Fox to Sell Digital Downloads of Films Before Their Blu-ray Release Dates - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 142 Old 09-07-2012, 05:20 PM - Thread Starter
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In what is another sign that the DVD/Blu-ray is slowly declining in relevance, Fox has now given priority to digital downloads for new releases:

 

 

 

 

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In the age of Netflix, VOD, and online piracy, studios are still trying to figure out the best way to get consumers to actually purchase their media. And with disc sales declining and digital sales on the rise, Fox is looking to give the latter format a boost.

 

Fox is launching an effort to encourage online purchases by offering downloads of titles for $15 a pop weeks before they hit DVD / Blu-ray or VOD. The first movie released under the new model will be Prometheus, which will be available to download September 18 before hitting shelves in disc form on October 11.

 

The digital copies will be available through a number of online retailers, including Amazon, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox, and CinemaNow.... In addition, over 600 (presumably older) films will be offered under the Digital HD brand.

 

 

Of course, Blu-ray is still superior to most digital versions in video and audio quality, but my guess is that this fact won't matter to consumers. 

 

What do you think of this development?

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post #2 of 142 Old 09-07-2012, 06:11 PM
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do they think people are stupid, why pay $$ for a sub par digital version of a movie; if i want a crappy "take anywhere with me" copy i'll either rip the film myself or um, you know....

if it was some sort of assembly cut with extra scenes i'd pay no more than $5 then buy the bluray later.
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post #3 of 142 Old 09-07-2012, 06:16 PM
 
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Hollywood is trying to get people to switch over to digital downloads.
im sticking to blu ray. mad.gif who cares if I have to wait longer!.mad.gif
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post #4 of 142 Old 09-07-2012, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espodo View Post


Of course, Blu-ray is still superior to any digital versions in video and audio quality, but my guess is that this fact won't matter to consumers. 

Did they specify what quality the digital download version is going to be? While unlikely, they could release a version that is of the same quality as Blu-ray.
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post #5 of 142 Old 09-07-2012, 07:03 PM
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We'll see how this all pans out as everything is becoming digital downloads, and the ISP's are making a killing on excess bandwidth usage. I'll stick to hard copies myself as well.
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post #6 of 142 Old 09-07-2012, 10:05 PM
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Dumb! pirated copies will circulate faster than ever! Hollywood will never learn.
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post #7 of 142 Old 09-08-2012, 12:31 AM
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So they think people just pirate full blurays, this makes no sense.

Web-dl's from itunes and such are far more popular and can be had illegally and are used by much more casual audience. I dont get how offering digital downloads before hand is suppose to reduce piracy, this makes no sense to me.

All this is doing is once again punishing people who actually pay for copies.
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post #8 of 142 Old 09-08-2012, 06:03 AM
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What the studios should do is sell not just a single copy of the film, but also offer a higher-priced, upgradeable, "future-proof" license for the film that includes (initially) a higher-quality-than-blu digital copy. Imagine getting Prometheus in high-bitrate 1K today for $20 (including access to the archive of behind the scenes, commentaries, and other featurettes), then paying another $5 in 5 years to upgrade your license to get the 4K rights, then again in 10 years more for the 8K and so-on. All higher-tier licenses provide full access to all lower-tier (SD, mobile, etc.) and alternate format content (3D, HDR etc.) so you're worry-free and quality-assured. Let the consumer decide how much quality they can handle!
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post #9 of 142 Old 09-08-2012, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdustinb View Post

Did they specify what quality the digital download version is going to be? While unlikely, they could release a version that is of the same quality as Blu-ray.

In your eyes what is bluray quality?
...and if you think it is only 1080 resolution, you are not on the right track.
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post #10 of 142 Old 09-08-2012, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dargo View Post

Dumb! pirated copies will circulate faster than ever! Hollywood will never learn.

and , oddly, most of them are superior in quality to that you get legally, not that i would know

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post #11 of 142 Old 09-08-2012, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bootman_head_fi View Post

In your eyes what is bluray quality?
...and if you think it is only 1080 resolution, you are not on the right track.

