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post #1 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Popular recent releases only available to own and not rent

*Apologies; I originally posted this in media servers and content streaming but this forum seems like the more appropriate area.

Tonight I wanted to rent Blue Jasmine. I had wanted to see it for awhile but hadn't gotten around to seeing it yet. I checked and Red Box only seemed to carry the DVD. The blu ray wasn't even listed in the system.

I know I had seen it on the list of releases on Vudu. So I sat down for the night prepared to pay the I feel ridiculously high price of 6 dollars to rent the title in HDX.

But I was surprised to see it was only available to own. And it was only available to own on all the streaming services.

I have rented other titles on Vudu and some of the other popular services before and I do know that recent releases available ahead of the physical disc are always only available to own. But I had not realized that some recent releases within the past year are only available to own.

I checked a couple other recent titles I was interested in and they also could only be purchased and not rented.

What gives?

I know Hollywood is run by morons but I had no idea it had gotten this bad. I spent way too much time struggling to find a place I could spend way too much to rent a title I wanted to see rather then download it illegally which I easily could do in better quality then the overpriced rental.

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post #2 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 12:59 PM
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It varies in time with each service in my experience, BluRay could become available for rent (or a HD streaming) still....now, as to wanting to watch a particular movie at a particular time in the format you want at that moment, that can be tough for a renter but your best chances in this regard I think are with Netflix (and I just checked, Blue Jasmine is avail on BluRay but not streaming).

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post #3 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
It varies in time with each service in my experience, BluRay could become available for rent (or a HD streaming) still....now, as to wanting to watch a particular movie at a particular time in the format you want at that moment, that can be tough for a renter but your best chances in this regard I think are with Netflix (and I just checked, Blue Jasmine is avail on BluRay but not streaming).
The problem with Netflix for Blu Ray is from checking forum posts Blu Ray availability is very spotty. I hear that many titles are missing and if they are available they often have a long wait.

At the end of the day the one thing the streaming services should be superior at is availability and choice. Putting aside licensing issues all titles should always be available indefinitely to both rent and own. With a digital store there is no real increase in overhead to have titles available even if they become less popular (though in my example Blue Jasmine is still a semi recent title that should be popular).

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post #4 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 02:24 PM
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The problem with Netflix for Blu Ray is from checking forum posts Blu Ray availability is very spotty. I hear that many titles are missing and if they are available they often have a long wait.

At the end of the day the one thing the streaming services should be superior at is availability and choice. Putting aside licensing issues all titles should always be available indefinitely to both rent and own. With a digital store there is no real increase in overhead to have titles available even if they become less popular (though in my example Blue Jasmine is still a semi recent title that should be popular).
No one has the choices that Netflix does by a big margin at least as far as what is included in a plan without a per show fee. If you only watch new/most popular stuff asap then maybe some other service like Vudu or maybe even the RedBox thing in a metro area might work. I don't have the option of Red Box but one kiosk in 40 miles and its choices I ran thru in one week when I gave it a trial recently; even their streaming selection is extremely limited, won't ever go back there again. Vudu I just don't want to pay for and my internet isn't always strong enuf for HDX anyways. I always have an extensive queue going on Netflix for both bluray/dvd and streaming, maybe I have to wait a bit for a popular new release but the library over all is awesome. If you want instant satisfaction that's where the renter isn't going to always have his way....

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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post #5 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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The problem is I might only want to rent one title every 2 or 3 months. So even if Netflix by mail service had adequate availability (it doesn't) a subscription service doesn't really work for me.

And the issue is not that I want to rent the title "ASAP". It's that I want to watch it when I get around to it.

Blue Jasmine came out on video in January. It was available to rent in January.

However at some point in the last few months it was removed as a rent able title and is only available for purchase.

There is no reason it needs to only available to purchase except that the studios are hoping the customer will give up and purchase the title for more money even if they only wanted to rent it.

This is not a Vudu problem. I checked and every streaming service I could find only has this title for purchase. So this decision must be at the studio level.

And I looked at other recent titles and it seems that this is they way that most major studio releases are now being handled.

It is the opposite of the vhs days. Titles have a rental window and after that is expired it is only available for purchase.

It is frustrating because we are heading backwards from the video store days. The digital store has less rental variety then a typical Blockbuster store would.

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post #6 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 02:42 PM
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It'll flip back and forth between the various services and formats. Perhaps Netflix has a short-term exclusivity for the bluray rental for now, but that could expire soon and then perhaps the others will have an option. I constantly go through films (and subscribe to Amazon Instant Prime also, as well as various movie channels on sat and have a sizeable library of my own so I'm a constant consumer)...once every 2 or 3 months I cannot even imagine! Good luck in your quest for the ideal availability when you want it! You could buy it and resell it perhaps? Why not dvd instead of bluray for a Woody Allen film?

