Why Do Media Companies Hate Their Customers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 08-20-2012, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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When I go out and buy a new Blu-Ray Disc I buy it because I want to watch and enjoy the movie!

I brought the Blu-Ray of Hunger Game on Sunday. Much to my surprise, after I inserted the disc, There was a short introduction and then the Menu Screen. I thought that I was going to be able to view the Movie without having to skip through trailers.

WRONG!

On the screen appeared "Manditory Previews" or some such and I had to skip through the Previews. Hey, it's nice to have the previews available I might see something I'm interested in, but why do the Studios think that I want to watch them EVERY TIME I watch the movie?

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

The Studios don't seem to realize that the "illegal" copying train has already left the station never to return. They continue to try to use clever Java coding schemes to thwart the pirates. This doesn't stop illegal copying. All it does is create a never ending gauntlet of player firmware updates for the legitimate purchasers of their products.

Finally all that HDCP does is create a mine field for legitimate purchasers to try and traverse.

The Studios have valuable intellectual property and deserve to be properly compensated for it. Technologies like watermarking and even Cinavia have a legitimate place in this protection of intellectual property so long as it does not interfere with the paying customers enjoyment of their purchases.

Here are some things that do interfere with that enjoyment:
(Feel free to add your own.)

"Manditory" Previews
Limiting of HD on or Elimination of Component Video Outputs.
(This really stinks for folks with HD CRT Displays or older equipment that does not support HDMI.)
Tricky Java coding
(it takes long enough to get the movie playing without the Studios adding to the wait or rendering the movie unplayable without a firmware update.)

There are many of us with large collections that would like to be able to legally store our purchases on hard drives and use a streaming device for viewing. This would allow us to pack up and store our shiny disks freeing up valuable space in the living areas of our domiciles.

In summation, please Studios, show some respect to your customers.

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post #2 of 31 Old 08-20-2012, 01:35 PM
 
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Yes, or no, could be maybe
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post #3 of 31 Old 08-20-2012, 01:38 PM
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Hi, Reverend RD,

We're the choir. Pleased to meet you. biggrin.gif

I don't feel special...
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post #4 of 31 Old 08-20-2012, 05:57 PM
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Hate? Does a farmer hate the cow he milks? Only if it refuses to stand quietly and be milked.
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post #5 of 31 Old 08-20-2012, 06:22 PM
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They dont hate their customers, they just like money more.
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post #6 of 31 Old 08-20-2012, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuther View Post

They dont hate their customers, they just like money more.

Perhaps hate is a bit strong. However, looking at the Studio's complaints of declining revenue from DVD and Blu-Ray release one could reach the conclusion that they have been successful in driving customers away.

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post #7 of 31 Old 08-20-2012, 07:58 PM
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They love money more than customers. You know it clearly.
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post #8 of 31 Old 08-21-2012, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by RDHolmes View Post

Perhaps hate is a bit strong. However, looking at the Studio's complaints of declining revenue from DVD and Blu-Ray release one could reach the conclusion that they have been successful in driving customers away.

Well, obviously there are other reasons for declining revenues. I doubt that any company knowingly and willing wants to drive customers away. They're in business to make money, after all, and they have to make compromises to do so. You may not agree with their compromises, but they seem to have things figured one way or another. They include trailers and promos, for instance, to sell other products to a semi-captive audience, but usually one can bypass these annoyances with the "Exit" key or "Main" or "Top Menu" keys or just continuing to press "Skip." I know the studio that annoys me most is Disney, where I've encountered discs that require the user to skip through up to a dozen different logo screens, FBI warnings, trailers, promos, menus, and such. But it's usually worth the effort if the movie, picture, and sound are good enough. I've found that yelling at the TV screen sometimes helps relieve the frustration, although it can also raise tensions with my wife.