Care to elaborate on what you're getting at and add something of more value? Some people were simply assuming that the digital download version would be of worse quality than Blu-ray. While likely, it doesn't mean it isn't possible to release a downloadable version that is of the same or even better quality than Blu-ray. I didn't say that Blu-ray quality was simply about the video resolution, despite being a major part of it. What else is there to Blu-ray other than resolution? The primary and possible secondary audio/video codecs, interactivity, frame rate, bitrate, DRM, etc. Pretty sure I'm on the right track. rolleyes.gif
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post #12 of 142 Old 09-08-2012, 01:05 PM
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I think it is more that Fox finally figured out that streaming is a viable distribution channel. Took them a while but I won't give most studio any credit for much forward thinking. I would expect spec driven home theater enthusiasts being against streaming but on my 12 year RP HD set some of those streams don't look much different from the BDs I rent. Certainly not enough to rent a BD or even buy one. Only thing missing would be extras but some places like Vudu and Amazon are even offering those. Besides there are no COGs to consider with streaming. wink.gif
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post #13 of 142 Old 09-08-2012, 09:12 PM
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I'll stick with Blu-ray, thank you!

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #14 of 142 Old 09-08-2012, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espodo View Post

What do you think of this development?

Not much. AFAIK, Prometheus is the only Fox title that has been announced. Seems more like an experiment. Others studios have tried similar promotions.

They are just trying to kick start EST. There is a huge installed base of devices* capable of playing ETS titles yet the revenue from EST is quite small.

*Game consoles, BD Players, Media Players, PC’s, Pads, Phones, etc.
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post #15 of 142 Old 09-08-2012, 11:55 PM
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I wouldn't mind doing this, some vudu titles in the past looked no different than the blu ray copy and the DD+ was great as well, but as of lately, vudu's PQ and AQ isn't what it used to be.
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post #16 of 142 Old 09-09-2012, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teckademic View Post

I wouldn't mind doing this, some vudu titles in the past looked no different than the blu ray copy and the DD+ was great as well, but as of lately, vudu's PQ and AQ isn't what it used to be.

Storage and bandwidth cost money... that's why the quality will continue to plummet as they add more titles. Don't buy into this PPV low bitrate stuff.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #17 of 142 Old 09-09-2012, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by dargo View Post

Dumb! pirated copies will circulate faster than ever! Hollywood will never learn.

Not sure the reason is to combat piracy rather to extract a higher dollar amount from consumers.

I want to die in my sleep like grandpa... not kicking and screaming like the people in his car.
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post #18 of 142 Old 09-09-2012, 09:34 AM
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And the studios wonder why navi-x and xbmc are becoming more popular with each passing day. People are not going to pay $15 for a movie that sits out there in the cloud somewhere. And not many will pay $25 for the BD either. Thats why the industry is flailing. I will just wait a year or 2 and buy the BD FOR $7.99 on Amazon. Drop the rentals down to $3 and the BD down to $10 and the industry would make a killing.

RIP Robin Williams. Thanks for the laughter.
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post #19 of 142 Old 09-09-2012, 01:38 PM
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F$&k that I'm sticking with Bluray

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post #20 of 142 Old 09-09-2012, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremya View Post

What the studios should do is sell not just a single copy of the film, but also offer a higher-priced, upgradeable, "future-proof" license for the film that includes (initially) a higher-quality-than-blu digital copy. Imagine getting Prometheus in high-bitrate 1K today for $20 (including access to the archive of behind the scenes, commentaries, and other featurettes), then paying another $5 in 5 years to upgrade your license to get the 4K rights, then again in 10 years more for the 8K and so-on. All higher-tier licenses provide full access to all lower-tier (SD, mobile, etc.) and alternate format content (3D, HDR etc.) so you're worry-free and quality-assured. Let the consumer decide how much quality they can handle!

You sir should be an executive in the movie industry. If they would actually do something like that, it would be awesome. I don't know why they can't figure out that some of the things they do actually make their consumers mad, and mad consumers... duuhhhh, consume less.

But even as it stands now, I don't have a problem with them releasing streaming or digital download versions of the movie first. But I will stick with Blu-Ray for the quality. Heck, even if they did offer a 50GB download for a lessor price, I'd probably still buy the disc because I kind of like having the cover art, and having it visible on my shelf for easy locating... and moving 50GB around to watch in different places is actually a bit of a pain. It is much easier to just pop the disc into the laptop if you want to watch on the go and still maintain the best quality. But just because I don't want the inferior digital download version doesn't mean I am mad, hurt or offended. That would only happen if they stop making the Blu-ray available completely (especially if there is no equal or superior format to replace it).

