It is currently Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:52 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 88 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:20 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:50 pm
MichaelB wrote:
Which, I suspect, is why Eureka is constantly experimenting - they've tried BD-only releases and dual-format releases, and this latest initiative is presumably because they're not convinced that the first two arrangements performed anything like up to expectations.


There are some Luddites around who seem to be anti-BD.

From Amazon (on the Adelphi releases):

Quote:
Blu Ray means selling the same film at a higher price to make people shell out even more of their hard-earned pounds or euros.... Personally, I have opted out, i.e. I have lost interest in all these releases.


And the Mausoleum Club:

Quote:
I've been convinced for some time that Blu-Ray is something invented just to extract more money from geeky guys who are on an endless, rainbow chasing quest to find better and better quality when they probably already have something as damn near perfect as it is ever going to be....they've already convinced themselves they can see a HUGE leap in quality from DVD having fallen for all the marketing patter? It is pure imagination, in my opinion.


Top
 Profile  
 

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:29 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
I suspect part of the problem is that while HD picture resolution may be mathematically four to six times greater than that of an SD equivalent, that doesn't translate into "it looks four to six times better" from a subjective point of view, especially if the owner of the viewpoint is sceptical to begin with.

And it certainly doesn't justify a production cost of four to six times greater, though I suspect that's just an unfortunate numerical coincidence.

The Adelphi situation is an interesting case study, because the first release came out as separate DVD and BD editions, then as two dual-format releases, and subsequently as DVD only. Given that BFI DVD Publishing is clearly run by rabid Blu-ray evangelists (just look at their track record!), you can bet your bottom dollar that the decision to switch to DVD-only wasn't taken lightly, but I suspect they got too much feedback along the lines of your quotation. Essentially: why should we pay a £19.99 RRP for second-division 1950s comedies that would be sold for half that on almost any other label? And yes, the other labels would keep their costs low by just picking an old analogue broadcast master off the shelf whereas the BFI did brand new HD telecines, but who cares?

And sadly, not enough people did. In fact, I hear that the separate BD release of Penny Points to Paradise sold eye-wateringly poorly, which should have been a warning in itself.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:47 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:47 pm
I'm thinking that BDs eventually will go the route of LDs. It will cater to a small niche market of people who really care and appreciate the extra quality. The TT model may be one that more and more labels will follow, whether with an explicit limitation on disc numbers or not. And while many complain that TT is too expensive and only distributed through an obscure website, I wouldn't be surprised if that will become more common place as well.

While it's very sad, I fully agree with Michael and can name countless examples of friends who simply don't care about the added PQ, even if they fully acknowledge that they see the difference.

And even I have to admit I changed my stance towards BD. When it first came out I was on a quest to replace every DVD I owned and stopped buying DVDs altogether. When I finally realized that not everything will be reprinted on DVD, I started chasing down OOP titles of DVDs that I really wanted. And today I carefully look at a BD and read reviews first before I decide to upgrade and in many cases I refrained from doing so, because I simply didn't feel owning the same movie again was worth it (whether for PQ reasons or because of the actual movie itself - let's not forget, if I'm not that fond of a movie itself seeing it in HD doesn't make it a better movie for me).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:10 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:50 pm
I bought Penny Points on BD. Great transfer, but the film was utter cack.

From a British point of view, there's way too many BD releases for it to be compared to laserdisc, but I don't think it will conquer DVD any time soon and it will be more of a connoisseurs format. Not just for the type of 'art' film put out by MoC, but other genres too. The Hammer films seem to be doing well on BD, as do Ealing comedies. Trash films with cult appeal are doing well, too (Flipside, for example) but I think there are certain
types of film, such as the British quota quickies (Adelphi; Danzigers; Butchers Films etc) that have little appeal as BDs. The main demographic of people buying such material seems to be people of a certain age, people who maybe saw them at the cinema on release or not-so-long afterwards on TV. And as Michael said, they'd be happy with a twenty-five year old analogue broadcast master slapped onto DVD. They were probably happy with VHS.

