Rental versions of Blu-ray discs stripping out bonus features - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Some of the studios are now selling a "rental" version of blu-ray discs to rental chains like Blockbuster. These "rental" versions strip out all the special features that should be on the regular version of the title -- bonus features, alternative versions of the film, commentary tracks and the like.

The DVD / Blu-ray RentalGate Scandal:
http://www.audioholics.com/news/editorials/rentalgate

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post #2 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 09:12 AM
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But strangely if Redbox gets their disks through normal distribution channels they would have the extras. Funny that.
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post #3 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 09:24 AM
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Seems like a perfectly logical decision to me, I'm just surprised it didn't happen sooner.

If you really want the extras, buy it. If you're not willing to pay, then perhaps that means you aren't that keen on seeing the extras after all.
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post #4 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 09:27 AM
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This happened to me last night while trying to view deleted scenes and outtakes from the BD of The Hangover, I thought it was my player, greedy bastards!
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post #5 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 09:40 AM
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Yup. I rented The Hangover wand was not happy the extras were basically saying, F*** YOU RENTER! Frankly, I am amazing it has taken the studios this long start this trend.

All I can say is, anything that prevents me from seeing Moon Bloodgood's bare boobies is no good.

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post #6 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_Stevens View Post

Yup. I rented The Hangover wand was not happy the extras were basically saying, F*** YOU RENTER! Frankly, I am amazing it has taken the studios this long start this trend.

All I can say is, anything that prevents me from seeing Moon Bloodgood's bare boobies is no good.

I rented Hangover, too, and I was surprised I could not skip the previews. I will never rent anogther blu-ray.
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post #7 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gbaby View Post

I rented Hangover, too, and I was surprised I could not skip the previews. I will never rent anogther blu-ray.

They are doing it to the DVD's too.

In the past month, I knew something was up when I couldn't find bonus features on "Star Trek" and "Terminator: Salvation". This week, I got "The Hangover" and saw it was missing the bonus features.
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post #8 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnaround View Post

In the past month, I knew something was up when I couldn't find bonus features on "Star Trek" and "Terminator: Salvation". This week, I got "The Hangover" and saw it was missing the bonus features.

If you're talking about the BDs, as far as I know there is no rental-specific version of Star Trek - most of the special features are on disc 2 which you would have to rent separately (and Netflix does offer this bonus disc for rental). Not any different than many of the other Paramount multi-disc editions of their summer blockbusters.
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post #9 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 10:27 AM
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There is a rental version of the newest Harry Potter film as well.

Note that I believe all these titles are Warner Bros discs who seem to consistently lead the way in dumb marketing ploys. Basically, it's an experiment that's trying to address several things. You'll note there's no bare-bones "rental" versions recent releases like District 9 or Inglorious Basterds for instance. It's also interesting to note WB will be trying out two-on-one movies on one blu-ray disc early next year for their "lesser" titles.

One, many rental outlets do not like having to deal with multi-disc releases as they repackage their discs in single disc cases for rental. Obviously, a double disc case or using two single disc cases costs a relatively insignificant amount of money but it does add up in both hard costs and additional handling as well as an increased likelihood of lost discs. One disc lost logically would make a double disc title unrentable.

Second, it's designed to increase sales in a very small niche of renters who are on the fence over buying a certain movie - there's more incentive to buy the retail version with all the bonus stuff if the rental version is bare-bones. Market research has shown a large percentage of renters do not bother with bonus features which may also play a role in WB's new trend.

IMO, it's not a very well thought out plan as most blu-ray titles fit everything on a single disc anyway and it would seem to add cost to manufacturing two versions of the same title for the rental and retail markets and as can be seen by reaction here, is about as popular as the DIVX rental format was.

T.B.
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post #10 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 10:35 AM
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I can live without extras but what were they thinking?

[quote]Umm, how did the movie start? What the heck? I am hitting the menu button but nothing is happening. I can’t select audio options?[quote]
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post #11 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvillain View Post

But strangely if Redbox gets their disks through normal distribution channels they would have the extras. Funny that.

I was thinking of contacting Redbox and telling them that if they put retail versions of BDs in a box near me I would likely rent quite a bit and they could get word out that they are basically the only place to rent the actual retail releases of many movies (for instance unrated versions), where Netflix and Blockbuster now provide not only movies with no extras, but only the theatrical/rental versions in quite a few cases.