Getting slightly off-topic, but the one thing that bugs me the most about Blu-ray right now is all the JUNK you have to watch before the movie starts. They even go so far as to disable the chapter next button, etc. If they want to make the consumer happy, they should be competing to see which studio can get the customer into the movie that fastest.

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post #21 of 142 Old 09-10-2012, 06:48 AM
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If I purchase something, I want to be able to lend it out to friends, and I want to be able to resell it. I dread the day when I can't purchase a physical copy of anything anymore.

But if I had to have a completely digital library Jeremya has some good ideas.

They would stand a better chance of getting my money if they offered a zero day release so I could watch the latest and greatest at home the same week as everyone else going to the theater. (I have gone to a theater once in the last year and a half since starting a family, and I don't miss it one little bit. )
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post #22 of 142 Old 09-10-2012, 10:05 AM
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From what I've gathered from reading some of the other write-ups on this, it most likely will be 1080p, but with DD+ audio (which many argue that to the untrained ear, you won't hear the difference between it and the HD audio codecs), putting it better than average digital downloads, but not at the top of the line Blu ray quality. I'm still sticking with Blu ray for highest quality purposes.
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post #23 of 142 Old 09-10-2012, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike1812 View Post

From what I've gathered from reading some of the other write-ups on this, it most likely will be 1080p, but with DD+ audio (which many argue that to the untrained ear, you won't hear the difference between it and the HD audio codecs), putting it better than average digital downloads, but not at the top of the line Blu ray quality. I'm still sticking with Blu ray for highest quality purposes.
Most people on this forum probably already know this, but since it has been lightly discussed quite a bit in this thread, I thought I would plainly lay this out there:


1080p speaks less about the quality than the compression algorithm and most importantly, the compression ratio.

While true that Dolby Digital can sound very close, possibly even indistinguishable from Dolby TrueHD, all Dolby Digital is not equal. It can be compressed at various ratios. So even the DD track on most Blu-Rays is better than the same DD track on a DVD of the same movie because the one on the DVD has a higher compression ratio. That to me is the big selling point of TrueHD and HD Master Audio. You know it is as good as the master vs. hoping it is.

So a 1080p Dolby Digital movie can range in size as much as 1GB to 50GB for the exact same movie. But of course the 1GB version will have noticeable compression artifacts in both the video and audio. If you have Netflix, just watch one of their HD 5.1 streams, then pop in the Blu-Ray. It’s night vs. day. My guess is that the download will be closer to Netflix quality. But that is just my speculation. Not many people want to download 50GB (which is the capacity of a dual-layer Blu-Ray).
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post #24 of 142 Old 09-10-2012, 11:43 AM
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^^exactly. I didn't elaborate simply because I was addressing the early on questions (from up around post 3 or 4 or so) as to what the specs would be. Highly doubtful we'll ever get anything near a bd-quality download, though since it IS a download and not a stream, I suppose anything is possible. . .

I won't stream ANYTHING, and there's no way in **** that I'll download anything less than full BD quality when I have BD's available to me (even if a few weeks later than the download). However, since I store all my bd's after putting them on my server, I'd prefer the ability to do a permanent, full bd quality download - no more disc-buying/storage. I'm guessing the studios will make that available on the 1st of never.
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post #25 of 142 Old 09-10-2012, 12:14 PM
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I have used streaming for YouTube videos, movie trailers, etc. I haven't streamed any movies since I cancelled Netflix last year. Very few of the Netflix movies offered quality sound, even the ones marked "HD", so this makes me a huge fan of the physical disc.

