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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:24 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
I feel like this is the wrong link, though perhaps Bone Alone's references to Home Alone are more esoteric than I realized


Devastated to hear you aren't a fan of The Evil Within 2.

Does anyone know specifically why Germany is such a huge buyer?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:49 pm 
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Whoops! Fixed the link now! :)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:04 am 
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MichaelB wrote:
And the chart also explains why eastern European Blu-rays are (a) as rare as hen's teeth (especially local product), and (b) so much more expensive than their DVD equivalents that I often favour the latter.


I had a quick look for Australia, and the most recent figures I could find (for 2016) said that Blu-rays made up about 19% of the disc market, which probably explains why quite a number of new films are getting DVD-only releases. There are also streaming services, but it seems that Australians prefer to buy rather than rent their films digitally. Here and here.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:26 am 
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Big Ben wrote:
Does anyone know specifically why Germany is such a huge buyer?

That's the true question. I wonder if they were historically already huge DVD buyers. It might be a historical trend.

Werewolf by Night wrote:
It's hard to say from the data above (especially since the last year for the Blu-ray only sales figures is 2013), but I would think DVD is still outselling Blu-ray.


In France, it still vastly is the case, with DVD sales being 4.7 times higher than BD sales in volume, and 2.7 times in value (based on Jan-Sept 2017).
In 2015, it was a 5.5 ratio in volume / 3.1 in value, in 2013 6.8 / 3.5. You can see how it's closing in, but both markets are dropping (-14% for DVD YtY and -6.4% YtY for BD) so the intensity of the drops themselves will also impact how fast (or if at all) BD end up outselling DVD. I suppose that the longest it take, the most likely BD sales are likely to drop more and more each year.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:35 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:42 pm
domino harvey wrote:
colinr0380 wrote:
domino harvey wrote:
Wow, no wonder so many movies get releases in Germany and nowhere else

I think it is an absolute travesty that Germany has a Blu-ray release of Bone Alone and we have to make do with a DVD!

(It was either that joke or something about the sheer number of Schoolgirl Report films)

I feel like this is the wrong link, though perhaps Bone Alone's references to Home Alone are more esoteric than I realized


"Esoteric?" Domino, Home Alone is not a food!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:50 am 
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Big Ben wrote:
Does anyone know specifically why Germany is such a huge buyer?

I suspect the answer has to do with Germany's draconian anti-piracy laws. I'm not sure how they manage to be so controlling of everything - but I know of at least three people who received a fine from the German government after they were in Germany and downloaded a movie/music.

It even goes overboard - like I tried sending someone a youtube video once, and it was blocked in Germany. Fortunately there was about 50 other uploads, but of those 50, only 1 of them worked (yes, we kept trying rather than give up).

I guess unlike the rest of the world, its the government who goes after pirates, not the companies. So if you want to watch something in Germany, its down to streaming or buying the film.

Then you also factor in all of the DVD/Blus that still get banned there (the video nasty era never died in Germany)...


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:12 am 
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Minkin wrote:
Big Ben wrote:
Does anyone know specifically why Germany is such a huge buyer?

I suspect the answer has to do with Germany's draconian anti-piracy laws. I'm not sure how they manage to be so controlling of everything - but I know of at least three people who received a fine from the German government after they were in Germany and downloaded a movie/music.

I understand how it might entice people to buy a bit more than elsewhere, but wallets aren't infinitely extensible.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:00 am 
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If I had to guess, I'd say it has more to do with the strength of the German economy, which apparently allows for very good marketing for Blu-ray in stores and online, unlike say the US, where only the biggest new release films coming to Blu-ray are advertised. A great example of this is that Germany has its own dedicated Blu-ray website Bluray-disc.de. Other than Blu-ray.com in the US, I don't know if any other large member sites dedicated to the Blu-ray, only a handful of much smaller review sites that stick to the format.

One other additional aspect is probably German-language dub tracks going lossless and going 5.1 or greater with more frequency, which I'm assuming dovetails nicely with any improvements in dubbed audio recording.

Plus, any potential benefits to Germany also come to the rest of German-speaking Europe, like Austria and much of Switzerland, and vice-versa, often in spite of Germany's FSK censorship, which itself does not appear as censorious as it was in years past. In fact, in terms of Europeans, the German language has the second largest population of speakers after Russian.

So I don't think it's really that surprising, to be honest.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:22 pm 
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I'm still not sure I believe it. I could believe that this is accurate for bricks and mortar retailers only, but I don't see Blu-ray being bought that much more in Germany than the UK.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 3:30 pm 
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Minkin wrote:
Big Ben wrote:
Does anyone know specifically why Germany is such a huge buyer?

