Originally Posted by jvillain
I find Bill comes off as a bit of an apoligist at times. Thoughts?
I think he is trying to report on the studios views so I don't see it as overly sympathetic.
It is a complicated situation. I believe all of these things.
1. As a consumer who has already purchased a catalog title--sometimes even both an LD and a DVD--I really want the Blu-ray to be most excellent before I purchase. I also don't want to pay another big price when the title is selling on DVD for $7 or so. If they can't do it right, I can wait. I did not buy LOTR for example.
2. I agree that the studios will read (or misread) the situation to discourage them from publishing catalog titles. However, they should understand that no one can buy what they refuse to sell. The studios were very lucky in the VHS and DVD days: they could put something marginal out and people would snap it up. Many of the VHS titles 30 years ago were made from 16mm sources or 35mm TV prints. They sold well. The studios also found they could remaster and improve and sell again. They got into the habit that they didn't have to market or cater to the customer. Now they have to EARN our patronage with Blu-ray titles that are really excellent and well priced if they want to sell. But the days of unexpected and unearned riches are over.
3. I also think that Blu-ray adoption has been hampered by the lack of a broad range of catalog titles. The PS3 demographic is still the driving force behind Blu-ray I think. We see Sony shipping Jason and the Argonauts, where is The Bridge on the River Kwai that Sony has been talking about for 4 years? No wonder many film buffs are waiting.
4. Fans are putting a lot of pressure, often unfairly, on the quality of titles. We need to remember what the deficiencies in the source material are. For example: I think that The Longest Day is a fine disk, to name one blasted title, and I have some evidence for this claim. Ditto Apollo 13. Patton, however, has been damaged with too much DNR, so it does go both ways. Given the furor over LOTR, I wonder what people are going to say about Star Wars when it finally comes out. The Phantom Menace has problems beyond Jar-Jar that a Blu-ray transfer will make very apparent.
5. Customers are also putting contradictory requirements on studios about both how films are to be restored and what should be on the disks. I ask myself: what if I were in charge of Blu-ray catalog at one of the studios? I am not sure what I would do. DNR (and hear complaints about the lack of detail) or don't DNR (and hear about all of the grain and digital noise).