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Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?

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TImothy Auld
Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 6:23:00 pm

I am lucky enough to be serving on a nominating committee this year and so am getting to see a load of movies I would otherwise not have the opportunity to see. But so far not one screener has arrived in blu-ray. I could play the blu-rays but it does lead me to believe that they folks who are sending them think there is a good chance that most wouldn't be able to. Thoughts?

Tim


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 6:36:05 pm

Not sure what you mean with consumer acceptance but we are an authoring house that authors a lot of feature films on blu-ray and the sales numbers shared with us by our client are actually quite good. BD sales are still rising year to year, contrary to what some people want to tell you in light of VOD. And I sure hope it stays like that, not just because it's our business but because vod sucks (and it sucks even more to prep content for vod, especially for Apple and the iTunes store which is a living hell).
Regarding your screeners, most people simply prefer sending out screeners on DVD because it's quicker, easier, cheaper and also because some are worried their unreleased HDcontent may end up somewhere on the web. Whenever we have to prep screeners for press etc. it is almost always on DVD for precisely those reasons.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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TImothy Auld
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 6:50:40 pm

I posed the question because I really don't have a clue as to what the answer is. The numbers I read in the trades seem to be contradictory. I do seriously doubt that the reason I'm only getting SD screeners has anything to do with the fact that distributors are afraid that pirates will put out HD versions. Most folks wouldn't have the bandwidth to watch it in HD anyway. Which brings us to VOD and on that point I completely agree. VOD is a clusterf**k that can be any resolution at anytime depending on a variety of circumstances.

Tim


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 6:56:49 pm

Tim,

the numbers seem to be pretty much the same everyhwere, also for the US:
http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=11050

30 per cent up in Q1 2013.

Our clients tell us they want screeners only on DVD precisely because of the reasons I have given in my original post, and we are serving a lot of big and small distributors here.

[TImothy Auld] "I posed the question because I really don't have a clue as to what the answer is. The numbers I read in the trades seem to be contradictory. I do seriously doubt that the reason I'm only getting SD screeners has anything to do with the fact that distributors are afraid that pirates will put out HD versions. Most folks wouldn't have the bandwidth to watch it in HD anyway. Which brings us to VOD and on that point I completely agree. VOD is a clusterf**k that can be any resolution at anytime depending on a variety of circumstances.

"


------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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TImothy Auld
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 7:06:00 pm

I do appreciate what you are saying, but absent numbers from and independent and unbiased group (if such a monster even exists any longer) I pretty much have to stand by my statement that the numbers I've seen in the trades over the past four or so years are, to put it mildly, contradictory.

Tim


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Shawn Miller
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 7:23:32 pm

[TImothy Auld] "I do appreciate what you are saying, but absent numbers from and independent and unbiased group (if such a monster even exists any longer) I pretty much have to stand by my statement that the numbers I've seen in the trades over the past four or so years are, to put it mildly, contradictory.

Tim"


That's really interesting. Anecdotally, I've been hearing about the pending death of blu-ray for years. Yet, I seem to see new BR titles in just about every grocery, convenience and retail store that I go to. Not to mention the ads I get from Amazon every two or three days. It makes me wonder; if BR is on the decline, then why are new titles so readily available and at such low prices?

Shawn



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Lance Bachelder
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 23, 2013 at 5:00:05 am

I'm a Blu-ray snob - own lots of them and it's my preferred way to watch a movie for both picture and sound quality - love 'em.

I have bought a few movies on Apple TV lately and the quality is pretty good. This week I burned Blu-ray screeners of a new feature film and did the final cut on for studio screening. I used FCPX (not for the edit - just for the disc) and burned directly to Blu-ray with 5.1 sound - screening went great. It was Alexa, all Pro Res 444 directly to Blu-ray and looked fantastic.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Nikolas Bäurle
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 6:41:51 pm

Blu-Ray doesn't seem to be that popular. At least here in Germany DVDs are still rented and sold more often. Even for my industry or demo tape clients its either internet or DVD. I just finished editing a series of clips for the Protestant Church in Germany, shot in HD. They needed a h264 mov and a DVD.
I've only burned some of my own projects to Blu-Ray, but I have never been asked to deliver one.