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post #9 of 31 Old 08-21-2012, 05:22 AM
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All of the frustration of us users could easily be eliminated by a simple menu selection that comes up after a disc is inserted asking the user what they wanted to do. Play movie, do BD Live, Play Trailers, etc. This should have been made mandatory in the BDA spec. The fact some lockout the ability to go directly to the main menu or use the popup menu shows total disregard for us that purchase disc.
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post #10 of 31 Old 08-21-2012, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

All of the frustration of us users could easily be eliminated by a simple menu selection that comes up after a disc is inserted asking the user what they wanted to do. Play movie, do BD Live, Play Trailers, etc. This should have been made mandatory in the BDA spec. The fact some lockout the ability to go directly to the main menu or use the popup menu shows total disregard for us that purchase disc.

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post #11 of 31 Old 08-21-2012, 04:22 PM
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The "problem" so to speak isn't that studios hate consumers, it's that they have studio heads, marketing people and bean counters who "think" they know ways to bring in more revenue through forced previews, ect and good ways to combat piracy through redundant FBI/Piracy Is Bad warnings. Add to that the ridiculously complicated and poorly developed way "special" online content is increasingly being offered which sole intent is to harvest personal viewer information for marketing purposes. It's a long standing internal culture with pretty much all the major studios that is both bizarre in the obvious anti-consumer friendly attitude as it is amusing in its uselessness in achieving the goals intended.
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post #12 of 31 Old 08-21-2012, 04:30 PM
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B-b-b-b-but...corporations are people too! LOL! (Just very venal people!)

ACtually, I severely curtailed my BD buying when they started eliminating the extended versions and extraa from rental copies. (Fox being the worst, as the content is actually on the discs, but somehow blocked. Though I've heard people with the right computer equipment can access them somehow.)

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post #13 of 31 Old 08-23-2012, 05:27 PM
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Disney is a horrible offender also. I've seen movies with over 10 unskippable previews before the movie!

That's one major reason I invested in a HTPC, the other being I now have two small boys, and Blu-Rays are far from childproof. Previews are nice once in a while, but not every single time. I just copy the main movie, and I only copy movies I own, not ones I rent.

Fortunately, the more "important" movies usually don't have previews. Star Wars and Lord of the Rings come to mind.
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post #14 of 31 Old 08-23-2012, 06:04 PM
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Imagine if they got the idea to follow the internet/TV methods and have trailers popping up in the middle of the films. Thank goodness turning off Javascript stops that.
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post #15 of 31 Old 08-25-2012, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John J. Puccio View Post

I know the studio that annoys me most is Disney, where I've encountered discs that require the user to skip through up to a dozen different logo screens, FBI warnings, trailers, promos, menus, and such.
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Disney is a horrible offender also. I've seen movies with over 10 unskippable previews before the movie!
I've never encountered a single Disney disc (DVD or BD) where I couldn't just hit the Top Menu button and skip all of it - even rentals. Heck, they even put up a little slate that tells you that you can skip them by hitting the menu button.

You must be thinking of Lionsgate, which makes you manually skip several trailers one at a time - including ones for games.

If not, maybe your equipment is the issue?
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post #16 of 31 Old 08-30-2012, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

I've never encountered a single Disney disc (DVD or BD) where I couldn't just hit the Top Menu button and skip all of it - even rentals. Heck, they even put up a little slate that tells you that you can skip them by hitting the menu button.

It's possible you're thinking of Disney discs of the last few years. And even then, you can't bypass their multiple logo screens without pressing "Skip" about 80 times.

John
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post #17 of 31 Old 08-31-2012, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by John J. Puccio View Post

It's possible you're thinking of Disney discs of the last few years. And even then, you can't bypass their multiple logo screens without pressing "Skip" about 80 times.
John
Sorry, but I haven't encountered anything other than the occasioanl "don't copy this" or the "Blu-ray is new and may take until tomorrow to load" screens that appear on many other company's discs - which is far less annoying than Fox reminding me the special features and commentary might say stuff they don't endorse.

Most of the time, the Disney disc loads and the trailer screen comes up saying I can skip them - then I hit menu and it takes me to the menu. This is going back a decade or more and forward to every new title I've watched.

There's always the "Disney Blu-ray" logo animation, but Universal and Fox always put up their company logos at that point so it's wash.