I was a bit disappointed when I learned that Network would be putting out the Edgar Wallace, Scotland Yard and Scales of Justice series as mere DVDs, but it was probably sensible on their part.

Incidentally, the whines of the anti-BD crowd made no sense with the Adelphis. You could get them for £12; that's £6 per film, cheaper than you can find most Odeon DVDs. But the presence of that (to them) unplayable disc really seemed to irk them.

I wonder if the BFI and Adelphi were a good match. The intent was admirable, but maybe the Adelphis didn't merit such lavish attention. I've the first three BDs and the contents are pretty lousy, really. I don't imagine the usual BFI BD buyer would have been interested I them.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:16 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am
For all of those thinking it will just be a niche market: while I agree to a degree, it's very interesting, that at least in America, when you go to a place like Target, they have way more blu rays nowadays than DVDs, at least where I live. And the Blu Rays have much better placement in the stores...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:50 am 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:45 pm
Location: Washington
MichaelB wrote:
And the other crucial point that it's easy for the likes of us to forget is that a huge number of people just don't care.

This is pretty much it. My example would probably be my father-in-law, who bought the TV and did get the Blu-ray player, which he is well aware of and does actually see the improvement in quality. But he will still buy DVD versions over Blu-ray versions because they're cheaper, and only picks up Blu-rays when the price is good. Can't say I blame him, but he does know the advantages. In the end he just isn't too concerned.

On the opposite end of the spectrum my wife is completely HD, which is odd considering she's never been too concerned about that stuff. When I bought the HD-DVD player she immediately saw the advantages. Oddly she put up a huff-and-puff when I wanted one, but then after it went the way of the Dodo she had no concerns about me getting a Blu-ray player/PS3. And now she'll only want the BD version of a film if it's available. I remember thinking of simply getting a film on DVD because it was way cheaper and I wasn't too concerned about the PQ/AQ advantages and she insisted I get the BD version, which I had no complaints with. She also got really excited when DirecTV finally got "E!" in high-def and she gets pissed if she accidentally records "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" on the SD station. I'm pissed because she records it.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:00 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:50 pm
I'd have to be pissed to watch it. Eight pints of cider should do the trick. ;)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:28 pm 

Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 1:10 pm
I don't think there's much comparison between BD and LD. LD was never a mass market product, BD is. It's already been more successful than LD ever was.

People expect BD to do as well as DVD did, despite the fact that DVD was a freak occurrence. It was a replacement for a format (VHS) which had lasted a shocking length of time and was long overdue to be taken to the knacker's yard. And nowadays, there are more ways to watch a film. Blu-ray's doing well, but I doubt it'll ever have the success DVD did.

I think you're right, most people don't care about the better quality. I know someone who didn't understand what the fuss was about with BD; eventually I visited his place and he was watching a 32" LCD TV (not a very good one either) from a good few feet away. On a lot of smaller television sized displays, most of it will be lost.

There is also the issue that most people are used to really, really crap video which is going to hide much of the difference between DVD and BD. They're used to watching uncalibrated TVs in the factory preset mode. Most of the point of BD is that it can give a film-like image, whereas most people don't have any idea what that looks like.

Is it ignorance? Technically yes, but I wouldn't like to word it that way - it's not their fault that a TV has to be configured by an expert just to not look bad.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:30 pm 

Joined: Sat May 10, 2008 1:10 pm
MichaelB wrote:
Even I sometimes wonder why I paid the premium on a particular release.

Take In the Loop, for instance. Is there really any particular reason to watch it in 1080p, given that its pleasures are pretty much exclusively dialogue-based? I'd say "not enough to be worth paying extra".