"Always look on the bright side of life" - Monty Python



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Frank Gothmann
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 6:48:06 pm

We are working for the German market, too. While DVD has a wider user base by approx factor 2.3 in that year, the market shrunk in 2012 by 9 per cent while BD sales grew by almost 30 per cent. For 2013 those numbers are predicted to be even substantially higher.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Daniel Ludwig
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 8:39:57 pm
Last Edited By Daniel Ludwig on Nov 22, 2013 at 8:41:05 pm

Frank,
I go with you - I have done more BD-authoring within the last 2 years than DVDs here in cologe, germany.

DVD has become more and more a niche-product, as BD-player are at approx. 50€ per unit and blu-rays are sold at 8€.

also BDs-replication-costs decrease within the last years as well...

I´m very curious what will happen within the next years.


danny


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Clint Wardlow
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 7:14:16 pm

As one who does tend to submit to festivals from time to time, I find that the move is to straight digital files for submission screeners. Without A Box even has a service that allows you to upload your online screener for submission to various festivals.

I think that it is just easier, especially if you submit to a lot of festivals. It is kind of a hassle to mail DVDs or Blu-Rays when you know you might not even get accepted. With an online screener you just have to create it once and it is good for multiple submissions.

Once a film is accepted, I think you will folks more willing (and even glad to do it) to send blu-rays.


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Gary Huff
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 8:50:44 pm

I think it's the lack of people who know how to actually make/burn a Blu-ray Disc. I get a LOT of business for screeners that creators want on Blu-ray and they tell me I am the only person they have heard about who knows how to make one.


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Mike Parfit
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 9:18:17 pm

We're seeing most people using Vimeo or other online options for things like nominations, festival submissions, prize judging, almost everything that requires convenience over quality.

But once you're talking about showing it, festivals generally want Blu-ray. Many prefer it to DCP packages. More flexible with the projectors.

More relevant to this discussion, though, we do have some online sales for our films, and have more Blu-ray sales than we expected. We think that's going to increase, for a number of reasons already mentioned in this thread.

In quizzing buyers, we see a significant lack of knowledge that Blu-ray even exists and about the difference in quality, this even from people who own HD TVs. But these days if you go into a big-box store to buy a DVD player, you can seldom find one that isn't also a Blu-ray player, so we think understanding of the quality will grow and that the market for Blu-rays is more robust than the conventional wisdom would have it.

On a separate note, having released our film theatrically in 2011, I can say that in our experience the Blu-ray technology has had a huge impact on the theatrical distribution of indie films.

Since most digital projectors can ingest a signal from a cheap Blu-ray player, it has become miles cheaper to get into theaters. Anecdotally, if you look at the numbers of films being released theatrically in NY and LA, you see many more per week than there was when you had to put your movie on actual film. It's gone from about six per week about three years ago, to over 20 a week now. (The NY Times has a policy of reviewing every film that opens, so I count 'em.)

This isn't just because it's cheaper and easier to make movies. Since the advent of DV and HDV the numbers of theatrical films submitted to Sundance have skyrocketed, but the increase in the numbers of films actually being released in major cities seems to have jumped only with the advent of Blu-ray.

We made two versions of our film. The first, released in 2008, was on film and showed for a few weeks in Canada. The second (remade after Ryan Reynolds did the narration), was distributed digitally, through Blu-ray and, partially, on the digital network of Emerging Pictures. Though we had almost no publicity and the actual box-office dollars hardly paid for the disks, the film was shown in a hell of a lot of US theaters for over 35 weeks.

