Originally Posted by sytech
I am not privy to your discussions with studio executives, but I would have to disagree. They say the same thing every time a new format is released. VHS to Laserdisc to DVD, DVD to Blu-ray, and now blu-ray to 4K.
You don't have to be privy to any discussion. I have explained the motivation for those transitions and why it is different this time in the article: http://www.madronadigital.com/Librar...tribution.html
. You can verify everything I say there by reading the financial analysts that follow the major studios.
Once they see the revenue created by reselling you old movies they all eventually come on board.
As I explained in the article, this did not happen with Blu-ray. Everyone thought it would happen but it didn't. And we have had plenty of time to see if the conclusion was a lasting one (it was).
The consumer has moved on, showing complete disregard for owning anything, or caring about higher fidelity. They take the instant gratification of "something to watch" online than owning a library of discs on their shelves. I explained in the article why it *appeared* that people were trying to own a library. The reality we know now is different and the proof points are conclusive.
Sony is pushing 4K hard and will soon open their extensive movie library and the other studios will have to follow.
They may release a thing or two as they experiment but I am telling you, as a studio they do not work that way. They are run on merits of their business and not to compromise their strategy to save an electronics business that loses money all the time.
I don't see how 4K would endanger movie theaters any more than they already are for a variety of reason.
As I said, it is an optics thing. There have been experiments with moving the home video market earlier and the theater owners are on guard to not get on the slippery slope there. And they are a powerful bunch, having the major talent (directors, actors, producers, etc) on their side which like to see their movies open on the big screen.
Let me make sure this point is not overemphasized. The main thing is that what people are worrying about right now is what to do with the Internet and Redbox/Netflix. There is no one crying "let's give them 4K content." They have Blu-ray for a high-resolution physical format and it is a growing format so nothing is broken, needing to be fixed.
Hardware guys will no doubt work on new formats but they have lost their power in this day and age. What Apple wants counts 100 times more than what LG wants if not infinitely more.
As long as the movie theaters get the movies first, they will always generate revenue. The movie coming out on 4K months later is not going to change that.
As I said, there has already been movement toward providing content in much earlier content (so called "early premium window" rental). Combined with removal of fidelity gap, there is nothing left for them to hang their hat on. They put up a fight and combined with consumer apathy to pay for early rentals those efforts have failed but the theater owners are on guard and heavily so.
There was a great report came out recently from one of the financial analysts covering the studios. It talked about how the tech industry has this utopian view that what is good for them, is good for the studios. It was talking about companies like Microsoft trying to become cable companies by carrying some of their channels (and how they smartly backed off from now shortly after getting into it). He shows the economics and the history of all of these wishes of the tech company and how they have failed in every step. It is a sobering assessment of what some of us were guilty of trying
Let me say that I wake up every day trying to see if there is a way to get to where the few of us want to be. That is why I ended my article the way I did with a "hope" and even possibility of 4K. So the future may still be brighter than I painted. But sitting where I am sitting, I have to share with what is the talk of the town and not some 4K being around the corner. If it were around the corner, don't you think they would have been a lot more talk about it???
Like music where HD Tracks provides lossless audio where the whole world has shifted to 256K lossy audio format from CD, I am hoping that while the industry goes to the latter for video just the same, that someone at least gives us Blu-ray quality in digital distribution. 4K? That is the least of our worries right now! HD-Lite is what is in our future. One day you are going to wake up and your favorite new movie is available only in that format due to an exclusive deal by Netflix, Amazon, or whoever.
It is tempting to put two and two together and say this or that will happen. Yes, Sony pictures is part of the same company as Sony Electronics. But no Sony pictures executive stood next to the hardware guys pushing 4K displays. You can imagine the pressure would have been there. But they didn't say anything. Everyone is instead talking about the one liner from LG. LG? Really?
You can bet I am wrong that would be cool.
But as I said, at least do a bit of reading and don't believe the past folklore as we all mistakenly believed. We now have really good data and we should make good judgments moving forward. 4K may come but it won't be because everyone replaces their library with a new format.
I am a firm believer that if we are going to get beyond Blu-ray quality, it will come through Internet formats. Google could wake up tomorrow and decided that their path for differentiation is 4K and go and pay a few hundred million dollars to get the rights to a few new movies that way. I can tell you no one in BDA will spend a penny that way.
Let's hope I am completely wrong and we wake up a year from now and we have 4K BD content in our hands. For the sake of my company in my signature, that would be a really good thing as everything you own becomes obsolete! You would have to buy all new hardware and we will be dancing in the street as you do that. Come to think of it, maybe I should put aside my general sensibilities and act like the OP to entice you to go and spend money on 4K now. So, "never mind." 4K is just around the corner. Where can I get your credit card number?