I suspect the answer has to do with Germany's draconian anti-piracy laws. I'm not sure how they manage to be so controlling of everything - but I know of at least three people who received a fine from the German government after they were in Germany and downloaded a movie/music.

It even goes overboard - like I tried sending someone a youtube video once, and it was blocked in Germany. Fortunately there was about 50 other uploads, but of those 50, only 1 of them worked (yes, we kept trying rather than give up).

I guess unlike the rest of the world, its the government who goes after pirates, not the companies. So if you want to watch something in Germany, its down to streaming or buying the film.

Then you also factor in all of the DVD/Blus that still get banned there (the video nasty era never died in Germany)...


Interesting theory. It certainly is true that there is a huge market for Blu-rays here and that never occurred to me.

It's true that copyright laws here are draconian but its not the German government who fines people, there are law firms who use the law to hunt down people who torrent as a money making scheme. There also are companies who randomly send out letters to people, threatening them with prosecution hoping they will be intimidated enough to pay up. Then there are other law firms who specialise in getting a deal done to get the fine down. It's all a rip-off and fairly ridiculous. I just hope my VPN won't let me down.

The ban on violent films is not that bad anymore. You can get pretty much any new release uncut these days in the 18 rated section of any store that sells DVDs and BDs. There still are a few bans but then that's the case in the UK too. But you often can't get them online and if you do, you have to pay for a signed delivery for an age check.

What I do like is that there are laws here to stop online traders undercutting brick and mortar stores, which means that there still are plenty of stores where you can buy your media and it also protects book stores.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:52 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:38 am
Collider chimes in:


http://collider.com/why-you-should-keep-buying-blu-rays-and-dvds/


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:56 am 
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Funnily, the entitled tone of the article seems to be a better argument for broader streaming options rather than storing more physical media as lack of physical storage is the limiting factor causing in his situation.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:13 pm 
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Absolutely. In the end, it's more a complaint of how the streaming companies are working with the rightholders (and how this means the overall catalog is too split and too scattered) than making a point of how physical media is such a good option instead.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:17 pm 
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He states in the article that many films on these services are presented in the incorrect aspect ratio. I've not noticed that to be the case. Although maybe it's just my lack of attention.

At any rate, the problem of not being able to watch the film one likes when one wants to watch it is not necessarily solved by having a collection of movies. That only solves the problem if you happen to own the movie you want to watch. It seems like for most people streaming is going win that sort of competition more often than a physical collection.

The most compelling argument for physical media at present, for me anyway, is that the streaming services shuffle content around so you're not guaranteed to always have access to any given film. Perhaps that will change and perhaps not.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:32 pm 
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ermylaw wrote:
The most compelling argument for physical media at present, for me anyway, is that the streaming services shuffle content around so you're not guaranteed to always have access to any given film.

That's also why I cling so much to physical media : as long as the disc doesn't rot and I have a working player, nobody can take away the movie from me.

ermylaw wrote:
At any rate, the problem of not being able to watch the film one likes when one wants to watch it is not necessarily solved by having a collection of movies. That only solves the problem if you happen to own the movie you want to watch. It seems like for most people streaming is going win that sort of competition more often than a physical collection.


I think the multiplicity of streaming platforms only made visible the commercial contracts between the rightholders and the distributor that people were taking for granted with physical media. With physical, you'd go online and buy the damn movie and be done with it. You can find it on Amazon, B&N, Best Buy etc (except a handful of retailer exclusives). But streaming platforms are way more tied to their contractual licences, and that's something the general audience never had to care for in the past, so it probably doesn't understand why this movie is on Netflix but not Hulu, or nowhere at all.

I believe that, as a whole, people expect(ed) each streaming platforms to have litterally everything, like a gigantic dematerialed video encyclopaedia, and the boom of the audience for these platforms having seemingly created a market for them to multiply certainly won't help this from never happening.
It's all the more visible when looking at how older movies are treated (ie absent) on these platforms.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:41 pm 
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My kids actually prefer physical to streaming because it drives them up the wall when a film gets taken off. Latest casualty: the Goosebumps movie, so it's currently in the Amazon cart.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:50 pm 
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ermylaw wrote:
He states in the article that many films on these services are presented in the incorrect aspect ratio. I've not noticed that to be the case. Although maybe it's just my lack of attention...