My guess about the importance of Blu-ray might be clouded by the explosive spread of digital projection in the same time period. But back when we were first noticing the phenomenon, DCPs were very expensive, and smart indie theaters were promoting their blu-ray capacities, so we think the Blu-ray was more important to the trend than DCPs. We even showed the film in some massive-monster-mega-multiplexes on BR.

It looked great on BR, too, but I have to say a crowning technological moment came quite recently in a brand-new Jackie Chan theater in Beijing, when we were invited to the Beijing Film Festival. We showed the film there using a DCP we'd made in-house. All that great work the sound designer had done years before was finally all around us. Ahh.

Cheers,

Mike Parfit

http://www.thewhalemovie.com
http://www.mountainsidefilms.com


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Chris Harlan
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 22, 2013 at 10:00:59 pm

I think the reasons for sending out screeners in SD on DVD, at least from Hollywood, are are multiple; first is guaranteed universality at the lowest common denominator, second, an SD image with constant bug and L3 warnings is very slightly less fodder for piracy, and third, price per unit is cheeper, which matters more, since there is no recouping costs on a promotional item. Basically, there just isn't any real incentive to change the process.


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Brett Sherman
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 23, 2013 at 11:14:11 pm

My sense is that unless you are releasing a feature film, high-end television production or something targeted to pixel peepers you're safer sending out a DVD. For the kind of work I do, which is advocacy, we do not want anyone to not be able to play what we send out. So lowest-common denominator for us - DVD. But web more often than not. Blu-ray never reached the critical mass where if you sent out a disc, you know someone can play it. It never will either.



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olof ekbergh
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 24, 2013 at 1:50:58 am

I have seen a drop off in the request for BR. The request for VOD is way up.

For video kiosks we use to use BR but they fail very quickly so we now use solid state players, no moving parts.

We use FTP uploads for most work to be broadcast or digital files on HDs.

For client review we used to send BR or DVD now it is all Vimeo.

My own TV watching is 90% Apple TV Netflix. Quality is OK. The few times we get BR we got discs that would play partway and then stop, so we only use Netflix VOD now much more reliable.

I find sending SD cards or even HDs works very well for most clients who want physical delivery.

So IMHO BR is definitely on the way out.

Olof Ekbergh


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Helmut Kobler
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 24, 2013 at 6:23:45 am

I was very excited about Blu-Ray a few years ago, but then started buying movies through iTunes, and will NEVER go back to buying a physical disk again.

Blu-Rays:
1) scratch fairly easily (as all disks do), and sometimes get lost
2) they don't play on most computers, iPhones, iPads, etc., and..
3) You have to physically have the damn disk with you to use it. A pain in the butt if you left it upstairs, back at the office, in the car, in the laptop bag, etc.
4) Have damned ads and trailers that I have to spend 5 minutes tediously skipping through, just to see the main attraction I paid for.


Digital downloads like iTunes:
1) Never degrade and are never lost (you can always re-download online)
2) Play on all my devices
3) Are immediately available on any device without having to run and get a physical product.
4) Remember where in the movie I stopped watching, and can resume that play position even when I resume watching on another device.
5) No damn ads.

It's all downhill for Blu-Ray going forward...

-------------------
Los Angeles Cameraman
Canon C300 (x2), Zeiss CP.2 lenses, P2 Varicam, etc.
http://www.lacameraman.com


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 24, 2013 at 11:03:56 am

VOD may be a convenient alternative to physical rental in the same way a tv dinner is a convenient alternative to a home cooked meal. In the long run I consider it to be one of the most destructive things to film as an art form (same applies to music, books and news magazines). It devaluates everything, eliminates the distribution middle men who sort out content that should have never been made in the first place plus it monopolizes distribution and access in a way that is seriously harmful to our culture in general.
The whole thing is a very complex subject matter and it's effects are only starting to show. Unfortunately nobody thinks about these things when new technology is thrown to the masses as long as it generates a buck.
Physical media will be around for a long, long time though because there are enough people out there who care and who don't just want to consume and then throw it away like a used kleenex.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Steve Connor
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 24, 2013 at 11:48:16 am