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post #7 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Perhaps Netflix has a short-term exclusivity for the bluray rental for now, but that could expire soon and then perhaps the others will have an option.
I'm relatively sure that is not it. I checked about 10 major releases I could think of from summer through fall of last year and at least half if not more were only available for purchase and not rent.

This appears to be a strategy at least some of the major studios are employing. I noticed a lot of Sony and Universal titles.

And it's not going to be long before digital streaming and on demand is the only major source of titles for rent (I think sales of Blu Ray titles will hang on for a bit longer).

Netflix seems to be planning to eventually go streaming only. Red Box already has stopped expanding and has started scaling back the number of kiosks while at the same time starting a streaming service.

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post #8 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 03:08 PM
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I'm relatively sure that is not it. I checked about 10 major releases I could think of from summer through fall of last year and at least half if not more were only available for purchase and not rent.

This appears to be a strategy at least some of the major studios are employing. I noticed a lot of Sony and Universal titles.

And it's not going to be long before digital streaming and on demand is the only major source of titles for rent (I think sales of Blu Ray titles will hang on for a bit longer).

Netflix seems to be planning to eventually go streaming only. Red Box already has stopped expanding and has started scaling back the number of kiosks while at the same time starting a streaming service.
But it is available for rent, on bluray, right now.....just not where you want it. Of course they're pushing more for you to buy and not rent, and not on physical media, that's their preference of course due to cost and ease of distribution....who truly cares about renters of anything? Netflix thought they could abandon us disc users, but there's still enough of us for them not to....

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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post #9 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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But it is available for rent, on bluray, right now.....just not where you want it.
Being included in the list of available Netflix titles is not the same as being "available".

I am led to believe from other forum posts that most Blu Ray titles are long wait or may not be available on Blu Ray at all.

Lets say I do pay 10 dollars for this month just to join so I can rent that specific title. If another user has it out it may go to long wait and I may pay for the entire month without ever receiving the title.

And it is not just about this specific title. I checked some other titles I had been interested in renting. Prisoners, Rush, Elysium just to name a few. They were all only available for purchase now.

And you misunderstood me before. I don't only watch one movie every 2 or 3 months. I purchase most titles (maybe 1 to 3 a month) and maybe rent 2 others on average from the kiosk. I go to the digital streaming service if I am not sure I want to purchase the title and it is unavailable in the kiosk.

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post #10 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 03:26 PM
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I rented the DVD of "Blue Jasmine" from Redbox and it upscaled nicely, if I recall. Movie studios are run by people out of touch with the general public and run mostly on their college trained marketing theory (which according to one of their professors they weren't too good at). I also think the DRM companies make them paranoid just to sell them new DRM schemes. Also according to a talk I saw by a horror film distributor on YouTube it is difficult to make money in the business anymore. The margins are very slim and competition high since anyone with a DSLR can make a hit movie.
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post #11 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I rented the DVD of "Blue Jasmine" from Redbox and it upscaled nicely, if I recall.
I know this is taboo but I'm leaning towards just pirating this specific title. Yeah I could Redbox the DVD version but it was a movie I was looking forward to seeing and I watch on a 100 inch screen at a 11 foot viewing distance so quality makes a big difference to me. As it is I am not 100 percent happy with any of the streaming services quality wise but it is at least getting close to Blu Ray.

If I don't pirate the title I'll probably just hold out until Amazon has the Blu Ray on sale for under 15 or I'm in a Blu Ray binge buying mood.

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post #12 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 03:37 PM
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It's distributed by Sony Pictures so it is a little weird that it isn't rentable. It might be a Woody Allen thing. Sony's strategy seems to be put the titles everywhere it can make money including streaming rentals. Not to say it may be in the works as a streaming rental about the time you buy a discounted or used BD.

It was a fun film to watch as they shot some of it locally and hopped all over the SF Bay Area.
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post #13 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 03:41 PM
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Being included in the list of available Netflix titles is not the same as being "available".

I am led to believe from other forum posts that most Blu Ray titles are long wait or may not be available on Blu Ray at all.

Lets say I do pay 10 dollars for this month just to join so I can rent that specific title. If another user has it out it may go to long wait and I may pay for the entire month without ever receiving the title.

And it is not just about this specific title. I checked some other titles I had been interested in renting. Prisoners, Rush, Elysium just to name a few. They were all only available for purchase now.

