" longer than any physical disk.

If you're a collector or care about bonus material you'll hate it, as with pc gaming though, which itself moves towards digital with Steam, most people will embrace and prefer it. They already have. Not just with BR, but TV itself.

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#6 Posted by npiet1 (2481 posts) -

@Randoggy said:
@uninspiredcup said:

Not too worried, just another evolution as it was from VHS to DVD and DVD to BR.

If anything things will get better and better.

Losing ownership is better?

It's not really the same thing as games though. There really isn't a difference between having a movie stored on a Blu-ray disc and having it on a HDD. It's just a storage choice.

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#7 Posted by nepu7supastar7 (5152 posts) -

@npiet1:

Exactly. Chances are that a physical disk will get too worn out to use way before a larger storage device does. I've personally had to rebuy games and movies before too. Just because a disk got too scratched up or damaged in some other way. Never had that problem with a hard drive though.

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#8 Posted by DEVILinIRON (4930 posts) -

That would suck if my beloved Criterion Collection went away. I don't think it will though.

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#9 Posted by Randoggy (3473 posts) -
@nepu7supastar7 said:

@npiet1:

Exactly. Chances are that a physical disk will get too worn out to use way before a larger storage device does. I've personally had to rebuy games and movies before too. Just because a disk got too scratched up or damaged in some other way. Never had that problem with a hard drive though.

Sounds like you just don't take care of your stuff lol.

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#10 Posted by nepu7supastar7 (5152 posts) -

@Randoggy:

I never said that it was frequent but the point is that it happened. Disks are more fragile than hard drives. Especially the formats before Blu Ray.

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#11 Edited by Star67 (4451 posts) -

@nepu7supastar7:

@nepu7supastar7 said:

@Randoggy:

I never said that it was frequent but the point is that it happened. Disks are more fragile than hard drives. Especially the formats before Blu Ray.

Very debatable.

Your disk can sit on a shelf protected in a case without constantly spinning from use.

Your HDD is part of a game console, PC, or laptop that is constantly on and spinning. HDD's go bad.

The only solution for permanent archiving is having the media in abundance in multiple formats. Such as the cloud, disks, and downloads on HDD

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#12 Edited by LJS9502_basic (166908 posts) -

I prefer physical media. Streaming is at the whim of those in charge of the service. I'd rather be in charge of my property.

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#13 Posted by Horgen (120925 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:

I prefer physical media. Streaming is at the whim of those in charge of the service. I'd rather be in charge of my property.

And quality is usually far better with a physical media than streaming unless you got a fast internet connection.

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#14 Posted by AFBrat77 (26737 posts) -

@horgen:

Agreed, hell I still have VCR and DvD players. But for games I do tend to use Steam and Gog for my PC.

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#15 Posted by Horgen (120925 posts) -

@AFBrat77 said:

@horgen:

Agreed, hell I still have VCR and DvD players. But for games I do tend to use Steam and Gog for my PC.

I recently bought another blu-ray player since the DVD player had failed.

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#16 Posted by SolidSnake35 (58919 posts) -

Oh yeah, digital media is so good. I have an Ultra Violet account with many HD movies on it. Got them free with physical media. It's closing down. I think there's one provider that lets me view them now. I CANT connect my laptop to a TV using miracast to view them, though. Oh no no. It says there's a licence issue. Morons.

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#17 Posted by Willy105 (24857 posts) -

Physical media should die, but digital media should be given the same rights and protections as physical media does.

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#18 Posted by R-Gamer (455 posts) -

I love physical media but have always used my game consoles for it. I will support it as long as it exists.

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#19 Posted by Speeny (1887 posts) -

I own a fairly large DVD & Blu-ray collection, & personally, I'm fine with physical media dying out.

Over the years, I've pretty much discovered that I only buy physical media, (referring to movies & tv series) not because I like owning it physically, but because 99% of the time it's the best quality available. Most illegal downloads are compressed to some degree. With most physical media you don't get that. (Maybe I'm wrong.)

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#20 Posted by Speeny (1887 posts) -
@Willy105 said:

Physical media should die, but digital media should be given the same rights and protections as physical media does.

Agreed.