[Frank Gothmann] "VOD may be a convenient alternative to physical rental in the same way a tv dinner is a convenient alternative to a home cooked meal. In the long run I consider it to be one of the most destructive things to film as an art form (same applies to music, books and news magazines). It devaluates everything, eliminates the distribution middle men who sort out content that should have never been made in the first place plus it monopolizes distribution and access in a way that is seriously harmful to our culture in general. "

I disagree with that entirely, digital distribution is an ENABLER for creativity, we don't need middle men to decide what "should have never been made" How does it monopolise distribution, digital actually democratises it, anyone can get their work out there now and at the end of the day the consumer will still be the one that decides what sells and what doesn't.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 24, 2013 at 1:25:34 pm

That's the theory, the reality is very different. You'd bring your project to the market and it's accepted or rejected, if it's the latter you search and you may find someone who is specialised in or just "gets" what you do.
In the monopolized VOD scenario, the big player has the say.
Examples: we were prepping some sex comedies (American Pie style) for iTunes. In our country the have the equivalent of a PG13 rating. Mild stuff.
Apple rejected it because they consider it semi-porn. It's non of their f****g business to decide such things, they're not making the laws.

Old tv stuff that only survived on analog tape: rejected because quality isn't up their standards.
The list goes on and on, prepping stuff for iTunes is hell and they have no clue about the reality of film distribution and asset availability.
It's not for them to decide on content or quality matters, it's for the distributor who bought the rights. Apple is just the store that sells them, same as any store where you buy your goods. If one doesn't carry the title, others will. But with only two or three players in the VOD endgame your choices are seriously limited and they can and will influence the market of what goes out there and in what shape or form.
From a consumer's point of view: want to watch something that a) isn't available in your country at all b) might be censored d) might not have the audio or subtitles or extras you want. No go with VOD cause you can only buy in your country of residence. From Amazon etc. I can order discs from anywhere in the world.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Steve Connor
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 24, 2013 at 1:35:26 pm

Agreed, ITunes is the last wall that needs to come down in Digital Distribution, once Google finally gets it and gives everyone the ability to sell on YouTube, then iTunes domination, at least on the VOD side, might start to slip.

There are plenty of other routes to market if you are determined enough.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 24, 2013 at 1:51:39 pm

We never had anything rejected with Google for the Play store. Still, there will only be a max of 10 VOD outlets in the end, compared to thousands of physical stores now. And a book store, used book store, library etc also carries other value in our culture than just a place where you buy/rent. All that will be gone with digital.
For iTunes: the worst about it is the bullying that extends to all areas. They only accept Prores. Why? There is no enterprise level encoder out there than can only ingest Prores. No other VOD supplier accepts only one format. It's one thing if a company in a certain segment tries to sell specific hardware but Apple wants to be computer/mobile/entertainment hardware/film-tv-book-music-comic distributor/software/world-domination company and they go out of their way to force anything without an Apple logo on it to not be usable on the preparation and consumption side. They are much, much worse than Microsoft ever was in the old days.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Steve Connor
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 24, 2013 at 1:58:39 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "And a book store, used book store, library etc also carries other value in our culture than just a place where you buy/rent. "

Physical Books are things that people can be passionate about, I don't imagine book stores will disappear entirely, just like vinyl records

CD's DVDs and Blu-rays don't really hold any emotional attachment for people, I would think they will be easily replaced.

Having thousands of stores to sell through is great, but physical distribution of media has always been a nightmare especially if you want to sell globally.

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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James Ewart
Re: Very OT: How wide is consumer acceptance of blu-ray in your experience?
on Nov 25, 2013 at 5:59:24 pm

I have a DVD of Terrence Malick's 'Tree of Life' and a Blu Ray.

Wonderful movie photographically (and in every other sense) so I bought them both as a test.

The difference in quality on my decent HD Panasonic Plasma TV is marginal.


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