And you misunderstood me before. I don't only watch one movie every 2 or 3 months. I purchase most titles (maybe 1 to 3 a month) and maybe rent 2 others on average from the kiosk. I go to the digital streaming service if I am not sure I want to purchase the title and it is unavailable in the kiosk.
Sure its available....to Netflix subscribers. We're just two users with vastly different needs so finding a service that works for you is key but to say its not available in bluray rental isn't accurate. You will probably be more frustrated on a regular basis with your rental habits, tho (and your update on movie watching still pales in comparison to my own, I'm more on the order of 1-2 movies a day ). I didn't put it in the queue to see if its marked with a wait....so I just did and its not marked with a wait so I'd probably have it delivered Tues/Wed since I've got a disc on the way back now they should have on Monday or Tuesday.....but then I have no interest in Woody Allen's works for many years now so deleted it from my queue. I rented Rush a while back on bluray on Netflix (and just recorded it in HD from one of my sat channels). Elysium and Prisoners as well had on bluray from Netflix already.

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post #14 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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It's distributed by Sony Pictures so it is a little weird that it isn't rentable.
I don't think its a Woody Allen thing. I am 90 percent sure I was browsing Vudu 3 or 4 months ago and it was available to rent then.

This appears to be a studio strategy for at least Sony and Universal (those are the only two studios I noticed in titles I checked.

I checked Elysium which was a Sony title I believe and that also was previously available to rent and now can only be purchased. And I checked Rush a Universal title which also can now only be purchased after previously being available for both rent and purchase.

The pattern seems to be the title is available for purchase only about 2 weeks ahead of the release date of the physical disc version.

After the title is released on a physical disc the title is made available for rent as well as purchase via the streaming services.

After about a 6 month window has passed the title is pulled from being available for rent via download and may now only be purchased.

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post #15 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Sure its available....to Netflix subscribers. We're just two users with vastly different needs so finding a service that works for you is key .
It's not out of the realm of possibility that I could be persuaded to subscribe to Netflix via mail to supplement my Blu Ray habit.

I subscribed to Blockbuster by mail until the day it died even though I would sometimes go months without renting something.

But every time I considered signing up I would research forum posts and the consensus seemed to be Blu Ray availability paled in comparison to Blockbuster.

But the point is moot since Netflix by mail is not going to last forever. Sure maybe it will go on another few years but that is probably tops and by then Redbox will have probably gone streaming only too.

Streaming on demand is the future whether we like it or not and the more I use it the more I find it lacking due to issues like this as well as quality.

Things like this need to be pointed out so we can demand improvement before its the only option left.

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post #16 of 25 Old 08-24-2014, 03:59 PM
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The best way to use Netflix discs is simply regularly updating your queue and watching something when it arrives, rather than try to specify when you want it to arrive....that doesn't work for everyone, works great for me and my habits (I have the three disc at a time option). Some very popular releases can have waits (and in hindsight in some cases are absolutely not waiting for, either ). Unfortunately yes we will be likely forced into streaming only one of these days, which would be fine if the internet infrastructure was capable, but it often is not depending where you live and who your ISP is....I'm out in the boonies and best available to me is 12mbps (inconsistently of course since they only promise a point that might be reached occasioally rather than a minimum available). My sister is trying to find a place in a nearby rural area and service there is only 1.5mpbs...useless for much if any hd streaming.

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post #17 of 25 Old 08-26-2014, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Benson View Post
*Apologies; I originally posted this in media servers and content streaming but this forum seems like the more appropriate area.

Tonight I wanted to rent Blue Jasmine. I had wanted to see it for awhile but hadn't gotten around to seeing it yet. I checked and Red Box only seemed to carry the DVD. The blu ray wasn't even listed in the system.

I know I had seen it on the list of releases on Vudu. So I sat down for the night prepared to pay the I feel ridiculously high price of 6 dollars to rent the title in HDX.

But I was surprised to see it was only available to own. And it was only available to own on all the streaming services.

I have rented other titles on Vudu and some of the other popular services before and I do know that recent releases available ahead of the physical disc are always only available to own. But I had not realized that some recent releases within the past year are only available to own.

I checked a couple other recent titles I was interested in and they also could only be purchased and not rented.

What gives?

I know Hollywood is run by morons but I had no idea it had gotten this bad. I spent way too much time struggling to find a place I could spend way too much to rent a title I wanted to see rather then download it illegally which I easily could do in better quality then the overpriced rental.
There is no money for the studios with the rental model as it has existed. The money is in Pay Per View and mostly in sell through be it digital or disc.