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#21 Posted by Sevenizz (4019 posts) -

Ugh, just let physical die already. It’s pointless and unnecessary.

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#22 Posted by demon-returns (1448 posts) -

I am done even talking about this subject because I know there's ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I can do to stop the death of physical media so I have instead resolved myself to just hoping that I live long enough to one day laugh at people that have been clamoring for an all digital media when they see and realize that it only gives companies more of a leverage to take advantage of them.

I remember back in 2005 when DLC came on the scene and people were hyped up for it and (while I won't say that DLC is 100% bad) but look at where the current state of DLC has headed now with things like microtransactions, loot boxes, content being held and later sold as part of the "complete game" and people are complaining, whining about it but of course it's too late now ;-)

One day in the future the cycle will happen again. Not sure when that will be but it will happen

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#23 Edited by mrbojangles25 (44161 posts) -

I think what is going to happen is this:

Optical discs will go the route of vinyl records. It will become niche. It will be about satisfying the enthusiast film fan, the people that really, really, really care about the details and quality.

So instead of Samsung making millions of Blu-Ray players and selling them for 50 dollars and the quality being "good enough but not great", we will instead have "artisan" creators of Blu-Ray players that might make a run of a few thousand and sell them for 250 dollars, but they have all the bells and whistles (I don't know the tech, but I am sure there are high end BR players out there and they have stuff the cheap ones don't, so bear with me).

Likewise with the media itself, I expect it to be more about the collection and appreciation of media. People will have to hunt down a film they want. I imagine through a combination of crowdfunding and deal-making, studios will make limited-run productions of films if there is a big enough demand, or maybe there will be "officially sanctioned" manufacturers that will make copies on request. Who knows.

Just a hunch.

*The trick with digital is to go with companies that are "too big to fail". You might get a good deal on a digital copy of something on "heylookcheapdigitalmovies .com"(not a real place, just an example) but you have no protections that copy will remain with you when that website goes under; however, with something like Amazon, there is no way in hell they (or the government) would let millions of people with billions of dollars of movies simply vanish into thin air.

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#24 Edited by Ezekiel43 (1713 posts) -
@demon-returns said:

I am done even talking about this subject because I know there's ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I can do to stop the death of physical media so I have instead resolved myself to just hoping that I live long enough to one day laugh at people that have been clamoring for an all digital media when they see and realize that it only gives companies more of a leverage to take advantage of them.

Yup. Fools.

@npiet1 said:
@Randoggy said:
@uninspiredcup said:

Not too worried, just another evolution as it was from VHS to DVD and DVD to BR.

If anything things will get better and better.

Losing ownership is better?

It's not really the same thing as games though. There really isn't a difference between having a movie stored on a Blu-ray disc and having it on a HDD. It's just a storage choice.

@nepu7supastar7 said:

@npiet1:

Exactly. Chances are that a physical disk will get too worn out to use way before a larger storage device does. I've personally had to rebuy games and movies before too. Just because a disk got too scratched up or damaged in some other way. Never had that problem with a hard drive though.

What the hell are you both talking about? The studios don't want you to be able to archive movies on your hard drive. Your access to those movies is entirely dependent on whether or not the distributor continues to license it. Of course, you can buy movies digitally. But look what's happening to iTunes. It's closing. Pretty sure most of my Blu-ray discs will still play when I am an old man, which I can't say for most of the third party stuff on your streaming services and your owned licenses. That's not even taking into account the superior video and audio quality of discs and the far, FAR bigger selection than any one service.

I also have the option to back all my discs up to hard drives. It's very easy. Thanks for reminding me.

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#25 Edited by Ezekiel43 (1713 posts) -

October will see the 4K HDR release of The Wizard of Oz. If an eighty year old movie stored on fragile film can be restored to Ultra HD, I gotta laugh at the idea of most of the more durable discs of the last fifteen years just not playing when I am an old man. I've never had a disc go bad with age. Never.

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#26 Posted by npiet1 (2481 posts) -

@ezekiel43: So you really expect MS movies or Sony Movies to leave like iTunes? Because you can download them too (With MS anyway). If the company does disappear, they give you warning. You can download it and then transfer it as you need. Disc's also degrade over time or disc rot. Life expectancy is about the same unless you can control humidity (this also depends on the quality of the disc.) This is the same goddam argument every new format from records to tapes to VHS to CD to DVD to Blu-Ray to HDD.