My point, though, is you made it seem like you have to sit through or individually skip things like multiple trailers and warnings when that simply isn't the case. Disney is actually one of the least annoying ones in all this. Heck, they also have a resume feature on their Blu-ray movies if you stop it in the middle, something not all studios do.

Probably the only thing that annoys me about Disney is the large number of titles they released early on in the DVD format that were full screen - and have yet to re-issue.
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post #18 of 31 Old 08-31-2012, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Probably the only thing that annoys me about Disney is the large number of titles they released early on in the DVD format that were full screen - and have yet to re-issue.

I suspect that everyone has his or her own pet peeves about movies and movie discs. With me, it's always been Disney discs, from the DVD's through their BD's. With Warners, for instance, you usually get a WB logo screen--one click to skip, then the menu--and a second click to begin the film. With Disney, even with the skip all the promos and trailers function, you get warning screens and logo screens to skip through before the menu; then you often get an animated menu that you have to wait to unfold; then you click to watch the movie and what do you get: A Disney Blu-ray logo screen, then a Disney movie logo screen, etc. But for other people like yourself, it doesn't bother you. For me it's a little annoyance; for you it's not.

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post #19 of 31 Old 09-02-2012, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by John J. Puccio View Post

I suspect that everyone has his or her own pet peeves about movies and movie discs. With me, it's always been Disney discs, from the DVD's through their BD's. With Warners, for instance, you usually get a WB logo screen--one click to skip, then the menu--and a second click to begin the film. With Disney, even with the skip all the promos and trailers function, you get warning screens and logo screens to skip through before the menu; then you often get an animated menu that you have to wait to unfold; then you click to watch the movie and what do you get: A Disney Blu-ray logo screen, then a Disney movie logo screen, etc. But for other people like yourself, it doesn't bother you. For me it's a little annoyance; for you it's not.
John
The problem I have with your arguement is you equate this only with Disney. Fox, Sony and Lionsgate all do this and their rental discs also stick you with trailers that either need to be skipped one by one or (in some cases) have to be fast forwarded over. That's far worse, yet you post about Disney as if they're doing something far beyond everyone else. That simply isn't true. With most Disney discs, I get the following (not necessarily in this order):

- The Blu-ray logo animation
- A screen that says "hit menu to skip to the menu"
- An FBI warning
- A warning that some features might no be available or might not function on a particular player

With Fox, Universal and Lionsgate, I have to watch their studio logos before I can get to the menu, which compares to the Blu-ray logo for Disney. With Fox, I get at least two warnings about features availability and commentary or opinions that may not be supported by Fox Studios along with the normal FBI warnings. With Sony and Lionsgate, I not only get variations of warning screens, but tons of trailers - often including those for games. Plus, with Sony and Universal, I often get things like advertisements for Blu-ray (that misterious format I apparently am not already watching) or PSAs about not doing certaining things like smoking or not stealing movies (You wouldn't steal a car...you wouldn't steal someone's free time...). With Warner, I get their production number showing all their old films to a music montage.

It's obvious you have some sort of issue with Disney. I can't help that, but it's not helpful to keep implying you "have to hit skip 80 times" to get to the movie with their discs. If I actually hit skip on each item prior to getting to the movie (and that includes pressing the menu button to skip to the menu), it's like 4 times. If you encounter more than that, you need a better player.

The fact that Disney gives you the option to either let the trailers play (believe it or not, some people like to watch them while sitting down to watch the movie) or simply skipping to the main menu is a good thing that should be allowed by all studios. Further, they are one of the few studios that detect when you've stopped a disc before finishing it and let you choose to continue it from that spot.

If you're going to complain, complain about stripped features on rental discs, trailers you actually have to hit fast forward to skip past (thankfully rare) or even those you have to keeping hitting skip to get past. Warning screens have been a part of home video since VHS. and are common to almost every every studio.

To single out Disney in that regard smacks of a vendetta. Maybe Bob Iger kicked your dog or something, but stop blaming Disney when so many other studios are far, far worse with the stuff you're complaining about.
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post #20 of 31 Old 09-02-2012, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
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When I first started buying DVDs the trailers were accessed with a pick from the main menu. Easy to get to if you wanted to watch them, but not intrusive.