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post #18 of 25 Old 08-26-2014, 01:12 PM
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There is no money for the studios with the rental model as it has existed. The money is in Pay Per View and mostly in sell through be it digital or disc.
Selling discs has run into a problem because back when people had more expendable income they may have bought discs. Then after a few years they looked at that library of movies they only watched once and cut way back.

With austerity they are going for rentals not buys. I rarely buy discs anymore and mainly used. I don't even like the series "buys" where you "own" the series. It's just another scam from the studios to squeeze more money out of you. I seldom rewatch an episode and if they cost less in the first place I would probably just rent it again if I needed to.
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post #19 of 25 Old 12-02-2014, 09:07 PM
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There are so many good places to buy UltraViolet codes for $5-8 that I never, ever rent movies. If I want to see a new release, I just buy an HDX UV code and watch it on Vudu.

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post #20 of 25 Old 12-03-2014, 11:00 AM
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There are so many good places to buy UltraViolet codes for $5-8 that I never, ever rent movies. If I want to see a new release, I just buy an HDX UV code and watch it on Vudu.
My Netflix Blu-ray disc rentals average about $1.92 per disc (3 At A Time Plan). If I used UV codes that could average $52 to $83 a month. I will stay with my Blu-ray disc rentals.

You appear not to care but you are in violation of the TOS if you are using a code that came with a disc and you do not have the disc, just saying...

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post #21 of 25 Old 12-03-2014, 09:17 PM
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My Netflix Blu-ray disc rentals average about $1.92 per disc (3 At A Time Plan). If I used UV codes that could average $52 to $83 a month. I will stay with my Blu-ray disc rentals.

You appear not to care but you are in violation of the TOS if you are using a code that came with a disc and you do not have the disc, just saying...
That is not entirely true. The secondary market for codes falls into a legal gray area with competing theories that have not been tested in court. Right now, the studios appear to have no interest in pursuing the matter as they are just trying to get people onto the platform. They may decide differently later, but that does not pose much risk to anyone's library. There is absolutely no way for either the studios or the resellers to know what the origin of a given code was and there is requirement to for the user to be able to produce a physical copy to prove ownership once a movie has been added to their library. In short, there is not particular risk involved in buying codes from the secondary market.

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There are so many good places to buy UltraViolet codes for $5-8 that I never, ever rent movies. If I want to see a new release, I just buy an HDX UV code and watch it on Vudu.
I've been too paranoid about getting an invalid code, I've never bought one.

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I've been too paranoid about getting an invalid code, I've never bought one.
I have only gotten stuck with one invalid code that I could not resolve or get refunded out of several hundred purchases. I do not buy from forums or eBay. I only buy from stores with a formal web presence and PayPal. Most resellers will happily give you another code if the first one is invalid. Some will first send you the image of the certificate and ask you to try and sort it out with Vudu first before issuing a new code. Either way, I've only gotten ripped off on one code and I stopped doing business with that vendor. It was an $8 loss. It is worth taking that chance, because I have bought hundreds of movies for $3 to $12. The average price of a new release is up to around $8-9. The average price of a back catalog film is around $6. Codes that have been kicking around a long time can drop as low as $3. It is all pretty fluid, whereas a couple years ago pretty much everything was $5. Even with the higher prices, it is usually at least 50% lower than what you will pay on Vudu. That said, it is also smart to watch the sales on Vudu and other official UV sites, because sometimes there are killer deals. I've been buying a lot more movies from Vudu directly since they started getting more aggressive with pricing. It is a very rare thing for me to pay more than $10 for a movie and I buy an average of two a week.

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Thanks. Any reason you are going with Vudu and not iTunes?

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Location: Billerica, MA
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Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post
Thanks. Any reason you are going with Vudu and not iTunes?
Vudu is part of UltraViolet. UltraViolet movies are licensed through the studios, not the resellers. If I buy a UV code, I can access it from Vudu, M-Go, Target Ticket, Flixster and any other UV reseller that carries titles from that studio. I am not beholden to a single reseller. If Vudu goes belly up, I don't lose my movies. Most of the content on Vudu is licensed through UltraViolet or through Disney Movies Anywhere. Either way, my license is not through Vudu.

Another advantage of UV/DMA is that you can access your content from almost any platform. It does not matter if you are using OSX, Windows, Android, iOS, Roku, Playstation, XBox, a Smart TV or a connected Blu-Ray player. If you buy a movie through iTunes, you are 100% locked into iTunes. That generally means you can only access the content via Apple devices. It also means that you have no protection from the whims of Apple.

Scott
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