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#27 Edited by Ezekiel43 (1713 posts) -

@npiet1 said:

@ezekiel43: So you really expect MS movies or Sony Movies to leave like iTunes? Because you can download them too (With MS anyway). If the company does disappear, they give you warning. You can download it and then transfer it as you need. Disc's also degrade over time or disc rot. Life expectancy is about the same unless you can control humidity (this also depends on the quality of the disc.) This is the same goddam argument every new format from records to tapes to VHS to CD to DVD to Blu-Ray to HDD.

No, it's not the same argument. You always owned a copy of the movie previously. The difference now is that you're relying on someone else. You have a lot of confidence about being warned and having the option to transfer. Not sure where that confidence is coming from. Or why you're so sure you will know in the weeks prior. I hope you watch your emails very closely, all the time. I hope you won't be ill or have more important things to worry about when the time comes.

It's a Wonderful Life is also coming to 4K HDR in October. That one's 73 years old and evidently still in condition. But you have total confidence in Netflix still having Jurassic Park in 2040. Oh wait, I think they removed it already.

You sure trust strange corporations a lot.

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#28 Posted by npiet1 (2481 posts) -
@ezekiel43 said:
@npiet1 said:

@ezekiel43: So you really expect MS movies or Sony Movies to leave like iTunes? Because you can download them too (With MS anyway). If the company does disappear, they give you warning. You can download it and then transfer it as you need. Disc's also degrade over time or disc rot. Life expectancy is about the same unless you can control humidity (this also depends on the quality of the disc.) This is the same goddam argument every new format from records to tapes to VHS to CD to DVD to Blu-Ray to HDD.

No, it's not the same argument. You always owned a copy of the movie previously. The difference now is that you're relying on someone else. You have a lot of confidence about being warned and having the option to transfer. Not sure where that confidence is coming from. Or why you're so sure you will know in the weeks prior. I hope you watch your emails very closely, all the time. I hope you won't be ill or have more important things to worry about when the time comes. You still own it, you still download it to your HDD, I'm not talking about streaming. There was a announcement for iTunes about it and to download anything before they shut of the servers, just like the Wii digital store. It was all over the news here for both.

It's a Wonderful Life is also coming to 4K HDR in October. That one's 73 years old and evidently still in condition. But you have total confidence in Netflix still having Jurassic Park in 2040. Oh wait, I think they removed it already.

Where did I talk about Netflix at all? Please point it out to me.

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#29 Edited by Ezekiel43 (1713 posts) -

@npiet1 said:
@ezekiel43 said:
@npiet1 said:

@ezekiel43: So you really expect MS movies or Sony Movies to leave like iTunes? Because you can download them too (With MS anyway). If the company does disappear, they give you warning. You can download it and then transfer it as you need. Disc's also degrade over time or disc rot. Life expectancy is about the same unless you can control humidity (this also depends on the quality of the disc.) This is the same goddam argument every new format from records to tapes to VHS to CD to DVD to Blu-Ray to HDD.

No, it's not the same argument. You always owned a copy of the movie previously. The difference now is that you're relying on someone else. You have a lot of confidence about being warned and having the option to transfer. Not sure where that confidence is coming from. Or why you're so sure you will know in the weeks prior. I hope you watch your emails very closely, all the time. I hope you won't be ill or have more important things to worry about when the time comes. You still own it, you still download it to your HDD, I'm not talking about streaming. There was a announcement for iTunes about it and to download anything before they shut of the servers, just like the Wii digital store. It was all over the news here for both.

It's a Wonderful Life is also coming to 4K HDR in October. That one's 73 years old and evidently still in condition. But you have total confidence in Netflix still having Jurassic Park in 2040. Oh wait, I think they removed it already.

Where did I talk about Netflix at all? Please point it out to me.

That totally depends on the distributor. They're not obligated to give you those options. Some may, others won't. I bet those files are pretty small anyway, meaning badly compressed. What file format are they? Do you need some special app to play them?