Later some marketing "genius" decided that forcing customers to watch trailers would sell more product. While I enjoy watching trailers, I don't want to have to waste time when I want to watch a movie.

Several years ago I sat at the same table as a Disney employee who put together the trailer packages for new releases. I explained to him that many people preferred to be able to get directly to the movie and only watch the trailers when they chose to. I suggested that the trailers should be accessed via a menu choice. He didn't seem to understand.

I would guess that the Studios are not interested in how their Customers feel about this issue!

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post #21 of 31 Old 09-02-2012, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post


It's obvious you have some sort of issue with Disney.... stop blaming Disney when so many other studios are far, far worse with the stuff you're complaining about.

Whoa! Seven paragraphs just because I mentioned a minor annoyance I have with Disney discs? Do you really have so much empty time on your hands that you have to jump to the defense of a movie studio over so trivial a matter? I didn't mean to start a fight, really. (And, in fact, no one else seems to care, so why don't the two of us stop wasting space, OK?)

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post #22 of 31 Old 09-02-2012, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John J. Puccio View Post

Whoa! Seven paragraphs just because I mentioned a minor annoyance I have with Disney discs? Do you really have so much empty time on your hands that you have to jump to the defense of a movie studio over so trivial a matter? I didn't mean to start a fight, really. (And, in fact, no one else seems to care, so why don't the two of us stop wasting space, OK?)
John
No, it's seven paragraphs because you keep implying that Disney is somehow so much worse than the rest. I'm not a huge fan of certain things they do, but I'll take the number of things I have to skip over on their discs over what I have to go through to get to the damned movie on other studio discs any day of the week.

It took me over 5 minutes to get to the movie on a Lionsgate rental disc the other day. That's unnacceptable. I kept hitting skip and crap just kept coming. i felt like I was on the internet in the 90's trying to surf through a porn storm. At least a porn storm has, well, you know...porn...

Point blank: If you want to call out all the studios who require tons of skipping of bloat on discs, that's fine, but you're picking on one of the few companies that limits that stuff. Could they trim even more? Sure, but let's tackle the worst offeneders first, of which there are several others far worse than your current whipping boy.

Finally, if you want me to stop responding to you, stop responding to me - especially with exagerations of the truth. However, it should be pointed out, that my comments have been on topic.
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post #23 of 31 Old 09-02-2012, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

No, it's seven paragraphs because you keep implying that Disney is somehow so much worse than the rest. I'm not a huge fan of certain things they do, but I'll take the number of things I have to skip over on their discs over what I have to go through to get to the damned movie on other studio discs any day of the week.
It took me over 5 minutes to get to the movie on a Lionsgate rental disc the other day. That's unnacceptable. I kept hitting skip and crap just kept coming. i felt like I was on the internet in the 90's trying to surf through a porn storm. At least a porn storm has, well, you know...porn...
Point blank: If you want to call out all the studios who require tons of skipping of bloat on discs, that's fine, but you're picking on one of the few companies that limits that stuff. Could they trim even more? Sure, but let's tackle the worst offeneders first, of which there are several others far worse than your current whipping boy.
Finally, if you want me to stop responding to you, stop responding to me - especially with exagerations of the truth. However, it should be pointed out, that my comments have been on topic.

As purchasers or renters why should we have to skip over anything in order to see the movie we purchased or rented?

I can make a case for the ten second FBI/Interpol piracy warning, but after that the disc should go directly to the Menu. If "Play Movie" is selected we should get exactly what we would have seen at the start of the movie in a Theater. Sure, they show trailers at the theater, but we can be at the snack bar or the bathroom while they are playing or we can do what I do to avoid the ads and trailers that the theaters show. I seldom go to a theater to see a film. The last two films I saw in a theater were Avatar and Chicago.

Somehow we need to find a way to communicate this to the Studios.

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post #24 of 31 Old 09-03-2012, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDHolmes View Post

As purchasers or renters why should we have to skip over anything in order to see the movie we purchased or rented?
I'll agree with this, but my point still is that at least Disney lets you do this on both purchased and rental discs, unlike some studios that make this as hard a possible to do on rental discs. If the stuff is going to be there, I'll take the ability to skip most of it with one press of the menu button over the alternative, which sometimes goes as far as the need to fast forward over stuff because even the skip button has been disabled.

Having said that, the best option is to go straight to the menu screen where you can choose to ply the feature, the special features or any trailers that might be on the disc. If someone wants to play the trailers, they're free to do so.

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I can make a case for the ten second FBI/Interpol piracy warning, but after that the disc should go directly to the Menu.
I don't think even that should happen. The FBI warnings should follow the end credits if they're going to be there at all. No one reads them anyway and having them there isn't going to make a pirate go, "whoa, I guess I shouldn't copy this thing if the FBI says I shouldn't". Putting it right up front as the first thing you see when the disc spins up is the studio assuming the viewer is going to steal it before they even see the thing. By putting it at the end, it does due diligence of stating the rights of the studio and existing copyright law, but doesn't impede the buying customer.

Frankly, the copyright notice already in every end credit sequence should be enough.

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If "Play Movie" is selected we should get exactly what we would have seen at the start of the movie in a Theater. Sure, they show trailers at the theater, but we can be at the snack bar or the bathroom while they are playing or we can do what I do to avoid the ads and trailers that the theaters show.
In most cases, that's what happens. The trailers are almost always before the menu. Some companies are better than others about letting you skip them. My point to you is that at least Disney lets you skip them all with one button. I'll take that over skipping each one individually or (the worst case) having to hit fast forward on each one.

What I hate is when you hit play and the studio throws all the FBI and interpol warnings or a message up there about how the studio isn't responsible for the content of the special features before the movie actually plays (something Fox often does).

At least most studios have stopped putting that annoying ant-piracy ad on the discs that plays about 10db louder than all the other content (click to be annoyed): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmZm8vNHBSU

Of course, it's likely they stopped using it because apparently they didn't have the proper distribution rights to the music they used in it, which is ironic in itself: http://www.pedestrian.tv/entertainment/news/anti-piracy-movie-ads-caught-using-pirated-music/60075.htm

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I seldom go to a theater to see a film. The last two films I saw in a theater were Avatar and Chicago.
I'm so very sorry you had to pay full ticket price to see Chicago....

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Somehow we need to find a way to communicate this to the Studios.
Sure, but how?

If we don't buy content, it sends the message that we don't want it. If we buy the stuff, it sends the message that everything is OK.

The problem is, there aren't discs out there without this stuff on there (at least not legal ones) that we can buy instead to make our point.
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post #25 of 31 Old 09-03-2012, 11:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

I don't think even that should happen. The FBI warnings should follow the end credits if they're going to be there at all. No one reads them anyway and having them there isn't going to make a pirate go, "whoa, I guess I shouldn't copy this thing if the FBI says I shouldn't". Putting it right up front as the first thing you see when the disc spins up is the studio assuming the viewer is going to steal it before they even see the thing. By putting it at the end, it does due diligence of stating the rights of the studio and existing copyright law, but doesn't impede the buying customer. Frankly, the copyright notice already in every end credit sequence should be enough.

Anti-piracy campaign
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The FBI seal has become a familiar sight for users of digital entertainment media in the United States due to its appearance on DVDs, CDs and video games. It appeared in arcade games during a late 1980s anti-drugs campaign, alongside the words "Winners Don't Use Drugs".[10] In February 2004, the FBI announced a joint anti-piracy program with the Motion Picture Association of America, Recording Industry Association of America, Entertainment Software Association and the Software and Information Industry Association under which an "FBI Anti-Piracy Warning" would be displayed prominently on disks, sleeves and in DVD title cards. The warning notice displays the FBI seal defaced with a strip bearing the words "FBI ANTI-PIRACY WARNING", accompanied by a text warning of the illegality of unauthorized copying.[11][12] The anti-piracy campaign was initiated following the passage by Congress of the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act of 2003, which ordered the FBI to develop a program against copyright infringement. The seal is used under a Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the FBI and the Recording Industry Association of America.[13]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seal_of_the_Federal_Bureau_of_Investigation#Anti-piracy_campaign
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post #26 of 31 Old 09-03-2012, 03:42 PM
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Just because the government makes a rule about something, doesn't make it a good idea. Prohibition was legislated, too.

It's important to remember that our government that claims to know what is right for us is the very same one that has experiment on people using things like LSD, radiation, surgical experiments, pathological agents and many other things we likely will never know about. That also includes many attempts to spy on us, often with the assistance of those companies we're perfectly OK with giving our money to if they have an exclusive device we desire.

Now, I'm not trying to say that a stupid warning on a disc compares to that stuff, but the point is that those in leadership we're supposed to trust often prove to be unworthy of it, all the while assuming its citizens are scoundrels and thieves that must automatically be up to no good.

It's wonder we actually buy this stuff, since the media companies spend a great deal of our purchasing dollars trying pass rules like SOPA and PIPA that would would potentially fundamentally break the Internet while likely have zero affect on piracy. We can actually be grateful the internet seems to have bigger dogs in the fight - for now.

The thing is, the goal of the studios has always been pay per view. The resisted home video, which would be a pay once/watch many times format because it was a threat to the theater ticket price. Their lawyers coordinated with Circuit City to produce DiVX, which would create a disposable DVD that would expire and fail to play after only a few plays (an effort that likely failed more in light of environment waste concerns than viewer rights). They continue to make disc based media protections more onerous and cram more advertisements at us when we rent instead of buy. Now they want everything to go to streaming where we can potentially pay for each viewing while owning nothing for our money - all the while being at the mercy of the whims of studio distribution dollars. Want to see it today? Pay up. Want to see it tomorrow? Pay again. Want to see it next month? Sorry, the rights have run out and that title is no longer available.
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post #27 of 31 Old 01-19-2014, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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There may be hope.

I haven't brought and Blu-Ray or DVD discs for over a year. I have been keeping up with what I am interested in watching via my Netflix DVD subscription.

I watched The Lone Ranger last week and was pleasantly surprised, not by the movie, but by a message that came on the screen before the Previews telling me I could go directly to the Main Menu by pressing the disc menu or pop-up menu button on my remote. I tried it and it worked.

Has Disney seen the light?

Could someone tell me if the Retail version of this disc displays the same courtesy to Disney's customers.

Bob Holmes
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post #28 of 31 Old 02-01-2014, 11:34 AM
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I haven't bought a Bluray in over a year. Why spend 20.00 for a new release when I can just buy the Ultraviolet HDX (bluray equivelant) for 5.00 on a variety of websites. Ender's Game is coming out and websites already have the Digital copy available for 5.00 No ads, no previews and no anti piracy warnings. Hit play and the movie starts playing. I have five family members linked to my account across the country and when I add a movie they get it instantly also. No need for disc to get scratched up among young ones either. I currently have over 850 movies on my Ultraviolet account. Anyone would be hard pressed to see the picture quality difference between Bluray and HDX unless they were watching on screens bigger than 100" Every week I check various UV websites and normally buy the HDX version the day it's released or earlier. I bought Captain Phillips one week before it was released in stores and so my family also had access to it one week earlier. I also no longer have the issue of storing the disc. Sure you give up DTS - MA but you get Dolby Digital Plus 7.1 and saving 15.00 or more per title I'll live with the lesser audio quality that 90% of us couldn't tell the difference anyway.
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post #29 of 31 Old 02-03-2014, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by UofAZ1 View Post

Ender's Game is coming out and websites already have the Digital copy available for 5.00.

You need to provide some links. Example, Ender's Game is $22.99 for HDX at my VUDU account.
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post #30 of 31 Old 02-03-2014, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by RDHolmes View Post

There may be hope.

There have been a number of recent releases that start with the main menu or will let you hit the menu button which takes you to the main menu.
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