I think this used to be a bigger problem a few years ago (note that the article linked in the Collider piece describing the aspect ratio issue is from 2013); there were a number of films I streamed from Netflix circa 2010 -2011 (The Jacket and The Proposal were two examples - I know, they're crap anyway!) where the image was actually horizontally or vertically stretched into its own unique aspect ratio. I've not noticed the problem recently...apart from the fact that Netflix originals seem to adhere to the odd 2.00:1 or 2.20:1 aspect ratios; "odd" in that you would think a company like Netflix would demand all programming be presented in 1.78:1.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:02 pm 
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tenia wrote:
I think the multiplicity of streaming platforms only made visible the commercial contracts between the rightholders and the distributor that people were taking for granted with physical media. With physical, you'd go online and buy the damn movie and be done with it. You can find it on Amazon, B&N, Best Buy etc (except a handful of retailer exclusives). But streaming platforms are way more tied to their contractual licences, and that's something the general audience never had to care for in the past, so it probably doesn't understand why this movie is on Netflix but not Hulu, or nowhere at all.

I believe that, as a whole, people expect(ed) each streaming platforms to have litterally everything, like a gigantic dematerialed video encyclopaedia, and the boom of the audience for these platforms having seemingly created a market for them to multiply certainly won't help this from never happening.
It's all the more visible when looking at how older movies are treated (ie absent) on these platforms.


I think you're right. One thing that streaming has probably changed (at least slightly) is how people decide what to watch. I'd guess that most people don't go into the viewing adventure with something particular in mind. Instead, they scroll through the options available on the streaming service(s) they have and decide that way.

Just this morning, though, I was trying to find certain movies available on the streaming services that I have, and it was a pretty annoying process, which ultimately turned up no positive results. So it does seem like streaming is not exactly catering to the group of people who want to watch something specific, but it caters to people who are content to watch what's available (and people probably fall into both of these camps depending on the circumstances). I guess, in a sense, that's how it was with something like Blockbuster too, though.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:27 pm 
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I don't know if my experience is average in regards of Netflix, but it's clear that I scroll in it as in a library where I don't know in advance what to take, while I clearly know what I'm buying on BD and then watch. Absolutely not the same way of dealing with the content available for me.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:50 pm 
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Just curious... I don't belong to a streaming service. I still rent discs from Netflix. Who knows how long that'll last. How much does one shell out if you belong to 4 or 5 streaming services, which I guess you have to do to make sure you get everything you want?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:11 pm 
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That article merely points out the ephemeral, now-you-see-it, now-you-don't nature of the streaming services. Just yesterday, I watched three films on Filmstruck that leaving today. That's why I'll continue to buy physical or cloud copies of films that are important to me. And with the exception of Filmstruck, there are fewer and fewer classic movies, or even movies that are a few years old. They're getting crowded out by original content, most of which is pretty lame, IMO.

Plus, let me chime in on the annoying and bizarre business of fooling around with a film's aspect ratio. I was going to watch The Royal Tenenbaums on HBO GO, thinking that it would be better PQ than my DVD. Holy Moses, they've cropped it to 1.85, and it's completely unwatchable. WTF do we need a new era of pan and scan? It makes no sense. There are commercials that are letterboxed--people are used to seeing letterboxed content. Drives me nuts!

edit: typo


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:43 pm 
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OldBobbyPeru wrote:
...I was going to watch The Royal Tenenbaums on HBO GO, thinking that it would be better PQ than my DVD. Holy Moses, they've cropped it to 1.85, and it's completely unwatchable.

Yep, HBO still crops 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 ratio films to 1.85:1 unless the filmmaker has a clause insisting the original aspect ratio be preserved (David Fincher films, for example, are broadcast correctly on the channel). Surprisingly, HBO's poorer competitor SHOWTIME does not crop films in this way.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:46 pm 
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OldBobbyPeru wrote:
They're getting crowded out by original content, most of which is pretty lame, IMO.


I absolutely agree with you on this. I was actually trying to find a way to block Netflix originals on the Roku App because a large portion of what it prompts me to watch are these programs.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:25 am 
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Best Buy will stop selling CDs come July, and Target could be next (with dvds being a possibility as well).


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:14 pm 
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Roger Ryan wrote:
OldBobbyPeru wrote:
...I was going to watch The Royal Tenenbaums on HBO GO, thinking that it would be better PQ than my DVD. Holy Moses, they've cropped it to 1.85, and it's completely unwatchable.

Yep, HBO still crops 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 ratio films to 1.85:1 unless the filmmaker has a clause insisting the original aspect ratio be preserved (David Fincher films, for example, are broadcast correctly on the channel). Surprisingly, HBO's poorer competitor SHOWTIME does not crop films in this way.



Strangely enough, 20th Century Fox has been sending their newer films to HBO by showing them in their original aspect ratio. New Line Cinema titles I believe are also all in their original aspect ratio when they are played on HBO/Cinemax rotation.

It's still boggles my mind that a company producing content pushing the boundaries of television are still stuck in the past when it comes to preserving film.


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