That's another point; to a film/video lover like me, I won't discriminate on genre. But most people I speak to have this idea that high definition is all about bright colours and amazing special effects. Trying to explain that it's a better representation of what was shot is pretty futile.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:57 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:11 pm
Location: The hills of East Tennessee
People change because of convenience, not quality (generally). Beta vs VHS demonstrated that. LP vs CD did again. (Although at the end of the LP era the labels were putting out some really crappy pressings. But compare a first pressing from the Mercury Living Presence series of the '50s - or RCA's Soria series - to a redbook 44k/16 CD on a quality system and there's no doubt which is superior). Higher res digital formats never caught on with consumers because they offered no added convenience and most weren't equipped to discern the improved quality. not to mention the move to portability took over with the intro of the iPod and other devices. VHS vs DVD was an anomaly, because DVD was both more convenient and better quality, but if it had been just better quality without the convenience, who knows? Now BD comes along at a time when most people don't have the set-ups to appreciate the increased quality (or they don't know what they're looking for since grain in a digital world is largely delivered with a negative connotation) and those that do bought those set-ups for Super Bowl parties, not to watch La Grande Illusion. Couple that with the move to streaming and downloaded video - people watch HD films on the iPhones fer chrissake - and I'm not sure how BD does better than it's already doing.

David M wrote:
But most people I speak to have this idea that high definition is all about bright colours and amazing special effects. Trying to explain that it's a better representation of what was shot is pretty futile.

That's because a lot of folks invest in high-end HT systems for the same reason they invest in high-end kitchens - to impress the neighbors. To that end, a more faithful presentation of The Third Man is far less important that the CGI effects in the latest Star Wars (or whatever) installment. After all, who gives a s**t about Orson Welles' shadow in the streets of post-war Vienna when you can blow stuff up in your living room?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:58 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:09 am
This is one of the better discussions on this topic I've read. I agree that the problem here isn't ignorance or cost, but apathy on the part of the consumer. It's hard to believe for the more dedicated among us, but the majority of people don't posess the critical viewing required to make a determination between modern formats. I'm guessing that a niche market for enthusiasts will continue to exist indefinately.

I do have a "happy" story to relate, which is a screening of NxNW on BD I had for non film-buff friends. Somehow, the high quality filmmaking was intoxicating enough that I think everybody was surprised how much a high quality presentation enhanced an "older" film. People were actually asking to have me pause the film afterwards so they could investigate the detail in the images from close up. They probably forgot all about it by the next morning, but for a minute there, they were all very impressed.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:18 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:47 pm
Unfortunately my stories are all like the opposite. The other day I had good friends of mine over and they wanted to watch my stone age old copy of "The Graduate" on my big screen set-up (projector with 110" screen). I hadn't seen the DVD in more than 10 years and when I popped it in I almost fell off my chair at the terrible PQ. In fact it was so bad that I couldn't stay and watch. After the movie my friends told me how great my set-up was and how superb the overall experience and quality was. I gave them the DVD as a present, as I know I'd never want to have to see that again. And these are folks who know about BDs, know what a stickler for PQ I am, but it was simply not important to them and they had a great time while I was trying to hide under the carpet.

I also want to clarify my earlier comment about BDs and LDs. I didn't mean to imply that BDs are like LDs were, as clearly it is a mass market medium. My hypothesis (and it's just that) is that in the years to come for all the reasons mentioned here and elsewhere on this forum, BDs will become more of a niche product (outside of the current day Hollywood releases maybe) with limited pressings and higher prices (although not like the old LD prices) and will cater to PQ afficionadas and collectors like myself. But I doubt we will continue to see as many catalog titles as widely distributed as today. And even here I question how many BDs an Olive, Criterion or MOC really produce. Maybe it's more than TT, but I don't believe it comes close to the DVD numbers they used to or currently are still producing. I would love to be wrong, of course.


Last edited by vsski on Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:00 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:27 pm
Ignorance is certainly part of it. For every person who sees the difference and doesn't care, there is somebody who simply has no idea what they're talking about. I've been given odd looks for owning M on Blu, even from people who know how great a film it is. A friend of mine in a similar situation even reported that somebody asked him why M was worth owning in high-definition since 'it wasn't made in high-definition'... This is clearly an issue of ignorance, even among people appreciate cinema (in an IMDb Top 250 sort of way) who think films made before they were born were filmed using shoes.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:34 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:37 pm
Location: Portland, OR
HJackson wrote:
This is clearly an issue of ignorance, even among people appreciate cinema (in an IMDb Top 250 sort of way) who think films made before they were born were filmed using shoes.