I saw some of this coming when Warner did this kind of thing with the DVD version of I Am Legend (but not the BD version), where DVD watchers had to basically buy the movie in order to see the alternative ending since the rental version only had the theatrical version. But I didn't want to encourage this thing too much for other studios.

And it isn't just Warner, Fox is releasing special versions for rental also. Night at the Museum 2 doesn't have any extras on the Blockbuster rental version. Once difference between then and Warner is that Warner is marking their stuff at Blockbuster as Rental at the bottom, while NATM2 said something about being a Blockbuster exclusive, as if that was a good thing.

I'm wondering if it is time for Walmart to get into the Blu-ray rental business. They could get word out about being the go-to place for rental of retail versions and how Blockbuster and Netflix customers don't get the whole movie experience. Using The Hangover as an example, people who rent the disc seem to miss 8 minutes of the movie compared to those who buy the disc (although those 8 minutes weren't shown in the theater either). I doubt the studios could stand up and stop Walmart. They might decrease the use of these special versions if Walmart started renting retail versions, but I don't see them cutting Walmart off since they want the retail sales that Walmart provides.

I don't blame the studios for doing this as it might make business sense for them, but I see it as the courts deciding that people have the right to rent things that have been purchased and one or more of the studios finding a loophole to try to keep that from happening with the good versions.

If Fox is deciding to be greedy in all directions by doing this and then fighting against providing any discs to Redbox for rental I hope it comes back to bite them by Redbox putting retail versions of Fox Blu-rays out for rent.

--Darin

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post #12 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 10:59 AM
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I thought this has been common practise on DVD for years.

They have also started to ditch the extras on some DVDs releases in favour of extras on BD only.

Good movies are as rare as an on topic discussion.
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post #13 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 11:20 AM
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I would strip them out, too.. You want 'em, buy the disc.

For $4.99 to watch a new release, it is still a pretty good deal.

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post #14 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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With "The Hangover" Blu-ray rental, there was no top menu. After previews, it went straight into the movie. The rental disc only offered play/pause/stop, and settings for audio and subtitle. There was no menu to access chapters.

One thing that struck me as funny about not being able to skip previews. After the previews, my BD player still paused for a minute to load up the movie. I was thinking, why can't it load up the movie while playing the previews I can't skip anyway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinema Squid View Post

If you're talking about the BDs, as far as I know there is no rental-specific version of Star Trek - most of the special features are on disc 2 which you would have to rent separately (and Netflix does offer this bonus disc for rental). Not any different than many of the other Paramount multi-disc editions of their summer blockbusters.

I stand corrected about Star Trek's special features being on a second disc.

BB is not renting out the second disc, even at the brick & mortar stores. In the past, my local BB store would have the extra disc included in the in-store rental (i.e., you rented the full version of what was sold in stores).
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post #15 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 11:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gbaby View Post

I rented Hangover, too, and I was surprised I could not skip the previews. I will never rent anogther blu-ray.


Mission accomplished.
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post #16 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

I would strip them out, too.. You want 'em, buy the disc.

For $4.99 to watch a new release, it is still a pretty good deal.

+1 This is quite smart on the part of the stuidos, I'm surprised they hadn't done this sooner. If they want to increase sales they need to distinguish rentals from retail copies somehow.

Back off man, I'm a scientist.
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post #17 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Partyslammer View Post

There is a rental version of the newest Harry Potter film as well.

also a 2 disc... or is the maximum movie mode missing too?
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post #18 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gbaby View Post

I rented Hangover, too, and I was surprised I could not skip the previews. I will never rent anogther blu-ray.

Wait...what? You'll never rent another BD again because you couldn't skip the previews? Now that's harsh...
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post #19 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 12:49 PM
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For the people that say, if you want extras, buy the disc.
Wouldn't mass producing an entirely different movie for rental cost more then just using the retail master?

I started noticing this when 3D versions where stripped from the rental copies.
Another reason why I will be very cautious about buying any used Blu-Ray from Blockbuster.

Night of the Museum 2 was a rental version. I'm guessing putting it on a BD25 instead of 50 saves them some change.

Just odd to me because about 90% of the people renting don't watch the extras anyway.
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post #20 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Schiller View Post

For the people that say, if you want extras, buy the disc.
Wouldn't mass producing an entirely different movie for rental cost more then just using the retail master?

I started noticing this when 3D versions where stripped from the rental copies.
Another reason why I will be very cautious about buying any used Blu-Ray from Blockbuster.