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#30 Posted by npiet1 (2481 posts) -

@ezekiel43 said:
@npiet1 said:
@ezekiel43 said:
@npiet1 said:

@ezekiel43: So you really expect MS movies or Sony Movies to leave like iTunes? Because you can download them too (With MS anyway). If the company does disappear, they give you warning. You can download it and then transfer it as you need. Disc's also degrade over time or disc rot. Life expectancy is about the same unless you can control humidity (this also depends on the quality of the disc.) This is the same goddam argument every new format from records to tapes to VHS to CD to DVD to Blu-Ray to HDD.

No, it's not the same argument. You always owned a copy of the movie previously. The difference now is that you're relying on someone else. You have a lot of confidence about being warned and having the option to transfer. Not sure where that confidence is coming from. Or why you're so sure you will know in the weeks prior. I hope you watch your emails very closely, all the time. I hope you won't be ill or have more important things to worry about when the time comes. You still own it, you still download it to your HDD, I'm not talking about streaming. There was a announcement for iTunes about it and to download anything before they shut of the servers, just like the Wii digital store. It was all over the news here for both.

It's a Wonderful Life is also coming to 4K HDR in October. That one's 73 years old and evidently still in condition. But you have total confidence in Netflix still having Jurassic Park in 2040. Oh wait, I think they removed it already.

Where did I talk about Netflix at all? Please point it out to me.

That totally depends on the distributor. They're not obligated to give you those options. Some may, others won't. I bet those files are pretty small anyway, meaning badly compressed.

If it's a big store like MS or Sony, they would announce it, like they always have. The compression is a real thing I'll admit but you can't expect that to always be a problem especially since that's an internet speed problem which is why they do that.

HD movie from MS is 6-11gb too, so not completely awful compression.

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#31 Edited by Ezekiel43 (1713 posts) -

@npiet1 said:
@ezekiel43 said:
@npiet1 said:
@ezekiel43 said:

No, it's not the same argument. You always owned a copy of the movie previously. The difference now is that you're relying on someone else. You have a lot of confidence about being warned and having the option to transfer. Not sure where that confidence is coming from. Or why you're so sure you will know in the weeks prior. I hope you watch your emails very closely, all the time. I hope you won't be ill or have more important things to worry about when the time comes. You still own it, you still download it to your HDD, I'm not talking about streaming. There was a announcement for iTunes about it and to download anything before they shut of the servers, just like the Wii digital store. It was all over the news here for both.

It's a Wonderful Life is also coming to 4K HDR in October. That one's 73 years old and evidently still in condition. But you have total confidence in Netflix still having Jurassic Park in 2040. Oh wait, I think they removed it already.

Where did I talk about Netflix at all? Please point it out to me.

That totally depends on the distributor. They're not obligated to give you those options. Some may, others won't. I bet those files are pretty small anyway, meaning badly compressed.

If it's a big store like MS or Sony, they would announce it, like they always have. The compression is a real thing I'll admit but you can't expect that to always be a problem especially since that's an internet speed problem which is why they do that.

HD movie from MS is 6-11gb too, so not completely awful compression.

Not good or even average compression either. You can see the artifacts.

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#32 Posted by npiet1 (2481 posts) -

@ezekiel43: No lol. If you are that's your system.

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#33 Posted by comp_atkins (35805 posts) -

i have not bought a physical disc in years. i agree not having complete ownership is a problem. if you pay for something it should be yours in perpetuity, not your as long as the company hosting it happens to exist to have it on their service.

personally for music and movies though i don't care all that much. there's always something else to watch / listen to if what i wanted to happens to go away.

of greater concern personally is things like my own photos / home movies, etc.. sure they can be constantly moved from one media to another but what is the longer-term storage solution? dvd/br backups don't last forever nor do i have time to manage all of that. i have tens of thousands of digital photos and videos and that number is constantly growing. currently have backed up from my pc onto a home nas duplicated to cloud storage but i have not idea if the cloud backup company will exist 20 years from now.

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#34 Edited by Ezekiel43 (1713 posts) -

@npiet1 said:

@ezekiel43: No lol. If you are that's your system.

Not sure what you mean by that. My system is so good that it exposes the artifacts?

UHD discs can average 82 mbps and store up to 100 GB. Regular Blu-rays typically are about 25 mbps. Your 6 GB files are probably like 6.5 mbps. Compression has gotten much better over the years, but those are DVD bitrates. Why would I even wanna archive HD movies so badly compressed? I'd be storing junk. You notice the difference not only visually, but in the sound too.

I still wanna know what file format these videos are and if they require proprietary software to play.

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#35 Posted by npiet1 (2481 posts) -

@ezekiel43: no if your seeing artifacts while streaming or even for a HD download that's your system can't keep up with the quality and that's your issue. I never have that happen unless it's a 480p video.

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#36 Posted by npiet1 (2481 posts) -

@comp_atkins: Yeah, I'm having the same issue. For now just multiple back-ups on different HDD's and a cloud back-up. Would love something that last 60 odd years at least easily.

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#37 Edited by Ezekiel43 (1713 posts) -

@npiet1 said:

@ezekiel43: no if your seeing artifacts while streaming or even for a HD download that's your system can't keep up with the quality and that's your issue. I never have that happen unless it's a 480p video.

You HAVE seen artifacts in both downloaded videos and streams, by which I mean things like color banding, shallower blacks, less definition, blockier, less vibrant colors, blur, reduced grain, jaggedness and more. What, are you gonna claim an 80 mbps 4K video and a 20 mbps 4K video are barely distinguishable? Maybe you should play them side by side or alternate between them on a decent TV. Downloading movies sucks, for the most part. Even most pirates compress them way too much.

I still wanna know what file format these videos are and if they require proprietary software to play.

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#38 Posted by npiet1 (2481 posts) -

@ezekiel43: Yes I know what artifacts are and yeah there isn't a whole lot of difference (Note I don't have 4k, so I'm can't test/comment on that resolution, so I'm talking 1080p but I do have a decent IPS screen). Piracy is about size but if you know what you are doing you can get them just as easily as the highly compressed stuff.

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#39 Edited by Ezekiel43 (1713 posts) -

@npiet1 said:

@ezekiel43: Yes I know what artifacts are and yeah there isn't a whole lot of difference (Note I don't have 4k, so I'm can't test/comment on that resolution, so I'm talking 1080p but I do have a decent IPS screen). Piracy is about size but if you know what you are doing you can get them just as easily as the highly compressed stuff.

Sure, you can get good quality pirated copies if it's something popular, but if you look for more obscure stuff you usually only have compressed videos to choose from or dead torrents.

What I'm talking about also applies to 1080p. There's a big enough visual difference between 25 mbps 1080p and 6 mbps 1080p. Paying prices almost comparable to Blu-rays for digital copies is such a waste.

I still wanna know what file format these videos are and if they require proprietary software to play.

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#40 Posted by npiet1 (2481 posts) -

@ezekiel43 said:
@npiet1 said:

@ezekiel43: Yes I know what artifacts are and yeah there isn't a whole lot of difference (Note I don't have 4k, so I'm can't test/comment on that resolution, so I'm talking 1080p but I do have a decent IPS screen). Piracy is about size but if you know what you are doing you can get them just as easily as the highly compressed stuff.

Sure, you can get good quality pirated copies if it's something popular, but if you look for more obscure stuff you usually only have compressed videos to choose from or dead torrents.

What I'm talking about also applies to 1080p. There's a big enough visual difference between 25 mbps 1080p and 6 mbps 1080p. Paying prices almost comparable to Blu-rays for digital copies is such a waste.

I still wanna know what file format these videos are and if they require proprietary software to play.

Back in 480p days it was .MP4 but I'm pretty sure it's now HEVC which makes sense since it can reduce file size by 50% without quality loss and supports 8k.

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#41 Edited by Ezekiel43 (1713 posts) -

@npiet1 said:
@ezekiel43 said:
@npiet1 said:

@ezekiel43: Yes I know what artifacts are and yeah there isn't a whole lot of difference (Note I don't have 4k, so I'm can't test/comment on that resolution, so I'm talking 1080p but I do have a decent IPS screen). Piracy is about size but if you know what you are doing you can get them just as easily as the highly compressed stuff.

Sure, you can get good quality pirated copies if it's something popular, but if you look for more obscure stuff you usually only have compressed videos to choose from or dead torrents.