As [KYA]Mega mentioned above, I'm also getting increasingly annoyed at the 'mandatory' previews on discs. If you rent one from Redbox and you don't get extras and you have to watch them... ok, I get that. But if I fork out real money to purchase the disc, I would really like to skip the promos. I also get limited theatre time because of my 1-year old, and for the most part that's ok. But he has recently discovered the Eject button... and that really can ruin the experience when you know you have a 10-minute minimum before you get back to the Chapters menu!
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post #26 of 142 Old 09-10-2012, 12:39 PM
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As being part of the internet generation and being 32, I was a HUGE advocate for piracy and digital downloads, when I got into building my first HT system earlier this year, I learned, BluRay trumps. I have downloaded so called 1080p movies and also having the Bluray, the picture quality still shines through better on the Bluray. The downloaded copy looks great, but the Bluray is that much better.

Visual quality aside, the audio quality is what makes makes me scuff. I'm starting to pick up the trained ear finally, thanks to my dad lol, but I am really starting to notice difference with lossless codecs such as Dolby HD and DTS HD MA vs lossy codecs such as Dolby Digital or DTS. And using the same download vs Bluray, I can hear the differences between a digital copy DD and BluRay and I like the BluRay sound much better with lossless sound.

So like many others in here, enthusiasts won't turn to digital downloads until they can support lossless codecs with small download footprints and the sound is reference material.
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post #27 of 142 Old 09-10-2012, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremya View Post

What the studios should do is sell not just a single copy of the film, but also offer a higher-priced, upgradeable, "future-proof" license for the film that includes (initially) a higher-quality-than-blu digital copy. Imagine getting Prometheus in high-bitrate 1K today for $20 (including access to the archive of behind the scenes, commentaries, and other featurettes), then paying another $5 in 5 years to upgrade your license to get the 4K rights, then again in 10 years more for the 8K and so-on. All higher-tier licenses provide full access to all lower-tier (SD, mobile, etc.) and alternate format content (3D, HDR etc.) so you're worry-free and quality-assured. Let the consumer decide how much quality they can handle!

I can NOT like this post enough. What an outstanding idea and a great business model. Someone needs to adopt this on the ASAFP!
As much as I am a STRONG proponent of physical media (i.e. actually having a physical blu ray to put on my wall), this is a very strong argument for the future and betterment of the digital download era.
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post #28 of 142 Old 09-10-2012, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quicksilv3r View Post

As being part of the internet generation and being 32, I was a HUGE advocate for piracy and digital downloads, when I got into building my first HT system earlier this year, I learned, BluRay trumps. I have downloaded so called 1080p movies and also having the Bluray, the picture quality still shines through better on the Bluray. The downloaded copy looks great, but the Bluray is that much better.
Visual quality aside, the audio quality is what makes makes me scuff. I'm starting to pick up the trained ear finally, thanks to my dad lol, but I am really starting to notice difference with lossless codecs such as Dolby HD and DTS HD MA vs lossy codecs such as Dolby Digital or DTS. And using the same download vs Bluray, I can hear the differences between a digital copy DD and BluRay and I like the BluRay sound much better with lossless sound.
So like many others in here, enthusiasts won't turn to digital downloads until they can support lossless codecs with small download footprints and the sound is reference material.

I could not agree more. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am a huge proponent of having physical copies and one HUGE reason of which is the Audio. Perfect response my friend! +1!
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post #29 of 142 Old 09-11-2012, 01:49 PM
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For my movie theater, yes, I only want blu-ray, if not blu-ray 4K that is being pushed by Sony.
However, for mobile(laptop/smartphone/tablet), disc drive is almost non-existent (especially with those ultrabook or lightweight notebook). That I do see a reason why they are pushing for digital download.
Another gripe I had with Amazon, Vudu or whatever is that you require a connection. My ISP is still playing tricks on me whenever I invite folks over to enjoy a streaming movies.. stop working or slow BW... So, a disc is much more reliable.
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post #30 of 142 Old 09-11-2012, 03:46 PM
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MY 2 cents, I bought into 5.1 with a huge investment into an avr speakers and my Oppo 93. I did this to ejoy films at home to the fulnesss of what was offered. DTS-MA /Dolby HD audio. And damm good picture! I do not wish to take mob\vies anywhere! Thats BS! They are destroying the whole concept! BIg screen, big sound, bigger than life! The one real stupid move was to remove the lossless audio track from the rental version of "Hunger Games". I will not be goaded into a buy!!! I will not be renting any more Lionsgate fils, and looks like the rest will have to wait for HBO! The sudios better wake up!
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