Strangely enough, M is ranked #53 in the IMDb Top 250 ...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:43 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:30 pm
Location: Chicago, IL
Honestly, I'm kind of amazed by how well Blu-Ray has come along considering the hurdles DVD passed through. I guess high-definition, widescreen televisions becoming the market norm has helped grease the wheels.

I've heard people complain, up until quite recently, about DVD releases that specifically weren't Pan-and-Scanned. Granted they didn't use those words because they didn't know a process was required to make a film fit their 4:3 display, they just figured that when the image didn't fill their screen then that meant the artsy farts in Hollywood were robbing them of their hard-earned money. Come to think of it, just earlier this year a friend of mine who had recently upgraded to a HD television asked me if leaving black bars visible when watching a film might damage the display. These seem to represent a much larger segment of the home-cinema market than this forum and for them habit an convenience are paramount.

Blu-Ray is offering a product that a lot of people simply can't even begin to appreciate because the improvements it offers means nothing to them. Just as someone telling me about how they optimised their car's engine means nothing to me. It still just goes from A to B. SD ably shows you what's happening on screen and, for the vast bulk of what could be considered 'mainstream' cinema, as long as you can discern 'event' on the screen then that's all you need. Appreciation of cinematography and of subtle visual or aural nuances in cinema grammar is kind of a whole different field to regular film-going. That's what Blu-Ray caters to and most people aren't going to be that interested. The main exception would seem to be those who both enjoy their explosions looking that bit more crisp in their living rooms and who also want supplements to accompany their favourite films. Otherwise streaming, or picking up a $5 bare-bones DVD just makes an awful lot more sense.

My mother-in-law loves classic cinema and she marvels at some of the films we've watched on Blu-Ray in my living room (MoC's Blu of Ruggles of Red Gap being the latest). But I think what she loves about the clearness of the image is that it allows her to better see the actors (who were married to A, and divorced B, because they had an affair with C etc.) than because it allows her to better appreciate the film's construction. Feeding into HJackson's comment about people asking why a HD release is worthwhile for a film that wasn't shot 'in HD' I get the feeling that a lot of people don't realise that old films were once pristine and clear when projected for audiences. All the scratches and blurring and incorrect framerates came later.

I agree with some others here that Blu-Ray will likely become a niche product in the coming years but I'll be glad to be a part of it nonetheless.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:00 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
effigy105 wrote:
Come to think of it, just earlier this year a friend of mine who had recently upgraded to a HD television asked me if leaving black bars visible when watching a film might damage the display.

OT but that particular point might have some validity. Until recently I'd have scoffed at it, but after a decade of owning LCD projectors (mostly the same model - not HD) it's happened to me. Of course, watching one film with sidebars wouldn't cause it, but recently I've had such a long run of watching nothing but 4:3 - only in two to four hour sessions - that the projected 16:9 image now has two faint vertical lines burnt in, like watching Cinerama where you can see the joins. I thought one only had to be careful with new machines and this had already been used nearly 1000 hours (mostly in a mixture of ARs) before the problem became visible.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:14 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
They sell discs which can fix that problem I believe.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:28 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
The repair discs I've looked at only mention TVs and projection TVs, but if anyone knows one that works with a standard projector I'd be interested...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:25 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:27 pm
FilmFanSea wrote:
HJackson wrote:
This is clearly an issue of ignorance, even among people appreciate cinema (in an IMDb Top 250 sort of way) who think films made before they were born were filmed using shoes.

Strangely enough, M is ranked #53 in the IMDb Top 250 ...

Yes, that is precisely why I used M as an example.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:34 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:47 pm
I agree with most of you but the people who buy films released by MoC are not the mainstream. Why cater to people who don't care?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:35 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:58 am
There are more people who don't care than there are people who do. That's a nice big market to tap.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:42 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
exidor wrote:
There are more people who don't care than there are people who do. That's a nice big market to tap.