What I'm talking about also applies to 1080p. There's a big enough visual difference between 25 mbps 1080p and 6 mbps 1080p. Paying prices almost comparable to Blu-rays for digital copies is such a waste.

I still wanna know what file format these videos are and if they require proprietary software to play.

Back in 480p days it was .MP4 but I'm pretty sure it's now HEVC which makes sense since it can reduce file size by 50% without quality loss and supports 8k.

But what container? For example, MKV is a container. I just don't think these big companies would wanna make it easier to pirate.

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#42 Edited by JustPlainLucas (79360 posts) -

@Willy105 said:

Physical media should die, but digital media should be given the same rights and protections as physical media does.

No, not at all. Digital media should never replace physical. It should always exist as an option. The problem with digital media is that it's tied to online services and ISPs. If all of a sudden digital replaced physical, then millions of people who have no internet access or unreliable internet or data caps they don't want to hit by downloading/streaming won't be able to watch many movies, or even movies at all. As someone who feels entertainment is for everyone (working in a library, you very quickly adopt this belief), I am against your statement 100 percent.

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#43 Posted by Gaming-Planet (20010 posts) -

A world where digital is your only option is terrifying.

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#44 Posted by mattbbpl (17353 posts) -

@comp_atkins said:

i have not bought a physical disc in years. i agree not having complete ownership is a problem. if you pay for something it should be yours in perpetuity, not your as long as the company hosting it happens to exist to have it on their service.

personally for music and movies though i don't care all that much. there's always something else to watch / listen to if what i wanted to happens to go away.

of greater concern personally is things like my own photos / home movies, etc.. sure they can be constantly moved from one media to another but what is the longer-term storage solution? dvd/br backups don't last forever nor do i have time to manage all of that. i have tens of thousands of digital photos and videos and that number is constantly growing. currently have backed up from my pc onto a home nas duplicated to cloud storage but i have not idea if the cloud backup company will exist 20 years from now.

You're pretty much set with what you've got. If you keep your nas running, then when the cloud company goes belly up you still have the copy on your nas and you upload it to a new cloud provider. You could theoretically switch to a journalized filesystem on your nas that provides redundancy in a RaidZX format (which means that you can have a number of hard drives die in your nas while maintaining a functional nas copy) as well as data integrity functions (which means scrubs against parity data prevent against corruption), but that's about all you could improve on in your situation.

To the original topic, as someone who likes film beyond being a way to kill some time, I like my ownership rights very much.

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#45 Posted by Willy105 (24857 posts) -

@JustPlainLucas said:
@Willy105 said:

Physical media should die, but digital media should be given the same rights and protections as physical media does.

No, not at all. Digital media should never replace physical. It should always exist as an option. The problem with digital media is that it's tied to online services and ISPs. If all of a sudden digital replaced physical, then millions of people who have no internet access or unreliable internet or data caps they don't want to hit by downloading/streaming won't be able to watch many movies, or even movies at all. As someone who feels entertainment is for everyone (working in a library, you very quickly adopt this belief), I am against your statement 100 percent.

Nah, you are blaming digital media for the evil policies of your ISPs. Focus the ire there. Physical media takes up actual physical space (even when you are not using it!), has additional overhead costs associated with it (production, transport, storage, maintenance), and other issues that make digital media a massive upgrade.

That said, you do bring up a good point about libraries, and those should definitely be an option. But it really should be digital media first, physical media optional world.

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#46 Posted by UmameNinja (21 posts) -

Physical media IS going away in favor of an all digital distribution platform. You purchase the rights to play a game, or watch a show/movie. The overhead cost of physical media is substantial and by cutting the costs of manufacturing, storage, maintenance, and transport then these companies can offer premium digital services for a fraction of the cost. You seem to forget that these companies understand, and acknowledge that the consumers are the ones that foot the bill for their services. If you don't care for what they have to offer then you can simply choose not to utilize their services. Trust me when I say that you DO have the power to make change by showing self-restraint and not buying in to these services. Worrying about physical media is nonsense, and you should focus your attention to more pressing issues. Accept the change and roll with it, and make the change you want to see or stop complaining about it.