Night of the Museum 2 was a rental version. I'm guessing putting it on a BD25 instead of 50 saves them some change.

Just odd to me because about 90% of the people renting don't watch the extras anyway.

I would imagine that it would cost more. I'm not sure. However, it doesn't really matter to me. Give me the disc with top notch audio and video. That's all I care about and need/want.
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post #21 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 12:53 PM
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A lot of the "rental only" discs actually say "rental" right on the disc. Not a sicker, it's part of the disc artwork itself.
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post #22 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Schiller View Post

For the people that say, if you want extras, buy the disc.
Wouldn't mass producing an entirely different movie for rental cost more then just using the retail master

I'm sure the studios are looking at it from the perspective that they make up whatever those costs are by people paying a premium for retail discs with all the features.
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post #23 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 01:21 PM
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i wish they would offer the movie only discs to buy. it's rare that i watch even the deleted scenes from a film, let alone the "making of", "sketches", et. al., it would be nice to return to the days of laser disc, where you could purchase the movie and if you were a big fan you and the movie warranted a collector's edition you could buy that. charge a little less than current prices for movie only and a little more for collector's editions. i realize i'm probably in the minority.
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post #24 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkcohen View Post

+1 This is quite smart on the part of the stuidos, I'm surprised they hadn't done this sooner. If they want to increase sales they need to distinguish rentals from retail copies somehow.

I disagree. What if my purchase of the Hangover depends on the unrated version? What if I mildly enjoyed a movie, but if the extras are good enough, I'd buy it? Renting it would allow me to view them, or at least a portion of them

This is greed on the part of the studios.
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post #25 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 01:46 PM
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The word 'greed' sure does get thrown around here alot.

Back off man, I'm a scientist.
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post #26 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 01:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sharkcohen View Post

The word 'greed' sure does get thrown around here alot.

I've noticed that as well. It never shocks me when a business wants to make money. Greed implies something sinister and I see none of that in this decision.
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post #27 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 02:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowucmenowudont View Post

I've noticed that as well. It never shocks me when a business wants to make money. Greed implies something sinister and I see none of that in this decision.

It is greed in that they want people to jump onto this new format, at a higher price in almost all cases, yet won't offer people the full experience when they try it out.

The studio is paid, by the rental outfit, for the product. The rental store is being shafted by not being allowed to let their customers see the full product. This also makes it difficult to sell the product used later. This puts both the store and customer at the mercy of the studios.

This is a case of the studios not making enough money for their liking. They want rental stores gone because they feel it cuts into their profits. They're suing Redbox because they feel their products are worth more than Redbox is charging. This is a work-around to get their way, cutting out a portion of the movie business in the process.

The point of renting is to try something out. If the studio doesn't have enough confidence in their products to sell after someone has watched them, then maybe it's time to go back to the drawing board.
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post #28 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turnaround View Post

BB is not renting out the second disc, even at the brick & mortar stores. In the past, my local BB store would have the extra disc included in the in-store rental (i.e., you rented the full version of what was sold in stores).

The local BB near me is renting both discs for Star Trek. They are also not doing rental discs, at least not yet. The local store near me seems to be a fairly progressive store though when it comes to Blu-Ray. Maybe they are satisfying their customer base or maybe they just haven't started the rental disc program yet. I don't care though because to be honest I end up not watching most special features anyway, outside of deleted scenes, and even then only because my wife wants to watch. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise as she'll get mad and say just buy the dang movie. lol
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post #29 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamereviewgod View Post

The point of renting is to try something out.

That may be the point for you, but for many people and many situations that isn't the point of renting. The point there is to watch something, kind of like the point of going to the movies is to watch something. A person doesn't need to have any interest in owning a particular movie in order to want to watch it either in the theater, at home, or on the road.

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post #30 of 195 Old 12-17-2009, 02:32 PM
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If average purchase prices of titles is about $25 and rentals $5 overnight, then the studios practice of cut-down titles for rent could push consumers to purchase and then on-sell for a small loss. Ultimately this would be bad for both studios and rental chains and I think is a very short-sighted approach to improving business.

Just as laserdisc was a premium product for the enthusiast market, I think the studios should concentrate on releasing an enthusiast's Bluray version that is as transparent to the original film as possible (no filtering, grain reduction, edge enhancement etc but only restoration) at a premium price. D-Theatre was probably a good example of that approach, apart from the reliability of the technology.

I don't think 3D is going to be much of a money spinner for them either, except at the cinema, or until they release 3D home cameras.
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