Indeed, and if you know that the market for a specific title is made up of significantly more people who don't care than otherwise, and who therefore resent paying extra for improvements that they don't think they need, then plain common sense dictates that you cater for the majority view - even if you personally think that the minority one is correct.

After all, DVD/BD labels aren't charities (contrary to what someone - Nothing, probably - claimed a few years back, even BFI DVD Publishing is expected to pay its own way commercially), and if their decisions are hurting their bottom line, something had to be done to correct this, even if it involves making what appears to the likes of us to be a counterintuitive and even regressive decision.

David M. wrote:
MichaelB wrote:
Even I sometimes wonder why I paid the premium on a particular release.

Take In the Loop, for instance. Is there really any particular reason to watch it in 1080p, given that its pleasures are pretty much exclusively dialogue-based? I'd say "not enough to be worth paying extra".


That's another point; to a film/video lover like me, I won't discriminate on genre. But most people I speak to have this idea that high definition is all about bright colours and amazing special effects. Trying to explain that it's a better representation of what was shot is pretty futile.

It may be a better representation of what was shot, but in some cases this really doesn't make any significant difference to appreciation. Last night, I watched a couple of episodes of The Thick of It in glorious SD wobblycam, and at no point did I think "you know, this really should have been broadcast in HD" (maybe it was originally: I don't know and I don't care). For one thing, I was too busy laughing to even notice whether the picture was in focus, never mind whether it was pin-sharp.

So would In the Loop have been any funnier just because the Blu-ray lets you make out one or two additional flecks of spittle during one of Malcolm Tucker's venomous tirades? Of course not. I have a huge amount of respect for Armando Iannucci as perhaps the single most influential force in British comedy over the last two decades, but David Lean he ain't.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:15 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:30 am
A lot of other people have eloquently stated a lot of the points that I'd like to make, but I'd like to offer my 2 cents as someone who hasn't yet made the switch to Blu-Ray.

A lot of factors in me deciding to stick with DVD has been due to the market. A lot of new releases I want are still being put out on DVD only, and I don't really like the idea of still purchasing DVDs after switching over to Blu. I was close to switching back when MoC had their Blu only policy, but they broke down and began releasing most of their stuff on DVD before I decided to make the switch.

I'm well aware that by sticking to DVD I'm contributing to DVDs remaining the dominant physical medium. But I fit into the crowd of while I'm aware of the difference in picture quality and would prefer to watch a Blu-Ray over a DVD, but while I appreciate a better picture, watching a film on DVD still makes me laugh/cry, and get wrapped up in the story just the same. Also my television isn't really big enough to make the difference in quality very noticeable at all, so I'd need quite an investment to full appreciate the improvement of Blu-Ray. Of course my DVD player has been glitching lately, and when it eventually does break I'll probably replace it with a Blu-Ray player, which is why I enjoy the Dual-Format releases that don't make me choose between watching a disc now or later.

The one area thought where I think Blu-Ray has a significant advantage over DVD is for certain experimental films that are made on a frame by frame basis, where seamless motion is not always the goal. I think in this case the 24 FPS that Blu-Ray gives makes it a much more representative medium for watching these films than DVDs and has a much more perceivable difference for me. Of course not many of these types of films are available on Blu-Ray and I realize that being such a small market that's not likely to change substantially anytime soon.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:14 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:13 pm
Some official word:
Eureka Facebook wrote:
We carried out a survey earlier this year via our mailing list, Movie Mail's Mailing list and on this very page. 37% of people who took part via Movie Mail said that they only ever use/ only ever intend to use the DVD from the Dual Format editions we produce. We believe amongst our older customers (in particular) there is still a demand for a standalone DVD set.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:18 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
A significant U-turn like this is bound to be spurred by customer preference - especially since it runs counter to Eureka's firmly pro-Blu-ray philosophy.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 88 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection